Whose Security Matters?

Sarah St. Vincent for CrimeReads writes:

“Do you realize,” I asked, “how enormously more likely I am, as a woman, to be killed or maimed by a current or former partner than by anyone the government thinks of as a terrorist?”

The insistence of the sprawling national security apparatus that “security” means safety from threats ostensibly posed by foreigners overseas—especially Muslim men—and that everyone should be willing to give up their rights for that purpose, but not for others, reflects a perspective that is prejudiced and limited in multiple ways. I could have said the same about the government’s failure to regard the “incel” movement as a national security threat despite its international nature and proven record of horrific public violence, including by using firearms and vehicular attacks in the US and Canada.

Massive warrantless surveillance violates human rights and historically has never been a sign of a healthy democracy. But when the government decides to convince us that we should accept being spied on, it points to threats it believes the public will find frightening and important. And violence against women never makes the list—as if the deaths of women were not significant; as if this violence weren’t really violence.


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