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Language Demeaning Women Should Not Be Tolerated

December 30, 2016

Recent events surrounding some politicians’ behavior have reignited the debate about privacy but especially about respect for women.  

The latest controversy revolves around comments reflecting how some women are viewed by men, whether in private or in public conversations.   

We need some discussion on when speech goes too far and what is an acceptable response to speech that is damaging or derogatory to women, men, or any segment of society.  

The acknowledgment about the worth of each and every one of us begins with the language we use towards one another. Language is the key to the soul. It is how we interpret one another’s intent and how we communicate ideas and needs.

We use language to express love, to ask for help, or even to simply understand each other. In terms of understanding public figures, it is often the best indicator of who they are, and in the case of Donald Trump, the leaked comments that we are all now familiar with, may be a very telling inside look into Trump’s personal life.

This election season, in light of the abhorrent comments that describe sexual assault, the voting booth may be the best avenue the public has to announce, aloud and united, that certain behavior and language is unacceptable.

We live in a land of free speech, and for some, politics is limited to policy, but for others, it is symbolic of what we stand for and value in this country.

It may be one thing to act on words and another thing entirely to speak without thinking, but what those famous words describe is the taking away of a woman’s dignity and equality. Actions such as those work only to hinder women from the position they have been fighting for so long to achieve.  

Carrying out the actions described in Trump’s speech suggests that women are mere sex objects whose sole purpose is to satisfy men’s pleasure; this discounts the inherent worth in each and every individual.

Those comments bring into question the ethos of the man who stated them. Words such as Trump’s indicate the epistemology with which he makes decisions and, at first glance, would characterize a man who would do little to advance the state of women in this country.

The ballot is where this country should declare what we value and what we will not tolerate.

It may not be too late for absolution for the man who made such vile comments, but now is the time to consider carefully what a vote for an apparent chauvinist might mean.

Some of the worst sinners have become the biggest reformers, but not without first a genuine admission of guilt, a deep introspection, contrition and then time to demonstrate that change.  

 

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