Things have been hopping around AVfM, with both Postergate and Kellettgate hitting hotter and heavier than a gold-digger on a rich guy, so we’ve neglected to comment on the other big news of the month, the acquittal of George Zimmerman in his trial over the death of Trayvon Martin.
Although there are racial dimensions to men’s human rights issues – all races of men suffer from injustices generated by our gynocentric culture – the racial issues of the Zimmerman trial were muddled by the truth that Zimmerman identified as Hispanic, so the dialogue of “white-on-black” crime rang a bit off for me. Other sites in the man-o-sphere (most notably, GLPiggy.net) covered the Zimmerman case almost obsessively, but I’d like to add a few points to the discussion as well.
I’ve been stalked before (in my case, by an ex-girlfriend) so I understand how upsetting that can be. I’ve also had to defend myself from physical assault, and although my attacker survived, I also understand the impulse to use deadly force to defend oneself.
But setting aside those concerns (which have been covered ad nauseam elsewhere), there are gender-based issues in the Zimmerman case that deserve airing at AVfM. I’ll cover 5 of them here:
The 911 White Knight call
Let’s review the transcript of part of the 911 call:
Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Dispatcher: Okay, we don’t need you to do that. [Emphasis added]
Dispatcher: All right, George. We do have them on the way. Do you want to meet with the officer when they get out there?
During the commentary surrounding the trial, it was alleged that the police had told Zimmerman not to follow Martin. But they didn’t say, “STOP – do not follow him” or even “Don’t be that guy”. What they DID say was the passive-aggressive, responsibility-denying “we don’t need you to do that.”
Men and women react differently when they hear phrases like that – a woman would usually take it as permission to desist, but a man in a “white knight” state of vigilance would take it as permission to persist, and thereby, distinguish himself as a hero among men.
Such negative suggestions are as clear to savvy men as this: “Honey, you don’t need to buy me roses for Valentine’s Day” – meaning, of course, “if you know what is good for you, I’d better get flowers AND chocolate AND jewelry AND a nice dinner AND…”
The fact that the dispatcher further expected Zimmerman to meet with officers – drafting Zimmerman into the militia, as it were – made it clear to Zimmerman that his continued pursuit of Martin was expected by the police as well.
The societal expectation of militia service by all able-bodied adult males is certainly a men’s human rights issue and an indication of inequality between the genders that needs to be redressed.
The sexual abuse barnacles
About a year ago, feminists like Amanda Marcotte were trying to barnacle charges of rape-y stuff onto the trial to serve their meme of demonizing men by alleging that Zimmerman committed a sex crime – starting when he was 8 years old. Marcotte cackled that Sexual abuse is a form of bullying, a violent crime whose pleasure for the attacker is far more about enjoying their power and dominance over the victim than it is about sexual urges. Subsequently, sexually violent men tend to be more violent generally, particularly against people they believe are lesser or weaker. If you’re trying to establish that Zimmerman had it in him to hunt down and murder a teenager who is much smaller than himself, then a history of sexual assault does help demonstrate this.
Of course, Amanda – sexually curious 8-year-old boys are the shock troops critical to the patriarchy. Are those pearls you’re clutching new?
Fortunately for Zimmerman, cooler heads prevailed, and the judge (a woman) declined to let this irrelevant and unproven bit of bullshit poison the trial. In the awake of the growing anger over Zimmerman’s complete and total acquittal by an all-woman jury, some of the more desperate voices are hoping that the long lost sex abuse allegations (which supposedly ceased a decade ago) can be resurrected as a sort of proxy retaliation against Zimmerman.
Obviously, they won’t bring any racial justice, but they would allow feminists to steal the justice narrative to slop their own endlessly needy, victim-mongering wallow.
The gay-bashing rapist revelation
During a post-trial interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, Rachel Jeantel, the reluctant phone witness who was talking to Martin just before Martin assaulted Zimmerman, finally revealed that she had warned Martin that Zimmerman might be gay, or even, a gay rapist preparing to approach Martin. Martin freaked out over the idea that Zimmerman might have sexual designs on him or his family, and this seems to have precipitated the attack on Zimmerman – which, of course, would make the attack a violation of Zimmerman’s human rights as a (purportedly) gay man, and make Jeantel the proxy instigator of the attack.
So, Trayvon Martin was killed in the act of gay-bashing (in Jeantel’s and his own minds, anyway). The fury of Martin’s sudden turnabout attack is now explicable (he had been avoiding being followed up to the point of the introduction of the gay rapist idea) and it indicates the degree of Martin’s revulsion that he went from flight to fight mode in so short a time.
The men’s human rights issues related to a woman (Jeantel) being held blameless for using gay/rape threats to precipitate man-on-man violence ought to be obvious.
That fabulous all-female jury
In a simpering piece written for CNN weeks before the verdict, What Zimmerman’s all-female jury says, Holly McCammon recounted the history of female jury duty and purred that The gender makeup of the jury is not likely to be pivotal in determining the verdict in the Zimmerman trial. The evidence is what matters in the outcome.
Oops – in the wake of the trial’s vindication of the heroic white knight (conquistador?) the opinions about the all-chick jury changed radically.
An all-woman jury, steeped in feminist stereotypes about the constant fears and oppression of women, seems like it would be naturally inclined to buy a self-defense claim, even if it were to come from a man. Zimmerman’s almost complete passivity during the trial seemed designed to feminize him as the hapless victim of Martin’s assault, while at the same time the prosecution’s case attempted to paint him as a reckless vigilante. Is it in the nature of women to overcome their fears and repudiate a protective male figure?
The actual decision to seat an all-female jury was likely an accident-by-default – lawyers don’t pick juries directly, but rather, they pick the people to strike from the jury. A gun-owning, perhaps conservative man who believes in self-defense would’ve been struck by the prosecution; a gun-eschewing, liberal-leaning social justice warrior would have been struck by the defense.
None of the jurors are talking yet*, but one of the women, identified only as “B-37”, is planning to write a book on the trial. Until that book comes out, we can only speculate as to the nature of their deliberations, as well as the extent of their shoe collections.
Woman of the year, Rachel Jeantel
Witness Rachel Jeantel continues her testimony during George Zimmerman’s trial in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Fla. Thursday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo / Orlando Sentinel, Jacob Langston, Pool)
The controversy over the disastrous performance of Rachel Jeantel on the stand continues to rock the media. Time Magazine and others bent over backwards to come to the damsel’s linguistic rescue.
But what failed worse than Jeantel were the accounts trying to defend Jeantel. These accounts vary in their tactics but are universal in their attempts to deflect from Jeantel any real human responsibility for her shoddy performance.
The Christian Science Monitor juxtaposed the following three quotes about Jeantel: first, “What so much of this really revealed was the gulf between middle-age, middle-class, mainstream codes of behavior and life among youth from poorer, nonwhite neighborhoods … they couldn’t have been further apart if Jeantel were born on the moon,” writes Eric Deggans in the Tampa Bay Times.
And then, second – “Christina Coleman summarizes in a Global Grind article called Why Black People Understand Rachel Jeantel: ‘I … understand why white people wouldn’t like Rachel.… But maybe the reason white people don’t understand Rachel Jeantel has something more to do with white privilege than what they could call Jeantel’s capricious nature,’ she wrote.
And finally, J. Christian Adams on the Pajamas Media website: “Coleman sounds like John C. Calhoun, the South’s leading defender of slavery and segregation…Calhoun believed that blacks and whites could never live together, and that after any emancipation they’d forever be ‘worlds apart.’”
So, in the space of one article, Jeantel’s defenders went from lunar-born to underprivileged to interstellar travelers.
But no one seems willing to talk about Jeantel as if she were a responsible adult – her evasions, lies, distortions, dissembling, disinterest in co-operating, or self-absorption were emblematic of her perspective as a childish brat rather than worthy adult woman.
But at least one commenter did sympathize with Jeantel’s suffering – not Martin’s death, not Zimmerman’s continuing persecution, but rather, Jeantel’s pain – pain that will explode into fullness when it finally dawns on Jeantel that it was her gay-baiting that led to Martin’s death.
You know, because sometimes gay men, and straight man, suffer, too.
* Since the drafting of this article, at least one juror (B-37) is now speaking out, and she has canceled plans to write a book.
[Conjecture regarding Trayvon Martin’s sexuality has been removed after criticism in the comments. The speculation on Martin’s sexuality was to offer a possible explanation for his sudden violence and was not intended to reflect on the sexuality of all black men.–ED]