Letter to the Editor: Equal Justice for Women

It is often said that the arc of history bends toward justice; I believe it does. What is rarely said is that the arc’s bending is slow, and the pain of injustice is great. This fact became poignantly evident to millions of American women as Brett Kavanaugh was elevated to the Supreme Court.

If you watched the Senate hearings as I did, you were faced with a major dilemma. Who do you believe, Christine Blasey Ford, or Brett Kavanaugh? In this case, I believed Dr. Ford. But the Senate believed Judge Kavanaugh.

The hearing had one unintended consequence. For millions of women it became more than an advise and consent on a Supreme Court candidate.  For the female victims of sexual assault, it became a dramatic vote on whether they are believed. The Senate vote not only told them they are not, it also told them men can perpetrate sexual assault and get away with it. The pain of betrayal and rejection was intense with the Kavanaugh vote. My sister expressed it best, “Mom was right – it’s a man’s world – (in the Senate vote) we (women) were dismissed.”

The research on sexual assault in America is stark; consider just three facts:  1) One out of three women in their lifetime will be sexually assaulted, 2) the perpetrators of the sexual assaults are predominantly male, and 3) the males who perpetrate sexual assault usually deny they did it.

Where is the justice for these women now in America? The answers are many, but the space allowed in this letter is brief. Mostly, I want to urge these women to take their pain and vote in the midterm elections just one month away. Vote for female candidates who “get it.” Vote for male candidates who understand. I believe the time is now, and the arc of history is ready to bend for your issue. Many of your family and friends, many of your brothers like myself will reach for the arc with you.

Male perpetrators, the recalcitrant women who think “boys will be boys,” and the Donald Trumps of this world will notice when you vote them out of office. Fortunately, or unfortunately, they do respect power.  Your vote is your access to power in this Democracy. Use it. If you do, you will not only feel better, you will also help America move towards the ideals we so deeply need today – equal justice for women. Vote.


Patrick Cerra

Egg Harbor, Wis.

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