Women—Conservative and Liberals alike—should be offended by Vice President Joe Biden’s words and behavior this week.
In an effort to sell the President’s job’s plan, Biden tries to scare us into believing that crime will go up if this bill is not passed. It happens. A politician uses scare tactics to get his way. Okay, amateur tactics. He even uses statistics to attempt to prove his point. Guess what? When you fact-check the statistics, they are wrong.
But where it gets offensive and insulting to women is when he brings in the R word: Rape. Biden claims that more women will get raped if this jobs bill isn’t passed. He even goes into an emotion-filled scenario about a woman being raped at gunpoint, waiting to be saved by the police.
Protecting Myself Is My Job
Here is where I am insulted as a conservative, gun-owning woman: Regardless of the level of police boots on the ground, I have always assumed it is my obligation to provide my own protection. The police are my back up. They take care of the paperwork after a crime is committed, and they are my vehicles for bringing the criminal to justice. But the thought of cowering in a corner, waiting for them to save me never occurs to me. I am prepared to protect myself.
For my Liberal feminist friends: This should also be insulting to you. What the Vice President is saying is that you need protecting. You are weak and vulnerable, and without the government (read: paternalistic government) you will be at risk of rape. Women have spent decades demonstrating that we are equal, independent and strong. Using scare tactics with us doesn’t work in 2011.
The Government Should Prosecute Criminals, Not Scare Victims
Let me be clear about one thing. Victims of crimes can be conservative or liberal, gun owners or not. And they are victims. Law enforcement should and routinely does treat victims with the compassion they deserve. And law enforcement works hard to bring justice to criminals would prey on these victims. But the government using the threat of crimes against women as a tactic to achieve their political means remains offensive.
Shame on Vice President Joe Biden.