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Misogyny, colonialism prove destructive

Editor:

It’s not a question of “he said/she said,” but of a clear, terrifying pattern of patriarchal power throughout history and throughout the world: seeing women as objects, not recognizing their rights, dignity, personhood. If one out of three women experiences rape and violence, if between 40 to 70 percent of women experience abuse and harassment, we need to not only judge a perpetrator but a whole culture that defines as “normal” denigration, objectification and violence against women. Denis Mukwege, recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for devoting his life to defending victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, spoke of the terrible brutality. But misogyny is not localized. It is a toxic world epidemic.

In one class, I asked male students to list what they were taught/told as boy children about acceptable behavior. They should be tough, powerful, winners; they shouldn’t be vulnerable, cry, display emotions, except anger; should not be a sissy, a faggot, sensitive. Looking at the list, one student said, “This is pathological.” I see Trump, a powerful bully demeaning women, as an example of that male pathology. It’s horrifying to hear him cheered.

White Europeans in their colonial conquests displayed a similar inability to see those in developing countries as precious human beings. Imperialism — denying people’s rights, culture, language, exploiting land and resources for greed — seemed “normal,” good. That arrogance/ignorance is replicated in our attitude toward our earth: poisoning water and air, destroying forests, wetlands, species, not recognizing the incredible interconnections of intricate diverse life forms, using and exploiting resources for our wealth without recognizing the cost to life.

This arrogant narcissism, this inability to recognize the dignity and worth of another, shrinks mind, heart, soul. Not a question of “he said/she said,” but a moral blindness causing great suffering, endangering all life.

Bernice Mennis, West Fort Ann

Cobb’s path is full of accomplishments

Editor:

I first met Tedra Cobb more than 25 years ago, when we served together on the board of directors for Renewal House. A young woman, newly pregnant, starting a career, building her home and yet still making time to not only serve on the board, but to serve as president. Tedra has always been a leader and a committed citizen.

In the ensuing years, she created the St. Lawrence County Health Initiative, advanced her education, started her own business, raised a family, served two terms as a county legislator, continued to serve on numerous boards and finished building that house. This woman makes things happen, and she gets things done. Now she’s ready to go to Washington to represent our district with integrity and intelligence, funded by a grassroots campaign that leaves her without obligation to big money and outside interests.

Representative Stefanik is not from the North Country. She arrived here with a carpetbag full of cash from outside our district. Stefanik didn’t represent me when she voted to gut the Affordable Care Act, my health care plan at the time. She didn’t represent me when she voted to defund Planned Parenthood, an agency I depended on as a younger, less well-off woman. She didn’t represent me when she voted to increase greenhouse gas emissions and weaken air pollution controls. I remember acid rain. And she doesn’t represent me when she stands beside a man who brags about grabbing women, disrespects a prisoner of war and a Gold Star family, and callously takes children from their parents.

Tedra Cobb will represent the 21st District with an independent voice and an honest concern for our home and our citizens. Vote for Tedra Cobb on Nov. 6.

Kathleen Fitzgerald, Potsdam

Saratoga politicians don’t need money

Editor:

We certainly do not need to add people with no accountability to the Saratoga Springs City Council.

Rather than the hard-working and knowledgeable commissioners which we currently have working for us, these new “legislators” will be spending more of our money to get re-elected; that’s what politicians do. And there will be more people squeezing into photographs at ribbon cuttings and galas; that’s also what politicians do.

Let’s save that money (my first choice), or even spend it to increase the number of people who will be working for us in the Departments of Public Works or Public Safety. They provide real value.

I’m voting no on the charter referendum Question No. 2, which asks for funding to add these two politicians. Key: No on Question No. 2.

Jim Chatfield, Saratoga Springs

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