Zerlina Maxwell, a liberal pundit and political analyst, appeared on Fox News‘ “Hannity” last week to advocate for men to not rape women. In return, Maxwell has become the target of a social media campaign threatening to gang rape and kill her.
Maxwell, in the video below, recounts that she was assaulted by someone she knew, and challenges Sean Hannity, who says he is an accomplished marksman and always carries a gun, and that she should have too.
“I think that the entire conversation is wrong,” Maxwell says. “I don’t want anybody to be telling women anything. I don’t want men to be telling me what to wear and how to act, not to drink. And I don’t, honestly, want you to tell me that I needed a gun in order to prevent my rape. In my case, don’t tell me if I’d only had a gun, I wouldn’t have been raped. Don’t put it on me to prevent the rape.”
Josh Marshall, founder and editor of Talking Points Memo, who is an acquaintance of Maxwell’s, notes, “since an appearance on Hannity on Tuesday she’s basically been under an escalating online assault filled with racist epithets and threats of rape all for stating what I think is a fairly straightforward opinion on the intersecting issues of guns and rape.”
“The gist of Zerlina’s argument was that it should be on men and the culture in general to make rape and sexual assault unacceptable rather than on women to arm themselves to not be raped,” Marshall writes:
In other words, don’t put it on her to carry a gun any more than you tell her to dress a particular way or anything else. The underlying point of debate was whether rape is just something like murder or robbery — something that will always exist to some, hopefully limited, degree — or something that is bound up in and encouraged or discouraged by our culture. In other words, whether men can be taught not to rape.
The Blaze posted this transcript:
“I don’t think that we should be telling women anything,” Maxwell said. “I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there.”
“Criminals are not going to listen to that,” Hannity interjected.
“You are talking about it as if there is some faceless, nameless criminal, when a lot of times it is someone that you know and trust,” Maxwell replied.
Hannity pointed out that “evil exists in the world” and women need to know that these situations unfortunately occur.
“We can prevent rape by telling men not to commit it,” Maxwell said, repeating the same bizarre claim.
Instead, Maxwell, who is a rape survivor herself, said she wants women to “not be in this situation.” She added that if you “train” men not to be rapists, we can prevent rape.
“If firearms were the answer, then the military would be the safest place for women and it’s not,” she said.
Here, a Storify roundup:
Think Progress notes:
These kinds of online threats are not simply cowardly and repulsive, they also may be criminal. In New York, where Maxwell resides, a person who “[w]ith intent to harass, annoy or alarm a specific person, intentionally engages in a course of conduct directed at such person which is likely to cause such person to reasonably fear physical injury or serious physical injury, the commission of a sex offense against, or the kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment or death of such person or a member of such person’s immediate family” is guilty of stalking in the third degree, and may bepunished by up to one year in prison. At least some of the attacks on Maxwell also could qualify as hate crimes, which would lead to a higher sentence.
Image, top, via Think Progress via Zerlina Maxwell
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