Letters From the Issue of Thursday, November 9, 2006

The "L" Word

Hypocritical mass: Finally, somebody said it! Of course Janet Napolitano's a lesbian, and a hypocrite for opposing gay marriage ("Reality Check," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, November 2). Even if she's not, how could she think people don't think she is? Everybody thinks that who's got the nerve to express an opinion!

That she [is] our governor for four more years just means more of her waffling, more of her commitment to "the children." To nothing much. Why doesn't she do something, anything, decisive?!

I personally couldn't care less whether Napolitano's gay. In fact, if she is and she came out, I would respect her more. At least she would be about something. That is, other than her next political job after she's done with us in Arizona. What a perfect federal attorney general she'd make for Mrs. Clinton or Barack Obama. Perfect politically, only.

But you could bet that she'd do as little as possible, just as she did as Arizona AG. Her motto is: Keep your head down. Don't get in the line of fire. Waffle on every controversial issue. As The Bird said, explain it with double-talk. Even if she's not a homosexual, how can a progressive (which she claims to be) be against gay marriage?

Your "Deconstructing Janet" series was too kind to her (see the latest installment, "Raising Arizona," by Robert Nelson, in this issue). You should've ripped her, but you gave her way more credit than she deserves. You're right that she may be the best governor we've ever had, but we deserve so much better! What a place, where somebody so banal can get elected to two terms as governor, and everybody thinks that's just peachy.
Jacky Burns, Phoenix

Sexist offender: I have no problem with a free press, opinions I don't care for, whatever. But the overt sexism of The Bird in this week's lead item demonstrates less about Governor Janet Napolitano and much more about how easy it is to be a hateful white male sexist in 2006.

"Manet," "pussy-boy," "try growing a pair," "sex-switched Guv," and "she radiates all the sex appeal of Richard M. Nixon in his prime" are all incredibly sexist comments that imply there is only one way to look, act, think, and be if one is to be either male or female. (As if Stephen Lemons is the arbiter of all things sexy and what a woman must look like! And, by the way, notice how successful Richard Nixon was.)

The hatred and anger invoked to discuss what could otherwise be a relevant topic overrode any attempt I might have had to actually engage with the issue. I have a feeling that extreme racism would not be tolerated by Phoenix New Times, but when females are the target, there is no awareness.

How do you think Congressman Mark Foley and Congressman Jim Kolbe got away with their closeted lives for so long? Women get called "dyke" if they even enter politics; men are assumed straight even if they are not.

As long as men, in particular, think sexism is acceptable and a solid base for "humor," New Times can make money, I'm sure. But violence against women, sexist political baiting and hateful diatribes that harm our daughters will also prevail.
Pamela Stewart, Phoenix

She aches just like a woman: I'm with The Bird as far as not understanding why Governor Napolitano (or anyone else) is opposed to gay marriage. It seems to be a non-issue for most rational people. And I can see asking Janet whether she's gay, in the context of her opposition. But I must part company with the Winged One at "why doesn't she start looking and acting like, say, a woman?" What the hell, Bird? What the hell?

She is a woman. Even if it were relevant, what else could she possibly look or act like? We work with what Mother Nature gave us, and sometimes "kinda dykey" is as good as it gets. Give it a rest; there are enough real issues to squawk about.
Name withheld by request

Separate bedroom performance from job performance: The Bird's "Reality Check" on Janet Napolitano and Prop 107 needs a reality check of its own.

What difference to her job performance does it make whether she is gay? Like this city and this state do not have bigger and more pressing issues to address? Snooping around her "closet" puts Mr. Lemons in the same category, in my opinion, as the Radical Right Wing Nut Jobs who are trying to get Prop 107 passed.

Last time I checked, job performance is not connected to what you choose to do in the bedroom, unless you are a porn star. Now if Mr. Lemons believes that she is doing a sucky job, attack her on issues and performance, not her bedroom life.
Name withheld by request

Do ask, do tell: As a closeted homosexual for many years, I can understand why Janet Napolitano would stay hidden regarding her sexuality for so many years. But, as The Bird says, it's time to come out. It's hypocritical not to come out now.

I know, I know, she says she's not gay, but come on . . . she's a politician. She's just trying to maintain her political life in conservative Arizona by saying she's straight. There's no way that can be true. My belief is that Janet hasn't had sex in 20 years, and therefore sexuality just doesn't compute to her anymore. But if it did, she'd be gay.

And for her to feign ignorance that anybody even believes she's gay is an insult to lesbians throughout this state. As The Bird said, what's wrong with being gay? She's acting like we all have the plague.

This is not even to get into her cowardly stand on gay marriage. The Bird's argument [is causing] me to sit out this election. I [couldn't] vote for Janet, and I [couldn't] vote for Premarital Munsil.

That said, I could have done without that insulting cartoon with The Bird. Every lesbian in the world isn't butch! The pictures you ran in New Times of the governor [with "Deconstructing Janet"] were enough to make the point.
Name withheld by request

Nothing ventured, nothing gained: Robert Nelson's article in the "Deconstructing Janet" series ("The State of Her State," October 26) speaks high praise for Ms. Napolitano. It, however, fails to recognize that since she has been in office, she has done absolutely nothing.

In fact, since she has been here, we are near the top of the most dangerous cities in the United States, we have escalating property taxes, out-of-control urban sprawl, we are overrun by illegals, we are losing much of our desert, and Ms. Napolitano has set the veto record for a U.S. governor when lawmakers actually tried to do anything about the aforementioned.

Yep, that's getting things done! She's tough, all right. It's also tough to figure out why the morons in this state [wanted] to reelect her. Higher crime, higher taxes, higher population, and less quality of life. I think it's time to move to a state that used to be like Arizona.
Dennis Utley, Scottsdale

Goldy Licks

"Paka" knows best: After reading Stephen Lemons' article about Barry Goldwater ("Goldwater Uncut," October 19), I was reminded of the restaurant scene in the movie Ocean's 11 with George Clooney as Danny Ocean and Julia Roberts as Tess.

Danny Ocean says, "I always confuse Monet with Manet. Which one married his mistress?"

Tess: "Monet."

Ocean: "Right, and Manet had syphilis."

Tess: "They also painted occasionally."

I know it's much easier to be snarky and ironic and sarcastic about everything. The veil of wise-ass-ery is an easy one to wear. However, it's not applicable when referencing or critiquing C.C. Goldwater's documentary. The documentary, to me, was a loving and wonderful memorial to a great and confounding man told from the perspective of his granddaughter. It didn't need every last detail about the man.
Charlie Buttermann, Glendale

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