The main point or purpose of the essay by Leslie Marmon Silko is to encourage women to take aggressive action against violent strangers, be courageous, and fight back when faced with physical assaults such as battering and rape by strangers. She stresses that women should desist from relying on the myth that women are easy targets; instead, they should learn how to use guns to defend themselves in times of assault by strangers. She suggests that those who oppose violence should be escorted by other women during the day and night, or should be accompanied by trained dogs or security guards.
I think this text has given correct view of the levels of violence against women in USA, but it does not provide a clear view on how to deal with the vice. Indeed, the level of sexual assaults and batteries against women is alarming. Black et al (2011) suggest that more than 22 billion women in the United States have experienced rape during their lifetime. The study also found out that 18.3% of women in the United States have survived rape or attempted rape. Furthermore, someone is assaulted sexually every two minutes somewhere in United States. Among those who are sexually assaulted, battered or physically assaulted 63.84% are victims of their husband, boyfriend or cohabiting partner. These findings agree with the text because Leslie suggests that most assaults against women are domestic. The writer also indicates that the issue of assaults has affected many women in USA, which also agrees with the above facts. However, the writer advices further violence by arguing that women should carry guns and retaliate whenever there is a case of sexual assault or battery by a stranger.
One of the specific phrases that makes me to oppose the use of violent response to violent assaulters is the statement that, “One look at the rape and murder statistics for women (excluding domestic incidents) and it is clear that the government FAILS to protect women from the violence of strangers” (Silko, 2013). This statement seems to be more biased. I don’t think the writer has the authority and power to make such an objective claim against the government. Even if this was to be the case, then we can also argue that the government has failed to address or solve other forms of criminal acts such as armed robbery, murder and assaults against men, which are also common in USA. Trying to kill an assailant because the government has “FAILED” to protect you is like taking the law into your own hands. Furthermore, no one has the right to take the life of another human being.
Perhaps the writer could suggest that the women can use weapons or their hands to cause injury to the attackers on the hands and legs so that they will be unable to assault them. This is not taken into consideration by the writer, who seems to be inclined to the suggestion that women are at liberty to kill those who attempt to attack or assault them. This is seen in the phrase, “The expression on my face communicated a warning: if he approached the car window, I’d kill him” (Silko, 2013). This quotation from the text, it is clear that the writer supports killing in self defense.
Another idea to support my response is that fighting back using weapons could trigger more anger and violence from the assailants, and this may lead to even more serious results such as death when the worst that could have happened is sexual assault or battery. Kelland (2013) suggests that one way of solving problems related to sexual assault is to train women to recognize when they are at the risk of violence. This is in line with the proverb, “prevention is better than cure.” Women should learn how to identify a problem before it comes instead of reacting dangerously to the problem when it happens.
Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kelland, K. (2013). Violence against Women causes global health epidemic, says WHO report. Reuters. Accessed September 12, 2013 from http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/20/us-women-violence- idUSBRE95J0LE20130620.
Silko L.M. (2013). In the Combat Zone. Accessed September 12, 2013 from http://www.cavesofcoral.com/ArmedandSafe/combat.html.