PW readers sound off.
Regarding Tara Murtha’s recent column about B101 refusing to air child abuse ads unless explicit words are removed:
It’s appalling that B101 refuses to air ads about child rape. The following quote reflects an attitude that’s all too prevalent: “’Mommy, what’s that mean?’ is a phrase that makes [parents] feel that we have let them down as a radio station.” Correction: If parents can’t handle this question, it means that they as parents have let their children down. Such enforced ignorance makes children far more vulnerable to rape.
If they are to be empowered to resist unwanted sexual attentions, children must get a clear message that they own themselves and are entitled to decide for themselves what is “good touch” or “bad touch”—not have such judgments imposed on them by adults under the name of “love” or “protection.”
Hopefully, if anyone suspects a child is being abused they will, if possible, go to the child first with child-centered, non-leading questions like “Is someone hurting you?” or “Is someone doing something that makes you feel bad?” In this way, abuse won’t be swept under the rug, nor will children be traumatized by memories confabulated—or redefined as “bad”—in response to adult suggestion.
ERIC HAMELL, Philadelphia
Regarding our Summer Guide of lists:
Today I had a chance to look at the Summer Guide and noticed the paper listed the top bars “not to be white in” and “not to be black in” and I have to say I am slightly offended. It wasn’t that the paper listed bars that you might want to avoid if your either black or white because this is a rapidly gentrifying segregated city with a history of racial tension and if you’re a recent transplant you can easily stumble into a bad situation. My problem is with listing bars whites should avoid because the blacks there are crass next to bars blacks should avoid because the whites are violent, virulent racists. If the paper is going to list bars to avoid because they are unsafe for anyone that is of the wrong race that’s one thing but these lists place blacks’ safety next to whites’ discomfort and that for me was problematic.
CLAUDE BARNES via email
Regarding Brian McManus’ recent tribute to late PW scribe Steven Wells:
I have many fond memories of the stories Wells wrote on the soccer supporters group, the Sons of Ben. While the Sons of Ben may have had a large part in the creation of the Philadelphia Union and its new stadium in Chester, Swells must be given credit for bringing the Sons of Ben to the masses. He was the first journalist to take an interest in the group, and each of his articles swelled the membership ranks. The owner of the Union, looking for a city to put a team, learned about the passion of Philadelphia through the words of Wells. The rest as they say is history.
On Sunday, the Philadelphia Union opened their new home in Chester, and the Sons of Ben knew that somewhere, Swells was smiling.
DAN GONTKOF via email
I just read your nicely written and very funny collection of snipets. Unfortunately, I just finished reading this on the train and laughed out loud several times; much to the annoyance (and probably concern) of my fellow riders. It’s great that you can memorialize some of his writing to highlight Steven’s special writing “style”. Thanks for the laughs on my way home tonight.
DAVID LEFF, Furlong, Pa.