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YouSaid April 2015

Chalk on pavement
I so enjoy reading Tami Mohamed Brown's articles. [SheSaid column, MWP, March 2015] Her writing is very thought-provoking, yet something the everyday person can grasp.
Deb Shaw, Moose Lake, Minn.

No means no
As a senior in high school, postsecondary plans are omnipresent in my thoughts. Will I go to college? However, among the sea of normal thoughts, there are many questions that have a grim connotation, such as "Will I be safe?" There is something extremely wrong going on. One in five women will be sexually assaulted before they graduate from college.

California passed a law called "Yes Means Yes," to replace the outdated "No means No." Saying yes and giving consent is much different than saying no. By law, unless both parties agree to it with the word "yes," it means "no." This law decreases the misconception of "Well, she was asking for it" or "She was dressed promiscuously; what was I supposed to do?", since the answer to these simple phrases is easy. They never said yes. [YesAndNo Feature, MWP, Jan. 2014]
Hannah Olson, Plymouth

Discern within
As I read Laurie Mattila's book list, my childhood schooling flashed through my mind. [BookShelf, MWP, Jan. 2015] I went to Catholic grade school and high school, and heard over and over about not patting ourselves on the back - but rather to think of our failings.

I am so happy this is not happening any more. Laurie is a very resourceful woman and inspiring in many ways, which is shown through this article. My hat is off to you, Laurie - keep up the good work.
Marion McCarthy, St. Paul


Why images and words matter
Ugh. Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition time of year. [ThisIssue column, MWP, March 2015] Did the National Center on Sexual Exploitation have much pull in asking businesses not to display that magazine openly? For the last number of years I've been asking my local gas station to please not display it so blatantly - at eye level of little kids and everyone going in and out of their store entry. I've felt like a small voice in this, and was often dismissed. A cardboard cover would appear over the spot on the display case, with the SI behind it, but that cardboard never lasted long. Then the district manager told me of how their chain has made the honorable decision to not sell more explicit magazines, but the SI edition is a great seller, that many would complain if they didn't have it and didn't display it. Hmmmm. I hardly think that is honorable.

Too many years of my Dad (a sports lover) subscribing to that magazine, only to have this edition arrive each year, and Dad perusing its pages, Mom continually flipping it to face the back of our magazine stand in the living room, only to have Dad flip it back again so its cover was shown in its full glory. It made a great impression on me that has formed a big piece of who I am. Mom's discomfort at those images, Dad's pleasure having it arrive as a matter of course on his doorstep, me taking that in while trying to understand my growing female body and societal views of respect, disrespect, exploitation and beauty. February never rolls around without my thoughts mulling over the implications.

Thanks for your work, your insights, your perspectives, your openness.
Jean Abbott, Lakeville

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