MAJOR DISCONNECT

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.

—Pamela Marino
Port Charlotte, Florida

 

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.

—J. Miranda
National Coalition of Free Men
Los Angeles

 

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


 

PAYBACK

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.

—Kristine McKenna

 

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

 

ASK WALLY

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

 

Congratulations Due

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.