The Vermont Democratic Party is blowing its whistle over Sen. Joe Benning’s repeated use of the word “rape.”
The Republican from Caledonia County has used the term in reference to Green Mountain Power’s 21-turbine Kingdom Community Wind project on Lowell Mountain. During a Senate floor debate on Tuesday, he defended his use of the term. For more on that story and to listen to the audio clip, click here.
On Wednesday, Vermont Democratic Party Director Julia Barnes issued a public statement.
“Using the word ‘rape’ in this context is inappropriate and desensitizes a very serious issue,” she said. “Instead of finding another term to express himself, Sen. Benning has repeatedly used ‘rape’ to illustrate his point in his public remarks.
“With all due respect to the passionate feelings Sen. Benning has on this issue, the objection is not to his use of hyperbole to defend his feelings, rather the reliance on this word particularly, which means something much different to the millions of women who have experienced rape,” she added. “If there is any confusion about when you should or should not use the word ‘rape’ in political discourse, let me clarify: You only use the term ‘rape’ when you’re talking about rape.”
Benning’s response to Barnes? “No comment.”