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Opinion: Men, where are you?

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How hard is it for men to stand up for women’s rights?

Why is it that, throughout this spectacle of a confirmation process for Justice Kavanaugh, the most strident voices we’ve heard in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford have been from women? I’ve seen more men speak up about due process for Kavanaugh than for justice for the women he allegedly assaulted.

It’s a tragic day for our country when we can’t all agree that sexual misconduct is a grave matter that should always be fully investigated—even at the expense of delaying a Supreme Court confirmation. In fact, especially at the expense of delaying a Supreme Court confirmation. This is a lifetime appointment! I am appalled that so many men in the U.S. Senate are intent on rushing it through so carelessly.

It’s true that I am running for political office in the CT State Assembly. And I am proud of my endorsement from Planned Parenthood Votes! CT. But this is not a political issue. This is not even a gender issue. Women’s rights are a question of human rights, and vice versa. These issues affect us all. And until we can come together and speak up for what’s right, regardless of party or gender, then I am afraid we risk backsliding on the little progress we’ve already made when it comes to civil equality.

I believe women. Do you?

 

Colin Hosten

The writer is a candidate for State Representative in the 140th district, running on the Working Families Party line.

22 comments

Sue Haynie September 30, 2018 at 6:00 am

“Women’s rights are a question of human rights, and vice versa.” One should also add ‘Men’s rights are a question of human rights, and vice versa.’

The need for ‘due process’ rights is not an excuse, it’s an expectation of our system of government.

Mike Lyons September 30, 2018 at 10:08 am

On the money, Sue. Allegations of sexual misconduct should be investigated. But they should be investigated through due process with the assumption of innocence for the accused.

I believe women, too – generally. I believe men, also – generally. But both women and men sometimes lie, and sometimes egregiously. I suggest to Colin that he read “What We Think, What We Know and What We Think We Know about False Convictions”, by Samuel R. Gross, Prof. of Law at Michigan University (2017). This is a study of the hundreds of exonerations of men convicted of rape, jailed, and then released when DNA evidence proved indisputably that they could not have committed the rapes they were accused of (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2921678).

Of the 259 overturned convictions in the study, 70% involved women who swore under oath that the man had raped them, but mis-identified him. The current shibboleth that a woman who was raped ‘couldn’t possibly be wrong about who raped her’ is totally refuted by that fact. Chillingly, in 38% of the cases, the misidentification involved perjury or false allegation – the woman made the charge knowing it was false. Women sometimes lie.

So rather than adopt a medieval standard of proof (accused = guilty), I suggest that we keep to the imperfect (but vastly superior) evolved system we have now, maintain the presumption of innocence, and require more proof than mere accusation before someone is “believed” (and someone else destroyed – whether by losing a Supreme Court seat, or spending a decade in jail for a crime he didn’t commit).

Peter Torrano September 30, 2018 at 10:36 am

Mr Hosten

Just doing as told to do by your Democrat Senator from Hawaii. As a male, white and over 60, therefore irrelevant in today’s America, I am “shutting up”. I am, after all, the cause of all evil according to your side of the aisle. Today is Sunday, so not sure if this is my day to be a homophobe, misogynist, racist, anti environmentalist, or any other “ist” that is politically convenient to whatever your issue du jour may be. I’ll leave it to you and your open-minded, understanding, sympathetic and non-violent friends to call me what you will. Oh, except when it comes to Keith Ellison, Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, etc, etc. They are clearly exempt from this discussion.

Frank W September 30, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Excuse me, but wasn’t it Diane Feinstein, a woman, who withheld inform for 6 weeks which created this embarrassment? Shame on her for this political stunt. BYW…I’m man an I am here.

Rick September 30, 2018 at 12:11 pm

We are right here Colin protecting the elderly, woman, children, and men from environmental issues and polluters in South Norwalk the past few years maybe thats why you had to ask where we are.

Im not calling out for any action until the facts are in , this seems like something out of a Duff playbook. Asking where we are using a very serious matter to grandstand. I dont disagree we need to be concerned or outraged over the any deception by anyone who flaunts the law and wants to decide law.

Where your seeking office and green house gas must be another issue your concerned about and God knows we have seaweed at our fingertips maybe a suggestion in what to soapbox for constructively while we wait for the FBI and senate to do their work.

Patrick Whittle, Associated Press Updated 11:06 am EDT, Sunday, September 30, 2018 wrote this morning on a subject that seems to coincide with Norwalks politics as we know it.

The smelly reality is that cows will always pass gas. But if farmers had more access to seaweed, cow flatulence might just stink a little less for the planet.

That’s the thesis of a New England-based aquaculture company which is launching a drive to become the worldwide leader in an emerging effort to thwart climate change by feeding seaweed to cows.

The concept of reducing livestock emissions by using seaweed as feed is the subject of ongoing scientific research, and early results are promising. University of California researchers have found that cows that eat seaweed appear to emit less methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, when they belch and pass gas.

But one of the big challenges to implementing the seaweed solution is getting enough of the stuff to farmers, and the kind of seaweed that has shown results in cows isn’t commercially farmed.

Enter Australis Aquaculture of Greenfield, Massachusetts, which is in the midst of research at facilities in Vietnam and Portugal that is part of its push to become the first farm to produce the seaweed at commercial scale. The company calls the effort “Greener Grazing” and it expects to be operating at commercial scale in two years, said Josh Goldman, the company’s chief executive officer.

This could be a money maker for Norwalk for the state with over a 100 miles of coast. You dont have to thank me for offering this up by the looks of it we need new ideas the state is broke.

Take nothing away from Women’s rights lets all do the right thing and get along as we travel the same road.

Im not sure where Planned Parenthood would sit on this but not to speculate I’d figure that would be for saving the environment.

Thank you for running for office but by the way the things are, standing behind anyone including cows are out for me until I can weigh in and make sure my voice counts based on fact not some call to justice before the gate is closed prematurely.

Nor Res September 30, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Please tell us about the case here in CT with the girl Falsely Accused several guys of rape. What about those guys ???????

Buji September 30, 2018 at 5:45 pm

Mr Hosten-
As a prospective constituent can you tell me if you are 100% certain that the allegations are true and what do you know that perhaps the FBI doesn’t know (yet)? Sincere question. Thank you for your time

Tysen Canevari September 30, 2018 at 7:01 pm

I am for everyone’s rights. BTW i think Hillary Clinton pinched me in 1982 Dont you all remember this? Can i sue. Sometimes it is a joke

Alan September 30, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Mr. Hosten –
Since you’ve jumped up on this free political soapbox, what are your plans to assure the human rights of men, women and others in your district?

Peter Torrano October 2, 2018 at 8:43 am

Ok, so now we must believe Julie Swetnick. That is, if you follow the logic of some who have posted here. Why? Because she is a woman. She originally claimed in a sworn statement that she had been gang raped and that one of those involved, whether in the actual rape or by drugging unwitting young ladies, is Brett Kavanaugh. The left is demanding a full investigation. After all, we know she wouldn’t lie about a sexual assault perpetrated on her.

But then she backs off on her allegations during an NBC interview. The New York Times refused to run the story because they could not confirm any of her allegations, or find any of her listed witnesses who backed her fantastical story, She, herself, has been accused of sexually explicit and unwanted comments to male coworkers, lied about her college career, threatened to do harm to her ex boyfriend and his wife, and more troubling, if possible, threatened harm to his unborn child. But, we MUST believe her! After all, she is a woman who was raped (at parties she attended at least ten times by her own admission). And we must believe it was Kavanaugh who raped her or facilitated the rape(s). She is a woman and would never lie.

Marija Bryant October 2, 2018 at 9:34 am

The factors mentioned for false convictions (re Mike Lyons ref article) can also be applied to false exoneration – which is a possibility in Ford/ Kavanaugh case. Interesting, re the racial aspect of the data. Should we conjecture on the process if Anita Hill had been white? Or Kavanaugh black? Just some things to think about as the FBI does it’s job (I hope).

According to the artcle cited by Mr. Lyons:

” We know that several types of false or misleading evidence contribute to many erroneous convictions (eyewitness misidentifications, false confessions, bad forensic science, perjury and other lies), as does misbehavior by those who process criminal cases: misconduct by police and prosecutors; incompetence and laziness by defense attorneys…. It’s clear, however, from the relative prevalence of these factors that the process differs radically from one type of crime to another… And our data clearly show that innocent African Americans are much more likely to be wrongfully convicted of crimes than innocent whites, in part because of higher criminal participation in the African American community and in part because of discrimination.”

Mike Lyons October 2, 2018 at 10:34 am

False exoneration is definitely possible, since the criminal justice system is supposed to be biased in favor of defendants. Sir William Blackstone expressed this philosophy of criminal law back in 1765 – “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.” As I noted (and as the article I cited shows), the system is far from perfect. But it still beats the medieval “accused = guilty” system one found, for instance, in Salem, MA.

TQ October 2, 2018 at 12:42 pm

@Mike Lyons

Let’s say someone applies for a finance position with Norwalk Public Schools which will include responsibility for petty cash and wire transfers. He has the strongest resume, but he has been accused of embezzlement on three separate occasions by three different people. At least one of the allegations is credible, but there was never an arrest or conviction.

Is it your position that the accusations must be viewed as non-existent and he must be hired, since there was never an arrest or conviction?

Is it your position that his life will be ruined if he does not get the job because of the allegations?

Mike Lyons October 2, 2018 at 1:25 pm

It all depends on what “credible”. means. If “credible” is what Dr. Ford’s testimony is (full of gaps, self-contradictory, uncorroborated by even a single witness, with no documentary or forensic evidence supporting the allegations at all?). That would definitely NOT stop us from hiring a person. Forgive me for being a lawyer, but 100 witnesses giving uncorroborated testimony doesn’t beat one contradictory hard fact like a document, or a DNA sample. If it did, every lynching in the old South would be justified.

By contrast, in your example, if multiple witnesses corroborated the same conduct, stories were consistent and detailed (it is an accepted guide for investigators that highly detailed memories have much greater likelihood of being true than vague ones), paperwork existed showing missing funds on his watch, police reports indicated the presence of evidence (but perhaps not enough to establish probable cause), maybe an auditor’s report indicated unexplained missing funds – in THAT case you’d probably be justified in turning him down for the job.

To me (and I investigate allegations of wrong-doing on a regular basis for my company), the key is to be guided by facts. And testimony is the least reliable kind of fact we have to go on. There is a reason that all the focus in modern criminal investigations is on forensics – because investigators have come to realize just how unreliable memory and testimony (even from those not consciously lying) can be.

As for whether the person is ‘ruined by not getting the job”, that misses the point. The ruining comes from the PUBLIC attacks on someone, not from not getting the job. My company would never make such allegations public. Unlike U.S. Senators.

Mike Lyons October 2, 2018 at 4:17 pm

This is worth watching (even though its long – about 6 1/2 minutes). It’s then-Senate Judiciary Chairman (and later Vice President) Joe Biden, explaining how thoroughly people misunderstand FBI checks (they don’t reach conclusions, they just present evidence to the Committee for its consideration), and how the presumption of innocence should go to the accused – even in a Senate hearing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fa1nTDqCSw

Buji October 3, 2018 at 7:27 pm

Colin, where are YOU? If this is any indication of the way you operate your political aspirations don’t project confidence.

Curious Voter October 6, 2018 at 4:15 pm

I would be more confident if the trump administration hadn’t chosen who the FBI interviewed. We won’t know for sure until the majority in Congress changes. What if things are corroborated with a real detailed investigation?
Everyone on board with impeaching him?

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