Publicly, a mammoth "Thank you" to guest columnist Melinda Gassaway for opening up the issue of sexual harassment and to John Clark for his "10-4" letter. The Hot Springs area has been slow in remarking on sexual improprieties. The following letter is one I would have liked to write since girlhood!
Sexual misconduct? Sexual misbehavior? Some proper terms are sexual stalking or invasion of a woman's space and privacy. While this kind of behavior may seem like a "harmless bit of fun," that's not the reality. Physical violations are not the only form of harassment; so are spoken affronts. The spoken innuendos also reek with sexual overtones. Women experience embarrassment, shame, fear and anger, and in most cases, sickening memories for the rest of their lives. Some women develop a sense of which males are respectful and which to avoid like the plague. Hopefully, we women can convince the men with fancied power that we are not the weaker sex!
Just as "Rastus and Liza Jane jokes" are, to say the least, disrespectful, unthinkable and taboo, so are the "keep 'em barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen jokes." When I was young, I didn't comprehend, understand the humor and I squelched a feeling of disgust. I did not laugh! Ah, now I understand! Women didn't even discuss the jokes or the violations of their personal space.
It seems that some elected officials and public icons feel that they have immunity and are entitled to unethical behavior. Not so! We're enraged to learn that some of the elected guys in Washington have granted themselves the freedom to spend millions of our tax dollars to protect themselves from legal penalties in the cases that might be justifiably brought to court. Democrats and Republicans are guilty of harassing and misspending our money to silence the women they assaulted. Even the current president thinks "locker room jokes" and "personal privilege" are his right. With this attitude, it's no wonder the amendment for women's equal rights has never passed. Where's your rage?
While I'm on an unguarded rampage, I'll say that I'm repulsed by many of the ministers, preachers, teachers, etc., who are expected to be examples of morality, even preach morality, are committing sexual crimes and are predatory. It's worrisome that so many of these "professionals" (and women) are supporting and voting for candidates who are predators.
The confessions, the apologies, the tears, the God-has-forgiven-me stance -- those are weak defenses. Washing their dirty laundry in public doesn't wash away women's wounds, nor does it appease people with respectful morality. I feel as if the wash tub of dirty water has been thrown on us.
I've had enough. How about you?
Ending with a note of gratitude, we appreciate those men who support women and act with the respect that is deep-rooted in them. Thank you!
Editorial on 11/29/2017
Print Headline: Enough is enough