A Certain Blindness

Broadsheet‘s Page Rockwell gives Bob Herbert some praise in “Why doesn’t shooting girls count as a hate crime?” (must look at ad to read!) for being the rare mainstream voice to see the misogyny, the femicide, in the Amish school shootings. Her next-to-last paragraph rings:

I’d argue that it’s precisely because the schoolhouse killings are a clear-cut instance of targeted violence against girls. Ramsey and Holloway (and Elizabeth Smart and Laci Peterson and Chandra Levy) were individuals who may have been in danger because of their unique circumstances. And because their cases featured lots of mystery and investigation, they were easier to construct breathless, speculative crime narratives about. By contrast, it’s harder to sensationalize, romanticize and even fetishize the deaths of several Amish schoolgirls who were in danger because they happened to attend the wrong school. These five deaths remind us not only that some people want to harm women and girls indiscriminately, but that many people would rather not see those crimes for what they are. Indeed, plenty of people would prefer to think our culture has no problem with women and girls — or that we did maybe have some systematic sexism issues at one time, but now it’s over, and domestic violence and sexual harassment and workplace discrimination are illegal, and what more do you want? American misogyny and the related objectification of women are the great invisible, [sic] mechanisms for eroding the status of women and girls that work best when they’re not identified as such.

As a woman/former girl, I cringed when I heard he released the boys and adult women. The details silenced me for some time; all I could do was shake my head and remember to keep breathing and stay in the present, in my current flesh and body.

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10 Responses to A Certain Blindness

  1. CP says:

    This was definately a crime of misogyny. You can’t rationalize it any other way. It was sickening to me, that any adult even agreed to leave the room. Yes, I understand, someone is wielding a gun around…but you stay. You don’t leave those little girls. I know I would be dead right now, because I would have swallowed one of his bullets before I could ever abandon those little girls.

    This was a hateful crime and what the perpetrator did to himself was a favor compared to what he should have had done to him in prison.

    CP.

  2. mominem says:

    If he had released the girls does that mean the crime would have been any less?

  3. G Bitch says:

    “If he had released the girls” there would’ve been no fucking crime. No, mominem, your point is not made or taken. You illustrate the paragraph’s point.

    So stop. Now.

  4. G Bitch says:

    CP, I, too, would never have left that room even if it meant a futile death.

    To me, it sounds like he gradually went insane (schizophrenia, possibly? or depression with psychosis?) and told no one what was happening in his head so there could be no reality-checking. Planning isn’t necessarily a sign of mental health or rationality.

  5. Moksha says:

    To me that incident and others like it or symptoms of ANGRY WHITE MAN Syndrome!

    It as if the thought of absolute power slipping away is enough to warrant some rage. Coincidently this shooting was not too long at the release of a recent girls are outsmarting boys in school, and the little skit on Jon Stewart where the young boy thinks playing sports should be given the same credit as oh I don’t know, a MATH EXAM!

    I was caught up in a misogynitic message board for four years. It is Eve’s fault. It has been ingrained, BLAME IT ON EVE. EVE MUST DIE!!!!!!!

  6. Yes. And indeed, the oppression works the best if/when we cannot see it.

  7. CrankyProf says:

    The list of things he brought with him is truly frightening, as well. KY jelly? Restraints?

    Our culture is so lost when it comes to women.

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  9. mominem says:

    I think my earlier comment was misunderstood. Probably as a result of my clumsy expression.

    Please consider it should have read;

    “If he had released the girls instead of the boys does that mean the crime would have been any less?”

  10. G Bitch says:

    It would have been a different crime, mominem. My previous comment still stands.

Comments welcomed. Really.