LETTER TO THE EDITOR:  I won’t stop fighting for women’s equality until it finally exists


Genevieve Guenther

Stewart B. Epstein, U.S. Congressional Candidate

To The Op-Ed Editor:

As a 2020 candidate for the US Congress, I have been asked what my views are on “Women’s Issues.” You might want to consider this to be a “Position Paper” as well as an -Ed-Article.

I don’t think that there is a man in this country who has been more “on the side” of women than Stewart B. Epstein. I have believed that women should be totally equal with men in every conceivable way since I was 3 years old. I will never stop fighting for women’s total equality until it finally exists.

I am proud of the fact that I was the first male Ph.D. Sociology student in all of Canada to take and pass the Ph.D. Comprehensive Area Specialization examination in “Women’s Studies” in the 1970s. The examination committee did not want me to take the exam because I am a man. I took it anyway. I was required to submit over 200 double-spaced typed pages of answers to questions. All of the other students who ever took it (all women) were required to submit only 40 pages. Every other student who passed was treated to an expensive dinner at a nice restaurant. I was not. I went home and had a frozen dinner and cried. It is not one of my fonder memories. However, I am still qualified and certified to teach college classes in “Women’s Studies.”

Something that I would want to do if I was a Congressman would be to see if it would be possible to require by law that women receive equal pay for equal work. This is something that I presently lack a lot of knowledge about, but I have all of 2019 to do research on it and to become knowledgeable about this particular issue.

I am very passionate about the issue of “Sexual Harassment.” I myself was sexually harassed by a female college professor when I was 25 years old, and I can relate to and identify with my fellow victims and survivors (mostly women, as we all know). I felt the same kind of shame, embarrassment, and self-blame that most of them typically feel. I want to tell them that this was NONE of their fault. They did NOTHING to bring this about. I’d like to see stronger punishments for it as a way to try to discourage it. I am also fully aware of the reality that men hurt women more than women hurt men in our society, and that, overall, women in our society have more empathy and compassion for others than men do.

All of this having been said, I am concerned and bothered by something that Fox News’s Tucker Carlson says in his recent book. He claims that, overall, women in our country have come to dislike men more than they did 10, 20, 30, and 40 years ago. While I totally disagree with his conservative views when it comes to the federal government helping people, I have to admit that I have noticed this growing dislike of men by women. I have noticed it in my life in the world of politics. I have noticed a growth of what I call “male-bashing” in our country. While I understand it, I think that it has gone too far, and I personally resent it and do not deserve to have to hear this kind of talk.
Many other men also do not deserve to have to constantly hear it. My wife and sisters-in-law keep telling me that I keep hearing the same statement from women over and over and over because most women can tell that I am “on their side.”

But it has come to the point where if I have to listen to one more woman tell me that she has “major trust-issues with men”, then I am going to run out of the room screaming at the top of my lungs.

Women need to understand that there are some men who have a right to say that they “have major trust-issues with women.” Let me use myself as an example: I was sexually harassed by a woman, not by a man. The first woman who I was engaged to in 1969 was a perfect match for me. We never said an unkind word to each other. Unfortunately, my fiancee was taken away from me forever when her mother forced an end to our engagement against both of our wishes. I was not allowed to have any contact with her. She passed away a long time ago.

My second fiancee constantly cheated on me. At the end of our final argument, she punched me in my face and broke my nose. It was surgically repaired 20 years later. My third fiancee left me for a “bad-boy” and never let me say good-bye to her. Three months later she phoned me and was crying and sobbing hysterically because her new husband had just beaten her up for about the tenth time and had just murdered her new puppy by throwing it against the wall over and over. What did I do? Being who and what I am as a human being, I stayed on the phone with her for two hours and tried to console her and comfort her. My fourth fiancee has been my darling wife since 1983. Yet, to be honest, I feel that I have to “take ownership” for some of this because I made two bad choices.

I picked them.

So, there you have it. So, overall, how do I feel about “Women Issues”?

I would be willing to die for them.

Have a good week.

Best wishes,

Stewart B. Epstein
2266 Westside Drive
Rochester, New York 14624
[email protected]

P.S. I am a retired college professor of Sociology and Social Work. I am very proud to have taught at West Virginia University, Slippery Rock University, and SUNY Brockport. I recently announced my candidacy to run for the US Congress in 2020. I will be running against the incumbent Congressman Chris Collins here in western New York.