As per the gender “pronoun war”
I like this idea of getting rid of gendered pronouns (NOW, November 24-30). I use “they” when other people request it, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue easily. I’d prefer one new neutral pronoun for everyone.
In her novel Woman On The Edge Of Time, published in 1976, Marge Piercy describes a utopian society where stereotypical images and roles of masculine and feminine do not exist. Androgyny is the ideal. In this new society, instead of “he” and “she,” people use the neutral pronoun “per” for everyone. “Per” derives from the word “person.”
Using “per” for everyone might solve the pronoun war and help us evolve into the non-binary world that non-binary people are challenging us to think about.
Lisa Tremblay, Toronto
PCs’ new anti-gay MPP a “breath of fresh air”
As a gay man, I have zero concern that the newly elected PC MPP, Sam Oosterhoff (NOW, November 24-30), will compromise my rights and dignity. Notwithstanding Michael Coren’s hand-wringing, I feel Oosterhoff will bring a breath of fresh, youthful air to the stale cronyism of the Ontario legislature. Indeed, his diligent campaign strategy has already exposed the arrogant apathy of his rivals, who thought they could win resting on their laurels.
John McKellar, Toronto
Time to ban tanker traffic on BC coast
During the election campaign, the Liberal Party promised to ban oil tanker traffic on BC’s north coast (NOW, November 23).
A tugboat that sank on October 13 continues to leak die-sel fuel along the bountiful coastline of the Great Bear Rainforest, poisoning the marine life that sustains local communities.
The fuel tug and barge still attached to it are minuscule compared to oil tankers, and crude oil and bitumen are far more toxic than diesel.
The response has been far from “world-class.” No matter how thorough the cleanup, the Heiltsuk Nation and others living on the coast will feel the effects for many years to come.
It’s time for Canada to meet marine planning and protection goals, including banning oil tankers on the ecologically sensitive north coast of BC.
Agi Lukacs, Toronto
Clinton to take second shot at presidency?
One thing we learned from the U.S. presidential election (NOW, November 24-30) is that the median income of Trump supporters was higher than that of Clinton supporters.
Trump was not supported by poverty-stricken white workers, but by bigots who resented a Black president and feared a woman president more. This is why his campaign was pure demagoguery.
We also learned that irrational hatred can come from the left. Sanders supporters whined about a rigged primary, though Clinton, not counting super-delegates, won the pledged delegate count and popular vote by a wide margin. She was vilified for everything under the sun despite the fact that as an activist for women and children, as well as a widely respected senator and secretary of state, she accomplished more than her critics will in several lifetimes.
And after the current election recounting is over, she will again win the popular vote by millions.
Yes, we will need a good candidate in the future. Unfortunately, after all that was done to her in the last election, Clinton would have to be a masochist to run again.
John Kneeland, Hamilton
Trump reminds me of why I left the U.S.
Letter-writer Mitchell Chaitov advises “Trump bashers” to kiss his ass (NOW, November 17-23).
I was raised a hillbilly in West Virginia, the heart of Trump country, but through luck and good sense I got out, received a first-rate education and came to see the world through different eyes.
Working near the border in the 1970s, I fell in love with Canada and moved to Toronto, where I have lived happily for nearly 40 years.
From the Canadian side, I’ve seen America repeatedly act stupidly, and then curse the rest of the world for witnessing her shame. It’s like watching your mother get drunk in public. You never quite get used to it. It always hurts.
I will decline Chaitov’s invitation, but I want to thank him for reminding me of everything I left behind, and for making me more grateful to be a Canadian now than ever before.
Bert Hall, Toronto
Talking back to anti-psychiatry backlash
Re Bonnie Burstow’s anti-psychiatry scholarship at OISE, by Kevin Ritchie (NOW, November 24-30). In the United States, both de facto and de jure programs to “screen” and “treat” individuals at a very early age are increasing exponentially each year.
I am well aware of how difficult it is for the anti-psychiatry community to achieve and leave anything of enduring value. I congratulate Bonnie Bur-stow on her accomplishment in this regard, and recognize also that because psychiatry has such a huge foothold in academia, it’s valuable to have a presence also of its antithesis. I cannot imagine the tenacity required to make this scholarship a reality.
Any significant work in anti-psychiatry results in the kind of character assassination and overt violence and ignorance expressed by some of your readers in their commentary online. It was for this reason I felt moved to write a few lines today.
Sharon Cretsinger, From nowtoronto.com