THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Page Four THE MICHIGAN t~A1LY Sunday, April ~, ~7~7~'
WHY SETTLE FOR 2ND BEST? WHEN
YOU CAN HAVE ALL NAME BRAND
On rape: What's
Sexton's poems: A
last cry of anguish
right way to say no?
AU 101 AMPLIFIER
HOW TO SAY NO TO A
RAPIST AND SURVIVE By
Frederic Storaska. New York:
Random House, 1975, $9.95.
By BETSY AMSTER
FREDERICK STORASKA IS
the founder and Executive
Director of the National Organ-
ization for the Prevention of
Rape and Assault (NOPRA).
The dust jacket of his book,
How to Say No to a Rapist -
and Survive, bills him as "one
of the nation's leading experts
on rape prevention." Yet any
woman serious about protecting
herself against rape is advised
to boycott Storaska's book and
pay a visit to her local Crisis
Center instead. How to Say No
to a Rapist is paternalistic,
vague, and dangerously misin-
According to Storaska, the
"single most important state-
ment" in his book is that "the
rapist is a human being, a per-
son, someone you could relate
to under other circumstances.
He is someone you can commu-
nicate with like any person in
any circumstance - including
rape." Storaska theorizes that
most rapists suffer from low
self-esteem, and the way to
wriggle out of any rape is to
use your feminine wiles to en-
hance your assaulter's ego. If
you flatter him and don't an-
tagonize him, Storaska reasons,
he won't rape you.
One sure-fire way to provoke
a potential rapist, to Storaska's
mind, is to scream, struggle, or
use self-defense. Should you ac-
cidentally try any of these tech-
niques to scare away an at-
tacker, Storaska actually advo-
cates that you apologize to him
for your rashness. "Further-
more," he adds, "if you show
him you're afraid, you're tell-
ing him he is powerful and
strong. And if you tell him
clearly enough, he won't have to
There IS a -;
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show it to you." Presumably the
rapist will realize you're human
too, and walk away.
THE AWFUL ROWING TO-I
WARD GOD by Anne Sexton.,
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.,
86 pp., $5.95.;
QTORASKA RESOLUTELY ig- By TOM DUVAL
nores the fact that, accord-
ing to the Freedom from Rape A NNE SEXTON, LIKE John
pamphlet distributed by Ann Ar- Berryman and Sylvia Plath,
bor's Women's Crisis Center, was a poet who lived out her
"the majority of women who passionate obsession with death
successfully ward off attackers through poetry of tortured per-
have used noise exclusively." sonal analysis. Her work was al-
This pamphlet, and most other most terrorizing in its explicit,
publications on rape written by is Storaska's willingness to ac- description of the suicidal im-
women, suggests that all women cept the status quo. His refrain pulse.
enroll in self-defense classes to throughout the book when he Since her death last fall, this
learn to protect themselves, describes the outrages society posthumously published volume
Storaska, on the other hand, has perpetrates on women is, "that of her last poetry has been thor-
the gall to delegate this respon- isn't the way it should be, but oughly analyzed in a number of
sibility to your "date". "Anoth- that's the way it is." He applies recent publications. Joyce Carol
er way to protect yourself," he this catch-phrase to everything Oates writing in The New York
says, "is to choose your date from sexism in general to most Times Review of Books, claims
with some care . . . It wouldn't women's ignorance about self- that a reader "should not sup-
hurt, for your sake and his, if defense to unfair legal attitudes pose that the book will be eager-
he had some knowledge of self- toward rape. But change is not ly read for the excellence of its
defense." impossible. Michigan now has craft" and then goes on to de-
No woman, no matter how the nation's model rape law be vote her discussion to Sexton's
competent, should ever take the cause of the tireless efforts of themes and attitudes.
risk of physically defending her- Crisis Centers and other wo- But despite Oates' offhand dis-
helf; after all, Storaska warns, men's organizations across the missal of Sexton's technical
your attacker "could be a third- state, and more women every merits, a poem must stand on
degree black belt in karate day are learning td defend craftsmanship as well as con-
while you're only a first." In themselves in classes offered by tent and this review will discuss
making illogical and far-fetched these same organizations. Stor- the poet's strengths and weak-
speculations like this one, Stor- aska, meanwhile, makes no nesses in this respect.
aska induces undue paranoia in mention in his book of any sig- .
women about their own capabil- nificant reforms either he or his T'HlE MOST STRIKING stylis-
ities and blatantly tries to keep organization NOPRA, located in tic device, used in most of4
them in their place by encour- New York, have implemented in Sexton's poems, is the repeti-
aging passivity and dependence. that state. tion of statement form: "They
The women who wrote Free- NOT ALL OF How To Say No are .l . they are . . . they
dom from Rape maintain that\ToaLLa sworssN are . . or, like . . . kesa
women who can defend them- the book does include two inter- sense of urgency for a while,
range from piercing scream to esting chapters on how to deal but often the list runs too long,,
rang inapaciting karem kik with a gang of rapists and how becoming weaker in effect, sel-I
have the advantage of surprise to handle a situation in which a dom adding new information in
over their attackers, who rarely child is molested. Storaska also successive statements. The ex-
expect women to be prepared to surveys some helpful ways of pression of a mood manifests
defend themselves in anypfash- keeping rapists out of your itself as an obsession for theI
ion. Storaska has a different home and your car. But this poet and tedium for the reader.-
conception of the role of sur same information-and more- In "The Room of My Life" she
prise in avoiding assaults: "in can be found in the Crisis Cen- catalogues thirteen items, trans-
another case," he writes, "when ter's Freedom from Rape (50c) forming each to some sort of
a man leaped at a woman and or the more extensive Rape: animate existence. It comes
began tearing at her blouse, she The First Sourcebook for Wo- across as little more than a
quickly unbuttoned and thrust men, by New York Radical tour-de-force of a nimble im-
her breastsuttn andi. he'd Feminists (New American Li- agination.
hturned the breasts outat him, Shed brary, $3.95). Instead of spend- Such unusual descriptions leada
ing him the victim of surprise ing $7.95 on Storaska's over- to many things that are physi-
rather than accepting this sta- priced and often erroneous ad- cally impossible, having only a
tus herself." But what woman vice, buy one of these two books metaphysical functionig. 3
in her right mind would use on rape and put the rest of the . . . and the woman
Storaska's technique in an as- money into a class in self-de- climbs into a flower
sault situation instead of the and swallows its stem ...
self-defense advocated by the fense.
Crisis Center? or,
The most frightening aspect (Be/sy Anister is a senior 'Mal- picking the scabs off your heart,
of How To Say No To a Rapist oring in English. then wringing it out like a sock.
1 --.-- - -
These, and many others, sound
quite sensual and full-of-mean-
ing, but how often do such im-
ages make their impact simply
because they are ridiculous,
perhaps even absurd? To the
poet they may be exact render-
ings of a feeling. But she can-
not expect a reader to share .7,
that feeling,, or even to under-
stand it clearly, by means of
images that fall outside the pos-
sibilities of experience. She is
trying to express something in- draic changing rhythm
tense within herself, but ob- armatically hagin ga r e
scures it by giving it a sem- and meter to point up a charge
blance of tangibility instead of from external to internal fo-
actual tangibility. Compare cs. Different rhythms, how-
these to another image she uses ever, are needed in different
successfully: speaking of the situations, and the author too
suland the body: often fails to change. This
skull aweakness in turn results in
Maybe I have plugged up my many lines sounding deflated
sockets to keep the gods in? and weak themselves-the sec-
This is also metaphysical, but and of the problems, which
strongly physical as well be- might be helped by a choice of
cause the "sockets," be they more energetic words. Revision
eyes, ears, or anus, can be is needed to give strength be-
stoppered. yond only the meaning and the
sounds of the syllables. There
QEXTON SEEMS TO have are other aspects of rhythm,
been working toward a fair- one being the length and break-
ly simple, conversational style off points of individual lines.
of grammar to accompany her Sexton displays her best control
often disturbing imagery. Some- here. Although many lines are
times it is convincing, as in the self-contained, ending because
first two stanzas of "The Poet one particular thing has been
of Ignorance," culminating in: dealt with in the line, many
It is written on the tablet of follow on another in a syner-
destiny gistic progression - the unre-
that I am stuck here in this solved nature of a non-self-con-
human form. tained line adding to the effect
That being the case of the complete sentence, draw-
I would like to call attention ing the reader on, creating tem-
to my problem. porary ambiguities:
Unfortunately this tendency has
caused two related problems.
The first is with rhythm. Al-
though anything can be broadly
defined as rhythmic, this device
ought to serve as an integral
part in a poem. Sexton's verses
seem to lack, many times, a
definite supportive rhythmic
base for what the words are
creating. She has shown a capa-
bility to produce satisfactory
and subtle rhythms, particularly
when read aloud and slowly, for
instance in the nine "Psalms"
in her previous book The Death
Notebooks, and at times in the
present volume. One of the fin-
est examples occurs in "Fren-
objects that tell me the sea
is not dying,
objects that tell me the dirt
has a life-wish,
that the Christ who walked
walked on true ground,
after this lap of childhood
I will never go forth
into the big people's world
as an alien ...
Once broken they are im-
things to repair.
FOR READERS INTEREST-
ED mainly in what a poet
4 has to say, a reasonable amount
of emotion and personal under-
* standing, even wisdom (mixed
admittedly, with a great deal
of triteness), is easily acces-
sible in these poems, over and
over again. Other readers, who
delight more, or equally, in a
poet's craft, might be advised
to . seek elsewhere for greater
Tom DuVal is an editor of.
PS 1100 TURNTABLE
[ ALL OF THE ABOVE
336 S. STATE-ON CAMPUS
10til 7 Mon. thru Sat.
END THE REPUBLICAN
REIGN of ERROR'
REPUBLICAN MAYOR STEPHENSON FOUGHT AGAINST
STUDENT VOTER REGISTRATION, CANCELLED DOOR-
TO-DOOR REGISTRATION AND BLOCKED VOTER REG-
ISTRATION DRIVES IN STUDENT AREAS.
Humanities Lecture Series
SECOND LECTURE: Tues., April 8
4 P.M., EAST LECTURE HALL
(3rd Floor Rackham)
GUEST LECTURjR: Prof. Marvin Felheim
lecturinq on "THE POLITIC BIRD"
DR. FELHEIM is a Professor of English at the University of
Michigan and a recipient of the William Award for Teach-
ing in Humanities and the Distinguished Faculty Achieve-
ment Award. He. has been with the University for over
twenty years, and has been a lecturer at the University of
Athens (Greece) and the University of Pau (France). He
is the author of COMEDY: THEORY, PRACTICE, PLAYc.
and THE LIVING ARISTOPHANES, and is preparing twc
books, FILN AS GENRE and THE AMERICAN NOVELLA.
Professor Felheim oarticipated in the lecture series in co-
ordination with the University T h e a t r e Production of
MONDAY, APRIL 7th
Pd Pol. Adv.
This $15 haircut
may not be
what you had
THIRD LECTURE: Tues., April 15
4 P.M., EAST CONFERENCE
(4th Floor Rackham)
GUEST LECTURER: Prof. Gerald F. Else
lecturinq on "SOME BIRD NOTES FROM ATHENS"
The Humanities Lecture Series is offered in coordination
with the University of Michiaan Theatre Proarom Guest
Artist production of THE BIRDS, which is a MUSICAL,
COMEDY, SPECTACLE ADAPTATION BY LAWRENCE
RAAB AND JONATHAN SIMON, featuring quest director,
JOSEPH NASSIF from the Pittsburgh Playhouse and the
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and quest designer, HENRY
HEYMANN, also from the Pittsburgh Playhouse.
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO ATTEND ALL LECTURES
FREE OF CHARGE
Spend Election Night with
Black Revolutionary Poet and Musician, Author
of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"
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