Sunday, May 21, 2017

Women Armed with Mouths Frighten Men Armed with Guns

Statement to the NH House of Representatives 
May, 4, 2017
Representative Debra Altschiller, Rockingham 19, Stratham 
Thank you Mr. Speaker and Honorable colleagues.
I rise today with a heavy heart to begin an uncomfortable conversation.
But I know uncomfortable conversations create change. 
Our distinguished body has been negatively cast in the national spotlight. Our colleague, the member from Laconia representing Belknap County - District 9 has been revealed as a founder of the online Reditt community “The Red Pill”. 
Under the cover of multiple screen names, our colleague promoted this community, nurtured and cultivated it like a garden of poisonous weeds that grew to 200,000 subscribers who celebrated female oppression, and rape apologists. 
He has not denied his active leadership in the community but instead offered self-serving justifications.
I believe, our colleague displayed a lack of maturity and ethics necessary to hold the position of Honorable Representative. 
And now, the uncomfortable part. I am going to use a term that makes people very uncomfortable, rape culture. The genesis of The Red Pill did not happen in a vacuum.
Rape culture is “a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse”. As Dr. Christine Bowman wrote for the American Psychological Association, “rape culture has many ingredients, and like any successful recipe, once you blend them together, it’s harder to taste the individual flavors. Rape culture is so entrenched in our society, and its components so ubiquitous, we may sense something doesn’t taste right, but be at a loss to pinpoint the problem.”
Turning this culture around is on all of us. We the members of this august institution have been chosen as leaders from our communities to move New Hampshire forward with positive growth. 
It is not positive growth when members joke in committee about hiring prostitutes.
It is not positive growth when members, in the House Calendar, minimize human trafficking by writing that someone who pays for sex with a minor should not be held responsible if they didn’t know that minor was underage.
It is not positive growth when members perform verbal gymnastics to justify another member’s misogynistic rantings and musings on who may or may not enjoy rape. 
Let me clear that one up for you, rape is bad for everyone, all of the time. 
Last week the Centers for Disease Control reported that NH has some of the highest sexual assault rates in the nation. We have to ask the uncomfortable question of why? Have we created an environment that has normalized sexual assault? 
Do we laugh or stay silent when we hear crude sexual remarks? 
Do we stay silent when a colleague engages in crude, cruel behavior? 
Do we honor the courage of the people who come forward to disclose their experiences of sexual violence or are we dismissive?
Changing rape culture is hard work and requires us to be uncomfortable sometimes. It demands vigilance. I ask you to join me today to create an environment that is more respectful, more sensitive to victims of sexual violence and more aware of how what we say and what we don’t say influences the people we represent.

                            *              *            * 

Rep. Altschiller read this statement to the House on May 4. A number of her male, Republican colleagues got up and left when she spoke. They'd planned this in advance. 

We now know where some of them went:

They went out drinking with Robert Fisher (in the middle), the creator of the Red Pill sub-reddit, and noted rape apologist. ***

They couldn't be bothered to show Rep. Altschiller even a modicum of respect and courtesy, so eager were they to engage in a show of solidarity with their fellow frat boy. 

On May 18, the House Republican majority voted against putting Rep. Altschiller's remarks in the House record. This is how much they hate and fear women. This is how entitled these men think they are to behave the way they do. 

*Published with the permission of Representative Debra Altschiller

** These are MY conclusions, not hers
*** What happened after the dudebros went to the bar: Take Off Your NH House Name Badge Before You Go Drinkin'

Background stories:Down the Rabbit Hole - The Daily Beast

All Feminists Want to be Raped - Daily Beast

Five Things to Know about GOP Rep. Robert Fisher

Red Pill Founder Resigns Amid Calls for Perjury Investigation


nelle said...

Susan, thank you for this summary, mimimalist but powerful. I remain shocked over what happened and how it was dealt with.

Timothy Horrigan said...

I don't know if it is fair to call Rep. Fisher a "frat boy," given that he never attended college.

Cheryl Dean said...

Utter bullshirt! Fisher did nothing wrong but excercise his right to free speech on his own time , before he served . Left wing feminatzis have spread outright lies and propaganda sprinkled with made up outrage in a desperate attempt to smear him. It's pathetic ! Frost should resign for her violent and unhinged tweets while not only as a sitting rep, but on the constituents time and from the statehouse ! She is an utter disgrace to NH and women in general !

susanthe said...

frat boy
noun NORTH AMERICAN informal
noun: frat boy; plural noun: frat boys; noun: fratboy; plural noun: fratboys
a young man who behaves in a boisterous or foolish manner considered typical of members of some college fraternities.

susanthe said...

Cheryl Dean - I'm eager to hear even one lie that "left wing feminatzis" made up to smear Robert Fisher. Just one.

coffeeparty said...

How is one free speech and not the other?

That Southern Girl said...
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