Letters: Briefly

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ONE would think, from Kate Figes's piece on Melissa Benn ("Madonna and mobile: an impossible modern image", Real Life, 4 January), that "woman" and "parent" are synonymous with "mother". Many "women" are not mothers; and many parents with care responsibilities are men. The vast majority of fathers are denied choice between home and work. Is there that much difference between claiming this choice as a woman's prerogative and the old position that a woman's place is in the home?

Peter McKenna, Liverpool

THE investigation of the present state of religion in Britain (Review, 4 January) was spoilt by the repeated equation of belief in God with "spiritual health". The unbelieving minority is just as healthy; indeed, several of the accounts of believers seem to show that belief is not so much a sign of "spiritual health" as a symptom of mental ill-health.

Nicolas Walter, London N1

JUST what are you trying to tell us with your three pictures of Straw family members leaving their home past a policeman (front page, 4 January)? That even if we are the Home Secretary, or his wife or his son, the law cannot protect us?

Michael Atkinson

Ilkley, West Yorkshire

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