Minority women deserve more recognition

Regarding your May 11 article "Women's activism through US history": How could the Monitor write an article about women's activism through US history and include only women who are white?

To omit Native American Sacagawea, (now featured on the new dollar coin), African Americans Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, and the courageous women of color who founded the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs Inc. in 1896 (Mary Church Terrell, first president), is incredible. It is just unacceptable to report history in this country as though only one group was involved in building this mighty nation.

Margaret Bush Wilson St. Louis Former Chair, Board of Directors, NAACP

Mexico's other side: peaceful change

Regarding Carlos Lozada's May 24 opinion piece "Latin America's democratic gambles": It never mentions the changes that have been going on in the electoral arena. Even though it is true that the PRI has ruled the country for many decades, today the opposition rules in nine states and in the federal district.

On the same tone, the opposition has the majority on the House of Deputies; and in many cities and municipalities the ones that govern are from opposition parties. As a matter of fact, 48 percent of the population of the municipalities are ruled by the opposition.

The article never mentioned this deepest and peaceful transformation that Mexican society has gone through. Especially related to our political culture is the role of the media as a watchdog in the electoral process and, above all, the presence of an autonomous electoral institute, Instituto Federal Electoral, which guarantees the cleanness and transparency of the electoral process. Likewise, it is important to mention that democracy means that the candidate that wins is the one chosen by the people.

David Njera Rivas Mxico City General Director for International Information Office of the President

Motivational speakers not to blame

Regarding your May 24 opinion piece "Boosting morale with hot air": The fact that these speakers are so popular, shows that many people can still come up with dreams for improving their lives. Of course, when they are inspired to attempt to change their lives so they can realize their dreams, they find that it is hard work. That kind of result requires making life changes and sticking with them, permanently. Most cannot handle that, with the result that only 2 to 5 percent actually achieve a positive change.

But that's human nature, and a partial reflection on the current work ethic in this country. It has nothing to do with motivational speakers.

Terry Zaccone Saratoga, Calif.

Mass media's effect on boys

In your May 22 article "In mass media, 'babes' keep getting younger," many good points were made about how the culture, through the media, portrays what women should be and the effect this has on girls.

But no one seems concerned with the effects of these images on boys. It is as if the culture is saying "Boys will be boys," not "What can we do to teach boys and men what makes a truly successful woman?" Ironically, it is primarily men who are driving the images of today, yet they will be equally damaged in the long run. After all, viewing one another as objects has serious repercussions for all. It is just as, or more, dangerous to the viewers than to the "object" of one's desires.

David Williams Pittsburgh, Penn.

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