Web Letters | The Nation

Women on Top? > Letters

"Women and children"?

I've always liked Pollitt's columns. But while of course one should not boss one's spouse without his or her consent, what exactly is inherently wrong with saying "because I said so" to children? Aside from those times when a child's question deserves no answer at all, as in: "Why can't I hit people when I'm in a bad mood?"

It's high time women stopped implying that children should have the same rights as adults—or that infancy lasts longer than it really does. As Dr. John Rosemond often says: "The modern woman wouldn't dream of making her husband a sandwich on command, but she'll jump up and draw a glass of water for an able-bodied 4-year-old."

So, he went on to say in effect, until women learn to put their adult lives first and demand a lot from kids instead of the other way around, women will never shake their reputation as a species that likes being enslaved, one way or another. Even a housewife, he pointed out, can and should put her adult life first if she doesn't want a divorce eventually—or a tyrannical child.

If we can admit that one can't have rights without responsibilities, it's easy to see that lumping women and children together, most of the time, is a disservice to both their rights and responsibilities.

Kira Barnum

Somerville, MA

Jul 8 2010 - 5:21pm

Boys without fathers

Pollitt ended with "Hit the books. Make a plan. Boys can do that." But boys without fathers are impaired in "doing that." And girls shouldn't have to have only impaired men to choose among for their romantic and sexual fulfillment. (Homosexuality? See www.gaytostraight.org.) The sexes are made to work together. It isn't all a matter of competition, or independence.

Sharon Kass

Washington, DC

Jun 28 2010 - 6:54am

Shortages of females in China, India, Pakistan etc.

There is a shortage of something like 40 million to 34 million women in China, and a similar dearth in parts of India and other Asian nations and cutures. The prevalence of infanticide, abortion and simple sex selection is creating such an imbalance that, at least in China, I expect a great social turmoil there in the 2019-to-2022 era. Economic imbalances, job displacements and ethnic tensions are all appearing to come to a head with similar timing. The last time China had such a sexual imbalance, there was a seventeen-year civil war (the Tai Ping Rebellion), which broke out in the province with the greatest disparity.

Additionally, the Politicometric point of seventy-two years for a governing system is critical, and I could list several dozen breakdowns of major governments that came with that exact timing, including America's Civil War and the Soviet breakup. I plan to "sell short" on Chinese stocks at the appropriate time.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Jun 27 2010 - 4:17pm