To call the crime of rape a horrific event is to put things far too mildly. The English language really does seem to lack the words to describe just how terrible such a thing is in the life of a victim.
While there is much debate taking place about sexual assault right now following the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, one thing that no one is debating is that rape is an awful thing.
Yet, for rape survivor Savannah Lindquist, one very important thing is missing from the discussion in the era of #MeToo.
When the #MeToo movement picked up steam as women across the country spoke out against sexual abusers this year, Lindquist joined the wave.
She shared her story in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, and called for women to be able defend themselves in the way they chose, including carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus.
“I think the #MeToo movement and the movement for women’s right to self defense or really anyone’s right to self defense, they sort of go hand-in-hand,” Lindquist said.
“It’s frustrating, but it sometimes feels like when you’re pro-Second Amendment that your story doesn’t matter as much,” she said.
Lindquist stressed that she doesn’t think everyone should carry a gun, but said the choices women are given when it comes to self defense are limited and that should be a part of the #MeToo discussion.
“Regardless of the reason why, I think it’s important that we have that choice because it seems like right now the #MeToo movement is all about just having women’s autonomy and being able to make these decisions and say, ‘This is what happened to me, but I’m gonna get through this, and I’m strong, and I know who I am,’ and that sort of understanding, but it seems sort of like it’s stopping there, that everyone is like … The award show that was a few nights ago, we saw people wearing the Time’s Up pins. It’s like, ‘Okay, well that’s great, but what are you doing?’ You’re not doing anything to actually fix the problem, and that’s sort of what I’m trying to do here,” Lindquist said.
She’s absolutely right, especially about everyone carrying a gun. Not everyone is up for it. Not everyone is psychologically ready to pull that trigger, and thus would be a liability with a firearm.
But if enough women carried one, it would create a kind of herd immunity against rapists. People who would want to commit these atrocities would have to pause and wonder each time whether their victims were armed or not. It would play in their mind, especially when more and more potential rapists wind up shot.
After a while, even the women who refuse to carry for whatever reason would be protected.
The fact is, men are bigger, faster, and stronger on average than women. The average woman will never be able to fend off the average man. Guns are the great equalizer. They make the difference at a moment like that.
The fact that we’re not having that discussion as part of this moment isn’t just a shame, it’s something that borders on negligent in my opinion.