Opinion: A Letter to Society from Women

By Carla Charter

Okay I may have some comments on this but here goes. First I want the good guys out there to know we see you. We appreciate you. We need allies like you. , who treat us as equals and with respect and men who raise their sons to do the same.  You are advocates who clearly stand with us. and we thank you for that.

Having said that our culture needs to change and all of us realize that.  I have heard during the recent Supreme Court debate., what do women want to change? I can only answer for myself, I suspect though many other women may be with me on our wants though.

I want consent education laws in every state. I was shocked to find out that in only 8 states are health education classes in high school required to mention consent. EIGHT! Surprisingly my state of Massachusetts is not one of the eight. This in 2018! You want to stop sexual assaults? Start right there.

The Jock, Boys Will Be Boys Culture has to end.  Let me say I have known some stand up athletes both in school and those nationally who stand up as allies with us against this behavior. However, the attitude that I am popular and good at sports therefore I get a pass on all my bad boy behavior can no longer be tolerated from any athlete. The partying, the drinking, the groping of women can no longer be written off because someone is an athlete. Not just stop when it crosses a line into physical abuse, but stop it way before that. Stop it at the lewd jokes, the locker room talk and the discussion of women as nothing more than their physical appearance. As in not being allowed to start.

I want to see colleges held responsible. Pushing the assaults under the rug so that the college looks good to prospective parents should no longer be acceptable. The colleges need to understand this is not about money. This is about criminal activity, you are allowing to happen on your campus. By ignoring complaints or hiding them, you are complicit in that crime.  You want us to feel safe while we are getting a higher education? Take every allegation seriously and investigate it, even if it makes you look bad to parents.  These investigations are about so much more than your appearance on paper.

Speaking of this, maybe as a form of protest, young women should look at the list of the ten biggest party schools and see them for what they truly are, a list of schools where women may not be safe while receiving their education.

I want to be able to say to those I love not, report every assault even if no one believes you, but report every assault, period! That starts with believing us, with taking our allegations seriously. As seriously as if the charge was being made by a person in your life whom you love.

You want to show that you stand with us? Action, not words. Every single DAMN rape test kit that is sitting in an evidence locker somewhere need to be tested NOW. Then a follow up investigation needs to happen immediately, no matter how old the case.

No excuses, no shortage of manpower, or shortage of money. Every single one of those kits are some woman’s life who has been irrevocably altered forever.  You want us to feel safe?  Start by taking us seriously and getting the rapists off the street and behind bars so we can feel safe.

Its more than just assaults too.  There is the income inequality. How is this even legal? The labor department needs to step up and require each company receiving any federal funding, tax breaks or contracts to submit income comparisons between their female and male employees. Not just in general but executive role to executive role. You have six Vice Presidents, great, without naming names, how much do the male vice presidents make and how much do the female vice presidents make.  Then have them explain exactly why there is a disparity. I can almost guarantee you there will be a disparity.

If there is a pattern of discrimination it needs to be called out in public, in a yearly report or in a Congressional hearing.  I want to know which companies are paying their women less while patting women on the head and patronizing them, so I can stop buying their product. With all of the buying power women have that should change the environment quickly.

So to all the good guys, the institutions and the colleges that are standing with us and taking concrete steps to move forward and change things we thank you. To everyone else who thinks the status quo is okay, that we’re exaggerating, or its really not that bad, Yeah, we’ve heard that all before, many times. This train is leaving the station, with or without you, because things can no longer remain as they are. Instead they can be so much better for our country as a whole.