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Temptresses Beware 

Letters published September 11, 2002

Mob behavior takes the fun out of flaunting sexuality:

I read Sarah Fenske's article on Put-in-Bay ["Fantasy Island," August 14]; you covered it well. You pointed out that the women tease, rub, grab, and flash their boobs at these frat boys who hunt in packs, until things turn serious, and then they run back to their girlfriends for protection. I wonder how these girls will feel when they witness an out-of-control, drunk, and aggressive mob force one of their own onto the ground while a sexual assault takes place.

For centuries, it has been suggested that women who are victims of sexual assault and/or rape caused their own attacks. The provocative temptress enticed the poor man by what she was wearing or how she was dancing or what she was saying.

But in the last 20 years or so, a front has been heard crying loudly that a woman should not be held responsible, that her dress, actions, and reputation should not come into play. However, there are plenty of women out there who do ask for it. Quite often they even demand it. Women are more aggressive than ever, probably because they feel that they have been sexually liberated and have been delivered from virginal expectations. And rightly so; we have all been released.

At first the ball is in their court (or so they think). They get dressed up in their finest boy-toy clothes and walk out the door with their girl-power attitudes. On their way to the Flats, they think they are large and in charge. After all, it has been said, there is power in the pussy.

Forget about depending on the cops for protection. If Put-in-Bay cops are true to form, they probably enjoy the "let's pretend we're lesbians" antics of drunken sorority sisters. An ethnic festival in Central Park a few years ago spun out of control when groups of men began spraying women with water and attempting to take off their clothes. They stripped one woman completely naked. The incident left onlookers shocked, and the video that played on television brought home the potential snowball effect of mob mentality.

A similar thing happened in Cleveland recently, when a group of guys began rocking the car of a very young beauty contestant. Maybe those guys had just returned from a weekend at Put-in-Bay. Wake up and stop acting like fools, girls. Better leave those boobs in their holsters, or someday you may have to learn the hard way. It's always the one on top who will ultimately have all the power.

Susan Fenske
Lakewood

Editor's note: The writer is no relation to Scene staff writer Sarah Fenske.

Improving neighboring hoods will improve the neighborhood:

I'm writing in response to Laura Putre's column, "Split Decision" [August 21], on Chris Diehl's awkward situation of protesting a lakefront development on the West Side while he's also the lead architect in a controversial lakefront development at Beulah Park.

I have lived in Beulah Park for 15 years. Many of us are not totally against development, while a few would like to figure out a way to buy our empty field for community green space. But we all want a design that is done right, and we want to be included in the discussion. While many of us think Diehl's modern-looking three-story homes with two-car garages are oversized and out of place, we do not hold anything against him personally.

Putre's story implies that I feel that, if the developers build on all of the empty field, we have a recipe for disaster. Beulah Park is far from a slum; many creative rehabs are now reselling for $200,000. We have a much bigger problem in North Collinwood, with slumlords, crack sales, and prostitution only a few blocks from Beulah Park. Whoever buys property in Beulah Park has to drive through that. So it would be good to make sure all the homes that might be built have a shot at being purchased, and that the design gives further incentive to enterprising pioneers to buy other Beulah properties.

Cindy Barber
Cleveland

Raw Diehl:

Your article about Christopher Diehl was so disingenuous. Either you chose not to verify your information, or you knew your facts were skewed and chose to print them anyway. Cindy Barber, a vocal opponent of the development, is quoted four times in your article. Even the most mediocre journalist knows that it takes more than the word of a friend and former employer to make something a fact. You made three false statements:

One: "Last spring . . . Beulah residents got word of their fate from an article in the Sun Scoop Journal." In August 2001, Mike McBride met with residents, to get their input on his plans to develop the field. He presented a rendering by Christopher Diehl. Two: "Groundbreaking for the construction was imminent." No groundbreaking date has ever been set. Three: "Barber and other irked neighbors managed to get the groundbreaking delayed." You can't delay something that does not exist. As if that weren't enough, you chose to impugn, with your sloppy journalism, the reputation of a fine man and talented architect, Christopher Diehl.

Nancy Scarcella
Cleveland

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