Women feeling empowered to speak
We are witnessing a healthy tendency for victims of sexual misconduct to go public rather than suffer in silence. I would venture to guess that most women have at some time in their lives been the victim of such behavior by a male acquaintance — be it unwanted touches, kisses, or more disgusting acts like the one suggested by our president in that notorious video with Billy Bush.
In the past, predatory males have counted on the silence of their victims, knowing that most women would remain quiet rather than face the embarrassment and awkwardness of going public, or even the possibility that they will be accused of “asking for it,” which is regrettably a possibility in our culture.
We can only hope that all of these women going public with their stories will effect the needed change in a pattern that has been tolerated in silence far too long.
Carol Webb, Wichita
Reason for delay in accusations
Who would have believed them? Was it worth losing their jobs and their dignity (even further) to report any type of harassment, up to and including rape by a boss or co-worker? For many women back then, nasty comments, butt grabs, “innocent” rubs — were commonplace. If you were attractive, “you encouraged them;” if you were less so, “why would anyone grab you?”
The term “boys will be boys” can and was carried too far. If a woman did make it to court, she had to be prepared for every male that she ever dated to come up with some reputation-defeating comments to show that she was the one to blame for whatever occurred. And the more the man was respected in his community, the worse the outcome for the accuser. Good luck to her ever finding a decent job again.
Why did it take 40 years? Ask any woman if she has had even “minor” sexually-charged incidents at work. Back then they were too embarrassed to report and if they did, the rumor mill would go wild. Why indeed. Thank the brave women for starting the movement so the truth can come out.
Sue Schamp, Wichita
Book shouldn’t be banned
My reaction to the banning of “To Kill A Mockingbird” from an eighth-grade reading list in Biloxi, Miss., is disappointment. South High in Wichita recently presented the stage play of this historic novel. I believe the history lesson that the plot presents is important and should not be hidden.
Kudos to South High for its courageous presentation.
Joan Buenten, Wichita
Tyson workers won’t stay around
I’m trying to understand the enthusiasm for a Tyson slaughterhouse in Sedgwick County or anywhere in Kansas. Most supporters focus on the promise of 1,600 jobs and the supposed growth they could bring to the economy. Yet at $13 to $15 an hour, the wages are below the poverty level and would put all kinds of pressure and increased costs on city and county services.
Housing would also present a problem. To avoid spending more than 30 percent of our income on housing, Kansans need $15.22 an hour for a two-bedroom rental. If hundreds of low-cost rentals were available, Tyson line workers would unlikely be long-term tenants. Because slaughtering chickens is repetitive, dangerous, unfulfilling work, turnover the first year is expected to be 70 to 90 percent. Then where do we find and replace 1,100-1,400 workers yearly?
Lynn Stephan, Wichita