Telling Men Not to Rape and the Rape Threats That Followed

*Trigger Warning*

I don’t know how Zerlina Maxwell mustered the courage to go on Sean Hannity’s show and talk about rape. I take my hat off, I curtsy, I bow, and I salute her for going onto national television to talk about rape. Zerlina is a survivor of sexual assault, and speaking about her trauma in public deserves the utmost respect (respect that is notably absent from the situation).

Her appearance with Hannity was in response to Democratic Colorado state Senator Evie Hudak’s remarks to a rape survivor  during testimony about concealed firearm permits on college campuses. Hudak’s remarks were insensitive, she told the woman statistics were not on her side, “and, chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.” Hudak’s statements are pretty crappy.

Zerlina’s response to the debacle was spot-on. She told Hannity that she doesn’t want anyone telling women what to do, and she wants society to tell men not to rape. Saying that society needs to teach young men to respect a woman’s bodily autonomy is a non-issue, at least it should be, but the shitstorm that ensued was heartbreaking.

Her Twitter feed and Facebook are flooding with threats of rape and murder. Speaking out about rape culture caused a flood of rape threats! What does that say about our society? Denying that we live in a place that breeds a culture of sexual violence is dangerous, because it ignores the imminent danger that lurks just around the corner (usually within the same house) for millions of women. If you’d like to see an example of the awful threats, head over to Zerlina’s Twitter, but more important than that, send her some positivity and love. She deserves it.


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