NYTimes Jan. 7, 2018

I had a lengthy conversation and a good cup of coffee with my neighbor Richard Ward, an author recently published in the local journal, Bosque 7, and Richard, having recently spent two years in South America, was fairly hot under the collar about the tsunamis of “he said, she saids” ruining men’s careers and lives. He was outraged about the overkill implicit in women coming out in groups to take an offender down.  hmmmmm.

Well, it was fun to step in and  try to represent a woman’s take on the whole shebang. And we kept backing into the walls of the obvious, bouncing off and coming back into the meat of the matter with some passion.  Of course Al Franken ought not to have stepped down–but then again, it was his choice. One can only speculate as to why he made such a wimpy move. Perhaps there was more to his story than he wanted to admit–who knows.

Or maybe Al is the proverbial baby who got thrown out with the bath. And if it’s a battle or a war of the sexes, then some collateral is to be expected. Women have forever been shorted and silenced (secretly, randomly), and if this is a group scream where numbers matter, then so be it. Let every woman who has been wronged have her say in the court of public opinion. I don’t think flirting and dating and procreating are going to end over this ruckus, but I do think men will watch their behavior (become as a group more introspective) and tend to their own mouths and other body parts.

The outcry won’t set right the inequity or iniquity of the 97% of rapists who have been found quilty but never incarcerated; the loud noise across the nation won’t stop sexual innuendo but it might slow down the bosses who serially and incessantly harass employees. This noise from previously silent women might cause some soul searching that results in improved behavior and less violence against women, maybe. The sheer volume may be the awkward and enthusiastic sum of all the silence which has struggled to out itself over the millennia. What’s intended is neither a witch hunt nor an unmanning of men, but the right to mend the torn fabric of society that has been inadequate in protecting women’s basic rights. Let the voices even out. Let the courts, classrooms, and media publish the rules. “The truth has a voice.” Is that Justicia speaking? Lady Liberty? Yes!!!

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