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Letters to the Editor 2017-06-01

RAPE CULTURE

It isn’t a surprise that the two men accused of sexually assaulting a woman at the Hi-fi Music Hall were not prosecuted, as only 11 out of 1,000 perpetrators are brought to trial on those charges, according to RAINN.

Prosecutors commonly insist that they can’t bring rape cases to trial because they can’t prove “beyond a reasonable doubt.” But, as Leigh Gilmore extensively documents in her book Tainted Witness: Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives, women’s testimony is doubted and disbelieved regardless of evidence.

To quote Gilmore: “The discourses about rape that circulate within rape culture undermine women’s testimony. Rape discourse casts doubt on women as credible witnesses to their own harm, and on claims of rape in general. Through rape discourse, women who bring forward accounts of sexual violence are turned into tainted witnesses before the law and in courts of public opinion.”

Gilmore explains how the pernicious influence of the “he said/she said” dynamic combines with the feeble excuse “no one knows what really happened” to immediately cast doubt on women and their testimony. These weak justifications for disbelieving women need be erased from the discussion if society is ever going to put an end to rape.

If prosecutors won’t go after rapists as hard as they go after others, we will need to hold them — and the rapists they excuse — accountable.

Ryan Foote, Eugene

 

LOVES THE COVENANT

Unlike the author of the previous review (“In Space, No One Can Hear You Yawn,” EW, May 25), Alien: Covenant is my second-favorite Alien film. The title itself, reflecting on the agreement between God and Noah after the flood (the character David does deliver a torrent of sorts back to the Engineers).

I loved the recurring theme of the symphony, starting with the prologue after David gets a taste of sitting on the “throne,” to where Walter mentions how one sour note can derail the entire symphony, and in the end when you hear the full composition of what David first played to bring it all full circle.

I also loved the inclusion of the religious captain that everyone brushed past, but towards the end the protagonist needs his faith if they are to survive the horror.

The Weekly reviewer chose to sit through an entire movie specifically looking for things to go against his liberal sensibilities to get triggered by. I wish people could just sit through a movie with an open mind and enjoy the ride. Especially a movie so rich in undertone and symbolism that’s both well crafted and acted.

Scott Stewart, Eugene

 

ARE THEY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS?

The writer who wrote the Alien: Covenant review is an idiot with delusions that his opinions matter. I guess if a movie doesn’t blatantly explain the plot and makes you think a little, it must be bad.

Perhaps author Rick Levin is in the wrong job because his reviews are not only inaccurate but borderline misogynistic; see line stating, “Katherine Waterson in the Butch Ripley role, right down to nipples poking through her tank top.”

Perhaps he should apply at the local 7/11.

William Hermann, Eugene

 

SAVE THE HULT CURTAIN

Another mistake, replacing the main curtain at the Hult Center.

This is not a curtain; this is a piece of art. It was selected in a national juried art competition and funded with one-percent for art funds.

This work, along with the other destroyed or misplaced forms of art, is a community resource. It is community property and must be maintained and cared for. 

Art all over the world is restored, not destroyed. 

Our current short list of not caring:

The Jacobs Gallery, the “flying people” at the airport; the abused Sandgren murals by the new glaring airport terminal lighting; the Hadzi sculpture from the County Public Services building; the destroyed art and murals from the past City Hall; soon, the opera; the reduced Bach Festival; the former national design awarded City Hall; soon, the Lane County Courthouse; the Federal Post Office; the pedestrian bridges abused by signs; and more to come. 

Doesn’t anyone care?

We have become “the just get by city,” not the city of the arts, imagination and culture. We apparently only embrace an “off-the-rack” mentality.

Eugene is famous within the valley as the city that destroys its history as documented by its art and architecture. Not surprisingly, we are still one of the largest cities in the U.S. without a public museum. 

This piece of art, the curtain, represents what is the unique and special nature of this community and needs to be restored, preserved and maintained — not made into pillows or wall hangings. 

City manager, stop this nonsense.

Otto P. Poticha, Eugene

 

TOTEM CHAINSAW MASSACRE

Jim Linwood calls for “No More False Totems” in EW's letters section (May 25), referring to the Oregon Country Fair controversy over a commemorative pole that he claims would be part of having “acculturation and genocide constantly in our lives.”

I see that now that Amazon Pool has opened for the season, it has what appears to be a totem pole done in the familiar Pacific Northwest First Nation/Native American style. I don’t know the history of this object. It seems to have been there for the past 30 years when I’ve been at the pool.

Does it too represent acculturation and genocide? Or does it have some kind of authenticity and resist genocide? Are there other suspect totems in Lane County? Should we get out our chainsaws?

And I don’t quite follow Linwood’s assertion that, “Too often we are in a position of naming Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, and then killing him.” Wasn’t the naming done in commemoration of the leader after he was assassinated?  In fact, many years later, and after a rather protracted struggle to get the road renamed?

Chuck Kleinhans, Eugene 

 

 

MAKE AMERICA, AMERICA

Because of the “genetic Republicans who could not conceive of not voting for a Republican” [“The Far Side,” EW 5/25] in Greg Walden's congressional district, any Democrat who runs against him will be at a disadvantage.

For this reason, it might be time for Bernie Sanders supporters who are disaffected with the Democratic Party to show their displeasure by registering as Republicans and mounting a primary election challenge to Walden. If they would do this, they could form a substantial voting bloc that could, at least, force Walden to use some of his million dollar campaign chest for the primary election.

Also, a progressive populist such as Sanders might be able to win the support of working class Republicans who are angry with the party for policies that are hurtful to them.

One of the reasons that the Republican Party has turned so far to the right lately is the fear moderate Republicans have of losing to Tea Party Republicans in the primary elections. This might change if there were substantial numbers of progressive Republican voters.

If someone does mount a campaign to attack Walden from the left, I can think of a good campaign slogan: “Make America America again.” This means putting the good of the American people above the good of any political party and going back to a time when the government was of, by, and for all the people, not just the privileged few.

Steve Hiatt, Eugene

 

TRUMP THE JOKER

After he (soon?) leaves office, the brand name of Trump will likely be so tarnished that he might need to find a new line of work beyond that of being a famous guy.

One possibility: Perhaps Donald Trump could find work as a comedy writer. He certainly seems to have a gift for irony. “I never mentioned the word or the name Israel,” he said, mentioning the word and name Israel, and thereby providing the first official confirmation that the agent whose intelligence he blabbed to the Russians in the oval office was indeed an Israeli asset.

Ronald Blanton, Eugene

 

LETTERS POLICY: We welcome letters on all topics and will print as many as space allows, with priority given to timely local issues. Please limit length to 200 words and include your address and phone number for our files. Email to letters@eugeneweekly.com.