The fact is that being catcalled, obnoxious as it is, is orders of magnitude nicer than being physically menaced.
The fact is that there is no hashtag campaign that will stop your ex-boyfriend from kicking down your door.
The fact is that the police cannot–and have no obligation to–protect you from that creep who follows you home from the store.
The fact is that a restraining order is just a piece of paper…a piece of paper that includes your current physical address (just in case your stalker didn’t have it already).
The fact is that when the chips are down and your life is on the line, owning and carrying a gun is hands-down the best way to even the odds against an attacker.
Most importantly, the fact is that “feeling safe” can actually make you less safe, if that sense of security is false—and if the #metoo campaign taught us anything, it’s that our sense of security is false far more often than we’d like to contemplate. (How many of the people named and shamed by #metoo claimed to be feminists, again? I quit counting at about half-past Harvey Weinstein and a quarter to Kevin Spacey.)
In the mid-Nineties, feminists of the time had a series of protests called “Take Back the Night.” It was exactly what it sounds like—an affirmation that women have the same rights to exist in public after sunset that we do before. Which is nice and all, but this movement took place against the backdrop of America’s crime rates peaking at unprecedented levels while our President and Congress were enacting the “Assault Weapons” ban. The people who suggested that guns would probably be more useful to take back the night than a candlelight ceremony were derided as insane, sociopathic racists. (Yes, some things never change.)
But those of us who chose to ignore the name-calling and arm ourselves anyway discovered some very interesting things. We learned that much of what we had been told about guns and gun owners was false. We learned that women are every bit as capable behind a trigger as men (if not more so, according to the coaches I’ve spoken to). Finally, we learned that taking responsibility for our own safety is far more empowering than demanding that the government do it for us. I am woman, and I don’t need to roar—my SIG will do it for me, should that become necessary.
Twenty-five years later, and new anti-gun faces are popping up with the same tired old rhetoric and hypocrisy. During the October 15 Democratic candidates’ debate, the virulently hoplophobic Kamala Harris said the following: “People need to keep their hands off women’s bodies and let women make decisions about their own bodies.” Kamala, I couldn’t agree more. Why don’t you start with yourself and all the other gun-grabbers by getting your mitts off my Second Amendment and and letting me decide how to protect my body?
And as for you, Alyssa Milano, you can keep your #metoo. I’m going #Me2A.