Letters for May 24, 2001

Gardner needs to get a life

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

I read Ms. Gardner’s mindless perceptions of the female gender. I’ve read similar tripe over the last 30 years.

All I have to say to Ms. Gardner is: Get over it, and get a life! I am not considering all the socio-cultural claptrap that goes with women’s bodies. Some publications go beyond exotic and are simply porn garbage.

However, men like to look at women like Ms. Gardner. It’s been going on for about 30,000 years.

David Conway

Women control their own bodies

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

Ms. Gardner, your attitude is the very one that perpetuates violence against and the exploitation of women. The very idea that commerce of a sexual nature objectifies women is the attitude that condones violence against women.

We all sell bits and pieces of our bodies every day. It’s known as working for a living. No one suggests that the fine men and women who clean toilets or work with sewage are exploited, although they work with fecal matter in exchange for money.

The people who commit violence against women often believe that the women deserve the abuse because of their “bad” behavior. You seem to share this idea. You deny that women are in control of their own bodies. You deny us our sexual power.

Your extrapolation that being called a wuss for buying soft porn would mean that it is super macho to buy kiddie porn is the product of a sick mind. You suggest that sex with children is only one step further than Hustler. It’s not.

Perhaps the men and women who work in the legal sex industry are hardworking, worthy individuals who pay taxes that go toward your paycheck. Maybe they like their jobs.

If you won’t give them the respect that they deserve, who will?

Norma Rose
via e-mail

Child porn analogy went too far

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

I don’t exactly know why Ms. Gardner brought up the “guy who molested the children at a local day care center” in connection with females being treated as sex objects. People should keep their mouths shut about criminal cases about which they have no knowledge.

The women in this society that get “exploited” seek such exploitation by profession (models, actresses, prostitutes, beauty contestants, etc.). Sexual exploitation of men happens as well in those professions. However, it doesn’t seem to even be a subject of discussion, much less criticism.

I suspect that Ms. Gardner is confusing the meaning of “abuse” and “exploitation.” Exploitation of both sexes is a multi-million dollar industry that is global and ubiquitous. Being sexually exploited is a self-imposed condition, either for psychological fulfillment, monetary gain or both.

If you watch the annual Academy Awards on television, you would be hard pressed to arrive at any other conclusion than that the risqué outfits some of those people wear is expressly for the purpose of being exploited. Mea Culpa!

Bruce LeFebvre

McNamara is a brilliant artist

Re “The World in Squares” (RN&R Art of the State, April 26):

Riding shotgun with Walter McNamara, meandering through the curves toward Virginia City in a limo of the ‘60s (a VW Bus), I had no idea at the time that I sat beside an artist who is so blessed.

Not only is Walter exceptionally blessed with an enormous amount of artistic talent, but he is widely admired for it within his lifetime.

I may have some insight into “The Races Started Enjoyable—Ended Badly.” My mother was married to Walter in the heyday of the Camel Races and the Red Dog Saloon. She later died of lung cancer due to smoking. I believe that on some level, this piece of artwork portrays the message that we all have to live with the consequences of our choices.

What is particularly impressive about the life of an artist is that while we all have sorrow and heartbreak in our lives, the artist is able to transform those feelings into something beautiful. This collage, for Walter, is a rare accomplishment and a gift for us all.

Angela Broughton
via e-mail