I am absolutely elated to see that Rep. Giffords is recuperating and visible. I’m amazed and grateful that she is alive and able to move her life forward–talk about resiliency. While I am grateful that we still have Gabrielle Giffords, I am profoundly disturbed that we have yet to address the culture of violence promoted by Sarah Palin and her ilk that helped to create the environment in which Giffords and others were shot down at a grocery store.
I’m also glad Rep. Giffords had access to adequate healthcare, something many Americans do not have access to because it is linked to employment. Yes, I don’t believe it is a coincidence that the US Supreme Court has decided to weigh in on the issue of Health Care Reform during the middle of an election year. The Fecal Five have been quite transparent in wanting to oust President Obama–gee, no racism there!
Back to the culture of violence which has not changed since the shooting in Arizona. What has changed? Have Palin, Brewer, or Angle “taken personal responsibility” as they are so fond of saying? Do we remain a Gun Crazy Nation?
Jessica Valenti’s article, The Shooting of Gabrielle Giffords highlights the “Man-up” culture in US politics: In a country that sees violent masculinity as the ideal, it’s no wonder this rhetoric resonates, does a remarkable job of looking at Tea Party women that have promoted a culture of violence. Sheriff Dupnikacknowledged this disgrace in his press conference.
Valenti looks at several key culprits, including Sharron Angle, who suggested that if Congress “keeps going the way it is”, people would turn toward “second amendment remedies”. (The second amendment of the US constitution outlines the right of Americans to bear arms.) And in an interview with a local Nevada paper, Angle said: “The nation is arming … If we don’t win at the ballot box, what will be the next step?”
I love how Valenti articulates how these right wing women buy into a masculine model of violence for political expediency: “Stephen Ducat, author of The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity, says that masculine and violent language is often used in elections and campaigns – especially by men on the right – because of a fear of being perceived as feminine. In a sexist society, what could be worse than being called a girl? So it doesn’t seem unlikely that conservative female politicians feel the need to peddle their ideas in gendered and violent language in order to fit in with the masculinised right.” Republican Christine O’Donnell said that her opponent was “unmanly”; Angle told Harry Reid to “man up”; and Palin praised Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer as having “the cojones that our president does not have” to enforce immigration laws–all embarrassing examples of the promotion of violence. Did these women not believe there words would have consequences? I hope you will take the time to read the article in full.