Overcoming belief barriers

Published 5:30 am Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Science has given us the ability to know things. Before the era of science, that being most of human history, people could only believe or not believe many things. Still true. But some things can be proved. For example, water heated at sea level elevation where the weight of air is 14.6 pounds per square inch, boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. That can be proved by experimentation, and the result is the same every time. But many things cannot be so convincingly proved, and we are often governed by beliefs that may be right or wrong.

Men, it appears, have been convinced since the beginning of time that women are inferior. No one has ever offered any proof; it is just a belief. The learned founders of our U.S. Constitution didn’t even think about giving women the same legal rights that they gave to men.

Recently, women have exhibited the commendable courage required to publicly name men who sexually assaulted them. The publicity will surely make life better for all women.

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Now, some pundits are contending that men are being deprived of “due process,” a legal procedure. That doesn’t compute. Sexual assaults don’t happen in public. Sexual assaults happen where there are no witnesses, no proof. A male quest for “due process” has as little relevance as arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of pin.

One disturbing revelation is that some organizations knew about the contemptible behavior for years but fired the perpetrator only when publicity threatened to adversely affect their profits. That is compound immorality.

American women have successfully gained legal rights, the right to vote for example, and they have overcome belief barriers that prevented paid employment and prevented acceptance of leadership roles in other endeavors. Fifty-one percent of American adults are women — more than half of our population. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures women hold only 24.9 percent of the seats in our state legislatures. Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics indicates that women hold only 19.6 percent of the seats in the U.S. Congress. American women will surely benefit from increased involvement in political activity.

Guaranteeing women protection from sexual intimidation is something that a civilized society must do.

“Real men” respect women and treat women respectfully.

Jack Stevenson is now retired from military service. He served two years in Vietnam as an infantry officer and worked three years as a U.S. Civil Service employee. He also worked in Egypt as an employee of the former Radio Corporation of America (RCA).