Return to tradition

February 9 1987

Return to tradition

February 9 1987

Return to tradition


I was disturbed—though not surprised—to find in your cover story “Sex in the Eighties” (Jan. 12) not even the suggestion that morality may be the key to “good sex.” Although you mentioned monogamy, you treated it as a vaccine rather than a moral decision. Promiscuity robs sex of its intimacy—its deep joy—and reduces it to a mildly pleasant bodily function, like blowing one’s nose. -REV. ROBERT H. HEIJERMANS, Yarmouth, N.S.

In a society that has become totally sexcrazed, I hope your articles will challenge a good many thinkers to realize that for too long we have complicated sexual activity by our obsession with it, and that a return to traditional marital sex is the answer not only for our physical safety but for enjoyable, meaningful Sex. -GLEN WARKENTIN,

Moose Jaw, Sask.

Quebec’s new language wars

Congratulations for bringing together in a short and readable piece many components of the renewed debate in Quebec over the language issue (“An echo of past battles,” Canada, Jan. 12). But in reporting my comments, I am afraid you combined two statements into one, causing some distortion. The first statement: it is amazing how quickly the people of Quebec, who everyone thought had fallen into apathy, became aware of new threats to the French language. The second statement: it is disturbing to note that the Zellers chain of department stores, which had ignored pressures such as peaceful demonstrations

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and the advice of several editorials, reacted quickly to two Molotov cocktails and withdrew its English-language signs. I never said or implied that Molotov cocktails are effective in making people aware.—PIERRE DE BELLEFEUILLE, St-Eustache, P.Q.

Controversial effects

In your article about the abortion-inducing steroid RU 486 (“Abortion without surgery,” Science, Jan. 12), Canadian Abortion Rights Action League president Norma Scarborough is quoted as saying, “A woman can take this and not have to deal with whether she is having an abortion.” Considering that abortion kills a developing human being, there seems to be a close parallel between this attitude and that of an executioner who blindfolds himself so that he will not have to know the reality Of his work. -HANK VAN DER BREGGEN, Medicine Hat, Alta.

I was both surprised and dismayed by an omission in your discussion of RU 486. You emphasized the 85-per-cent efficiency rate, but you neglected the logical question: what effect does the steroid have on the remaining 15 per cent? A presentation of the possible hazardous effects on the surviving embryo is necessary for a thorough understanding of the risks involved with the use Of RU 486. -KELLY HASTINGS,


Unimpressed by space art

If ever there were a particularly appropriate peaceful application of technology arising out of the Strategic Defence Initiative, it would have to be to shoot down orbiting junk like “France’s ring of light” (Space, Jan. 5).


Hamilton, Ont.

The Maclean ’s/Decima Poll

I read your poll issue (“A volatile national mood,” Cover, Jan. 5) with great interest, but there was one question that bothered me: the choice between being governed by the Soviet Union and risking a nuclear war. I think a better question would be, “Make a choice between maintaining a nuclear umbrella for as many years as it takes Russia to realize that her bid for world domination is hopeless, or folding when Russia issues an ultimatum should our defences be weakened.” Incidentally, Mikhail Gorbachev may be making a start toward a realization that it would be better to be at peace with us, but do not hold your breath.

-WILLIAM B. WOODS, Ridgeway, Ont.

That 50 per cent of those surveyed by The Maclean's/Decima Poll answered “red” rather than “dead” is hardly surprising. That this figure was only 50 per cent is more so. But what is really surprising is Maclean's belief that Canadians will regard the results of this question as a valid indication of growing public alarm on the risk of nuclear war. -STEVEN H. CHESSUM,

Gloucester, Ont.

Is Maclean's turning into the Penthouse magazine of the North? Your recent poll covered important issues concerning Canadians and our future. However, I fail to see the relevant nature of a 22year-old’s love of “an outrageous evening of sex” as having any bearing on my, or the average Canadian’s, life. Let her enjoy her bedroom antics by herself and keep them out of our national newsmagazine. —SHARON WILSON,

Waterloo, Ont.

I’m not sure, but I have the strangest feeling that if you had asked, “Do you ever feel left out?” some people in extreme southwestern Ontario would have answered, “Yes!” These would be the people who had seen the map of Canada on pages 24-25. The citizens of Windsor, Belle River, Essex, Leamington, etc. hope you use a more complete atlas in the future. -DAVID TAKACS,

Windsor, Ont.

The story of the MacKinnon family returning to Cape Breton to gain a chosen lifestyle (“Commitments to family”) shows the thick rose-colored glasses that you must be wearing. How nice that MacKinnon’s wife’s family firm can give him employment. How nice that they can move right back into the old childhood neighborhood, a block from his parents. A better-balanced article, however, would have included a second story—perhaps not so happy but one frequently repeated and more realistic. You could highlight the Maritime fam-

ily now trenching in the Northwest Territories, or the bankrupt Alberta farm family now living in the city, or the Prairie family split up while Dad works on the oil rigs. When choice of a lifestyle and opportunity coincide, that’s nice. When lack of opportunity forces a lifestyle change and families cope, that’s courageous and commendable.

-WENDY HOWIE, Wynyard, Sask.

Poor Walter Dee in “A move toward self-reliance”! The cost of living in Aroostook, N.B., must be formidable when $62,000 a year “is not enough for his family of five.” Our family of five lives very comfortably (if not extravagantly) on a salary of less than half of the Dees’ paltry income. We consider ourselves rich when we compare our lifestyle with that of so many unemployed or underpaid Canadians.

-HEATHER BERGER, Powell River, B.C.

A potential year of hope

Your article on the social problems faced by the homeless in Canada (“Life and death on the street in winter,” Welfare, Dec. 29) was especially timely as we face another winter. I would like to bring your attention to the fact that the United Nations secretary general, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, has proclaimed this the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. I hope Canadian communities will grasp this opportunity to focus attention on this dilemma and that Maclean’s will have more positive news to report in 1987.


Windsor, Ont.

Man alive and kicking

Allow me to congratulate you on your article in the Jan. 12 issue on Man Alive (“Searching for God in the soul of Man,” Television). The details regarding the show’s funding and apparent precarious standing vis-a-vis the CBC chopping block shocked me. Here is a program that has won more than 50 international awards, yet it seems perpetually on the brink of cancellation. Perhaps by channelling precious taxpayers’ funds into new “innovative” and positively barren shows such as We Don't Knock, the CBC brass feel that they have tapped the pulse of Canadian television tastes. If this is true, it breaks my heart and insults my pride as a Canadian.


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.