I’d like to respond to Rich Heldenfels lamenting in a recent article over why there hasn’t been a decent movie made about a female superhero (“Superhero gender gap is a mystery of gallantry,” May 4). He listed and discussed all the movies made in the past and why they’ve flopped at the box office.
After reading it, I wondered the same thing, as I stared at an old copy of Marvel Comic’s U.S. Agent my teenage daughter borrowed from her female friend. This same friend happens to be obsessed with all things Spiderman, her personal space turned into a shrine honoring the superhero.
Perhaps there needs to be more of a demand for a movie with a female lead as a superhero. Unfortunately, the viewing public seems to embrace the notion of women being the weaker sex.
It certainly doesn’t help when women are portrayed as catty, confrontational, needy, whiny and self-absorbed on TV, as emotionally charged creatures needing a savior to rescue them at the cineplex and as less-than-worthy contenders for power with men in the real world.
Maybe a woman superhero is lurking in the imagination of an aspiring young female writer or artist who has yet to put pen to paper.
Or, maybe the plain truth is that we’re just not ready for her; the same way our country isn’t ready to elect the first female commander in chief.
I think as more women are put into positions of power, the existence of a female superhero will become more plausible. As more equality for women is gained, we’ll see an outdated mind-set transform before us.
For now, my daughter and her female friends will have to worship at the feet of Batman and Spiderman. Who knows, maybe someday soon, they’ll step aside.
Relative state of employment
A lot of people who have not received raises for many years feel unfairly taken advantage of. A lot of other people have lost their jobs due to corporate cost-cutting.
Many who lost their jobs have gotten new ones, but are making a lot less than they were before.
Many of those who can’t get new jobs are forced into the welfare system. Meanwhile, corporate executives continue to increase their profits, salaries and bonuses.
Here’s how it works: You and many of your colleagues go to work one morning, get called into the human relations office and are handed a piece of paper to sign stating that you will not sue or say anything bad about the company or you will not get any sort of severance.
You are then escorted out of the building, and the next day you have no health insurance.
Depending on where you are, a job with no raise for many years can sound pretty nice.
Aiming at the wrong target
First lady Michelle Obama recently addressed citizens in her home town, Chicago. She talked about the shooting death of a young girl who had just recently performed, with a school band, in front of President Obama. She grouped this schoolgirl’s death in with many others in Chicago. She talked about Chicago children worrying every day if they will live through their walk to and from school.
All of this was a prelude to her plea, and White House proposals, for more restrictive laws on guns and gun owners. It seems right, until you recognize that Chicago has had some of the most restrictive gun laws in the United States.
With the most restrictive laws, the city continues to have one of the highest gun murder rates.
Let’s look at the rhetoric from the White House and anti-gun groups about the National Rifle Association. They sound a lot like al-Qaida calling the U.S. the “Great Satan.”
Of course if you repeat anything, even an outright lie, often enough, the public will start to believe it.
Someone needs to recognize that the NRA is not Wayne LaPierre. The National Rifle Association is 5 million law-abiding gun owners and hobbyists. Criminals and murders will never be affected by laws because they do not respect them.
More laws, on top of the ones that already go unenforced, is folly and a waste of our tax dollars. Laws that are virtually unenforceable, because those who propose them are ignorant of the subject, are an even greater waste of tax dollars because they will be constantly challenged or subverted (as was the case with the Clinton-era “assault weapons ban”).
After 10 years of banning assault weapons, the definitions were still unresolved and every federal agency agreed that there was no measurable decrease in crime.
Anti-gun groups keep referring to the flintlock rifles of the Revolutionary period. What they don’t want you to know is that the flintlocks were the “assault weapons” of their time.
The writers of our Constitution were brilliant and forward-thinking men. They tried to write rules that would stand the test of time and innovation. Their ideas were not all perfect, but they were better than any government since.
Anti-gunners also put forward their idea that no one except hunters have any reason to own a gun. They either fail to recognize or just don’t want you to know that far more people own guns for recreation.
There are many families that shoot together as a family sport, from grandparents to grandchildren.
Let’s continue to respect the Founding Fathers.
Old patterns, new perspectives
The following comments are inspired by three recent commentaries in the Beacon Journal, the May 7 editorial “Bus money,” the April 26 column “What future for our region?,” the April 26 column “Canadian view of Keystone.”
These seemingly unrelated commentaries present different facets of the same issue — continuing to do things the way we have always done them or recognizing the need for changes to help make our region, nation and planet more vibrant, resilient and sustainable places to live and work.
Local school districts are required to provide ever more expensive transportation for both public and charter school students in their districts while state school funding remains inadequate. Anguish over this mess overlooks more basic problems of why (a) school transportation is so expensive, and (b) individual school districts must expend educational funds to provide it.
Answers include (but are not limited to): (a) because of sprawling urban and suburban development; and (b) we have always done it that way.
In a few other states and many other nations, neither factor matters much because sprawl has been limited and how best to fund and provide school transportation has been carefully considered and modified to better fit current circumstances.
Advocates for approval of Keystone pipeline construction remain mired in “the way we have always done it” while regional leaders involved in the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) are focused on figuring out what choices we can make now that will provide the greatest chance to successfully develop a truly sustainable society.
Specific regional choices have not yet have been determined, but will most likely include:
• Ending sprawling development, such as the Walmart in Copley Township;
• In-fill development of existing sprawl to create more walkable, transit-friendly neighborhoods;
• Replacing urban center freeways (such as the Akron Innerbelt) with linear parks, bikeways and other urban amenities;
• Focusing future transportation spending on maintaining existing streets and highways while expanding alternatives to automobile use;
• Rapidly increasing development and use of non-fossil fuel energy sources, rendering the Keystone pipeline unneeded in a society seriously seeking sustainability.
Standing up for gun rights
I support U.S. Sen. Rob Portman for standing up for the Second Amendment rights of Ohioans.
According to a recent article by the Pew Research Center, firearm homicides are down, violent crime has decreased and most deaths by firearms are suicides. However, it pointed out that the vast majority of the American people think firearm violence is up.
Another issue the media does not want the public to know is the association of race with gun violence. According to Pew, “a disproportionate share of gun homicide victims are black (55 percent in 2010, compared with the 13 percent black share of the population). Whites were 25 percent of victims but 65 percent of the population in 2010. Hispanics were 17 percent of victims and 16 percent of the population in 2010.”
I support Portman’s opposition to anti-gun legislation that would penalize law-abiding gun owners and would focus instead on improvements to the mental health system and enhancing school security, respecting Second Amendment rights.