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'Girlstyle' Is More Than Sartwell Supposes

January 02, 2003

Re "Hell Hath No Fury Like Girlstyle," Commentary, Dec. 30: Crispin Sartwell predicts that men will continue to rape and pillage the world through war as long as they can. He suggests that perhaps the violent world may need a woman's touch ... women armed "with automatic weapons concealed beneath ... plundered finery." I agree the violent world needs a woman's touch. I suggest an approach that might actually create real change in this world rather than continue this cycle of violence.

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) in her Mother's Day Proclamation calls for women to arise: "Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." Howe goes on to call women to leave behind their duties at home and " ... meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with others as means whereby the great human family can live in peace...."

Isn't it time for our human family to recognize that what we've done in the past hasn't worked? Violence doesn't create peace.

Mary Pitcher

Long Beach

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My "Right-On Girlstyle Award" goes to the women of Nigeria -- not for the stoning problem. I'm talking about the women who took over and closed down a Chevron-Texaco oil refinery.

More than 100 Nigerian women closed it down for several weeks. Their big demand -- jobs for their husbands and sons. Yes, all they wanted was a means to alleviate their severe poverty while living a stone's throw from the symbol of U.S. wealth, cheap oil. They finally won by threatening to bare their breasts. It's a tribal custom called shaming; if a woman bares her breasts in front of strangers it is a shame on the men who witness it.

I propose that the women of America go to Washington and shame those men. Yes, let's go there and bare our breasts at President Bush's State of the Union address. Shame on him for diverting attention away from the health-care crisis, the pension crisis, the education crisis; shame on him for stomping on environmental protection regulations; shame on him for bombing innocent people any minute now in Baghdad; shame on him for promoting the use of oil and thus a war, rather than promoting alternative methods of energy production; shame on him for all the young Americans who are totally unmotivated to vote, yet have already died in Afghanistan or will soon die in Iraq. Women of America, let's bare our breasts for peace and democracy!

Carolyn Rios

Venice

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Sartwell uses the same hackneyed argument about the tribulations that females have to go through. Never mind that men are also dispossessed, denigrated, used, abused, harassed, exploited, degraded, hemmed in, stalked and, yes, even raped. It's just that men's issues and concerns are not currently, nor ever have been, a politically correct subject.

Because of feminist propaganda, we are led to believe that women are incessantly subjected to abuse caused by the loathsome, selfish and egotistical male. Let's get real and take a practical approach to what are the pros and cons of both genders, and the sacrifices and inconsistencies that both males and females have undergone. Articles like Sartwell's only lead the masses to incorrect conclusions and breed nothing but resentment.

Joe Davies

Covina

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