Letters to the Editor

Freeland shootings: Men must end code of silence

Many in our community have expressed shock and outrage over the murder of Freeland residents, Holly Swartz and her mother, Marjorie Monnett. I too feel a sense of outrage and deep sadness that once again a man has murdered because a woman did something to protect her chid and herself.

I have read too many accounts of the madness that entitles some men to murder and sexually assault women and children. Some people may discount or minimize what occurred by saying he flipped out, or attribute it to the culture in which he was raised. These acts are committed by men who are aware of what they are doing. They come from all social classes and ethnic backgrounds. Our culture supports and encourages violence against women.

Boys learn it at home, school and from the media. Watch TV for 15 minutes or go to a movie. What you will probably see is ads and messages exploiting and demeaning women and flagrantly depicting men’s violence against women as “cool.”

Most men, if asked, would state strongly how violence and sexual assault against women and children is wrong and should not be tolerated. But it’s a rare man who would challenge another man. There is a code of silence that men adhere to when it comes to confronting another man. There are a number of reasons why this code exists. I ask men reading this letter if they have known of a situation where there was some kind of abuse perpetrated by a man against a woman or child and if they did something about it. I encourage you to think about this.

This is not a woman’s issue; it is a men’s issue.

Jerome Rosen

Whidbey Island Men

4 Non Violence

Oak Harbor

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