Letters to the Editor

Readers write about males and domestic violence, China's one-child policy, and the Cleveland Indians' mascot.

Males are victims of domestic violence, too

In response to the Oct. 18 article, "Domestic violence survivors move out of abusive relationships and into school": This is a terrific and heartwarming story of a successful intervention for abused women. It is appropriate for October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. But, what do you have to offer male victims of domestic violence? The empirical research reality is that women and men initiate domestic violence at about equal rates and that at least 38 percent of the physically harmed victims of domestic violence are men. Furthermore, some of the most recent research indicates higher initiation levels for women. If the Monitor really wishes to increase awareness, it needs to focus on boys and men who suffer domestic violence at the hands of girls and women, as well as interventions that can do something to improve the quality of their lives.

Gordon E. Finley
Miami

In defense of China's one-child policy

Regarding Michael Fragoso's Oct. 19 Opinion piece, "China's surplus of sons: a geopolitical time bomb," the writer deplores the imbalance of boys to girls. But China's one-child policy is a reaction to its enormous population, currently 1.3 billion. It is an attempt to stabilize or reduce the population. Although the policy is distasteful to many couples who want a larger family, it may be the lesser of two evils. Allowing people to have as many babies as they wish would be a disaster. A larger population may result in mass starvation and fighting for available food and resources.

Seymour Bloom
San Jose, Calif.

Keep the Cleveland Indians' mascot

Regarding Jonathan Zimmerman's Oct. 15 Opinion piece, "The Cleveland Indians' mascot must go": I would suggest that the names and mascots of the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves inspire positive recognition of native Americans. These names and symbols conjure appreciation of such qualities as strength, endurance, prowess, fairness, and cohesion in competition. Any team that embodies these is certainly formidable in the ballpark.

The use of Chief Wahoo is an homage to heroics. While baseball is not war, I am reminded of the Pima Indian who raised the flag on Iwo Jima or, more recently, the member of the Hopi tribe, Specialist Lori Ann Piestewa, who was the first woman killed in the Iraq war and is believed to be the first native American woman to die in combat in a foreign war.

Native Americans are uniquely American. So is baseball. There is no slur here. There is full recognition that such Americans are an indelible part of America's heritage.

David K. McClurkin
Beachwood, Ohio

Regarding Mr. Zimmerman's Oct. 15 Opinion piece about the Cleveland Indians' mascot: As a New Yorker who has been living in Cleveland for the last several years, I have been shaking my head at the image of Chief Wahoo for a long time. The image is so ingrained into the psyche of the people here that nobody seems to be able to take that mental step back and recognize that the mascot might be insensitive.

Strangely, after being here a few years, I can kind of see where they are coming from. I don't know whether you can call it "becoming numb" to the issue, but Wahoo is so beloved here that it occasionally outweighs the inherent racism that the image carries. Even if the organization phases out usage of the image, I'm sure it will be adorning signs, bar windows, and garage doors around the city for years to come.

Brian Kirby
Cleveland

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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