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Watching James Woods

May 24, 1987

Gee, I really learned about James Woods. Like, everybody loves him. He knows more about film making than everybody else. And he's really, really great.

Now for what Woods doesn't know.

There isn't much difference between actors "pontificating" their political views and Woods' trashing of women. As for feminism, the movement grew out of a need for options. I have nothing against Woods' "girl" who "wants nothing else but to be terrific" for him or that she works seven days a week and still makes time to cook him dinner. That is her choice. But I've yet to hear of a woman who cried "attempted rape if you light" her cigarette.

What's more, feminists are not sitting around complaining about men.

Instead, the issues have been and continue to be the ability to earn decent wages, afford decent child care, control our own bodies and have a voice in, say, government and other areas that are controlled almost solely by men but affect both halves of the population. Many women who are concerned with these issues choose to care for men as well.

Actually, until I saw the movie "Salvador," I had thought Woods' performances were adequate. But his one-sided portrayal of a complex, contradictory, politically aware opportunist reduced the character to a selfish, unthinking thug. Now I know why.

LAURA STRAUS

Los Angeles

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