Letters to the Editor

Gender equality represented and Democracy over status quo

Re: “Removing barriers”

Dear Editors,

As the Co-Chairs of Women’s Worth Week (WWW) we feel it is important to address some errors we perceived in the article written about our initiative, published on Friday November 23rd.

We felt our event was misrepresented. The article framed it as a celebration to honor women in our local and global communities. There are two main pillars that frame each of our events and initiatives: to address violence against women and self-esteem issues that women face. We aim to accomplish these goals by promoting feminism, gender equality and positivity. Our event rests largely on conceptions of masculinity as well, since this is inseparable from femininity.

Consequently, instead of being ‘a celebration of women,’ our event aims to celebrate all individuals, regardless of gender, by drawing attention to the importance of gender equality. In fact, our event rests largely on conceptions of masculinity as well, since this is inseparable from femininity. Gender equality benefits everyone, feminism is for everyone, and gender-based violence is something we all have a role in preventing.

Finally, information about our budget, though factually sound, was taken out of context. The monetary amount of “50 dollars” is not the full story. In our interview, we stressed that funding was not a vital component of WWW’s success but rather success resided in the thoughtful, caring, compassionate, intelligent and engaged community who supported us.

Katie Conway AMS Social Issues Commissioner, Heidi Penning the University Equity Officer, Nik Lopez ASUS Equity Officer, Terrie Easter Sheen Department of Gender Studies, Carole Morrison Director of the Ban Righ Center, Drs. Robert Morrison and Sam Mckegney of the English Department, and Jeff Perera of the White Ribbon Campaign offered incredible emotional support, access to campus resources, and information. This event could not have achieved all of the success that it did without their help. Our funding is not the focus of our event but rather the positive message that all it takes to effect change is a supportive community. Gender equality is everyone’s responsibility as gender based violence effects everyone and that is what Women’s Worth Week stands for.

Kate McCord and Naomi Mares Co-Chairs of Women’s Worth Week

Re: “Stirring the legalized pot”

Dear Editors,

I was thrilled to see the long opinion piece published in The Journal last week, offering three different opinions on the legalization of marijuana. I must say, while I found the cases of the Ms. Gordon and Mr. Waslowski to be similarly well defended, I am troubled with a number of points brought up in Mr. Carrick’s argument.

First is his assertion that the difference between alcohol and marijuana is that pot is not yet mainstream. I find it odd that Mr. Carrick notes this, while also pointing out that in 2007 our country led the industrialized word in marijuana use. It is also worth pointing out that in an Ipsos-Reid poll taken this summer, two thirds of Canadians supported the decriminalization of cannabis. While this is different from legalization, two-thirds support is a majority, which I believe is a synonym for mainstream.

Second and more troubling is the damage to society that Mr. Carrick asserts would be done by the legalization of pot.. Similar arguments were made nearly one hundred years ago when alcohol was banned across North America, creating a massive black market in which organized crime thrived. Prohibition did not solve the problem, it made it worse.

More importantly though, the anguish caused by addiction was not and is not a result of the substance itself. It’s like when the NRA says that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Drug and alcohol abuse are symptoms of the problem, not the cause.

Third and most troubling is Mr. Carrick’s definition of freedom. I do believe that while the concept of freedom does go hand in hand with responsibility, freedom is not the same things as duty. It never was. When the Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives us the right to freedom of thought, expression, taste, association, etcetera, it does not comment, “and this is what you should be doing.” No, that would be absurd.

I would agree that people need to treat their freedoms responsibly. It’s that age-old concept that says my right to swing my fist ends at the tip of your nose. So for example; we are allowed to drink so long as we don’t do it if we plan on driving. We would hypothetically be allowed to use pot, so long as we didn’t harm anyone else in doing so.

Here are some facts. According to a study done in the UK, pot is less addictive and physically harmful than alcohol. And as Ms. Gordon and Mr. Waslowski noted, illegal drug trade nurtures criminal activity and the regulated sale of marijuana would generate significant government revenue at a time when public deficits are running high.

Not to mention it’s what the people want. And last time I checked, democracy means the people rule.

Jordan Ray

ArtSci ‘12

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