We'll begin with Adele, who writes disapprovingly about last week's Triangulator graphic on abortion statistics: "I am an avid reader of INDY Week and appreciate your caliber of reporting on social issues and community. I do regret your forceful push on the pro-abortion focus as the primary factor in assessing the quality of women's rights.
"Abortion is not pro-women. While some may deem it a right due to rape or incest, it is certainly never an easy choice, nor to be glamorized as, 'I am woman, hear me roar.' It represents a fracture in our society and a culture of death, instead of nurturing life from the least among us to the fittest of the fit. Every life has value, and whether you believe that life begins at conception or not—the tissues will become a baby—a heartbeat is a sign of life that will grow into a human person. That is science, and the mysterious beauty of life. Many Democrats, progressives, and independents are feeling isolated because the Democratic Party equates women's rights with abortion.
"When discussing women's rights, it always goes back to the pro-choice topic of abortion, where what women really need is a whole life support and empowerment through respect and love. It is demeaning to discuss women's rights through the lens of abortion. Women need access to health care—not just health care related to contraceptives—which is the primary topic when discussing women's health. We need support with our families and communities that support families, because families help to build strong communities. We need women's rights to support our education, our nurses, and all careers for women's empowerment. Women's rights are about more than abortion. Women need to be individuals—fiery and dynamic and fearfully and wonderfully made by their creator.
"Motherhood is the crown of civilization. Whether we have children or not, I argue that all women are 'mothers' called to that maternal care of fostering relationships, creativity, love of neighbor, and being leaders in community. To deny that motherhood and children are an important fabric in our society completely devastates the personhood and individuality and personal power of women."
Moving on. In last week's paper, Michael Burrows reviewed Pour Taproom, a new Durham beer spot with a self-serve model. Co-owner and general manager Dan Enarson writes that he was "very disappointed to read Michael Burrows's review since many of his assertions about our model were based on assumption, rather than journalistic due diligence. The entire piece was seemingly written without him speaking to management or any of our staff. Had he endeavored to do so, he would have found that our staff receive above what the Durham Living Wage Project sets as its hourly rate for employees making tips. Mr. Burrows incorrectly assumes that just because Pour isn't yet signed up with the Durham Living Wage Project, we therefore underpay our staff. It would be as incorrect for me to assume the same of the INDY's employee compensation, which, according to the Durham Living Wage Project website, is not a certified member. Neither are many downtown bars, for that matter, but this seems to be the proof for Mr. Burrows that we are inadequately compensating our staff.
"Mr. Burrows incorrectly assumes that because of the automated aspect of a self-serve beer wall, that somehow our customers don't engage in a centuries-old social exchange between patron and bartender. On the contrary, because our staff members aren't pouring drinks, it frees them up to engage customers creatively around beer styles, getting to know them personally and their drink preferences, much like a bartender.
"As Mr. Burrows inferred, a bar isn't just about the beer; it's about the people servicing it. We have an excellent team of ten individuals who care about people, know their beer, and enjoy getting to know our regular patrons. They may not stand behind a traditional structure, but they're roaming and know regular customers and their tastes by name."