Letters to the editor

‘Globe Magazine’ readers respond to stories about teaching children about risk, Southie’s upcoming moment in the reality TV spotlight, and whether it’s appropriate to read ‘50 Shades of Grey’ in public.


Regarding “Raising a Risk Taker” by Kent Greenfield (Perspective, July 29), one of the skills I learned as the parent of a now 26-year-old born risk taker was to not project my anxiety and instead to urge her toward cautious decision making.  When my daughter was not quite 2, she loved to climb to the top of the monkey bars at our local park, horrifying the other mothers. Her father and I both taught her to pay attention to how she climbed up, so she would know how to reverse her steps to go back down. Two dozen years later, she’s into rock climbing, sky-diving, and base jumping and has learned the precautions of her interests well, so she is as safe as possible while enjoying her extreme sports.

Allyson D. Platt / Easthampton

 Greenfield’s comments on taking a risk with his son hiking in the Dolomites in Italy smack of elitism. There are thousands of poor and working-class families who would love to take that kind of risk but never get the chance to travel to Europe. And children younger than 14 have had to travel to school on public transportation either because of school assignments or economic necessity. The next time you feel compelled to boast about your child-rearing style, please stop and think about the children and families without such privileges.


Monica Benson / Somerville


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I love Miss Conduct’s columns, but her answer about reading 50 Shades of Grey at the hospital is so prudish (July 29)! I’m a 26-year-old who, along with all my friends, read these books because they were good — not to get off. I’ve read them at parks, on the beach, along with millions of other women. Who cares if people judge where we choose to read a book?

Amanda Jarvis / Allston

Read erotica, or whatever, anywhere you’d like. It will hopefully put a smile on your face and others’. Hot and bothered by what you read? That could also happen anywhere through sight, sound, or smell. As a 68-year-old mother and grandmother, I say go with it. Life is too short to worry about what other people think.

Susan Harrington / Manchester-by-the-Sea


Miss Conduct writes, “I pity the women whose lives are so tightly scheduled that they must pencil in their porn.” Trust me, these women don’t want or care about her pity. Is she so high and mighty that she is doling out pity and telling women when they should read? The person she attacked was reading in front of her (prude) sister in a hospital room, not on a public train.

Ann Powers / Lynnfield


Readers took to to debate Billy Baker’s “That Place We Call the Real Southie Is Gone” (July 29). Excerpts from the discussion:

SouthBostonResident wrote: Yuppie families  . . .  are staying and sending their kids to Boston public schools. Which means in 15 years there is going to be a bunch of teens from highly educated, respectful, and well-spoken households who are going to say “Southie is my hometown.” More gentrification please!

Syrindge wrote: I’ve lived in Southie since 1997 (I was 27 years old). I’m male, have a good job, and like to go out to the bars to have a good time. I’ve never once been called a yuppie.

GretchenR wrote: Hey, Syrindge! You’re a YUPPI!



The answer to the August 5 trivia question — “Which two actors were Steven Spielberg’s original choices for the role of shark hunter Quint in Jaws?” —is . . . Lee Marvin and Sterling Hayden. Congratulations to Dan Boone of Harvard, Allison Goodchild of Beverly, Dave Malin of Boston, Dave Timmons of Methuen, and Frank of Melrose, who were the first five readers to e-mail us the correct answer. Each will receive the newly remastered Jaws Blu-ray from Universal Studios.

COMMENTS? Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.