Letters

June 25 1979

Letters

June 25 1979

Letters

A place for everything

Thanks for High-Flying Gino Vannelli... (May 28)on Canada’s superstar. Only one thing wrong—his picture should have been on the cover.

DONALD GRAY, MONTREAL

Above contempt

I find it ironic that Barbara Amiel sees so little similarity between rape and sexual harassment in her column Consensual or Coercive? A Simple Dictionary Cure for the S-H Epidemic (June 4). After all, many of the arguments she

uses as proof of the insignificance of the problem are virtually identical to those applied to rape only six or seven years ago. At that time, we were led to believe that there wasn’t much rape happening, that rapists were “sick” and that we, as feminists, were simply overreacting to a problem that, while serious for a few victims, was not really a pervasive part of our society. Those of us who have been involved in research on rape know that rape is a common experience for a great many women and that, far from being a perversion of social norms, it is merely one extreme reflection of a misogynist culture. We are discovering that the same is true of sexual harassment. Just as a conspiracy of silence surrounded rape until very recently, so has sexual harassment on the job been an issue which has remained in the closet. Countless women have reported, to me, their experiences of harassment. Not all of these, it is true, were rape in the legal sense. But for many women, the possibility of loss of their economic livelihood is as terrifying as that of “ physical assault. Sexual harassment is o an effective way of undercutting the ^ economic and sexual autonomy of wom5 en. It is an isolating experience, and those who are its victims do not need the contempt of women like Amiel.

DEBRA J. LEWIS, LEGAL RESEARCHER, VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN, VANCOUVER

In Russia with love

William Casselman’s column Ustinov's Tour Guide Through Leningrad is His—and Only His (May 7) deserves attention. It is Peter Ustinov’s vivacious wit, stamina and love for this gem of Russian past and present that meets with one’s approval —not Casselman’s

weak exposé of what the program lacked. Ustinov’s was obviously not a political piece, rather an exciting—although perhaps intellectual-oriented— tour through one of the world’s most beautiful and rewarding cities. Whether one agrees with Lenin’s “yawp” or ptetends to begin to understand the events of the Stalin period and their relationship to Peter’s city on the Neva is really not at issue. That Ustinov did not drag out more of what Casselman calls “trouty tovariches” or interview average workers is not important. It would only give the Casselmans further need to “yawp” propaganda and be done with the whole thing. Nonetheless, Casselman’s facts on Leningrad are to be commended. His kindness in allowing readers to share his personal addenda to Ustinov’s city is only outdone by Maclean 's sacrifice in bringing us his message.

W.D. KERR, HALIFAX

Alabamy bound

Having read N.Y. Mags: All in a Dither (June 4), I thought it might interest you to know that Horizon magazine never folded alongside New Times and Viva. Horizon did experience a change of ownership and it’s now published out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but one would assume it’s still visible on New York’s newsstands just as it is here in Toronto.

LINDA JOYCE OTT, SCARBOROUGH, ONT.

A nickel saved ...

Ian Brown’s article A Turn in the Long Road Back (May 21), on the strike in Sudbury by Local 6500 of the United Steelworkers of America, contains references to Sudbury as a one-industry resource town, to Inco as a company that will “mesmerize Sudburians and keep them from helping themselves” and to a unionized work force that has been reduced by 8,000 jobs in the past 10 years, with significant further reductions yet to come. None of these references is fair, representative or accurate. Between 1969 and September, 1978, Inco’s unionized work force decreased from 15,564 to 11,876 due to a combination of early retirements, resignations and layoffs. In addition, to suggest that within the next 30 years Inco will only employ a total of 3,000 people in Sudbury is unfounded speculation and ignores not only the company’s commitment to the single most efficient and productive nickel-mining operation in the world but the long-term future outlook for nickel and copper products.

A.P. STATHAM, VICE-PRESIDENT, INCO LIMITED, TORONTO

Subscribers’ Moving Notice

Send correspondence to: Maclean's, Box 1600, Station A, Toronto, Ontario M5W 2B8

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I also subscribe to ( (Chatelaine and/or ( ) Miss Chatelaine and enclose old address labels from those magazines as well.

Poetic injustice

Canadians owe Maclean's a great deal for bringing to our attention what is happening in the “exciting poetic direction” of sound poetry in B.C. Poetry: Off the Page, Onto the Stage (May 7). Here, at last, is a truly democratic art form: its production requires neither intelligence, skill nor inspiration. Even the average graduate of today’s high schools is capable of emitting “guttural cries, screams, and coughs,” and thus of scaling the dizzying heights of Parnassus in search of this newfound muse.

JOHN GIESBRECHT,

ST. CATHARINES, ONT.

The quality of mercy

Recommendation for Mercy, the film inspired by the Stephen Truscott story, a film that I produced and directed, has been inadvertently slurred and maligned in Now Showing at Your Bookstore (May 14). I am upset because, although you now refer to the film as “a bomb,” you praised the film in a 1975 review, stating that “Markowitz has put together a salable and enjoyable piece of serious entertainment.” At the boxoffice, Recommendation was a huge success, being one of the top grossing English-Canadian feature films produced to date. The film was also sold and shown throughout the U.S. and in many European countries. In fact, the Canadian Film Development Corporation, Famous Players and Astral Films all recovered their investments.

MURRAY MARKOWITZ, TORONTO

Their trough runneth over

I am grateful for Allan Fotheringham’s research and revelations in The Disappearance of Pierre Ca melot a nd the Return of the Pork Barrel (May 7). I am appalled to learn to what extent the Liberal party and its leader had misused and abused their position of political power. However, knowing Fotheringham to be the large-C Conservative that he is, would he honestly have us believe that this patronage and pragmatism is symptomatic only of the Liberal party in Canada? Would he not agree that, given 11 years, the Progressive Conservative party (under the leadership of Joe Clark) would end up with exactly the same track record? Perhaps he should reread his copy of George Orwell’s Animal Farm to discover the true fate of all little piggies when they come to power.

ROB WILLIAMS, TORONTO