Arizona Judge tells victim not to blame others for being sexually assaulted.

Posted by on Sep 7, 2012 in Local Issues, Social Issues, Women's Rights | 0 comments

It’s Friday, I really wanted to do something science-y and fun today for the blog.  A full week of horror and ranting is just too much.  Science is much more fun and learning is good for your brain.  Keeps one mentally young.    Stepping up to save you, gentle reader, from science  is Arizona trial Judge Jacqueline Hatch who not only reduced an already insultingly light sentence on a cop who used his badge to breeze into a bar without paying the cover charge and then walked up behind a random woman and sexually assaulted her but also followed this affront to justice with a harsh condemnation of the victim.   Judge Hatch told the victim that if she hadn’t been at a bar she wouldn’t have been assaulted and that when she blames others for what happened to her (like, oh…say the  cop who assaulted her) she gives up her power.


Power to do what, exactly?  Be an object that any man can use and discard at will?  Power to stay out of public places because one never knows when a cop will decide to sexually assault or rape them since now they know there will be no criminal consequences for violating women?

Do the people who think like this realize what they are saying about men?  Yes it’s reprehensible and disgusting to treat women this way but I find it equally reprehensible and disgusting to paint men this way.  That men are so enslaved by their base instincts that they are helpless animals who must act upon every primal impulse they have is offensive.  That men are animals who cannot walk down a street without being in constant danger of a Jekyll/Hyde transformation into a savage raping monster is an affront to men everywhere.  Men should be just as offended by these assumptions as women are.  When men hear women being told they shouldn’t get raped, or they were asking for it because they were in the wrong place or wearing the wrong clothes they should be just as offended as women are.  This isn’t just about the character of women, this says something profoundly horrible about men too.

I refuse to believe men are like that.  Some men are but they are pathological.  Most men I know are decent.  They are thoughtful and considerate.   Yes I have known some real monsters but they are not the majority, not even close.  But when a society or a culture embraces the idea that women are to blame for the violent crimes committed upon them by what I believe and hope are a few pathological men, then that culture isn’t just dehumanizing women.  That culture dehumanizes men too.  That is wrong on every possible level.   Anything that dehumanizes someone, anyone is wrong.  We know this.  Dehumanizing someone is an absolute wrong.  It is one of the few black and white things, like murder.  Dehumanizing someone is mental and verbal murder.  Dehumanizing another human being is wrong, always.

Forcing women to cover themselves completely lest some man be tempted is just as much an insult to the humanity of men as it is an affront to the dignity of women.  It says that men are not thinking beings capable of controlling themselves.  I reject that and so should we all.  Rapists are responsible for rape, whether the woman was dressed like a nun or running naked through Central Park.  Men are human beings and as such are capable of controlling themselves and the fact that there is a cultural belief that women are to blame for being the victims of violent crimes and misogyny is an affront to the humanity of women and men.

Yes this judge was appointed by Jan Brewer (R-AZ).  Yes this is pertinent because it is one more example of the entire underlying attitude of the GOP, the Tea Party and, sadly, a large segment of a very vocal Christians (the ones who the GOP and Tea Party are pandering to).  This is yet another example of the GOP war on women.  Yes it is real.  These are the people who tell women “don’t get raped.”    They do not tell their sons, “don’t rape.”

This is a symptom of the entire pro-life propaganda campaign that completely dehumanizes women and reduces them to walking incubators.  This is where that belief leads in real world applications.   The only silver lining is that these people have convinced themselves that they are so right and that they are so in control that they don’t think they have to be careful about what they say out loud where everyone can hear it.  They have become so emboldened by the socio-political bubble they have created for themselves and so arrogant by the echo chamber of self-righteousness that they inhabit that they no longer feel they need to keep their true beliefs about women hidden from view.



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