As a “shrill” feminist, I feel compelled to explain something that isn’t apparent to either Mr. Camper [Photography, April 24] or Mr. Hayford [Performance, May 1]–the CULTURE is what teaches men this absurd idea of manhood and masculinity. The culture (read: Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione, and others), those who BENEFIT FINANCIALLY from screwing up men’s perceptions of sex and emotions and women, they are the enemy–NOT FEMINISM.

Feminism is trying to undo a system that hurts both men and women. And instead of getting mad at the men in the media who benefit at the expense of men (and women), we get mad at feminism.

We live in a media culture that takes great joy in vilifying feminism. The result?

Bob Guccione is quoted in Time magazine, like he is a “sex expert.”

Six women can come forward with the same story and problems with one Sergeant Major McKinney, and a jury says ALL OF THEM ARE LYING. We’re told to feel SORRY for Sergeant Major McKinney because he lost some pension money–not the six women who lost their careers and got no justice. Who said on television that if this were to ever happen to them again, THEY WOULD NOT REPORT IT.

The average Illinois rapist spends three to four months in jail, if he gets any time at all.

Instead of getting mad at feminism, Mr. Hayford, why not get mad at a culture that teaches you this bullshit idea of manhood in the first place? Getting mad at feminism isn’t going to solve the problem, because feminism isn’t the enemy. Men and women shouldn’t be at war, but your half of the species doesn’t seem to know that this is a zero-sum game that no one can win.

I know we’re in hell when women in positions of power are slamming feminism. I wonder, do African-Americans think of the civil rights movement the way you think about feminism, Ms. True? Do we vilify the civil rights movement this way? You’ll be glad to know that this is the last time I will write, because after being a loyal reader since 1980, I won’t be reading your paper anymore.

Kim McCarten

W. Sunnyside