Author:Stipek, Kathleen
Position:Letters - Letter to the editor

Mark Dunbar made some interesting points in "Choosing Your Fight: Political correctness and free speech on campus" (J/A 2017), and I will think about them for a while. He also used the term "senile" to refer to Ann Coulter's fans. The term is generally used to disparage older people with some degree of dementia, and society assumes that most people over age fifty are somehow senile. As someone who has retained her faculties well past seventy, I find it a tad distressing that a columnist for a magazine that affirms "the dignity of each human being" would indulge in such a block disparagement, either of Coulter fans or old people. AHA often complains about the low roads those right-of-center are taking--should our magazine be taking similar roads?

Kathleen Stipek

Gainesville, FL

ED. NOTE: You are absolutely right that the use of "senile" is disparaging. We aim to be conscious of terms that are sexist, ageist, racist, or ableist--and avoid them. Clearly, we're still in the "trying but not always succeeding" phase and appreciate you pointing it out.

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