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January 22, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-01-22

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fifEid i an 1) 41F
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Steinem: on correcting Ms-takes of the sexist press

by lyC Wn weiner ....

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



The State of the Union

"AM I USING the press faster
than it's using me?" the wo-
man asks thoughtfully. She is
leaning back on a bed in a hotel
room in downtown Detroit, facing
Daily reporters scribbling in note-
books and adjusting a tape-re-
corder, and surrounded by copies
of her new magazine.
Soon, a newsman will intrude
with a radio-recorder and an in-
sipid set of questions on "women's
lib." Gloria Steinem, travel-weary
and just generally drained, will
patiently surrender answers to the
microphone as the reporters look
Journalists observing a journal-
ist interviewing a journalist.
Through the chain of reporters
Steinem struggles to communicate
her issue, relying upon the Ameri-
can press and its willingness to

publish style rather than depth.
It is through her style that
Steinem attempts to reach a mass
audience with her feminist phil-
osophy. But it is this style which
alienates many women, too - her
image is one of a jet-set, superstar
New York writer - an image the
media feeds on with delight.
Like in yesterday's Detroit Free
Press. Her appearance seems to
dominate the story - the caption
under the photo says "Gloria in
Detroit: The hip-slung pants and
clinging shirt are typical." Can
you imagine a spokesperson for
another movement - say, the
black, chicano, or anti-war move-
ment - described according to
their clothes??
NEWSWEEK, McCalls, Sunday
features in newspapers across the
country, late night talk shows -

N HIS DUAL State of the Union address
Thursday - one version for television
and one for Congress - Richard Nixon
gave a glimpse of how he intends to re-
tain the Presidency. His two previous
State of the Union speeches featured a
"new American experience" and a "new
American revolution," but this one was
a toned down, "realistic" assessment of
the old year and new year from the can-
didate President's point of view.
In the speech, which offered few new
legislative ideas, Nixon proposed to in-
crease defense spending by $3 billion for
the coming fiscal year and outlined a
plan to encourage technological research
and development that will "create new
industries" and new jobs..
The President also rightly announced
plans to seek an alternative to property
tax financing of local schools. But the
President's advisors have been studying
a value-added tax as a replacement - a
complicated form of the sales tax, so-
Cially regressive and maintaining pres-
sure on low and middle income families.
Most emphatically though, the Presi-
dent reprimanded Congress for not acting
on over 90 proposals presently awaiting
resolution, including the money-shuttling
revenue sharing plan,' restructuring of
governmental departments and welfare
In all it was an uninspiring speech, a
far cry from the six "great goals" of last
year's speech. The President did renew
his verbal support for governmental pro-
grams with worthy social goals in this
election year that the "old Nixon" would
have denounced as "big government."
BUT THE PRESIDENT'S backing of this
social welfare legislation has been
token in many areas, often lacking sub-
stance and generally failing to supply
funding on the massive scale required.
Nixon's platitudes are meager fare for
legislators anxious to make real inroads
in consumer protection, urban reforma-
tion, national health care, environmental
protection, enforcing civil rights, and
transformation, not only to a peace econ-
omy, but also to a peace mentality.
In his 1970 address, Nixon placed "pri-
mary blame" for inflation on the Demo-
crats, citing $57 billion in deficit spend-
ing in the sixties. "We must balance our
Federal budget so that American fami-
lies will have a better chance to balance
their family budgets," the President
Then last January with the economy
stumbling, the President proposed an

"expansionary" but "non-inflationary"
budget, explaining that "spending as if
we were at full employment, we will help
to bring about full employment ... The
tide of inflation has turned." Then came
wage and price controls.
NOW, GOVERNMENT figures indicate
that the Nixon administration will go
$40 billion in the red by the end of the
fiscal year in June. Combined with the
$20 billion deficit slated for next year,
Nixon will have exceeded a decade of de-
ficit spending in,two years.
While inflation is slowly slowing, un-
employment remains high. "Our goal is
full employment in peace time," the
President said Thursday. Nixon is mis-
leading the public, however, talking of
our "peace time" economy. The high un-
employment rate is concurrent with un-
reduced defense spending, despite les-
sened expenditures in Vietnam.
By avoiding details on both foreign
and domestic policy, the President was
able to cite gains. However, his gains were
semantic. The President's successes have
all been slowdowns, along with the econ-
omy - a slowdown in the rate of crime
increase, a slowdown in environmental
deterioration, a slowdown in the rate of
Moreover, his administration has made
no basic re-examination of American
society and foreign policy, regardless of
the new China policy. "We will continue
to defend our interests whenever and
wherever they are threatened any place
in the world," Nixon said, without defin-
ing what and where those interests are.
WHEN NIXON ran in 1968 his "imme-
diate goal" was an end to the Viet-
nam war with a "just peace." He focused
his campaign on crime, inflation, and so-
cial unrest. Now, three years since he
took office, crime and inflation have
been but minimally influenced by his ef-
forts. The root causes of social unrest
remain virtually untouched and urban
blight and rural decay continue unabated.
Perhaps President Nixon did make a
statement of symbolic importance about
American society, concerning the multi-
billion dollar government space explora-
tion expenditures. "In reaching the moon
we demonstrated what miracles American
technology is capable of achieving," he
declared. One must wonder if miracle
working mothers in the rat infested slums
of Detroit will face significant difficul-
ties feeding their children moon rocks.

all emphasize her appearance, her
life-style, her friends . . . with the
unasked question of "what's a nice
girl like you doing with a cause
like .this?"
She was splashed on the cover
of Newsweek this summer, after
she had told the magazine she
didn't want the article done.
"When I discovered I really
didn't want it, I was happy
The whole thing of wanting what
the movies tell you you're supposed
to want, and wanting to be on
magazine covers - I had that dis-
ease in a big way, and I discov-
ered I really didn't want it. I was
happy for about two days, walk-
ing around feeling free," she says.
"And then they printed the ar-
ticle anyway."
When Esquire, a "magazine for
men," published a sexist, glib ar-
ticle on her some months ago, she
says she was "destroyed for
"I walked around feeling de-
pressed, and Irhad fantasies of
revenge, and I get angry, I can't
see it as accurately as others."
HOW DOES SHE relate to her
image - an image which most
people hold of her and which is
reinforc e d constantlywbythe
"I don't really deal with it be-
cause it's not real to me," she re-
plies. "It's like you're holding a
balloon, and everybody thinks the
balloon is you and they're shoot-
ing things at it but you're down
here . .."
Ultimately, she adds, the ques-
tion of her image is the question
"of whether it's good or bad for
Judging by the content of the
magazine she edits, it's good. Ms.
magazine (the name, pronounced

"miz," is a form of address used
by women who don't want to be
identified by their relationship
with a man) is unfortunately
marred by its glossy, slick format
crammed with incredibly sexist
advertising. But the magazine's
feminist orientation is in the end
its important factor.
Created because many women
journalists were having trouble
publishing feminist articles, and
also created as a vehicle "to help
women who want to change their
own lives, but don't know how,"
Ms. offers a fascinating range of
The first issue discusses welfare.
sexist child rearing, the black
family and feminism, abortion,
lesbianism, poetry, and women's
relationship to war.
STEINEM WAS in Detroit
Thursday to publicize the maga-

-Daily-Sara Krulwich
zine, which will aeon the stands
next week, and to answer the ex-
pected dreary questions about re-
verse chauvinism (Ms. has a policy
of hiring women first), women's
role in society, and the like.
Through it all her message was
communicated. She is struggling
with the feminist issue -- with the
liberation of women, and thus of
all people, from confining social
and sexual roles, and for the ac-
cessibility of life-style choices and
options in a more humane society.
If it takes exploitation by the
media-attracted by her personal
style-to communicate this mes-
sage, then so be it.
For the exploiter, in this case,
is being exploited too. But it works
out, for while the media has its
colorful copy, the feminist view-
point is offered to a mass audience.


-Daily-Sara Krulwich

Sinclair: Back




No tuition increase

"/E'RE JUST a bunch of freaks," says
John Sinclair, "who were developed
to a stage where we were ready to politi-
cally educate ourselves as a result of our
practice as freaks - a result of working
with rock and roll bands, getting attacked
by the police and authorities, getting bust-
ed for weed and getting sent to the peni-
Sinclair, recently released from prison
on bond after serving 22 years of a 9%/
to 10 year sentence for possession of two
marijuana cigarettes, seems to be still
"just a freak, happy to be back on the
streets with my people."
Founder of the White Panther P a r t y
(now Rainbow Peoples' Party), Sinclair
has been working to establish an alterna-
tive society, seeking radical political, eco-
nomic and social change.
Back home at the Rainbow People's
House in Ann Arbor, Sinclair describes his
prison experiences and his ideas for future
work in the community against oppression.
"This is what is revolutionary about the
people, that as a people, we're creating the
revolutionary life forms and institutions
that are going to replace everything that
exists now and oppresses people," s a y s
Sinclair, who formerly managed t h e
Ann Arbor-Detroit-based rock band the
MC5, says the movement to create these
"life forms" already exists - taking the
form of rocl and roll. It needs only to be
educated and directed.
"There is a mass movement in this
country, and the thing to do is to develop
this mass movement along its highest lines,
giving it a self-consciousness and making
it conscious of its political character. In
other words, it is necessary to bring peo-
ple to the point where 'they're conscious of
their role and what they are doing.
"Instead of just being people who go
to rock and roll dances, these are actually
people of the future that are creating a
whole new way of life that is going to re-
place this old decrepit, capitalist culture."
It is through prison sentences like 9%
to 10 years for two joints of weed, Sinclair
explains, that this kind of consciousness
comes about. "You just expose these dogs
and the political nature of the thing, so
everyone is aware."
"You can talk to right-wing maniacs,"
Sinclair says, "and they'll say that 'John
Sinclair is a political prisoner and we're
glad of it. All of them should be there.'
But nobody will come up and say 'that
was a logical sentence for possession of
two marijuana cigarettes.' ",
And that was what the five year "Free
John Now" campaign was all about -
directing education and energy at freeing

But Sinclair's stint in prison itself had
far-reaching implications resulting in a
mammoth campaign launched by the Rain-
bow people for prison reform.
Organizing against oppression before he
was imprisoned, Sinclair says. his incarna-
tion only made his perception of the op-
pression more "severe."
First sent to Marquette, 450 miles away,
Sinclair was later transferred to Jackson
because of "organizing" done with t h e
black prisoners at Marquette. At Jackson
he remained in segregation most of the
time because of "their projection that I
was going to organize."
"THEY HAD these incredible paranoid
delusions about me and charged me, with
being the master mind behind all of the
subversive activity in the whole penal sys-
tem from my cell in the segregation unit,"
Sinclair says.
But for short periods of time, Sinclair
was allowed to be out among the other
prisoners. "They related to me," Sinclair
says, "because I was a political prisoner

deprived of their rights Sinclair explains,
and has plans for the Rainbow People to
work together with the Michigan Prisoners'
Rights Committee on this issue.
"ALL PRISONERS have the problem of
not only getting their mail censored but
having it sent to police agencies. We have
proof. We have their fucking statements
that they've done all this stuff to me in'my
mail - sent copies to the Wayne County
Jail administrator, the prosecutor of Jack-
son county, and the governor's office. We
have other prima facie evidence that they
supplied it to the intelligence section of
the Michigan State Police photocopied.
"They have this rule that prisoners can't
say anything derogatory about the prison,
the department of corrections or any of the
administrators. If they say anything dero-
gatory and their letter is read they put
him on a restricted list, maybe cutting off
all his correspondence with the outside or
sending him up to Marquette.
"They also won't let reporters into to
talk to the inmates. What are they trying

"Well we hop to now put a lot of em-
phasis, internally, on theory in order to
develop our ideas and make them systema-
tic. We're in the process of evolving a
comprehensive Ideology.
"WE THINK the commune is the way
of the future" he says, "and the communal
model will be the model in production, it
will be the model in living and it will be the
model in government. So the institutions
that we're creating now we look on as the
embryonic forms that will exist in the
Revolutionaries will put the communal
system into use, he envisions, so as to
create self-reliant base areas. The b a s e
areas will survive the collapse of the estab-
lished order and then become the dominant
form of living.
"We see for example people that are go-
ing to the country developing into farmers,
who grow food on the land for people in
the city. And you would have a fleet of
truckers who would ship the food from the
country to the city. You would have peo-
ple's stores for the distribution points


$12 million hike in state funds for the
University for the next fiscal year is a
welcome relief to administrators tired of
coping with the University's recent finan-
cial problems. But with this promise of an
unusually large increase in state aid, it
is time for University officials to affirm
that there will not be another tuition in-
crease again this year.
Last year, the governor met the Uni-
versity's request for $22 million in new
funds by recommending a paltry $2.8
million increase. Milliken recognized, that
the University needed about $8 million in
new money, but said some funds should
be "created" through a tuition increases,
eliminating $350,000 in payments to Ann
Arbor for police and fire protection, in-
creasing the productivity of University
faculty and staff and making cutbacks
throughout the University.
This year, however, the governor has
met most of the University's minimum
needs. His request would allow a 6.5 per
cent increase in salaries for faculty and
staff - more than state civil service em-
ployes would get and a higher increase
than the Pay Board recommendation. The
governor's proposal would also cover a
University request for growth in the den-
tal school, certain additional costs for
inflation, a substantial allotment for new
University buildings, some literary college
needs, and money required for recently
constructed buildings.

Their priority request for $2.5 million in
additional funds for student aid was met
by a recommendation for only $926,000-
short of what the University needs to
maintain its commitment to fund the Op-
portunity Program for disadvantaged and
minority group students, made following
the March, 1970 Black Action Movement
strike. The governor, instead of dealing
with each state school's individual needs
for student aid, has set his recommenda-
tion for aid at three-fourths of one per
cent of each school's operating budget.
This formula has left the special needs
of the University unmet by the governor's
recommendation. And this, along with a
possible hike in utility rates that could
cost the University an additional $600,-
000 in unbudgeted expenses, is enough to
give administrators some concern. Yet as
worthy a priority as increased student aid
is, the University should have another
priority - no increase in tuition rates
this year.
Over the past two years, tuition has
already skyrocketed with in-state under-
graduate tuition, for instance, rising from
$240 a term in 1969-1970 to $284 the fol-
lowing year and $330 this year. Out-of-
state and graduate tuition has grown by
an even greater amount. It is, further-
more, impossible to alleviate the need for
greater student aid by a tuition increase
- for greater student costs will only nec-
essitate more aid in a never-ending circle.
HOPEFULLY the Legislature will recog-
nize the snecial student aid needs of

and they knew it. They would always come
up and talk to me."
It was through his contacts with other
prisoners and his own treatment that Sin-
clair says he became acutely aware of
the specific problems prisoners face.
"As a result of living day to day locked
up like a dog with these snakes pouring
over your mail and hassling people who
come to visit you, and just a general

John and Leni Sinclair
to hide? Our slogan is going to be 'open
up the prisons'. People on the streets have
a very definite interest in prisons because
they are producing monsters.
"Guys will come up to you and say
'They're turning me into an animal! I
hate it! I don't want to be this way! But
there is nothing they can do. They just
keep the pressure on. The whole thing is
meant to crush people, break them down,
turn them into worms and toadies and
If prison life helped to make Sinclair's
perception of prison oppression more keen.
much of the reading he did in prison help-
ed him clarify the means to end all kinds
of oppression. By spending a great deal
of his time reading revolutionary theor-
ists, including Mao, Lenin, Fanon, Marx
and Engels, Sinclair explains he was able

where the food would be distributed for
cost plus whatever it costs to keep the
thing going."
In conjunction with all this revolutionary
theory, Sinclair has also moved toward ac-
ceptance of electoral politics. In fact,
Sinclair and the Rainbow People's Party
supported Democratic candidate Robert
Harris for mayor in last year's election.
"I once had the position that why vote,
they're all the same. But they aren't."
He said that the Rainbow People plan
to get involved in some way in the presi-
dential campaign. He said he could not
point out any one candidate at this time
who was different from the rest and who
was worthy of the support of the party.
However, he said, "there'll be formal
methods developed by which to measure
these candidates. These candidates w 11
have torieonnnL tn certain anestions that

"We think the commune is the way of the future" Sinclair
says, "and the communal model will be the model in pro-
duction, it will be the model in living and it will be the model
in government. So the institutions that we're creating now we
look on as the embryonic forms that will exist in the future."

- .-- - I --L 4- 1.- - 41- ., 1 -1 -

Cinlnr - .qn-m ,~,a the "svstem". a n d grinding cdown, I. got to knlow the whole


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