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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

The times they are a-changin', Ms. Valenti. Over here in the country that brought the US the ideas and assumptions that underlie your point of view, we are having a raging debate about Muslim women and the veil. More precisely, about the Muslim woman's right to wear the veil. Critics charge that wearing the veil is a sign of male sexist supremacy, and that women are forced into doing it by those terrible, domineering men. Critics also favor forcing Muslim women to be free according to their own Enlightenment definition of freedom.

Forcing women to be free? But many young Muslim women are choosing to wear the veil, in the same way as they are choosing sexual abstinence and virginity as a way of life. A careful observer will notice that this conflict is between the religion that rose out of the Enlightenment (make no mistake about it, scientific materialism is a religion very similar to the others) and the established monotheisms. Every advantage has its disadvantage. The advantage of birth control: not getting pregnant (if you use it right, and are lucky...) when you don't want to. Disadvantage: the divorce of the sexual act from the idea of procreation, the banalization of the sexual act and the false idea that stopping contraception = getting pregnant. That you have that baby when you want to, instead of... when "it" decides to show up.

People are getting tired of "meaningless" sex, and sex without consequences (other than disease...). They want more out of it. And by the way, there should be no sex education in schools anyway. Then we have no debate about whether to talk about abstinence. There are lots of ways to find out about sex, and high school, or junior high biology class is just not the place. And by the way... I am not a Christian.

Debra Weston Mervant

Saint Egrève , France

Jul 2 2009 - 8:07am

Web Letter

I'm 23 years old and don't understand the wasted space of these kind of articles.

We have a healthcare crisis that none but a few media are covering, and it could be covered in depth... that would help women and children.

We have an education crisis, rarely addressed in the media, or by feminists, because those employed by even the most obscure media rag often have an education already... better/equal education, no matter which part of the country one lives in, now that would benefit women.

Abstinence-only education is a scourge, but it is not the thing that has kept women down in the past, nor will it be the thing that brings them down in the future.

cherie andrews

Mount Airy , MD

Jun 22 2009 - 9:29pm

Web Letter

As goofy as the abstinence people can be, there is a central core of their message that is strongly rooted in our biologic nature. A moderate ration of their basic ideas is a helpful part of the mix and will resonate with some girls, and the exceptional boy (who probably wants to impress such a girl).

But overly relying on abstinence is not the answer either.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Jun 19 2009 - 6:20pm

Web Letter

Get off your horse, Ms. Valenti, it's too high and you might fall.

Really, people, we have a ton of greater issues to worry about.

John Molina

Chula Vista, CA

Jun 19 2009 - 1:24pm