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Monday, August 08, 2022 

Women must have the right to self-defense against rapists

Phyllis Chesler recently spoke about the terrible history of rape victims being scapegoated for acting in self-defense against their male attackers, and why this has to change:
Does a woman have the right to kill a man in self-defense? Even if he is her husband? Or her father? What if he is “merely” a rapist or someone who enables a rape to take place? What about a man who enables many rapes to take place—rapes for which he receives money, rapes which he videos?

Despite progress in states like Wisconsin, the answer is, overwhelmingly, 'No.' A mere woman does not have this right.

For nearly two hundred years, women in the United States have been attempting to argue in court that their use of force, sometimes deadly force, against their rapists, abusers, and Johns is self-defense. Mostly, their pleas have been ignored.

The world still cares more about what happens to men than whatever happens to women. We get to hear much more about male prisoners than we ever do about female prisoners. Women’s lives are so little valued that we still receive life sentences for daring to defend our own lives from male batterers, rapists, and traffickers
.

In a sense, such killings in self-defense are treated as if they are regicides or patricides and deserving of maximum, even life, sentences. This harsh and heartbreaking reality is true for all women, no matter our color, but it may be even more true when the woman is African- or Hispanic-or Asian-or Indian-American and the man she’s killed, even in self-defense, is white.
No doubt, discrimination against women of color who act in self-defense is still prevalent today, and that's got to cease. Read more about this sad history, which is prevalent even in Europe.

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