By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Hell, it's just hair
Everyone in Rachel Aviv's "The Mane Attraction" [Fashion Forward, December 28, 2005, villagevoice.com] must have been joking. A girl having her long hair cut off was more traumatic to her stylist than the notion of a child with cancer? On what level of Dante's hell is this morally justifiable? As for the argument that women must keep their hair long because it's sexy, why should sexy be a woman's overriding consideration? Isn't this what appalls us about sharia, that women are reduced to their sexuality? How slippery is the slope between "Keep your hair long because it turns men on" and "Cover your hair because it turns men on"? Sisters, grow your hair, cut your hair, shave a mohawk, dye it blue. Do whatever the hell you please: It's your hair.
Congratulations to Dan Savage on his continued reference to Rick Santorum in Savage Love. In an article titled "Will Lightning Strike the Republicans?" [January 713] The Economist refers to the fall of Santorum and mentions the new meaning of that name as follows: "gay activists use his name to denote something indescribable in a family newspaper."
I felt the Voice's response to complaints about the inappropriateness of the term squaw ["Sex and the Single Squaw," Jump Cuts, December 2127, 2005] was inadequate. I'm not sure printing letters from two women under the equally provocative headline "Squawking Mad" isn't just as insulting. The Voice was not alone in its ignorance of what is deemed offensive to Native Americans, but at least Time Out New York printed a well-written apology for its headline ("Squaw Talent") and changed it. I realize that headlines are written by editors, but I'm sure Jessica Winter is embarrassed to have her name tied to it. Native people have hardly any access to a public voice, so I agree with a previous letter writer that the Voice ought to help educate readers, beginning with its own staff.
I thought Nick Sylvester's "Hips of Steel" [The Essay, January 1117] was about exercise. Then I read the line about old people in their rent-controlled apartments being "busy not dying." I am a housing advocate and lifelong resident of the L.E.S. and I work with just the kind of people Sylvester mentions. I know from firsthand experience that landlords make the lives of these residents a living hell, hoping that they will die or move. The reason: asshole hipsters who will pay $2,000 a month rent to live in dilapidated buildings some people have no choice but to live in. Is Sylvester so blind to his own classism? I've always felt that this is what hipsters actually think. Now one of you is stupid enough to admit it.
Re the flashback to James Browning's review of James Frey's A Million Little Pieces ["Frey's Incredible Suffering Not So Credible," January 10, villagevoice.com]: Frey does not owe anything to anyone. Hopefully his stories inspire hope in millions (they did in me). If nothing in the books is true, but people still find hope, then who is hurt? The people who are mad about this are the same people who get angry when the Bachelor does not pick the girl they like. I think that Frey's emotions and feelings were real (regardless of the names, events, and places).