LETTERS

Intact manhood

February 14 1994
LETTERS

Intact manhood

February 14 1994

Intact manhood

LETTERS

Your Jan. 31 cover (‘The male myth”) is demeaning to mankind, and your hapless male model clutching fearfully at his groin is clearly an object of media-manipulated anti-male abuse. Men aren’t fretting about their manhood—maybe about their humanity, their mortality and their fatherly and domestic responsibilities—but not their manhood. Male sexuality isn’t going to disappear, no matter how many sacrificial penises are deftly cut off and thrown back to mother earth.

Brian MacKinnon, Winnipeg

Well Maclean’s, you have finally gone over the edge and beyond the realm of good taste. Whoever made the irresponsible decision to put a naked man on the cover greatly misjudged the respectable people of this country.

David Weaver, London, Ont.

Contrary to your findings, not all men are uncertain as to their roles. Many men are strong, sometimes brave; don’t mind washing the dishes; don’t feel intimidated by women and, therefore, don’t find it necessary to hurt them. We like being men.

Dr. Andrew A. Horn, Kitchener, Ont.

Congratulations to Ken Toews for ignoring social disapproval in choosing to stay home and care for his young sons (“Feelings and fantasies”). The rewards that he and his family will always benefit from are far greater than the salary that he has sacrificed. Many busy Canadians do not realize that it is families like Ken’s that are the truly fortunate ones.

Harry Major, Waterloo, Ont.

CORRECTION

In the Nov. 15 issue, York University was reported to have placed 13th in the Faculty Awards index for Comprehensive Universities. In fact, York placed first in Faculty Awards in the Comprehensive category. The correction, however, does not aiter the order of the overall ranking in the Comprehensive category. Maclean’s sincerely regrets the error.

I must insist that not all women want a mate to change himself to suit her. I want a man who will listen to my hopes, fears and dreams without being obligated to do the same. I want someone who can fix a car, but is still a little afraid to change a diaper, someone who can’t pronounce quiche, shiatsu or episiotomy. I’d like a man who will fight for me, a guy who will let me cry on his shoulder when my cat is put down, I want a guy who I can get exasperated with, and who will cheer himself hoarse with me over the Canadiens and the Blue Jays. I’d like a guy who will apologize first—sometimes.

Kathleen Repchik, Weston, Ont.

They were there

In your review of the CBC TV miniseries Dieppe, you repeat one of the myths about that disaster (“Reckless disregard,” Television, Jan. 3). Most people believe there was little air cover for the landing, when in fact air support was massive. It was one of the epic air battles of the war. How could Maclean’s forget that more aircraft were involved supporting the Dieppe raid than were involved in the Battle of Britain? They flew 3,000 sorties in 16 hours and were in the air from before the first landing craft touched French soil until the last ship was back in port. While the flyers were mostly successful in keeping the German bombers away from the beaches and the invasion fleet, it was not without terrible cost. The RCAF and RAF lost 106 aircraft. The Luftwaffe lost about 50.

John G. Bates, Royal Canadian Airforce Association, Etobicoke, Ont.

Crushing losses

Your article ‘The next Bosnia?” (World, Feb. 7) states that “Bulgaria, which occupied Macedonia as recently as the Second World War, might also be tempted to grab territory.” Bulgaria occupied Macedonia not on its own but as an ally of Hitler’s Germany. But it should be remembered that Bulgaria was the first country to recognize Macedonia’s independence and to establish diplomatic relations. Prompted by Bulgaria’s request, UN observers were located at its border with former Yugoslavia to monitor the situation. The article also emphasizes the “crushing economic damage” the sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro are causing Macedonia. These sanctions have the same negative effect on the economies of all neighboring countries. Bulgaria’s losses are estimated to be more than $4 billion. This is fatal for the Bulgarian economy and further hampers its restructuring, keeping in mind that the country is now in a situation of economic crisis. At the same time, I would like to make it clear that Bulgaria will continue to strictly observe the UN sanctions.

Slav Danev,

Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria,

Ottawa

CLARIFICATION

Some readers have complained about references in the Jan. 17 issue that they say were offensive and disparaging to people of German origin. Maclean’s had no such intention and regrets any offence caused.

Letters may be edited for space and clarity. Please supply name, address and daytime telephone. Write: Letters to the Editor, Maclean’s magazine, 777 Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W1A7. Or fax: (416) 596-7730.

LETTERS

Poverty and despair

Thank you for the thought-provoking and deeply disturbing article on the troubles facing the Innu of Davis Inlet (“The fight of a lifetime,” Special Report, Jan. 17). It is totally unacceptable that the Innu have been left to fend for themselves in such poverty and despair. There is no dignity or pride in calling ourselves Canadians if we are to continue to accept what is being done to other fellow Canadians, regardless of our present economic woes. My question then is this: Who gave us the power to weigh the importance of reducing the deficit against the cost in human lives, the lives of our own native people?

Sherri Fox-Edwards, Oakville, Ont.

I visited the old Davis Inlet for two days in mid-July, 1939. It was a tiny settlement with a Hudson’s Bay post and the houses of a few Labrador families. And there were also the tents of Innu people who came each year to trade furs and skins for their winter supplies. The men were jovial and laughing, with colorful, if bedraggled, garments, and the women handsome and rather shy. We were told that the previous generation had been

almost wiped out by starvation, but the present one was doing its best to remedy the situation—there were many cheerful, playful children of all ages. In 1980, I went back to the new Davis Inlet, that island slum your correspondent described so tellingly. Obviously, conditions are much worse today, and Chief Katie Rich deserves high praise for her courageous battle with the Newfoundland and federal governments. The

Innu people have been shamefully treated, not only in Davis Inlet, but also in their traditional hunting lands that are still subjected to low-level training flights by British, German, Dutch and Canadian fighter aircraft from CFB Goose Bay. These injustices must be put right. I hope your article on Davis Inlet will help this cause.

Dr. D. B. Stewart, Killarney, Man.

‘Happy to be home’

I am delighted to see Barbara Amiel once again espousing her usual neoconservative drivel (“I am a tourist in this Canada,” Column, Jan. 17). While we should all sympathize with her friend avoiding payment of the GST—forced “out of sheer necessity to survive”—when redoing her landscaped garden, I remain confused about the larger point of her column. Living in a city where nearly a thousand people were murdered last year, where the school board hovers perpetually near bankruptcy and where the department of streets and sanitation can’t even repair a pothole, I return to Canada every year happy to be, at least temporarily, home. I gladly pay the GST and other taxes—for clean and safe streets, for affordable health care and for a wide range of social services. If a neoconservative revolution is what Amiel really wants, I hope she remains a tourist in my Canada and stays in Britain, where 14 years of neoconservative economics seems to have produced little more than increased human misery.

Jon Tennant, Chicago

If Barbara Amiel wishes to better understand our country, she should visit more often. She would then surely reassess her view that most Canadians have become “a maniac or a criminal.” Of course, no one enjoys paying

taxes, and everyone loves to hate the GST. But she is misinformed to think that those who work for cash are merely evading the GST. They are primarily evading income taxes. Call me old-fashioned, but what happened to the traditional virtues of working hard, contributing one’s fair share and participating in our democracy? Instead, Amiel praises tax evasion as “an act of good citizenship.” Most of the world’s people would be delighted to be able to pay our taxes and have our problems. Any stupidity in our system is a challenge for us to apply our intelligence, not just to sink to more stupidity.

David McConkey, Brandon, Man.

Barbara Amiel’s columns are consistently on the money. Her article in the Jan. 17 issue is particularly outstanding. It should be mandatory reading for all politicians. Her commonsense approach is certainly refreshing.

W. R. Crozier, Richards Landing, Ont.

No winners

Two of the fathers interviewed in your article “Paying for the children of divorce” (Lifestyles, Jan. 10) couldn’t have said it better. The legal system certainly favors the mother. I am a father of three who has paid maintenance

over five years without missing a payment and yet I constantly deal with an ex-wife who makes dealings with my children as difficult as possible. Is it any wonder that some men feel as they do? Do these mothers really think that the children don’t remember when they make these situations difficult? We need a system that looks after the needs of the children and not the demands of the mother.

Brian Cornborough, Nanaimo, B.C.

I was divorced in 1960 and left with two children. My ex-husband sent a few payments of support for the children, but that stopped soon afterwards. My lawyer said that unless I was desperate to just forget the support, so I did. I supported my children who are now adults and able to look after themselves. Looking back, I really believe the average man who divorces can’t afford to support two families—it’s like supporting a dead horse. Every woman should learn to support herself: get a good education and a good job. The days when women thought they were going to marry and be supported for life are long gone. The only ones who win in divorce are lawyers.

Helen Christie, North Bay, Ont.

Letters may be edited for space and clarity. Please supply name, address and daytime telephone. Write: Letters to the Editor, Maclean’s magazine, 777 Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W1A7. Or fax: (416) 596-7730.