Need to look beyond problem of male-bashing in the US
Regarding your March 31 article "Bashing boys is, like, not OK": Over the last several years I have noticed a trend wherein boys and men are portrayed as stupid, aggressive, or just plain idiotic. I think it is appropriate and timely that this issue is addressed and discussed, just as the issue of domestic violence should be addressed. Domestic violence isn't just a male problem but one in which some abusers are female. We don't need accusers as much as we need understanding and problem solving - we're all in this together. Both genders suffer from abuse just as both benefit from success and improvement.
I'd like to register my support for Glenn Sacks and his campaign against boy-bashing T-shirts and male-bashing in general. Mr. Sacks is doing a great service by publicizing men's and boys' issues. He speaks for many people when he voices concerns related to male academic performance and participation, paternity fraud, fatherlessness, and family violence. But I hope he doesn't just focus on the United States but also looks at the problems of males in developing countries. Perhaps more feminists should spend less time vilifying men and more time working to help both sexes.
Your April 2 editorial "World Needs a United Cyprus" fails to mention a few of the reasons the Greek Cypriots, who comprise 78 percent of the population of the island, find some of the provisions of the plan for a united Cyprus unacceptable.
For example, the Turkish state is granted 29 percent of the land while the Turkish Cypriots comprise 18 percent of the population. Though the Cypriots will be demilitarized, Turkey, Greece, and Britain will have sizable contingents on the island to possibly intervene in both the Turkish and Greek Cypriot regions. This right of intervention is what led to the present partition of Cyprus. During the 1974 Turkish invasion, thousands of Cypriots were killed, or taken to Turkish prisons or refugee camps. For obvious reasons, this issue of the right of Turkey (and Greece and Britain) to intervene militarily in Cyprus is unacceptable to the Greek Cypriots. It will be difficult to convince them to agree to it.
Your March 30 article "On family planning, US vs. much of the world" correctly showed US isolation on reproductive health issues, but did your readers a disservice by quoting the Population Research Institute (PRI) as if it were a respectable organization.
The PRI is a tiny ideological fringe group whose real agenda is to end all family planning and contraceptive use worldwide. It holds, for example, that the intrauterine device (IUD) is a form of abortion. Its website remarks that "family planning is inherently coercive in a developing country context."
At the recent population and development meeting in Santiago, Chile, the 40 votes against the US position were not from population workers or private groups, but from diplomats representing sovereign states.
The article also neglected to note that the PRI was the source of the spurious charge, rejected by four independent investigations, that the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) condoned forced abortions in China. The Bush administration chose to listen to its right-wing ideologues and to the PRI, but your readers should not make the same mistake.
The writer is the former director of information and external relations for the United Nations Population Fund.
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