I was a little leery of tackling the Tom Hackbarth story last week.
Not because I didn’t think I had the story right; Hackbarth’s behavior was unseemly, as was that of those who piled on to add detail to the story based purely on innuendo and supposition.
No, I was leery mostly because whenever the topic of Planned Parenthood or any sort of offense against women is concerned, there are not a few people out there who would toss rationality to the wind, if they ever had it in the first place.
I don’t know Rachel Nygaard, and she damned sure doesn’t know me. Can she approach this, or any, issue rationally? Well, she writes for Minnesota Progressive Project, which isn’t a good sign. But that’d be a smear by association, and judgment by innuendo, and that’s the sort of stuff I condemned in my original piece on the subject.
Of which more later.
For better or worse, Nygaard does capably summarize the core of the local Sorosphere’s meme on the subject:
“I understand why the police and the security guard thought what they might have thought, but it really was insignificant to me.” – Representative Hackbarth
Tracking down a woman you met once while carrying a gun is an insignificant act? Even if you remove the fact that he was carrying a gun, a man that felt the need to track a woman down when he felt she wasn’t being completely honest with him is stalking behavior
And if you leave aside the facts that Hackbarth was accused of no crimes, that there is no evidence that the target of his misplaced interest ever knew Hackbarth was looking for her, and that the gun is irrelevant (Hackbarth has a permit, and permit-holders are two orders of magnitude less likely to commit any kind of crime than non-permittees like, well, Rachel Nygaard, among others), she’s right. Hackbarth, by his own admission, was at the very least exceptionally clingy; at worst…
…well, we don’t know, because there was no “at worst”. Hackbarth parked his car – near Planned Parenthood. He got out and changed jackets; a security guard saw Hackbarth’s legal, holstered gun, and called the cops. But for that chance encounter with a closed-circuit camera, we’d have likely have known nothing of the story…
…and, Rachel Nygaard will no doubt remind you, Hackbarth could have gone on to shoot the woman in a fit of rage.
Which is, really, all she has. Could-haves.
Could-haves and dogma, of course:
The ‘boys will be boys’ dismissal of his actions by the conservative bloggers astounds me. When is this type of behavior ever okay?
This is the GOP blogger Mitch Berg commenting on the Hackbarth issue.
Remember – in the world of domestic law, including “abuse”, “domestic violence”, “stalking” and the like, men are considered guilty until proven innocent.
Going on to say that
Everything Is Stalking
He later qualifies his more offending statements (not those listed above) but the misogynistic attitude seethes from his post.
Go ahead and read the article. It’s nonsense, of course; there is no “misogynistic attitude” – not in the sense that a rational person would understand. The only “offense” would be to those who find any questioning of The Narrative offensive.
I won’t say “Nygaard is lying”, because “lying” implies knowing that she’s spreading a falsehood; I think that to Nygaard’s perspective, which (I’m going to go out on a short limb and guess) comes from marinading in Big Feminist dogma for an entire adult lifetime, men are guilty of misogynism, stalking, abuse, or whatever until proven innocent – and furthermore they can never be proven innocent!
Of course, to Big Feminism (and I think it’s fair to say Nygaard is acting as an agent of Big Feminism), defending a man against even the most facile, unsupported innuendo, by introducing fact into the discussion (or, in this case, pointing out the lack of facts behind the innuendo thrown at Hackbarth), is itself “anti-woman”.
Clearly, Mitch Berg and Rep Hackbarth have a different moral compass than the rest of us.
I believe that the guilty should be punished – and that people are innocent until proven guilty, and that “proof” means a lot more than innuendo, narrartive, and ideology-based assumptions. I believe in empirical, observable fact, not dogma. I believe that people are individuals with their own motivations and backstories and strengths and weaknesses and the dignity (and degradation) that comes from the exercise of their own free will - not facile cartoons that follow pre-written narratives.
And it’d seem that Nygaard believes that I’m a cartoon. She puts it in as many words:
I truly hope that they educate themselves about domestic abuse and difficulties protecting women, men and children from domestic assault.
Dear Rachel Nygaard; keep your prejudices, your narratives, your bigotry off my body. You don’t know me. You have no idea where I’ve been and what I’ve done in my life (and I’m not going to tell you any of it here, anyway). Just as your idiot friends rushed to judge Tom Hackbarth based (as I showed) entirely on narrative, screed and innuendo, so you’re doing with me.
That’s OK – I can take care of myself just fine, and it’d seem to be all you are equipped to do anyway, and we should expect no more.
As I said in my original post; stalking is wrong. Clinginess is a bad idea. Separation and divorce are a bitch, psychologically as well as every other way.