August 7, 2006

Mothers Anonymous
Mothers Anonymous” [by Emily Nussbaum, July 24] was exhausting. The mean-spirited and twisted women who reply to the desperate mothers on UrbanBaby are hell-bent on destroying one another’s confidence in motherhood. How can those women raise loving and compassionate children? The world is already well beyond population management, and yet it continues to fill up with lost souls and unproductive people. Perhaps women should consider the joys of life without the demands of child rearing. After all, there is nothing wrong with not having kids.
—Amy Driver, South Hadley, Mass.

GreenmarketBYour celebration of Greenmarket perpetuated the myth that farmers’ markets carry only high-end fare for yuppies [“The Greenmarket Effect,” by Robin Raisfeld and Robin Patronite, July 24]. Although all of the farmers profiled sell expensive food in Union Square or similarly ritzy areas, many of the city’s farmers’ markets serve exclusively low-income communities. This is by design—these neighborhoods have scarce access to healthy food, which contributes to their poor health and our citywide obesity epidemic.
—JC Dwyer, Brooklyn

Same-Sex Marriage
Kurt Andersen makes some compelling arguments as to why the recent judicial ruling against same-sex marriage could be viewed as a potential gift to the gay-rights movement [“The Imperial City: The Gay-Wedding Present,”July 24]. What he fails to discuss, however, is that until the heterosexual majority is willing to consider the fact that sexual orientation could just exist, like skin color, and is not learned or chosen, we will continue to have this subject clouded by political opportunism, the high- school rhetoric of sexual mechanics, and the disproved theories of appropriate parental roles, all of which are a complete distraction from the real fundamental human-rights discussion that so desperately deserves to be had. Some version of “marriage lite” that effectively legitimizes discrimination can’t be an acceptable state of affairs when considered from a human-rights perspective.
—Aidan Cassidy, Manhattan

Ben Mathis-Lilley hit the mark about lawyers [“Happiness: A User’s Manual,” July 17]. I am an attorney who was unhappy for 25 years. Clients yell at you; judges yell at you; the opposing attorney yells at you. There’s always a battle, and to win you must bend the law. It was a terrible career, which I have finally given up on, and am happier having done so.
—Amie Nemeth, Plainview, N.Y.

Tiesha Sargeant
Thank you for your article on Tiesha Sargeant [“Nine Blocks From Home,” by Robert Kolker, July 17]. I’m still reeling from the crushing loss of my friend. I was touched by the writer’s level of engagement, going beyond the call of duty to uncover some of the deeper themes and relationships that characterized Tiesha’s life and death. Her story gives voice to the struggles and hopes of modern young women, who grapple with multiple levels of discrimination, the threat of violence, and the desire to somehow frame a positive contribution to the world while fully expressing one’s potential.
—Jill Reena Benson, Brooklyn

Purple Party
Kurt Andersen’s “Introducing the Purple Party” is an insightful analysis of where our country stands on politics [April 24]. It has inspired me, in part, to run for the state legislature in Maryland. I am a Republican who believes that the reds and blues need to work together to find practical solutions. Government needs to be about the best ideas, not who comes up with them. It’s odd that one would have to consider that an approach to politics when that is really what it should be about in the first place.
—Chris Pilkerton, North Potomac, Md.

Clarification: A caption for “Mothers Anonymous” (July 24) noted that images used were part of the art project “My Name Is Mommy.” The women in the photos, meant to represent mothers in general, were neither quoted in the story nor are in any way associated with the UrbanBaby comments that appeared in accompanying cartoon bubbles. We regret any confusion that might have been caused by the lack of a more explicit disclaimer.

August 7, 2006