Representative Liz Bennett (D-Cedar Rapids) talked about her concerns with a bill that would allow anyone over 18 who isn’t a convicted felon to carry a stun gun on a college or university campus.
“It’s very frustrating to constantly have the responsibility placed on you for the harmful actions of other people,” Bennett said.
She talked about a song lyric from No Doubt from the tune “I’m Just A Girl.”
“How many of you walk around with your head full of things like looking over your shoulder, not going out at certain times of the day, worrying about what you’re wearing, worrying about people you know harming you,” she said. “I really appreciate that Rep. (Chris) Hall (D-Sioux City) has brought up that we have information, we have research on gender-based violence and that all too often we put the focus on victims to somehow not get raped when we should be talking to young men about not raping people.”
Bennett encouraged teaching affirmative consent on college campuses. She also said they could ask men even before college to take responsibility for themselves.
“People in this chamber today who hope to protect women and create a better and more safe culture for women can participate in this,” she said. “You can think about next time you’re going to engage in so-called locker room talk. You can interrupt this when other people around you engage in this type of talk that may involve seizing control over a woman’s body.”
She said she is concerned that women can’t even report being raped or assaulted without being undermined.
“What are people going to say when somebody uses a taser or some other kind of weapon,” she asked. “Are we going to hear the same thing? ‘Geez are you just over-reacting? You’re being crazy.’ We need to interrupt this culture.”
Then a bit of irony came out at the end.
“We need to reinforce to people starting at a young age that you are not entitled to another person’s body,” Bennett said. “You are not entitled to touch people without consent.”
Bennett, though, is a strong supporter of abortion.