Racial, Sexual Equity at Work

Regarding the editorial ``Women and Work,'' Dec. 7: While it is important and commendable to recognize and print the inequities that all women still face as workers, the editorial does not acknowledge the struggles women of color face in the workplace and in gaining entry to the workplace. For instance, the editorial states that women earn 67 cents for every dollar men earn. This deplorable figure is even worse for Hispanic women, who earn only 82 percent of what similarly employed white women earn, and only 56 cents to every white man's dollar.

Furthermore, while it is true that there are now some cases of judicial support for sexual equity, women who have the resources to sue erring companies are at least middle class, if not affluent (e.g., an anchorwoman and a lawyer). Legal recourse for sex discrimination in hiring and promotion is not accessible to the majority of women of color.

A more thorough analysis of this issue would reveal that justice for all women will not come until there is child care and parental leave as well as adequate education and access for women of color to all kinds of occupations.

Beth Ann Gillia, Arlington, Va.

Still stereotyping Indians The article ``Wiping Out Movie-Indian Cliches,'' Dec. 7, reviewing the recent film ``Dances with Wolves,'' judiciously selects scenes from the movie to show how far this film has come from the genre's usual stereotypes of the ``ferocious savage.'' In fact, the film mirrors the worst kinds of stereotypes.

Among other brutalities, the film depicts an Indian triumphantly holding a scalp and unprovoked slaughters of whites. Oddly, the author's primary reason for praising the film is its use of the Lakota language. But she misses the subtext conveyed by how that language is treated. Indeed, Lieutenant Dunbar, played by Kevin Costner, learns it quickly. But his white female counterpart never overcomes her difficulties in relearning English - a language she presumably heard and spoke her first six years before being kidnapped by the Sioux.

The message is clear. Lakota is easy while English is not. It's not hard to assume the relative complexities and richness of each culture from this conclusion.

Ernece B. Kelly, New York

Our son lives in Pierre, S.D., and much of the filming of ``Dances with Wolves'' was done about 20 miles south. He told us stories about how the Indians were taught to use the bow and arrow and how strange it was to see the supermarket filled with soldiers at the end of the day. Russell E. Wright, Evergreen, Colo.

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