Letter: People have right not to patronize local business

Published 8:29 pm Thursday, September 27, 2018

In response to Brad Kramer’s letter in the Tribune last week, the Facebook posts he referenced aren’t a matter of mere disagreement over political issues. They’re about ridiculing people who make sexual assault allegations.

And let’s be frank, I saw people who are taking Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser’s allegations seriously do the exact opposite when women came forward with allegations of sexual impropriety against Sen. Franken. That was anti-woman, too.

Regardless of any party affiliation of the accuser or the accused, sexual assault allegations should be taken seriously. Sexual assault is life-altering.

The business in question posted two memes on its Facebook page related to Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations. One says, “I don’t always accuse SCOTUS nominees of sexual assault, but when I do, I make sure it’s an unprovable allegation from ‘the early 80s.’” The other reads, “Do most women wait 40 years to claim someone tried to rape them? Or is that only liberal women?”

I don’t know about contracts with the city as Kramer noted, but I do know this business takes photos for youth sports at the Family Y, and I have ordered pictures of my son from them several times as part of these programs.

If you have a strong stomach, search “#whyididntreport” on Twitter. You will see thousands of people of all ages, men and women, sharing their stories and bearing their hearts.

I can relate all too well because I was sexually assaulted 35 years ago. Can these business owners picture the emotionally broken, humiliated and silent 7-year-old girl I once was? Can they imagine a terrified 15-year-old girl trying to escape being locked in a bedroom with two drunken football players?

If they want to maintain open and unapologetic contempt for a woman whom I can deeply empathize with, that’s their right, but I’m surely not obliged to patronize their business any longer. That’s my right.

Jennifer Vogt-Erickson

Albert Lea