After Indianapolis Star reporter Marisa Kwiatkowski wrote a story on a rape survivor and now women’s rights activist named Michelle Kuiper, Republican Indiana state representative Jim Lucas responded with a ‘suggestion’ that looks a lot like victim-blaming.
As reported by Allure, Jim Lucas posted on his Facebook page a letter addressed to reporter Marisa Kwiatkowski telling her that ‘it would be nice to see a follow-up article about the thousands of Hoosier women that are taking steps and learning how not to be a victim’.
However, people were quick to note that self-defense classes are not an option for the disabled. There is also such a thing as tonic immobility which is the experience of temporary paralysis during the sexual assault. It’s instinctual, a rape-induced paralysis where you can’t even scream or fight back.
Jim Lucas seemed like he knew exactly what to say to address this – gun training is key. According to Lucas, “Almost every firearms course teaches you about the proper mindset. If you acknowledge that there’s this situation where you basically go limp because of terror, go take a ladies-only class.”
This is not the first time Jim Lucas has posted controversial misogynistic on his Facebook page and then deleted it and apologized after receiving backlash. Last December he shared a meme with the caption, “Wanna know who loves you more: your wife or your dog? Lock them both in your trunk and see who’s happy to see you when you let them out.”
A lot have said that a person’s lack of knowledge in self-defense isn’t the reason why he or she gets raped. Sure you can use self-defense classes and carry weapons around to fight back an attacker, but this doesn’t prevent rape. Furthermore, not all people have access to self-defense classes. In the Philippines, this requires a good amount of money just to be able to participate in the class. For people in the lower class brackets, with no access to proper education and resources, how then do we prevent rape there by simply giving people guns?
Although Lucas’ post generated discourse as to what is actually a good prevention act against rape, conversation can only do so much. We must not undermine the experiences of many rape survivors who have endlessly fought against this heinous crime and continuously supported their fellow survivors in ways no one else could have given. In a world where women are seen as objects and have constantly been shamed for being victims, the fight must and will continue.