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April 03, 1984 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-04-03

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OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, April 3, 1984,

The Michigan Daily

Androgynous trend breeds confusion

By Naomi Saferstein
Sexual identity, or the lack of it,
deems to be a very timely topic these
days. This occurred to me as I sat in
iny art history class last week. There,
of all places, while I was watching some
schmaltzy film about the sculptor
-Henry Moore, all my classmates, a
usually rather tranquil bunch began to
hiss, groan, and exclaim, "Oh my God,
-I can't believe it" when the narrator
liescribed a two part Moore sculpture
as "combining the assertiveness of
man with the femininity of woman." As
the 200-plus people around me became
engrossed in the absurdity of such a
statement, I became fascinated by the
people who were becoming engrossed
in that archaic description. I began
comparing the woman sitting behind
me, who has short blond hair, no make-
up, and was the type of person whom I'd
hate to meet in a dark alley, to the guy
down the aisle, the one with the earing,
the paisley blouse, and the groovy hair-
do. Suddenly, I couldn't help but laugh,
for if he was what the movie referred to
as masculine and she, feminine, then I
was confused.
And from this confusion I concluded
that the terms masculine and feminine
are products of a school of sexual
definition which, in my opinion, has
become virtually obsolete. In this
school the boy - who wears pants, has

hair above the ear, and plays varsity
football - meets the girl - who wears
skirts, has cascading locks, bouncing
breasts, and is undoubtedly a
cheerleader. Then together, they conceive
baby in the missionary position - no
questions asked.
This was a school where one's genitals
distinguished whether or not your per-
sonality would manifest itself as
masculine or feminine - masculine
meaning traits identified with a man
and feminine those identified with a
woman.
ACCORDING TO the definition of this
school of sex (as I shall call it), one's
sexuality, or sexual preference, was
something that was designated at birth,
like blue eyes or brown hair. It was, by
no means, something you "discovered"
or "realized" - it just was. Bob and
Carol, Ted and Alice, and Pete and
Mary were made just like the Jovan
"Man and Woman" perfume line, with
component #1 fitting perfectly with
component #2. We were taught at this
school from day one that you put the
round pegs in the round holes, and the
square in the squares. If it fit, it fit. If it
didn't, it didn't. It was plain and sim-
ple.
But lately it looks like the board of
administration within our school has
changed, and the new sexual code of
conduct reflects this. Now what once
was round has stretched to oval and
what was once square has been

Daily Photo by CAROL L. FRANCAVILLA
Is the person who is wearing the earing in this picture a male or a female?
Have the terms masculine and feminine become obsolete in our society

longer seems critical. And the poor
soul who thinks he, or she, is attracted
to the opposite sex becomes so
distraught now, when he meets the per-
son of his dreams, the first thing he has
to ask is of what sexual preference is
the party in question.
And this sexual ambiguity is not just
apparent in the liberal progressive
community that we know as Ann Arbor,
sexual redefinition is taking the nation
by storm. Just look at who's hot in the
Who's Who columns or on the cover of
Tiger Beat. Does Annie Lenox or
Michael Jackson ring a bell? It looks
like this man/woman pop star business
is what sells these days. And I'm sure
the teeny bopper poster makers are
overjoyed by this. No longer do they
have to make Farrah Fawcett or John
Travolta posters, they can just combine
the two and get Boy George.
Yes, it's apparent to me that out of
this sexual ambiguity which we've
been talking about, comes androgeny,
the new rule of conduct for our groovy,
hip school. And America is eating it up,
hook, line, and sinker. This androgynous
sexual concept is the hottest thing since
the Cabbage Patch doll. And the best
thing about it is that you don't have to
wait in any long lines, pay outrageous
prices, or go through any type of hassle
to get it because there's enough to go
around, either way you look At it.
The way I see it, androgyny is to the
'80s what free love was to the '60s -

very catchy. It is so catchy that more
and more I see individuals breaking
those aforementioned
masculine/feminine barriers. And this
gets me thinking, wouldn't it be wild if
society as we know it would turn into a
totally androgynous state? I could just
see it now, men would become more
feminine and women more masculine.
Then we could all meet in the middle
and have a party to proclaim our new
found freedom. But a problem arises.
Who invites whom to the affair? And who
pays? Does the one who pays open the
door and pull out the chair? But wait
a minute, aren't we getting into roles once
again? And if so whose roles?
Speaking of rolls, what will we feast
on at our gala affair? Turkey? Then
who will carve this bird? Hold on
though, do we really want turkey after
all? No, I think not, it was a bad idea.
We can't eat turkey, turkey is living
too. There is no way we can raise otir
arms in merriment when there's drun
sticks in our hands and feathers on our
face, that goes against everything
we're fighting for. But wait once again,
we're not supposed to be fighting -
we're supposed to be celebrating,
aren't we? I thought so. I mean I think
so. Oh shit, it sounds like I'm confused
again. Looks like it's back to school on-
ce more.

today?
smushed to a rectangle. Thus, the non-
conventional student begins to-put the
oval pegs in the rectangular holes and
is surprised to find out that they fit.
Sure, the edges might be a bit empty,
but it's OK. It's new, it's different, and
it's exciting. A once obsolete institution
is now emerging as a progressive
establishment.
In this new, progressive school,
sexual identity becomes redefined; the
old stand-bys have sat down. What on-
ce was, now isn't. So it becomes Bob
and Ted, Carol and Alice, and Mary
plays go-between while Pete watches.

People are no longer confined by past
sexual roles and are now free to define
their own positions.
BUT WITH THIS redefinition and
progression comes a lot of confusion.
And I find it quite ironic that now when
people have that long awaited sexual
freedom they don't know how to deal
with it. It suddenly seems that
everyone I know is going through some
sort of sexual identity crisis, or they
just finished getting over one, or are on
the verge of going through one. And if
that's not the case, they have been
going through one for so long that it no

Saferstein is a Daily;
ter.

staff repor-

Stewart

n
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XClV-No. 146

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

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

0

Hash Bash eulogy

HE HASH BASH is no more. Last
Sdtnday would -have marked the
thirteenthannual celebration of lenient
pot laws, but the number of
participants, which has been dwindling
for the past few years, dwindled all the
way to none this year. Only a few
watchful security oficers showed up to
rekindle memories of the twelve
previous hash festivals.
Though the occasional violence and
vandalism that 'surrounded the bash
will not be missed, the passing of the
event must be viewed with a bit of
nostalgia.
There is a lot of history surrounding
past April ists on the Diag. The Bash
used to be a lot more than a collection
of 25 high school students - the make-
up of last year's event. As recently as
1978, 6,000 participants toked up in the
spring air. The first year of the Bash,
1972, was a protest in favor of
marijuana decriminalization. Largely
in response to the early Bashes, city
officials adopted a $5 pot law which
made Ann Arbor one of the most.
lenient cities in the country toward
marijuana possession. In 1973 5,000
turned out for the festival and State
Rep. Perry Bullard lit up a joint for the

benefit of the press ("There's nothing
wrong with it," he giggled). The
emphasis of the Bash shifted in the late
'70s from a pro-marijuana statement
to a day of general student activism.
April 1st was a day to collectively
enjoy the outdoors and promote social
consciousness. But the Bash is no
longer a statement or a tradition, it is
only a memory.
The term "Hash Bash" was in many
ways a misnomer. Marijuana did not
give the event its enduring appeal. The
5,000 participants in 1973 came to make
a statement and the rallies of the late
'70s celebrated political consciousness
more than the evil weed. The annual
event tried to bring back a more
socially active time in order to battle
the rising tide of student apathy.
Marijuana was the theme but not the
substance.
It is sad that the Bash's death marks
the passing of one of the last vestiges of
the protest era. It's not that there is
nothing to protest anymore, it's just
that a lot of students suffer from a
fundamental lack of social concern.
Being an anachronistic tradition, the
Hash Bash's time has rightfully come.
But at least we have the memories.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Don 't let kids read the

To the Daily: them while reading the article
Every once in a while, while '"U' student aquitted of ticket-
reading the Daily the brain goes scalping charge" (Daily, March
"screeee! !" and you know 23). The first one was the news
something's wrong. I got two of that although John Haughton was
MSA involvement urged

4-

9

i.

L. k

To the Daily:
This year's MSA elections have
probably caused the biggest stir
in recent memory. Despite
snags, over 6,000 students cast
ballots for the people of their
choice. We believe this can be at-
tributed to theenthusiastic at-
titudes of all the candidates.
About 100 students ran to fill only
35 spots. To the winners, we give
a hearty congratulations and wish
much luck for the year to come.
You have a tough road ahead of
you. To those 70 or so who did not
get elected, we strongly en-
courage you to take part in MSA.
There are dozens of positions on
committees and on action groups
which are rewarding and need to
be filled with good people.
The dedication of those who ran
is apparent and MSA always
needs dedicated students. All of
you who ran have unique talents
and have diverse ideas about how
the University should be run. If
you really wanted to get elected,
then you are badly needed to par-

make a difference and your ideas
can still be enjoyed. We urge you
to get involved!
-Andrew Hartman
Mary Rowland
Scott Page
March 28
Hartman is chairman of the
College Democrats. Rowland
is MSA president. Page is
MSA president-elect.
BLOOM COUNTY

found not guilty of scalping UM
football tickets, a photograph
exists "allegedly showing two
Michigan State Police officers
and their. wives sitting in the
seats confiscated from Haughton
the day before." We've all heard
of the cops sitting around
smoking up the evidence or pop-
ping the evidence, but stealing
the football tickets is going too
far. We expect more of our honest
cops. At least thiskind of activity
should not be printed in the
newspapers; our kids might grow
up thinking it's all right to do this
kind of thing..
The second one was about Ross
Laser, "Laser leads Blue in '84."

by Berke Breathed

Daily
It's funny, but I have always
thought that University athletes
were amateurs, or at least were
supposed to be. The article on
Ross clearly reported that he had
tried his hand at professional
tennis for two summers in "two
summer pro Satellite circuits in
several different countries,
thinking and doing what young
pros do." It's pretty obvious that
University athletes are semi-
pros, but do we really let pros
play on our amateur teams? I
don't think I want my kids to hear
about this one at all.
- Robert Trebor
March 23

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