Sunday, September 20, 2015

Women Have the Right To Freedom of Movement

Some comments I made following the controversial interview second-wave feminist Susan Brownmiller made the other day about rape:

Women are far more likely to be raped by their husbands or their significant others than they are by strangers. Yet they are told to be watchful of the boogeyman in the bushes and can't do one thing alone. They are catcalled on the street by rude men because the message being conveyed by these jerks is you have no right to be on the streets alone. You have to have a man as a security guard, I guess, in these jerks' minds. That is not living a life at all. It is not living at all if you have to be paranoid. This is why 90 percent of the comments here are utterly stupid even if they think they are conveying "common sense." The older I get, the less tolerant I am of stupid beliefs. Restricting women's freedom of movement in the remote chance they are ever raped by strangers is not okay. And the rape culture is really all about restricting women's right to their own space, to self-determination.

I don't know how many times I was told over my 60 years by my sisters, by my mother, by co-workers, by friends, by acquaintances, that I should never ride my bike alone, I should never jog alone, I should never hike alone, I should never go to the movies alone, I should never walk in the dark alone, I should never travel alone, I should not live alone, I should never do one single thing alone. It infuriated me to hear this garbage nonstop, but I did all of those things and MORE on my own. I was not going to not enjoy life because of a remote risk somebody might rape me. I was not going to stop living because of this idiocy. ALL women should do the same.

Brownmiller is wrong on both this issue and domestic violence issues. She apparently hasn't read her own book since she sent it to the publisher 40 years ago. The current rape activism is a natural outgrowth of what she wrote. It is long overdue to put the blame where it squarely belongs, and that is on the men who rape.

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