Letters to the Editors

Tsk, tsk, Mr. Dainton

Dear Editors,

Although I am sure you will receive numerous responses to Chris Dainton’s Op-Ed piece, I felt compelled to add my voice as well. Dainton tries to draw a connection between legal abortion and the incidents of young women killing their newborns, but in this he fails.

Both of the incidents he cites happened outside of Canada, yet he insists this has some relationship to Canadian law. If anything, it would seem that an accessible abortion might have prevented the deaths he relates. I suppose this wouldn’t matter much to him though, as he sees no difference between abortion and child murder.

Dainton accuses pro-choicers, such as myself, of being cruel and unfeeling, of neglecting the personhood of the fetus and of new-born children.

I launch this same accusation at him. Never once in this lengthy piece did he suggest what might be done to aid women forced into child-bearing should his wishes ever be granted. While Dainton is concerned with protecting life in all forms, he doesn’t seem at all concerned about the quality of that life. Should abortion become illegal, the result will be thousands of unwanted children, with mothers who are not prepared, neither emotionally or financially, to care for them.

The Pro-Life movement is “dismissed as misogynistic and sexist,” because it so often is. Dainton is anxious to show how much he cares about unborn life, but he also shows how very little he cares about the women whose rights he would revoke.

If Dainton would like to see more debate about abortion, perhaps he consider adding something new to his arguments — like solutions, rather than rhetoric.

Stephanie Earp
ArtSci ’01

Mr. Dainton, tsk, tsk

Dear Editors,

I was flipping through the September 12 issue of The Journal the other day, and came across the Op-Ed article “Granting personhood to the unborn.” What a fantastically well written article. Congratulations, Mr. Dainton.

Congratulations on using tales of infanticide right off the bat to drum up feelings of outrage in the reader before talking about the Pro-Choice movement. It’s a nice scare tactic. Truly the work of an advocate of the Pro-Life movement.

You love talking about American statistics on the issue (as Canadian ones are “unavailable.” Perhaps in a cursory glance one might take in “researching” a ranting manifesto like yours, but that’s hardly the point).

Let’s discuss your American statistics. Perhaps it’s not because women wanting abortions are monstrous murderers, but perhaps it’s due to the fact of bombings, threats and murders of abortion doctors.

Abortions, though declared legal by the government, are unavailable in 86 per cent of counties in the United States. Surely if it weren’t for the terror-tactic mob rule of the militant faction of the Pro-Life movement, more humane early trimester abortions could be performed, resulting in less of the saddening infanticide you speak against. It makes no sense that federally funded, hygienic and safe abortions should increase the incidence of infanticide by 50 percent since Roe v. Wade.

Take time to reflect, and one realizes it’s probably the violent Pro-Life activists, scaring women into doing what is their legal right in alleys like criminals since, even if they feel safe enough to walk to a clinic, most doctors will not perform them — out of fear. It’s only “community-sponsored barbarism” insofar as the community does not act out against these true murderers in a harsher manner. I’d say this is ironic, if it weren’t so heart wrenching.

This is not to condemn the Pro-Life movement in its entirety. People willing to speak intelligently, or at least attempt to, like Mr. Dainton in his manipulative, high-and-mighty way, deserve their fifteen minutes to try and enlighten the masses.

Addressing the real issue for a moment (which Mr. Dainton neglected to in his articulate babble), the crux of the problem is this — is a fetus tissue or a human? Attempt to define what it is that makes us human, and it gets difficult.

Cognizance? Then people in comas are not people. Having one’s body able to support life? Then any person needing an oxygen tank isn’t a person.

Once you’ve defined what separates life from humanity, you’re ready to tackle the next issue. If it’s tissue, lacking whatever spark it is that gives us humanity, then it’s a growth within the woman’s body and it’s her decision to keep it or not. If it’s human, it gets more complicated, as both individuals’ rights must be weighed against one another. It is permissible to kill humans in certain instances — does this qualify as justified homicide? I leave it to the readers of this paper to decide for themselves.

This issue is certainly one of the most difficult to resolve in our society. It deserves a little more than the preachy tirade offered by Mr. Dainton. I wouldn’t dream of insulting the Queen’s community by telling them what to think on this issue, unlike our pompous, self-righteous but ignorant Op-Ed contributor.

Darrell LeHouillier
Sci ’02

More ‘tsk’ing

Dear Editors, I’d just like to send out a sincere wish to you and all anti-abortionists out there: for the love of God, get your information straight.

Let’s start with terminology. Pro-Choice, comes from the Latin ‘pro,’ meaning ‘for,’ and ‘choice,’ which, well, I really hope you know what that means. Anti-abortion comes from the Latin ‘anti,’ meaning ‘against,’ and ‘abortion,’ which you seem to have a pretty good grasp on. Anti-choice means ‘against choice,’ Pro-Life means, ‘for life,’ are you getting the gist of what I’m saying here?

Contrary to popular (conservative) belief, those who are Pro-Choice are Pro-Life. They just disagree with the notion that anyone, especially the misinformed (like yourself), can tell a woman what to do with her body. I am not going to get into the argument of fetal viability or “what is life.” The bottom line is that anyone’s idea of life, death, or what they choose regarding it, is private.

Saying that you are misinformed is not a personal attack — it is clearly evident in your editorial. First, statistics on abortion are readily available for Canada. I believe there’s a government agency... what’s the name? Oh yes. Statistics Canada.

I as well took Moral Issues as a “froshling.” (Just as an aside, watch your abuse of the word frosh — they’re students too, and you were one about five months ago). Assuming you read your text as thoroughly as you researched the Pro-Choice movement, you should go over it again in more detail. There are statistics in there too.

Your mention of the landmark case (Roe v. Wade) is also a bit incongruous. Abortion laws in the U.S. vary from state to state, since to most U.S. legislators Roe v. Wade was more applicable as a way to cross a river than granting a woman’s right to choose. You state that since Roe v. Wade, “infanticides” have increased almost 50 percent. Roe v. Wade occurred from 1971-1972, if I’m not mistaken.

Infanticide, or the killing of infants, has increased fifty percent? Or are you having problems with terminology again and including abortions in that sweeping statement because you consider abortion murdering an infant? To let you know, infancy is from birth to age one.

It’s obvious that you were trying to connect infanticide and abortion. However, consider this: for reasons other than insanity or cruelty, why would a college student and a 14-year-old kill their newborns? Perhaps fear and lack of options. Panic is what happens when you have no viable choices. This isn’t an excuse for their behaviour, but it might explain why it occurred.

Pro-Choice and Pro-Life are not opposing factions. Pro-Choice and anti-abortion seem to be because anti-abortionists cannot seem to grasp the fact that they do not have the right to dictate what women can do with their bodies. And yes, the anti-abortion movement is seen as misogynistic, sexist, and fanatical — and they have been relegated to the fringes of politics. Why? Well... maybe because that is the way they act. Why do you think that the Pro-Choice agenda is the norm now? Maybe it’s because it is the norm now for women to be allowed to choose. Isn’t that sad? That we are finally “allowed” to choose?

Assumptions are a dangerous thing. I’m sure you’ve assumed that I am Pro-Choice: hell yes, I am. Am I Pro-Life? Absolutely. Am I anti-abortion? Actually, yes, I am. But no one gave me the right to judge others and their decisions. Until you get pregnant and have to make that choice, Chris, I suggest you leave the choice up to women.

Chelsea Rocklein
Nursing Science ‘01

Poole’s piece unfair

Dear Editors,

We are writing in response to the September 12 article “Yearbook Prints Errors.” We wish to dispel any misconceptions that may have arisen as a result of the comment made about, and quotation attributed to, Media Services Director, Anja Eyer.

While Ms. Eyer is certainly required to be knowledgeable about the 2001 Tricolour Yearbook, she cannot be expected to be informed on all aspects of last year’s book. If Ms. Poole wanted commentary from the appropriate Media Services Director, she should have contacted Shawn Brimley, last year’s director.

Perhaps the reason Ms. Eyer “remained sidelined on the issue,” was because she did not feel it was her place to speak for a production in which she played no part.

While it may seem from the article that Ms. Eyer is ignorant of one of the services that she oversees, nothing could be further from the truth. In the past four months, Anja has proven to be an indispensable resource to the Tricolour Yearbook. She played an integral role in various administrative and managerial preparations we made in the summer and is always available for our questions, ideas, and concerns. Far from being a director who administers from behind the comfort of a desk, she is not averse to less glamorous tasks, such as unloading heavy boxes of yearbooks from the back of a dusty delivery truck.

The Journal has the ability to shape and colour the way its readership thinks. However, with this power comes responsibility. Please have your facts straight before you ruin the credibility of perfectly competent people.

Nadra Ginting & Sharon Bala Tricolour
Yearbook Co-Editors 2001

Journal Irony

Dear Editors,

I picked up a copy of the September 12 edition of The Journal and began reading the headline story entitled “Yearbook Prints Errors.” Imagine my surprise upon reading that I had been promoted to the position of co-editor of the Tricolour Yearbook, without ever having been notified of this promotion by the yearbook itself. In fact, I was Business Manager of the Tricolour last year, and hold that position again this year. Furthermore, ‘Friesenss’ is correctly spelled Friesens, ‘Life Touch’ is properly spelled Lifetouch, and Ben Arkin, the sole editor of last year’s yearbook, did not issue a sarcastic “full apology,” but a genuine full apology. There was no reason for Ms. Poole to present his comments in a negative and sarcastic manner. I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony: The Journal, a campus publication, publishes an inaccurate and erroneous article about errors and inaccuracies appearing in the Tricolour Yearbook. My complaint is simple; if you’re going to be the watchdog that ensures truth and accuracy on campus, please try to meet these standards yourself. Furthermore, if my name is going to be associated with a negative article, please have the decency to request a comment from me first.

David Aaron
Business Manager
Tricolour Yearbook

Avro in WWII?

Dear Editors,

As an aviation junkie, I was glad to see Anthony Cutrona’s article “The Avro Arrow.” I was, however, quite intrigued to learn of the role of the AVRO CF-100 in WWII.

The fact that the CF-100 was initially built in the early 1950s leads to speculation. Did some small number of these aircraft fly through a temporal anomaly (Bermuda Triangle? It has been known to happen) and suddenly go back to WWII? In the skies over Europe, the drone of piston engined planes would certainly be drowned by the roar of the jet engined CF100. The only problem is, where would the planes get any jet fuel?

Alexander Fitzpatrick
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Geological Sciences

The real JDUC?

Dear Editors,

I was petrified — literally! — to see that an odious impostor crept into MISC.’s short play (“If These Old Halls Could Talk...,” September 8) as me, the JDUC.

As Queen’s student-centred community centre, I would never have dismissed frosh as “little maggots” or “lobotomized penguins” and certainly would not have been on the vanguard of a strike by the university’s buildings against “this pubescent public.” To the contrary, I would have led the charge against such seditious structures, these, these, these... why, errant erections... whom I trusted, mistakenly obviously, as colleagues in campus life.

What’s more, I was not “for four brief summer months... free..., think[ing] quietly..., absorb[ing] the sun..., sit[ting] back on my foundations and relax[ing],” but was all that time busily readying myself for new and returning students with exciting and still-in-progress changes to my student government and club space, the Upper Ceilidh, the Memorial Room, the Sidewalk Cafe and the AMS’ amazing Common Ground (formerly known as the Skylight Lounge). Oh, the pain I’ve been through. And all, all of it, for you.

So, welcome frosh, students one and all, faculty, staff and alumni! My doors are open and my heart is yearning for you.

In, ahem, solidarity,

The REAL JDUC Jack Sinnott
John Deutsch University Centre

Support the Daily

Dear Editors,

I was disappointed to read The Journal's September 12 editorial concerning the forced lockout of The McGill Daily. The story, according to The Journal, was "not about freedom of the press" and "shouldn't have made as much national press as it has." When I arrived to McGill last year as an exchange student from Queen's, the Daily offered me what I had always looked for but had never found in a student newspaper. The paper was well written, independent, critical, and engaged in important political debates that many student newspapers (including The Journal) have too often tended to shy away from. The present conflict between the McGill student government (the SSMU) and the Daily is a direct result of the Daily's stature as a quality student newspaper that has not hesitated to be critical of the government that it relies on for funding and support. The long standing feud between the SSMU and the Daily came to an exploding point last year as the Daily was a central forum for critical debate opposing the SSMU's Cold Beverage Agreement (an agreement that was made in secret and never revealed to the student body). With the help of the Daily's provocative articles and editorials, students rallied and succeeded in rejecting the Cold Beverage agreement by referendum. It is abundantly clear that the Daily's lockout is a direct consequence of their adamant refusal to speak as the voice of the student government at the expense of presenting the opinions of the student body. I would have thought, perhaps naively, that The Journal would be the first in line to stand in defence of a fellow student newspaper that has had its rights so blatantly violated by immature partisan student .

Sean Mills
Con-Ed ’01

Rezzed Off

Dear Editors

I find the residence shortage surprising considering just how much students pay to live in them. $905 per month gets you a room that would cost $300 at the most elsewhere, with a meal plan that can't be worth more than $250. From where I'm standing, it looks like there must be a pretty healthy profit margin on those buildings. If I were a private developer and knew that people were lining up to pay $905 per month to live in a place like Waldron Hall, I'd be putting up new residences all over town. Are there some hidden costs I don't know about, or are residences actually a profit source for Queen's? If so, why does it take so long to put up new ones? If they're not up to it themselves, maybe the administration should invite private developers to put up residence-style apartment buildings.

Noel Semple
ArtSci '03

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