To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Barry Walters's analysis on why Woodstock '99 went bad ("The Arson Is Blowin' in the Wind," Aug. 8). Underneath all that stuff in the article about black boy music and white boy music and misogyny, there are grown men making money videotaping shirtless girls and promoting CDs that debase humanity to teens. It's big white men, not boys, behind it all--making a buck and betraying the dignity of their daughters and the humanity of their sons.

I thought the article on gross movies was linked to the Woodstock article. If we portray women and even teenage girls in our teen movies as sexual goals without souls or dignity ("American Pie"), then why are we surprised (and I was) when we find out that girls took off their shirts to attract camera attention at Woodstock '99. Later some were raped. Girls looking for identity to match their delightfully changed bodies find out they are a "piece of pie." Boys looking for a context for their new power are told there are no restraints.

As a culture, we are not protecting our children's dignity. In an odd way, we are almost consuming them for our profit--Saturn devouring his children. We are surprised they are acting like animals. That is what we tell them they are. They have few other choices in the popular culture.

I am a sculptor, so my visual art generally precedes and is superior to my words. I've included a slide of a sculpture I did last year called "Barbie as Catwoman" or "The Actress." It's about the training we give our daughters about being women. My Barbie/Catwoman girl stares at us boldly. Her shirt is off, but she is out of her depth and no one is there to protect her.

KAREN SWENHOLT

Falls Church

Letters should be sent to: Arts Editor, Style Section, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Please include a daytime and nighttime phone number and an address. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.