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Since arriving in Washington, D.C., nearly nine years ago, our family (originally two adults; now two adults and two small children) has relied on Washington City Paper to find out what is happening in the area, and we have made many spending decisions based on advertisements and calendar listings in the paper. I’m writing now to let you know that our weekly use of the City Paper is going to stop, however, unless something is done about the so-called “adult” advertisements (a misnomer insulting adults everywhere, if you ask me, but that’s another topic).

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I have tried to be tolerant of what some consider an acceptable form of entertainment. Over the years I have even defended the paper on several occasions when a friend or relative questioned my allowing the paper in a home with children. Recently, though, these advertisements, which are really a form of pornography themselves, are encroaching on the very pages that we read most thoroughly with the children reading over our shoulders—the pages highlighting dance, films, restaurants, and other calendar happenings.

Finally it has come down to this: I don’t want to waste any more time in a feeble attempt at explaining to my youngsters why people would want to exploit the human body in that way, I simply can’t think of any more excuses for why it might be OK for us to make use of a product that encourages that practice—ordinarily any hint of such exploitation precipitates an automatic veto—and frankly, I’m sick of confronting such ugly and violent images.

So I ask you: Please reconsider your policy of accepting these advertisements. I would never consider asking that you tone down the politics or the controversial nature of some of your journalism, but publishing and promoting pornography is another matter entirely. I know that families from Southeast composed of adults over the age of 35 and two young children are not your primary target market. However, I am quite sure that ours is not the only household offended by these images, and I know many people who already avoid the paper because of them.

P.S. For what it’s worth: As a small business owner, I have considered advertising in the City Paper and have decided against it because of concerns about the company my ad would keep.

Lincoln Park

via the Internet