When mothers work in dangerous jobs

Regarding the April 28 Opinion piece "Accepting a mother's work - in any form": Hurrah for Peggy F. Drexler, who captured a facet of an issue that has not been sufficiently addressed as the debate over mothers going to war continues. Women have a right - a need - to have multiple purposes to their lives: as daughters, sisters, mothers, wives, lovers.

What she did not address is the financial need driving women to work outside the home to support their children. And those hazardous, nontraditional occupations, like the military, often have a significant advantage for women in that they may earn the same dollar amount as men do. That's quite an incentive.
Mary Wamsley

I consider myself a dyed-in-the-wool feminist. I defy any man to tell me what I can or cannot do. I am, however, a mother of two children. I wish that I could agree with Ms. Drexler's support of mothers in dangerous occupations who leave their children for extended periods of time, but I do not.

I cannot support such behavior because of the detrimental effect it may have on children. Every child needs a parent. This does not have to be a mother; a father could assume the primary caretaking role, but someone simply has to be there.

I applaud the desire and right of any woman to engage in any occupation, including combat. But I feel that my right to an exciting or rewarding or lucrative or challenging occupation is superseded by the needs of the children I bring into the world.

Neither men nor women should put their own needs before the needs of their children.
Janice Walsh
Burlington, Ontario

Licenses make drivers accountable

Regarding the April 28 article "Should illegals be given driver's licenses?": When an unlicensed driver causes an accident, all of us pay. Those who are licensed at least can be traced through their names and places of residence, while illegal immigrants who drive unlicensed are exempt from lawsuits and the responsibilities that go with operating a motor vehicle. Until illegal immigrants are deported, naturalized, or regularized somehow, they must have some sort of license so victims of reckless, ignorant, or poor driving can hold drivers accountable.
Janeen Morel
Des Moines, Iowa

Home schooling allows for flexibility

I was happy to see the April 29 article "The new face of home schooling" about African-American families. I would like to respond to a statement by the editor of Principal Magazine asserting that home schooling "needs stringent - more consistent - curriculum requirements."

I believe that the strength of home schooling lies in its inherent flexibility. It is able to provide the best education individualized for each student. Stringent curriculum requirements would undermine this strength. The value this flexibility provides to society is a diverse body of future citizens who can contribute creative solutions to society's problems.
Betty Wayman
Ontario, N.Y.

On a farm, what is a pet?

Regarding the April 28 article "Horse-meat sales stir Texas controversy": When I was growing up in Wisconsin, the local tavern, the Squirrels Nest, served the biggest hamburger you've ever seen for 25 cents. You could not eat two of them. Years later, I found out those burgers were made from horse meat. As far as the pet defense goes, most farm children have pet cows, pigs, and other edible animals. As they say in the South, "That dawg don't hunt."
David Bullen
Maysville, Ga.

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