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The Journal Gazette

Friday, May 11, 2018 1:00 am


'Asking for it' attitude sends wrong message

As men who work daily at the Center for Nonviolence to educate men about sexual responsibility and stopping violence against women, we have to respond to a community member's letter of April 6.

The author criticized the selection of Jane Seymour as featured speaker at the Tapestry event on April 27 because Seymour wears “short, tight dresses” and has posed for Playboy. The author goes on to say that women “can't have it both ways” and that women must be accountable for the type of clothing they wear to avoid putting “ourselves at a higher risk for danger” of sexual assault.

We care about women's equality, safety and dignity. We recognize the author's right to call for people to dress more modestly. But we strongly disagree with her point that the way women dress is a cause of sexual assault.

We do not disagree that the Playboy phenomenon fosters objectification of women. But women who participate in it are not asking to be raped. Once you proclaim that some women are asking for it, you send a message that is welcomed by all abusive men: Women are partly to blame for my violence and sexual assault. For rapists, that's all they need to hear.

We are striving to teach other men to accept the premise that “I am responsible for my own sexual behavior.” It is actually pretty easy not to rape or sexually assault people, even sexy people. A guy just has to believe that “I don't have a right to take something without permission.” Unfortunately, attitudes that blame women for men's violence make more difficult our job of working with men who have been abusive.

It is time we stand up together for all women, no matter how they dress, and demand that men stop sexual assault.

John Beams

on behalf of the male staff members at the Center for Nonviolence

Fort Wayne

Deterrent from what?

Upon reading Evan Davis' letter (“Revolution implied in pro-gun rhetoric,” April 29), I would ask: What is the definition of deterrent? A standing army, a defense grid, and even an armed militia.

When we drop our guard, another corrupt government may encroach into our federal government. It is more likely that an invasion will come from within than ever defeat our country from abroad.

Brian W. Harshbarger

Fort Wayne

A stranger's kindness helps her breathe easier

 I was recently in Fort Wayne visiting family. Around 10:30 a.m. on April 28, I took my mom to the mall to go shopping.

I was dropping my mom off at the door to the mall (near JCPenney). I got her walker out of the trunk, made sure she got into the mall OK and went to park the car. I didn't know my wallet had fallen out of the car when I opened my door and realized what had happened as I parked the car about five rows down from the entrance.

I ran back to the entrance and motioned to a woman who'd gotten into a car, asking whether she had seen a purse on the ground. As I was speaking to her, a black truck pulled up. The driver tapped the horn, held up my wallet and motioned for me to come to his window. He handed me my wallet and told me he saw it fall out of my car as I dropped my mom off. He said he had been looking for me but hadn't seen where I went. He handed me back my wallet. I thanked him and offered him some cash as a thank you; he refused.

We're always reading about bad things that happen, so I wanted to share this story of a Good Samaritan. To the man in the black truck, thank you from the bottom of my heart; you will be in my prayers. May your kindness be returned to you tenfold.

Sally Quinn

Summerville, South Carolina