16 December 2012

What If?

What if a woman, 20 years old, had shot her father and six other men, and twenty children, with dozens of rounds of ammunition?

Would that change the rhetoric around gun control?

Gloria Steinem pointed out a long time ago that the unnoticed and unmentioned feature of these mass killings is that the shooters are always male.

Women are constructed by significant segments of our society as weak.  Women are subject to male gaze, male desire, male appropriation, male violence.  What if a middle-aged woman -- a mother, maybe, a wife, a daughter, an employee -- opened fire?

If guns were associated with out-of-control estrogen instead of out-of-control testosterone, would lawmakers be scurrying to limit access?

If mentally ill women were inclined to violence, would that change access to and treatment of mental illness?