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LETTERS

Due process, gray areas, and the ‘me too’ movement

More than anything, #MeToo is a data point on male entitlement

“People have a right to be rude”? Wendy Kaminer’s conclusion to her Oct. 29 Ideas piece, “The perils of vigilante feminism,” equates sexual assault with rudeness and misses the point of the #MeToo tag.

Yes, it is empowering to hold men publicly accountable for past harassments and assaults, but the real power of these collective stories is in seeing the overwhelming number of men who have committed these abuses. After a few days of #MeToo stories, it became clear that we live in a world where it seems most men act however they want toward women. This is not about people’s right to be rude; it’s about demonstrating the sheer volume of abuses men feel entitled to exercise.

Dorothy Cronin

Dorchester

In tackling tough topics, it doesn’t help to make ‘feminism’ a dirty word

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While I agreed with some of the points made by Wendy Kaminer in her opinion piece, the headline, “The perils of vigilante feminism,” appalled me. The phrase fosters the flawed stigma surrounding the word “feminism,” a word so tainted by the far right that many celebrities are afraid to associate themselves with it.

For many people, the term feminist conjures up a radical anti-male woman, rather than simply a person of either gender who believes in equal rights for women and men. For women to truly be equal, we need to be able to discuss complicated topics such as due process and offensive behavior without equating the word “feminist” with the word “extremist.”

Karen Fine

Shrewsbury

The writer is co-coordinator of the Worcester chapter of the National Organization for Women.

There’s a spectrum of harassment, and then there’s Trump

I would like to commend Wendy Kaminer for her objective and thoughtful opinion piece.

While there is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of sexual accusations are true, I believe we need to distinguish between the severity and banality of sexual harassment. I am referring to Heather Lind’s accusation regarding former president George H.W. Bush. What he did was inappropriate and banal, but does not compare with the vile and criminal sexual behavior of which Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby have been accused.

However, I am puzzled that 42 percent of American women, most of them white, voted for a proud self-proclaimed sexual harasser in Donald Trump.

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These many women had a choice to vote for a misogynist or a woman experienced in politics, and unfortunately they chose the former.

It is a privilege and honor to be able to vote in a democracy. Therefore, it is our duty to cast our ballot responsibly, and this is especially so for women, who fought hard for the right to vote and continue to fight for equality.

Johanna Schonmetzler

Boston