Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by National Review. Click here to read it.
When are the feminists going to speak out on the abuse of women that’s happening at the hands of the Occupy crowd? Rapes and sexual assaults are rampant among the Occupy movement in cities across the nation. According to ABC News, this past Saturday night a 23-year-old reported being raped by a 50-year-old inside a tent at Occupy Philadelphia. Similarly, a 14-year-old child was allegedly raped at Occupy Dallas. And at Occupy Cleveland, a 19-year-old told police she was raped after sharing a tent with an unknown man. After reporting her rape at Occupy Baltimore, a young woman claimed Occupiers refused to help find her attacker. Now reports of rape and attempted rape in Zuccotti Park are surfacing. These are just the ones that were reported.
In addition to rapists, suicidal folks are causing emotional distress within the movement. After a 32-year-old man shot himself inside his tent at Occupy Burlington, Vermont protesters were so traumatized, they readily agreed to pack up and end their demonstration.
Besides rapes and suicides, Occupiers have injured women in the midst of their shameless attempts to grab attention. A couple weeks ago, I attended Americans for Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream” Summit, which was crashed by Occupy D.C. I was able to depart safely, with my frightened guests in tow, as protesters hissed vile remarks in our direction. Others weren’t that lucky. The Daily Caller reports that an elderly woman was pushed down the stairs during the Occupiers’ stampede into the convention center. Not one protester stopped to help her, even as she lay in pain from severe injuries to her wrists, ankles, and legs.
On a daily basis, Concerned Women for America (CWA) staff, mostly young females, feel threatened by the Occupy D.C. camp, while they necessarily trek across the park on their way to work. Recently, one staffer was walking through the park and witnessed a woman on the sidewalk vomiting and heaving uncontrollably, no doubt after a night of drugs or alcohol, and only a few paces down passed an open tent where two people were having sex in full view of the public. Unfortunately these are routine observations. Our young women get no respect from what has essentially devolved into an unruly mob across the street.
In addition to public safety, what do the anti-capitalist goals of the Occupiers mean for the future of American women?
Women don’t want government handouts. What women really need is greater opportunity created by economic freedom, not by Congress. Famed economist Friedrich A. Hayek wrote, “Our generation has forgotten that the system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom.” He continued, “It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that we as individuals can decide what to do with ourselves.”
Whether a woman wants to be a stay-at-home mom, a business owner, or a part-time worker — or all of the above during different seasons of her life — it is important that she be given the opportunity. And the reality is that our free market system does just that. Here’s the good news, folks. The glass ceiling has been shattered. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, women now comprise approximately 47 percent of the labor force and make up nearly 33 percent of business owners.
Of course, America’s economic system isn’t free of fraud and corruption, but protesters need to realize that corruption and greed are inherent in all economic systems, because they are inherent in human nature — the same human nature that, sadly, leads to rapes, thefts, and drug overdoses. And no amount of anarchism or interference of a nanny state can change that fact. The things that change our baser instincts are faith and the rule of law.
So, how many more women will be raped and assaulted before this disillusioned, anti-woman movement is wiped out? Women deserve better and, thanks to the free market, they can achieve greater. The Occupy movement has downward spiraled into an anarchist, opportunistic, and dangerous subgroup. It’s time to stop babying the Occupiers and make them live by the same rules as the rest of us.