Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor published in the Globe and Mail in response to Karen Selick’s article: “The Smokescreen of Poverty” published on May 27, 1992 in response to my article, “A Grinding Response to Poverty” published on May 15, 1992.

In her article, “The Smokescreen of Poverty”, Karen Selick makes several false statements about me.

I am not a university dropout. I earned a BA (political science) from Queen’s and a Master of Fine Arts (theatre directing) from the University of British Columbia.

I did not choose to get pregnant. I chose to continue with an unplanned pregnancy. There’s a difference. I have assumed full responsibility for my choice, including working full-time and seeking financial help when necessary (including day-care subsidy).

I did not “decide I liked the scenario of poverty”. What an absurd statement. We all have choices to make, yes, but our choices are not made in some sort of free will vacuum. I chose to pursue a career in the arts and to keep my son; I regret neither decision, despite the financial repercussions.

In my article “A Grinding Response to Poverty” (May 15), I clearly stated that it was not poverty that bothered me so much as people’s attitudes toward the poor. Ms. Selick’s response is just one more piece of evidence to support my argument. Her obvious contempt for the poor – particularly young poor women – is all the more disturbing given that she has freely chosen to work in a field where her function is often to represent, counsel and defend them.

-Beth French