By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
"Pole Position," by Megan Feldman, November 6
I am reading your story on pole dancing, and while I may not go out and learn to dance around a pole, I am happy that women are becoming more aware of sexuality. Feminists made us believe that in order to be successful in a career we had to be non-sexualized versions of men.
In the late '80s and early '90s every woman who worked in corporate America had three suits: navy, black and, for the days she wanted to be a little feminine, gray. Now you see women in the boardroom with light summer frocks, pink suits and high heels and they are powerful and effective.
The misguided attempt to turn us into asexual creatures is dying, thank God. Men are different from women, and I say, "vive la difference."
While I may not twirl around a pole, I do enjoy being a girl.
Phyllis W. Allen, Fort Worth
I enjoyed reading your feature piece because of the multiple perspectives presented and most especially your very honest personal journey. Pole dancing, in spite of the obvious skill and stamina involved, strikes me as sleazy and this side of prostitution.
I would think that belly dance would be a more comfortable way to express feminine sensuality, strengthen muscles (I've heard claims that belly dancers have an easier time with childbirth) and also have some fun. It's more organic than styling with metal rods in that it was developed in part from imitating ocean waves. (Hawaiians developed their own version of this imitation.) Ironically, in Middle Eastern countries belly dancers are respected for their skill, but no one wants their son to marry one or their daughter to become one, but some of the aversion stems from an overall aversion to women dancing in mixed company.
Yet, in most non-Protestant cultures women can be engineers, doctors, lawyers, etc. and still maintain their femininity, and I think this has to do with their innate understanding that all women are feminine and that this is a good, desirable thing. A masculine occupation is not going to change the fact that women have feminine natures. American culture generally does not foster that type of understanding or appreciation of femininity, but I've seen glimpses in Catholic and Jewish cultures.
Forgive me for being a bit vague and not providing the concrete examples journalists thrive on, but time doesn't permit me to be more detailed.
Again, thanks for a thought-provoking and interesting story.
"Smoke Out," by megan feldman, November 6
From a recent report titled "Not Just Steam," by UNT graduate students who for the first time compiled all the cement plants' own emission reports for the years 1990 through 2006: "Between 1990 and 2006, the three cement plants and steel mill reported to state and/or federal government that their facilities released approximately 1 billion pounds—986,509,069—of harmful air pollution into the North Texas skies, including:
10,000 pounds of mercury
91,000 pounds of lead
More than 7 million pounds of 'EPA-classified toxic' air pollution
Approximately 35 million pounds of respirable particulate matter
More than 134 million pounds of global warming gases
More than 300 million pounds of smog-forming nitrogen oxide
Approximately 400 million pounds of acid rain-causing sulfur dioxide"
That's an average of more than 61 million pounds of air pollution released every year, 7,000 pounds an hour, 117 pounds per minute, 2 pounds per second over 16 years. And yet, the position of the Texas Committee on Environmental Quality is that Midlothian has some of the cleanest air in the state.
Brown Bess from Cedar Hill, via dallasobserver.com