Week of November 11, 2004

Yeah, but what'd you think about those damn Cub Scouts? I was shocked and appalled that the sight of naked women on the cover of the RFT offended people, and disappointed that the RFT apologized and claims it was a mistake. That's too bad -- I thought it was a cool photo and a great idea! I was inspired to see this picture! It's great!

I'm saddened that so many people equate a picture of a nude body with smut and dirty sex. Don't people have an appreciation for art, nature, beauty? I wonder if those who were offended have any respect for themselves. Are they scared and appalled by the sight of their own nudity?! Ugh! I worry for my community's soul. I'm also sad for the lesson these freaks are pounding into their innocent children's minds. It's sickening. What's next, covering up nude sculptures at the art museum?
Bridget Batterson
St. Louis

We're spineless and cowardly...: I decided to write after I read your editor's note in the October 20 issue regarding the cover photo of the nude women in the form of a peace sign. I have to say, at first, I was impressed with your courage to take such a stand. The human body is not dirty or nasty, especially in the context in which it was used in this instance. Letters complaining about having to explain the cover to a three-, four- or five-year-old were laughable. I wonder if these same people flipped to the back section of your paper where, every week, you can find a plethora of advertisements appealing to every kind of sexual deviant known to man and felt they had to explain them to their kids. I'm betting kids wouldn't even have noticed it had it not been pointed out.

To me it seemed the point was to get the public's attention and make the statement that war is wrong. Salute to you for doing so. Shame on you for not sticking by it. I'm deeply disappointed in the spineless, cowardly stance you've taken since getting a few complaints and negative comments. I happen to know a few of the women who were in the picture and never was it discussed that you would not be using the nude photo. For you to now start tap-dancing around, saying it was all a big mistake makes me sick.

Maybe what this country needs is to loosen up a little bit and not attach such a negative stigma to a naked body. If you don't make nudity an issue, it won't be. Treat it like it's a big deal, and it will be a big deal. I'm not saying we should all just walk around naked whenever we want. I just don't think there was anything sexual or obscene or naughty about that cover picture. It had its desired effect. It got people's attention. Then you ruined it by calling it a "mistake." How do you think the women who posed for the picture feel when you call their courage a "mistake"?

You had me locked in with the October 13 cover. You lost me when you called it a mistake. Well, at least now I'll have something every week with which to wash windows, start fires in the fireplace and line my birdcage. So long, RFT.
Tim Splett
St. John

...And we have no huevos... : Come on folks, show some huevos. I was so proud of you for pulling such an artistic coup when you printed the naked peace sign on the cover. And then what? You backpedaled.

No one in their right mind would ever begin to believe that you would accidentally print an image on your cover. Even the most illiterate of readers know that the front page is scrutinized more than any other. Give us some credit and take a stand. Those suburban housewives who griped about their poor, corrupted children are the same folks that let the TV and Britney Spears babysit them while they're out filling up the SUV.

I think it was beautiful to see all those real people naked and proud. Finally an image that wasn't corrupted by our society's sick obsession with youth and modelesque bodies. Stand your ground and we'll stand behind you.
Steve Kelly
University City

...But wait! We've got the jewels! Bravo! I'll have to admit that I was shocked when I saw your cover, but I wasn't offended. I thought it was historic that a local newspaper would have the jewels to put nudity on the cover.

After reading the feedback, I wondered if these "offended," "appalled," "insulted" individuals have ever seen naked women. Do these people bathe with their clothes on? As far as children go, they are not as clueless as parents like to believe they are. The human body is taught in school last time I checked. These women weren't spread-eagled, French-kissing each other, were they? No. They were showing off their natural, beautiful selves in a sign for peace. I would rather see that on the cover than pictures of injured soldiers and civilians who can't come home to their loved ones.

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