Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 27, 2011 7:20 AM

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Lewin’s sentiment correct

Kudos to Professor Ellen Lewin for being so very human in her immediate response to the vulgarities of the campus Republicans. Nationwide, Republicans are attempting to eviscerate Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the environment, women’s reproductive freedom, the right to unionize, and the Department of Education. At the same time, they refuse to tax the rich or regulate corporations such as BP.

Lewin succinctly expressed what many of us feel. We know that one-sided civility is not civility, but rather an attempt to shut up those of us who disagree with reprehensible public policies.

Carol DeProsse
UI alumna

No monopoly on ‘coming out’

I’m appalled about one facet of Professor Ellen Lewin’s e-mail fiasco: the idea that somehow it is inappropriate to reappropriate language. As a queer citizen of Iowa City, I am ashamed that Lewin and so many of her defenders feel that it is their place to declare, on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, that it is somehow offensive for the Republicans to co-opt the phrase “coming out” for their own purposes.

English, like many modern languages, thrives on flexibility and adaptation. I would hope that in a city of writers and their literary-minded peers, people would be more supportive of the creative application of language.

I’m glad that conservatives had a coming-out week. Iowa City queers and allies ought to be grateful for the idea of “Conservative Coming Out Week,” because it indicates that LGBT slang has achieved such cultural penetration that even the party dedicated to “defending marriage” finds itself compelled to include a bit of gay vernacular in its promotions, winking aside or no.

I see nothing crass or distasteful about it. Just because I have a few bones to pick with social conservatives in general doesn’t mean I must now jump on my high horse and demand that they find a new phrase for their little shindig.

Charles Crawford
Iowa City resident

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