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September 9th, 2014

Not Lightly At All

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Memo to Brian Kilmeade, Ben Stein, and Harris Faulkner: YOU ARE DUMB.

Hope you're not sick of people defending the status quo where the powerful are free to abuse the less powerful! Because that's the middle of the Venn Diagram among the three quotes in this week's IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

"Comments that we made during this story yesterday made some feel like we were taking the situation too lightly. We are not. We were not. Domestic abuse is a very serious issue to us, I can assure you.” - Brian Kilmeade, explaining that the Friends of Fox and Friends would never take domestic abuse lightly.

Since we have Kilmeade's assurance that they were not taking domestic violence lightly when, in the wake of the release of the video of Ray Rice punching his fiancee in an elevator, Kilmeade said "I think the message is to take the stairs", and everyone laughed, we have to assume that the message was meant seriously.

And since Kilmeade takes the subject so seriously, I think it would be a valuable public service if Kilmeade took, say, a half hour on an upcoming Fox and Friends to explain, in detail, with all the seriousness the subject deserves, how taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help prevent domestic violence. I know I'd tune in for that.

"There was a time, even in my youth … when lynchings of African Americans were not that incredibly rare. Now the lynchings are of the police, and it’s just an outrage!" - Ben Stein, on NewsMax, because they're one of three media outlets that will still pay attention to him when he says shit like this.

By the way, in case you weren't sick of the old "stop calling Michael Brown unarmed because he had arms" canard, Stein repeats it here, saying Brown "was armed with his undoubtedly strong, scary self." So I guess Ben Stein's wholesale slaughter of anyone over six feet tall should begin any minute now. In self-defense, of course.

Now, I know it's fashionable to co-opt lynching. It's very faddish amongst the whites and elites. But it's surprisingly difficult to actually lynch the police, especially since the Department of Defense gave them all tanks and body armor. Just because Clarence Thomas gave you cover to do it by comparing ALMOST not getting a job on the highest court in the land to being rounded up and murdered by racist pseudo-vigilantes for looking the wrong way at a white woman doesn't actually mean you should keep comparing the possible career and life consequences of your own bad choices to, well, fucking lynching.

"If you know that this exists on campus, and it does unfortunately all over the country. All over the world. It is what it is what it is. To put yourself in a vulnerable position and to then be, you know, drinking on top of that and not looking out, you know, it's the opposite of good sense.” - Fox guest Harris Faulkner, on what she called the "personal responsibility" aspect of rape prevention.

Apparently we need to have this conversation, because a whole lot of people are insisting they're not blaming victims and then going ahead and blaming the victims by saying they shouldn't have alcohol in case they might have to fight off a rapist later.

The thing about what I frequently see as the "bike lock analogy" = if you don't lock up your bike, don't be surprised when someone steals it - is that when used as an analogy for sexual assault, it applies to a broad range of actions that are simply part of living life. Drinking. Wearing clothes. Being around men. It's more like saying that if you don't want your bike stolen, leave it locked in your garage and never ride it anywhere. Which would be madness.

And the only reason this analogy resonates with people is that they don't think about it, and the only reason they don't think about it is that they're stuck in the old paradigm where women are property that need to be locked away and prevented, not human beings entitled to go about their lives in safety. Fuck that noise.