A familiar biblical precept says that by not denouncing evil, one is complicit in it. Bystanders may not be guilty of an assault, but they are guilty of letting it continue in their presence. Recent events have challenged us to put this to the test. As the old labor union song asks, “Which side are you on?”
It has been reported that Robert Fisher, Representative from Laconia to the New Hampshire Legislature, promotes violence against women through a website called “The Red Pill.” He feels that rape has an upside to it. He is quoted as saying "Rape isn't an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot. I think he'd say it's quite good, really.”
Everything about Rep. Fisher’s perspective on women, as expressed in The Red Pill website is repulsive and disturbing. There is no defense of his position, his actions and his words. I was heartened by the words of Jennifer Horn, the former chair of the NH Republican Party who is quoted in the Boston Globe in an article by Stephanie Ebbert (April 26, 2017) saying, The Red Pill “is a despicable site. His (Rep. Fisher) word and his intention are reprehensible,” I also second her condemnation of his trying to play the wronged party in all this. She goes onto say in the Globe article that ”he tried to make himself the victim of this in some way. This is not a free speech issue. This is not a partisan issue. This is not an issue about fairness for men. It is completely an issue about violence against women.” Bravo.
The New Hampshire House voted to send this issue to Legislative Administration for their consideration. The vote was an overwhelming 307-56. This hearing will take place Tuesday, May 9th at 10:00 and is open to the public. The committee can only consider what Fisher has said during this term. They cannot go back to consider past comments. In fairness, this makes sense in that we have all done and said things we regret. However, as the committee may be limited in its scope, the public is not. For those who wish they could do something, attending the hearing is a very effective way to express show your contempt for Fisher and his toxic views of women. Please attend.
This is an important matter. During orientation for new members to the house, Speaker Jasper talked about the high respect he has for the Legislature, and that he expected us to show that same high regard, that we would carry the honorific “honorable” for the rest of our days and that we should make every attempt to live up to that title even when we were not in office. Rep. Fisher’s remarks, his website, his attempts to justify his behaviors and beliefs, his glee at the notion of violence against women defiles that office, mocks the respect that the office is due.
We also learned that according to the Center for Disease Control, New Hampshire is not a very safe place for women. It used to be that one in four New Hampshire women would be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. Now, it is estimated that one in three women will suffer a violent sexual assault over the course of their lives. When you have a lawmaker blatantly promoting violence against women, perhaps this should not come as a surprise.
As a state, we seriously need an examination of conscience; discernment of the soul. Does New Hampshire really have such low regard for women? I hope not. Is this the kind of state we want? I believe the answer to that is a resounding NO. So what do we do? Continue the outrage. To remain silent is to be complicit in Fisher’s misogyny and calls for violence against women.
If attending the committee meeting is not possible, there is another option for those who wish to express their views. Fisher, while perhaps not the owner, is associated with a company called Same Day Computer with locations in Portsmouth and Laconia. I am not aware that Same Day Computer has spoken out against Fisher’s positions and in remaining silent, Same Day Computer is tacitly supportive of Fisher and his views. I would not allow anyone who promotes violence against women access to my family, my home or my computer. I hope others who feel that same way will take their patronage to another business and avoid Same Day Computer. Speaking with one’s wallet is effective and allows one to say that they stand up for women’s rights and condemn those who would promote violence against women.
Posted on 7 May 2017, 10:59 - Category: NH Legislature