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May 21, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-05-21

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The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Wednesday, May 21, 1975
News Phone: 764-0552
o r
SiN - i e v~etobdoen
PRESIDENT FORD'S DECISION to veto strip-mining
control bill recently pushed through Congress has re-
inforced the worst fears of those who feel the present
crop of administrative energy policy architects are lead-
ing this country down the road to disaster.
The bill would have put a stop to the coal industry's
traditional practice of raping the countryside of its fer-
tile top layers in order to get at the coal seams below.
Environmental groups and residents of mining areas
have, massed a vigorous campaign to outlaw stripmining
and the unredeemed devastation of the land it inevitably
leaves behind.
By choosing to veto the bill, President Ford has served
notice on the American people that he is willing to put
the short-term convenience and advantage of the energy
industry ahead of the nation's long-term energy and
environmental needs.
IT'S A WIDELY accepted fact that the days of oil-and
coal-generated power are severely numbered. A rea-
soned and resnonsible approach to the nation's future
energy needs would have to include provisions for re-
strictins- conventional energy consumption until efficient
and safe alternative energy sources can be implemented.
It seems that President Ford doesn't quite grasp the fact
that the price of gratuities he extends to the Exxons and
Peabodys of today may well be unbearable when it takes
its toll on energy consumers twenty or thirty years hence.

No rooi
WASHINGTON - On a balmy
Saturday afternoon about a
week ago, over 125,00 people
flocked to the Washington Monu-
ment and the surrounding mall
to celebrate "Human Kindness
Day" which included a free
Stevie Wonder concert.
At least 600, perhaps many
more, of the people left the
event much poorer than when
they came. They were robbed
and besten by roving gangs of
youths, as others in she audience
tooked on helplessly.
Although the incidans were
not co-ordinated, they w e r e
certainly too numerous t. be
dismissed as sporadic or isolat-
ed, and caused a major out-
burst of anger from civic lead-
Perhaps the reaction was due
in part to the heavy racial over-
tones; nearly all the victims
were white and the gangs black.
But even more compelling was
the brutality and caliousness
evident in the attacks.
One Agriculture Dapartment
executive cut across the mall
on his way home from the of-
fice. He had been working on
Saturday to catch up on the
bureaucratic red tape.
As he approached the tower-
ing marble spike of the Wash-
ington monument, a hoard of
teenagers enveloped, him and
began savagely pum-melling him
with fists and make-shift clubs.
In the fracas, the man was stab-
bed in the eye.
He stood there, clutchimg at

ass Day crowd:
m for humanity

the bleeding wvound. But nobody
dared assist him for fear the
gang might attack them next.
Lying in a hospital bed a day
later, doctors told the man lie
had lost the sight in one eye.
That was a single part of
what happened - at Hunan
Kindness Day. But it really :sn't
particularly surprising that vio-
lence erupted.
What is surprising is t h a t
Washington hasn't alreayiv ex-
Unlike probably every other
major metropolitan area in the
country, Washington has no mid-
die class. In essence there exists
no buffer zone between t h e
abject poor, of which' there are
many, and the powerful a n d
rich, who are among the most
powerful and rich in the woarld.
WHEN THESE two aides of
the city rub together, tremerd-
ous friction develops. A n d
sometimes it ignites as it did
at the Human Kindness Day
The disparity of the social
classes in Washington is further
reflected in the high crime rate.
But for some reason the crime
tends to be less violent than
in Detroit or Atlanta, where
murder at times seems ram-
The stately, almost regal
buildings of government and the
quiet shaded streets that cradle
quarter-million dollar 5 o m e s
clash with the stifling, crowded
inner city.
The tourists and visiting heads

of state never see the poverty
and pent-up hostility, yet it
thrives, growing as the economy
continues downward and the un-
employment offices pull more
people than the best movie n
RIGHT NOW the poor leed
lives of quiet despervion.
But the splendidly dressed
couples strolling .own Wiscon-
sin Ave. talk about a long hot
summer, as they gaze at costly
baubles in the Georgetovn b'su-
Of course, they may mertly
mean that the weather will be
sunny and humid - just like
every other summer in Wash-
But probably not. For some
reason people have .a hunch, a
suspicion, a premonition -- call
it what you will - that there is
going to be more trouble in this
town in the next couple of
months than there bas been for
quite a while.
They don't have any answers.
They would probably lust as
soon forget about that other side
of Washington, except. that it
just won't go away.
The city has moved to b a n
large free rock concerts such
as the one held on Human Kind-
ness Day. But it seems like
there is more to solvi'g the
problem than that.
Gordon Atcheson is co-
editor-in-chief of The Daily
presentlv working with the
Knight Newspapers Wash-
ington Bureau as a summer

Letters: Sex bias claim unfounded

To The Editor:
RACISM and sexism come
in many costumes; and t h e s e
days the fashionable racist or
sexist can be seen making his
appearance in an outfit of self-
serving humanism. It seems
that the accusation of reverse
discrimination (against whites
or males as the case may be) is
rapidly becoming the rallying
flag of those who would like +o
slow down the erosion of white,
male hegemony in this society.
The editorial of May 14, "The
Flip Side of Sex Bias", is one
more manifestation of this men-
tality, by which a cry of "equal
treatment for all at all times
and in all places" becomes a
disguise for perpetuating in-
equality in as many places as
possible. The editorial in ques-
tion expressed considerable out-
rage about an incident in which
a male was apparently asked to
remove himself from a Wamen's
Studies course.
I WOULD LIKE to address
the general issue of all-women
groups, rather than the specifics
of the incident which inspired
the May 14 editorial.
If there is ever to be rcal ex-
ual equality, women and men
must meet on equal ground, with
equal control over reaources.
Among the resources which per-
petuate male dominance are the
habits which we all acquire in
the process of socialization. The
pattern by which women defer
to men, and by which men ex-
pect deference from women, is.
one of the more deeply engraved
of our sexually dimorphic ac-
quired reflexes. This reflex im-
pels women to respond to male
needs and desires-in preference
to their own, and it enables nten
to obtain the attention, energy,
and service of the women
around them.
This deference pattern, whn
combined with the trainina te-
ceived by women to fear male
disapproval, can, resuit in d's-

cession groups in wich ewomut
are inhibited and men dominate
conversation. One a 4tht a ic-
tions of women-only discussion
groups is to break some of these
habits for both sexes. Womnen
in such groups do it fact feel
more free to think and speak.
Moreover, the act of insis ing
on such a woman-only group is
a lesson in valuing our own
needs and desires, instead of
deferring to those of men.
THE ISSUE of seoaratism is
of course a complex one, and
there are good and' ra-ional ar-
guments on all sides of the ques-
tion. But the argument is more
often tactical than rational. It is
revealing to look at when, how,
and by whom the argument
against separatism is deployed.
Men, who never thought twice
about their exclusive access to
corporation boards, social clubs,
locker rooms, departmental fa-
culties, athletic teams, and po-
litical leadership, suddenly see
the outrage of sexual exclusion.
Men, who were perfectly ccn-
tent to have women serarated
in kitchens and kindergartens,
suddenly discover that separat-
ism is anti-humanist waea wo-
men engage in single sex politi-
cal and intellectual acivty.
If male "humanis-s ' had
been more vociferous in de-
nouncing male and female sep-
aratism (in councils of state
and nurseries, respectively) be-
fore the advent of the feminist
movement, I would be less skep-
tical about their current insist-
ence on "equal" treatment.
The "equality" argument
against separatism is used to
undercut attempts by women
to organize in opposition o male
power and privilege. It is used
to prevent women from obta-n-
ing precisely those reasurces
necessary for true equality. If
the "equality" argument did not
so often function t) perpetuate
sexual inequality, I would find
it more reasonable to insist upon

what is ultimately a reasonable
ideal. But when men basically
control the institutions, univer-
sities, classrooms, ideologies,
and women in this society, while
women attempt to control a
meager few. discussion groups,
the humanist argument for
equal male access to women's
rather limited resaurces is ar-

I MYSELF have been in the
woments movement for many
years, and have undergone var-
ious incarnations as marxist fe-
minist,. separatist feminist, and
humanist feminist, among oth-
ers. .
I currently hold that it is a
task of the feminist movement
to articulate a vision of a utopia
of gender equality, in which any

form of sexual hierarchy 'vill be
an artifact. But is s dif'icut
for feminists to develop a dis-
course on sexual equality when
the discussion is expr-priate: by
men squawking about the dis-
integration of their cherished
-Gayle Rubin
May 19


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