LETTERS

LETTERS

December 18 1989
LETTERS

LETTERS

December 18 1989

LETTERS

THE LEGACY OF ABUSE

Until those in power place the blame on the adult and stop blaming the helpless victim, child sexual abuse will continue (“The horror of sex crimes against children,” Cover, Nov. 27). Meanwhile, the victims have to deal with their life-distorting torment. These children turn to drugs, alcohol or suicide, as the law does not protect them. I’ve had to live with my torment for 20 years while my abuser walks free.

Rose-Marie Graham, Little Britain, Ont.

Thank you for “Questions of satanism” (Cover, Nov. 27). Ritual abuse is like incest was 10 years ago: no one wants to believe it. As an adult survivor of ritual abuse, my life is a tiny speck in the accumulating evidence. How can anyone begin to approach the problem if it is not fully acknowledged?

Gail Fisher-Taylor, Toronto

THE MASTER OF MEECH

If Senator Lowell Murray rekindles the Meech Lake accord, the Prime Minister should immediately vacate 24 Sussex (“The man behind Meech,” Special Report, Nov. 20). Any individual who can bring Quebec into the Canadian fold and maintain good relations with the other provinces should become our prime minister.

Chris Tiller, Ottawa

FOTH’S (SORT OF) ADVERTISING

Lately, Allan Fotheringham’s columns have become advertisements for his book Birds of a Feather (“The lonely sound of one drum beating,” Nov. 6; “Reiterating some minor complaints,” Dec. 4). One of Foth’s self-advertising techniques is to talk about his book in his Maclean ’s column, but pretend he’s not. I recommend this technique to all authors. For example, I could talk about the excellent review Maclean’s gave my book Scorpions for Sale—but, of course, I won’t. See, the Foth technique works.

Larry Zolf Toronto

One of the most timeless observations of the political scene is the first sentence of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ...” (119 words, and worth parsing). I am disappointed that Dalton Camp, in his review of Foth’s book (“ ‘Picky, picky, picky,’ ” Books, Nov. 20) considers a 99-word sentence a tied but unbroken record since 1644.

Joan Bajnoczi, Calgary

TWELVE ANGRY LAWYERS

This letter is not meant to take away from the ambitious and admirable efforts of the Winnipeg bar, but as the Winnipeg lawyers appearing in Twelve Angry Men can appreciate, the competitive nature of the legal profession compels me to indicate who got there first (“Casting the real thing in court,” Opening Notes, Dec. 4). In February,

1983,1 was approached about reviving Twelve Angry Men, but with a unique twist—each of the characters would be played by a Hamilton lawyer. So, in June, 1983, 12 lawyers took the stage in Theatre Aquarius under the direction of Raymond Harris, also a lawyer, and played for three consecutive nights to sellout houses. We have the posters to prove it.

Randolph J. Mazza, Hamilton

FLYING DOCTORS

While the treatment and pain of endometriosis was well presented in “Escape from pain” (Medicine, Nov. 13), needless pain was inflicted by the sloppy writing. In the discussion of Carol Steinberg, an endometriosis sufferer who went to the United States to get treatment, you write, “Before travelling to the United States, Steinberg’s doctors administered hormone therapy and carried out a hysterectomy.” Hope they made their flight.

Alfred Pierce, West Vancouver

Letters are edited and may be condensed. Writers should supply name, address and telephone number. Mail correspondence to-. Letters to the Editor, Maclean’s magazine, Maclean Hunter Bldg., 777 Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W1A7.

THE ELITE VOLUNTEER

I have a difficult time sympathizing with Mila Mulroney’s frustration about the way many Canadians downplay the importance of volunteer work (“Job satisfaction,” People, Nov. 13). Although I do not take away from the positive contribution she is making to help

cystic fibrosis, I believe she fails to realize that many Canadians would be more than willing to volunteer their services to help others if they did not have to be so concerned about providing an adequate income to feed, support and pay taxes for their families. It seems to me that volunteering has now become an exercise only the well-off can indulge in.

Henry Klooster Jr., Inger soil, Ont.

IN DEFENCE OF RESETTLEMENT

Barbara Amiel has worked up a fine head of steam over her allegations of British hypocrisy on Vietnamese Boat People—and then used most of it to cloud the issue (“Hypocrisy in Hong Kong,” Column, Nov. 20). There are points in the column where I would have liked to see more fact and less lurid color; but the nub lies in the assertion that the problem is one of refugees. The Geneva Conference faced two distinct questions. On the first, the conference agreed on the resettlement of all refugees in the region, with sufficient places pledged by the resettlement countries to guarantee new homes for all within three years. On the second question, it was agreed that persons determined not

to be refugees should return to their country of origin. However much we may regret the need to distinquish between refugees and economic migrants, the fact is that all resettlement countries find it necessary to do so, not least to ensure that the door to resettlement remains open to those fleeing from, or in genuine fear of, persecution. The fact is that no country is offering resettlement to Vietnamese Boat People who do not qualify as refugees. For people to remain in overcrowded camps in Hong Kong is surely not a solution. There is thus no alternative to having the nonrefugees return to Vietnam. The British government will continue to work with the government of Vietnam to ensure that the returnees are given resettlement assistance and are fairly treated.

Brian J. P. Fall, British High Commissioner, Ottawa

Although I rarely agree with Barbara Amiel, I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with her views on the problems of the Vietnamese refugees being held in Hong Kong. While it is true that the pain of refugees should not be reduced to a contest, I cannot help but compare the joyous, open-armed welcome that well-fed, educated East Germans are receiving, with the starving, haunted Vietnamese being forcibily returned to conditions I cannot even imagine. The East Germans have gained their freedom, and for that I am thrilled, but the Vietnamese refugees are being forced to relin“ quish not only their hard-won liberty, but also their dreams for an existence even slightly better than the despair to which they are being returned. Surely Canada could welcome those haunted ones.

Susan Philpott, Elora, Ont.

NOT SO SIMPLE

I had to check out the writer’s gender/name midway through the review of the film Dad (“Bereavement therapy,” Films, Nov. 6). The phrase “simple pleasures of sorting laundry, waxing floors, making breakfast” stopped me dead. What was I missing? Yesterday, when my husband did the vacuuming for the 23rd time this year (he’s counting), I told him to relax and enjoy his “simple pleasures.” It takes a man to tell a woman how wrong she is to look on housework as repetitive, thankless drudgery.

Kerry Moore, Burnaby, B.C.

DOUBLE STANDARD

Prime Minister Mulroney goes to Moscow to promote trade between Canada and the Soviet Union (“To Russia with cash,” Cover, Nov. 13). Can this be the same Mul-

roney who lectured Mrs. Thatcher about trade with South Africa? Is he unaware that the Soviet Union is still in violation of the most basic human rights, still holds several nations captive? Does he have a double standard on human rights: one for South Africa, another for the U.S.S.R.?

Philip H. Smith Jr., Waterloo, Ont.

MILESTONE IN GAY WRITING

John Bemrose’s book review of Michel Tremblay’s The Heart Laid Bare (“Gay domesticity,” Books, Oct. 30) shows him to be an inadequate reviewer of gay literature. His assertion that Luc, a minor character, is far more convincing than the others merely shows that he is unaware of the fact that Luc is a stereotype. The book is a milestone in gay literature. For the first time, we, as gay men, as decent human beings, whose only difference is our sexual orientation, have something to read that reflects our life and the problems we encounter. It is the first novel that gay men can read about themselves that is not trash or pornography.

Ernest J. Guimond Jr., Bangor, Me.

OFFICIAL INJUSTICE

Your review of Justice Denied inaccurately implies that the “puzzle” of “how so many . . . institutions conspired to keep [Donald Marshall] in prison” is unsolvable (“Betrayed by the law,” Television, Nov. 20). Over the past 15 years, I have challenged any concerned person to come with me to every prison in this country and I guarantee to produce a “Donald Marshall” case once a month. No one is calling my bluff, least of all anyone from the same National Parole Board whose “absurd insistence” that a prisoner admit his guilt before granting him parole is still official policy.

Claire Culhane, Vancouver

SOUR GRAPES

I can handle Don (Grapes) Cherry being “opinionated, ungrammatical and outrageous” (“Don Cherry’s outrageous credo,” Sports Watch, Nov. 6). But I would prefer a different name for his Hockey Night in Canada spot, “Coach’s Comer.” Don’s offerings have nothing to do with coaching. He belittles athletes by nationality or for their boring preference for playing by the rules, glorifies antediluvian mentality and counsels unsafe playing practices. Why not call it “Sour Grapes”?

Roger Burrows, Ottawa