Twitter, like most of the Internet, is not a nice place.
Go there any day of the week and you’re likely to run into racism, sexism, homophobia, Papacy-related conspiracy theories, and variously accurate allegations of all the same. But it’s only once in a while that these horrible forces combine and form not Captain Planet, but Admiral "Just Kidding!" of the U.S.S. War on Women.
Just in case you were wondering, no, this is not a random outpouring of mockery of rape victims. It’s a politically motivated outpouring of mockery towards rape victims. What could have possibly initiated this?
On Friday, State Senator Joe Salazar spoke in favor of Colorado’s House Bill 13-1226, which eliminates “the authority of a concealed handgun permit holder to possess a concealed handgun on the campus of an institution of high education.” To put it simply, Salazar’s bill would ban concealed carry firearms on college campuses throughout the state. While opponents of his legislation claim that banning firearms will make it easier for mass shooters and rapists to claim victims on those campuses, Salazar disagrees.
Here’s what he said in support of the law:
“It's why we have call boxes, it's why we have safe zones, that's why we have the whistles. Because you just don't know who you're gonna be shooting at. And you don't know if you feel like you're gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone's been following you around, or if you feel like you're in trouble and when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop... pop a round at somebody.”
Whatever your view on guns on campuses, it seems pretty clear the response to a reasonable difference of opinion shouldn’t be creating and posting the following:
So, to recap: For many of the top conservatives on Twitter, the proper response to criticism of your policy platform — which is, in theory, designed to protect women against rape — is a series of noxious, sexist jokes about rape and rape victims. Obviously, this will strengthen their argument that the people they are really concerned about are rape victims.
Does anyone remember when Tosh.0 made that horrible rape joke? With the current outpouring of sexism from the right wing, we’re getting increasingly close to multiple state legislatures being dominated by people who interpreted that as a call to action rather than a note of caution.
From Todd Akin to Richard Mourdock, from forced transvaginal ultrasounds for abortion-seekers in Wisconsin to GOP dismissal of the Violence Against Women Act, members of the Republican Party from coast to coast have made it clear they have little respect for women’s rights in general and for the victims of rape, both men and women, in particular. Whether or not these Republicans represent mainstream opinion, their vitriolic attempts to wind back decades of the feminist movement have been successful in setting the tone about "women's issues" in their states.
So why should we surprised when the base takes to Twitter to make fun of rape victims?
In case you’re still wondering whether it’s okay to make fun of rape, rape victims, or anything related to rape, here’s a handy guide for you and the GOP, courtesty of @D_v_E: