Sexy! Sensational!

I was so aggravated by the headline about the "catfight" between Clinton and Pirro ["Spoiling for a Catfight," August 17–23]. How about giving up trying to make the story sexy and calling it a "political battle"? If you must sensationalize it to get people to read the paper, could you please come up with something that doesn't make these two adult, hardworking, intelligent politicians sound like two high school girls fighting over a boy?

Ellen Zerkin
Park Slope

Terms of estrangement

Why is it when female political candidates (or whenever two females voice adverse opinions) it is termed a "catfight"? To demean women (and here, one of the smartest women in American government) in such a fashion is to continue to chip away at the hard work we, as feminists, have done to actually promote women in politics, business, education, and across the economic landscape.

Teddy Ann Fuss
Oakland, California

Not for teacher

Jessica Winter's knee-jerk, overly p.c. take on The 40-Year-Old Virgin ["The Opposite of Sex," August 17–23] makes her seem both priggish and disconnected from reality. Winter implies that portraying people telling gay jokes and using unflattering racial stereotypes is irresponsible. That's insulting. Straight guys make gay jokes, and certain men (some of whom are black) are players. Also insulting is the implication that there is something wrong with people who find it funny. Winter comes off as a humorless schoolmarm shaking her finger at the bad kids for offending her delicate sensibilities. She needs to give the audience a little more credit.

Rob Gibbs
Staunton, Virginia

Jessica Winter replies: Silence, child! Sit down!

Lukewarm turkey

Michael Feingold's review of Lennon [August 17–23] was cruel and unfair. My wife and I were at the opening and it was a wonderful play. We learned a lot about John and Yoko, and the actors and musicians were top-notch. Your review proves that the "liberal press" jumps on the bandwagon with every other rag in town. We finally get a decent play on Broadway, but the critics make sure to rip it to shreds. If Feingold wanted Beatles music he should have found another Beatlemania production instead. Instant karma gonna get you!

Mark Deats
Nanuet, New York

Statistically speaking

In "Sex and the Kiddies" [August 10–16] Sharon Lerner writes: "Nationwide, 61.8 percent of middle schools teach about methods of contraception, according to a 2000 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." A 2000 study? Remember the jackass who got elected in 2000 and went on to mandate abstinence-only, no-mention-of-condoms- except-in-the-context-of- wildly-inflated-failure-rates sex miseducation?

A better gauge would have been the research of Alan Guttmacher Institute, which tracks state-by-state regulations about what sex ed topics can be taught where, and to students of what age. While I applaud Lerner for writing the piece, this issue has been so controversial and so rapidly changing since 2000 that I'm disappointed she didn't seek out some more contemporary—and accurate—statistics.

Gulielma Leonard Fager


In Wayne Barrett's "Statistics Still Do Lie" [August 24–30] the Voice printed that Democratic candidate Gifford Miller's spokesman did not respond to the questions about whether or not Miller was claiming campaign literature as an exempt expenditure. In fact, Miller's spokesman did respond to it before the Voice closed, and due to an editing error his denial was not printed.

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