Would Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem berate me for not supporting “the” female presidential candidate if that person happened to be Sarah Palin? (“Feminist icons scold young women backing Sanders,” Feb. 8.) And what about Carly Fiorina? Shouldn’t she just be blindly supported, too? She certainly has had to overcome some serious hurdles to get to the top of the business world without a famous husband leading the way. Then when all women just support women, who should I support when both candidates are female?

Everyone has the right to ask others to support their favored candidate. That’s part of our important political process. The question I have for both Albright and Steinem is this: isn’t one of the most important outcomes of the feminist movement about giving me the power to decide for myself what I believe is best?

Janet Bates, Eagan

• • •

As a feminist who supported women’s rights, wages and political standing during the 1970s and ’80s and beyond, I never forgot that we were up against the “good old boys” ideology. We feminists fought that and won on many fronts. I haven’t forgotten that and I never will.

The most important element of that fight was the understanding that women can make their own decisions and follow their head and heart in all things — including voting.

Now I and my sisterhood of feminists are being “told” whom to support for president of the United States simply because Hillary is a female?

I don’t think so. Back in the day, Gloria, Madeleine and Hillary would have lambasted anyone suggesting that we vote for a president based on gender.

I fought the “good old boys” club years ago. I’m certainly not going to join the “good old girls” club now! A real feminist thinks for herself and acts on her own.

Eileen Biernat, New Brighton

 

DONALD TRUMP

Letter writer’s defense of the candidate seems thin

In response to a Feb. 6 letter writer (“Here’s why Trump rose”) lauding Donald Trump as “our gun,” “our attempt to take back a bloated, out-of-control government,” I refer him to Trump’s 1987 first campaign speech. It can be found on politico.com. In it, he rants as he does today about Japan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Washington, Wall Street, politicians and “nice people.”

In his mind, the country was facing “disaster” and was “being kicked around,” and other countries were “laughing at us.” “It makes me sick,” Trump said.

The sitting president then was Ronald Reagan.

Mary Stackpool, Glenwood, Minn.

• • •

Apparently the Feb. 6 letter writer has been listening to a bit too much “hate” radio. It is your typical right-wing letter that goes on and on about our “bloated, out-of-control” and “corrupt” government, without any specifics whatsoever. It is hard to solve your problem, sir, if you won’t tell us what it is. Your solution to solving “gridlock” is to “vote every incumbent out.” That would give you the same gridlock, except now you would have no one with any experience.

The letter writer compares Donald Trump with Jesse Ventura, which is laughable. Let’s keep a few things in mind about Jesse. He at least had some experience, having served as mayor of Brooklyn Park, while Trump has absolutely none. Jesse was running for a job where he would be responsible for 5 million people; Trump is running for a job responsible for more than 300 million. Both are big jobs, but one is decidedly bigger.

Jesse won in a race where there was a three-way split in the vote. Anything can happen, but that doesn’t appear to be the case this time. Jesse did participate in all the debates, while Trump ran away from Megyn Kelly. Jesse believes in free speech, while Trump has protesters at his rallies beaten up and thrown out.

Sir, you are entitled to your opinion that our leaders today are “arrogant and narcissistic.” And your solution is to replace them with Trump? Sorry, I just don’t see the arrogance and narcissism levels dropping with that move.

David Frederick, Coon Rapids

 

GENDER-NEUTRAL TOYS

Target’s effort shuns those who prefer to make their own choices

I was a preschool teacher for 15 years and raised two of my own, so I know about raising children. Target’s new “gender-neutral” toy policy is shortsighted and misguided (“Target seeks a better mix for kids,” Feb. 7). Any parent who has raised a child knows there are real gender differences with the substantial majority of young children. To say otherwise is wrong and defies common sense and practice. Additionally, the gender-neutral policy, which seeks to be “inclusive,” is actually the opposite. It is completely geared to the small minority of parents who are seeking gender-neutral toys. So instead of including a gender-neutral area and letting consumers decide how they want to shop for their children’s toys, Target’s politically correct policy is dismissing the needs and wants of the vast majority of its customers.

Julie Teicher, Plymouth

• • •

When I turned to the jump page for “Target seeks a better mix for kids,” I was amazed, in a macabre sort of way, at the photograph showing toy trophy heads among the retailer’s selection. I guess they’re gender-neutral. But, did Cecil the lion die in vain? Maybe. You remember the Bloomington dentist who blasted the defenseless Cecil for sport. Animal lovers across the country were outraged and wanting the dentist’s head. What did we learn from that, and what will toddlers learn by having their own cuddly trophy heads? As Target’s Julie Guggemos said in relation to branding, “We have a general belief that you can’t keep doing what you’ve been doing to move the needle” — but in what direction, you say?

Ron Baumbach, Bloomington

 

MOSQUE ARTICLE

Apologize to Republicans for blanket statements about bias

In reference to the article “There’s no reason to be terrified about mosques” (Opinion Exchange, Feb. 6), I was highly offended by the statement that “Republicans think Muslims just don’t fit here.” As a Republican who has several Muslim friends, I feel the writer of the article should have done more homework before making a blanket statement about Republicans. The writer needs to apologize to Republicans.

E.M. Taylor, Plymouth

 

CLEARING SNOW

Hey, don’t undo the plow’s work by returning snow to the street!

I see this countless times — people throwing snow back into the street after I have plowed. With the large amount that fell this last snowfall, it looked in some places like the street had not even been plowed. I have noticed that the snow could have been placed on the boulevard or on the resident’s lawn — that would benefit the grass in the spring. So, please, help us do a more efficient job by not putting the snow into the street after it has been plowed. Thank you.

Ron Bohan, Brooklyn Park

The writer works for the city of Minneapolis.