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A systemic problem


Your commentary does disgust me, Mr. Gary Wechter ("Men will be men," Dec. 7). I'm also disgusted with New Times for printing this drivel. According to your hyperbole, men are either repulsive pigs, live in Toledo, or are "girly." Just because you may lack integrity does not mean most men in our culture are like-minded. The idea that only harsh punishment will keep "men from being men" should offend every one of us. Men abusing women is not human nature. It is, however, human nature to give and receive love. In our culture, men are expected to initiate the process of dating, not because they are men, but because women have historically been shunned for being too forward.

This is a systemic problem within our society that can be remedied over time through education and actions such as: teaching our children to respect all fellow humans, refusing to consume media that exploits women and minorities, and speaking up when we witness offensive behavior (which is what I'm doing now).

The fact that you are granted a platform in which you can refer to members of the LGBTQ community as "girly men" is part of the problem. The fact that women and minorities have been, and are still being oppressed, is part of the problem. The fact that our current president is a sexual predator is part of the problem.

Our First Amendment protects your right to speak your opinion as it does mine, but we should all think before we speak. We should consider what our words mean to others, how our opinion is interpreted by others, and we should care if what we say, do, or write infringes on the emotional and/or physical well-being of others. It's a fine line to walk, true, and it's difficult to know where to draw the line, but in my opinion, you crossed it. Words have power, Mr. Wechter, and once spoken, cannot be taken back.

Barbie Clark

Arroyo Grande

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