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November 20, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-11-20

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a0

OPINION
Page 4 Saturday, November 20, 1982 The Michigan Daily'

6

Porn: Real

men don't read

smut

j By Chris Coatney
Years ago I used to read Playboy
magazine.
:I remember my excitement when I
gqt hold of my first copy of Playboy. I
ran to my room in West Quad-it was
before Christmas break-and I closed
my door so that no one could see what I
wAs reading.
THERE BEFORE my very eyes was
page after page of female bodies. And
they were "mine, all mine." I could
ravish them, enslave them, do anything
I-wanted to with them-all in my mind,
of course.
A harmless little pastime, you say?
Well, I had a lot of emotional problems
during this time of my life, and
sometimes I felt more than a little
uneasy around women. Could it be that
I had a guilty conscience? Maybe it had
something to do with the fact that I was
treating women as sex objects instead
of as real human beings.
' Pornography is far from harmless.
Examples abound of both individual
arid gang attacks on women that were
itxited by reading pornographic
literature. The argument that por-
nography channels aggression into safe
forms of behavior is untrue; evidence
shows that porn actually increases the
desire of men to commit sexual crimes.
According to one study, 57 percent of
rapists and 80 percent of child
molesters said they had tried out sexual
activities depicted in porn media on
real-life victims. Another study by the

Michigan State Police showed that 41
percent of convicted sexual offenders
had used pornography "just prior to or
during" the commission of the crime.
MY OWN INTEREST in this issue
recently was aroused when I read an
article about a home for runaway
children in New York City. It said that
60 percent of the 12,000 kids who come
through the home every year had been
involved in child pornography or
prostitution.
"We are asked to believe that we are
unprogressive not to'view the depiction
of gang rapes, snuff films (murder of
women for sexual pleasure), genital
mutilation, bondage beatings, and tor-
ture of women as signs of a harmless
diversion of aggressive male sexuality
into 'safe channels of expression,'""
says Linda Person, a member of Take
Back the Night in Eugene, Ore. "Por-
n is a crime against women and
children ... snuff films are not always
being 'acted out'-they are the murders
of women actually occurring while the
cameraman grinds out the film for the
profits of this multi-million dollar (and
growing) industry. "(There is) one
woman being beaten every three
minutes, one rape every five minutes,
and an average of one child molestation
every ten minutes in this country.
"Whether porn is a cause of violence
against women, a reflection of reality,
or viewed as a safety valve by ill-
informed psychology buffs, simple
common sense dictates that it does get
translated back into our society, if only

Supreme Court. But according to the
Citizens for Decency Through Law, this
is not true. CDL, a national, non-profit
organization, has successfully argued
pornography cases before the Supreme.
Court.
ACCORDING TO the CDL, there are
no laws governing what a person may
read in the privacy of his own home.
The laws proscribe, however, the
commercial exhibition, sale, and
distribution of obscene materials. Adult
bookstores have already been effec-
tively closed down in such places as
Cincinnati, Ohio, and Atlanta, Georgia,
among others.
What can you do to help fight this
porn plague? First of all, refuse to read
such material and encourage other
people not to read it. Peer pressure is
one reason that people indulge in por-
nography today.
Second, write to your local
newspapers and radio and television
stations and protest the advertising of
X, R, and PG rated movies and
material. You can speak to your local
shopkeepers as well.
ThIRD,CONTACT your local city
administration and find out whether
existing laws are being enforced.
Fourth, get involved with a local
chapter of CDL.
Fifth, pray. Up until now I have
avoided religious discussion on this
topic. Many people believe that it is
wrong to legislate morality. Yet,
inherent in thetconcept of making laws
is imposing a standard of beliefs.

ACCORDING TO the Bible, the in-
dividual or nation that rejects God's
law will perish. I believe that you can
look at history and see that this is the
case. Gibbon attributed the fall of
Rome to decadence and immorality. A
a noted British political scientist, Loird
Patrick Devlin, said: ". . . an
established morality is as necessary as
good government to the welfare of
society . . . The suppression of vice is
as much the law's business as sup-
pression of subversive activities."
If someone walked naked down thew
streets of our city, he or she would be
clapped into jail immediately. Yet:
naked women and men can be seen
parading up and down the aisles of our:
grocery stores and city streets every
day-in magazines that amount to:
legalized displays of prostitution.
I believe that the free flow of por-,
nography has a lot to do with the rise in
crime and violence in our society. I am
personally acquainted with five victims
of rape. I knew a female cab driver
from this city who was murdered three
years ago by a knife-wielding assailant.
Other factors are involved, to be sure,.1
but the attitudes produced by por-
nography are not healthy for our
society. I believe it is my duty as a
Christian to stand up for the safety of
women and children.
What do you think?
Coatney, a University graduate,
lives in Ann Arbor and is self-
employed.

Doily Photo by SCOTT ZOLTON

in unconscious attitudes . . . about
women's sexuality."
"MODERN PORNOGRAPHY is an
education system," says Charles
Keating, founder of Citizens
for Decency Through Law. "It
teaches. Its message is that human
beings are mere animals; the highest
value is immediate pleasure; other
people may be used and then discarded.
"Its message is that sex is divorced
from love, commitment, mortality, and

responsibility-that it is purely an
animal act, no more and no
less . . . That women's importance is to
be found in their genital organs which
are fair game for whomever wishes to
exploit them; that irresponsible sex has
no consequences-no venereal disease,
unwanted pregnancies, abortions,
premature marriages, psychic drama,
Some message."
Many people today believe that por-
nography has been legalized by the

*1

A

die dmdan to
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman

Vol. XCIII, No. 63

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

A dose of moderation

FTER A disappointing show at the
A polls, the Republican party in
Michigan is now licking its post-
election wounds. And like any wounded
creature, it is lashing out in
thoughtless anger.
The object of much of the party's
scorn is none other than William
Milliken. After spending some 14 years
in the gubernatorial seat as the party's
"prime spokesman, Milliken is now fin-
ding much of the blame being heaped
on him for Richard Headlee's defeat. If
only Gov. Bill had openly campaigned
for Headlee, khurt Republicans claim,
James Blanchard never would have
run away with the gubernatorial race.
Angry Republicans are even
proposing putting a two-term limit on
the governorship. This, some party
members think, will both keep
someone like Milliken from ac-
cumulating too much leverage, and
will put a curb on Blanchard's poten-
tial reign.
But the condemnations of Milliken
and the two-term proposal amount to
one thing-a hasty backlash. In its
haste to lay the blame for defeat, the
party is skirting the real reason for
its loss-Richard Headlee. The

Republicans didn't need Milliken to
ruin their chances for victory; they did
themselves in by nominating a can-
didate representing the most radical,
divisive faction of the party.
Milliken's word did carry a lot of
weight during the election, as the scor-
ned Headlee-ites admit, precisely
because he stands for moderation.
Milliken has been able to build
coalitions of support and win bipar-
tisan respect. His ability to unite the
divergent interests of the state-a
quality never demonstrated by
Headlee-accounts for his power and
influence.
We disagreed with many of
Milliken's positions and with many of
the positions of the mainstream of the
Republican party. Nevertheless,
Milliken represented a healthy com-
ponent of the two party system.
Instead of making Milliken a
scapegoat, the party should
rehabilitate him a role model. The
future of the Republican party depends
on its ability to rid itself of the
divisiveness of the Headlee faction.
Without a good dose of moderation, the
sting of the Republicans' wounds just
won't go away.

I W 6A 0I5 ONTT-
RULER OE 6UAWMAALA A
BORN N ITIN
~
The United States is engaged in
a kind of love affair with Japan
these days. Sushi bars have
spread from Beverly Hills to
Brooklyn, and sake is replacing
Perrier as the new trendy tipple.
Studying Japanese has become a
new feature of the fast track for
college corporate types.
Love affairs with other
nations-and the United States
has had a few in its time-are
somewhat like human affairs.
There are tiffs and riffs, fights
and distortions as both sides see
each other in ideal rather than
real terms. It pleases Washington
to see Japan as a firm friend and
ally, a cornerstone of U.S. foreign
policy now and in the future. This
belief alone creates a whole
series of myths which are dif-
ficult to explain when they do not
accord with reality.
THE GREATEST of American
myths about Japan in the 1980s
encompass three broad areas:
trade, business management,
and defense. In all of these areas,
the United States is making
monumental perceptual miscal-
culations which will exact a stiff
price in years to come.
In the area of trade, especially,
the United States persists in
sounding like a callow, frustrated
swain. Washington whines that
the Japanese will not liberalize
exports because they are being
selfish and petulant. Their spur-
ning of America's most sincere
trade overtures is seen as an act
of petty willfulness which can be
overcome only by pressure and
emotionally charged pleading.
This is exactly the strategy that
has been followed with each new
unsuccessful trade negotiator
proclaiming his frustration at his
fruitless wooing.
This posture simply refuses to
acknowledge the fundamental
facts of Japanese economic sur-
vival. At base, these are facts of
elementary geography. Japan is

3 AM ATRYiW& To BRING THE
WOD of 1' E 6Os~\c:Lo
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bf~oTS - TN AT MY RcvF'$
OF- PAATS ARE FALSE

TO0 EAVEDt
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America 's
love affair
with Japan:
Only a fling?

By William Beeman

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which keeps it aloft.
In the past, whenever Japan
has felt that it might be cut off
from either its source of supplies
or its foreign markets, it has
taken extraordinary steps to
preserve the massive in-
take/exhaust balance in its
economy. Of course, the most
violent example of this was
Japan's entrance into World War
II, triggered in great part by U.S.
threats to its supply and export
lines.
The fear of being cut off is one
of the great themes in modern
Japanese political life. It ex-
plains much of Japan's political
attitude in the Middle East,
which has made it Iran's best
friend in the free world outside of
the Islamic sphere. Cool toward
Israel, Japan now also is the
number one or number two
trading partner for every Middle
Eastern oil producer.
THE FEAR of being cut off also
partly explains why the Japanese
are so terrified of increasing
cheap food imports from the

Such appeals are blatantly
emotional, and they are largely
effective, because they are
drawn from real fears and
memories of postwar food shor-
tages and more recent events
such as President Nixon's sur-
prise soybean embargo in the
1960s.
YET ANOTHER aspect of the
Japanese economy obscured by
American myths is the vast dif-
ferences which exist between
large export-oriented industry
and the medium and small in-
dustries producing the local
market. In one, the big com-
panies-Mitsubishi, Sony, and
the like-get the lion's share of
government attention: subsidies,
low-cost loans,, fat government
contracts and more. This is not
surprising for it is these com-
panies that produce the ram-jet
effect in the economy which ef-
fectively sustains the whole
nation.

destroyed our own
agriculture, we will

subsistence
surely star-

lifetime employment in a
bankruptrcompany, nor do any of
the other miraculous, morale-
boosting business techniques so
admired by American managers
apply. Yet this sector employs 50
percent of all Japanese industrial
workers.
It is this weakness in the'
economy, more than any other, *
which has produced the
unusually low exchange rate for
the yen in recent months.
Washington trade and economic
leaders have raised the rather
foolish charge that Japan is
manipulating the yen rate to keep
their export costs low. The truth
is that Japanese capital is fleeing
from a genuinely sick internal
market which the face-conscious
Japanese are embarrassed to
publicize abroad. Wholesale
openings of industrial and con-
sumer imports from abroad
probably would destroy many of
these small industries.
THUS, though America loves
Japan, it also hates her for being
so obstinate in not yielding to
demands for unbridled, in-
creased trade. Japan's hidden
fear,swhich we refuse to see, is
that the United States might
destroy or damage her in the
process.
Both nations need a good coun-
selor at this point-one that can
help Washington find the
language and the policies to
assure Japan that its self-
perceived fragile economic con-
dition will be protected if trade is
increased.
Such long-term guarantees are
admittedly not easily made by
U.S. business, with its short-term
profit strategy, nor by a gover-
nment which changes radically
every four years. But unless such
guarantees are made, our in-.
fatuation with Japan can never*be
much more than a casual fling.
Beeman, who recently com-

4

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