LETTERS

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May 25, 2004

Letters to the Editor

Emergency contraception

We are writing in response to Karlis Kandero's cartoon in the Friday, May 21, 2004, issue of the Maroon that satirizes the FDA's recent decision to outlaw the over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception. It should be noted that we agree with the spirit of the cartoon¬ónone of us believe that it is ethical to legislate morality when it concerns a question of personal conscience¬óbut we dispute the unfair characterization of the FDA and its lamentable decision as being related to the doctrine or representatives of the Catholic Church.

The reconciliation of a Catholic individual's religious convictions with the conventions of contemporary life is a deeply personal affair and should not be taken lightly. It is the prerogative of any organized religion to form an opinion on important issues such as contraception, and it is usually a given that these convictions will be based not on logic or prevailing cultural trends but on faith and spiritual contemplation. While it is also the prerogative of any individual, members of organized religions included, to disagree with these convictions, it is in extremely poor taste to openly mock those who subscribe to such formally synthesized opinions, even if they are popularly considered to be outdated or illogical.

Kandero's characterization of the FDA's ruling against emergency contraception as a Catholic priest exorcising a condom is hurtful and unfair. Kandero is associating the Catholic Church with the agendas and machinations of the current administration, its appointed supporters, and the resulting political climate in Washington. The current administration is anything but Catholic, and Kandero ignores the necessary importance of personal conscience in any Catholic's individual decision on the matter of contraception.

Michael D'Arcy

John Zuidema

Colleen Doyle

Shewanna Manning

Joe Anzalone

Shehzad Jooma

Rejection letters

To Abdur-Rahman Syed: In regards to your letter on 5/21/04 addressing my column, it's too bad you missed the point.

More than writing about myself, I was writing about a reaction experienced by many students, engaging them with a subject to which they could relate. My intent, rather than to solicit pity, was to articulate an emotion, analyze it through my own experience, and address what I deem to be a problem.

It was certainly not my intent to fundamentally alter the way all committees handle their review process; a ridiculous prospect, which I would not even know how to go about achieving. My critique is suitable for committees which are not flooded with applications; committees, for instance, which are able to reach a decision on the projects they will fund after two days of deliberation, as in the case of the Annan Writing Award. There is a difference between a committee that must look at hundreds of applications, and one that evaluates less than ten.

As for your critique of the article as irrelevant to "real people with real problems," I would like to point out that the Abu Ghraib scandal, about which volumes had already been written prior to last Tuesday's edition, is an event which many students have trouble relating to, beyond an abstract sense of right and wrong. As a student journalist, my first obligation is to address issues that directly affect the student body. I could have called for Donald Rumsfeld to resign, but I doubt it would have registered on his radar screen, or on that of any influential policy-maker in Washington. Instead, I have sought to engage students with an issue many confront, particularly at this time of year, by analyzing my own experience. I maintain that this is the kind of writing, a social commentary germane to the student body, which is well suited to the Maroon as a college newspaper.

Daniel Gilbert

Associate News Editor

Redheads

As a redheaded guy who has always wanted to save the universe from evil giant communalist brains (or at least make out with Meg Murray a lot), I read Leila Sales' column on A Wrinkle in Time with growing indignation. Now, I can't claim to be hot or even, frankly, lukewarm, but I would point Sales to a host of historical redheaded guys who spent a fair amount of time saving the world and who may, in fact, have been hot. The website www.redandproud.com, which does, in fact, exist (yes, I'm sort of embarrassed about it too) maintains a lengthy, poorly researched list of them. Rob Roy, defender of the Scots? Redhead. Thomas Jefferson, commonly known as the hottest president? Yep, red hair. Napoleon Bonaparte? Bien sur. Oliver Cromwell, Christopher Columbus, General Custer, and Judas Iscariot ? You bet. Also, Winston Churchill, Lenin, and, for bonus points, Trotsky. Surely at least one of these fellows was 1) hot, 2) red-headed, and 3) into saving the world. I've got to believe that there are still a few guys around today with all three quantities.

Craig Segall

Fourth-year in the College

In my four years at the University of Chicago, no Maroon article has inspired so much emotion from me as Leila Sales's column "Brad Pitt's next role: A Wrinkle in Time." You see, I am a redheaded guy and as such I am outraged when I read her statement, "There are no hot redhead guys." This is blatantly ignorant and fails to capture the entire picture. There are also no hot redhead girls.

Let me share an experience with you to see how oppressed we really are. I was hanging out with some girls I knew when we met a girl with red hair. My friends told me, "You two would be cute together. You should ask her out." First, guys never want to hear they're "cute." Second, since the girl was not hot (girls with red hair never are), I instead hear from my friends, "You should ask out that girl because she's the best you're going to get. Loser." This is because I can't imagine them saying what they said just because we both have red hair. I imagine you don't say to your Asian friends about ugly Asian people, "Hey, you two would be a good match." I imagine they might kick your ass if you did.

I guess "redhead" is cute since it rhymes, but I don't like cute and I don't like misnomers (it's not just the hair on our head that is red, people). Now, the name "redskins" is already taken (and I'm Native American, so I can say that and you can't) as well as "Red Man." "Carrot top" associates us with someone we'd all like to forget, "red one" is awkward when pluralized and "red guy" is a little too masculine. So let's all work together to call us "redfolk." Then we can make such blanket statements as "there are no hot redfolk."

Joe Anderson

Fourth-year in the College