Monday, August 16, 2010

La Resistance

Via Jay:

In Massachusetts, a previously-convicted rapist turns out--shockingly--not to have been rehabilitated by his previous contact with the MA legal system. He snuck into April Marchessault's apartment and ambushed her from behind in her bathroom, pinning her arms and forcing her head into the sink.

Foolishly ignoring the advice of public safety experts in the MA state government--who wisely teach that resistance only escalates violence--the 124-pound Marchessault waited until the 200-pound attacker paused to take off his shirt, then turned around and pushed him out of the bathroom. Shrugging off his punch to her face, she pushed him out the back door, where he fell over a railing and down a short flight of stairs, injuring his knee. As he repeatedly tried to get up, Marchessault stomped on his injured knee and punched him over and over in the face.

As wiser people have assured us, escalating the violence in this way had tragic consequences:

"I couldn't hit him anymore because my hand was killing me. That's when I picked up the trash can and I kept hitting him in the head over and over."

Having beaten the rapist senseless and attracted the attention of family members who came to her aid, Marchessault held the man until the police arrived to do the only job a reasonable person can expect them to do: pick up the pieces, and take custody of the incapacitated criminal.

She was taken to the hospital along with the victim of her excessive force, where a nurse expressed shock that she wasn't taken elsewhere, assuming the poor, defenseless woman would be traumatized by the presence of her attacker in the same building, and need to be sheltered by the system.

"Just fight back...Don't stop. Don't give in", Marchessault said. "I don't think he was expecting any resistance. He's a lot bigger than me."

[I understand what a thin line there may be between praising this woman and disdaining all the women who've been unable to defend themselves against rapists; nothing could be further from my mind. The point isn't that resistance will always succeed, it's that resistance is superior to pacifism. Every person should fight back as hard as possible against evil, but it's no shame to fail when you've fought as hard as you can. The despicable people are the ones that disarm the innocent and teach them to give evil what it wants--the ones that teach us to feel like being murdered is better than gnawing guilt we should feel at killing an attempted murderer in self defense. The ones that prosecute people for using excessive force in defending themselves against unprovoked attacks. Fight back. Don't stop. Don't give in.]

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