Feedback: Women’s suffrage and Kamala Harris as the ‘safe’ pick
Regarding “Tell More Stories of the Women Who’ve Brought Us this Far” [Aug. 16]: I know Lorraine Ali couldn’t list every show that had an episode dealing with suffrage, but since she noted “female creators and producers are telling these tales from myriad angles,” I would mention the episode “The Campaign” from “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”
“Dr. Quinn” was the first hourlong drama with a female showrunner, Beth Sullivan, and this episode, which touches on “the dramatic fight to cast a ballot of one’s own,” was written by a woman, Joanne Parrent. The title character (Jane Seymour) runs for mayor and during her campaign the women in town begin to understand how disenfranchised they were in the 19th century.
Everything Ali wrote is important, but I was surprised there was no reference to “Suffragette,” the British film about the women’s movement in the U.K., which started in 1898 and ended when all women achieved the right to vote in 1928.
Whether it’s Britain or the U.S., the stories are similar. Men didn’t want women to have rights or equality.
I applaud Lorraine Ali’s call for more stories presenting women contributing to society. Women have a wide range of consciousness in dealing with vital issues [and] offering smart solutions. Women’s perceptions level the barriers to open doors of light and freedom.
Regarding “Suffrage Exhibit on the Button” by Dessi Gomez, [Aug. 17] on the L.A. County Museum of History virtual exhibit celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote. It should be remembered that California women had the vote in 1911.
There were seven Western states that gave women the vote before the 19th Amendment.
Regarding “Kamala Harris is Not, Ahem, ‘Safe’” by Mary McNamara [Aug. 13]: Harris is far from being a safe Biden VP pick. She is a seasoned prosecutor, politician, senator and debater.
Mike Pence says he can’t wait to debate Harris. Unfortunately for him, he will get his wish.
I thank [Mary McNamara] for pointing out [that] Harris is a “woman, Black.” In all of the fawning media coverage of her race and gender at the expense of an even cursory analysis of the content of her character, I hadn’t noticed.
Latinx ‘x’ factor
Regarding “Poll Finds Few Latinos Use Gender-Neutral Latinx” by Daniel Hernandez [Aug. 12]: I am in academia and have real misgivings about the use of the term “Latinx,” which is now commonplace at many institutions. I grew up in Mexico City, and I love the Spanish language.
But I find “Latinx” to be somewhat offensive to my language of birth. It is an Anglicism which extends even further the influence of the United States on the hemisphere. The “x” in Spanish is an elusive, hardly ever used letter. In Mexico, it has at least three distinct sounds. It only sounds like the English “x” [if] there is an “e” in front of it, as in “El ex-presidente.” Otherwise it sounds like a “j” or an “sh.” So Mexico is pronounced “Méjico.”
In Argentina and Chile people are using the letter “e” to disguise gender. So “Latines” is used to that end.
That sounds more like Spanish than the horrible “x” at the end.
Race and Desi Arnaz
Regarding “He Loved Lucy. Maybe” [Aug. 11], in his review of Darin Strauss’ novel Mark Athitakis described “I Love Lucy” as a comedy about a mixed-race couple. That is astounding and profound in revealing how little is understood about Latinos and how deep prejudice and racism still run against Latinos in the United States.
Desi Arnaz was white, a descendant of Spanish emigres or colonizers of Cuba. There is a clear distinction in Latin America and Spain about who is white and who is not. It is the basis for white supremacy in Latin America.
Arnaz was a hero to me, as he succeeded in Hollywood when few Latinos had made any inroads. It is clear that his Spanish surname and accent were enough for him to be seen as not white.
Now, 70 years later, few Latinos have succeeded in Hollywood and even fewer dark skinned Latinos, who are by far the majority of all Latinos in the United States. That is a story that needs to be told.
There is a difference between ethnicity and race.
Desi was ethnically Hispanic but white.
This is something that I and many Hispanics have to explain to those who still do not understand the complexities of our ancestry.
Man of ‘Mars’
In Meredith Blake’s article on the TV series “Lovecraft Country” [“The Horror of a Racist Writer,” Aug. 13] the sci-fi novel “A Princess of Mars” is mentioned.
That was the first of the John Carter Mars stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The community of Tarzana in the San Fernando Valley is named for one of Burroughs’ other creations.
Regarding “Walk Among Giants” [Aug. 12]: Christopher Knight didn’t mention Robert Graham, a 20th century sculptor whose lovely columns guided me down the steps at the northeast corner of the garden for the 18 years I worked at UCLA.
A stroll through sculpture the garden never failed to let one catch one’s breath and lower the blood pressure.
Although I realize that the story of “Susannah and the Elders” is viewed as apocryphal by some sects, it is part of the Christian Bible as recognized by the Roman Catholic and Orthodox groups. Was it really necessary for Christopher Knight to describe it as “a fictional story popular in Baroque Europe”?
Regarding “How to Listen: America Unites In its Sound” [Aug. 12]: I have always found Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” to be a clever, lovely, appealing score. But now — in these troubled times — as a consequence of Mark Swed’s searching essay I am sure to hear it with new ears, so to speak, appreciating its multilayered historical, political, racial, sexual, sociological underpinnings.
I had hoped that after his death at 92, I might see an obituary in The Times for Leon Fleisher.
Apparently those commemorating, among others, the deaths of the head of an awards show panel, a man who ran a carousel and that of another who kept a collection of baseball memorabilia were deemed more important. This is not to denigrate those three, who were no doubt accomplished at what they did.
But Leon Fleisher was the greatest American pianist of his generation. This must still mean something.
Editor’s note: Inna Falkis wrote an appreciation of Fleisher as an op-ed: “Making Music in Small Spaces,” Aug. 10.
Why should the U.S. get a piece of the action?
When the president’s company closes a sale, do some of his proceeds go to the U.S. Treasury? Wendy Lee’s article [“Tiktok Will Fund 19 U.S. Creators,” Aug. 11] says President Trump is open to Microsoft buying TikTok’s U.S. operations “provided that some of the proceeds go to the U.S. Treasury.”
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