FROM A SAMPLER of cases where people have been victimized because of attributes such as color, gender, sexual orientation - and even "avoirdupois," op-edist Christine Flowers concludes that legislation specifically aimed at protecting those who fall into those categories can itself be discriminatory.

The inference of course is that if you don't belong to one of those groups, you don't "deserve" the same protection. Thus we have some who make a gender distinction in domestic abuse cases, as if one partner deserves the title "victim" more than the other. Why can't our laws simply say it is universally wrong to assault, bully, murder, or in any way for one person to harm another human being, regardless of the motive?

Less clutter can actually mean more justice.

Gloria C. Endres, Philadelphia