Letters to the Editor

Letter: Women’s touch

January 7, 2014


To the editor:

In the last paper of the year (Dec. 31), all three front-page stories were about extraordinary women: Saunny Scott, advocate for the homeless and those with disabilities who now fears losing her home as a result of a cut of her daughter’s disability payments; Lindsey Douglas, newly hired to help champion Kansas University during the crisis caused by state cuts to higher education; and Sandy Praeger, struggling to find insurance for uninsured Kansans because Gov. Brownback turned down federal funds to expand Medicaid for those ineligible for ACA plans.

As I read these articles, I wondered about priorities … and gender. Why is it that many men in public life are willing to jeopardize the well-being of human lives for their political “principles” and many women in public life are focused on improving human well-being regardless of politics. Could it be fighting instinct vs. nurturing instinct? I hope we’ve evolved beyond that!

We are fortunate to have a caring woman in this state working hard to bring health care options to the working poor, even though both hands have been tied behind her back. In fact all three featured women, and a legion of others, are working hard to undo the damage caused by a governor and a legislature trying to make a “statement” rather than serve their state.


Brock Masters 4 years, 4 months ago

Focusing on gender instead of the individual perpetuates gender bias and discrimination. If we want a society that values the individual and believes that all genders and races are equal then we have to practice it. We cannot be selective when we decide to be color blind.

Suggesting that these individuals are good because of their gender lends credence to the belief that there are man jobs and woman jobs.

Surely, the LTE writer doesn't want people to consider gender when making job selections?

Cille King 4 years, 4 months ago

"Surely, the LTE writer doesn't want people to consider gender when making job selections?"

We will rejoice when people are hired for their experience, ability, knowledge and when people are paid equally for equal work. We have a long way to go.

Ken Lassman 4 years, 4 months ago

Brock, While both you and Ms. Black refer to gender, Ms. Black's message is more nuanced than you give her credit for. After all, she goes on to state "I hope we've evolved beyond that!" I interpret this not as Black saying that there are men jobs and women jobs at all; she instead is challenging men to rise to the level of leadership displayed by these three women.

The fact that at the national level women were behind the bipartisanship recently displayed is an interesting parallel, and certainly speaks of the potential for women to tread where apparently many men fear to tread. But this is a challenge to the lack of leadership displayed by the current crop of male public servants more than some hard wired gender behavior. I see not willing to cross the aisle and other such leadership-lacking qualities as a potential indicator of a person who may be too insecure/beholden to the campaign contributers to truly serve the public, but I digress.

Brock Masters 4 years, 4 months ago

Ken I disagree. The LTE writer clearly references gender in the second paragraph and generalizes about both men and women. She asks about many men and about many women so she clearly isn't only referring to the three she mentioned.

Ken Lassman 4 years, 4 months ago

Then you didn't read the letter closely. She notices that women have been playing important roles in these areas (her examples are valid), ponders why it is that some men in public office are willing to sacrifice the goal of improving well being for political reasons (these type of men clearly exist), wonders if there is a male-as-fighter/female-as-nurturer pattern going on--then clearly, unambiguously rejects that conclusion.

In other words, she rejects the very generalization that you claim she made--apparently you missed the conclusion.

Brock Masters 4 years, 4 months ago

I hope we evolved beyond that is not rejecting it. She believes women are more caring.

Ken Lassman 4 years, 4 months ago

It's a challenge to men to not be bound by those stereotypes, so yes, even though she brings up cases where she thinks women have demonstrated a more caring attitude, she clearly doesn't believe that it has to be that way. Aren't you man enough to accept that ? ;>)

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 4 months ago

As a woman I do not believe this letter. I have met my share of women who are neither kind nor nurturing. How about Sarah Palin, Michele Bach, the latter who said that there is no reason why every American should not be able to pay their medical bills in full with no help from anyone?

With over six billion people on the planet you cannot pick out two or three people and use them to portray the whole.

Terry, you are right.

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 4 months ago

You have met Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann? I can understand your not agreeing with their policies. Labeling them as neither kind or nurturing, without really knowing them, is unfair. Sarah Palin has 4 children, I think, with one of them being a special needs child. I can assure you that children like that need a lot of kindness and nurturing. Michele Bachmann is a mother of, I don't know how many. Several of whom are adopted. I would submit, based on those facts alone, she is kind and nurturing. I heard the quote you attribute to Michele Bachmann and it is not in the context that you would have everyone reading your response, believe. She was saying that medical care should not be priced out of reach for everyone. She was saying that medical care should be priced so that, "There is no reason why everyone shouldn't be able to pay their medical bills in full."

Leslie, I have noticed that women like you and the NOW, only defend the rights of women when it coincides with your/their agendas. Step off of the plantation and they cut off your foot. If George W. Bush had been playing "hide the cigar" with an intern, in the oval office, you and NOW would have been screaming bloody murder. Let William Jefferson Clinton do it and we here nothing but crickets. What we here is, "It's a vast right wing conspiracy." Yeah, right. Monica Lewinsky was a trap to gain impeachment proceedings.

Bob Smith 4 years, 4 months ago

What's up with the two items in the Most Discussed tab that circle back to this LTE? I'm referring to the JenniferCastenada and the Karla Meggison items. What's going on at this award-winning website?

Dick Sengpiehl 4 years, 4 months ago

Liked this article. Main thing I liked was the slam on Brownback and the extremely poor job he's doing as Governor. I also liked the praise of Sandy Praeger, who has worked tirelessly to help the working poor of our state get affordable insurance through the expansion of Kancare. Alas, to no avail.

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 4 months ago


The turbulent end to Kansas’ legislative session is only the most recent example of how budgetary politics has become a bareknuckle battle in the state. In 2012, Governor Brownback reluctantly signed a bill that significantly cut income tax rates without offsetting spending cuts. Naturally, this opened up a hole in the new budget, which kept policymakers in Topeka as they hammered out an agreement during the extended session. Some argued that tax and spending cuts will attract investment and create jobs. Others say they compromise necessary services. Kansans can better evaluate these claims when they consider the long-term fiscal trend and compare their political and economic situation to those of comparable states. In our study, Kansas ranked 26th on overall freedom, or about average. But from 2001 to year-end 2010 (the latest date for which full data is available) it had the fifth-largest decline in the country.

During the Sebelius administration, this state had the fifth largest decline in the country. It sounds to me like Governor Brownback is on the right track. You sound like a poor loser, Dick.

Beator 4 years, 4 months ago

It's too bad Sebelius' degradation skill set was not kept local instead of going national.

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