Exchange With A Smug Dude-bro


On Mon, Apr 19, 2021 at 9:27 AM Penny Adrian wrote:
“The former Travis County deputy suspected of fatally shooting three people in Northwest Austin Sunday was left largely unsupervised by the criminal justice system months after a woman asserted in sworn affidavits that she and a child feared he would hurt them.”
https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2021/04/19/stephen-brodercik-austin-suspected-shooter-met-bail-rules-judge-says/7280036002/

The above is the elephant in the room that no one in the prison abolition/restorative justice movement wants to address: the terrorism suffered by women and children because men are under-incarcerated for sexual and “domestic” violence.

There is concern about the criminal justice system doing too much to men (otherwise known as “himpathy” a term coined by Kate Manne) but zero concern about the criminal justice system doing too little for women and children.

This is male supremacy, and it has poisoned the restorative justice and prison abolition movements.

Women’s Lives Matter

Children’s Lives Matter

Our society must revoke the license we’ve given to men to terrorize the women and children within their own communities (I’m still searching for that mythical community where white men protect and cherish white women and children. White men are the single biggest threat to white women and children, and they typically commit rape and battery with impunity).

It’s painful to see movements I care about deformed by internalized misogyny/misogynoir.

It is just as unacceptable to let rapists and batterers go free as it is to let abusive cops go free.

This should not be difficult to see, but tragically it is.

Women are still not seen as full human beings on the Left; men are still the default humans.

Anyway, Thank You for Caring,

Penny Adrian

@gmail.com>
On Apr 20, 2021, at 1:01 AM, Chris Harriswrote:

Penny, I understand that emotions are high. We’re all reeling from this. But there is a concerted effort by the right to distract from gun control by attempting to blame bail and supervision for this tragedy. Please don’t fall for it. There was no legal avenue to detain this person indefinitely before they’ve even been tried (nor should there be), and no evidence that an ankle monitor would’ve done anything to prevent this, especially since this person retained visitation rights to one of the victims. However, if this person had actually been denied access to guns, this tragedy could very well have been prevented. But that would take stronger gun control laws which right-wingers desperately want to avoid.

Secondly, if you respect people and their values, even if you don’t agree with their opinions, I’d humbly submit that you should ask them questions before making accusations, especially unfounded ones based off of one article from one of the most conservative reporters in town. I don’t treat people I respect the way you’ve written me, and if you wish to stay in contact with me, please refrain from approaching me in such a manner again before seeking an explanation and clarification on my positions.

I’ll just close by saying that the criminal punishment system has treated domestic violence as a crime for only about 40-45 years, and the issue has only gotten worse. Enormous sums have been dumped into police and jails during this time specifically to address this issue, and much like the war on drugs, it hasn’t helped at all. We not only lead the world in incarceration, we lead the world in gun violence. We desperately need to treat this issue more seriously, but that does not mean doubling down on failed systems that cause more harm than help. I believe there is another way, but that way has not been tried, and how this case was treated is certainly not emblematic of anything resembling restorative or transformative justice so disparaging these concepts in this context is completely unfounded.

Regards,

Chris Harris
Advocate | Analyst | Organizer
Pronouns: he, him, his
512-897-0703
@chrisharris101
@gmail.com

@gmail.com>From Penny Adrian:@gmail.com>
Hello, Chris;

Of course I want gun control – I would love to see guns completely banned. But this man would still have been able to purchase a hunting rifle and could just as easily have murdered his wife and daughter with a baseball bat.

Surely you know that men do not need guns to murder women and children.
Men have been raping and murdering women and children without guns for millennia, and they do so at very high rates in countries with strict gun control like the UK and Australia.

You wrote “There was no legal avenue to detain this person indefinitely before they’ve even been tried (nor should there be), and no evidence that an ankle monitor would’ve done anything to prevent this, especially since this person retained visitation rights to one of the victims.”

Actually, there is something called preventative detention that could have saved the lives of 35 year old Amanda Broderick, 17 year old Alyssa Broderick, and 17 year old Willie Simmons.

In both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania there is a law called 58a which allows a district attorney to request that a defendant be held without bail until trial if his danger to the victim or community is deemed serious enough.

Amanda Broderick knew that her husband was a danger to her and to her daughter. If the justice system had prioritized her safety and used 58a to keep Mr. Broderick in jail until his trial for sexually assaulting a child, Amanda, her teenage daughter, and teenage Willie Simmons would still be alive and well.

But men’s “rights” and freedom has always been prioritized over women and children’s safety.
In fact, it was in part the enforcement of male ownership of women and children that led to these murders:

“Austin police investigators say a scheduled custody visit Sunday led to a vehicle collision in a Northwest Austin apartment complex and escalated into gun violence.”

Surely Amanda Broderick did not approve of this visit.
Surely Alyssa Broderick had her own legitimate fears about it.
But Mr. Broderick’s “right” to see his daughter (property) despite having been charged with a serious crime (sexual assault of a child) took priority over the safety of Amanda and Alyssa Broderick.
Now they are both dead at his hands.

You wrote:

“the criminal punishment system has treated domestic violence as a crime for only about 40-45 years, and the issue has only gotten worse.”

Where is your evidence that domestic and sexual violence has gotten worse? Are you suggesting that we should decriminalize domestic violence (again) to make things “better”?

Since the Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994 domestic violence has decreased by around 60% and rape has decreased by about 58%.

Where is your data to the contrary?

If you are opposed to VAWA then you are in agreement with the GOP, which also resists its passage every time it comes up for renewal.

According to the CDC: “In a systematic review of primary prevention strategies for sexual violence perpetration, CDC researchers found that funding associated with the 1994 U.S. Violence Against Women Act was one of only three strategies to demonstrate significant effects on preventing sexually violent behavior in a rigorous outcome evaluation (DeGue et al., 2014).”

Do you think the CDC is “fake news”?

Too often, when the CDC makes a claim that doesn’t correspond to one’s political beliefs, the facts tend to be discounted. Please do not become a part of this anti-science trend.

Also, Chris, it is extremely painful to me that you are denying the misogyny in the lenient way the criminal “justice” system treated Stephen Broderick. You seem to be attempting to make this purely an issue of gun control, when it is primarily an issue of male violence against women and children.

You have “All Lives Mattered” this horrific murder.

I desperately want to be proven wrong about what I see as persistent misogyny on the Left.
I desperately want to believe that the Restorative Justice Movement takes into account the profound difference and unique category of male violence against women as a systemic form of terrorism that is just as serious as police terrorism against the Black and Indigenous communities.

But every time I challenge a supporter of the Restorative Justice Movement I get the same vague claims that there is a better way to handle male violence against women than by prosecuting and incarcerating misogynistic terrorists.

No one ever tells me what that better way is, nor do they ever provide evidence that this “better way” makes women and children safer.

Where is your data that refusing to prosecute or incarcerate rapists and batterers leads to less rape and battery? I would love to see it.

And comparing the prosecution of domestic and sexual violence to the “war on drugs” – given that using and selling drugs are non violent “crimes” – is deeply disturbing to me. Surely you do not consider rape and battery to be non violent crimes. Right?

I apologize for not being more respectful in my communication with you. I’m afraid I am not very ladylike when it comes to the issues of rape and murder.

I will attempt to be more deferential in future communications.

Clearly, I have hit a nerve. You are a very young man and still have years of self exploration ahead of you.

I hope instead of rejecting everything I have communicated with you out of hand, you will examine why what I have shared bothers you so much.
Please use this as an opportunity for introspection and examine your own male privilege and entitlement.

I recommend the books “Down Girl” and “Entitled” by Kate Manne. These books will help you to be an Anti-Misogynist.

Feel free to block my emails if you are upset by the things I share.

Regards,

Penny Adrian


On Apr 20, 2021, at 9:47 AM, Chris Harris wrote:

If more incarceration were the answer to our problems, as the most incarcerated nation, we’d be the safest country in world history. We are far from it. Increasing the power and breadth of carceral systems that replicate slavery and Jim Crow will disproportionately and unjustly harm the poor and communities of color, including women and survivors of harm. The violence emanating from the state in the form of material depravation, lack of housing, policing, prisons and imperialism manifests in our interpersonal relationships. I believe there is a different path to ending that violence. I admire your advocacy and tenacity, so I’m sorry that you’ve chosen to approach me in such a manner and blame people that have had no role in crafting our current system for the violence that emanates under its watch. Best of luck to you. Goodbye.

Regards,

Chris Harris
Advocate | Analyst | Organizer
Pronouns: he, him, his
512-897-0703
@chrisharris101@gmail.com>

My response below:@gmail.com>

You stated:
“If more incarceration were the answer to our problems, as the most incarcerated nation, we’d be the safest country in world history”

But Chris, you have failed to address which crimes people are incarcerated for. Because they certainly aren’t incarcerated for rape and battery for any real length of time – nor are cops incarcerated for police violence.

Would refusing to incarcerate Derek Chauvin lead to less police violence, Chris?

Has the failure to incarcerate most killer cops led to less police violence? Or more police violence?

Will you be lobbying to protect Derek Chauvin from incarceration?

Why or why not?

Yet you lobby for protecting rapists and batterers from incarceration. Why not also lobby to protect the police from incarceration? According to you, imprisoning them for their violence won’t help.

You also claim that expanding the carceral state (I presume by “expand” you mean prosecuting and incarcerating rapists and batterers) “will disproportionately and unjustly harm the poor and communities of color, including women and survivors of harm.”

But how would keeping Stephen Broderick incarcerated until his trial have harmed Amanda Broderick and Alyssa Broderick? Aren’t they members of the “community of color”? Aren’t they women and survivors of harm?

You cannot deny that incarcerating Stephen Broderick – as Amanda Broderick wanted – would have saved three innocent lives – all of whom were people of color.

I agree that poverty is violence. I am a socialist and believe that all human needs should be provided by the state. But Trump was never poor, yet he is a prolific sex offender. Many sex offenders are wealthy, and wealthy men beat and murder the women in their lives.

When you claim “The violence emanating from the state in the form of material depravation, lack of housing, policing, prisons and imperialism manifests in our interpersonal relationships” you seem to be blaming the poor for violence, when violence is a huge contributing factor to poverty among women.

There is a domestic & sexual violence pipeline to homelessness.

You also accused me of blaming you, when you “have had no role in crafting our current system for the violence that emanates under its watch.”

You are a man, Chris. You benefit enormously from male supremacy and male privilege, especially within the Black community.

Of course you have a role in maintaining the current system. Of course you do. Especially since you clearly refuse to acknowledge misogyny as a source of serious oppression and harm.

You may not be as innocent and blameless as you think you are, Chris. But who is???

We are all complicit in one way or another for the harms of our society. None of us get to pretend to be innocent little lambs.

If you aren’t part of the solution to misogyny Chris, you are part of the problem.

I am disappointed in your lack of personal accountability and introspection when it comes to male violence.

Perhaps when you get older, taking a more honest look at your own blind spots will be easier for you.

Take Care,

Penny Adrian

Do Women’s Lives Matter?

The following is a letter I sent to Austin city officials:

The failure of our criminal justice system to take domestic violence seriously is largely responsible for the murders of 34 year old Amanda Broderick, 17 year old Alyssa Broderick, and 18 year old Willie Simmons.

Like Alyssa Broderick, I was sexually abused by my father. I know the tremendous amount of courage it took for Alyssa to tell her mother that her father was sexually abusing her.

Amanda Broderick, unlike so many mothers who choose to protect their husbands rather than their children, chose to protect her child. She believed her daughter and took courageous action to protect her.

How were these women rewarded by the “justice” system for their courage?

They were rewarded by watching the man who abused and terrorized them granted bail, allowed to walk free, and the ankle monitor he wore to track his movements removed.

This was done despite the fact that Amanda Broderick made law enforcement very well aware of how terrified she was:

“I’m afraid he will try to hurt me or [the] children, because these allegations have come out and he may lose his career…Stephen has prior military experience and is SWAT trained. If he wanted to hurt someone, he would know how.”

Prior to having the monitoring device removed, Broderick had violated the terms of an emergency protective order in the child sexual assault case (the child being his daughter). Broderick had also sent an email accusing his wife Amanda Broderick of attempting a “cash grab” and he included multiple images in the email depicting Amanda naked and engaged in sexual acts.

Amanda Broderick knew that her life and the lives of her children were in danger, yet our “justice” system completely failed to take her fears seriously.

Instead, she was forced to take her 9 year old son to a location known to the man who terrorized her and sexually assaulted their daughter, and who she knew was capable of taking their lives.

This tragedy could have easily been prevented.

In two states, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, there is a bail statute called 58A, or a dangerousness hearing. The 58A can be requested by a DA to hold a defendant without bail before trial if he is assessed by a High Risk Team to pose too great a danger to an individual or the community.

Had this been used in Stephen Broderick’s case, Amanda Broderick, Alyssa Broderick, and Willie Simmons would all still be alive today.
It is simply not possible to commit a vicious triple murder from behind bars.

But to quote trauma and abuse expert Judith Herman:

“The legal system is designed to protect men from the superior power of the state but not to protect women or children from the superior power of men.”

Women’s Lives Matter. But our legal system fails to behave as if they do.

Men’s freedom is taken vastly more seriously than the freedom of women like Amanda Broderick or children like Alyssa Broderick and Willie Simmons to live free from toxic male violence.

When we allow rapists and batterers to walk free, we turn the whole world into a prison for women and children.

Statute 58A and the use of High Risk Teams to determine the threat to a woman’s life and to her children’s lives if their abuser is released on bail, has saved the lives of women and children in both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

58A could also have saved the lives of Amanda, Alyssa, and Willie – but only if the justice system listened to women, and took seriously the fears expressed by Amanda and Alyssa.

How long will we continue to treat women and children like men’s property?

In the small Massachusetts town of Amesbury, prior to the use of High Risk Teams, dangerousness hearings, and preventative detention, there was at least one domestic violence homicide per year. Since implementing the High Risk Team, dangerousness hearings, and preventative detention program in 2005, they have not had a single case of domestic violence homicide – not one in 15 years!

If the lives of women and children mattered, preventative detention would be used for sexual and domestic violence cases all over the country.

Why not implement these pro-woman, pro-child, pro-safety policies here in Austin?

This is not a time for moral or political cowardice – or timidity.

Yes, you would get pushback from misogynists on both the Far Left and the Far Right (they are almost mirror images of each other when it comes to misogyny) but all ideas that move society forward take moral and political courage to support.

We must strive to be as courageous as Alyssa Broderick and her mother Amanda.

We could name our new domestic violence policies for Amanda and Alyssa, and in their honor we can vow never to discount an abused woman’s fears – or her right to be protected from toxic male violence – ever again.

In memory of Amanda, Alyssa, And Willie.

Don’t just apologize.

Be The Change.

Thank You for caring,

Penny Adrian

Links to articles regarding this crime:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/04/21/austin-shooting-victims/

https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2021/04/19/shooting-suspect-stephen-broderick-caught-near-manor-authorities-say-2-victims-identified/7283005002/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/04/19/stephen-brodercik-austin-suspected-shooter-met-bail-rules-judge-says/7289271002/