Target: Charlotte Allen, National Review Online
Goal: Condemn writer Charlotte Allen for her anti-feminist response to the Sandy Hook shootings.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of finger pointing in regards to who is to blame for the Newtown tragedy – the perpetrator himself, the lack of gun control laws, the lack of mental health assistance – the list goes on. However, Charlotte Allen recently published a statement in the National Review Online with a different thought – that the “feminized setting” of Newtown was to be blamed for the shootings. Not only is this statement insulting to the heroines that sacrificed their lives, but it promotes a practice of biased employment based on the idea that “male aggression” provides a more protective environment.
Charlotte Allen’s response is completely insensitive to the memory of heroes such as Principal Dawn Hochsprung who rushed the shooter, and the other teachers that died trying to save their students. Allen suggests that blame should be placed upon the school for primarily employing women, implying that instead of hiring people based on their qualifications they should be hired based on their strength. She states, “Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.” However, we have seen in the past through instances such as Virginia Tech and Columbine that a lack of men clearly is not the problem.
Allen’s statement both promotes a culture that places value on a person’s physical abilities, and enforces the stereotype that women are helpless victims. She blames the passive culture promoted in the school system, yet the women at Newtown did act, and with great bravery. Are we to promote violence in our schools instead? Allen’s statement is not only in poor taste during a sensitive time, but offends female teachers everywhere and promotes an ideal of a more violent culture, which is exactly where the problem lies in the first place.
By signing this petition you are condemning Charlotte Allen for her anti-feminist and pro-violence statement in response to the Newtown massacre.
Dear Ms. Allen,
I am writing to express my disgust and outrage regarding your statement in the National Review Online responding to the Sandy Hook shooting. Your statement insults the memories of the heroes who sacrificed their lives, and is altogether inaccurate. You claim that having strong men around would have changed matters, but as we can see through instances such as the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings that it makes no difference. Man power is no match against assault weapons, and we should be focusing on the issue of gun control instead of trying to blame a school system for hiring primarily women. Your statement is extremely sexist, suggesting that employment in a school system should take into account a person’s physical abilities as opposed to their professional qualifications.
Your assessment that “women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers” is completely ridiculous, as anyone who comes into contact with an assault weapon is going to be a “sitting duck.” Instead of painting women as helpless victims, perhaps you should consider the fact that if access to assault weapons was restricted they would not even be in this situation in the first place. Condemning a schools “feminized culture” is not the answer, as we should not be promoting violence as the answer either, which is what you appear to be doing in your statement. Please consider issuing an apology to those affected by the shooting, as your response is inappropriate and insensitive in a time of reflection on such a tragedy.
[Your Name Here]
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