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I respond to Jonathan Pattishall, who wants men to shut up and start listening to women (Front Porch, May 17).

Dear Mr. Pattishall 

I respond to Jonathan Pattishall, who wants men to shut up and start listening to women (Front Porch, May 17). For the record, I am a politically progressive, man-loving feminist who may be old enough to be your mother.

The young woman who alleges that she was raped made a bad choice. She chose to earn money for college tuition by stripping and dancing provocatively to entertain drunken college athletes.

When a woman makes a choice like this, does she invite rape? No. Does she deserve rape? No. Should a guilty perpetrator go free because of her behavior? No.

But she is responsible for her behavior. She chose to be there and to behave sexually for money. And in doing so, she co-created with the students a sexually provocative and exploitive situation. Some feminists say this kind of behavior is liberated because the woman exercised her free choice. They are wrong. Don't believe them.

If you think that stripping and exotic dancing are the only ways to pay your tuition, please choose instead to speak to your family, friends, minister, doctor, dean of students or director of financial aid. Ask for their advice on paying tuition so that you don't have to indulge in degrading behavior. Someone will help you.

Instead, why not try a new form of liberation--treat yourself, your body and your sexual desires with great care, respect and tenderness. Learn about your body, your partner's body and your sexual responses. Learn how to talk to one another about what each of you wants and doesn't want as part of your sexual exploration. And, for God's sake, keep your clothes on until you are with a partner who will share a mutually satisfying, respectful and (at a minimum) affectionate sexual experience. You deserve nothing less. And distrust any feminist who tells you otherwise.

Mara Evans

Durham

  • I respond to Jonathan Pattishall, who wants men to shut up and start listening to women (Front Porch, May 17).

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