Letters to the Editor (June 2012)

Help women by empowering, not patronizing, them

I would like to comment on the editorial written by Elizabeth Clark that appears in the May issue of NASW News.

It is unfortunately typical that articles such as hers try to fear monger readers into thinking the world is going to end because someone can’t get free birth control.

I am aware that NASW has a long history of supporting women’s rights and issues, so I understand Ms. Clark’s point of view, but I do take issue with that viewpoint — and suspect many other social workers do too.

If NASW wants to help women, they should stop treating them like entitled children who can’t fend for themselves. Isn’t the role of the social worker to empower people to do for themselves? Pretending that women can’t manage for themselves is patronizing at best and demeaning at worst.

I know there are many, many social workers out there who do not subscribe to the complete liberal bias of NASW. I wish you would give them more of a voice for all to hear.

Vickie Leff, MSW, LCSW, CCM
Raleigh, N.C.

It’s time to fight for women’s rights — again

I just wanted to write to let you know how much I appreciate the letter from the Director in the most recent issue of NASW News.

I agree, “mayday, mayday, mayday” is absolutely needed right now. I am the Director of a Rape Crisis Center in New Jersey, and we are seeing the attacks on women and our rights left and right. This is happening nationwide as well as in our state.

I have continuously been appalled at the relentless chipping away at our rights, and sad to have to keep talking to people about the importance of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and to urge people to contact their representatives to ask them to support this legislation.

We are thankful to have Sens. (Robert) Menendez and (Frank R.) Lautenberg, amongst others, who are fighting to pass this in its original form, not the version that discriminates against immigrants, LGBT or Native American survivors.

This is indeed a dangerous time for women in our country. We need to galvanize more than ever, and as social workers, we should ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect these rights, as they are human rights.

I am yet again proud to be a social worker and part of a field that fights for social justice. Let’s continue this momentum and show Washington that we mean business, and let’s do the same at our local levels. We have a voice and we can make sure that the powers that be no longer have the power to control our lives in this way. Now let’s do this!!!

Chrisula Tasiopoulos
Rockaway, N.J.