A New Hampshire legislator, who is part of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, was recently “speaking out in support of a bill that would shift the penalty for simple assault from a misdemeanor crime to a violation-level offense in certain cases.” No, I’m not making that up. His justification?
“Some people could make the argument that a lot of people like being in abusive relationships,” Warden said during a meeting held by the committee. “It’s a love-hate relationship. It’s very, very common for people to stick around with somebody they love who also abuses him or her.”
I’ll bet you can’t guess what political party he represents. Some people get off on consensual violence and degradation. But there’s that word, “consensual”. If they’re reporting it to the police, you know what the abuse is not? Consensual. So reducing the penalty for abuse would then only affect the people who are abusing women because they’re cruel bastards (read: all of them that are getting reported to the police).
Well, Mark Warden (Republican, as if there were any doubts, and four other Republicans voted with him), is it maybe just possible that women who stick with an abusive partner do so, not because they love the abuse, but because of fear or self-esteem issues? I mean, that would be the obvious explanation and, to any sensible on-looker, far more likely than “many women enjoy being abused.” The existence of abuse shelters, where women can go to escape (and I don’t use that word lightly) abusive relationships kind of undermines Warden’s argument.
He continued, “Is the solution to those kind of dysfunctional relationships going to be more government, another law? I tend to say no. People are always free to leave.”
Oh fuck him. Because women who exist in a scenario where there they’re being told “leave and I’ll kill you” or “if you ever leave me I’ll beat the shit out of you” are free to leave. Is there a lab some place where Republicans have all the empathy drained from their souls?
Republicans, when it’s trying to get the ten commandments in public schools or trying to dictate who people should love or whether or not they should have the choice to have children, they’re all about extending the government’s reach. When it comes to punishing people who abuse women, they’re the party of small government.
And then, come election time, they wonder why women tend to vote for anybody else.