Do Mama Grizzlies Sit in the Woods?
Redwood Valley, Calif.
Interesting parenthetic phrase in Betsy Reed’s "Sex and the GOP" [Oct. 18]: "If it were up to men, Palin might very well become president in 2012 (if it were up to white men, she’d be a shoo-in)." Yes, but had it been up to white women, John McCain and You-Know-Who would be our prez and veep right now, since white women favored that swell ticket roughly 54 to 46 percent. It’s possible that white women think they have the most cultural capital to lose, as our perishing Republic struggles with equality across all social lines. It’s certain that if women of color sit out this election, white heat will have burned President Obama’s coattails.
Santa Rosa, Calif.
OK, OK—I don’t so much object to the yucky story, but the girlie cartoons on the cover—c’mon, gimme a break. Being funny is one thing; we can use humor. Being sickening we don’t need.
As a contributor to the Dump Bachmann blog (dumpbachmann.com), I would have preferred a story about Michele Bachmann’s pardon letter for Petters Ponzi associate and top donor Frank Vennes Jr.; or her acceptance of $10,000 from the operator of the sham Navy Veterans Association charity; or her support for bizarre homophobic radio preacher Bradlee Dean and for a crackpot pod transport scheme.
Sexual Freedom vs. License
The next time Katha Pollitt runs into a young feminist who is unable to articulate how and when stripping, prostitution and porn are troubling versus perfectly OK versus both, direct her to a feminist expert on the sacrosanctity of sexual freedom regardless of gender: Betty Dodson, Susie Bright, Gayle Rubin, Nina Hartley, Carol Queen, just to name a few ["Subject to Debate," Oct. 18]. Dan Savage is an indispensable source of knowledge and rational thinking about all things sex-related. Mistress Matisse is another articulate blogger and columnist. Her February 10, 2009, post on why she both is and is not a feminist should be required reading.
And please, please, please direct that young feminist to organizations actually run by the women (and men) who strip, trick, star in or produce porn. You can’t think about an issue without listening to the people most affected by that issue. Flip comments and vague thinking about sex work should be countered with concrete experience. To that end, $pread magazine, by and for sex workers, is an excellent resource. This all-volunteer publication could use more subscribers, and it is the most articulate resource I’ve read on the troubling/perfectly OK aspects of stripping, prostitution and porn.
Asses on the March
Oakland Park, Fla.
Ari Berman’s "Herding Donkeys" [Oct. 18], on the battle between grassroots activists and Beltway insiders, makes for great reading, but his point of view suffers from the same Washington-centric attitudes he attributes to the Democratic Party. His characterization of Organizing for America as a purely top-down group, imposing a White House agenda on the grassroots, is unfair and misleading.