Thursday, July 20, 2006
BAD BOYS ARE BAD NEWS
I am troubled by Jessica Lyons’ article in this week’s Monterey County Weekly, not by the historical facts in the story but in the perpetuation of myths about what men and women want and need from each other. At the Monterey Rape Crisis Center we focus much of our prevention efforts at telling girls and women that “bad boys” are just that: bad and bad for them. We tell boys and men that they don’t have to be “bad boys” to attract girls and women.
There is nothing remotely romantic about being kidnapped. Nor are men who are “dangerous with a swashbuckling swagger and a big cutlass” every girl’s fantasy as Ms. Lyons suggests. One of the most persistent myths about rape and sexual assault in our culture is that women secretly want it and/or enjoy it. I can assure Monterey County Weekly readers that in almost 20 years of working with survivors of this crime I have yet to come across a single one who wasn’t traumatized by it. I believe the Weekly owes them an apology. —Clare Mounteer | Monterey
The letter writer is the executive director of the Monterey Rape Crisis Center.
LEARN SOME HISTORY (AND MATH)
Was the editor out to lunch in last week’s cover story?
On pg. 22 Drake “was commissioned in 1577,” and an old man when he “became the terror of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea from 1716 through 1718.”
On pg. 24 Drake was “Commissioned in 1570” and “first to circumnavigate the globe.”
1570 or 1577? Was the history I learned of Magellan’s’ voyage about 60 years earlier a fable?
Poor fact checking and non-existent editing. —George Krieger | Carmel
SARSFIELD’S GOT INTEGRITY
I read “Mudslinging Contest,” concerning the travails of outgoing San Benito County District Attorney John Sarsfield, with more than the usual interest. During the late 1990s, while I was investigating criminal activity in the Monterey County Planning Department, a county inspector called me by name into his office and threatened me with trouble if I continued my investigation into criminal abuses of the county’s inclusionary housing program. “Everybody who’s anybody in this county is watching you,” he said. Two years later, the Planning Department charged me criminally for a legal storage shed on my property.
Deputy DA Sarsfield was assigned the prosecution, and when he came out to inspect my storage shed, he was outraged. “We’ve told the Planning Department time and again to stop acting as a lynch mob by targeting property owners whom they want to persecute politically. I refuse to prosecute this case,” he said.
I was and always will be grateful that an uncorruptible public servant like John Sarsfield handled my case. —Ron Peet | Monterey
EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND
How refreshing to read that someone in Monterey County actually has an original thought and an opinion as to what is going on around us. This is regarding “The End of Fun” article printed in the “Food Chain” section in the July 13 issue of the Weekly.
Thank you Mr. Napolitano for sharing your thoughts with us and giving us a break from the everyday filler with some real life substance. —Rain Ziemba | Pacific Grove
DON’T BLAME KIDS FOR NOT VOTING
The recent Squid Fry “Get Off Yer Asses” made an important observation that voter turnout among 18-24 year olds is quite low, especially when compared to increased numbers of young people concerned about the direction our country is taking. Yet, it appears no one asked why people do not vote.
Voter turnout in America is low overall. Voting apathy is symptomatic of the failures of our political structure rather than merely a result of the laziness of potential voters. Many young eligible voters are not engaged in the current political process because parties and candidates do not seek to connect with their concerns. Candidates and political parties do not speak to issues relevant to young people and have not shown intent to do so.
Our democratic system is not functioning properly. However, many who wield political power benefit from atrophying involvement. Why would politicians remove obstacles when there is an advantage to low participation?
Rather than scold young people to vote, why not spur us all to bring political change? We can enliven our democracy by reforming electoral processes and demanding better and more accountable representatives that everyone can stand behind and vote for. —Kristen LaFollette | Monterey