Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Racism or Sexism or Both?

Yahoo news reports that Marissa Alexander, a Florida woman, faces up to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot into the ceiling of her home after being attacked and choked by her abusive husband, who was uninjured by the warning shot. George Zimmerman may face no prison time at all for stalking, shooting, and killing Trayvon Martin, due to Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Local NAACP President, Isaiah Rumlin, is quoted as saying, "The law is applied differently between African-Americans and whites who are involved in these types of cases." And this is probably true. However, I also suspect that "Stand Your Ground" law does not apply when it is spousal abuse that instigates an incident. Florida's history of anti-woman legislation leads me to believe this could be the case. While an intruder can be killed in self-defense once entering a victim's home in most states without penalty, abusive spouses must be protected from loss when their victims fight back, and victims who do fight back must be punished if they kill their abusers. Otherwise, the abusers' property rights might be infringed upon. I do not know that this is the case, but based on recent statements by prominent male legislators in regard to the similarity between women and livestock, the inability of women to make intelligent decisions about their bodies, and the insanity of women expecting to be equally paid for equal work outside the home, I suspect misogyny has something to do with it. It would be interesting, while still tragic, to hear of a similar case involving a female spousal abuser.