Alexandra Petri’s pained comment in her Sept. 29 op-ed, “It is very difficult to get the train to stop,” was correct, but only partially so, in referring to Christine Blasey Ford as a woman “torn in the gears of a man’s progress.” The last word quoted should have been entitlement.

I was born and raised a child of privilege; I have seen privilege work to grant permission, spoken and not, to behaviors and attitudes that transfer privilege to entitlement. That transfer is nonstop; it becomes embedded in the psychic DNA. The male child then becomes entitled to receive pleasure at the expense of the female child’s pain. Examples are legion. Here’s one: Of course I’ll get into an Ivy; it’ll be a legacy admission.

So I see a man’s progress as a subset of a man’s entitlement, not separate. When one such man sees that entitlement threatened, he might act out with anger and belligerence because the entitlement he had enjoyed all his life and was expecting to last the rest of his life might not. Sadness all round.

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Alan Palmer Douglas, McLean

This is what I wish Brett M. Kavanaugh had been able to say at last week’s Senate Supreme Court confirmation hearing: “Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations are serious, and I am heartsick at the anguish she experienced. But I did not do what she described, and I welcome a full investigation to clear my name and assure the American public that I am worthy to serve them as a member of the Supreme Court.”

I also wish Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), President Trump and many others had reaffirmed the Senate’s right and obligation to ensure the integrity of their choice instead of expressing outrage. Thank goodness Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) took a stand; I look forward to the results of a thorough investigation.

Gillian Crane, Columbia

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