Dear the Daily Bruin:
I enjoyed reading [the author's] article today. It's refreshing to see that arguments that have been played to death in Ms. Magazine for years can still be published anew in the Daily Bruin.
There are, however, a few holes in [the author's] story. First off, Lizzy Borden was real person, who committed a real double-murder with a real axe. Accordingly, her characterization by "our culture" as mentally unstable is more an accurate portrayal of empirical facts than a sinister plot to subjugate women.
[I then gave a boring a properly excised explanation of the independent etymologies of "hysterectomy" and "hysteria" from the Greek word "huster," meaning "womb," to counter the author's claim that "the word hysterectomy is derived from the word hysteria".]
Finally, while I don't doubt that a woman killing or otherwise injuring a man (or woman for that matter) in a fit of insane rage will face mitigated prosecution, these statutes are part of broader provocation and emotional distress laws which have been common for centuries and apply to both women and men.
I applaud [the author's] attempts to break free of her own "blame the media" approach by using historical and linguistic arguments. But these arguments must be accurate and complete in order to be effective.
First-Year Law Student
Today the Bruin published a ham-fistedly edited version of the letter, with one glaring substantive change: the last sentence in the second paragraph now reads: "Accordingly, female mental instability is more an accurate portrayal of empirical facts than a sinister plot to subjugate women."
So in one awkward stroke of the cut-and-paste the esteemed editors have transformed me from a somewhat thoughtful commentator on gender issues into a raging misogynist. More importantly, I now share with Steve the dubious honor of having been beasted by a second-rate college newspaper.