'Rape' was the right word
To the Editor:
I wish to speak to the statement issued last month (March) by Vermont Democratic Party Director Julia Barnes. She criticized Senator Joe Benning's use of the word 'rape.' Senator Benning has used this word in speaking poignantly about the Lowell wind project in the Northeast Kingdom.
I, as a woman who hopefully defends women's issues on a social level, and who has a couple of friends who have been victimized by violence, take absolutely no offense with the Senator nor his words used in the context in which he did. In a large desk dictionary I have in my office space, I find five separate and different definitions of the word 'rape.' I mean absolutely no disrespect to my self, my gender collectively, nor to anyone who has endured the grievous atrocity of rape. I solidly believe that Senator Benning did not either. His remarks were neither callous nor disrespectful.
Quite to the contrary, I took Senator Benning's reference to the Lowell project and his use of the word rape as extremely appropriate, to describe what has been wastefully done to the mountains, the trees, the watersheds, the animals, the birds, the life of that land. By the definition that I have in the Webster's New International Dictionary p.1770, the word means 'to pillage, snatch, seize by force, plunder, rob.'