Letters to the Editor

Subjugation of women

Must today's girls serve the masters of primitive marketing?

Editor, The Times:

I read The Seattle Times in civics class and I was struck by "Some coffee stands are getting steamier" [page one, Jan. 22]. As a 17-year-old female and a senior in high school, I was quite disgusted by what I read concerning these "steamy" coffee stands.

What are these shops teaching the women and men of America? That it's OK to objectify a woman?

That's wrong. I, like any other teenager, am confronted daily by sex appeal. It's on MTV, in magazines, music and in school. I realize sex sells, but should it? Should it be everywhere? It is only further distorting females' body images.

Coffee stands like these are setting a poor example for those of us striving to beat what society expects of us in terms of our "sexy" image. Show some modesty. The messages these coffee stands are sending scream at me that in order to be successful, competitive and attractive, I should run around in a school-girl outfit.

I realize times are changing, but this time they aren't for the better. It's a coffee shop, not a strip club. Keep it PG-13, please.

— Jessica Lindquist, Anacortes

Go to the end of the line

I am absolutely speechless over the front-page story about baristas dressing like strippers to attract customers. It is beyond me why these young women would voluntarily objectify themselves this way. But it can hardly come as any surprise that, within the same news cycle, there is news about some creep stalking a teenage Starbucks employee.

But don't these women have the right to manipulate men to their benefit? Um, no. That is the same faulty logic used to treat stripping and prostitution as the ultimate expressions of feminism. What a load of garbage. These misguided women are setting the rest of us back, and they have no right to do that.

My advice to these women: Watch your back when you get off your shift. And to the men: Get a freaking life.

— Amy Cockerham, Tacoma

Coffee, tea or meek

This is addressed to the workers profiled in "Some coffee stands are getting steamier": There are better ways to make a buck than to tart yourself up for a job and have to endure some fool drooling on your arm while you are serving his drink.

Show some respect for yourself. If you don't, who will?

— Cindy Butler, Edmonds

This should get us started

Did I miss something? I wonder if I, a 50-something female, would stand a chance of being hired by Lori Bowden, owner of the Cowgirls Espresso stands.

I also wonder, if I were a guy, would I be hired? I particularly wonder what ever happened to federal and state labor laws that forbid hiring discrimination based on sex!

— Barbara Potter, Seattle

Abrogation of men

If soldiers buckle

1st Lt. Ehren Watada's appearance at The Evergreen State College is disgraceful ["Anti-war activists hold hearing," Local News, Jan. 21]. He frets because war authority is in the hands of so few. Those few are elected by a free people, and subject to regular, peaceful renewal. Evergreen would shudder at the alternatives.

He cites his oath to the Constitution. His oath contains the unequivocal phrase, to obey the orders of the president. It did not say, Obey only if the name is George, or Bill, or Hillary, or John, or Rudy. Nor did it say, Obey if he feels like it.

Watada wants to opt out of the military, after volunteering. With adulthood and commitment come obligation and consequence.

What if all military personnel chose how to serve based upon political wind and personal whim? We would have a rabble instead of the finest military in history. The results would be catastrophic for Evergreen and everyone.

Even Watada's future fellow inmates will look at him as a disgrace.

— Steve Bristow, Oak Harbor

If judges blink

It is evident by the ruling by military Judge John M. Head that the lynching has begun ["Watada can't base defense on war's legality, judge says," Local News, Jan. 17].

While I am not an attorney, I do know and understand right from wrong. It is Lt. Ehren Watada's right to question the legality of the Iraq war. If in fact the war is illegal by American law or it violates the U.N. Charter, then Lt. Watada would be a criminal for not having opposed this war and refusing to fight in it.

For Judge Head to say the legality of the war is a political question is to say the rule of law does not apply to our soldiers. Can anyone say "railroad"?

Does not the military understand this man has an American right to a just and fair trial? We all know how corrupt this administration has become; has this corruption backed down into our military?

My God, Judge Head, I beg you to stop this sham. You and the rest of the military should be fostering the kind of leadership demonstrated by Lt. Watada, instead of trying to destroy him. This man is standing up for the rule of law, unlike your military tribunal.

P.S. I served in the Army in Berlin, behind the Iron Curtain, from July 1958 to June 1960.

— Robert Lloyd, Ewa Beach, Hawaii

Relegation of art

Grey becomes an icon

Kudos on The Times' coverage of the new Olympic Sculpture Park ["Visitors thrilled with sculpture park," Local News, Jan. 21]. There are few icons in the Northwest. Mount Rainier, the Space Needle and the Pike Place Market qualify. As a Chicago native who has lived out here since 1988, I must say that Seattle has one now comparable to the Bean — or Cloud Gate, as it is properly titled in my hometown. I believe Seattle Cloud Cover by Miami native Teresita Fernandez is of that quality.

On opening day Saturday, I was struck by the experience of walking by it and wondering which images were actually behind me and being reflected and which images were actually in front of me. The images change with every step, framing the skyline as a work of art in itself.

And the effort to make the park a reality, with the major funders Jon and Mark Shirley deciding not to have the park named after them, makes it an act of true, non-attached giving. Perhaps we should put them in charge of the Alaskan Way Viaduct situation.

To think the park was once a contaminated site now transformed into waterfront access.

Now all we need is a clever nickname for Seattle Cloud Cover.

— Paul Nelson, Auburn

From rust to renaissance

For several years there has been a large, fading orange sculpture parked near the museum. I've admired it in a low-key manner, and learned it was an Alexander Calder. I rarely, if ever, saw anybody else looking at it.

Suddenly it has been repainted and moved to our new Sculpture Park and its image is all over the media. It reminds me of an aphorism that a former girlfriend, an art student, told me she learned: "If you can't make it good, make it big and paint it orange."

Should we have saved all the cost of the move and the Sculpture Park by just repainting it where it used to live? I bet we could have done that for peanuts. The money saved could have gone toward the viaduct/tunnel fund, or toward the new Sonics Arena fund.

— Andrew Taylor, Seattle