Letters for May 17, 2001

Blame is in the mirror

Re “Sex Objects No More” (RN&R Guest Comment, April 26):

It’s about time that Launie Gardner and other so-called exploited women stop passing the buck and always try to find others to blame. Take responsibility for your own actions—like any intelligent individual male or female should.

How about a commentary on why so many women and men will do anything for money? Greed is the simple reason people exploit themselves.

Mike Tucker
via e-mail

Humans are violent, sexual creatures

Re “Sex Objects No More” (RN&R Guest Comment, April 26):

The article by Ms. Gardner was a tired exercise in frustration. Sadly, but realistically, violence against women and violence between human beings will never be eradicated. Furthermore, sexual interactions and the accompanying sexual dealings, bartering, transgressions, et al between men and women ("Two entirely different species that just happen to be sexually compatible,” as actress Kathleen Turner said so aptly) will never be expurgated.

Why? Because those violent and sexual interactions are an intrinsic and absolute condition of human nature—all part of the human condition. They may, through education, certainly be altered, but they cannot be converted nor erased. A butterfly will never become an elephant; yin cannot become yang.

Another way to look at it is this: If it is true that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” then the only recourse to diminish the killings is to educate the people. OK, fine. Now, factor in human nature and the human condition, and just how long do you think that will take? Remember, we still have fools fighting, dying and killing to defend both the Nazi and Confederate flags and “all they stand for.”

Jefferson Crow

People are flesh first

Re “Sex Objects No More” (RN&R Guest Comment, April 26):

I don’t usually respond to opinion pieces, but this one made me angry. It’s a typical hysterical, overly emotional, academic, polarized reaction to a very complex subject.

Gardner starts by linking Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue with child molestation, suggesting this is the final outcome of males looking at pretty women in bikinis. I know of no link between the two. Looking at nude or half-nude women seems fairly natural to any healthy male; child molestation is another story.

The next mistake she makes is in the concept of exploitation. A little child cannot give consent to posing for pornographic photos. All women have the choice of being photographed—and being well-compensated—or refusing.

Physical aggression against women is not the result of pornography, but a combination of social issues, including alcohol and a culture unwilling to let men express their emotions any other way but through violence.

I am for all people being treated equally, but I jump off the boat when two things happen: when feminism equates male biology (looking at the female body) with immorality; when feminism wishes for all differences between the sexes to be sublimated, as if we are all just spirit and brains. We are, first and foremost, flesh. The most powerful female recognizes her power through her femininity, as well as her mind.

Ms. Gardner teaches government, an arena that is immoral in ways that pornography can never be, as it panders to power and greed at its worst. She should consider sticking to what she knows.

Dan Phillips
via e-mail

Bravo, Launie Gardner!

Re “Sex Objects No More” (RN&R Guest Comment, April 26):

Bravo, Launie Gardner! Your comments regarding porn, soft porn, porn lite, the commercial exploitation of the female body and the violence that ensue were well put and right on. You stepped out of the comfort zone of old, twisted beliefs, born of violent force, and told the glaring truth regarding our culture’s off-handed approach of pandering the female body, ignoring true feminine psyche and making excuses for that behavior, such as “this is natural” and “it makes money, so that makes it OK, and no harm done.” Launie’s comments were clear and thought-provoking.

I’m glad you are teaching in our community. You used introspective, analytical thinking to look again and re-learn an important truth. Thank you to Reno News & Review for having the courage to print her very thoughtful comments.

Diane Baleme
via e-mail

More letters on this topic next week.