Categorized | OPINION

Letters to the Editor November 2019

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Thanks, students

Dear Editor:
I want to thank the high school students that participated in the world climate strike. There are many in my age group (over 60) that may have concerns regarding climate but clearly not strongly represented in the strike. thanks for the courage, sacrificing homecoming and being a voice for change.
A thank you to the school district for respecting the students right to strike. your measured are is appreciated.
Dave Rompa

Let’s empower women

Dear Editor:
I am writing to give another perspective to the one presented in the column, Too Much Coffee. In the article, Let’s start believing women and children, Tesha Christensen writes, “The sad thing is, being smart and educated, kind and empathic, a good mom and a good wife—none of that prevents you from being abused. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence and there is no safeguard from it, even though we wish there was.” I believe that it is just this kind of thinking, “there is no safeguard from it” actually contributes to women not protecting themselves – which I believe is possible.
There are many, many signs – red flags – (and they are called that for a reason) that alert women that men are controlling and abusive. There are folks of either or any gender that can be unsafe partners. The problem is that while girls and women are most often being socialized to believe that they should be “a good mom and a good wife,” they are not socialized around how to take care of and protect themselves. The belief that it is of primary concern for girls and women to be in a relationship, to be moms, to be wives, is in and of itself a dire premise.
Thankfully, we are moving in a direction that gives women many more options than in the past, and not being partnered is a viable alternative to being a good wife and mother if you are not certain you know how to take care of yourself and what to look for in a potential partner.
We need to stop telling women that there’s no way to protect themselves, because there are lots of ways. In his book, “The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence,” Gavin De Becker states, “Every day people engaged in the clever defiance of their own intuition become, in midthought, victims of violence and accidents. So when we wonder why we are victims so often, the answer is clear: It is because we are so good at it (p. 30).” I recommend that women every where read this book.
Like most women, I was socialized to be kind and giving, and ended up married at a young age to someone who didn’t have the relationship skills that I was hoping for (and neither did I). I sought out a divorce, and instead of focusing on this relationship, I began accessing my own power. It took a lot of work (and time) for me to deconstruct the many messages from my culture and my family, and of the religion I was raised to believe in. I started to believe that I could support and care for myself, and once I did, I began living a life that I couldn’t have imagined possible. I cannot support the premise that men are horrible and violent (although some are) and women are incapable of learning how to look for and recognize signs in potential partners that are destructive and controlling. Women can learn to recognize signs that can alert them, can learn boundaries and how to say, “hell no” to anyone who tries to manipulate and control them.
Theresa Crawford, LMFT
Catalyst Mental Health