To the editors:
I have always enjoyed the Reader, but was very angered by your article on Naomi Wolf's recent talk about her book, The Beauty Myth [Our Town, August 14]. You did not give her talk the seriousness which it deserves. Instead, you spent an inordinate amount of space describing what Ms. Wolf looked like (two full paragraphs), including such observations as " . . . a nicely rounded ass in tight, black stirrup pants." These descriptions were incredibly sexist and had no place in the article. I'm sure you would not have described the speaker this way if he were a man.
You also ignored the seriousness of Wolf's subject matter. Do you realize that close to 150,000 women die anorexia-related deaths each year in the U.S. alone? Wolf is talking about saving women's lives, while you preferred to dwell on her looks. I sincerely doubt that the author of the article has bothered to read The Beauty Myth. She should.
Helene Hoffman W. Eastwood
Deanna Isaacs replies:
On the contrary, if the speaker had been a man with a nicely rounded ass in tight, black stirrup pants, you can be sure I would have taken notice.