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  • Writer's picturePenny Sterling

Dear Clueless White Male Judge

In response to the Facebook post (since deleted) that Judge Bill O'Neil wrote bragging about his sexual exploits in defense of Senator Al Franken (yeah, that doesn't make sense to me either) I decided to write a nice letter to the man. Anyone got a stamp? For a refresher,

Dear Clueless White Male Judge Did every one of those "50 very attractive females" that you slept with do it without your consent? Are you sure? Fine. I hope you have an equally sex-positive viewpoint for your children--yes, even your unwed daughter. Please also understand that you've given us information that is tangental to the issue. The issue with sexual abuse is not how many women these men had sex with, but with how many women they had sex with WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. Or that they groped. Or that they sent a series of lewd messages to. Or that they used their position of power and influence to coerce, control, expose themselves to, make inappropriate comments and threats to, or even have the h

igh-school principal fucking call them out of their classrooms to ask out on a date. That you don't understand this is really a horrible thing. Especially since you, in the Facebook snit you posted after this post didn't get the response you thought it would, huffed: "I was a civil right lawyer actively prosecuting sexual harassment cases on behalf of the Attorney General's Office before Anita Hill and before you were born." This is not the ringing endorsement of your position in this issue that you think it is. If I was in your jurisdiction during those years, I would be calling for an immediate review of each and every one of those cases. Especially if I was a defendant in any case you lost. Also, fuck your arrogant ageism. Also you didn't sleep with FEMALES, you slept with women.

There is a difference between being blameless and being an ally. You have proven that you're not the latter. You better hope you're as much of the former as you think. And if you survive this with any semblance of your career intact (or even if you don't), may I suggest that you spend some time with your ears and your heart open. Listen to the marginalized, with your mouth closed except when you ask questions, for a good long while. Women don't need men to champion their cause. They need men who will listen and understand and HELP, not lead.

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