I am a college-educated woman who takes great offense at Judy Mann's assuming that Molly Yard and NOW speak for me {"Outdated Patriarchy Supports Souter," Metro, Sept. 21}. I regard Molly Yard's performance at the Souter hearings as one of a whining fanatic feminist who chooses to ignore the big picture of women's rights, and who still insists on crying "It's not fair!" when a man calls her lovely. As a former assistant vice president and commercial lending officer, I found myself well regarded and well respected in a traditionally male-dominated field. Unlike Molly Yard, I regarded being called lovely or attractive as a compliment, not an insult. My male colleagues valued my expertise and advice on many issues, because I had gained their respect by hard work and initiative.

As for the abortion issue, many women, myself included, are active in the pro-life movement. Many women also supported David Souter's nomination. Are we to be considered a part of the "outdated patriarchy" that "supports Souter"?

Having just been involved in a political campaign of pro-life candidates, I can safely estimate that 75 percent of the campaign volunteers I worked with were women. Are we included in the "patriarchal power structure" that Judy Mann refers to?

The columnist mentioned several women's groups that were opposed to Judge Souter's nomination, but failed to mention the women's groups that supported and endowed him. Concerned Women for America is one such group, headquartered in Washington. Are the 600,000 women represented by that group also included in the "outdated patriarchy"?

I patently resent the writer's notion that women lacked freedom prior to Roe v. Wade. I believe that in many ways, women lost their freedom with the Roe v. Wade decision. We lost our freedom when we believed the deception that abortion is simply a woman's choice. We lost our freedom when we chose to ignore the fact that abortion stops a beating heart.

DIANE KUMMER Gaithersburg