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Home / Articles / Views / Letters /  Letters | Help clean up elections
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Thursday, May 20,2010

Letters | Help clean up elections

Help clean up elections

Volunteers are now collecting signatures for Ballot Initiative 53, which will set up a system for public financing of electoral campaigns in Colorado. If passed, candidates for the state legislature and statewide offices (with the exception of members of the U.S. Congress) will have the option of accepting public funds for their campaigns, and, in exchange, they will agree not to accept private money. This measure will greatly reduce the power of big money and corporations in our state.

Elected officials will be much freer to act on behalf of the common good and the welfare of all Colorado’s residents. They will be freer to protect the environment and will no longer be accountable to corporate polluters. And finally, the initiative will make it possible for many more people to consider running for office.

More volunteers are needed to collect signatures to meet the July 12 deadline. It’s easy. And it’s rewarding because the initiative will clearly and dramatically increase the power of the people and democracy in our state. To help out go to www.cleancampaignscolorado.com, or call 303-444-6981, ext. 2.

Carolyn Bninski/Boulder

Breast brouhaha

The May 6 issue’s cover title and photo — “Much Ado About Melons” — may have been humorous and eyecatching, but the use of immature references to breasts defeated one of the pur poses of the article — to demonstrate that showing human breasts in public isn’t obscene in itself. Plenty of other images could have been used, such as a photo of the Pierces in their garden, or women breastfeeding (I am happy to volunteer for that one), the latter of which is the purpose of having breasts. Certainly you could depict these sorts of images without breaking any rules about obscene content; after all, there are enough sexually suggestive advertisements in the BW already that don’t appear to offend readers. It would be nice for the human body to be represented seriously if American society is to ever get over our college-boy mentality of seeing breasts and other body parts as things about which we should snicker, idealize and portray as lewd sexual objects.

Jill Churchfield/Louisville

Pamela White’s insightful article about Bob and Catharine Pierce and how the Boulder City Council handled the issue of their lack of proper attire illustrates an important principle: Clothes are symbolic. Clothes announce one’s employment and financial status. Clothes provide an insight into one’s personality. Clothes can point to one’s culture and heritage. However, clothing can have a negative connotation, as well.

In nearly every society, how much more clothing a woman is required to wear relative to what a man is required to wear is an indication of how much a woman is under authority in that society. The Boulder City Council realized this when they voted to make the clothing requirements the same for men and women. Women who were involved in the women’s movement from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s — we call them “equity feminists” — understood the significance of treating men and women equally and advancing women out from under male authority, and that is why in Boulder the female breast could be displayed more equitably with respect to the male breast.

However, starting in the late 1970s, a new form of feminism, gender feminism, developed as a reaction to equity feminism and was an attempt to place women under the authority of other women (matriarchy) who felt that women had gone too far in their bodily self-expression and had somehow become victims of exploitation. This was followed by the “Moral Majority” in the 1980s that was an attempt by religious groups to place women back under the control of men (patriarchy).

The ghosts of gender feminism and the Moral Majority exist in some form or another in our society today and play an important role in what can be displayed in entertainment and the arts. Both groups want to place women under authority to keep them from doing things with their bodies that either group finds objectionable. No such restraints are placed on men.

That is why there were no calls to police or complaints to the housing authority when Bob appeared topless in just a thong or completely nude (to the appreciation of several women in the neighborhood who would stop by to watch Bob work out in the nude) and why there were multiple calls to the police and demands by women in the neighborhood that Catharine cover her chest.

Pamela White is on to something more with this controversy. The issue here is really gender equality and how this clothing symbolism defines the general attitude about equality in a society. Any society that insists that female breasts be covered up more than male breasts or demands that female genitalia be covered up more than male genitalia is clearly a society that is not equal and places women under authority.

F. Barrett/Boulder

Reasons to inhale

(Re: “Pot perspectives,” letters, May 6.) Matthew Knudsen can rest assured that marijuana does more than help clear phlegm out of the lungs. Studies like “Effects of Smoked Marijuana in Experimentally Induced Asthma 1975,” by Professor Donald P. Tashkin, medical director of the Pulmonary Laboratory UCLA, show that one puff of marijuana is 100 percent effective in instantly stopping potentially lethal bronchospasms.

Smoked marijuana restored normal breathing after a severe asthma attack in less than half the time of any other drug. Many people die from acute bronchospasms even while in hospital care every year, but the government instantly defunded further marijuana-asthma research. (See: tinyurl.com/2ajbk73.)

I like the fact that marijuana presents no risk of fatal reactions the way ADVAIR does. ADVAIR contains Salmeterol, which increases the chance of asthma-related death. Marijuana presents no such danger, and I haven’t had a bronchospasm in more than five years since I began treating my asthma exclusively with marijuana.

The immediate asthma relief caused by marijuana has been known for more than 130 years and should be saving lives instead of being a political football for lunatic drug crusaders.

Ralph Givens/Daly City, Calif.

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