updated 04/21/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 04/21/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
I was shocked and outraged to see the antiquated and sexist term "Old Maid" used on your cover (PEOPLE, March 31). However I was pleasantly surprised to find the article offering a much different point of view. The sociologists who conducted the study said, "We are making absolutely no value judgments." Then why did PEOPLE make such a glaring value judgment by using old maid on the cover? It makes me question the age, sex and marital status of your editors.
So you want to give every mother in America a heart attack on the checkout line? Anyone who saw your unkind cover saw the message pervasive in our media that being single, female and over 35 is the end of life. Shame on you for perpetuating this image. The women you interviewed could more aptly be termed bachelorettes than the sexist, outdated old maid. These women are people who choose; they are not wringing their hands and waiting to be chosen. You may have depressed my mother, but I am d—ned angry!
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Should we call women who have not married by 35 old maids or smart cookies?
I suggest you possibly feature a follow-up story on married women over 35. Your title might read, "Most married women over 35 can forget about going to the Caribbean twice a year."
As a 50-year-old, never-married woman, I read with much interest your article "The New Look in Old Maids." It's great to see that I'm in such good company as the popular women celebrities that you interviewed. Their comments are both amusing and realistic. The study mentioned in the article makes a lot of good sense, since it stands to reason that maybe we were not all that anxious to marry when we were younger and chances are that we will not marry when we get older either.
I want to commend PEOPLE on the old maids' article. I'm 23 years old, still attending college, with no plans for marriage even though I've dated the same guy for close to five years. It gets tiresome having to answer the old question, "When are you getting married?" The article gave me a renewed sense of hope for my future. For a while I thought I was the only one left of my kind. Thanks for the incentive to proceed onward single.
Enough! If I see one more shot of Lisa Hartman's bare anything, I'll scream. It's great she keeps in shape, but by now her navel ain't novel.
Marina Del Rey, Calif.
We hope you'll bear with us one more time. See page 55.
I was incensed by your story of BulletStop owner Paul LaVista and his rationalization of his promotion of base and primitive instincts as "wholesome family entertainment." His blatant equation of guns with sex and manhood is absolutely barbarian. I hope none of the children who are encouraged to visit see their parents' photographs blown away by a demented ex-spouse. Sport hunting is fine, but BulletStop represents America at its sickest.
East Grand Rapids, Mich.
America, when will you stop treating guns as if they were toys? Their use in a purported atmosphere of wholesome family entertainment does not alter the fact that guns are weapons. Mr. La-Vista, I sincerely hope your business, BulletStop, fails.
I am a 19-year-old widow because of the Arrow Air crash last Dec. 12. I am grateful that John Nance has opened my eyes to airline deregulation with his book Blind Trust, since no one else is willing to tell me why or how my husband and his fellow soldiers were killed. We are being told that the 101st is the pride and joy of our Army. Why then were they transported in the cheapest way possible, while President Marcos was put on a military plane the way the Screaming Eagles should have been brought home? From this I assume that Marcos is more precious to our government than the soldiers protecting our lives. The President's face may have shown pain in Fort Campbell while speaking to the families of the crash victims, but he will never know the anger and frustration that we face each day for the unacceptable and senseless deaths of our loved ones.
Marnie V. Gonzales
La Puente, Calif.
Picks & Pans
I almost didn't go to see Gung Ho because of Ralph Novak's review. I would have missed a very entertaining movie with a message. I don't feel the movie "dwelled bitterly on racism, ignorance, sexism, unemployment and despair." It depicted people as they often are, without sugarcoating the American ideal or the American people. After all we do have our warts. The characters did come around, did learn teamwork and acceptance of their differences. We need some of that working for the common good of our economy right now. I do absolutely agree that Gedde Watanabe was great, but I don't think he added the only "human feeling." One of the Japanese actors—the one whose wife had a baby in the film—captured my heart. I have to find out who he is so I can watch for his future performances.
His name is Rodney Kageyama.