Letters published August 31-September 6, 2000

Pinto's Safety Concerns 

Letters published August 31-September 6, 2000

Rear-ending an expert opinion: I enjoyed your article ["Feel Sorry for Men," August 17] very much and wanted to make a comment on just one part. Therapist Vince Pinto talks about female batterers and their responsiveness to court-ordered programs. He states that "their fists usually fly out of fear for their own safety rather than a deeply ingrained need for control."

I believe that this is not exactly how men and women differ when their fists fly. I think the statement is a little too broad or loose.

I believe Mr. Pinto would agree that, where control is concerned, men and women are equally amazing in their devices for establishing it. I would feel more comfortable with his statement if something were said about men's need to control their emotions. Also, fear for safety is absolutely at the base of all fists that fly.

Perhaps women progress faster in their court-ordered programs because they are less concerned with controlling their emotions. They are more welcoming to the opportunity to appropriately express their anger and sadness, their rage and grief. It would probably be more accurate to say that men have a deeply ingrained need for control of their emotions. Serious frustration or disappointment or hurt, which would make a woman cry, often makes a man lash out. They are conditioned to show anger, anger, anger as a cover for anything vulnerable.

As far as fear is concerned, breaking down, for a man, is extremely unsafe. His fists fly to avoid his "weakness." He is conditioned to do anything but succumb to sadness or pain or hurt. Loss of emotional control is to be avoided, even if you smash your partner's face in to do it. Women lash out for fear of a more physical kind of safety, but both are responding to intense fear.

I also wondered about the statement "As a group, women still meet almost every standard of oppression" by Mr. C. River Smith. What standards? I believe men are just as oppressed as women. Everyone is oppressed. I just don't like to think men have more power than I do. Overall, I just don't believe it, no matter how much less I get paid. Oppression is not so clear-cut.

Jenna Klopovic
Shaker Heights

A juxtaposeur takes aim at Yannopoulos: It's quite interesting that a review concerning an art show featuring 115 works by 35 artists can burn through two-thirds of the review griping about the way it's hung ["A Mixed-Up Bag," August 17]. By your description, I'd pictured art stacked on top of each other like a checkerboard. Imagine my surprise when the art was stretched across five rooms.

I've seen the show, "juxtaposed" with your "review" in my right hand, comparing your wordy, dictionary/thesaurus-assisted descriptions to the work in front of me. Given that the majority of the works you did review were in the first of five rooms, I had to ask if you saw the rest of the show. My advice is for anyone reading your "review" to actually see the exhibit. However, the "juxtaposing" of another person near the piece you're looking at may not please our esteemed reviewer. This may be because our reviewer doesn't have art on his walls, because he can't fathom "juxtaposing" a Loderstedt "photo" with a lamp and a set of venetian blinds. Group modern art exhibits must scare the shit out of Yannopoulos. Does Lichtenstein belong next to Franz Kline?

What little work you did overdescribe were larger pieces, leading me to believe you may consider smaller works ineffective and inconsequential. Granted, there's a difference in everyone's taste: You seem to lean toward "deep" abstract art, and I prefer art that shows talent and substance (I particularly loathe the "juxtaposition" of a so-called work of art with an "Untitled" tag), but surely there's an easier way to describe slopping paint around . . . like not at all.

With this sentence, I have managed to use "juxtapose" as many times as you, with hopefully less squandered space. (Although "conceptual" was used equally, this isn't a concept piece.) By the way, your review is "juxtaposed" next to unrelated ads and more text, between pages 24 and 26.

Sheridan
Cleveland

Cleveland's not so bad after all: Was Mike via the Internet joking when he referred to Scene being behind the times five years [ Letters, August 3]? I've only been here for about a year, having moved from New Orleans. Go there and find out what it really means to be behind the times!

I enjoy "the scene," but as someone relatively new to the city, I am puzzled as to why Mayor Michael White seems to be perceived as so progressive on one hand and then on the other makes a point of not getting along with the police and the city council. What's that all about?

No one who has lived in Cleveland all their lives can appreciate how wonderful Cleveland is, and I find your publication more representative of the spirit of the city than, say, The (very) Plain Dealer. Now that's a paper to criticize! Keep up the great work.

David Wolf
Cleveland

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