I was quite disturbed by Susannah Heschel’s letter to the editor (Nov. 17) regarding Erica Brown’s column on sexual harassment (“A Teaching Moment on Sexual Responsibility,” Oct. 17).
Brown in no way suggested, as Heschel claimed, that women keep harassment confidential. She wrote explicitly of the importance of women coming forward. #MeToo campaigns create momentum, but what shifts cultural norms are the important conversations that take place in schools and families on how girls and women are treated. That was her point and it was an important one.
For years Brown has been at the forefront of what until now has been a frowned upon conversation. She herself came forward in The Jewish Week years ago to help put an abuser behind bars, long before it became fashionable. She has written extensively on the subject, written an entire book on scandal in the Jewish community and traveled across North America to discuss ethics in the wake of scandal. She has consistently and ardently spoken out bravely when others have kept quiet. Perhaps Heschel should have read the piece more closely and understood who the author is and what she stands for before pressing the send button.