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Welcome to the real world, Chicago.

Upset by story’s scene-setting
While members of the Woman’s National Democratic Club were greatly impressed with William Schulz’s presentation on his book, Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights, most members would be surprised at being described by Amy Braverman (“Moral Imperative,” February/04) as “white-haired ladies in pastel ensembles, sitting on the mansion’s gold-lacquered chairs.” While not wanting to read insults where none are intended, I found that description of the vibrant group of senior and middle-aged women demeaning. Yes, many of the current members are retired from a variety of careers but do not consider themselves as belonging to a privileged or affluent group. Ms. Braverman did not add why younger women were not there, although we do have many younger, working professional members. Lest we forget, these members are in the paid workforce, as many of us once were, and find it difficult to attend luncheon events. Meanwhile, many of our more senior members are grateful to have lived through progressive evolutions of a society that finally begins to respect the contributions of women of all ages, even volunteers. We are definitely not an anachronism nor a throwback to earlier times. Therefore, those words sounded rather patronizing.

Since our founding in 1922, fresh from the suffragist wars that won American women the right to vote, we have constantly fought stereotypes that would categorize women as decorative, marginal, and second class. The club has always provided outlets in which the members can continue their professional interests, or develop new ones, to the benefit of Democrats, women, young people, and our society. Some University of Chicago alumni have made outstanding contributions to our club.

As a subscriber to the Magazine, I wonder if this poke at the WNDC was for entertainment value or an attempt at levity when considering such a horrendous topic as 9/11 and its aftermath. In either case, it does not serve either one very well.

Joyce Dannen Miller, PhB’49, AM’51
Washington, D.C.

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