November 28, 2017
If there is one thing that we have learned from the seemingly endless string of sexual assault scandals dominating the 24-hour news cycle, it’s the size and scope of the toxic masculinity and sexual objectification of women that permeates every level of our society, creating victims and victimizers from every walk of life.
The end result is more than half of our fellow Americans, over 130 million of our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and family, are diminished and relegated to a lower class of person; a class whose words, work, and bodies are simply valued less than others, for no reason other than their gender. That is why the fight for women’s rights is the fight for human rights.
During my time working with the international Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, I was tasked with understanding prevention methods used to reduce the demand for human trafficking. Ultimately, we realized the cure lies in addressing and solving the objectification of women and girls that led to their exploitation in the first place. Whether it was in Ecuador or the Philippines, I noticed time and again the benefits of education efforts for young men and boys. It included challenging notions of traditional masculinity while promoting an alternative vision of male sexuality based on gender equality.
We need to continue and expand actions such as these at all levels of government if we are to reach the ultimate goal of gender equality. That is why as Representative of CD-7, I will vote to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, become a House co-sponsor of the ME TOO Congress Act, Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act, and work to create a national, Pre-K-to-Collegiate education standard that teaches and reinforces the values of gender equality.
None of this happens, however, without the combined voices of millions of loving, like-minded citizens such as you rising up and making sure these values are the guiding light in our government. We’re sending a message to the political establishment that women’s rights are human rights, and that our government belongs to all of us. If you agree, share our message with family and friends, and encourage them to join the movement.