I must respond to the hateful rant against Sen. Mazie Hirono published Sept. 9 (Your Views, Tribune-Herald). The writer from Indiana was upset because the honorable senator had the audacity to tell the truth, and then demanded accountability.
Her comments were a response to questions during the most recent national disgrace (U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings), regarding the smearing of victims and their testimony.
Sen. Hirono said, “Guess who is perpetrating all of these kinds of actions? It’s the men in this country. I just want to say to the men of this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing, for a change.”
She had to say this because no man is saying it. She explains: Things will only change when men who witness, or know about assault against women, refuse to tolerate it from even their own brothers. She is calling for “enlightened” men to lead this change.
Imagine if Christine Blasey Ford gave her testimony in the same temperament as did the dishonorable Brett Kavanaugh — avoiding questions while caterwauling about the victimization and abuse of his white male privilege. She would have been described as hysterical and out of control. But even death threats did not stop Ford from speaking her truth to that panel of pale, disbelieving old men. Cowardly men who could not even question her themselves, but in a truly Freudian slip hired a woman to ask their questions for them.
Sen. Hirono is one of only a few leaders in Washington willing to speak truth to power. Since the current president was inaugurated and the age of doublespeak officially began, she is one of the only officials with the courage to tell the emperor to his face, “Sir, you have no clothes.”
The “Access Hollywood” tape was appalling to anyone with even half a heart; it was the shameless confession of guilt of repeated, unapologetic assault. But spineless men saw the tape and were emboldened by the example of their master, the Abuser-In-Chief, and see it as permission to do the same.
Generally speaking, no man has the daily concern of being sexually objectified/assaulted. Very few men ever have to worry about the possibility of being raped at some point during their day.
Yet, women around the world have had to devise their own daily personal strategies to try to avoid assault because it happens every day.
It happens to women, not men. Since antiquity, women have not been considered as equals to men. Today, our vice president references the Bible to justify the continuation of this inequality.
It is not an unrealistic expectation that after so many thousands of years of misogyny that we should have evolved into “enlightened” men with a solid sense of morality and no tolerance for inequity.
Step up, indeed. Mahalo, Sen. Hirono.
Hawaiian Paradise Park