Angry male writers protest sexist stereotyping of most men

WORKING WOMAN

March 07, 1993|By Niki Scott | Niki Scott,Universal Press Syndicate

It's time for equal time. A recent column about date rape brought in a flood of letters this week.

A Green Bay, Wis., man wrote:

Most of the time I look forward to reading your column, but once again someone in the media has referred to "middle-aged white males" in terms of our supposed reprehensible, sexist mind-sets.

Even if some of my white male counterparts are guilty of the sins of sexism, of which they stand accused by you and the rest of the media, how dare you stereotype the majority of us because of the ignorance of a few?

And a Rochester, N.Y., man wrote,:

It strikes me as ironic that while you warn women at great length about keeping themselves safe from rape on a date, you say almost nothing about their responsibility not to lead a man on, enjoy his sexual attentions, then scream "rape!" if things get out of hand.

Added a Dallas reader:

I'm fed to the teeth with media bias against white males -- especially older or middle-aged white males. I guess we're the only social group left who hasn't organized . . . to protest being unfairly stereotyped, so we're still considered fair game as a convenient dog to kick.

On the subject of a woman employee's being believed by the boss when she charges a co-worker with rape, I resent the implication . . . when you comment: "Most corporate higher-ups still are white, male and middle-aged . . . which means the old she-must-have-asked-for-it thinking may be in place."

How does the following paraphrase sound to you? "Many corporate employees are now so-called liberated women, which means that the new any-man-accused-of-rape-must-be-guilty thinking may exist."

And a Tampa, Fla., man had this to say:

If what is written in the news media today is to be believed, we white males are responsible for all human villainy and most of the natural disasters that occur worldwide.

Only TV is worse than newspapers and magazines in this respect. There, the white male is portrayed either as a ruthless criminal, an avenging super-hero (often even less attractive than the villain), or a bumbling fool desperately in need of guidance from wives, mothers-in-law and even toddlers.

Painting people like me as villains by definition -- and insensitive fools by birth -- will not help us solve any of our problems!

But a Macon, Ga., woman wrote:

Bravo! I'm so grateful for your warning about date rape in terms of the people you work with, something that happens more often than any of us would want to believe -- and happened to me in just the way you described.

I dated a co-worker twice and was viciously attacked and raped by him on our second date. I did not want to go to the police, but I needed my boss' help because he was making my life hell at work by calling me persistently -- trying to talk me into going to bed with him again, if you can believe that!

But when I was candid with my boss and asked for his help, instead of the sympathetic and helpful attitude I had expected, I got a furious lecture on morals -- mine -- and was told that if he heard anything more about this matter he would find a way to fire me.

And a Portland, Ore., rape survivor wrote:

I can't tell you how helpful your column about date rape was, especially the part where you said, "You have a right to say no to sexual intercourse even if you've said yes to kissing and fondling."

Ten years ago, I was raped by a man I worked with, and I lost my job shortly thereafter because I couldn't keep my mind on my work with him in the same room with me.

To this day, I have never told anyone what happened to me because I made the mistake of blaming myself, instead of him.

Your article and this letter have stopped the cycle of guilt and shame and silence in which I've been living ever since, and I have contacted a rape crisis center to continue putting behind me -- finally! -- this dreadful experience.

Questions and comments for Niki Scott should be addressed Working Woman, Features Department, The Sun, Baltimore 21278.

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