FROM THE MERCURY VOICE MAIL: "Hi Julianne, it's Gina Hoesly. You know the "Best Oppressed Police Officer" ["Best of the Oppressed," Julianne Shepherd, July 25]. Anyway, I'm just calling to tell you that you rock. It's funny, but the only support I've gotten has been from your article. My family and I were talking about it and were like, "Yeah, she rocks." You know even though the allegations are bullshit. So thank you, and anytime you want to make up those "Free Gina" t-shirts, let me know. Keep up the good work. It's nice not to be dogged out."

TO THE MERCURY: If you are letting guys come in your ass, you should assume they are all positive [I, Anonymous, "Think I'm HIV Negative? Think Again!" Aug 1]. If you are the top, you don't have to worry so much about fucking a positive bottom in the ass. Anyone who lets a guy dump a load in him in this day and age knows this.


TO THE EDITOR: This is for the woman who thinks that being a victim is the way to go ["Letters," Annie M., Aug 1]. What the fuck are you thinking? "There is no such thing as reverse sexism," you say; you're half right. It's plain old sexism either way, regardless of which side is perpetrating, and Katie Shimer has done us the "favor" of proving it ["Is Your Husband a Killer?" July 25].

If you want to choose to play the role of the victim, then you're going to be one the rest of your life. Domestic violence rarely has anything to do with sexism; the fact that it's usually tied in with child abuse (of both males and females, fancy that) should make that pretty evident. It's about domination; equally bad, but not the fault of misogyny.

Your own sexist letter demonstrates your complete lack of perspective. How about an article entitled: "Is your wife the next Lorena Bobbit?" Funny, I don't think the Mercury would publish THAT, but it follows the same sexist logic as Katie Shimer's own article. [Sorry to interrupt, but actually, if you have more than a couple of stories of women cutting their husbands penises off, we'd LOVE to run that story. Send them in!--Editor]

As a woman, you claim to have experienced oppression all your life. This may be true, but that doesn't entitle you to oppress others for it. There are about 80 million men in this country, of which only a proportionate handful have ever killed anybody, much less their spouses, and you or I will likely never meet any of them. Fear-mongering and self-victimization will get you nowhere but backwards.

Alonzo "Potential Annie M. Victim" Zakotnik

TO THE EDITOR: I attended the Mrs. Portland Mercury Pageant ["Mrs. Portland Mercury 2002," Aug 1] oh, and did I mention I'm 5 foot 8 and weigh 105 pounds? Well I do, and I overheard the judges saying that certain contestants are "obviously bulimic" and "Someone get her to eat some Crisco." Well FUCK YOU! Do you think it would have been okay for the thin girls to go on and on about fat people? No one would tolerate that. They would have a better chance praising Hitler than to speak bad about the poor tragic fat girl, awww poor baby. It is a real double standard that I've dealt with all my life. You know whatI can eat ANYTHING I want and not EVER gain weight. I am not bulimic or anorexicit's just how my body is.

TO THE EDITOR: I was dismayed to read that Piotr ["Letters," Aug 1, in which the writer complains of being kept awake by barking dogs] is frustrated with the lack of public resources to help him sort out his truly intolerable canine woes. Although it's true he has no legal recourse and funding is being cut for many of our awesome city programs, there is still hope. Don't despair (or poison the dog food)! The Portland Neighborhood Mediation Center has been helping neighbors peacefully resolve disputes since the '70s. They specialize in noise issues: late night basketball games, raucous drumming circles, inconsolable dogs. And the service is totally free! Even if Piotr thinks his neighbors are unreachable and nothing can be done, he should definitely check out this city resource (823-3152). What is there to lose? Besides some more sleep

Nancy, one of restored faith

CONGRATS TO NANCY for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week" and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater. Are you angry, happy, or sad? Send us your letter, and you could win, too!