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Opinion

Opinion: Men who make sexually charged remarks to teenage girls are molesters

March Supporting Sexual Assault Victims Held In Los Angeles
A woman participates with her infant daughter in the MeToo Survivors’ March in Los Angeles on Nov. 12, 2017.
(David McNew / Getty Images)

To the editor: In her Jan. 7 op-ed article, “If we can stop any aspect of sexual harassment, let’s let it be the age at which it starts,” Maggie O’Farrell describes a group of men making inappropriate comments to a 13-year-old on a London Underground train.

This is not sex harassment; it is child molestation.

Just because these men did not physically touch her does not mean they did not get sexual pleasure from her reactions. They molested her and deserve the kind of scorn and disgust given to other child molesters.

Let’s call it what it is.

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Toni Sandell, Riverside

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To the editor: The average age of the onset of puberty (in both boys and girls) has decreased in relatively recent history, even during my lifetime. Thus, I fear that O’Farrell’s wish for men’s boorish behavior toward girls not to occur at such a young age will never be realized.

Sadly, O’Farrell’s report of two adult men bothering a girl who was with her mother illustrates the crassness and callousness of the men’s behavior.

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But as long as some females are willing to use their physical characteristics for professional advancement or personal gain, and as long as industries exist to exploit this for profit, there will be all-too-willing males who, regardless of how they were raised, will think it’s OK to objectify women.

Ronel Kelmen Wright, El Segundo

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To the editor: There is no doubt that sexual harassment is not uncommon. However, I fear that the growing movement against it is morphing into a sort of hysteria.

O’Farrell considers herself permanently traumatized because at age 12, two men turned around and grinned at her while she was standing in line for croissants in France. Although their remark, “deux petits citrons,” made while they glanced at her chest, was inappropriate, how can one so traumatized by this cope with far worse situations later in life?

The likes of Harvey Weinstein should be held accountable for their actions, but this indiscriminate witch-hunting needs to stop now.

John T. Chiu, Newport Beach

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