Sadly, Virginia benefits from the economics of the filming, but not from Ms. Paul's efforts. Virginia is one of the five (5) states that have not yet ratified the ERA, Equal Rights Amendment! The article quotes one of the producers, Armato, "I hope it inspires." I, along with numerous courageous men and women, hope it inspires the 2002 Virginia legislators to ratify this very important document!! What does it take to inspire legislators in Virginia?

Dulaney N. Collins

Pro-Choice and Politics

As a longtime Republican woman who is a strong believer in pro-choice, I am thrilled to know that we have a Republican Pro-Choice Coalition here in Virginia [Back Page, Oct. 23]. Katherine Waddell is so correct when she stated that "some people still don't get it."

I will continue with my work to get elected Pro-Choice Republicans, here in the state of Virginia, and elsewhere.

Let's take women's reproductive health-care issues out of politics now and forever.

Jerilynn Timmons Grigsby

Should I, a longtime supporter of reproductive rights for women, be encouraged by Katherine Waddell's assertion that "change is underway" in the Republican Party due to the efforts of pro-choice women? Not at all!

I have listened to this drivel for many years and have not yet noticed any improvement in the party's position toward women as Ms. Waddell herself points in a few well-chosen illustrations. Could this be because "loyal" pro-choice Republican women are still voting for pro-life candidates? A frightening thought indeed!

Ms. Waddell lists "a strong national defense, limited taxation, and minimal government intrusion into individual rights" as cornerstones of her Republican faith. Certainly her party does not meet the litmus test on "minimal intrusion" into a woman's right to choose. And if she herself could ignore the labels 'liberal" and "conservative," which she finds so distasteful, she could find strong pro-choice candidates who also favor strong national defense and limited taxation.

In short, instead of futilely "getting involved" in the nominating process, perhaps pro-choice Republican women should refuse to vote for pro-life candidates. When Republicans begin losing elections because of their pro-life stance, perhaps they will begin listening to the women who did not vote for them! Ms. Waddell suggests taking "women's reproductive health-care issues out of politics." I suggest taking politics out of women's health-care issues!

Juanita B. White

The City v. Culture

I speak solely on behalf of the city of Richmond as a whole rather than the culture of Richmond as a unique entity when I am saying in my 17 WORDS.

The city of Richmond: Forever moving hastily forward with reckless abandonment due to overexpenditure on needless centers of empty entertainment —incredulous!

Note: The truth is, Richmond Culture, as so well highlighted by Style Weekly, is unfortunately (by the observer) not one of the City of Richmond's biggest focuses. Rather, it seems its focus is more on the power and pompousness of big-time corporate business that this big new costly convention center is supposed to bring in these "dollars" to pay for the city's expenses! Dream on Richmond City!

If only this city would put its money where its mouth is — that is, the voice of culture speaking ever so loudly, and then actually build on the arts & entertainment industry (rather than that industry always having to build up itself.) The city would be making a sound investment in its future! I sure hope and pray that one day this city of Richmond will open its eyes and actually realize it can truly have a meaningful and a real live focus! One that would sure make this city shine (and in unison, too)! Certainly not a city that is blinded by $$ signs!

All of the unique words I would have used about Richmond Culture are indescribable and certainly not limited to all I need to know in 17 Words. Except for maybe — Lights, Camera, Action, Movement, Color, Shape, Form, Texture, Sound, Song, Music, Hymns, Dance, Buildings, Structures, Parks, People!

Nancy Sexton

Editor's Note: Find out who won our 17-word contest, asking readers to describe everything they need to know about Richmond in 17 words in next week's issue.


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