Democrats come late to the cause
The Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found President Bill Clinton's sexual use of a subordinate intern abominable. And all of those other women (nearly all Democratic Party supporters) who alleged that Clinton harassed or raped them were called liars.
Hillary Clinton looked straight into the camera and declared it all a vast right-wing conspiracy. James Carville told us that when you "drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find." Assassinating a victimized woman's character was fine, as long as it protected the Clintons.
For 20 years sexual harassment was largely ignored because it would raise uncomfortable questions that Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem and pretty much the entire feminist left couldn't rationally answer. Fast forward to the recent campaign where Hillary Clinton flips and declares that all women should be believed. Really? That's new. Meryl Streep said that Harvey Weinstein, the long-known lecherous Hollywood mogul and prodigious Democratic Party fundraiser, was a god, but now he's not; and just two years ago the whole of Hollywood gave a long standing ovation to teen-rapist Roman Polanski.
I'm so confused. Did the left finally land where we, the little backward people, have been for decades?
Raymond Baker, St. Petersburg
It takes all to fix problem
I remember a survey conducted by Men Against Rape on the Madison, Wis., college campus. To the question, "What are you most afraid of?" the predominant female response was "getting raped," while the predominant male response was "being laughed at." What a discordant response. This was in 1990, soon after a statewide program for girls conducted surveys of middle school youth asking: "What would be the worst thing that could happen to you?" A significant response from male students was, "Waking up as a girl." I wonder if the results would be any different today.
This is the core of the problem. This is the cultural thinking that allows domestic violence, sexual harassment, child sexual abuse and child trafficking, all of which primarily victimize females, to continue. The solutions have been left to the victims to resolve because the fathers, sons and brothers have often not fully engaged in finding solutions.
We need the efforts of all genders to resolve these problems. Sexual harassment in the workplace affects all employees, not just the victim and the perpetrator. Societal attitudes toward domestic violence allow a woman to be beaten every 9 seconds and to die between 2001 and 2012 at twice the rate of soldiers on the battlefield in Afghanistan.
We can change this.
Beth Hovind, Tarpon Springs
Our inequality problem | Jan. 6, commentary
Progressive leaders needed
I hope readers take this column to heart. The author wrote: "As wealthy elites gain economic power, they find ways to turn it into political power and implement regressive policies. The rich (heirs) no longer earn their wealth through work, they simply inherit it."
Their lobbyists and political contributions assure laws and policies are established that benefit them at the expense of ordinary citizens. They convince themselves that their wealth is proof of their superiority and right to rule. They manipulate the majority with slogans, scapegoats and opposition attacks.
America had this problem at the beginning of the 20th century. Fortunately, Teddy Roosevelt and his fellow progressives pushed through the graduated income tax, busted up trusts that eliminated competition and controlled prices, and promoted work safety and child labor laws that benefited millions of blue-collar workers.
Donald Trump is no Teddy Roosevelt. He is one of the "robber barons" who inherited great wealth, and became wealthier by filing bankruptcies to avoid repaying loans, stiffing small business, and suing anyone who objected. We need true progressive leadership once again, and it is not Hillary Clinton.
Robert Moew, Riverview
Penny wise, pound foolish
The Hillsborough County public school system has invested a great deal of money providing mentoring support to its newest teachers. The program was deemed so successful that it has outlasted the original grant that funded it while other aspects of that experiment have fallen to the wayside. The intent of the mentor program is to not only cut down on new teacher turnover but to support and develop great teachers.
With the current impasse in salary negotiations, the mentor program is likely to fail in its goal of teacher retention. New teachers hired one to three years ago are able to take the experience and knowledge gained in the mentor program to another district that will pay them more. Pinellas, Polk and Pasco all have starting teacher salaries that are above Hillsborough's. I would also assume that those fine teachers would also be credited with years of service. The investment that the mentor program provided will be lost.
The Hillsborough County School Board would seem to be making financial decisions that are penny wise and pound foolish.
Colleen Rybak, Riverview
For a Better Florida | Jan. 7
Wages don't keep up
The median price of a home in 2017 was up $95,000, from $140,150 in 2010 to $235,558 in 2017. And minimum wage went from $7.25 an hour in 2010 to $8.25 an hour in 2017, just a $1 increase.
I'm not a math major (I'm a Realtor), but this is just plain criminal. How can people even afford to go to work at those wages? And we all know that rents are high. We need better employers who are willing to give people a living wage. But we know that the rich just want to get richer.
Diane Turscak, Safety Harbor