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After just perusing your lead article from the July 9 Reader, entitled "I Dismember Mama," I cannot help but ponder how typically characteristic its simplistically applied premise appears to be in its presentation of a somewhat worn lexicon of selectively applied rhetorical hot buttons. There is no doubt that we all live at the end of an era transfixed by the birth and death of many isms, which seem significantly devoid of very few "asms." And there is also no doubt that our current vintage of Western culture has become significant more for its persistent mania to stratify and impose stringent classifications on itself and others rather than to engage in an overall sense of unanimity.

As any other ism, feminism has become too easy a topic/target by the virtue of the tacit and universal deference it inspires in the faithful, as well as the lingering antipathy in those perennially and ideologically excluded. As with any exclusive dogma, it must feed upon a carefully filtered interpretation of history fully congruent with a sense of glorious struggle from the past to vindicate its continued existence in the not so easily definable present. In the here and now, such a dialogue becomes more a pedantic mantra to shopworn phrases than it furthers inclusive understanding of significant dilemmas by the application of contemporaneous forward-thinking solutions more in line to the current era.

If we are all as liberated and culturally aware as we wish to believe in this modern time, then it would follow that we might all be more amused than easily intimidated by some archaic customs called up by authors from a much distant and supposedly unenlightened past. Perhaps by one's 30s or 40s, with the benefit of some life experience, these problems ultimately find solution by virtue of the awareness of the process of personal historical evolution. Who knows?

Scott Becker


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