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Letter to the Editor: #MeToo

To the editor:

I have watched and listened to reactions to the unsurprising news of widespread misbehavior among celebrities. Then I hear silly remarks, such as “Oh dear, I just touched you,”among us common folk. But it is not a joke.

What has finally been revealed needs to be brought down into our lives. We each need to realize the same thing has been happening to our cousin, brother, aunt or self. But we don’t talk about it because we might get some of that same silly response or disbelief.

These are my #MeToo experiences.

When I was about 6, my mother and I went to a theater. A man sat next to me and eventually put his hand on my thigh. I was paralyzed. I told my mother, afterwards, who was upset because I had said nothing. When I was a fifth grader, my uncle kissed me by putting his tongue in my mouth. I again told my mother. She didn’t allow me to be alone with him again. She was 15 years younger than he and was probably subjected to similar treatment when she was young. He was her brother-in-law.

When I was an adult on a bus, a man sat next to me, started moving his hand down between us. I moved my coat down along the side of my leg and he got off at the next stop. Wish I would have made a scene.

At graduate school, I had a professor who practiced “hug therapy.”

This kind of thing has not happened to everyone but I am writing to support those for whom it has happened. Speak up, if you are in public, embarrass your pervert. It took me way too long to learn that.

A few years ago, someone pinched my butt. I just turned around and stared at him. Never said a word while he fell all over himself making excuses. It was one of the most satisfying moments of my life.

Not all men are threats, but those that are need to be stopped in their tracks. Assert the power you have as Girl, as Woman.

The next big thing is to find a way to educate young men about their sexuality. It is not a sport, we are not prey. Our bodies are our own and they need to respect who we are if they are going to respect who they are.

Sister Patricia Pfenning



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