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November 07, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-11-07

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OPINION

Page 4

Friday, November 7, 1986

The Michigan Daily

i

-----"--

I

'I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Witnessing rape

Vol. XCVII, No. 47

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Issues versus popularity

INSTEAD OF CONCENTRATING on
the issues which are hurting and
worrying the electorate, most U.S.
Senate candidates underestimated
voters by relying on negative
campaigning and massive ad
spending. The Republicans put
their faith into the appeal of Ronald
Reagan, the individual. An
unprecedented $300 million in a
non-presidential election year was
spent on packaging the candidates.
Reagan seemed to be operating as
if it were 1984 again by pleading
with voters to vicariously vote for
him through his party's
candidates. The Democrats finally
realized the immense personal
appeal of the President and were
smart enough to avoid criticizing
him.
The inability of the Republicans to
transfer Reagan's personal appeal
to the candidates, who are more
identified with the President's
unpopular policies, is illustrated by
the fact that only one-third of those
who consider themselves Reagan
supporters voted Republican. For
example, Christopher Bond, a
candidate for the Senate from
Missouri, resorted to pulling his
Reagan-endorsement commercials
off television as his ratings in the
polls dipped in proportion to
Reagan's campaigning for him.
Finally, Reagan's 64 percent
approval rating in Florida and
intense campaigning did little to
help freshman Sen. Paula Hawkins
who lost to Democrat Bob
Graham.
Reagan campaigned in the seven
crucial Senate contests and his
party lost in five of those, swhich
demonstrates that the most popular
of personalities cannot sway voters
where real issues are at stake.
While neither major party focused
on the issues, the voters who live
with the harsh realities of the farm
crisis and unemployment caused by
foreign competition, clearly voiced
their disappointment in Reagan's
policies. The Dakotas, where
farmers have been devastated by
Reagan's policies, rejected
Republican incumbents who were

associated with these policies;
those who were able to disassociate
themselves with Reagan's
agricultural stands won handily.
Although farmers are usually
strong Republicans, they voted
nationally 50 percent Democrat and
41 percent Republican. North
Carolina voters remembered
Reagan's veto of a bill protecting
their jobs from textile imports
when they voted Democratocratic
candidate Terry Sanford in over
incumbent Broyhill.v
Reagan pleaded for Republican
candidates by citing low inflation,
tax, and interest rates and
promising a more financially
prosperous future. The trade
deficit, however, which has more
than tripled since he took office,
and the nation's declining
competition in industry were what
stimulated voters to elect the
Democrats instead. According to a
New York Times/CBS poll, one-
third of the voters described the
economy as fairly or very bad and
voted solidly Democrat. Even
good, usually a pro-Republican
constituency, voted 44 percent
Democrat; not surprisingly, the
only economic group to favor
Republicans over Democrats were
those making over $50,000 a year.
Two out of the three states
targeted for nuclear waste dumps
dumped Republican incumbents
for Democrats by a two to one
margin.
Women and black voters tipped
many crucial races toward the
Democrats. Republicans, because
of their reputation of cutting Social
Security, also fared poorly among
senior citizens.
The Democrats certainly did not
win on the strength of their stands
on the issues, but because they are
the only alternative to the
Republicans. The voters were
making a statement against current
U.S. policy, on issues which are
threatening them. They demanded
representational government, not
meaningless imagery.and a political
popularity contest.

by Yvonne Bloch
What a slaughter. What a massacre.
What a beating. What a strangling.
What's the matter, didn't you see it?
Didn't you see the game? No, not the
69-13 Michigan win but the game where
there are no winners, but most certainly
there are losers. Yes, it's the Rape
Culture game, hardly a game though.
You know, I went to but one football
game last year and that was enough-
bottle throwing and mocking of
people-the call of the day. However,
wanting to spend time with my friend and
see the sport (but not to see what football
seems to inherently mean), I ventured to
one football game this season. I left
horrified and revolted.
Are there people out there looking for
some prime examples of our rape culture
society? Are the everyday "subtleties"
too subtle for you? Do you need a
blatant example-so blatant that perhaps
none of the dozens (maybe hundreds) of
participants realized their actions-caught
up in the cheers, theexcitement, the
"game?" Whatever can I be talking
about? Here, let me be more specific.
On Saturday, November 1, at the
Michigan-Illinois football game, dozens
and dozens of fans proceeded to throw a
woman out of the stadium. They hoisted
her above their heads and sent her back,
up the stadium stands, most reaching for
her to help in the task. Oh, but she was
only a mannequin and this was only a
game, right?
The mannequin was of a woman
dressed only in an orange shirt (a
supposed Illini woman-the enemy!?).
Not only did the woman not "make it"
Bloch is a third-year dentistry student.

out of the stadium, but she was tossed
and handled for a few rounds in one of the
nearby sections.
It all happened so quickly, but still it
seemed a long painstaking duration. I
was horrified; no one would stop.The
cheers for this game were so loud. Every
time I lost sight of the woman through
the heads of those standing to watch, I
assumed someone had gotten hold of her
and did not "pass her on," but had stopped
it. " Why can't they stop; why won't they
stop; stop!" My utterance only fell upon
my friend's ears. Then again, the wOman
would surface, and I kept hoping this
horrific scene would stop-cheers, faces
laughing, two women down at the field
looking up, jostling each other, pointing,
consumed in laughter.
Quickly indeed, the woman was
passed-hand to hand. The woman was
grasped up and down the stands. No one
needed much time to think out a
particular, creative abuse to perform on
the woman. Hands reaching up to
strangle her. She was passed again. A
man ripped off Mier shirt to expose her
breasts and held the coveted "prize" up
high above his head. And the nude
woman was strangled and beaten some
more, before it finally stopped. I believe
someone finally took the mannequin and
held it from further abuse- [perhaps
women are to be "kept" in boxes, secure
from abuses...or is that an abuse in itself,
hmm?!?!].
I left thegame completely disgusted.
Quite a sight, I keep seeing the
performance again in my mind-the faces
and the noise. How could this happen?
Is this what football is about? Is this
what our society is about-violence
against women, violence in general, all
cooked up in an apple pie, curiously in
the shape of a football?
That Saturday night I greeted many

culture
Michigan fans that walked into the place
where I work. Most were sporting pins
shirts, etc. with varying slogans. One
woman wore a button that declared "The
Wolverines...Real Men With The Big
Ten." And the events of the day stir
again: As certainfans performedytheir
abuses for side show entertainment, the
"Real Men" finished out the half-and the
Illinois band performed their half-time
extravaganza playing "Yankee Doodle"
and rolling out a giant American flag.
It was a travesty in and of itself, but
also, all this was in the wake of the
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention
Days. Sadly, no disgustingly, these fans
are sponsoring (and participating in)
Sexual Assault Awareness and Promotion
Days. I'm revolted to almost
dumbfounded disbelief, but I know it
happened.
Do we want to exemplify and
perpetuate this rape culture,dthat is our
culture? Of course not. And perhaps it
seems that it's been said again and again,
and here once more. Perhaps each person
could think more about her/his own
actions and the implications; analyze
how certain activities, etc. perpetuate
stereotypes and harmful societal
occurrences; and then do something to
positively alter it. Certainly it's possible
to think about our actions; we reason
through things everyday (supposedly).
Furthermore, I'd rather not get
involved with ridiculous arguments based
on attitudes along the lines of "I'm not so,
bad; things won't change anyway, so I'M
going to ramble through life on my own
concerns." Incredible. Shall we start
weighing the "acts of omission" versus
the "acts of commission"? Surely both
have some significance. Complacency
does not belong. We're talking about
society, and when untangled, this
means-person, life, and dignity.

Wasserman

'A >t ' ThIE ?FOLIC I1 GETTING SICV Or O
MAYBiE WE SHOULD DO SOMAE.NEG&ATIVE 4ADS AND DOESIN
RETNINING - olViICiAN

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T1i. PE5ULT 15 FEWER You'RE TkE TRI~tk WILL BE To TAP&ET 7thE
AND FEWER PEOPLE RIGHT-.. LA5T VOTER LEFT1/
Vo \ /
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LETTERS:

6~L4 /

SPARKS to change the world

Dialogue for peace

W ALID MULA, an Arab Israeli,
and Ronny Brawer, a Jewish
Israeli, are traveling throughout the
United States together, to promote
the process of dialogue as a means
to achieve peace in the Middle East.
Such communication is a welcome
alternative to the fruitless
exchanges of hostile rhetoric
between Arabs and Jews.
For too long, the debate on
campus over Palestinian
nationalism has served to do little
more than sustain animosity and
,inhibit any real understanding of
Palestinian or Jewish perspectives.
The most vocal representatives of
Zionist and Arab student. groups
have locked themselves in a
destructive cycle of accusations and
counter-accusations, refusing to
acknowledge the rights and needs
of the other.
Responding to personal
experiences of racism and violence
within their respective
communities, Mula and Brawer
seek to break this cycle, and create
new avenues to peace. To initiate
mnr~ a rt nnfiti- a .4-'. sot -

that education and discussion
among individual Arabs and Jews
- towards coexistence- are the
only options left to those truly
interested in peace.
This lecture, along with a
workshop this weekend, is also
intended to generate momentum for
a new, continuing dialogue group
among Jewish and Arab students at
the University. Students would-
meet regularly to explore their
identities, and discuss obstacles to
peace agreements.
Mula leads workshops for
students of all ages in Israel and
abroad, in which he encourages
Arabs and Jews to challenge
stereotypes, and gives them an
opportunity to share emotional
experiences and mutual hostilities.
Only after this type of discussion,
do the students begin searching-
together-fortconcrete, political
solutions to Middle East crises.
Students sincerely interested in
finding non-violent means to
resolve ideological and territorial

To the Daily:
We live in a world where
forty-five thousand people
starve to death every day; where
forty-some wars are raging;
where sixty-thousand nuclear
warheads exist with more being
built every day. We live in a
country where ten thousand
dollars are spent every second
on the military; where a
woman is raped every five
seconds. We live forty-five
miles from a city where over
three hundred children have
been shot since January; where
unemployment among black
youth is over fifty percent.
The Dean Baker campaign
has been able to mobilize over
a thousand people in addressing
'some issues which are of vital
importance in the world. But
can we solve these problems
by electing one, five, ten or
twenty congresspersons? We
don't think so. These
representatives can call for
cuts, sanctions and social
spending. But corporations
will continue to throw out
workers in their constant race
to maximize profits. This
government will continue to
wage war on Nicaragua whether
through the Contras, other
private armies, or by directly
sending U.S. troops. It will
continue to support the racist
apartheid regime in South
Africa, either openly or by
keeping up a moral facade of
sanctions and pullouts while
funnelling goods through Israel

Marking Borowsky's words on the Mets

really want to solve any of
these problems.
We invite people who are
concerned about changing this
world to an open forum where
we will present a revolutionary

To the Daily:
Write on Mark Borowsky!
His article (Daily, 10/29/86)
has to rank as one of the finest
in Michigan Daily history. It
is organized, well-written, in
good taste, hilarious, and most
of all, true! Like Borowsky, I
had nothing against any Big
Apple sports teams until I
arrived in Ann Arbor and
experienced first hand
multitudes of pestering,
annoying, and obnoxious New,
Yorkers, most of whom have
an air of arrogance that makes
that of Jim McMahon look
meek by comparison.
It seems as though
University New Yorkers are
truly representative of the ilk
they left behind in Manhattan,
Long Island, Westchester, or
wherever. Borowsky is astute
in including the "F---in' coke
addict!" remark a fan shrieked
about Keith Hernandez, but he
barely scratches the surface.
Although I haven't pre-
occupied myself with the issue,
I quickly can recall three
instances in which New York
fans boldly displayed the

game this summer, a New
York fan threw a knife from
the stands which landed within
inches of California's Wally
Joyner. Thirdly, again this
past summer, while one of the
New York teams was hosting a
competing club, an opposing
right fielder ran back to the
wall, leaped up, made a
spectacular catch (causing a
New York out), and was
rewarded by a New Yorker who
promptly doused him with a
beer. (All right, I'll give in-I
guess that was kind of funny.)
In my lifetime, I have
encountered many people-
from such cities as Pittsburgh,
Chicago, Washington, St.
Louis, and Boston-who love
their respective sports teams.
What separates these people
from New Yorkers are the facts
that the former: 1) realize that

they do not comprise the cente
of the universe, and 2) still
respect their teams when they
lose. For instance, the people
of Boston held a parade for
their Red Sox despite the
heartbreak it suffered. Would
New Yorkers have held a parade
if the Mets had lost the series?
Yes, and pigs can fly.
As Borowsky concludes, it
looks as though "Let's-go
Mets-go" will continue, and it
may even evolve (or regress)
into the "Let's go-Jets-go."
And, unless the regents in the
very near future decide to open
a University of Michigan
branch on Long Island, it
seems as if it will be
something with which the rest
of us will have to contend.
-Richard Bau '
October 3t

perspective on "Jobs, Peace,
and Justice: How Can We Get
There," Monday, 7:00 p.m.,
November 10 in room 451
Mason Hall. An open
discussion will follow a short

presentation.
-Phyllis Flora
-Ken Jannot
SPARK
November .5

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