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Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

Open season on white males?

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In many ways, the perspective piece "Last Rites and Forgotten Landscapes" by Laura Paskus was profoundly moving. She mourns the deaths of these women and justifiably decries investigators for labeling them as prostitutes even before the bodies were identified (HCN, 4/13/09).

However, Paskus goes too far when she pointedly casts men as the perpetrators of all these crimes without providing any supporting evidence. She closes with a zinger, making the statement that all women should be "afraid of men." Thus all men, many good fathers, husbands, brothers and friends among them, are stereotyped and denigrated by her over-reaching condemnation.

Can you imagine a perspective in a reputable newspaper that made such broad, overreaching negative stereotypes about women or African Americans? For example, let's say a piece were written about men who had been falsely accused of rape by women, or about victims of crimes that are statistically more likely to be committed by African Americans. Do you think there is any reputable paper in the country that would allow the author to summarize the piece with a negative stereotype about women or African Americans?

What really rues is the double standard of liberal politics that allows for broad negative stereotyping of men and yet prohibits any such stereotypes to be cast against women and other groups. Even more troubling, in the West as elsewhere, is the institutionalization of this double standard to the point where it is no longer noticed by many people.

Denver Johnston
Scott Bar, California

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