Good For Tenants

J.A. Lobbia's "Silk Stocking Strategy" [Towers & Tenements, September 5] contains three long paragraphs of criticism by a tenant advocate taking issue with the Tenants Political Action Committee's decision to endorse State Senator Roy M. Goodman for reelection.

We respect the right of other tenant advocates and organizations to disagree with our decision and support different candidates. But Tenants PAC would never vote to endorse any incumbent legislator whose support for the rent laws amounts to "lip service" or who refuses to meet with tenants—two false charges against Goodman. Nor is it true that "when the vote does matter, he goes with the leadership."

During the great rent law fight of 1997, Goodman and Frank Padavan were the only top Republican senators who repeatedly challenged Majority Leader Joe Bruno's plan to phase out all tenant-protection laws in two years. They did this publicly and also in private—in the closed-door party conferences where real decisions are made in Albany. They voted against Bruno on the floor of the senate and opposed him in committee. (They could easily have voted to report Bruno's decontrol bill from the Senate Rules Committee, using the classic cop-out that they would vote against it on the floor.)

If Tenants PAC thought it appropriate to support Republican incumbents who give lip service to tenants, we would have endorsed Guy Velella and Nick Spano instead of raising money to help elect their challengers. Roy Goodman has earned our support.

Michael McKee
Tenants Political Action Committee

Nude For Thought

Thank you for printing Joanna Cagan's "Objects of the Game" [September 5]. As a female athlete and reader of mass media publications like Sports Illustrated and Gear, I have been outraged at the objectification of rising female athletes. I agree with Linda Steiner of the Rutgers Department of Journalism and Media Studies that to sexualize female athletes and treat them as pinups "is a way of cutting women down to size." I hope female athletes will not succumb to media and advertising pressure to take their clothes off.

Sabrina Walheim

Re Joanna Cagan's "Objects of the Game": Only in America would the issue of female athletes posing not fully clothed even be an issue. Because we are still largely unable to separate nudity from sex, these photos become pinups. (Admittedly, their location in men's magazines reinforces this view.) If smart women are making foolish choices, isn't the whole women's movement about their right to do so?

Richard Turner
Fontana, California

Re Joanna Cagan's "Objects of the Game": I'm a 62-year-old male who has been involved with soccer for a number of years. I am currently a referee. The controversy over female athletes posing nude or nearly nude brings out a number of emotions that reflect my feelings as a man, a father, and a soccer enthusiast.

When Brandi Chastain scored the winning goal in the World Cup championship game, I didn't see anything controversial about her removing her shirt in celebration. Male players often do the same thing in similar situations. Chastain is a very gifted athlete, completely involved in her sport. Her reaction was a spontaneous celebration, and that's all. It seems we don't want to think our women athletes are anything less than "ladies" (whatever that is).

I watched an interview in which Chastain discussed the semi-nude photo that recently ran in Gear magazine. Her confidence, her reasons for doing it, and her overall demeanor were impressive. She is a mature, intelligent, accomplished young woman.

Then the father gene kicks in and I begin to think that maybe this wasn't a good idea, even though I am proud of her and all the other players who have made U.S. women's soccer the benchmark of excellence around the world. I come down to the realization that we still carry some strains of the Puritan philosophy in everything we do. Wouldn't it be great if we could just appreciate the accomplishments of men and women without regard to whether they are clothed, unclothed, young, old, black, white, Republican, Democrat, whatever?

George E. Moore
Lexington, Kentucky

Elevated Otis

Ginger Adams Otis's "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid" [September 5] was a terrifically important article! I hope it has the widest possible circulation. Ms. Otis is absolutely right: The future of the Supreme Court is the crucial issue of this election, certainly for reproductive privacy but also for many other economic, social, and political reasons.

Reverend Dr. Phyllis J. Taylor
Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Majority Rules

The article "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid" states that Supreme Court nominees "are approved . . . in the Senate . . . by a two-thirds majority." This is incorrect. Although a two-thirds Senate majority is required to ratify a treaty or convict an impeached official, a simple majority suffices as consent to a judicial nomination.

Gary Simon

Guide Dogged

In Robert Christgau's August 22 Consumer Guide, he perfectly illustrates the most recent trend in music criticism: turning off our critical faculties and avoiding moralizing at all costs. In his book Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s, Christgau gave the album G N' R Lies by Guns N' Roses an E, his rarely given, bottom-of-the-barrel grade. The reason? The album was full of gay bashing and violence toward women. It was "a call to boycott."

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