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March 11, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-03-11

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, March 11, 1986

The Michigan Daily,

I

Woolson

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCVI, No. 108

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board

Women's work

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CAO HEP VDyU 6 ;Y5 v)H?

4

Friday March 7 marked the
beginning of the 19th annual
Women's Weekend and correspon-
ded with the announcement of
Georgia O'Keeffe's death at 98.
O'Keeffe's life is an appropriate
subject for Women's Weekend. She
was a leading contemporary
American artist whose abstract
paintings of white roses and animal
skulls are among the most
memorable. Women's Weekend
celebrates the accomplishments of
women in history and decries the
gross neglect of their contributions
in art, literature and the shaping of
society.
According to former director of
the Whitney Museum of American
Art, Lloyd Goodrich, "her art is an
individual one, expressing personal
emotions and perceptions in a style
that combines strength and
crystalline clarity."
Georgia O'Keeffe received the
Presidential Medal of Honor in
1977. Many art critics consider her
works as precursors to much con-
temporary American art.
Many women artists are not so
well known, or fortunate to have
the backing of a Stieglitz - an in-
novative photographer and patron
of the arts - as O'Keeffe did. A
common misconception persists,
that if a woman artist is really
great, everyone will know about
her, no matter what.
En route to raising money and
collecting paintings by women ar-
tists, Wilhelmina Halladay, an art
historian who plans to establish a
new National Museum of Women in
the Arts in Washington, and her

husband, Wallace Halladay,
discovered many omissions and
oversights in the history of
women's art. They found cases
where works of women artists were
attributed to the men they studied
with, or well known artists whose
works suddenly became
"anonymous" when credit was
due.
Janson's "History of Art," a
premier text on art history, left out
Clara Peeters, a young prodigy,
and Vigee Lebrum, court painter to
Marie Antoinette, to mention but a
few. According to Ms. Halladay:
"If people don't believe that
women can be great artists, we will
simply show them." The National
Museum of Women in the Art's first
exhibition, "American Women Ar-
tists 1830-1930," is scheduled for
April of 1987.
Carol Berkin, an American
history professor who spoke on
campus as a part of Women's
Weekend, explained that historians
often neglect the important role
women have had in history.
Typically white and middle-class,
male historians have excluded
things that are unfamiliar or of
only indirect interest to them.
Worthy projects such as the
National Museum of Women in the
Arts and the Annual Women's
Weekend are beginning to reshape
public awareness of the major
roles women have played in
history. This knowledge will enable
future generations to draw from
the strength and accomplishments
of both men and women in
American heritage.

-E

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LETTERS:

Not just yuppies support U. S. policy

Taking sides

To the Daily:
Peter Rosset's letter criticizing
CIA activities as well as U.S.
support for the Nicaraguan con-
tras (Daily 2/4) contains several
assertions which I find bother-
some. His sweeping condem-
,iation of the CIA asna "terrorist
organization" not worthy of using
our campus as "a forum" implies
that Rosset believes that the CIA
serves no useful function. Even if
Rosset isucorrect in contending
that CIA terrorist activities are
"widespread," this does not
mean that our nation's primary
intelligence-gathering body
should not be allowed to recruit
personnel to carry out what even
LASC would consider legitimate
state functions. The detection of
factors that could affect the
safety of Americans abroad, such
as airport bombings in Europe, is
just one of those functions.
Rosset also discusses the
behavior of Nicaraguan contras
and urges us to stop supporting
their efforts. Despite his self-
righteous preaching, Rosset's ac-
counts of contra atrocities do
remind us of the need to con-
tinually evaluate the implications
of U.S. support for the contras.
Yet an unbiased examination of
this complex issue will be
necessary before the messages ar-
ticulated by Rosset and
LASC gain the credibility for
which their organization is so
desperate.
For example, if there are
Nicaraguans who want to bring
about a transition to democracy
after centuries of repression,
don't they deserve our support?
One need only look at the past few
years under Ortega's rule to con-
clude that the freedom of ex,

pression and the freedom for the
people to choose their leaders will
never exist under his leadership.
Such freedoms have never
existed in nations whose leaders
espouse Marxist-Leninist doc-
trine.
Are we not also obligated to
protect the burgeoning
democracies in El Salvador,
Guatemala, and elsewhere from
Nicaraguan attempts to under-
mine their success? It is no
longer possible to deny the moun-

ting evidence that Soviet-backed
Cuban proxies are using
Nicaragua as a base for arms ex-
ports to insurgents in El Salvador
and other Latin American
democracies.
Finally, our willingness to sup-
port democracy in Central
America will be an important
test of Americanbresolve. In our
negotiations with the Soviets,
where a Soviet perception of
American resolve is vital to the
peace process, U.S. support for
freedom fighters throughout the

Movemen t against war needs planning

6

N OMINOUS trend is developing
that threatens to effectively
clampdown on campus political ac-
tivities that question authority.
Police followed protesters who op-
pose the recruiting efforts of a
nuclear weapons contractor;
President Shapiro is demanding a
more restrictive code of non-
academic conduct for students and
the effort to harass anti-CIA
protesters continues months after
the demonstration against the
CIA's recruiting efforts.
Eleven students remain in legal
entanglements for their efforts to
charge the CIA with supporting
political murder and torture of
civilians, but legal efforts to
squelch dissent have failed so far.
One person had charges dropped
and a jury found the group charged
with "disorderly conduct" in-

nocent. The remaining group of
students faces pre-trial March 18
for supposedly trespassing at the
Student Activities Building. A hung
jury on their case represented
another failure in the University's
seemingly desperate efforts to
suppress dissent.
The effort to convict anti-C.I.A.
protesters has already wasted
enough of the taxpayers' money.
Worse, it is not the dissidents who
should be on trial. Charges against
the C.I.A. are much more serious
and include international
terrorism. By refusing to drop
charges against the remainder of
the C.I.A. protesters still
threatened with legal repression,
the University and prosecution
take sides with an organization
whose 'disorderly conduct' should
be seriously assessed.

world will greatly enhanceSoviet
cooperation at the arms control
talks.
These factors must be weighed
against the serious issues of con
tra terrorism and international
law which Rosset discusses. But
Rosset must learn that not
everyone who doesn't share his
views is a "mindless, apathetic,
future yuppy." Some of us can
support U.S. policy in Nicaragua
with a clear conscience.
-PeterC. Cook
February 7

To the Daily:
The world situation is tense. TV
shows - "real" news and
pseudo-documentary movies -
are terrifying. Most of us know
that with increases in the arms
race and new, more dangerous,
weapons, nuclear war could be
close, and most of us know that
nuclear war would destroy us and
all we value. Even without
nuclear war, the highlevel of
military spending is destroying
our social servicesseducational
system, and public transpor-
tation.
But'what can we do? Help work
for peace, and learn how to reach
out to people to tell them that we
are not helpless.eNuclear
weapons are relatively new, but
many generations before us
worked to give us a better world.
Surely we can do the same.
Efforts for peace need planning
and creativity. On Thursday, Mar
ch 6 the Michigan Alliance for
Disarmament had its plan
ning meeting for March-Septem-

ber. We talked about the we will be talking about your
Michigan Peace Walk, the Invest ideas of how to work for peace.
in Peace Campaign, and other -Janis Michael
projects now in progress - and

Imperialism at the movies

0

Champs need no cheers

To the Daily:
Americans' imperialist ten-
dencies can be seen in the two
movies that won most of the
recent award nominations, Out of
Africa and The Color Purple.
Most Americans loved these
movies; some criticized them,
but few noticed the profound
ethnocentricity of both.
First look at Out of Africa.
Both Robert Redford's and Meryl
Streep's characters are obviously
imperialists. We are supposed to
forget this fact and pay attention
to their relationship, but I can't.
Whether Redford settles down or
Streep deals with his freedom
strikes me as a whole lot less im-
portant than their blatant ex-
ploitation of Africa. He helps
wipe out areas of wild game; she
stakes the fate of an entire tribe,
the Kukuyo, on her personal
finances.
They pay lip service to anti-im-
perialism, but no more. I'm not
impressed with her efforts to get
the Kukuyo a new piece of land at
the end of the movie because it is
her fault that they lost their land
in the first place. His communion
with the animals he shoots im-
presses me about as much. They
are rich, while poverty increases
all around.
"But you're missing the point,"
somebody might say to me. I say
the movie misses its own point.
Karen Blixen, who wrote Out of
Africa, wrote an imperialist
book. The movie reproduces that
imperialism, making it clear that
these two characters are the

heroes. Kenyans, on the other
hand, are portrayed as child-like.
What amazes me is that
Americans have little trouble ac-
cepting this.
"You must remember that we
are only guests here," Redford
says at one point. These two
guests came over to Africa's
house; he shot the dog and she
tried to steal the silver whip
America sat at the table and ate
it up. Great guests.
The same ethnocentric bent of
Americans shows up again in The
Color Purple. Africa is nothing
but a badly put together collec-
tion of stereotypical images in
this movie. Somebody mentions
Africa and suddenly giraffes
running across the open savanah
appear. Later Celie's sharpenin
a razor in order to kill her cruee
husband is parallelled to tribal
initiation rites, as if these actions
are related. Suggesting this
similarity down-grades a cultural
element of some African tribes to
the stereotype of "savage."
Somebody might think the
nineteenth century ended in 1900,
but it didn't. The same basic im-
perialist philosophies carry on
today, now cloaked in thin robe
printed with neglected aphorism
about respecting other people's
cultures. Art's lip-service to such
ideas disguises the reality of im-
perialist philosophy as well as
talk of the cold war disguises im-
perialist politics. The nineteenth
century carries on.
-William E. Pflaum
March 3

SIT

To the Daily:
According to Tom Keaney's
most recent column, "Hey
you...how 'bout some noise"
(2/11/86), the Wolverine Basket-
ball squad is losing sleep over the
apparent ho-hum attitude of their
fans. It seems the crowd remains
seated too much and shouts too
infrequently. I am over-
whelmingly disappointed if the
article truly reflects the team's
opinion and was not simply an at-
tempt to fill space on a slow day
in the world of sports.
First, in comparing Michigan
fans to fans from Purdue or Min-
nesota, Keaney lost sight of the
nature of competitive basketball.
The battle involves an orange
sphere, 10 very tall athletes, and
a few nets - no fans. Sports

female athletes ever give less
than 100 percent because their
few devoted observers can't
manage to "blow the roof off the
building?" Or, focusing on the
real game of life, do wheelchair-
bound individuals stop struggling
to open doors when others fail to
take notice?
True champions of life are
seldom recognized or applauded.
They don't concern themselves
with who is seated and who is
standing. They don't work for the
praise of others (though your pet
dog probably does). The cham-
pion's ultimate reward is self-
respect, achieved through the
hours of sacrifice, hard work, and
dedication necessary to realize
his or her full potential.
I congratulate Coach Frieder
and his team on their highly sue-

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