The Aurora theater shootings were a tragedy. A dozen people lost their lives that night, including a six year old girl. There are families and communities who have been ripped into pieces. It is almost unendurable sad.
In the midst of that nightmare, three men emerged as heroes. There may have been other heroes in the theater during the massacre, but these three men we know about for certain. Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn, and Alex Teves all died while using their own bodies to shield their girlfriends from the bullets fired by a madman. These were men of honor. These were men of courage. These were men who valued those whom they loved above their own life.
They were true heroes.
Unfortunately, someone has managed to be shitty about their heroics. James Taranto, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, tweeted “I hope the girls whose boyfriends died to save them were worthy of the sacrifice.”
Taranto is a misogynistic asshat.
First, the value of a life saved is a constant. Do doctors stop in middle of ministering to a patient and ask, “Is this person worth saving?” Do fireman, prior to rushing into a burning building where they might be killed, stop and ask, “Is the person trapped on the third floor worth my potential sacrifice?” Did a hero like Zurana Horton, who died using her body to protect children from gunfire, stop and think, “These aren’t MY kids, so are they really worth saving?”
Hell no. Heroes save lives because they are heroic — they value protecting other humans more than they value themselves. They are the very best humanity has to offer.
Valuing another above one’s self is something a selfish worm like Taranto will never be able to fully comprehend.
Secondly, would Taranto have asked this question if it hadn’t been men saving women, those inherently lesser beings? When a brave Navy SEAL by the name of Michael A. Monsoor threw himself on top of a grenade and gave his own life to save his fellow SEALs, no one asked if his fellow soldiers were worth it. It was assumed that the lives of Monsoor’s comrades in arms were worth his sacrifice, because they had a certain given value. This value is not a “given” if women are involved, apparently. I can only assume you need a penis to have an understood worth that does not need to be verified and/or earned.
Finally, if the women Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn, and Alex Teves saved were worthy of being shielded, does that mean that the woman whose boyfriend could not, or would not, save them were not worth saving? Some piece of shit named Jamie Rohrs abandoned his wounded girlfriend and children, going as far as laying his four month old son on the floor of the theater so he could flee from the scene without the infant’s cries attracting the gunman’s attention to himself (which is clearly what happened, no matter how Rohrs tries to spin it by claiming “still isn’t sure” how he got separated from his baby son). Rohrs’ girlfriend, Patricia Legarreta, managed to find the baby Rohrs had put down, then rescue herself, their infant son, and their four year old daughter – even though she was shot in the leg. Did Rohrs only abandon them because they were “unworthy” of saving? Or was it just that Rohrs is a self-centered, unloving, cowardly twatwaffle – the very opposite of a hero?
Clearly the only difference was in the intrinsic valorousness of the men, not the value of the women they were with.
What would some skank like Taranto say about the women in the theaters who had no boyfriend – would he say that make them worthless? He has certainly implied it. He is also implied that men should think carefully about rescuing their partners, because there is no point in saving an unworthy woman. After all, one can always get another piece of ass.
Seldom has one goat blower upheld the misogynistic patriarchy in a way that is so insulting to both men and women.