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College feminists deserve praise, not scorn

To the editor: Why is Meghan Daum so skeptical of feminists who are trying to shed light on chronic sexual harassment and rape on college campuses? Young women who share their painful stories of rape and trauma should be praised for their courage; their supporters should not be seen as "ignorant of the big picture." ("Time for young feminists to look beyond the mattress and campus rape," op-ed, May 26)

I believe that Emma Sulkowicz (Columbia University's "Mattress Girl") profoundly understands the big picture. Her performance art is generating so much attention because the image of a young woman carrying a mattress on her back is a universal symbol of oppression, reflecting all victims of sexual violence and trauma, including the victims of Boko Haram.

I have an answer to Daum's question, "Why, when there is so much serious work to be done, does this new generation of feminists only look inward instead of out at the big world?" Looking inward allows one to have clarity and strength, qualities needed to change oneself and then the world.

We should praise these young feminists for their courage.

Holly Hall, Glendale

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To the editor: There she goes again. I doubt that Daum would write a finger-wagging piece like this telling black or brown men to refocus their activism on places in the world that are far more dangerous for young men of color than Baltimore or any other large American city.

But women's personal pain and experiences are often trivialized, as this column illustrates.

Daum states that for all she knows, college feminists are "volunteering at inner-city domestic violence shelters or developing global strategies to empower women in the developing world." I suggest that she find out. When she knows, she can write a more informed opinion piece.

Diana M. Granat, Altadena

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