Class conscious

May 9 1994


Class conscious

May 9 1994


Class conscious

Yes, “a young women’s pride is a precious commodity,” but surely it is possible to give young women a sense of their own worth without pushing the strident feminism that appears to exist at The Linden School (“Schooling for success,” Education, April 25). While it is important that young girls have examples before them of women who are successful in their chosen careers, I can’t help feel that Linden School pupils are being taught to despise men simply because they are men and to me that’s a step backward.

Valerie Webb, West Vancouver, B. C.

Although there are many positive aspects to The Linden School, the creation of a “completely ‘woman-centred’ curriculum” is extremely problematic. The inescapable fact is that there are two sexes on this Earth, each of which has made and will continue to make major contributions to society. Neither blind patriarchy nor blind feminism is the answer.

Ken Lancia, Montreal

As a mother of two small daughters, I am delighted to find this academic haven celebrating the roles of women in history and contemporary society. As a mother of a son, however, I am distressed that a group of young women would boo a fellow student who says she wants to share her school with boys.

Lori Klan-Gervais, Toronto

predominantly residential setting, in no way do I view the products of boys’ schools as casualties.

David Hadden, Headmaster, Lakefield College School, Lakefield, Ont.

Special impact

Your story on Aline Chrétien (“A very private lady,” Profile, April 18) was enlightening and entertaining. You state, however, that during the election campaign “she spoke only once, briefly in Italian ... at a Liberal rally in Hamilton.” She also spoke, again in Italian, at a rally in Toronto. I remember it because I could feel its impact on the audience; afterward I saw old men with tears in their eyes.

Guy Skipworth, Lindsay, Ont.

Sports pages

As a journalist, your Peter C. Newman demeans himself and your publication in his column of April 18 (“Canadian magazines, like this one, matter,” The Nation’s Business). He compares apples with oranges in suggesting that Sports Illustrated Canada's per page cost for an advertisement is $6,250 compared with $26,295 for Maclean’s, without mentioning that Maclean’s circulation is more than four times that of Sports Illustrated Canada. The only reason that Sports Illustrated Canada was able to establish here with permission was that it was an expansion of the existing business of Time Canada, which has maintained hundreds of printing and distribution jobs in Canada for over 50 years.

Nicholas P. Wattson, Sales manager, Sports Illustrated Canada


A daughter who is exposed to an exclusively feminist environment during her formative years is quite likely to enter adulthood with intolerance towards all males. How happy will a young female be in the world beyond school if she has been trained from childhood to neglect and denigrate half the human race? Feminism has many positive qualities, but it should be applied with fairness and balance.

Elizabeth McLeod, Ann Posen, Susan Hughes, Sydney Clark, St. Clement’s School, Toronto

You mistakenly quote me as stating, “Every male brought up in that environment [boys’ schools] is a casualty.” Although I do believe, in this day and age, that there is no rationale for single-sex male education in a

Fitting memorial

Fred Bruning wants audiences to question the “betrayal, brutality and ethnic hatred that attend the Holocaust” (“The problem with Schindler’s List,” An American View, April 25). That’s a pretty tall order considering the staggering number of people who don’t know what the Holocaust was, let alone believe it ever happened. As a testament to a period of unfathomable evil, the movie may be flawed. Nevertheless, it is an effective medium for teaching a too easily forgotten history lesson to a public that does not necessarily want to know or remember. That’s good enough for me.

Ronna Rubin, Toronto

Green still green

Your April 25 article “The greying of the greens,” (Environment) quotes a professor comparing the carbon dioxide levels of Mars with that of Earth and concluding that predictions on climate change are “a perversion of scientific responsibility.” You do a disservice to your readers by failing to report that there is an international scientific consensus on the role of carbon dioxide in global warming, and that Canada has quite properly established a policy of stabilizing carbon dioxide emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000. The environment as a “story” is not dead.

Jim Fulton, Executive director, The David Suzuki Foundation, Vancouver


Good foundations

As a recent graduate from teachers college and stay-at-home mother by choice, I read your cover package on public schools with great interest (“Are we cheating our kids?” March 14). It confirmed what I instinctively knew: the best start I can give my one-year-old son is here at home. Stayat-home moms who take their parenting seriously are contributing one of the most important and valuable resources to our country—healthy, well-adjusted children who will become confident, successful adults. What more important job could there be?

Valerie Angus, Scarborough, Ont.

As a Grade 5 and Grade 6 teacher, I’m really tired of hearing about the problems with education in Canada. The education system is a microcosm of a mixed-up social system, so it’s no mystery that it’s in some difficulty. Increased violence, substance abuse and moral decay are only three of the myriad problems educators are faced with every day. We’re all on this planet with one common goal: to teach future generations through our example. It’s time we started teaching them again about the value of hard work and becoming decent human beings. Maybe then, schools can return to the three Rs and quality education.

Chris Bourré, Alban, Ont.

As an assistant language teacher in Japan, I find without a doubt that Japanese students are far advanced in many subjects, but what is often ignored is that they also lag far behind in many areas considered essential in Western society. Japanese students learn by rote and memorization. Analysis and opinion-forming are largely ignored. For example, I can confuse an entire class of high-level students by changing one word in an English sentence. One must question, then, if these students truly learned English, or simply how to memorize a textbook and pass exams.

Kelly Ann Anderson, Yokkaichi, Japan

‘We can be nasty’

Your coverage of the Somalia affair (“A few bad men,” Cover, March 28) made me sick. I heard the same kind of self-righteous moralizing during the Vietnam War— it’s so easy to judge from the safe bubble that is Canada. Where are the cover stories of the

A blind eye

Maclean’s is right to note that the Canadian Airborne Regiment is a culture. Airborne soldiers are, indeed, a separate breed. The Airborne soldier is the only one in the military with the training and temperament to work in an environment that would see any regular soldier crumble. Despite military historian Gwynne Dyer’s comment that the Airborne is a “luxury,” it can be just as easily viewed as a necessity, especially considering the volatile world that has followed the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Angus M. B. Scott, Toronto

Referendum reality


savage brutality going on in Angola? In Chad? You blithely ignore or excuse the most heinous, sadistic behavior on one side and go into trembling frenzies of righteous indignation at the mere suggestion that “we” can be (almost) as nasty as “they.” Your implicit double standard betrays a deep-seated and vicious racism that is all the more pernicious for its subtlety.

S. R. Rose, Paradise, Nfld.

I applaud the forthright explanation of Canada’s new foreign policy as espoused by minister of foreign affairs André Ouellet and International Trade Minister Roy MacLaren (“A change of heart,” Canada, March 21). Now that we have accepted that “trade policy and foreign policy are the same thing” and œ that Canada will find ways of criticiz1 ing human rights abuses “without i±i compromising our chance of doing 5 business,” we have defined an entirely new set of potential business partners. Perhaps Canada can start by cutting a deal with Zaire, where thousands are tortured and murdered by the government every year. Let us not let human rights issues get in our way in the future.

Ralph Hazleton, Lusaka, Zambia

I was pleased to see the Liberals believe we must rethink our foreign policy. A country of 29 million people trying to force a country of a billion people [China] to adopt our human rights policies is comparable to the tail trying to wag the dog. And the fact that the Liberals have reduced foreign aid is admirable. We should use our available resources to clean up our own backyard. Who knows, we may even solve the deficit problem and keep our nation in one piece.

ing asked to trade the new car behind door No. 1 for the donkey cart behind door No. 2. Let’s get the leaders of Canada and Quebec to hammer out the details of separation before we have any referendum. Only if they do so can the question be reasonably decided by democratic means.

Chris Westbury, Montreal

Allan Fotheringham says that Ottawa shrinks the mind and does strange things to people. This probably explains why he chose to write about the birds and the church bells keeping him awake during his visit to Mexico (“The bells of San Miguel,” April 11), ignoring the country’s armed uprisings, assassination of a major political leader and countless other problems. At least we know that Fotheringham is not deaf.

Phillip Adler, Thornhill, Ont.

It was refreshing to read Allan Fotheringham’s pointed questions about the practical details of Quebec separation (“The pressing issues in Ottawa,” April 18). It reminds me of that old game show Let’s Make a Deal. I’m not prepared to start discussing—or voting on—a deal until I know whether I’m be-

Fred J. Cramer, Houston, B. C.

Maclean’s welcomes readers’ views, but letters may be edited for space and clarity. Please supply name, address and daytime telephone number. Write: Letters to the Editor, Maclean’s magazine, 777 Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W 1A7. Or fax: (416) 596-7730.