Faulkner's Hair: the Long and Short of It

Regarding the editorial ``The Punitive Haircut,'' Aug. 5, concerning Citadel cadet Shannon Faulkner: She should meet the requirements and regulations of the other Citadel cadets, within reason, as well as enjoy the opportunities available to them. A shaved head is not the worst scenario. I admire her courage in breaking down yet another barrier to equality. Jean Corey, Alexandria, Va.,

So, Shannon Faulkner is equal enough to gain admittance to The Citadel but not equal enough to get her head shaved?

I always find it amazing when proponents of equal treatment for women stop short when it becomes inconvenient for them to endure the same negative treatment men have had to endure to gain something worthwhile.

If Ms. Faulkner is as good as anyone else admitted to The Citadel, she will stop trying to get the institution to conform its ways to her and start taking the treatment, both bad and good, that all male students have endured for the 100-plus-years of The Citadel's existence without complaint.

If she can do that, she is worthy of the prestige of attending The Citadel, and contributes to its honor and her own. Neil Uchitel, Los Angeles,

Thank you for calling a spade a spade. The Citadel's treatment of Shannon Faulkner has indeed been unnecessarily harsh. The shaved-head ruling is yet another example of the poor treatment that patriotic, ambitious women have received for pursuing a military career in America.

The ``Shave Shannon'' bumper stickers have an even uglier connotation than you acknowledged. They call to mind the tradition of shaving women's bodies during stag parties, fraternity pledging - not to mention during the 1991 Tailhook convention in Las Vegas.

These stickers are meant to put Ms. Faulkner and women in general in our collective place. The message we need to send to The Citadel is simple: The party is over, boys. Do your bonding elsewhere. Julia Ricketts, Santa Fe, N.M.,

Individual religious decisions

While the article ``As UN Resets Population Policy, Lead Critic is Catholic Church,'' Aug. 4, was interesting and timely, it left a sour taste in the mouth of this Catholic because of its superficial treatment of basic moral values. Further, it incorrectly infers that ``groups such as the Washington-based Catholics for Free Choice'' are widespread and influential.

The article should have included at least some indication of why the pope calls contraception an ``intrinsic evil'' and the Western countries' promotion of family planning ``cultural imperialism.''

Honesty would also have pointed out that while 87 percent of Catholics believe that couples should make their own decisions about abortion, the same 87 percent would agree that abortion is immoral, along with sexual intercourse outside of marriage, stealing, cheating, as well as a list of other activities so well-summarized by Moses some time ago. Decisions about these activities rightfully cannot be made by other than the individuals faced with them. Finally, Sister Maureen Fiedler notwithstanding, there is no ``... enormous gap between the laity and the hierarchy on these issues.'' Just because she says so does not make it so. Edward Holland, El Dorado, Ark.,

Cruelty to animals takes center ring

How dreadful for the animals in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus that it is expanding to other continents: `` `Great-est Show on Earth' Takes Acrobatics Overseas,'' July 26. India, Finland, England, Sweden, Switzerland, and, in the United States, Hollywood, Fla., and Tacoma Park, Md., have banned or severely restricted the use of animals in entertainment, an for good reason. When the animals in circuses are not performing their lives consist of cages, chains, boxcars, thirst, and often beatings. Animals in circuses have no privacy, while those who naturally roam in family groups or pairs are caged solitarily. In the ring, the whips and tight collars, remind us that these animals are being forced to do senseless ``tricks.'' Carla Bennett, Washington People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,

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