Letters: 1/18/18

1
Wikimedia Commons

BW missed on #MeToo
coverage

Wow, Boulder Weekly, you really missed the mark with “The State of Sex in the #MeToo World” cover and article (Re: News, Jan. 11, 2018). The cover, which depicts a scared-looking man cowering behind a smirking woman who is on her phone typing something, makes me want to scream. As the most basic explanation, what your cover says to your reader is that men should be scared by a movement that intends to bring light to harmful actions against women, and that women are somehow smug and flippant by sharing their own experiences of that harm. Your title, “The State of Sex in the #MeToo World” could be interesting if you had already written an article covering the social ramifications of the current state of harassment whistle-blowing and how it might trickle down to the Boulder community and CU (maybe you have, and I haven’t seen it?). Not doing so shows your lack of understanding about the complexity of the issue (cue Oprah’s Golden Globe speech) and instead made #MeToo about how men’s sex lives are affected. Even with my frustration, I decided to give the article a try and less than halfway through it was clear it had been written by a man, and he had missed the point of what is going on. Either he was trying to dumb it down for young men, or he simply didn’t understand that #MeToo isn’t actually about men, how to pick up women without offending them (do we really need to spell this out) or Matt Damon. The icing on the cake was the guy who commented that BW should have interviewed a man for a more “diverse point of view.”

Sage Calamari/Boulder

Troubled by #MeToo cover

I was very troubled by your recent cover photo, which depicted a zoomed-in, smug and smiling woman on her phone with a smaller, panicked man behind her and the title: “The state of SEX in the #MeToo world.” Looking at the image and headline, one might infer that there’s a new power dynamic in sex — one in which women now hold power. This, as #MeToo survivor after survivor sacrifices everything to communicate that today’s world is terrifying for women and gender non-conforming people. Sadly, the sensationalist cover undermined their messages as well as the content of your article itself, which described the ongoing shame and trauma of sexual misconduct. It’s important for us to be clear that no matter how many men are being made uncomfortable by the exposed reality of men’s violence and unearned power, they still have that power. Men’s discomfort around having to be more careful in their behavior is nothing compared to being under constant threat of abuse. There is a difference between being uncomfortable and being unsafe.

It’s a useful exercise to ask ourselves: Why do we rush so quickly from a rare women-centered moment to worrying about how it’s making men feel? Sexism teaches us all — even the most well intentioned among us — to center the feelings and experiences of men, and your cover was a perfect example of that.

Anna Baltzer/via internet

Dr. King is needed today

Dr. King was a great Civil Rights leader. Wish we had his leadership to fight for our civil rights as infringed upon by the federal income/payroll tax system that includes denial of due process, no trial by jury, forced self-incrimination, unreasonable search and seizure, lack of privacy, unequal treatment of citizens and complex/ambiguous laws.

The problem is the 16th Amendment, passed February 1913, that enables direct taxation of the individual. With the 16th Amendment came the first legal income tax, the IRS, payroll taxes and tax withholding.

Government gained taxing power and we lost civil rights, freedom and liberty. The 16th amendment took away your God-given right to production (income, savings and investment).

Want your civil rights back? The FAIRtax bill HR 25 eliminates the old tax system and collects the same tax total with a progressive national sales/consumption tax system with only one tax refund of most value to the impoverished. You determine with your spending how much tax you pay and your effective tax rate. The FAIRtax bill repeals the 16th Amendment with companion legislation.

Taxes change behavior. Join the FAIRtax cause for civil liberty plus renewed freedom and liberty. Learn more, join the cause, become a difference-maker and contribute at bigsolution.org.

Paul Livingston/via internet

Ad in poor taste

I wonder what was your rationale for accepting such a hateful and plainly discriminatory full-page ad that you ran on behalf of 14erboulder.com in your Jan. 4, 2018 issue. The language in the ad was at the very least in bad taste, but if you were to substitute “female” for “male” you might better recognize how vile and unacceptable it is to suggest that if any man were to simply enter any space, it becomes “shit.” The ad states: “Put one male in the room and it all goes to s#*t. (picture of cannabis plants.) It goes without saying in the flowering room, but it isn’t said often enough everywhere else — at 14er, we celebrate and support the contribution of women, in business and everywhere.” Condemning men as a group with such intolerant language in no way supports women, and most likely harm women as well as men. Reversing oppression and discrimination only maintains violence.

I wish you had exercised some judgment and rejected this repugnant and profoundly sexist ad.

Katalin Fabian/Lafayette College professor via internet

Consider the lobster

The Swiss government has banned the common practice of plunging fully conscious lobsters into pots of boiling water, ruling that the crustaceans must be stunned first.

Last June, Italy’s highest court ruled that restaurant kitchens must not keep live lobsters on ice because it causes the animals to suffer unjustifiably.

Lawmakers are beginning to recognize what science is showing us (and what common sense has told us all along): Lobsters and other crustaceans are not unfeeling automatons. Recent research has shown that crabs are capable of learning and remembering information, just like other animals. If left alone, lobsters can live to be more than 100 years old. They use complicated signals to establish social relationships and can recognize individuals. From observations of shore crabs who changed their behavior to avoid electric shocks and hermit crabs who rubbed at their own injuries, science has confirmed that these animals also feel pain. In 2005, the European Food Safety Authority concluded that crustaceans are capable of experiencing pain and distress and recommended that steps be taken to lessen their suffering when possible.

We live in a changing world, one in which animals are afforded considerations that they might have been denied in the past. Like us, lobsters and crabs value their lives and do not want to die. And the only way to make sure that we’re not contributing to their suffering is to stop eating them.

Paula Moore/PETA

  • Not_NORML

    Troubled by #MeToo cover
    It’s art, and in the eye of the beholder, you’ve read yourself into it. Not an attack on you, but basic art interpretation. The view seeks to find themselves in the work.

    On the topic of sexism: may we accept the natural fact that there are differences in how men and women think, feel, and act. Is there an effort to marginalize these differences and treat all as a species – human? If so, it seems doomed to failure, disregarding nature.

    Nature always sides with the hidden flaw. – Murphy