So what is wrong with ox-wives paying big divorce settlements, including alimony to their ex-husbands? Men have been subjected to this one-sided rip-off for years. More power to the men who are standing up for their rights. I say fight them down to the last bloody penny. You ladies quit bitching and moaning and sign those checks. It is time women learned how this aspect of equality really should work and feels. Women do support equality, don't they?
GORDON LEE DISNEY, Clinton, Tenn.
I find it difficult to generate any sympathy for either party involved in these million-dollar Hollywood divorces. Most of us working stiffs won't earn in a lifetime what some of these people make in a year. Even if money and property were always evenly divided, surely there would be plenty left to go around. If I have sympathy for anyone, it's the children. Surrounded by luxury, these indulged little tykes will no doubt one day provide fodder for tabloids.
HARRY DECKER, Phoenix
The idea of awarding Joan Lunden's husband $18,000 a month alimony is preposterous. Michael Krauss is 52 years old and able-bodied. Why can't he go out and find a job?
NANCY ALESHIRE, Millbourne, Pa.
Bravo for recognizing that gender bias is being attacked at last in the family courts. However, in reporting the comments of counsel for Jane Seymour, you said that "he conceded...the decision was fair." The problem is that the attorney for Ms. Seymour was my law partner, Judith Shapiro, most noticeably a she.
IRA LURVEY, Los Angeles
Joan Lunden and friends are a perfect example of why my husband and I refer to NOW as the "National Organization of Whiners." They want it all, as long as it doesn't cost them anything. Maybe if they had spent more time running their marriages with their hearts instead of their wallets, they might not be paying alimony now. The ex-husbands deserve everything they can get for having lived with any of these shrews!
MARGIE KNOX, Columbia, S.C.
How any self-respecting "man" who picks the pockets of women in this legally sanctioned robbery can look himself in the mirror while shaving is beyond me. As men, we've been taught since childhood that there's no free lunch, and this kind of extortion is the essence of reverse whoredom. Just having the companionship of any of these great women for some time would be ample reward.
THOMAS J. MCGILLIS, M.D., Ventura, Calif.
I am at the point of rage concerning George Bush's and the U.S. Forest Service's timber-cutting practices in the Northwest. Here is John Mumma, the first and only wildlife biologist to hold the position of regional forester, telling the Administration that their timber quotas are unreasonable if the forest's environmental integrity is to be maintained. His opinion represents the type of reasoned decision-making I would hope exists in the agency that is supposed to act as our stewards of the forest. Instead of listening to Mr. Mumma, they fire him. It is painfully obvious that the Forest Service, George Bush and the timber interests they represent can't see the forest through the greed.
DAVID KRACKE, Portland, Oreg.
Thank you for the heartwarming, positive article about transplant patient Shiloh Avery. Having a 17-year-old daughter on the waiting list at Stanford University Medical Center for a heart-lung transplant, it is encouraging to read a success story for such a difficult procedure. We could all learn a lesson from our children who are faced with the most difficult choice in their lives. They are truly the chosen few.
DAWN BUCK, Lodi, Calif.
PICKS & PANS
Luckily, I saw A League of Their Own before reading Ralph Novak's inane review. Those of you who took Ralph's comments to heart, I hope you will reconsider. The movie is exciting, funny and touching. What Ralph describes as the "Davis-Petty feuding" is just a healthy dose of female sibling rivalry, the flip of the male siblings we are so used to seeing in movies. As to Ralph's comment that Tom Hanks was "odd man out of the plot," Hanks's character was a supporting role. The movie is about women. Obviously Ralph is not used to men as peripheral characters. Director Penny Marshall certainly has another excellent movie to add to her already respectable résumé.
BRENDA HARDY, St. Johns, Mich.
Our frequently silent mule renders found their voices this week mid heartily sided with their brethren in the alimony wars (PEOPLE, July 6). Almost all cried a variation on the theme of What's good for the goose is good for the gander and said this is truly what Equal work, equal pay is all about.