To and from the
MEN WHO GET IT
THANKS SO VERY MUCH for the essay Big
Trouble, Little Pond by Sut Jhally and Jackson Katz [Winter
2001], and especially for their reply to the editors of Mens
Health. The issues they raised concern me as a UMass alumna, woman,
mother, educator, and member of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of
Lesbians and Gays). It was deeply gratifying to read an enlightened, cogent,
and sensitive article by two men who obviously get it enough
to challenge still-pervasive cultural views of masculinity
and to be voices for changes which will benefit all of us.
Judith A. Nardacci 65
MY STUDENTS IN GENDER and Communication here at Arizona
State are probably tired of all of the articles and films by Sut Jhally
and Jackson Katz that I make them read or watch. Professor Jhally, in
my opinion, does more to curb the backlash against feminism than any other
writer of whom I am aware. UMass has a great resource in him.
Sara DeTurk 92G
TROUBLE, Little Pond I, like so many others, was a victim of
rape at UMass. I walked around in fear in the fall of 1999, thinking that
someone was going to jump out of the bushes at me. I know now that I shouldnt
have been so worried about stranger-rape. It doesnt have to be a
stranger to be rape, for me it was one of my best friends neighbors.
This piece shows the other side of sexual violence, which happens in dorm
rooms, at parties, and everywhere throughout the UMass community. It gives
me hope to see articles like this, and to know that there are men who
do care. You have done a wonderful service by printing this article and
reaching so many people. Thank you.
Name withheld by request
THANKS TO SUT JHALLY and Jackson Katz [Big
Trouble, Little Pond, Winter 2001] for once again saying what
needs to be said over and over, until this culture changes. I am proud
to be in the same movement as these two eloquent men.
When I was an undergraduate I had the philosophy
that if a woman didnt want to kiss me, Id try to kiss her
really well. I was confronted by women on my disrespectful behavior, but
didnt want to hear it I got defensive and claimed I was the
victim, of being talked about wrongly.
As men, we need to get past this kind of
defensiveness, whether about our own behavior or that of our gender, and
work towards solutions.
Ben Zeman 92
The writer is a community educator for Womens Protective
Services in Framingham and spokesperson for the National Organization
for Men Against Sexism (www.nomas.org).
THE CHALLENGE BY Sut Jhally and Jackson Katz to offer
more resources to nonviolent men is particularly meaningful to us
at the Mens Resource Center of Western Massachusetts. For the past
18 years we have been developing these resources and programs for the
communities and campuses of our region.
Our close collaboration
with the Everywomans Center has demonstrated what is possible when
men and women work together as allies to change a culture of violence
that hurts us all. Our magazine, Voice Male, stands in sharp contrast
to publications like Mens Health that Jhally and Katz so aptly critique
as perpetuating damaging myths and stereotypes about men who have a special
responsibility to do this work.
For more information
about the center or our magazine please contact us at www.mrc-wma.com
Steven Botkin 88G
The writer is the executive director of the Mens
Resource Center of Western Massachusetts, which he founded in 1982.
RAPE OR REGRETS?
TROUBLE, Little Pond, Winter 2001: I agree that rape is a terrible
thing. Men of conscience need to be aware that it happens and take an
active role in working to prevent it. I sincerely doubt, however, that
the majority of men give either overt or tacit approval to any violence
against women, whether it be rape or mere beatings.
What bothers me most is the attitude exemplified
by a woman quoted in the article as saying, I was not even fully
aware that I had been raped either time until much later. This does
not sound like rape. It sounds like a woman who lacked either the maturity
or self-possession to say no and had a sexual experience that
she later regretted. Whether this poor judgment on her part speaks of
ignorance or alcohol is immaterial to the fact that poor judgment is not
a crime, nor is it indicative of the criminal guilt of another party.
It is simply a mistake from which one hopes the girl has learned better.
My wife, earlier in her life, was raped.
To this day she bears the scars of that attack, including a bite mark.
Thats rape, real rape, and in her own words, To equate violent
rape with a one-night stand later regretted is to trivialize the depths
of depravity of a true rapist and far worse in my mind suggests
a woman who realizes the next day she made a mistake suffers to a comparable
degree with a woman who is forcibly restrained and violated. Ive
been in both situations, and I assure you that there IS no comparison.
Life is full of choices, and inevitably
you will regret some of them. Take the regret for the lesson it is on
your road toward maturity and, we dare hope, self-confidence and self-esteem.
Learn it and move on.
David Hunt 00
STILL GROWING UP ABSURD
FROM ITS BUDDHA cover to Linda Cahillanes memorable
closing essay, your Winter 2001 issue was superb. Kudos to Sut Jhally
and Jackson Katz for their provocative Big Trouble, Little Pond.
Their concern and insight about the rash of rapes and violence at UMass
and the country-at-large was truly impressive.
Missing, however, was an acknowledgment
of the swelling economic divide afflicting the country and its wrenching
impact on young people. Like the authors, I believe the mainstream
media is culpable in fostering the excesses alluded to but
theyre also tapping into a preexisting condition. That condition
is the seething cauldron where hopelessness and disenfranchisement meet.
Until greater resources are devoted to this silent pandemic, asking youth
to rethink their definitions of gender will be an endeavor restricted
to societys haves.
The author Paul Goodman explored many such
socioeconomic issues in his classic Growing Up Absurd. Though almost
40 years old, alas, its still germane.
R. Jay Allain 73
OUR SHARP-EYED READERS
Sorry to report a goof in the Winter 2001 issue. Time
Capsule Memories 40s, 50s, 60s includes
a picture of a snow sculpture captioned UMass Winter Carnival, 1950s
That is a picture of a 1948 Pi Phi snow
sculpture. All the students pictured graduated in the 40s. Maybe
the snow sculptures continued into the 50s, but the caption is incorrect.
I am positive of this because one of the students pictured was my roommate
at Pi Phi and she graduated with me in 1948.
Edith D. Klein 48
EVOLUTION? A SHORT article in the winter issue described
salmon evolving due to the influence of environment [Fish
story, Around the Pond, Winter 2000].
Couch potatoes get fat but I wouldnt
call that evidence of human evolution. To loosely use the term evolution
is wrong. Adaptation would be the better word.
What surprises me is that the biologists
who did the study were surprised!
Roy E. Landstrom 60, 65G
The biologists were ill-served by the journalists
here. The scientists were impressed by morphological changes e.g.
increased body depth which we described in cosmetic
terms: i.e. fatter.
LETTERS RE LETTERS
REGARDING ROBERT RUPLENAS Offended by Fund-Raiser
Winter 2001]: Perhaps there are those, such as Mr. Ruplenas, who dont
consider an upper management position at MTV an admirable one. Not all
of us are out saving the world, as Mr. Ruplenas must be, but many of us
find such a holier-than-thou attitude to paraphrase Mr. Ruplenas
something less than admirable.
Kenneth Kie 96
RE: HERES PEAS in Your Eye [Exchange,
Winter 2001]: Doesnt anyone realize that Don Glickstein has impugned
the ethics and integrity of Professor Ken Samonds by implying that since
his research was funded by the canned food industry, Samonds would improperly
design and twist the results to suit the sponsors?
Daniel Rosenfield 53
KENTUCKIANS, WE OWE YOU
I FOUND THE AD on the inside back cover of the last
UMass quite interesting [Ever wonder where we all live? Winter
2001.]. NONE of us live in Kentucky? I find that hard to believe since
I live here and thought we also had two alumni clubs in this state. One
was located in Louisville and I believe the other was in the Cincinnati/Northern
Cynthia Brenner Ellsworth 77
Cynthia Ellsworth is right there are 220 alumni
on record in Kentucky. How we lost that line of type we dont know,
but were glad to have it back.
MONOMOYANS, YOU TOO
WHERE DID YOU GET that awful map of Massachusetts on
the inside back cover? [Ever wonder where we all live? Winter
2001.]. As a former resident of Barnstable County, I can tell you that
the elbow of the Cape is growing, not shrinking. Where is Monomoy Island?
Bruce Baker 76
Falls Church, Virginia
The map in our circulation ad (on page 61 this time)
is meant to be conceptual, but wed feel the same as Bruce Baker
if we noticed the distortion or omission of a cherished locale. The Monomoy
National Wildlife Refuge goes the way of the Quabbin Reservoir in this
MEET ME IN BILOXI, BUBBA
I WAS INTRIGUED by the ad detailing where all the UMass
magazines go. [Ever wonder where we all live? Winter 2001.] It figures
that a preponderance of UMass alumni especially those who still
have dew behind their ears instead of a lot of hair growing out of those
orifices hang out in the Northeast. It also figures that many of
those of an age where theyre put out to pasture, seek sunny ones.
But, although the ad shows 3,792 mags being
sent to Florida, for me that demographic heading is partially misleading.
More descriptive of my bailiwick is the skimpy sampling of 179 souls located
in Alabama. This clime is almost the center both geographically
and culturally of the Redneck Riviera, made famous
by that maven of sun and fun, Jimmy Buffett.
When people say, Oh, you live in Florida,
they infer proximity to Disney World, the Tampa Bay Bucs or Miami Beach.
We have to immediately dispel their error with the disclaimer, Actually,
this is Lower Alabama and Chicago is closer than Miami!
Anyway, the demographics in the ad define
why theres no UMass alumni club anywhere within anything short of
take a vacation reach of my abode. Maybe the 179 from Alabama,
the 69 in Mississippi, the 192 in Louisiana and me could
set up our own chapter. And meet in Biloxi once or twice a year for golf
and gambling! Its a thought.
Ted Raymond 59
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
PROTECTING THE VALLEY
AS AN ALUMNUS Ive enjoyed reading your many fascinating
articles on a variety of university-related issues. I think it would be
interesting to see more features about alums working in the natural sciences
biologists, science teachers, ecologists, environmental educators,
and so on.
A great story right here in the Connecticut
River valley really starts with the experience that each student has at
UMass. Here they find the intellectual stimulus of the Five Colleges while
surrounded by the beautiful agricultural fields of the Connecticut River
floodplain, and the forested wonder of the Holyoke Range and Berkshires
beyond. This valley is a very special place! Many students come here in
part because of the beauty of the area.
But this place that so many alumni have
come to cherish is changing. With the economy booming, commercial and
residential development has been advancing at an unprecedented pace. Many
natural features of our valley are at risk of being developed! Many areas
are already slated or development. Time is definitely running out!
What can be done to save some of the special
places? Enter volunteer, not-for-profit land trusts. These small, grassroots
organizations are sprouting up all over the valley. All around the country
for that matter. Locally we have the Kestrel Trust, Valley Land Fund,
Deerfield Land Trust, Hilltown Land Trust, Franklin Land Trust, and the
list goes on. All of these groups raise funds to save land throughout
the region. They work in collaborative ways with private landowners, governmental
agencies, towns, colleges, to protect open space for people and critters.
The trusts also work directly with UMass
faculty, staff, and students in natural resources conservation, botany,
and UMass Extension. UMass has played a key role in protecting critical
lands by providing technical assistance, mapping resources, and outreach
education. It is really a great partnership!
UMass folks (with many others, of course)
are working together to plan for the future of the valley. We are making
a difference right here in Western Massachusetts.
David Ziomek 85 89G
The writer is project manager of the Great Falls Discovery
Center in Turners Falls.
THE POULTRY WORLD
THE WINTER ISSUE of your magazine brings back a number
of memories of the Mass. College of Agriculture! Inside the back cover
is an illustration showing the various counties for the state. Back in
those early days there was a nice building, west of the pond and quite
close to the library, that provided a social area for students and visitors,
including an area in the basement used for bowling.
There were a number of rooms on the second
floor, some of which were used by people who came to Amherst seeking help
and information, usually dealing with agricultural problems, from the
different counties. When I returned once in the 40s someone wanted
to use a restroom. When they were located and found as women
and men, the large room between them was listed as Middlesex!
In an earlier issue of your magazine there
were statements that indicated the entire state was now considered to
be suburban. Thus, in effect, agriculture was no longer of any importance.
My interests were in agriculture, stimulated strongly by 4H club activities
that, in my case, concentrated on chickens. A member of the faculty did
a lot to help such 4H clubs, that included meetings each spring in Amherst.
This led me to enter the Agricultural College with the class of 1934.
I noticed in the earlier issue that efforts
were being made to advance 4H clubs something I strongly approve.
At my high school graduation in 1929, I was permitted to present an essay
that I prepared: Agriculture as a Profession. In it I listed
Professor Rice at Cornell who is considered by his fellowmen to
be the most valuable man in the poultry world. I joined the poultry
department staff [at Cornell] in 1935, but as at many other agricultural
colleges, support for research, extension service, and teaching related
to the poultry industry stopped in our case in 1991. I have found
it difficult to support such colleges.
I did keep up some contact with the late
Fred Jeffrey 34, who was a grad student at Massachusetts Agricultural
College and later joined their poultry department, soon to take over control
of the Stockbridge School. He prepared an excellent book Bantam
It would sure be nice to return to those
wonderful days when agriculture involved many families!
Randall K. Cole 34
Ithaca, New York
REMEMBERING DAVID LIEDERMAN
ONE OF THE MOST UNHERALDED graduates of the university
died at age 65 in January 2001. David Liederman 57 passed away from
pancreatic cancer at his home in New York City. David was one of the outstanding
child welfare advocates in the country. He headed the Child Welfare League
of the United States for many years and was a recognized leader in social
welfare policy in Washington and across America. In Massachusetts, David
was a state representative, the first director of the Massachusetts Office
for Children, and Chief Secretary to Governor Michael Dukakis.
Everyone who knew Dave found him to be a
kind, humane, yet passionate pioneer in the field of human services. As
a social worker he understood the needs of children, the disenfranchised,
and the poor. He had amazing empathy for all who needed help.
There were tributes to David in the Washington
Post, The New York Times, and in the Boston Globe. He was a
very special person and UMass should have many kind words for this famous
alumnus husband, father, grandfather and wonderful friend to so
Elaine Siegel Marks 56