Every week, The Post runs a collection of letters of readers’ grievances — pointing out grammatical mistakes, missing coverage and inconsistencies. These letters tell us what we did wrong and, occasionally, offer praise. Here, we present this week’s Free for All letters.

Let them get their kicks

I was disappointed to see yet another man criticize the phenomenal U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) for celebrating each of its record-breaking goals in the team’s first World Cup group stage match. In his June 20 KidsPost column, “In lopsided game, victor should score with grace, not a whoop,” Fred Bowen disagreed with soccer legend Abby Wambach’s assertion that no one would tell a men’s team not to celebrate a lopsided victory. Mr. Bowen did not present even a single instance in which a men’s team had been criticized for a lopsided victory. Why? It simply doesn’t happen.


Even the photo caption was absurdly sexist, saying the phenomenal USWNT “does not need to loudly boast about each point.” Boast? Really? And here I thought they were expressing well-earned joy with their teammates. 

Telling our kids that girls and women should “aw shucks” their way to brilliant victories sends a damagingly retrograde message to all children and all youth athletes. I shouldn’t have to point out that the USWNT was gracious in its many lopsided victories on the road to the World Cup; I shouldn’t have to point out that a match in the group stage isn’t some recreational/fit-the-game-in-before-ballet-class game; I shouldn’t have to point out that this is yet another man lecturing women on how to feel and behave; I shouldn’t have to point out that professional athletes who compete at the World Cup level are fierce, driven, brilliant; I shouldn’t have to point out the numerous acts of sportsmanship and grace shown by the USWNT players and coach toward their opponents (Carli Lloyd’s embrace of the Thai keeper being just one). 

KidsPost should have celebrated the strength and depth of the team. It should have celebrated the fact that these women are dominant in a world that still undervalues, underfunds and denigrates women’s soccer. Instead, it chose to send a message that is frighteningly close to telling powerhouse athletes that they have failed charm school — and assumes they should care about that. Our kids, and these phenomenal athletes, deserve far better.


Katia Garrett, Washington

Slighting wounded troops

Although the June 16 news article “Pompeo says Iran ‘instigated’ Kabul attack Taliban claimed” was interesting and important reporting, there was one word with which I took umbrage. The sentence: “On May 31, a suicide bomber targeted a U.S. convoy in eastern Kabul, killing four Afghan passersby and slightly wounding four U.S. servicemen and at least three civilians.”

As a veteran deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and Iraq, I found the use of the adverb “slightly” in the front of “wounding” disappointing. I have seen way more than my share of the effects of targeted bomb attacks on U.S. military members and civilians alike. Regardless of the severity of the wounds, there is nothing slight about enduring the impact of a suicide bomb. I believe that was a poor choice of a word that diminished what those four U.S. service members went through on a day that they will most likely carry with them for the rest of their lives.


Stephen Clutter, Washington

More than slightly wrong

How could anyone find the June 16 “WuMo” comic strip amusing in any way? It called to mind the massacre at Babi Yar in the autumn of 1941 when the Nazis killed thousands of Jews. The Germans shot and then buried them in a huge pit. These cartoonists should think twice about the connotations of what they portray.

Jean B. Bernard, Chevy Chase

Our grammar went off of the rails

I’ve long ago given up on expecting good grammar in anything online, but I was newly disappointed by the June 12 Post’s front page. In the large font of a sub-headline we learned “Trump, Biden play off of each other.”  I keep trying to correct my elementary school grandkids if I hear “off of.” So I thought I’d send The Post a note as well.


Ron Prishivalko, Reston

Mexico is no chihuahua

The June 14 front-page article expressing doubt that Mexico can make the Trump administration’s deadline to stop the flow of migrants from Central America, “Mexico’s migration promises won’t be easy to keep,” should have mentioned that Mexico is larger than the state of Alaska. Many people still view Mexico through the distorted lens of the Mercator projection maps and may not appreciate fully the difficulty of the task for the Mexican government.


Michael A. Nardolilli, Arlington

The 19th century in the 21st

A good photo stops you in your tracks for a minute — it triggers memories and feelings. Deb Lindsey’s photograph with the June 21 Weekend article “These D.C.-area eateries won’t break the bank” illustrated an article on D.C. restaurants, but it immediately reminded me of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s painting “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” with rich colors, patterns, a casual mood and a table anchoring the composition.


I wonder if Lindsey realized the beautiful, nonchalant impressionist vision she captured. Even in spite of the omnipresent cellphones, I love it when art evokes the unchanging beauty to be found in everyday life. Lindsey’s photo was particularly welcome on the first day of summer.

Sharon Hickey, Arlington

Trump doesn't owe D.C. anything

Wow, who wrote the June 15 Metro headline “Trump owes D.C. millions from 2017”?


The article told a different story, which is just another push and shove between the District and the federal government over who pays how much for what for special events. This dance has gone on for decades and has nothing to do with President Trump’s companies or personal business.


It’s taxpayer money that’s owed, not personal funds from either Trump or Congress. And presidential inaugurations are a governmental event, not a private party.

Mike Hardiman, Washington

Polished mediocrity

Philip Kennicott’s June 9 Arts & Style review, “Even opera lovers should watch this mediocre film,” made for good reading, but Kennicott did not explain why he considered the film “mediocre.” I have seen and heard the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti and do not need to see this particular film to refresh my memories of his wonderful singing and acting, and his idiosyncratic personality cannot change what he really was: one of the world’s greatest tenors. Sure, he was a big man, and I always thought the “triumvirate concerts” with Plácido Domingo and José Carreras were awkward, but this did not diminish Pavarotti’s singing style and voice. I wish Kennicott could have reconciled with greater precision for the reader his juxtaposing “mediocre” and “polished” in describing the film. Why is it mediocre, and why should opera lovers watch it? Is it his singing?


Ralf Hertwig, Springfield

More women shown in a bad light

I was deeply disappointed in the June 9 Arts & Style article “No viewer discretion advised,” which seemed to say that losing the sex scenes in movies makes them less interesting. I am a woman in my 50s who grew up with the degradation of women, not men, being sexualized in movies. I am tired of the inequality of this and other issues in the movie industry.

Several decades ago, I started reading reviews from Screen It to make sure I do not watch or promote movies that are sexually exploiting women. I am extremely happy these days that more and more movies are taking the exploitative sexual scenes out and thus giving me more of a choice of what to watch.


Beth Malloy, Moab, Utah

One woman who should be

Not that the Trump administration isn’t ripe with corruption and collusion, but Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is in a major scandal. And bupkis in The Post. There can’t be that many people on vacation.


The Post has a duty.

Randy Stein, Alexandria

Adding to the grief

While I see the relevance of stating the facts of Tony Rodham’s life in his June 11 obituary, “Youngest brother of Hillary Clinton,” I do not understand why The Post published a photograph of him with his first wife when his current wife — and mother of their two young children — has been married to him for 14 years, nursed him through an extensive illness and is now going about the business of laying him to rest. An easily preventable error such as this unnecessarily added to the family’s grief.

Mary Spence Smith, Oakton

The Manx cat of formalwear

The June 14 Metro article “Musicians rally to save the symphony” said members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra wore tuxedos with tails to lobby the Maryland governor for funding. Tuxedos don’t have tails! Tuxedos are dinner jackets with satin lapels. They are traditionally worn with black bow ties and black vests or cummerbunds. The musicians were wearing full dress evening suits, which include a tail coat, white vest or waistcoat and a white bow tie.


The article was written by a political reporter, not one who covers style or culture, so it’s not unreasonable that she wouldn’t know this. But The Post should have knowledgeable proofreaders to backstop its reporters.

Joan Hartman Moore, Alexandria

Wanna know more about tuxes?

Regarding Robin Givhan’s June 12 Style article, “ ‘The most natural person on TV’  ”:

I have no interest in fashion, fashion models or the fashion industry. I am not generally a fan of anyone or anything. One exception is the writing of Givhan. Givhan’s writing is seductive in the best way. Givhan does not deal in fluff. She supplies the details that I like. It is clear that her writing is well researched. I always read Givhan’s articles even if at first I don’t believe I will be interested in the subject. I now know more about the fashion industry than I ever wanted to know.

Givhan is one of the leading writers in American journalism. I hope she will continue to inspire for many years to come.

Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

The 18th century in the 20th

As an avid Obituaries reader, I had my eye caught by the photograph accompanying Charles Reich’s June 20 obituary, “Yale law professor’s 1970 bestseller was a manifesto of flower-child era.” My first impression was “Why is there a photo of an 18th-century gentleman in the obituary section?” I then read The Post’s fascinating obituary about the life of a man and an influential author I had never heard of. The details of his multifaceted life were mind-boggling, especially that he had clerked for and lived with Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black. I was left with the feeling “I wish I had known Charles Reich.”

Embarrassingly, I had never heard of his iconic book, “The Greening of America.” I attempted to locate the book at a Fairfax County library, to no avail, so I ordered it online. Thanks to The Post for a fabulous obituary on an important recent historic figure. I hope to get to know Reich by reading his book.

Ceresa Haney, Falls Church

More than a century earlier

The excellent June 13 front-page article “A frozen journey on a vanishing frontier,” describing a planned 12-month transpolar drift in an icebreaker, gave brief credit to two earlier such expeditions. I think it should have been emphasized, however, that the expedition by Fridtjof Nansen and his 12-man crew was a three-year polar drift from 1893 to 1896 in his ship Fram, and it included a two-man sledge journey to 86 degrees north, as described in Nansen’s book “Farthest North.”

Robert F. Benson, Silver Spring

Ashburn's own

The June 16 Sports article on the Nationals’ loss, “Strasburg’s miserable outing leads to another Nats defeat,” failed to mention that the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Taylor Clarke is from Ashburn and pitched at Broad Run High School. I’m sure it would have been a nice Father’s Day gift for his dad to read that.

Mike McCullion, Ashburn

A needed scolding

The June 16 news article on the Black Economic Alliance’s presidential forum, “S.C. demonstration and forum put focus on racial wealth gap,” was accompanied by an extremely sexist set of photographs. Three male candidates were shown in engaging, front-facing photos, with animated facial expressions and graceful hand gestures. Despite their ranking in most polls, two of their photos are at the top of the array and one just to the right of the text.

By contrast, top-ranking candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) had the least visible slot, on the bottom right. She was shown in profile, pointing at an unseen person. The obvious implication is that she is an unlikable scold.

Patricia Barth, Charlottesville

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