GOP Congresswoman's Spokesman: "Let’s hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators"

Trigger warning: Below the fold and down the page a bit there are extremely graphic and disturbing pictures of women victimized by acid attacks. Then there is a disgusting and infuriating news story.

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Jay Townsend is a former Republican Senate candidate and current spokesman for a freshman GOP Congressman. Apparently he has been apprised of the heinous, increasingly worldwide practice of throwing acid in the faces of women  and girls (even sometimes as they hold babies) who dare to defy patriarchal repression (or otherwise simply exist). And apparently he thinks it is such a splendid symbolic gesture that it can serve as a metaphor for rallying people in America against women Senators who belong to the Democratic party:

A spokesman for Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) is facing criticism after advocating violence against female Democratic senators in a Facebook post.

Jay Townsend, the official campaign spokesman for the freshman representative, went on a vicious online rant on Saturday, which he began by taunting a constituent who voiced criticism about an earlier post on gas prices. “Listen to Tom. What a little bee he has in his bonnet. Buzz Buzz,” Townsend wrote.

“My question today… when is Tommy boy going to weigh in on all the Lilly Ledbetter hypocrites who claim to be fighting the War on Women? Let’s hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won’t abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector.”

He attached a link to a Free Beacon article that claims female senators pay their male staffers more than their female staffers.

Note to America, please stop electing people hateful, regressive, authoritarian, misogynistic Congressmen of the likes that could hire an apparent psychopath like Jay Townsend for a spokesman. It really doesn’t matter if they say they love Jesus. It’s just wrong.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • yaakob

    This is obviously a very disturbing story, but one of the pictured is a woman who hoaxed an attack on herself (and claimed the perpetrator was a black woman). Bethany Storro is the name.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

      Thanks, I took her picture out.

    • John Morales

      Separately, I note that there is no “below the fold” when linking to the website directly.

      I don’t whether it would be better overall to put the actual images behind a link in the actual post rather than in-line, but I do know that it is possible.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

      I should add some space between the warning and the images.

  • http://aceofsevens.wordpress.com Ace of Sevens

    Besides the misogyny and violence, this doesn’t even make sense. How are individuals supposed to abide by regulations on insurance companies?

    • jaranath

      In light of the newspaper article he linked to, it appears to be a poorly-written effort to accuse female Senators of not practicing what they preach by not having equal pay among their own staffers, even though they’d like to “impose [it] on the private sector.” Which somehow means that there is no conservative war on women.

  • http://notbertierussell.wordpress.com McCthulhu – resentful that McHastur is taller.

    I’m not a fan of most politicians, but the GOP brand of politician seems to have grown so incredibly dense that it defies belief anyone considers them worthy of anything beyond picking their noses on their home porch whilst listening to banjo music. Being a candidate for national office should require a high level of knowledge, and the candidate should surround himself with people of high knowledge. Not being aware of the acid attacks, or worse, being aware of them and not having the ethical standards to recognize them as one of the most vile and depraved acts a human can inflict on another is abhorrent. Using it as a motivational statement in a campaign is criminally stupid, as we’ve seen what targets drawn on candidates does to people such as Gabrielle Giffords. An overwhelmingly scumbag move by a member of an increasingly scumbag group of overpriveleged jerks and arrogant a-holes. If I knew someone personally that said something like this I would tell them never to talk to me again.

  • dan4

    In context, it’s clear that Townsend wasn’t being literal…just like in the full context of HIS remarks, Jimmy Hoffa Jr., didn’t endorse the murders of GOP politicians when he advocated that they be “taken out.”

    • had3

      The rational know, or suspect, it’s figurative. The problem is for those who hear dog whistles, the figurative becomes the literal all to easily.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

      I didn’t say he was being literal. I explicitly used the words “symbolic gesture” and “metaphor”. The point is that throwing acid in the faces of women is not just a heinous act of violence but one with huge ugly symbolic implications. It is an astoundingly brutal and cruel mechanism for enforcing patriarchy and for trying to dehumanize women. That a reference to this kind of treatment excites Townsend, that he sees it as a fresh and vivid metaphor for what he would like to do to women is what is disgusting.

      Our language is riddled with dead violent metaphors. We all use them some times because they’re engrained in speech. You don’t have to be thinking violently to employ them out of normal habit and normal understanding of English usage. They’re cliches. They include wanting to “take out” one’s opponents in most familiar non-violent contexts. Even in this context, my full assumption is Townsend is being metaphorical (though I wouldn’t blame any senators who worry about people who will take Townsend literally). The problem is coining a new ugly violent fresh expression, with all its violent implications fresh and not worn out yet as cliches. And it’s especially horrifying to choose one a metaphor which not only wants to freshly celebrate a particular violent act but to pick one that is a brutal hate crime meant to terrorize women everywhere into submission. That is, in my book, revelatory of some kind of serious hatred.

    • ema

      How do you know he wasn’t literal? Why do you assume he’s being metaphorical?

  • echidna

    In context, it’s clear that Townsend wasn’t being literal

    Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?

    • Who Knows?

      Not literal? So what? It remains a replusive and offensive attack.

  • jamessweet

    Folks, read all of dan4′s comment… he was clearly being sarcastic.

    • jamessweet

      Either that or he randomly decided to make some unrelated point about how he thinks Jimmy Hoffa’s bad reputation is completely unjustified.. :p

  • Francisco Bacopa

    Let’s stop giving this guy the benefit of the doubt. I personally give him no quarter.

    See what I did there? I used a violent metaphor with a history dating back over 400 years. To “give quarter” means to to accept an opponent’s surrender, treat him well according to the customs of war, and return him to his home as soon as ransom is paid or he can be exchanged for a valuable prisoner taken by the opposing side. To “give no quarter” means to press on to the point of killing soldiers attempting to surrender.

    I am almost certain that Townsend sometimes wishes he lived in a society where what he thinks of as uppity women could be kept in line by the occasional acid attack.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peggy.ullman.bell peggybell

    The problem with flinging dangerous ideas around is that there are so many stupid people who WILL take you literally.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001682409207 margaretwhitestone

    That’s so messed up I don’t even know what to say. The amount of unbridled hatred coming from the GOP towards women and GLBT people lately is astounding.

  • marcus

    Now I might say “Fuck Jay Townsend and the horse he rode in on.” That is quite different than saying “Jay Townsend should be raped and his pets tortured for general principal”. That is the difference between a (well, not so) common expression and incitement to violence. He crossed that line. Literal or not, it is just ugly and stupid, as is Jay Townsend.


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