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The letter

Regarding Rhea Edmonds' Living Section feature article (5/4/3) on the
young greenhouse owner, Ryan Baker, I was appalled at her opening
sentence.  She wrote, "A long-lived stereotype identifying plant and
flower gardening as girly..."  What??  Ms. Edmonds did her subject, Mr
Baker, and the entire horticultural community a great disservice by
childishly (and unprofessionally) labeling men as effeminate if they
possess an interest in this billion dollar industry. By whose standards
(other than her own) does she believe men who enjoy plants are "girly"? 
She interviewed several men for her article including Roger Moll,
Cooperative Extension Director.  Did she think them "girly"?  Talk with
Allen County Horticultural Educator, Ricky Kemery, about the back-braking
labor that flowers and other plants require and she'll discover that
horticulture is not for wimps. Most of my professors in my Horticulture
courses were men.  Many great garden wrtiers are men.  A large number of
our local Master Gardeners are men.  They will all gladly tell you that
they have endured sweat and pain for the sake of beauty in our lives. 
That is NOT "girly".  This stereotype exists only in the writer's mind
and she should have had the good journalism sense to keep it to herself. 
And the JG should have had sense enough to assign this story to a more
capable writer.

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