Week of February 7, 2001

So many men think it's OK to take advantage of women. No matter if a woman is drunk, it's a crime, and judges like [Schaeperkoetter] make women afraid to stand up for their rights. I was afraid and ashamed, and I waited too long. I now know you can buy the ingredients to the date-rape drug off the Internet. All the sites that offer that should be shut down. Maybe one day men won't think it's all right to take advantage of women, even if they are drunk, and won't stoop to drugging women to have sex with them. What has happened to me will affect me for the rest of my life. It's sad to think that in this day and age, men still can't use their brains to think with. There is no excuse for that, and there is no suitable punishment.
Name withheld by request
via the Internet

Going to a bar is not an invitation to a rape: To say I am shocked by Judge Schaeperkoetter's callous way of handling a rape case is a vast understatement. If this is his idea of caring for a victim, I can only pray that he does not have a child or wife or mother.

How dare he say that just because a person is in a bar, she is a willing participant in any act a criminal wishes to perform!
Gayl Brice
St. Louis

We just can't trust anyone: When guys go out, they are looking for one thing -- poontang. I don't care what they do or what they say, when a straight guy goes to a club or a bar, he's looking for booty. He may not be looking for it that night, or the next night, but that's the ultimate goal. And before I get hate mail from a bunch of men, let me tell you something: That's the way women have to think when we go out, because we just can't trust anyone. We can't tell who is a wack job and who isn't.

A bit of advice for ladies: If someone offers to buy you a drink, you walk him to the bar, you watch the bartender pour the drink and you do not leave it for a minute. If you're standing there talking to someone, your hand should be over your glass or bottle or whatever the whole time. If someone walks up and says, "Hey, this is for you," you say, "Hey, that's really nice, but the only person I accept drinks from is the bartender." It may seem like a hassle, or not cool or sexy or whatever, but how sexy are you going to be if you wake up under an overpass with your T-shirt and nothing else? If he's worth it, he'll wait.
Beth Buschard
St. Louis

For the Record
She has a fertile imagination: I noticed that in the recent article concerning my trials and tribulations with Laurie Chirco [Laura Higgins, "Now You See It, Now You Don't," RFT, Jan. 24], she claims that the reason that she refused to testify and to comply with court orders was my constant efforts to secure her address, the location of where her child was living and other personal details about her life. This is not true.

A review of the court transcripts and her depositions will reflect that I never asked her any questions about where she or her family lived and on many occasions told her, point-blank, I didn't want to know. Ms. Chirco is oftentimes a victim of her fertile imagination.
Richard H. Sindel

Rocks in the Head
Cutting to the chase: Allowing Holnam Inc. to continue [construction of the cement kiln] [C.D. Stelzer, "Cementing a Deal," RFT, Jan. 17] is like giving Jeffrey Dahmer a set of Ginsu knives and a Julia Child cookbook.
Ed Kiernan
via the Internet

It happened in the movies: Dear "Name Withheld" in Ste. Genevieve ["Letters," RFT, Jan. 24], are you telling me that the almighty dollar from the proposed cement plant is more important to you than the beauty and health of your own people? Jobs are important, no doubt. But what good are they if you or your kids become ill from that plant's poison? Just think about the movie Erin Brockovich. It could happen to you. It's your life and your choice.
Jonathan Duncan

D.J. Spin
Run the ads in other cities: D.J. Wilson's article must have struck a chord of truth among the natives to have ruffled so many feathers and engendered such defensive and virulent responses. I have also lived in a number of cities, the last 10 years in St. Louis, and thought Mr. Wilson's analysis of the RCGA's marketing strategy to retain the population of St. Louis was quite funny and perceptive. How ironic that the agency that's enlightening us to how good it is in St. Louis went to LA, one of the big, miserable cities it denigrates in their ad campaign, to film the commercials! Are these folks so thick as to not realize a lack of opportunity is what drives some to leave St. Louis and that not using local talent only encourages the kind of behavior the RCGA is trying to stop?

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