London Breeches

I was impressed by Richard Goldstein's article on the outing of MPs in Britain ["Drool Britannia," November 24]. It was better than many articles in the liberal British press.

Like most people, I was horrified by the headlines, but enjoyed the spectacle of editors squirming when their readers turned a deaf ear to the whole affair. Effectively, it was, "We don't care what our MPs get up to in their private life."

The winds of change have been blowing for some time now, and when one of the most prominent Tory MPs, Michael Portillo, lost his "safe" seat in a Conservative heartland in the last election to an openly gay young man, there was a definite feeling of change.

Joanne Entwistle
London, England

Richard Goldstein's article on the outing of three members of Tony Blair's cabinet was brilliant. It's nice to hear about other sexually challenged countries.

Sue Ellen Kroll
Sterling, Massachusetts


Reading Karen Houppert's article "Nannypacks" [November 24], I found it surprising that some "educated" parents who are role models to their children don't provide the same benefits to their nannies that they receive from their employers.

A woman whom Houppert refers to as "Meg" ought to be ashamed for saying to her nanny— who had just got her green card, allowing her to plan a long-awaited trip to see her children: "Look, when I hired you, I said you're going to take vacation when we do. I understand you haven't seen your kids for seven years, but in the future, please tell me when you're going away. And I want it to be when we go away."

Surely, if the situation were reversed, this woman would expect her own employer to have some compassion— even if it was not a part of their original agreement.

Conversely, Houppert writes about a woman who is the epitome of responsibility. She treats her nanny as she would have done unto herself: annual raises, paid holidays and vacation, and a Christmas bonus.

Perhaps "Meg" should consider some advice that she might tell her children— do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Abigail Trueblood

Baby Binds

Thanks to Karen Houppert for her article "Nannypacks." As the mother of a two-year-old, I have had difficulty finding affordable child care. Unlike the Park Slope residents in Houppert's article, I cannot afford a nanny or day care.

The city does not help with any subsidizing, and this is a problem that needs to be addressed. Luckily, my family is there for me on a constant basis. But some are not so lucky.

Crystal Hinds

Silver Bull

In response to Andrew Hsiao's lead item in the November 3 Press Clips column ["The GLAAD Hand of Coors"]:

Imagine a queer activist who had left the country a few years ago and only recently returned. Talk about culture shock! She or he would witness a brave new queer world, one in which the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has accepted $110,000 from the Coors Brewing Company— a firm that the gay and lesbian community has long boycotted.

As the former executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area affiliate of GLAAD, I would like to emphasize my dismay that GLAAD would accept money from such a source. When I was with GLAAD, a large tobacco company that was a key backer of the homophobic senator Jesse Helms was considering offering the community money— and some were considering taking it. However, we "did the math" and realized that taking money from people who are trying to kill you doesn't add up.

Tom Di Maria
San Francisco, California

Siege Mentality

Gary Dauphin writes in his review of The Siege [November 17] that "its portrayals of Muslims, Arabs, and Arab Americans are a bit of a mess despite stabs at balance and nuance."

What I saw was another Hollywood blockbuster perpetuating the stereotype of Arabs as terrorists. Although the characters are fictional, repeated exposure to these images will promote intolerance toward the Arab community, of whom the vast majority are hardworking, law-abiding citizens who contribute to this country professionally, economically, and culturally. Isn't it time this hateful image was put to rest?

Johnny Farraj

S/M Unchained

Thanks to Guy Trebay for his article about s/m photographers Barbara Nitke and Mark Chester ["Slap Happy," November 24]. These two photographers capture the ordinariness and love present in s/m play.

As a member of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, as well as Black Rose, an s/m organization located in Washington, D.C., I thought that Mr. Trebay did an excellent job of reporting on sexual minorities without reinforcing negative stereotypes.

Bernadette Wright
Baltimore, Maryland

All Rapped Up

Peter Noel's Revenge of the Mad Rappers" [December 1] was excellent. The street mentality a rapper possesses is hard to let go of, especially when that mentality brought you success. Hip hop must grow up. If you want the money, accept the criticism.

Bert Hubbard
East Village

Hoop Dreams

Re Alisa Solomon's "Ready, Willing, and ABL" [November 24]: The American Basketball League has showcased the best women's basketball in the world— better than their rivals in the WNBA— for the past three years. Yet the big-buck barons of sports media choose to ignore the ABL. It makes a sports fan wonder, but not for long. Moguls care more about the razzle-dazzle of the packaging than the quality of the game.

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