LETTERS

Marxist feminism?

October 15 1984
LETTERS

Marxist feminism?

October 15 1984

Marxist feminism?

LETTERS

I find it appropriate that in her Oct. 1 column, “How the feminists hurt women,” Barbara Amiel should reflect upon Nazi party policy toward Jews during Hitler’s reign over Germany to make her point. By choosing to compare a government that is attempting to create a more equitable place for women in society to a government that sought to liquidate the rights of an entire race, Amiel proves herself to be an admirable propagandist in her own right. I shudder to think what Amiel feels about emancipation or the Equal Rights Amendment, both of which were the direct result of government interference. —EDWARD J. BLOCKI,

Toronto

I too was struck by the blanket of “Marxist fog” that shrouded the preelection debate on “women’s issues.” This insidious socialistic philosophy is shared by many women’s groups and suggests that the so-called feminists have made waves but no motion, having moved from being dependent on the breadwinner of the household or the employer in the workplace to being dependent on the government, its appendages and programs. As long as women are reliant on others for funds, direction and recognition, the rewards of independence and success will never be realized. It is not government policy or legal directives that will ensure better positions for women socially or in the marketplace, but rather an individual determination to gain and maintain that status through productive, independent efforts

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Prime Minister Brian Mulroney: change?

and giving full vent to the will to succeed. -SUSAN FLEMING MCSORLEY, West Vancouver, B.C.

No clear voice

In “Election ’84” (Letters, Sept. 24) a retired professor commented on the fact that as many people had voted against the Conservatives in the election as had voted in favor of it, despite the party’s vast majority of seats. We hear a great deal these days about the rights of minorities, but it seems highly unlikely that any political party in power will do anything to change a system that gives it a share of the seats that is disproportionate to its share of the popular vote. Contrary to many news analysts, columnists and politicians, Canada has not spoken with one voice. —G. JOHN GOMAN, Waterloo, Ont.

The right impression

In your article “The tragedy of freedom” (Health, Oct. 8), I would like to correct a misleading impression about the Canadian Association for the Welfare of Psychiatric Patients. When I mentioned our difficulties in raising money, I was referring to funds for additional staff —not for our annual Christmas appeal, which has always attracted a most generous response. -G. TORI SALTER,

Toronto

Correction

In the Oct. 8 cover story on capital punishment (“Hanging”), Maclean’s erroneously reported that former Conservative MP Duncan Beattie had recaptured the riding of Hamilton Mountain on Sept. 4. In fact, Ian Deans retained the seat for the New Democratic Party.

Opportunity and challenge

Unless one is involved in a study of political science or in a political party, it is difficult to be well-informed about the political scene, and Maclean's, with its many reporters and correspondents, does a good service by bringing to the reader such informative articles. The work of Carol Goar and the 21 others who contributed to the Sept. 17 cover story, “The Mulroney Era,” is greatly appreciated. Brian Mulroney and his party are facing a tremendous opportunity and challenge. Majority party notwithstanding, it will take statesmanship, not politics, to rise to the occasion. Mulroney and his party have yet to

prove their statesmanship—God grant they do not fail us.

— MARGARET RYCKMAN, Stroud, Ont.

A legacy of knowledge

Well gosh, I must be missing out on something. I have been working out here in Victoria as a professor for the past eight years and, what with classes, lectures, grading, research, committees, letters, memos, meetings, counselling, editing and what not, putting in 12-hour days and seven-day weeks year in and year out, never going any farther away than Vancouver except on business, I am still as far from pulling down $40,000 a year as the local bus drivers (“Hard times in an age of uncertainty,” Universities, Sept. 17). Mind you, I’m not complaining. It seems to me that I am doing the most important work there is, helping to preserve and pass on the legacy of knowledge, understanding and wisdom that makes us a civilized society. But

just in case I get tired of it some day, could I ask you to do me a favor? Do you suppose you could take a few minutes to send me a list of all those $40,000-to$100,000-a-year “free to be lazy” professor jobs? — DANIEL BRYANT,

Associate Professor, University of Victoria

The structure of funding for any secondary educational institution should be changed to a more “user pay” system. However, the direct costs of an education will prohibit far too many people from obtaining an education. The solution in funding lies in those who benefit most from a secondary education—the

graduates. These people, because of their specialized training and career opportunities, generally obtain higher salaries than people who have not achieved secondary education. Therefore, perhaps the graduates should be required to pay a small percentage of their taxable income as a “loan payment” on their education. -DAVE VOLEK,

Estevan, Sask.

“Hard times in the age of uncertainty” is an important contribution to the discussion on university education. Unfortunately, some of the quantitative information presented is inaccurate, and some is misleading. The opening sentence states that “ . . . 400,000 students return to campus this week. . . .” The [correct] number is almost twice as high. There were already more than 450,000 full-time university students enrolled in

198384. Since you deal with the present,

198485, the estimated figure is of a magnitude of 475,000 full-time and close

to 300,000 part-time students. In addition, there are more than 300,000 fulltime community college students, a type of postsecondary student your article does not mention once. Although the article identifies the current issues in university education, the inaccuracy of the data used weakens the credibility of the statements made.

—MAX VON ZURMUEHLEN, President,

Canadian Society for the Study of

Higher Education, Ottawa

An ambiguous glory

I object to Derrick de Kerckhove’s ideas on the nuclear bomb (“The bright side of the nuclear bomb,” Ideas, Aug. 27). If he thinks that the bomb promotes communication between the superpowers, why then were half the world’s best athletes missing from the Olympic Games in Los Angeles? Try to tell the kin of the 269 dead passengers of Korean Air Lines flight 007 that the nuclear bomb is “something to bring us together.” The presence of nuclear threat creates a tension especially felt in Canada, the land separating the two superpowers and the next in line to becoming a side-affected nuclear battleground after the first wave of United States and Soviet Union targets. Regarding de Kerckhove’s statement that the atomic bomb is “the crowning glory of the Industrial Age”: it is also the crowning glory of the destructive age—Hiroshima, Nagasaki. M.S. Rennie’s remark (“On the bomb,” Letters, Sept. 10) that the superpowers would unite under extraterrestrial attack falls quite short of reality. I would invite her to explain to a seven-year-old child that the missile silo or nuclear reactor or bomb shelter in the backyard is there to protect us from Martians. I would not like to survive a nuclear war. Maybe de Kerckhove would, so that he could bring us all together.

— MARC A. LEMIEUX, Ottawa

Nominal changes

In your otherwise enlightening article about the costs we taxpayers suffer whenever the redecorating urge strikes the occupants of 24 Sussex Drive and Stornoway (“The cost of feeling at home,” Special Report, Sept. 17) you made a boo-boo. You refer to Joe Clark and Maureen McTeer as “the Clarks.” Surely, in this age in which more and more women choose to keep their own names after marriage Maclean's and other media can get it straight.

—ROBERT LAFRANCE, Kincardine, N.B.

Since Maclean's is Canada’s weekly newsmagazine, I think it should take the

responsibility of telling Canadians who our Prime Minister is. A minority of the radio and TV people pronounces his name as MulROEney, which seems logical, but the majority says MulROOney. We need a definitive name for our leader. -ALLAN LEARY,

Roslin, Ont.

The Prime Minister's press officer, Lisa VanDusen, told Maclean’s that the correct pronunciation of his name is MulROOney.

Advice for columnists

In your Sept. 17 issue columnist Charles Gordon missed a few points in his otherwise delightful “Some advice for backbenchers.” So here, unsolicited, is some advice for a columnist from a brand-new back-bencher. Cynicism: lots of reporters have it. The first columnist who meets his postelection deadline and attacks the new government gets a free drink in the Press Club. Publicity: what back-benchers get when they write letters to Maclean's.

—TED SCHELLENBERG, Back-bencher, Nanaimo-Alberni, Parksville, B.C.

An unnecessary barb

I have been a longtime reader and subscriber of your fine magazine. Like many other readers, I thoroughly enjoy Allan Fotheringham’s column despite his sometimes unnecessary barbs. However, this time he has gone too far. I refer to his Sept. 10 column, “The winning art of tie breaking,” and his reference to army brats. As a former member of the RCAF and the father of four children, I take great exception to the use of this phrase which, I feel, casts a slur on children of military personnel. They deserve an apology.

—THOMAS BRYAN, Brandon, Man.

A continuing commitment

An article in the Aug. 20 Maclean's entitled “The fur industry under siege” (Wildlife) refers to the “failure” of the International Fund for Animal Welfare boycott of Canadian fish in Britain. The boycott is still very much alive and well in England. Press clippings each week attest to the energy and commitment of thousands of volunteers.

— DONNA HART, Project Co-ordinator, IFAW,

Alton, III.

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. M5W 1A7.