Sunday, April 15, 2012

Labels - Are We Done Yet?

Letter To The Editor
Elle Magazine 
300 West 57th Street
New York, NY  10019

Re: Randall Slavin's article: "She'll Take Manhattan"

Dear Madame,
   As a young woman living in New York during the Reagan 80's when Mayor Koch was mayor, I adored reading Randall Slavin's article about the amazing, rising up and shooting star of the "Big Apple", Christine Quinn.
   Ms. Quinn is accomplished and polished. She seems to be forthright, upright, not uptight, sharp as a nail and tough as a tack. She is also kind. Kind under pressure to hostile strangers who suddenly approach her on the streets of New York, because deep down, she knows these are New Yorkers. She seems to honestly love New York and all its citizens, just like the extraordinarily popular Mayor Koch.
   So, imagine my surprise when the author of the article, Randall Stavin, stated: "It took a man tweeting a picture of his penis to young lovelies from coast to coast to pave the way for the first possible woman mayor of New York, who just happens to be a lesbian." After reading this mess, I thought either I must still be in 4th grade, or it is still 1956.
   I disagree with Mr. Slavin on two points. First of all, eventually, the cream rises to the top on its own, female or male, along with, or without, the falling star, Mr. Anthony Weiner. Second of all, why did Mr. Slavin mention Ms. Quinn's sexual orientation?
   In 2012, why is the press still printing labels on people? Is it still for the sensation of the shock? Mr. Slavin states New Yorkers don't care what goes on in Ms. Quinn's bedroom, "New Yorkers just want their trash picked up and their streets plowed," so why does he keep continually, over and over again using the "L" label throughout his three page piece?
   By the by, distracting and even more annoying were Mr. Slavin's use of curse words. Beautifully educated columnists should have a broader and more creative command of the King's English.
   Bottom line, by labeling people for shock value, the cool factor, for rebellious reasons, attention, or for whatever reason, the press proliferates "isims." The first woman mayor, the second gay mayor, the third whatever, the forth whomever. When does it end? When are they done? Are they done yet?
   If Ms. Quinn becomes the next mayor of New York, she will stand as a success because of her own tenacity, accomplishments, patience, kindnesses, and because of her love for "The City" and its citizens. The latter quality counts the most because people can always smell sincerity, regardless of labels.      

Respectfully Submitted,

Katherine Barrett Baker
1451 Amber Lake Road
Manakin-Sabot, Virginia USA