The butch is back

Oops, you published the 25th annual Queer Issue of the Voice [June 23-29] and forgot to include anything about queer women! Did you think the genderqueer article would cover it? That would be kind of disrespectful to the way genderqueers identify themselves, wouldn't it?

My butch identity is not an anachronism, nor is it a primitive stage on the way to a more radical genderqueer-ness. It is who I am, always have been, and probably always will be. It does us all a disservice to be dismissive of trans identities that include passing, to be dismissive of butches as history, to be dismissive of any form of gender expression. Isn't inclusion what gender liberation is all about?

Rachel Eckhardt

Frame Game

I enjoyed Richard Goldstein's "Mauling Moore" [Press Clips, June 30-July 6], on the network media's coverage of Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11, particularly the dissection of their conflating Moore's slant with factual information in the movie. It's important to recognize the ways in which the major media outlets frame the debate in an obviously slanted way under the guise of objectivity.

I'd like to put forward a different theory regarding the motives for these takedowns. While there's no doubt that corporate ownership has a significant and pervasive effect on media, I think it's a stretch to imply that GE's defense contracts or Disney's need for the "kindness" of federal regulators is at work in these kinds of situations. There's very little, if any, evidence that shows journalists go after their subjects at the behest of their corporate masters for the sake of the larger bottom line.

They do, however, protect their turf with nearly unmatched ferocity. I think it's more likely that they went at Moore because of his vocal and persistent critique of what he sees as their passivity in the face of the Bush administration's claims about weapons of mass destruction and the justifications for war. Katie Couric seemed especially defensive with Moore during her Today interview of June 21. In it, you'll see a journalist scorned, knives out for the attack. I think it's reasonable to suppose that the criticism is much closer to revenge than some kind of conspiracy of corporate overlords.

John Warner
Blacksburg, Virginia

Bad Press

Once again, the media duck when faced with the evidence of their own ineptitude. Goldstein would have us believe that they were only giving the public what it wanted.

During the lead-up to the Iraq war, the public was fed the administration line, almost unfiltered by any media analysis. If the public reaction was one of acceptance, then it was the job of the media to point out that the administration's data was highly questionable. That would have been the appropriate feedback for the fourth estate, charged with keeping a check on government power in a functioning democracy.

Charlotte Baltus
Rochester, New York

Ohio Loves Indiana

Re Gary Indiana's "Wonder When You'll Miss Me" [June 30-July 6]:

I greatly enjoyed Gary Indiana's outstanding defense of Bill Clinton and his book. It is a masterful analysis of decency versus viciousness, intelligence and intellect versus idiocy and xenophobic hate-mongering, and responsibility and common sense versus rampant greed and unlimited violence.

Monish R. Chatterjee
Springboro, Ohio

It's no 'Ulysses'

I enjoyed Gary Indiana's review of the Clinton bio-epic. I agree with his formulations. Two comments, however. First, Ulysses Grant's two-volume set was written years after his war and office experiences, when he had the wisdom and judgment of some hindsight. Grant did not have a tin ear. The failure of Bill's book is too much political graciousness and too little time to steep. Second, Grant was single-minded when he wrote his book. Bill has been doing this and that; the book suffers.

Tom Barman
Forest Hills

Beyond Dyke-otomy

Elizabeth Cline's "Transmale Nation" [the Queer Issue, June 23-29] is right on with my feelings. Gender is as flexible as human beings want to make it. There is no such thing as only two genders.

I am a kind of gender anomaly. I am a heterosexual, biologically female woman who has always been masculine. I still identify as masculine, but more because of upbringing and experience than by choice. It's just who I am. However, as a radical feminist, I can see the danger of identifying too much with masculinity and maleness, as if these characteristics are the only ideal traits to have. At the same time, I feel that "femininity," whatever that is, has been forced down the throats of all women, gay and straight, to keep us in line with patriarchy. Negotiating these two realities is always a challenge.

Thank you for publishing such a complex and thought-provoking article.

Yolanda M. Carrington
Raleigh, North Carolina

Labels for Less

This article is a great start in describing the new deconstruction of gender and sexual orientation. The reality is that we end up in love and attracted to the person, forget about labels. So what if we modify our bodies and choose our clothes to be happy? Sex has no gender.

Jeannie Janys
Bayside, Queens

Rugger Soul

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