Use Of 'Nanny' Is Criticized

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Editor, The Herald:

I have been in the area for a few years now and have enjoyed very much getting to know the community through, among other things, this newspaper. However, I have been dismayed of late by the tone (and content) of some of the letters to the editor, many from those who you might call 'regular contributors' to these pages. A recent letter referred to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, as Tom Perriello's 'nanny,' and this is not the first time this epithet and others like it have been used in your pages. Would the letter-writer, in this instance, have referred to a male speaker in such a way? I think not. This kind of comment is sexist, misogynist, bigoted, and demeaning. I think a newspaper like yours should be ashamed to print such a thing (especially more than once).

Furthermore, it is exactly this kind of language that the political debate needs to avoid. No one on either side of our political spectrum (and sadly it only has two irreducible sides…) should lower the discourse to such a disrespectful level.

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Neil Perry

Cumberland County