Wednesday morning The National Review, a top conservative magazine, published an article by Charlotte Allen that attempted to explain last week's massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
One of her reasons included the abundance of female staff at the school and that there was not enough "male aggression" to prohibit a mass murderer from entering. She wrote, "In general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. 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."
What if Victoria Soto was not there to hide her students in the closet to shield them from bullets? What if Kaitlin Roig didn't barricade her kids in a bathroom? What if Maryann Jacob didn't risk her life to make sure the students in the library were locked in? What if Mary Sherlack and Dawn Hochsprung did not lunge in attempt to attack the gunman? Allen is presuming women are weak, and if these heroes are considered weak in Allen's eyes, then I am really wondering whom she sees as strong.
Allen does note that Hochsprung, the school's principal, "seemed to have acted bravely." But even still, her comments translate to, "their actions were alright, but men would have been better." I cannot grasp how a publication could belittle the actions made by the incredible individuals who cared so deeply for those children. It sickens me to think that a woman does not think her gender is capable of such protection.
One could argue that the shooter went on a killing spree because of his hyperactive male aggression. After all, the ad for the gun he used states "consider your man card reissued." But that is too simplistic, and plainly, just as ignorant. What happened when Adam Lanza killed his mother, went to an elementary school and killed 27 people, and then shot himself, was the result of a complex web of problems too difficult to untangle just a few days after the massacre. But even hinting that the women protecting and saving children were any way at fault is disrespectful. Her sexist comments in no way contribute meaningful solutions to prevent a future massacre of elementary school children. Charlotte Allen should be ashamed.