Friday, September 07, 2012

Meanwhile, in Arizona, Women Should Not Be in Bars

It's the year 2012.  In Arizona this means:

A woman who was groped by an off-duty DPS officer at a Flagstaff bar last summer says that comments to her by the judge during Wednesday’s sentencing were inappropriate and that the judge should apologize.
Before giving the officer two years’ probation on his conviction for sexual abuse, Coconino County Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Hatch said to victim: “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you.”
Hatch said that the victim was not to blame in the case, but that all women must be vigilant against becoming victims. Hatch also said that even going to the grocery store after 10 p.m. can be dangerous for a woman.
“When you blame others, you give up your power to change,” Hatch said that her mother used to say.
Reached today by phone, the victim said: “It felt like she was saying to me, ‘If you wouldn’t have been there that night, it wouldn’t have happened to you.’ Yeah, well, it probably would have happened to someone else.”
Women should stay out of bar, I guess, and also out of grocery stores late at night.  Better still, women should never leave their homes unattended

I guess mugging victims should be scolded for being out on some street and burglary victims for not having installed extra-strong security systems.

Without knowing more about the details of this case, Hatch's statement sounds like a parody, something I might write as a form of satire.  Because she uses an argument which has merit (be vigilant, avoid bad situations and so on) and then merges it with the idea that transporting the vagina-carrying structure almost anywhere equals being in a bad situation, given that one IS a vagina-carrying structure and there will always be those gropers.

It's hard to know what got Judge Hatch going like this.  Perhaps her sympathies were on the side of the off-duty police officer who appears to have lost his job because of this case?

But that's not the fault of the victim.  It's the fault of the man himself.  If he had not been in that bar that night or if he had kept his hands to himself  he would still have his job and his good reputation!

See?  Two can dance that tango.

I also  liked the victim's point that had she not been in that bar that night, some other woman would probably have received the genital gropes.
Via DailyKos.

There's a petition to get Judge Hatch removed from the bench.

Added later:  Judge Hatch has now apologized for her comments.