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Dick Weighs In 

Letters published August 24-August 30

A penis owner's challenge to challenging sexism: I read this story ["Feel Sorry for Men," August 17] with great interest, because it just isn't the kind of thing you see that often in popular media.

Unfortunately, it seems like no matter from which direction someone writes about such a topic, it usually gets back to experts making broad, stereotypical statements about (fill in gender, race, religion of your choice). C. River Smith stepped up to the plate this time, with a fine volley of "How many women are CEOs of corporations?" and "except for the exceptions, men are in control of all the major areas of life," and asks us to "make a commitment to challenge our sexism."

Well, what if there doesn't happen to be any there? There are plenty of us men and women -- why don't we just stop this and say "people"? -- who have never ascribed to any mind-set based on particular human composition. Is this so bizarre? Maybe enough so that the typical response is smug and highbrow. It usually involves mentioning that we can't "see ourselves," because we are repressed and frustrated. Well, that could well be true for some people, applied to race, religion, gender, or anything else available in the palette of human diversity, but it's not for me, and I'm sick of being told I have no control of my own thoughts.

Men have dominated, over time, in many respects. At first, this was based on physical prowess. We as a species have steadily changed that through evolving, through technology, through spirituality. Is it so outrageous to assume the existence of modern people who don't practice bigotry? Hmm? Hello?

Academia runs the risk of propagating a violent backlash in this area. It requires a great level of acuity and care to approach things in the area of women's studies that don't end up practicing the very thing they disdain. The tacit assumption often results in someone like me becoming an enemy by default, by the sheer incidence of owning a penis. Is that what we really want? Isn't it more of the same?

As soon as we drop all of the lines, the better everyone will be. If you check the great ones in history, that's what they're talking about.

Richard Engle
via the Internet

Take it like a man. A white man: How sad to read another degradation of the last undefended minority in the age of being "politically correct." Such caricatures would never be tolerated by other minority groups.

Your paper has previously railed against the use of Chief Wahoo. Perhaps Scene could use its talents better by helping instead of hurting. Why not rid us of Hillbilly Juice?

Mark Kohoot
Amsterdam

Editor's note: An April 1999 story in Scene did not "rail" against Chief Wahoo, but chronicled the annual collision of Indians fans and anti-Wahoo protesters at Jacobs Field. Our hearts do not bleed for political causes. However, our hearts do bleed Hillbilly Juice.

Thanks to all who entered our Korn backstage contest. No hard feelings, right? Let's see: I had a brain tumor in late 1998. I have never gone on a date in my 26-year life. A girl who led me to believe that I had my first date ever told me that she was getting back together with her old boyfriend.

What a deprived life I have led to this point, and Scene does what to me? You guys straight-up fuck me over, just like many others have. It's my time! Thanks for nothing!

Daniel Fargo
via the Internet

AC/DC taunt jolts a sensitive reader: I rarely pick up your publication and may do so less after seeing your sarcastic heading to the fan defending AC/DC (of which, I must admit, I am not a fan). [ Letters, August 17]. Can't take a little criticism? You clearly state in your "Letters Policy" that "we reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity," yet rather than edit the letter yourself, you say "Thanks for writing, but next time use the spell-check." The letter writer was not knocking the reporter's command of the English language. The author of the letter was accusing the reporter of poor research and of being a lousy critic.

Having worked for lawyers for years, I can verify that many of them can't spell or punctuate, yet that does not affect their ability to reason. Instead of reacting like a child being scolded, perhaps your author should have rebutted the accusations, rather than have you try to denigrate the letter writer by picking on his grammar.

Fran Rosen
Mayfield Heights

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