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COUNTERPUNCH LETTERS : Female Role Models

October 24, 1994

I share many of the frustrations expressed by Kerry Madden-Lunsford ("Guts and Glory: When Do Women Get Their Share?," Oct. 3). However I take exception to her argument that "films should show our kids that . . . girls can be heroes too."

Implicit in this tautology is the notion that it is the responsibility of Hollywood filmmakers to be the moral educators of our children. It is not, nor should it be, incumbent upon the entertainment industry to provide for our children more positive female role models; rather, it is our absolute, non-delegable duty as parents to show our kids that women are not the passive and dependent objects of desire that popular culture so frequently portrays them to be.

If we truly want to expose our children to more positive female images, then perhaps the next time they want to see a movie we will invite them instead to the local library. Once there, we can expunge the image of the "hot, slinky, please-save-me 'smoking babes' " and introduce our kids to the works of Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf, or Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Friedan. Certainly these were not women who were passive and disempowered; indeed, their words quite literally changed the world. What a powerful lesson to teach our children, both sons and daughters alike!

Or perhaps we might offer to take them to one of Los Angeles' many extraordinary museums. We could stroll with them through centuries of artistic creation at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, for instance.

If the kids want a little more action, then we could always take them to a women's sporting event. UCLA, USC and Pepperdine all have great women's intercollegiate athletic programs, and all have phenomenal women athletes.

SUSAN EVANS

Manhattan Beach

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