Readers respond to "20 Ejaculations! No babies!" and "Clipping the family jewels."

Published March 16, 2001 11:46PM (EST)

Read Susan Kushner Resnick's "Clipping the family jewels"

Read Harry C. Schuhmacher's "20 Ejaculations! No Babies!"

Let's get this straight: Raising children is degrading and infantilizing, while pouring noxious chemicals onto your body and wearing uncomfortable clothes is mature and empowering?

You've obviously gotten your dates mixed. April Fool's Day isn't due until two weeks from now.

-- Laura Warman

As long as strident women keep insinuating that pregnancy is something men "do to" women, and not a shared responsibility, the sexes will, unfortunately, keep failing to come to terms with the truth.

I'm sorry that Susan Kushner Resnick is bitter and disappointed over her own pregnancies, and that she can't seem to feel any way other than used. As a man, I take issue with her petty, manipulative attitude.

-- Billy Williams

So, let's get this straight: Dejected by her failure to do anything purposeful with her life and her inability to attain mental adulthood, Resnick revels in her success in manipulating her husband into potentially dangerous elective surgery (the hazards of which she breezily accepts, while simultaneously dismissing on health grounds birth-control options on her behalf that do not involve the neutralization of entire organ systems) for her own convenience.

After reading this article, I'm willing to bet that I'm not the only one wishing that she had been the one to be sterilized, as an absolute guarantee against further procreation on her part.

-- Kane MacAniff

While I very much relate to a lot of what Susan Kushner Rednick says in this article (I knew things were bad when I put eyeliner and perfume on for the first time in months, for a mere dentist appointment!), I also feel that her attitude of stay-at-home motherhood as being one of degradation and regression is precisely the sort of dangerous thinking that makes those of us who choose this life feel as if we are somehow failing in our intellectual potential. Sure, mothering doesn't always feel "human," but what we are doing every day, as exhausting and tedious at it often can be, is actually the most human task out there.

-- Emily Petrou

Susan Kushner Resnick's article makes gross generalizations about "we mothers" that are not well-founded. Many of us are "ours" when we pass through all the portals of life: education, first sex, marriage, giving birth, starting our careers, etc.

After seven years of happy marriage and satisfying work experience after graduating from college, I gladly quit work to have my first, then, two and a half years later, my second child. I was the lucky one: My husband had to go out to work, while I got to revel in my kids' lives, get to know them and meet other similarly motivated and educated mothers who felt the same way. I also got to reflect on my own childhood as never before, and establish a greater bond with my own parents. I felt that, having used my body for the purpose it was designed, sex was even more magical. I never looked better. I was secure enough to know how valued I was at home, as I had been in other situations, and would be in the future. My life was in balance, and had variety. When I was ready to return to work almost five years after having child No. 1, I confidently talked my way into a new job in a new field that paid over $10K more than the one I'd left. Life goes on. The kids are now in college. I miss them.

Susan, you want your kids to understand and follow your orders. You wanted your husband to have a vasectomy. You insisted that he wear a condom in the meantime. Hey, these are control issues, selfish issues, not maturity issues.

So speak for yourself only, Susan.

-- Dana Brown

I am very distressed by your pro-vasectomy articles.

True, testosterone increases after a vasectomy during the first five years, but it then drops significantly over the next 10 years.

Salon would do a great service if it exposed the true risks of vasectomy.

Most studies show increased rates of prostate cancer in men who have had vasectomies; even when low testosterone level prevents the detection of some prostate cancers. Men also put themselves at risk for auto-immune diseases. Even the National Kidney Foundation has studies that show increased rates of kidney stones in vasectomized men.

Finally, ask the American Urological Association. Urologists have the lowest rate of vasectomies among all professions -- take a hint.

-- Steve Sitar

By Salon Staff

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