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January 10, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-01-10

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, January 10, 1985

The Michigan Daily

-------------- I

The Barbie doll mentality

A

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

By Naomi Saferstein

Vol. XCV, No. 82

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Farewell to Dunn

D URING THE December Board of
Regents meeting, Gerald Dunn
bid farewell to the University after
having served on the board since
1969.
Dunn's career as a regent was
marked by a dedication to admirable
social and political goals. And though
he often found himself at odds with his
more conservative fellow board mem-
bers he was not afraid to cast a dissen-
ting vote. He was a consistent opponent
of the Solomon Amendment. He was
one of only two dissenting votes on the
9.5 percent tuition hike. In addition he
was the first regent to propose divest-
ment of the University's holdings in
South Africa, and his was the only vote
in favor of the proposal to extend the
guidelines governing military resear-
ch to non-classified projects.

Dunn's record shows that he has been
one of the finest regents in recent
years, and his failure to be renominted
speaks poorly for the machinery of the
Democratic party and for the very
nature of the regental selection
process.
Dunn himself claimed in September
that his bid for the nomination was
passed over because of a personal fued
he had with UAW leader Frank
Garrison concerning Dunn's private
position as a lobbyist for 11 school
districts in western Wayne County.
Whatever the reasons, Gerald
Dunn's absence leaves the University
a poorer place. Conservative mem-
bers of the board have lost their ablest
opponent and liberals throughout the
University community have lost an
important ally.

Little Sally had her heart set on a Barbie
doll for Christmas. But Little Sally's mother
was very much against it. She said it made
more sense to listen to her head than to her
daughter's heart and so the answer was no.
And Little Sally cried. And cried. And her
mother still said no.
And through the downpour of boo-hoos and
but-I-wants Little Sally's mother tried to ex-
plain to six-year-old Sally that although she
might not understand it now, playing with
Barbie at the age of six was bound to leave
her bitter and disillusioned in the years to
come. And in the long run it was better to do
without for the moment than to suffer in the
future.
"Think of it like vitamin C pills, Sally," she
began. "You take vitamin C pills now so you
won't get sick later..."
But Little Sally was confused.
"Here," said her mother, "Let me make it
so you can understand, O.K.? Look at it this
way, what does Barbie do? She doesn't go to
school, she doesn't work, she doesn't even do
community service. All Barbie does is spend
her days lounging around the pool, whizzing
up and down the floors of her penthouse suite
in the elevator-never the stairs-or flying
around to God knows where in her private jet.
"And Sally, for that kind of lifestyle you'd
need lots of money, and Barbie doesn't even
have a last name let alone a career. . . Can
you buy Barbie a waitress uniform? Or a
business suit? How about a briefcase and
books? Uh-uh, all you can buy Barbie are ball
gowns and bathing suits, sportswear
separates and lots of shoes.
"Sally, honey, you still with me? I realize
this might not make a whole lot of sense now,
but it really does. Mommy knows.
Sweatheart, I just don't want you growing up
and continually asking yourself who pays for
Barbie's lavish tastes because no one will
ever tell you. No one really knows. Oh sure,

ce, she beamed over to K-Mart to check up
on Barbie, for it had been a long time since
her doll days and perhaps Barbie had burned
her bikini and donned a danskin instead.
Maybe she had become a woman of the '80s
after all.
As she reached aisle seven Little Sally's
mother realized that yes, she had been wrong.
Barbie was not the frivolous blonde that she
had remembered from her youth. She had
gotten worse. Barbie had multiplied.
Now not only were there basic Barbie and
her counterpart Malibu Barbie-who after
more than twenty years had not lost that
"California look"-but now the aisles were
lined with "Loving You" Barbie, "Crystal"
Barbie, "Twirly Curls" Barbie, "Pretty &
Pink" Barbie, "Angel Face" Barbie, and
"Dream Date" Barbie.
And Mattel had also expanded on the ac-
cessory concept rendering the jet airliner and
the penthouse suit passe. Now there were
specific ways for Barbie to spend her days;
there were "Barbie Play Packs:" the wed-
ding (complete with 32 pieces), the beach
scene (sand not included), and a biking day
with a pink motor bike that makes a "realistic
motor noise."
As Little Sally's mother looked up and down
the aisle she realized it was quite stupid of her
to have thought that Barbie's clothes would
have remained the same while the times had
changed. Sure, Barbie still had bathing suits
and ball gowns and there wasn't a business
suit to be found, but now Barbie had three
lines of clothing to choose from: Fashion &
Fantasy, Fashion & Fun, and Twice as Nice
(reversable clothing, twice the value).
As she walked out of K-Mart, package un-
der her arm; Little Sally's mother smiled,
feeling more the good fairy than the evil wit-4
ch, smiling because she had done something
that would make he daughter happy on
Christmas morning. She had forsaken Barbie
and bought a Cabbage Patch Kid instead.
Saferstein is an LSA junior.

You've come a not-so-long way, Barbie.
some people will point to Ken all right, but the
poor guy can't even afford anything nicer
than a polyester leisure suit.
"Sal, does any of this make you feel better?.
See what I'm saying?"
And Little Sally nodded her head and cried.

*

*

*

Little Sally's mother felt awful. She felt like
a tyrant, an ogre, a mean old witch. So in or-
der to save her soul, or at least her conscien-

Guarded optimism

Wasserman

SECRETARY OF STATE George
Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister
Andrei Gromyko have agreed to a
sound negotiation schedule for the
Geneva talks. Both sides of the table in
these crucial talks have agreed to a
format for discussing reductions of
nuclear arsenals and the limiting of a
potential arms race in space. There is
reason for cautious optimism at the
start of the first arms control talks
between the United States and the
Soviet Union in 14 months.
The vast majority of Americans
favor arms control and the current
talks at Geneva offer the first glimpse
of hope in over a year for halting the
arms race. In recent months, the
American public also appears to be
more confident about the way
President Ronald Reagan handles
foreign policy with the Soviet Union.
According to a recent New York
Times/CBS News poll, the number of
respondents who approve of the
president's Soviet policy has increased
to 60 percent from 48 percent in Oc-
tober of last year.
But hopes for fruitful negotiation
should not be translated into optimism

for the President's plan. Aside from
using the prospect of continued
negotiation with the Soviet Union as a
reelection ploy, Reagan has never
shown a strong desire to limit arms.
Many administration officials main-
tain that the Soviet Union is superior to
the United States in strategic weapon s
capability. American officials are
determined to demand more con-
cessions from Moscow than they are
willing to give.
There is still cause for concern about
the proliferation of nuclear arms.
Although the agenda has been set,
neither government appears willing to
make the concessions necessary to end
the nuclear weapons build-up.
The optimism for a chance to reduce
the nuclear weapons threat con-
tributed to the success of Reagan's
reelection campaign last year. But
Reagan's Soviet policy still deserves
careful scrutiny. The Geneva talks
and their effect on arms proliferation
should be taken very seriously and
confidence in U.S. policy should be
tempered with the reality of Reagan's
failure to constructively approach the
Soviet Union.

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7

Counting blessings and days

LETTERS TO THE DAILY

Suicide pills won't help in a crisis

WITH ONE DAY of classes
already out of the way, vacation
is seeming farther and farther away.
We really ought to count our blessings,
though, because this year's Christmas
break actually was about as long as it
could be under the current scheduling
system.
Starting with the fact that winter
semesters traditionally begin on Wed-
nesdays, simple arithmetic reveals
that there is only one situation which
could bring about a longer break.
Last year, when New Year's day fell
on a Sunday, classes began on the
following Thursday on the assumption
that it would take at least three days
for everybody to straggle back from
Florida, New York, or Flint. This
year, since New Year's fell on
Tuesday, the earliest classes could
resume was January 9.

Those numbers suggest that the
greatest possible duration of vacation
occurs when New Year's falls on a
Monday. This year's vacation, then,
was only one day shorter than the
longest possible. Not bad.
Those extra days meant more sleep
and probably more procrastination all
around. They left time for evenings at
home with the parents as well as nights
out with friends. They meant that the
New Year's hangover was already a
distant memory by the time the first
text book bindings were cracked.
But as with most good things, there
is a price to pay for such a long winter
break: exams this year venture into
the beginning of May-and as April
showers give way to flowers, those
January days are going to seem an
awfully long way away.

To the Daily:
There has been ever increasing
coverage in the press over SANS
Students Against Nuclear
Suicide. This group feels that
University Health Services
should stock cyanide tablets for
student use. Recently, SANS
revised their proposal to state
that these tablets would only be
used in the case of a nuclear war.
I disagree with this view. In the
event of a nuclear war, the use of
suicide now instead of cancer
later would only heighten the
destruction and collapse of our
world.
Other opponents to SANS
might, and I do, believe that the
idea of stocking suicide pills
could prove an effective protest
and influence government policy.
When the government comes to
realize the impact of losing an
important and massive part of
the population after a nuclear
war has been fought, it could try

these pills would be on hand so
students could use them, in order
to escape their future of un-
bearable, painful, lives.
In the event of a nuclear war,
the world would, at least for a
while, be in a state of total con-
fusion. Many people would un-
doubtedly perish. But someone
must remain to carry on, to
rebuild the world. College studen-
ts would be crucial to whatever
future would exist. Students are
indeed an important group in
today's society, the very future of
the world rests, to a large extent,
on them.
Suicide pills are just one more
form of escapism, and should not
be given much more than a
passing thought. Nobody wants a
nuclear war, but there are other
BLOOM COUNTY

ways of expressing a viewpoint.
Other forms of protest could be
developed to impress views on
the world's leaders. Suicide pills
just aren't good as a protest

measure, and are totally unac-
ceptable in actual use.
-David Weiner
December 9

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Unsigned editorials appearing on the left
side of this page represent a majority
opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board.

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