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LETTERS: Ending sexism ‘could be a life-or-death decision for us all’

Harvey Weinstein in 2015. | Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

Over the last two years, my perceptions of prejudice against women have been challenged by both public display and personal experience. First, there was the sexism used against Hillary Clinton in her presidential run, in stark contrast to rewarding Donald Trump’s egregious behavior with the presidency. Now our screens are filled with the latest news of Harvey Weinstein and others who used their positions as platforms for sexual assault.

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Let’s honor the strength of the countless women who endured these and similar abuses and resolve to speak out when we see it happening.

I battled end-stage liver disease for the last two years, culminating in a life-saving liver transplant this summer. My hepatologist, anesthesiologist and transplant surgeon shared one commonality: They were all women. And they saved my life. If any one of them had folded in the face of our pervasive societal misogyny, it might have meant the end of my life. Seen through this lens, it’s clear that standing up and ending sexism could be a life-or-death decision for us all.

Rob Humrickhouse, Near North Side

Steep price for Rauner’s vendetta vs. unions

On Thursday, the Illinois Legislature failed to override  Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill prohibiting municipalities from enacting “right-to-work” zones in their areas. Rauner declared it a “victory” for the people of Illinois. He argued that without these right- to-work zones, municipalities would be denied flexibility, leading to fewer jobs, slower economic growth and higher taxes.

The real issue though is when will Rauner and those like him tell the rest of the story? Right-to-work laws hamstring unions’ efforts to provide decent wages for workers. It allows companies to feed their greed by keeping wages low and their profits high.

Rauner and those like him keep repackaging this concept of trickle down economics and it has shown repeatedly that the only ones who profit from this system are the ones who own the businesses. Substandard wages only increase the tax burden on those with the least amount of money to pay them. Remember, this is the guy who initially advocated a reduction in the state minimum wage by a dollar.

I challenge Rauner to live on a weekly salary of $310, for a yearly gross income of $16,120 before taxes and deductions. This, advocated by a man who made $73 million last year. I beg you governor, go back to business and let the workers in Illinois have a decent chance to make a livable wage.

Daniel Pupo, Orland Park