11 Times Male Politicians Threatened Female Colleagues With Violence
All you have to do to see what women politicians face is to check their Twitter feeds for nasty responses. Last year the constant attacks on the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton seemed to reach a new level of ugly, but it's not just her. And it didn't end with the 2016 election of Donald Trump. In fact, it's not just strangers on Twitter who have attacked women politicians. Even since the brutal election campaign, male politicians have threatened their female colleagues with violence, as well as encourage it implicitly through their actions.
There are at least a dozen instances from the last few years in the United States, plenty in 2017, of male politicians threatening their colleagues with violence, something that they already face at an increased rate over the general public. A report from 2016 showed that 44 percent of women politicians have been threatened in office — and serious threats too ranging from death to rape. In countries around the world, those words have resulted in actual violence.
Also, worth noting is that the Democrats are not immune from this behavior either, although there seem to be fewer instances to turn to, given that women's rights are a key part of the Democratic Party's platform. But it still has happened, and this must not be tolerated in any political party. Words sometimes bring about actions, and these 11 instances of incitement of violence against women show the hazards some politicians face.
1) Former Speaker Newt Gingrich On Knocking Down Rep. Maxine Waters
The first instance happened just this week and was during an interview on The Sean Hannity Show. Hannity played a video of Maxine Waters speaking, seemingly, about Muhammed Ali. "I am sitting here listening, watching, absorbing, thinking about Ali even though I never met him, and with this kind of inspiration, I will go and take Trump out tonight," Waters said in a speech earlier this month in New York.
Gingrich said in response on Hannity's show, "He's not going to hit a girl, a woman. He's not going to do that ... but if he was confronted with her, he would be very pleasant until she hit him, and the second she hit him, he would knock her down," the former speaker said. Then the two made jokes about how this would make headlines in liberal publications.
2) A Duel Over A "No" Vote On Health Care Repeal
In the attempts to repeal Obamacare, Republican Congressman Blake Farenthold said he would like to get in a gun fight or duel with the women senators in the Northeast, seemingly Sen. Susan Collins, who voted against the repeal in the Senate. "There are some female senators from the Northeast — if it was a guy from South Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style," he said. That Burr-style duel ended with Alexander Hamilton's death.
3) A GOP Representative Threatened To Beat Up Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Another GOP representative from Georgia, Buddy Carter, defended Trump's criticism of Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski to MSNBC's Ali Velshi, saying, "Let me tell you, somebody needs to go over there to that Senate and snatch a knot in their *ss. I’m telling you, it has gotten to the point where how can you say I voted for this last year, but I’m not going to vote for it this year.” To "snatch a knot in one's *ss" means to beat up or injure at best.
4) Trump Joked Gun Advocates Should Shoot Clinton
If that's not convincing enough for you, there's the time where Trump all but suggested that gun owners shoot Clinton to death. "If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Mr. Trump said at a rally during the campaign. “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”
5) Trump Retweeting A GIF Of Him Hitting HRC With A Golf Ball
Perhaps Twitter shouldn't be taken seriously, but when you're president of the United States, it's a different story. Trump retweeted a GIF that showed Hillary Clinton being struck in the back by a golf ball he hit.
6) A Senator Also Targeted Clinton, Literally
More jokes about shooting Clinton came from a GOP senator during the race, Richard Burr. "Nothing made me feel any better than [when] I walked into a gun shop, I think, yesterday ... and there was a copy of Rifleman on the counter,” he said after a Republican volunteer event. “It’s got a picture of Hillary Clinton on the front of it. I was a little bit shocked at that ― it didn’t have a bullseye on it."
7) An Iowa Congressional Candidate Faced Death Threats
The incitement of violence of one candidate for Congress was so bad that she quit the race. Kim Weaver was going up against Steve King, an Iowa GOP congressman known for his offensive statements. Over the course of the campaign, the threats against Weaver got worse and worse. "I have received very alarming acts of intimidation, including death threats. While some may say enduring threats are just a part of running for office, my personal safety has increasingly become a concern," Weaver wrote as she dropped out of the race. Much of the intimidation she claimed came from her opponent.
8) GOP Men Voting Against VAWA
This isn't an instance where violent threats were made, but this vote showed squarely where some of these Republican lawmakers stood when it came to supporting female victims of violence. When the Violence Against Women Act needed to be renewed in 2013, 22 Republican senators voted against it. And that doesn't just affect women in politics, but women across the country.
9) Tweeting About Guns In The Kansas State Capital
This is a tweet that a state representative sent out in Kansas, as the state was debating gun free zones. One of her colleagues responded, "Nothing to be scared about, there's at least 25 guns on the floor of the House right now!" At best, that's intimidation, but given she's on the other side of the political fight about bringing guns to public places, it's important to note.
10) Georgia State Representative Warns Former Female Colleague She May "Go Missing"
A Republican Georgia state representative told his former colleague, LaDawn Jones that people like her "will go missing in the Okefenokee," a giant swamp on the border with Florida. This was during a Facebook argument in August about Confederate monuments in the state.
He posted selfies at several and Jones commented that she would need to go through the state budget to defund the sites. "I can guarantee you won’t be met with torches but something a lot more definitive," he wrote in response.
11) An Arizona Democrat Threatened To Punch A Female Republican Senator "In The Throat"
The comments came after a vote on school choice, which was sponsored by the woman GOP senator, Debbie Lesko. Democrat Rep. Jesus Rubalcava wrote on Facebook, "I wanted to punch her in the throat." He eventually apologized after first resisting calls to do so.
These violent examples do not advance democracy or good governance. Given the threat that women in politics face from the public, their colleagues must provide the good example by treating them with respect.