By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Re: “The Rape Disconnect” [October 24–30]. After reading Alex Markels’ article regarding the Kobe Bryant case, I am saddened to learn certain opinions are more widespread than I thought. I find it disturbing when I hear statements such as “A lot of juries would say it’s too late to say no.” I am shocked at the number of women who believe this way. I find it appalling to listen to these women talk about this case as if this victim “had it coming to her” because she went to his room.
To be honest, my concern is not with whether she is lying or not but with the reaction to her accusations. I agree, it wasn’t a real smart move, but that doesn’t mean you give up your rights as a human being just for making a questionable decision. If a man has any integrity whatsoever, he will respect a woman’s wishes no matter what stage of the game he’s in.
If men are so incompetent when it comes to sex that they must be jailed for “date rape,” i.e., taking the traditional male role of being the initiator of sex, then here is the solution: Make it illegal for men to initiate sex. Forbid men from asking out women, forbid men from propositioning women, forbid men from romancing women, forbid men from proposing to women, forbid men from making any move toward women in bed or anywhere else. This will end once and for all the threat that men pose to women’s virtue.
The reality, of course, which anyone connected with the real world understands, is that initiating sex has been a traditional male role. There might be some equity here, then, if we were to criminalize women who played such traditional female games as flirting, teasing and playing hard to get.
Finally, it confuses me how so many people who otherwise consider themselves progressives will, when it comes to the subject of rape, suddenly become law-and-order advocates of the prison-industrial complex. I used to be an advocate of victims’ rights, but my experience with assorted survivors’ groups led me to conclude that too much of victimology was being motivated by a blind demand for revenge, regardless of such niceties as due process. I have been told by otherwise serious feminist legal scholars that “Heterosexual sex in patriarchal society is rape” and “If a woman says she was raped, she was raped.” Uh-huh. Perhaps with the help of feminists, we can raise the number of people in U.S. prisons to three million.
MAKE THAT “FAWNTASTIC”
Re: “The Fahntastic Transition” [October 24–30]. Buried deep in Bill Bradley’s fawning article on the new governor is this gem: “But [the transition team] is a group of mostly insiders, and a study of the roster shows it to skew heavily to the moderate conservative end of the spectrum, with corporate credentials predominating.” I’ve never understood Bradley’s inconsistent standards for Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He rails against corporate interests who ruled Davis, but gives Arnold a pass. In other parts of Bradley’s article, it becomes clear that if Davis had only called him every once in a while, Bradley might never have started his love affair with Arnold.
—Mitchell J. Freedman Newbury Park
I just finished wading through the slag of Marc Cooper’s “No Time for Suckers” [October 24–30], the latest whining about how those greedy, political Native Americans aren’t paying their fair share of taxes. Give me a friggin’ break! You know what? We were already “tough with the Indians.” We stole their friggin’ country! Regardless of what Indian gaming pulls in from now to eternity, they are the ones who will be at a deficit relative to what they lost.—D. Riddle Glendale
Apparently Marc Cooper is clueless as to the status of “tribes” as sovereign governments within the United States. The tribes have that status due to the United States Constitution and federal law, and are not under any obligation to pay state taxes. I am disappointed that the Weekly publishes such discriminatory idiocy.
—John D. Berry Native American Studies Librarian, UC Berkeley
Kristine McKenna Talks Back
That Timothy Ford [Letters, November 7–13] refers to my recent profile of Doug Chrismas [“The Ace Is Wild,” October 10–16]as an “exposé” suggests that he didn’t read it very carefully. It was never my intention to diminish Chrismas’ significant contribution to L.A.’s cultural community, and I made every effort to give him full credit for all he has achieved. In fact, the very first sentence in the article points out that Chrismas has “provided a home for some of the world’s most demanding art since 1966.” The profile includes laudatory comments about Chrismas from Frank Gehry, Robert Graham and Peter Plagens, among others, and even the artists who’ve had problems with Chrismas comment on him in a way that’s fair and balanced.
Ford faults me for failing to quote any of the artists who’ve maintained long relationships with Chrismas, and mentions Tim Hawkinson, Mary Corse, David Amico and Charles Fine as being among them. I contacted all of those artists; however, Chrismas had ordered them not to cooperate with me. With the exception of Charles Fine, they all followed Chrismas’ instructions and refused to speak with me. The original draft of the profile included a quote from Fine, which unfortunately had to be cut in editing due to length restrictions (as were quotes from lawyer Jack Quinn, John Baldessari, Billy Al Bengston and Hal Glicksman).
Ford takes issue with my suggestion that Ace has been less than hospitable to women artists, but I stand by that. Ford mentions Tara Donovan (who had one show at Ace/New York), and Teresa Margolies (who had one show at Ace/Mexico City). Since Ford seems interested in splitting hairs, I ask him to take ‰ note of the fact that I refer to Constance Malinson as “one of just five women Chrismas has represented in L.A. over the last 37 years.” That doesn’t seem like very many women artists for 37 years of presenting shows.
Ford defends Chrismas on the grounds that his “tendency to financial manipulation ... seems more than outweighed by his commitment to the art.” That is entirely a matter of opinion, and this infinitely debatable question was precisely the point of the profile. That’s why I gathered as many opinions as I possibly could — I contacted nearly 60 people — and quoted people as objectively as I could. (I would add that were Ford an exhibiting artist, his feelings about the matter might be different.) This was not an op-ed rant; it was a piece of reporting, and all I did was gather information and try to determine whether or not it was true before presenting it to the reader.
EMBARRASSED, BUT NOT UNTHRILLED
While it’s always a pleasure to see Moving Arts mentioned in Steven Leigh Morris’ theater column, the remark he attributed to “a representative from Moving Arts” at the recent Edge of the World Theater Festival’s Edge Factor roundtable [“Edging Your Bets,” October 24–30] requires some clarification. I am the representative quoted. The subject of the roundtable, as Morris indicates, was whether local theater is “vital” (and if so, to whom), and a portion of the discussion centered on the relationship between local theater and the film-and-television industry. Morris quotes me as having mentioned that the company was “slightly embarrassed when Tori Spelling optioned a one-act produced there.”
I should first make it clear that I was not speaking on behalf of Moving Arts or any of its members, but expressing a concern of my own. In fact, everyone in the company I had contact with was thrilled by Ms. Spelling’s option, myself included. We’re extremely proud of the relationships we’ve built with the Industry, audiences, the theater community and the press. In using the word “embarrassed,” I was expressing concern that Moving Arts’ reference to Ms. Spelling’s option in promotional materials might run the risk of distracting from or overshadowing the work itself. I am pleased to report that that has not been the case.
—Trey Nichols Literary Director, Moving Arts, Los Angeles
In “The Doctor of Shirts” [October 24–30], Greg Goldin refers to Prince Charles as His Royal Highness the Duke of Windsor. Charlie is a lot of things: prince of Wales, duke of Cornwall, duke of Rothesay, earl of Carrick, baron of Renfrew, lord of the Isles, prince and great steward of Scotland, but duke of Windsor he is not. That title was given to his disgraced great-uncle, David, erstwhile King Edward VIII, after he abdicated in 1936.
He is, however, a member of the House of Windsor (or, more correctly, Windsor-Mountbatten).
—Joan Kaufman Los Angeles
The Association of Food Journalists gave L.A. Weekly contributors two nods of approval in its annual Awards Competition 2003. Michelle Huneven received first-place honors for her restaurant criticism, and she also shared a third-place award with writers Gendy Alimurung, Lou Amdur, Jonathan Gold, Phranc, Nancy Silverton and Anna Thomas for a special section about takeout dining published in June 2003. Kudos to the writers, and to section editor Deborah Vankin.