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More 'Brutal Frankness'

March 21, 1986

I am a 45-year-old, attractive, intellectual, happily married woman. I do not disagree with the sentiments of the "brutally frank" older man (whose anonymous letter) Howard Halpern quoted.

In the past 10 years I have witnessed the breakup of many marriages. Of the subsequently divorced women, only one has remarried, and one other has a serious, stable relationship with a man her age. It could have been predicted which women these are. Both are softly feminine, considerate of others' feelings and very giving of love and affection. That makes both of them extremely attractive to men, who seem above all to need a supportive and stimulating partner in their older age.

I am not surprised by your writer's sentiments, because even when I was a particularly lithe and beautiful 22-year-old who could pick and choose among the college men (Stanford) who called every night, I quickly found out that there were few men who saw women unrefracted, as they are, as total human beings. The immaturity and self-centeredness of most men motivated me to treasure those few who were not so afflicted and to date men from other countries in order to see if all cultures produced the same "product." Your writer is correct about the majority of men of any age, which is why the discerning woman does not place sheer good looks high on her list for a man she would marry.

I am devoted to my husband, but if I found myself in circulation, I wouldn't expect much from most men. Nevertheless, I am sure there are enough good men out there that I wouldn't lack a second chance. There are two basic rules for a woman interested in men: Stay reasonably slim, and never be defensive. Your writer has defined the most basic male weakness very well. It all comes down to leading with the gonads and letting visual pleasure substitute for all the five senses.

JEAN ROSENFELD

Tarzana

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