Letters From the June 13/20, 2022, Issue

Letters From the June 13/20, 2022, Issue

Letters From the June 13/20, 2022, Issue

US imperialism and anti-Asian violence… Abortion activism… Involuntary psychiatry…


US Imperialism and Anti-Asian Violence

I had to take breaks in reading Panthea Lee’s brilliant article, which was relentless in its detailing of the mentality that is promoted by “a girl for the price of a burger”—and what allows it to persist [“Sex, Death, and Empire: The Roots of Violence Against Asian Women,” May 2/9]. Bravo, or, as is said where I come from, shabash.
Bindu Desai

Panthea Lee’s powerful article provides important global and historical context to the widespread violence against Asian communities and Asian women in particular. It should be taught in our schools for the important life lessons it offers to young men and women alike, and it should be shared with our elected officials for the truths that could benefit the military and policing operations they oversee. Thank you for this courageous work. It is a vital step for us all.
David J. Bodney

Abortion Activism

Re “Q&A: Lauren Rankin,” by Amy Littlefield [May 2/9]: I am a strong pro-abortion advocate, but as a man, I have shied away from pro-abortion activism. This brief interview has provided me with an obvious path of action: Call my local clinic and ask them if they need anything. Thank you for the reminder and for the solid, practical, and commonsense advice given here. So simple, really.
Robert Borneman

Involuntary Psychiatry

Re “Breaking Off My Chemical Romance,” by P.E. Moskowitz [April 4/11]: For many of us, administration of psychiatric medications was not our own choice but that of psychiatric personnel acting against our will. Yet it was only in 2008, thanks to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, that the UN special rapporteur on torture tentatively applied the right to be free from psychiatric forms of torture (and other ill treatment) to “persons with mental disabilities.” In 2020, the special rapporteur declared that “practices such as involuntary…psychiatric intervention” based on the “best interests” of the patient “generally involve highly discriminatory and coercive attempts at controlling or ‘correcting’ the victim’s personality, behaviour or choices and almost always inflict severe pain or suffering…. If all other defining elements are present, such practices may well amount to torture.”

I work to obtain recognition, redress, and reparation in international law for the human rights violations perpetrated in the name of therapeutic treatment against a person’s will. I look forward to more open discussion of psychiatric harm, whose victims are too often silenced by the slur that any complaint is the product of mental illness.

Tina Minkowitz
chestertown, n.y.

The writer is president of the Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry.

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