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Beauty and the Feminists

February 16, 1992

I am writing in response to Mark Epstein (Letters, Feb. 2). He criticized screenwriter Linda Woolverton's assertion that the character Belle, from "Beauty and the Beast," is a feminist. His misconceptions concerning feminism need to be addressed.

Feminists come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They do not need to fit any mold, particularly the character-type Linda Hamilton portrayed in "Terminator 2." In fact, there are even male feminists! Therefore, what defines Belle as a feminist is not her appearance, but her actions and beliefs. Belle's independent thinking, pursuit of knowledge and rejection of traditional female roles all contribute to her own particular philosophy, which could be labeled as feminist.

What is disturbing, though, is Epstein's apparent belief that feminists are solely male-bashing lesbians. Myths like this only encourage intolerance regarding feminist thought; it is much easier to hurl homophobic insults than to undertake the challenge of learning exactly what feminism is all about--namely, gender equality. I wish Epstein would open his mind and educate himself on the subject. Until then, he should at least have the decency to refrain from making such sweeping generalizations. If I stooped to his level, I'd assume he was an ignorant blockhead.

ELIZABETH DUBIN

Tustin

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