Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Letter to the Editor

I used to intern at The Record-Courier when I went to high school in Nevada. This was one of the best experiences of my life, and it really introduced me to a lot of great people that live in the Carson Valley.

There are however some bad (or, rather, ignorant) seeds that reside in my old hometown. One of them is this man who apparently lives under a rock. He is notorious for his right-wing, outdated letters to the editor, but God love him, I sure do enjoy when people express their opinions. Even if it showcases how completely out of touch they are.

This man went too far a couple weeks ago when he lashed out at one of my best friends, Christina, who just competed in Miss America. Who better than to put him in his place with a kick-ass letter in return? None other than ME!

Check out his letter and then mine after:

Try a different dress


I realize before I write one word that this message is laced with futility, but at least it allows me a chance to speak my mind.

The photo of Miss Nevada that supported your article sparks this urge to comment, and I suspect that I should preface this with the admission that I am of a pre-war generation.

Born and reared in and around Los Angeles, I was exposed to modern times, a time when such events as pregnant teenagers was virtually unheard of, or at least I never heard of such a condition.

The girls then were best described as feminine and mostly modest, which is now a lost condition, and during those times the message to boys was “hands off.”

The current mode of appearance is one of exposing everything that distinguishes female from male, losing sight of the fact that they were all assembled from the same parts warehouse, and to that extent one is really no different than all of the others.

There is a difference though, it is termed “substance.”

After returning from WWII combat duty, and having challenged the UCLA faculty to educate me, the demons of war had in some measure been put aside as I then undertook gainful employment. I still had not given any thought to marriage, nor was I even considering it.

Well, one day while I was in the office, I saw this new girl who in time agreed to date me.

And during the course of these times, never once did I size her up physically. And to that extent I had no idea. She was obviously female, but the town was loaded with them.

In time, she took me into her home where I met her Hungarian born mother, and Austrian born father.

In that surrounding, I saw the values and substance that led me to consider marriage. We are now completing our 54th year as husband and wife, and she has justified my one condition — substance.

Miss Nevada evidently was not in the market for a dress of her size, and in fact it more nearly resembles the shortness that when seated would virtually expose that big thing that she sits on.

That is the modern female, plus the urge to expose the bosom. Too bad.

The female should be the most respected among us, given that hers is the most important of all tasks — bearing and rearing of the next generation.

Vernon Latshaw


Hands off, Mr. Latshaw


Mr. Latshaw, I was highly offended after reading your short-sighted letter last week regarding Christina Keegan, Miss Nevada (“Try a different dress,” Feb. 3). I was insulted not just on Christina's behalf, but as a woman.

You mentioned the importance of substance in women, and had you observed more than Christina's appearance, you'd find an abundance of substance — an aspiring doctor, a Children's Miracle Network volunteer and a deeply involved advocate who helps survivors of sexual assault. Christina Keegan represented Nevada with poise and maturity. What she wore for Miss America was elegant and classy — a far cry from the tawdry picture you painted in your letter.

I'd like you to know, Mr. Latshaw, that no matter what a woman wears, the message to boys will always be “hands off,” not because of her attire, but because a woman is entitled to be safe and respected at all times. Your crass mention of the “big thing” Christina sits on, coupled with women of today supposedly having the “urge to expose the bosom,” was unnecessary and down right sexist. I'm proud that American women today have more freedom and equality than we've ever had, including our right to wear whatever we choose.

So whether Christina, or any woman for that matter, wears a burka or a bikini — the message to boys is still “hands off.”

Lastly, I could speak volumes on how ignorant and archaic your conclusion was that a woman's “most important” task is to “bear and rear” the next generation. But I'll end with this: As a potential “bearer and rearer” of the next generation myself, I pray I have children with half as much substance as our Miss Nevada, Christina Keegan.

Tracy Tierney
Roseville, Calif.

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