It isn’t just Republican men who say stupid things about rape. Unfortunately, Democrats seem to be just as clueless. The latest stupidity comes from Democratic Colorado lawmaker Joe Salazar. His recent comments about women carrying concealed weapons on college campuses got him into some hot water and he was criticized on many blogs as well as on Twitter. Salazar suggested that female students are “too paranoid” to responsibly use a firearm because they might not be able to tell if they are in danger of being raped and may end up shooting an innocent person. SALAZAR: It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop a round at somebody. He has since issued an apology that falls into the category of too-little-too-late. “I’m sorry if I offended anyone. That was not my intention. We were having a public policy debate on whether or not guns makes people safer on campus. I don’t believe they do. That was the point I was trying to make.” Gun advocates promote women carrying concealed weapons so they are able to protect themselves from violent, sexual crimes. By suggesting that women are too emotional or paranoid to even identify if they might be a victim of a sexual crime, Salazar proved he “may” not be the best representative for women or addressing the problem of America’s rape culture. It’s clear that we need more progressive women lawmakers. Women make up 51% of the electorate yet they only hold 97 of the 535 seats in the 113th U.S. Congress. 2014 will be tough. Because of gerrymandering, The House will likely hold a Republican majority but that doesn’t mean we’re down for the count. It just means we have to be more motivated to vote. The midterm elections usually see a lower voter turnout than presidential elections but with the recent additions of women in the Senate, it is clear that showing up to the voting booth DOES make a difference. But what do I know? I may be just a hysterical woman who might not be trusted to know if a man may be planning on raping me or if he’s just trying to get a date. VOTE in 2014.
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