IoS letters, emails & online postings (20 May 2012)

Share

We would like to thank Gail Porter for sharing the story of her harrowing battle with depression ("Being sectioned was absolutely terrifying", 13 May). Her brave account helps combat the stigma many women feel about depression and taking antidepressant medication; Platform 51's research shows that while a third of women in England and Wales have taken antidepressants, one in five has felt the need to keep this a secret from friends and family.

Worryingly, Gail has made the decision to stop taking her antidepressants without consulting a doctor – our research and experience with hundreds of women at our centres shows that problems with antidepressants are commonplace and that this is a growing problem. The Government needs to take urgent action to improve mental health provision for women – as a first step; it needs to review the use of antidepressants in this country.

Nancy Platts

Acting director of policy, Platform 51 (formerly YWCA), Oxford

How disappointed I was to read the concluding part to Paul Vallely's article on the Rochdale child-grooming cases ("Add a few irrelevant facts, stir and let prejudice do the rest", 13 May). This was an excellent and well-written article that made some very valid points. Then the astoundingly offensive comment: "Misogyny is not a problem confined to Kashmiri tradition, as a visit to any white working-class estate would reveal." As a white woman brought up on a "white working-class estate", I am sick and tired of this group of society being condemned and labelled as the scourge of Great Britain. If we're not misogynistic, then we are benefit-scrounging, alcoholic hooligans etc. In his off-the-cuff remark, Paul Vallely has revealed his own bigotry.

Cathy Sweetman

Herne Bay, Kent

Your feature on the riots (The New Review, 13 May) shows images of 33 people, all but one of whom are male. Yet in your discussion about all the problems facing youth, you don't mention gender at all. This is extraordinary when your photos, and the figures on violent crime generally, show that this is primarily a man problem. It's about the expectations we still have of male children to "stand up for themselves".

Unless we tackle how we bring up our boys, and, in particular, teach them of the rich rewards available from being in touch with their feminine sides, we can expect no respite from male violence on the streets.

Michael Dempsey

London E1

Janet Street-Porter ("No lipstick?..., 13 May) is out of line complaining about Hillary Clinton relaxing her attitude to primping. I say more power to Hillary for pushing at a pernicious glass ceiling for women – the attractiveness ceiling. Men can be taken seriously despite their looks, but women need to reach a minimum threshold of attractiveness in order to be worthy of respect.

Here's a question: how come viewers complain about Mary Beard presenting a history programme with long grey hair but no one says a word when Archbishop Rowan Williams marries our future king and queen without bothering to visit the barber, or even run a comb through his hair, first? But as a man, his untidiness is taken as a sign of seriousness. As a woman, it's the act of a radical feminist. Three cheers for the radical feminists.

Ellen Purton

Twickenham, Middlesex

I hope Matthew Bell is correct when he debunks the myth that coffee shops are still cool (The Emperor's New Clothes, 13 May). He suggests we no longer want to be like Ross and Phoebe, speaking with rising inflections. Perhaps it will also mean there'll be an end to all this "can I get" (as opposed to "can I have") and "I'm good" (as opposed to "I'm well") affectation.

Philip Stephenson

Cambridge

How alarming to learn from Nick Duerden (The New Review, 13 May) that Sir Tom Jones is "one of the UK's most virulent men" – does this mean he has "gone viral"?

Graeme Massey

Stamford, Lincolnshire

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. Email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk. Online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2012/May20

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A Gold Ferrari sits outside Chanel on Sloane Street  

Sunday Times Rich List: We are no longer in thrall to very rich people

Terence Blacker
David Cameron was openly emotional at the prospect of Scotland leaving the union before the referendum  

Remember when David Cameron almost cried over Scotland because he loved it so much?

Matthew Norman
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions