On Gender Inequality
Thanks to Nicole Graev Lipson for this brave article (Perspective, June 2) — brave, because it goes against our societal knee-jerk reaction of “girl power equals good!” As a working mother, I am torn about the current movement. Yes, women are powerful, but if all we are doing is swapping one oppressed gender for another, we have not progressed. At my office, one of my very talented colleagues got up on stage (after a morning of girl power-type comments) and apologized for being a white male before making his presentation. My daughters need strong partners. My sons need to be able to flex their talent and strength without fear of retribution. My daughters need to be able to choose to stay home with their children without fear of being shamed . My least favorite shirt ever is the one that says, “The future is female.” The future, if it is to be good, needs to be coed.
The minuscule examples of cultural encouragement for girls to be powerful can’t possibly dent the overwhelming tidal wave of relentless messaging that women are just objects. Look no further than The Boston Globe, which [this year] ran not one but two stories promoting the Sports Illustrated annual assault on women’s dignity, the Swimsuit Issue. So don’t be afraid that boys and girls will get the message that they are equal, let alone that girls should stand up for themselves.
We should work together to help all our children, not teach our daughters that boys have some sort of cradle-to-grave advantage and power over them — a dogma more or less created through feminist-led studies and strong-armed into our schools and universities. Teach your daughter about gender inequality, if you feel you must, but please ensure she knows that both girls and boys have hurdles to scale.
Somersworth, New Hampshire
Every time I see T-shirts and other merchandise with this logo, I grit my teeth. If you have to say it, you don’t have it. And the issue of rearing both empathetic and thoughtful daughters and sons is never really addressed. Thanks for delving into this subject and articulating it so well.
West Greenwich, Rhode Island
It seems to me it has become a competition rather than a journey to discover solutions to societal problems. The three basic “R’s” of education were once accompanied by the other three R’s: respect for self and others, responsibility for one’s actions, and resourcefulness in times of adversity. My hope is that Lipson’s Perspective will be read and discussed in schools and colleges. It should not go the way of the dinosaurs.
Bibiana C. Nowacki
I thoroughly enjoyed Clint Conley’s piece (Connections, June 9). It reminded me of a much more simple time listening to music before the introduction of playlists, Spotify, and Alexa. It was easy to know who someone was by their record collection. The cover art and liner notes provided so much information about bands and their music. I also have a large and aging record collection that is difficult to part with as it has so many memories . The turntable is long gone and the albums haven’t been played in a very long time. I too will have to find someone to pass them on to.
Between my husband and myself, we had accumulated a decent collection of LPs. Eventually our turntable stopped working, and the albums were all stored in a spare bedroom. Instead of losing all that wonderful music and history, I did some research and discovered converter turntables. I bought one and started spinning LPs directly into our computer. Then we sold the LPs to a vinyl store in Littleton. Maybe some of them wound up at the landfill, but maybe some of them went to loving homes.
Thank you to Conley for sharing his pain. It has given me permission to let go of my albums. I too have an orange crate full (what else would you put them in?). Remembering nights of dropping the needle in the middle of an album to listen to the same song over and over is a bittersweet memory. Alas, most are warped by now, and certainly scratched. As Marie Kondo would say, thank them and give them away.
Deborah Monosson Cambridge
I gave most of my records to my best friend, and threw the rest away. The very next week, I was at the “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and in the museum store many of those same LPs were for sale: Wheels of Fire, After the Gold Rush, LZ1, Who’s Next. Maybe the Met was looking through my trash.
Creating an Arts Economy
Katherine Abbott ends her article (“Can the Arts Save Western Mass.?,” June 9) by describing a train journey that Zhu Pei takes from Syracuse, New York, to the site of the planned Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum . Left unsaid is exactly how the famed architect will get to North Adams, as that city lost its passenger train service. Also, how the estimated 750,000 tourists will make the trip each year through the Berkshires to view the model trains — probably by car. Has anyone on Thomas Krens’s team estimated what the carbon footprint of those trips would be? Given the climate crisis we all face, wouldn’t it make more sense to fight for high-speed passenger train service to the northern Berkshires from New York and Boston?
“Can the Arts Save Western Mass.?” . . . and not eliminate affordable housing for those who have lived there for years? This question isn’t addressed — and I wonder if it has been by any of those championing the arts as the savior for Western Massachusetts. Don’t let [it become] just one more example of the glaring inequities rampant everywhere.
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