Thanks for exposing Spencer's

 Thanks to reporter Lisa Provence for the article on the offensive Spencer Gift's hat [January 6: Unsavory gag: Hat at Spencer's spurs boycott]– and thanks to Jessica McGrane for having the guts to speak out against it.

I'm especially grateful that you allowed her to make the point that it's possible to make irreverent or light-hearted comments about sex without degrading either women or men. Feminists are not humorless; we just don't find physical threats amusing.

In anticipation of my adolescent daughter having to deal with people who endorse violence against women, last year I asked McGrane to organize a mother-daughter self defense class for 12-year-olds and their moms. The 10 of us who attended the six-week course (sponsored by the Sexual Assault Resource Agency) learned that the first line of defense is to say "no!" like you mean it.

I'm joining McGrane 's boycott of Spencer Gift's, and I urge other mothers to do the same.

My final word of thanks goes to the Hook for taking its coverage of this community seriously. Stories of local protest such as this would never see the light of day in this town without our alternative weeklies.

Lisa Goff