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July 31, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-07-31

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Summer Daily
Summer Edition of
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Tuesday, July 31, 1973 News Phone: 764-0552
Rape laws fail to
protect the victim
MICHIGAN'S rape laws are both ineffectual, and hope-
lessly biased, and must be replaced with more equit-
able laws which protect women rather than degrading
them as conniving sex objects.
The present law states that carnal knowledge of a
female "by force or against her will" is a felony. To prove
that the act was against her will, the law demands that
the victim must have resisted "to the utmost."
This standard absolutely discounts the fact that a
rape victim is put in fear of her life by her assailant's
threats and/or superior strength and may choose to wait
out the nightmare rather than risk further physical in-
jury. A jury often disregards the alleged threats in a
courtroom unless the victim shows that she was bruised,
bloody and near dead at the time of the assault.
Another concept implicit in the law which is equally
appalling is the woman's "asking for it." Here society
blames the woman. The defendant's counsel depicts her
as a "rape trap" because she presented herself to the ac-
cused rapist as an "easy lay." If a woman wears sexy
clothes or goes to bars unescorted, she is not regarded as
a free-thinking human being; she is a "tramp" and there-
fore is not entitled to be free from sexual assault.
Most rape victims are more or less acquainted with
their assailants and may have had consensual intercourse
with them before the attack. Any intimacy between rap-
ist and victim will discredit the woman's allegations. Once
again, a woman is not regarded as an individual who con-
trols her body at all times. Instead she is her sex partner's
property who can be violated at the male's whim. Thus, a
wife is prohibited from charging her husband with rape.
Defense attorneys and other proponents of the pre-
sent law say that these considerations are necessary to
prevent frame-ups.
And, indeed, it would be foolish to contend that fabri-
cated stories of rape never occur. However, there is no
reason to conclude that juries are less able to deal with
these fabrications than they are in any other crime. The
"beyond reasonable doubt" standard should be adequate
to guard against such unjust convictions. In fact, studies
show that a jury tends to sympathize with the offender
instead of the victim if there is any indication that her
character is less than flawless.
A number of changes should be made. Distinctions
between rape and other violent crimes must be eliminated.
Rape is a violent, brutal attack and not, as some men so
callously put it, a crime of overriding passion.
The resistance standard must be modified so that a
woman need not endanger her life merely to show "ut-
most" resistance.
The victim's sexual history should not have unques-
tionable bearing on the issue of consent. Only when other
highly prejudicial evidence is admitted should her sexual
history be introduced.
The most desperately needed change provides for dif-
ferent degrees of rape.
This would more accurately reflect the circumstances
of the rape and the "risk" taken by the woman. Such a
system would prevent juries from acquitting in situations
in which they feel the crime does not jusitfy possible life
We believe these changes will guarantee more equit-
able treatment of women in the police stations, in the
courts, and on the streets.
A clarification
Though intended to condemn only the tactics of the
gay protest against the movie "Boys in the Band", the edi-
torial of July 28 may have been misconstrued as an attack
on gay people or gayness itself. This was certainly not the
purpose of the editorial and no insult was intended.

Summer Staff

"I FrbiJWAJ4I'M AME, 6Oo.64A MAE16bCOME A gEr ME/
Distibuted by ostnigeles "mts SYNDICATE
______ nt insan
Losers of atergate contest
announced; incompetence cited

Granted the response was not
overwhelming, but the contest still
must be considered an unequivocal
success. It could not be rationalized
This, of course, refers to this
column's who is your favorite Wat-
ergate conspirator contest. It wa
not the quantity of entries we were
looking for in this competition but
the quality of those submitted. Un-
fortunately we got little of either.
Be that as it may, the contest
stumbles along to this traumatic
conclusion: Either the entire city
of Ann Arbor is without a creative
mind or no one reads The Daily.
Since my conscious has blocked out
the possibility of the latter I must
assert that the cause is the former.
But, this is not to depreciate the
capabilities of our contestants.
They tried but they just didn't
have. But who is this columnist
to judge his peers? I don't have it
We are left to carry our odious
onerous, onus. Here then is the
entries in the last annual (we
hope) Watergate conspirator con-
G. Gordon Liddy
By H. Robert Chen, Grad.
His rambling accounts of his
his bosses' bosses', his bosses'
bosses' boss'
involvement are fascinating to say
the least
which is what he did.
(Liddy took the 5th Amendment 42
times before a Housing investi-
gating committee)
Observations of a 21st century time
by Alpha Zeta 4
Napoleon had his Waterloo
Nixon had his Watergate
Greedy for Power's potent brew
Each drank power's bitter fate
Dick Moore
By Bob Costrell
I choose Dick Moore for the best
of his recollections.
As the Reich's star witness,
"Gramps" gave us hope that

competence is on our side.
John Mitchell
By J. R. Randolph
My favorite Watergate conspirator
is John Mitchell
because every time he opens his
mouth he has a jowl movement.
John Dean
By Laura Wolf
My favorite Watergate conspirator
is John Dean because
he reminds me of (name withheld
for fear of libel suit),
my favorite SGC election enemy.
Vegetarian Viewpoint
By Robin Hood
My favorites are Gordon Strachan
because he looks like
a parsnip; and
John Mitchell because he talks and
looks like a hard-boiled egg.
What is still to be revealed is the
winner or, at least, the best loser.
In an existential way we are all
losers but that is not germane to
this contest. Of course, the biggest
losers are the Watergate conspira-
tors themselves. Not because they
are going to jail, but rather be-

Ehert harkin I
cause they were ineligible for the
They cannot win the great prizes
in store for the winner. These in-
clude a free cassette tape to do
your own bugging, a passport for
quick exit from the country, and a
free year's subscription to Tb e
Daily in order to follow the Water-
gate hearings from your Costa
Rican hide-out.
Here then is The Winner:
Getting The Kicks In
by James Bader
my favorite's Nixon
'cause quick as a vixen
in spite of the mixin'
he did the fix'en
Robert Barkin is co-editor of
The Daily.
Letters to The Daily should
be mailed to the Editorial Di-
rector or delivered to Mary
Rafferty in the Student Pub-
lications business office in the
Michigan Daily building. Letters
should be typed, double-spaced
and normally should not exceed
250 wvords. The Editorial Direc-
tors reserve the right to edit
all letters submitted.

JACK KROST .... .,.
CHUCK BLOOM .... ......
MARC FELDMAN .........

Sports Editi
Businesa Mana

Night Editor
.Night Editor
Assistant Night Editor
Assistant Night Editor
.AssistantNight Editor
.....Assistant Night Editor
Night Editor
.... ....Night Editor
... Managing Sports Editor.
.......Associate Sports Editor

Contact your reps-
Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), Rm 253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep), Rm 353, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Rep. Marvin Esch (Rep), Rm. 412, Cannon Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Gilbert Bursley (Rep), Senate, State Capitol Bldg.,
Lansing, Mi. 48933.
Rep. Perry Bullard (Dem), House of Representatives, State
Capitol Bldg., Lansing, Mi. 48933.

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