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Edward D. Reuss
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In Massachusetts, the Kennedys publicly have been supportive of women's issues and in return for that public support they have received the almost unwavering support of women in elections. Woman in Massashusetts more than any other voting block in the state have made the Kennedys almost invincible in the state's politics. But the private lives of the Kennedy men reveal that they have not "manifested in their private lives the respect for women implicit in their public positions." Joseph P. Kennedy, the patriarch of the family carried on numerous affairs and all but public affairs with movie stars. This vision of a woman as nothing more than a sexual object was evidently passed down to his children. It is now generally accepted that both President Kennedy and his brother Robert carried on affairs even while in the White House. The Kennedy presidency was labeled the "Camelot presidency", and suitably so because just as in the original Camelot the Kennedys believed that they belonged to a privileged class and were not bound to the morality they preached to others.  I have difficulty understanding how women in Massachusetts and elsewhere in this nation continue to vote into office men who in their private behavior demonstrate so little respect for women.  I believe that it is time for us to demand that our publicly elected officials abide by the same moral beliefs that they preach when they run for office.
Lesley Stahl, a co-host of the television show "60 Minutes", believes that "the police, for the most part, are sympathetic, and encourage a woman who is battered to call them any time she's been hit or even threatened".  In that regard, things are getting better.  Is it better where you work?  Has anyone at your job ever talked about domestic violence? Do any of your employers have any policies or procedures concerning domestic violence?  Has Leslie Stahl been given any information about what she should do if she should have a problem with domestic violence by the producers of "60 Minutes"? I suspect that "no" is the answer to most of these questions.

Richard L. Davis,  "Domestic Violence: Facts and Fallacies", Chapter 6, pp. 70-71. Copyright © 1998 Richard L. Davis. All rights reserved. Excerpt reprinted by permission of Praeger Publishers, 88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881


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