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The Messages Women Send

March 05, 1992

Rucker's message, while well-intentioned, ignored the state of affairs in the workplace, at home and in society: Innocent little girls are molested; professionally attired and mannered women are subtly harassed, oftentimes behind closed doors and without witnesses; naive young women are date-raped; wives are battered; elderly women are mugged. What kind of message was sent by them? Were they asking for ill-treatment? The answer is an emphatic no.

Trauma experienced during an assault is everlasting and can never be erased from memory. Statistics are overwhelming in regard to unsolicited advances and empowerment. As a statistic I resent being told that I should have been cognizant of the message sent. I did not send a message to my uncle when he molested me as a child. I felt powerless when sexually harassed by a manager.

Both experiences have left their mark. Although I have overcome the trauma sufficiently and am successful in all aspects of my life, scars remain. The message sent by Rucker touches on a small segment of society who may send the wrong message and ignores the reality of the majority.

JOAN F. FORMAN

Redondo Beach

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