Kaitlin Bennett received a lot of media attention in May when she posted a graduation picture with a rifle. Since then, she has received a lot of backlash. While I am horrified at all the nasty threats she receives on the Internet, I do find many of her tweets to be very toxic to society. Let's break down 10 of her most problematic statements to date.
1. Christopher Columbus was NOT a hero.
Columbus was a rapist and enslaved indigenous people when he arrived in the Americas. The use of the word "civilized" creates an outdated mindset that before Europe came to the Americas the indigenous people were savages. Columbus never even made it to North America, so why does he have a holiday that is still celebrated in the United States?
2. #BelieveWomen wasn't meant to overpower #MeToo.
First off, Kavanaugh uses the pronouns (he, him,) so he identifies as a male. Secondly, liberals are about believing survivors, not just women. The #BelieveWomen hashtag was only created in the context of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing. Finally, if Kavanaugh needed to be believed so badly, he probably should have answered the questions instead of avoiding them.
3. Fake sexual assault allegations are fairly uncommon, so her "plan" is improbable.
In this tweet, Kaitlin openly mocks survivors that come forward. By saying "35 years ago," she suggests that survivors just make up stories, since Kaitlin herself was not alive 35 years ago. The mindset that survivors make up their trauma for political gain or for fame is outdated. In fact, only about 2% of sexual assault reports are false.
4. Feminism is not what she thinks it is.
In this video, Kaitlin shoots a pumpkin that is labeled "feminism" because she is trying to destroy feminism. However, feminism advocates for the equality of all sexes. People who believe that feminists are people who hate men or believe women are superior do not understand the meaning of feminism. Equally upsetting, Kaitlin shoots these pumpkins to celebrate Kavanaugh's "win." This shows that she saw the Kavanaugh hearing as a game, rather than Dr. Ford coming forward with her trauma.
5. Abortion saves women.
People who want an abortion are going to get one whether it is legal or not. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, women will die from unsafe abortion attempts once again. Furthermore, what a women does to her body should be her choice. If you are against abortion, Kaitlin, do not have one yourself, but you do not own every other women's body in the United States and you can't make their decisions for them.
6. Parkland survivors deserve respect.
It is one thing to advocate for concealed carry, but it is another thing to mock a community that has gone through a horrible tragedy and is still recovering from that trauma. You can craft a tweet that talks about how you disagree with the Parkland community without calling them "communists" and talking about them "walking on the graves of your dead classmates."
7. Feminism is not victimhood.
If we want to generalize feminists into a group, I would say that most of them are against arming anyone with a gun, not just women. However, feminists are all about equality, so people can identify as a feminist and still believe in concealed carry. What really upsets me about this tweet, is that she focuses on how only women are "victims" of sexual assault. People who have experienced sexual violence are not exclusively female, and they do not make up their stories to gain sympathy. The fact is that a massive amount of sexual violence happens to people of all genders and that is not a narrative, that is a truth.
8. Body privilege is a thing.
There are a lot of people who are considered to be "overweight," but they still live very healthy lives. Additionally, people's bodies are their bodies, and they should choose what they do with them. Fat shaming them for being "overweight" and comparing it to being shot against your will, is not a logical or healthy comparison.
9. Planned Parenthood is overly misunderstood.
Here, Kaitlin only focuses on one task Planned Parenthood performs: abortion. However, Planned Parenthood does so much more than perform abortions. They perform STD/STI testing and treatment, cancer screening and prevention, and provide other women's health services. Additionally, they've expanded access to birth control and are health educators throughout communities.
10. Rape culture won't be resolved with firearms.
According to RAINN, 7 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone the survivor knows. This means that when a women or man is with their future rapist, they will feel comfortable with them. They won't be carrying a gun near them, waiting for someone to jump out of the bushes. Furthermore, the consequences of shooting the perpetrator may hurt the survivor more than help them. Finally, when a traumatic sexual act occurs, survivors will go into flight or freeze mode, so a gun would not stop the situation from occurring.
My problem with Kaitlin's tweets are not that they support conservative laws or ideals, my issue is that these tweets target specific groups of people and make uneducated statements. I just wish people of all political orientations would be decent human beings.