To the Editor:
I was furious at the responses to Beth Halbrecht's article, "Thinking the Unthinkable," MH News: April 16. When I said to a friend that I was going to respond to the articles she told me: "They're pigs Celeste. Don't waste your time." Even so, I am writing because I feel that somebody has got to "waste their time." I know what she meant when she said don't waste your time. I experienced it the first time I had a political discussion about the tax cut freshman year. Nobody listened to the other point of view. I found that people would try to silence me because they did not want to hear an opinion that was not their own liberal one. It made me feel so frustrated that I wanted to go to the library and scream "I'm a Republican!" at the top of my lungs just to see if someone would attack me or something. I was so psyched when the tax cut was passed through Congress, and when my roommate entered the room I proclaimed it with joy. She said "Oh no! That means that all the poor people are going to starve to death!" She then proceeded to storm from the room after saying "I don't even want to discuss it with you!" I still laugh sometimes when I think of that statement. You see, I'm an economics major and I recently went to a lecture on the tax cut at MHC in which the woman said that the new tax bill was the best deal for low-income Americans ever passed. I'm not trying to pick a fight. I don't want people to rip the pictures off my board or anything like what has happened to many of my conservative friends. I'm just saying that I too want what is best for people and I wish that political intolerance wouldn't come between us. In saying this I am addressing the liberals and radicals on this campus. I love to hear your opinions. And though you would probably deny it, I know from my experiences that there is a lot of intolerance on the part of the liberals and radicals on this campus for the conservatives. And I think that the more you call people "heterosexist," "racist," "fascists," (Yes, one girl across the hall from me was labeled a "fascist" last year for her Reagan-Bush '84 button), the worse things are going to get. To be frank, I feel discriminated against. I'm glad that Beth made you angry, and I hope that she made you think. Congratulations to Beth Halbrecht for "wasting her time."
I wish that political intolerance didn't lead to apathy on campus, but I get a real strong feeling that it does.
Celeste Despres '89
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to Beth Halbrecht's "Thinking the Unthinkable" which appeared in a previous edition of the Mount Holyoke News. I do agree that apathy on this campus is a problem - every group has had difficulty filling its board positions and most campus-wide activities are poorly attended. However, I do not agree with the main thrust of the article: "If we do not make Mt. Holyoke coed, the few radical students who do speak up and run for office will control our school." WHAT? Women and children head for the hills - our fair school is in jeopardy! "The solution - bring in the men." (The parallel of that statement with "Send in the Marines" should be noted.)
There are two problems in logic here. One, that this women's college, which has managed to exist for 150 years as such, cannot continue without the aid of men (in the form of male students). The irony of this should not escape any of us. And, two, because the student body is apathetic we need some REAL competition to shake us out of our gray drabs - male student bodies. Implicit in the apathy-in-women-can-be-solved-by-bringing-in-male-competitors argument is the assumption that women are not real or sufficient competition. Bullshit.
The problem of apathy on this campus doesn't have to do with a lack of stimulation - most of us are to involved with classes, grades, and finding a summer job to spend time on campus events, political discussions and other things that won't show up in our Career Services files. By saying that, I am doing a grave disservice to those who care and do look beyond academics. They are the minority, and I applaud their efforts. Speaking as a non-"radical liberal fascist" and a heterosexual, I have not felt threatened by any activities sponsored by the Women's Center, Women Against Heterosexism, or the Lesbian Alliance. And I hope they continue working to educate the community.
We are all here to learn. We need to listen to and work with each other, rather than promoting age-old fears of THEM (whomever they happen to be this time), which further divide our community.
Charlotte Reed '87