FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

How to Attack Women, One House Bill at a Time

Dear Representative Brown,

Brava!  Author!

It takes real hard work and quite a bit of creativity to outdo the extraordinary comments and efforts of many of your peers in public office regarding rape.  To name but a few, we start off with the “legitimate rape” comment by US Representative Todd Akin.  Breathtaking.  Then, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock stepped up and said rape was “something that God intended.”  Nice one.  Next was the decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court to overturn a rape conviction because the victim, who has severe cerebral palsy, cannot verbally communicate, has limited movement, and did not “bite, kick, scratch, screech, groan, or gesture” her disapproval, and therefore consented.  Pretty damn impressive.  You’d think that’d be hard to beat.

But your introduction of legislation (New Mexico HB 206) that would make women who have abortions after getting pregnant from rape bona fide criminals is taking it to a new level!  Abortion as “tampering with evidence” and a third degree felony? Screwing somebody’s record for life?  Nicely done.  What a feather in your “I’m just going to throw any legislative crap out there and see if I can get away with it” cap!

Completely discounting how a woman’s post-sexual assault body is often an extremely difficult place to inhabit, as it’s the inescapable “scene of the crime,” and ignoring how that would be magnified a zillion times if one had to endure a pregnancy because of that assault (if one didn’t want to) is really keeping your eyes on the prize.  We should all have such single mindedness. To hell with a sexual assault survivor’s healing and her fundamental need to regain control of her body.  Your inference that getting pregnant doesn’t afford documentable evidence of a pregnancy unless a baby pops out nine months later is pure genius.  A little wink to you, using an indirect approach to legally attach the concept of “criminal” to “abortion,” the real aim of the bill, no doubt.  Hello, slippery slope!  The fact that you’re a woman really is icing on the institutionalized patriarchy cake.  Such misogynous internalization is usually borne of some deep-seated self-deprecation. Do you need a hug?

Well, you should give yourself a congratulatory one, as your efforts are exemplary.  Take a moment to really savor what you’re trying to do: you are legislatively attacking women who’ve been horribly sexually assaulted (not to mention all women).  A double whammy.  Way to go!

But why, in the name of all twisted, shameless public office holders, would you stop there?  You’re clearly inspired.  Don’t stop at just criminalizing post-rape abortion.   This theme could really be mined.  Grab your “I Loathe Women’s Rights” shovel and dig in!

Here are some ideas for potential evidence-tampering felons:

Survivors Who Seek Trauma Therapy

The very understandable psychological trauma reactions one can have from a sexual assault is considered evidence in some court cases.  Trying to heal one’s trauma reactions, then, clearly would be tampering with evidence.  Criminalize the women who are in trauma therapy.  Make them felons.  Every last couch-sitting one of them.

Psychotherapists Who Provide Trauma Therapy

Stands to reason.  Make all psychotherapists who work with the felonious trauma survivors and do their best to help survivors heal, as I do in my practice, accomplices to their evidence tampering.  Aiding and abetting criminal activity in billable, 50-minute intervals.  Book me.

Supportive Friends

Friends help survivors heal, and with that, trauma reactions (aka: evidence) can fade away.  Lock up the sleaze-ball friends.

Facebook Friends

And for heaven’s sake, don’t limit the legal definition of friends to the 3-D kind.  Any meaningful connection survivors have can potentially help.  Throw the book at the survivor’s Facebook friends and owners of pages they’ve liked.

You get the idea.

Remember, sexual assault remains widespread.  And while it’s estimated that roughly only 3% of those raped become pregnant, still, if your bill is adopted, jails could be filled even more to the gills with evidence tamperers.  Only about 3% of rapists ever spend a nanosecond in jail, so nearly all of them will be running around free while their victims are incarcerated, but whatever.  Eyes on the prize.  The spectacularly lucrative prison industry bonus prize.  You could start a whole sub-niche of evidence-tampering, sexual-assault-surviving prisoners and help the ailing New Mexico economy.  Other states could adopt the same.  The national economy could be saved.  Hooray!  You’ll be a heroine!  (Then you could quit the New Mexico House and become a lobbyist for the prison industry.  Cha-ching!)

And while you’re exploring the possibilities, think outside the evidence-tampering box.  The Rolodex of criminal offenses is your oyster.  What about fraud?  Exploding a destructive device with intent to injure?  Practicing dentistry without a license?  Willfully or negligently causing a train crash by an engineer?  Surely, you can just as easily work these charges into your bill somehow. What about civil law?  Character defamation?  I know I’ve heard survivors say less-than positive things about their assailants.  Keep those creative ideas flowing.

This is all super exciting! I can’t wait to see what absolutely sane legislation you introduce next.  I’ll be watching.  And so will countless women in New Mexico and across the country.

In the meantime, thanks, Representative Brown, for lending your voice of reason and compassion to the increasingly well-reasoned and compassionate political chorus.  As a New Mexico resident and as a woman, I’m bursting with pride.

Most sincerely,

Carol Norris

PS: Since the writing of this letter you’ve apparently gotten a bit of backlash from the “US Out of My Uterus” crowd who will never appreciate your visionary and groundbreaking legislation.  This has forced you to scramble a bit to change HB206’s language to obscure the gist.  But, never fear, we know where your heart is and we get the gist.  You’re not one to be reckoned with.  Watch out, Roe v. Wade, you’re in Representative Brown’s sights!  And on the 40th anniversary, too.  Nice!

Carol Norris is a psychotherapist, activist, and freelance writer who puts forward that regardless of where you live, you might send personalized kudos to New Mexico State Representative Cathrynn Brown here: cath@chathrynnbrown.com 

If you’ve been sexually assaulted, get support. Call RAINN, a confidential national sexual assault hotline that will connect you with local help.  1.800.656.HOPE.  (This writer is not affiliated with them in any way.)

More articles by:

Carol Norris is a psychotherapist, freelance writer, and longtime political activist.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

June 19, 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Requiem for a Lightweight: the Mayor Pete Factor
Kenneth Surin
In China Again
Stephen Cooper
Abolishing the Death Penalty Requires Morality
George Ochenski
The DNC Can’t Be Allowed to Ignore the Climate Crisis
John W. Whitehead
The Omnipresent Surveillance State
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
Guaidó’s Star Fades as His Envoys to Colombia Allegedly Commit Fraud With Humanitarian Funds for Venezuela
Dave Lindorff
What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?
Howard Lisnoff
Try Not to Look Away
Binoy Kampmark
Matters of Water: Dubious Approvals and the Adani Carmichael Mine
Karl Grossman
The Battle to Stop the Shoreham Nuclear Plant, Revisited
Kani Xulam
Farting in a Turkish Mosque
Dean Baker
New Manufacturing Jobs are Not Union Jobs
Elizabeth Keyes
“I Can’t Believe Alcohol Is Stronger Than Love”
June 18, 2019
John McMurtry
Koch-Oil Big Lies and Ecocide Writ Large in Canada
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Evidence About Iran is “Dodgy” at Best
Yoav Litvin
Catch 2020 – Trump’s Authoritarian Endgame
Thomas Knapp
Opposition Research: It’s Not Trump’s Fault That Politics is a “Dirty” Game
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage that is Deadly, Illegal and Ineffective
Gary Leupp
Marx and Walking Zen
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Color Revolution In Hong Kong: USA Vs. China
Howard Lisnoff
The False Prophets Cometh
Michael T. Klare
Bolton Wants to Fight Iran, But the Pentagon Has Its Sights on China
Steve Early
The Global Movement Against Gentrification
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Journal Doesn’t Like Rent Control
Tom Engelhardt
If Trump’s the Symptom, Then What’s the Disease?
June 17, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
The Dark Side of Brexit: Britain’s Ethnic Minorities Are Facing More and More Violence
Linn Washington Jr.
Remember the Vincennes? The US’s Long History of Provoking Iran
Geoff Dutton
Where the Wild Things Were: Abbey’s Road Revisited
Nick Licata
Did a Coverup of Who Caused Flint Michigan’s Contaminated Water Continue During Its Investigation? 
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange and the Scales of Justice: Exceptions, Extraditions and Politics
John Feffer
Democracy Faces a Global Crisis
Louisa Willcox
Revamping Grizzly Bear Recovery
Stephen Cooper
“Wheel! Of! Fortune!” (A Vegas Story)
Daniel Warner
Let Us Laugh Together, On Principle
Brian Cloughley
Trump Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail