Geov Parrish seems to think that we can stop male violence against women if men join him in expressing "outrage . . . over the



Guy-bash outrage

Geov Parrish seems to think that we can stop male violence against women if men join him in expressing "outrage . . . over the cowardly, despicable behavior of men who are threatening, abusive, and violent towards women." Parrish's column (Impolitics, "A Guy Thing," 2/11) is objectionable not only because of this simplistic and sanctimonious tone, but because it also shows a dangerous ignorance about violence and how to stop it.

He stands reality upside down by claiming that the several sensational murders he lists "are not isolated incidences perpetrated by deranged nuts, but logical extensions of the types of controlling, violent behavior practiced by far too many men." But these sensational stories are such a sensation precisely because they are not typical. If such murders were a logical extension of ordinary male tendencies to be controlling and violent, we would routinely see male anger escalating into murder—which of course isn't happening.

Emotional tirades merely confuse things. Those of us actually doing something about male violence could use more positive help from media and less hysteria.

Tom Cipolla

Program Director

Men Working Against Abuse

A gal thing

Yes, I'm a guy, but I don't appreciate being lumped into Parrish's gross overgeneralizations any more than any other discriminated-against class does ("A Guy Thing"). Parrish completely ignores all kinds of "gal" atrocities. To name a few, the woman who murdered her own children by drowning them in a car in a lake; the mother who had her ex-husband assassinated in front of his daughter; or even all the recent studies showing that women's physical abuse of men in relationships exceeds that of the men against women. I can personally attest to the last point, having been in a marriage where my ex-wife used me for a punching bag, yet I couldn't hit back due to my morals and upbringing.

It doesn't heal gender relationships to print inflammatory, male-bashing pieces. Both sexes need to accept responsibility for where we are, and work together for our common good.

Peter Gruhl

via e-mail

Man-hating media

"A Guy Thing" by Geov Parrish is a classic example of the man hating that media has been pushing down our throats for the last 30 or 40 years. Man as a sole perpetrator of evil just does not hold statistically. Globe and Mail of 10/11/97 wrote this:

"Rather than being consistently gentle souls, women are responsible for the majority of infant and child homicides, the majority of physical abuse against children, and one quarter of child sexual abuse. They inflict 50 percent of the violence directed at siblings and the elderly, and commit about half of all assaults against intimate partners."

Sorry to interfere with your liberal need to wallow in your guilt, but a murder of a child seems much worse to me than a molestation. So it looks to me that it is women who should be bashed in the media and not men.

I will make you a deal. You say hate begets hate. So how about this—for every time you print a male-hate article, I will gloat when I hear of a woman getting raped. Does it sounds like a deal?

Zakhary Alper

via e-mail

Violence to the truth

Geov Parrish's oh-so-correct column about violence being "a male thing" urges me, just because I am male, to feel guilty about the acts of psychotics with guns just because they are male. Why, Geov? Do you feel guilty about the violent acts of psychotic females just because they happen to live in the same city as you?

War, I will grant you, seems to be a male thing. But violence is about 50-50 male and female. Certainly domestic violence is about 50-50 male and female instigated, according to decades, repeat decades, of studies by Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire and Dr. Richard Gelles of the University of Rhode Island.

Starting with well-founded research, let's work together as a society, learn what the truth is, and solve problems of domestic violence for our families and especially for our children. Let's put away the Geov Parrishstyle rhetoric, which is silly, phony and does violence to the truth.

John Maguire

The Fatherhood Coalition


Geov Parrish replies: I, too, saw a statistic the other day: that 80 percent of all femicides are due to current or former spouses or boyfriends. That's a problem for all men. And the very notion that being appalled by an endless parade of cold-blooded murders of women is somehow controversial shows just how much of a problem we have.

Cherry picker plan

I want to respond briefly to your article regarding Initiative 46 ("Pole Position," 3/18).

I don't believe that I dismissed the safety issue. Quite the contrary. I think it's the only possible valid argument our opponents have. I care very much about the safety of city workers. I believe we can protect

safety and protect our free speech rights. This is 1999. Can't we find safer ways to work on a pole than climbing them? Can the city not afford cherry pickers, or ladders? If a worker must absolutely put on a harness and spikes and climb a pole, then we should pay someone to scrape the poles clean before they start to climb it. I note that no action has been taken to remove the tacks, nails, or staples from any of the city light poles. All that was removed was the posters. No, I do not dismiss the safety issues. I just think we have means to keep our workers safe and protect our precious free speech rights.

Tim Crowley

Campaign Manager, I-I46

Not pole punks

I am one of the three I-46 volunteers Mike Romano interviewed for "Pole Position" (3/18). He called us "Seattle's pierced and tattooed," which wouldn't bother me if it was true. I feel that making sweeping generalizations like that is unnecessary and actually detrimental to our cause. Whether or not I'm punk shouldn't matter.

Using a picture of a utility pole caked with shredded posters and a sarcastic caption was anything but nonbiased journalism. The issue should not be whether or not posters are pleasing to the eye, but rather that everyone has the right to free speech. If we have to be bombarded with billboards and advertising on public transportation, then it only seems fair that we, the public, should be allowed equal opportunity.

This is not about music posters, it's about community. It's not a bunch of snotty punk rockers trying to beat City Hall, it's about a group of people from diverse backgrounds coming together to say that we have a right to freely communicate with each other.

For the record, Tim Crowley and I did not quit the Kiosk Task Force together to start Free Speech Seattle.

BethAnn Fell

owner, Hi*Score Arcade, Penny & Perk

Keep Seattle tidy!

The 3/11 Weekly issue had letters from whiners complaining about the posting ban. Get over it! The main reason for the ban is safety. People who work on poles find it difficult to climb them when festooned with hundreds of staples. Go figure!

The ban has also proven to be an act of beautification. I have noticed less clutter along the streets that were traditional posting sites. That clutter was not caused by "tidy" citizens. It is caused by slovenly transients and all too many youth who have little respect for the environment.

Freedom of speech can be had by encouraging kiosks, community message boards, etc. Why should my tax dollars be spent on cleanup because some promoters are too cheap to pay for advertising? Freedom requires responsibility. That is another part of the equation too many forget.

keith l. boe


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