Sexual Assault at the forefront of the 2020 political conversation

To The Editor:

As we move into the 2020 election year, there are two issues/concerns that I would like to see Democrats and Republicans pay more attention to:

1. Equal pay for equal work for women.

2. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and in Academia.

Sexual harassment should never occur.  I myself was sexually harassed by a female university professor when I was a 25 year-old Ph.D student who had a lot of power over me.  Fortunately, it ended (very surprisingly to everyone) when the female professor who I served as a Teaching Assistant for and who happened to be a lesbian, and who was widely-considered to be a “man-hater” and a “Radical-Feminist”, told my harasser that she would report her to the university authorities if she did not stop harassing me.  But, I know first-hand how inwardly painful this is to experience and the long-term negative effects that it has on many women.  I hate knowing that almost every woman in our country has been sexually harassed at work and/or in college/university.  It embarrasses me and angers me as a man.

I call on all good and decent men and all male political candidates to become more vocal and more active and more assertive about our country and federal government taking additional steps and action to end this unnecessary and shameful disrespect of women.

P.S.  I am a retired college professor of Sociology, Social Work, and Psychology who is very proud to have taught at West Virginia University, Slippery Rock University, and SUNY-Brockport.

– Stewart B. Epstein