Readers weigh in on parenting during the RNC protests, tampons with sassy sayings and the Bush twins' big debut.

Published September 4, 2004 12:06AM (EDT)

Letters [Read "'Mom, what are asses of evil?'" by Ellen Neuborne.]

Ellen Neuborne's article is a great demonstration of the problem with Dems and the reason that GWB will almost certainly squeak out another narrow victory despite widespread dissatisfaction with his performance. It is whiny, presumptuous and intellectually retrograde; her last sentence is a powerful statement. Four years of Bush and she wraps up her piece by complaining that "it sucks." What sucks is a total lack of constructive dialog -- pointing out failures is fun and easy, but proposing solutions would win more votes. And this "give peace a chance" routine is a non-starter since both candidates supported the war based on intelligence at the time. Enough people power and public nudity. How about some policy ideas -- something to delineate any major difference between a potential Kerry and Bush presidency. To my eye, the only real difference is that Kerry speaks better English and is an insufferable bore.

-- Josha Antos

In 1972, I was 9 years old. My sister, 10 years older than me, was working on George McGovern's presidential campaign, and asked me to help. I said yes, since she also said she'd take me to McDonald's if I did. My father stopped me, saying I should ask her what McGovern stood for before I acquiesced so quickly. She told me that McGovern wanted to be president so that he could help poor people, stop the war, and end pollution. Those things sounded good to me then -- and they still do. Ms. Neuborne, don't be afraid to explain complex issues to your little boy, or to let him see why people are angry enough at this president to travel hundreds of miles from their homes to protest his policies. He'll grow into a thoughtful, progressive Democrat -- and make his mama proud.

-- Annie Cieslukowski

Just like the mom in this article, I raised children fully aware of the world around them and applauded those moments when they stood up for their ideals. They have marched in pro-life rallies, fed the hungry and homeless, worked in the inner city and stood for truth even when it was unpopular. (Fortunately, I think they have all kept their clothes on ...) The oldest boy has volunteered all over the world and just this summer interned in NYC. Imagine my pride and satisfaction as this boy from Ohio unfurled a huge Kerry-bashing banner from the fifth floor roof of his apartment building. I am sure his fellow New Yorkers are not too pleased but this very young Republican is standing up for what he believes in. He has spent many hours volunteering for the president and as a mom, I am very proud!

-- Cindy Schmidt

[Read Conversations with my tampon by Hannah Miller.]

I had not heard of this product before, but I certainly will not be purchasing any in the future. What a ridiculous concept. I have never gotten the impression that the marketing of feminine products treats the whole thing as "shameful." Menstruation is a bodily function. Do we have to sing the glories of every bodily function? Will we now celebrate the cutting of toenails? Will we create ceremonies around blowing our noses? Menstruation is a bit messy. That doesn't mean it is either "good" or "bad." It simply is.

-- Stephanie Schwartz

I couldn't decide whether to laugh or groan at the subject of Hannah Miller's article, "Conversations with my Tampon." Teaching women to be unashamed of their bodies is definitely a good thing. However I'd be far more embarrassed to buy Ditties with their goofy packaging and trite, 15-year-old "girl power! (tee-hee!)" affirmations than I am picking up a utilitarian Tampax box. I don't need frills on my toothbrush packaging, or my razors, or my bras. So why do I need flowers and "sassy" sayings on my tampons?

-- Adrianna Pita

While I applaud any efforts to take the stigma out of menstruation, I found it amusing that, according to their Web site, Dittie sells only tampons with applicators. Apparently they want us to feel comfortable with our periods, but not with touching ourselves.

-- Denise Riffle

[Read "The twins talk," by Rebecca Traister.]

Yes, the twins finally talked. Their introduction of Mom during the convention seemed to answer Dad's question, "Is our children learning?" Obviously not. Vapid party girls telling stupid, outdated jokes seemed to be their theme.

Children don't always turn out as their parents had hoped, but the apples really don't seem to have fallen far from the tree. Young and irresponsible indeed.

-- Marc Wallace

What was the point of Rebecca Traister's "quickie," "The Twins Talk?" I guess if I cared what kind of collar Laura Bush wore with her aqua suit, or about the piping on Jenna Bush's dress, Traister's piece would have been incisive and fascinating. Unfortunately, I'm a little more interested in the politics of the Republican Convention, not the Bush women's fashion sense. If I want empty cheerleading about the Bush twins, I'll check out a teen magazine, or just tune in to my feckless mainstream media.

-- Kerry Mockler

By Salon Staff

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