To The Daily Sun,
I, as a feminist, would like to respond to Rosemary Mellon's letter "I feel sorry for women who can't stand up to advances they don't like," published on Oct. 22.
It is a sad day we have come to, in which women condemn women. We have been conditioned to denounce women who support themselves and each other, yet we pardon men who speak and behave with such bigotry.
We should all be concerned with Trump's (or any one's) admission to sexual assault. It perpetuates rape culture, normalizing behavior that is despicable, inhumane, and illegal. It transcends a family's concern, especially when he is in the running to represent our nation, including the women he doesn't support and the many men who do not participate in this kind of "locker room" banter.
Our distorted reaction to the sexes is evident in Mellon's comment that "any wife would have left her husband with the sensationalism of what Bill did...." I can't comprehend how we — especially women — still criticize a woman for her response to a man's shameful behavior. We can turn a blind eye to Bill's actions, but we can't forgive Hillary for staying with him. Instead we must assume that it is a "political commitment," not a woman who maybe is or was simply in love. Even if their marriage is a political commitment, maybe the Clintons value politics and civic duty more than they do love.
Not everyone leaves after an affair and, quite frankly, who are we to judge?
Lastly, there's the assertion, "If women are so afraid and cannot stand up for themselves regarding advances they do not like, I do not feel sorry for them." I am speechless and appalled. Please, please. Cut it out. Stop victim-blaming. If a woman is too afraid (and given everything I've just discussed, why wouldn't she be?) to protect herself from unwanted sexual advances, are you telling me it is her fault? That she deserves it? This is ludicrous and I am quite frankly disgusted by such implications.
We have to stop conveying the message that women are responsible for preventing their own sexual assaults, and instead teach our boys that they are expected not to take a woman's body as his own property, and that he will be held accountable should he choose to do so.
Ms. Mellon, sexism, inequality, and internalized oppression absolutely exist in our society today, and as such, you are a product of our culture and your environment, as many of us are. I fear that you will contribute to the continuation of these inequities if you don't open your eyes to your womanly value and power.
We — not just women, but all of humanity — are in this together. Let us have compassion for one another.
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