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March 09, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-03-09

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Monday, March 9, 1987 The Michigan Daily

4

01be fidiiCbgan B u
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVII, No. 107 420 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.
Election time

Feminists' double burden

T'S EASY TO IGNORE A M S A
election. For two weeks every year
MSA comes out of hibernation,
and demands the attention of
students. Year after year, MSA is
unsuccessful in provoking
significant interest in the campaign.
One reason for campus-wide
lack of interest in the race is the
reputation of MSA. The assembly
is widely, and inaccurately, viewed
as a haven for radicals who spend
their, time passing pointless
resolutions while ignoring valid
student concerns. This perception
led to a petition campaign to place a
ballot question on the March 17-18
election requiring MSA to limit its
jurisdiction to student concerns.
Though the campaign, led by
iMPAC, was relatively pointless
and never defined a student
concern in precise terms; it did
reveal the problem MSA has with
its image.
A result of MSA's poor image is
that election turnouts are
appallingly low. Last year only 15
percent of the campus voted. To
rectify this situation, the assembly
should make a concerted effort to
publicize the election.
Without a high turnout, MSA
cannot influence the administration
as a body truly representative of the
students. As it stands, the
victorious candidate receives the
votes of a tiny minority of the
campus. Last year, Kurt
Muenchow was elected president
of the assembly with less than
2000 votes.
It is possible for turnout to reach
slightly higher levels. In 1985, 18
percent of the campus voted. This
year, with four well-organized
parties on the slate in addition to
two ballot propositions on funding
mechanisms for PIRGIM, the
assembly should 'have no trouble
equaling or bettering the 1985
turnout. But the assembly should.
aim higher.

To aim higher means providing
mechanisms to insure that the
elections are participated in. This
means allowing a longer campaign
period than the two week limit
which MSA rules now prescribe.
No one seems to know precisely
why the campaign is limited to two
weeks, though some argue that if
the campaign period were longer it
would dominate the assembly
business and would adversely
affect the candidates academically.
While a longer campaign would
be a burden for candidates, it is
necessary. Without a sufficient
time to learn about the candidates,
it is nearly impossible for a voter to
make an informed choice. Since the
candidates tend to agree on most of
the issues, it's experience and
ability which differentiate them.
Background information only
comes to the voters' attention as an
election progresses and candidates
are forced to make direct attacks on
each other. The assembly should
change the two week rule to allow
either three or four weeks of
campaigning.
More importantly the assembly
should recognize that its legitimacy
depends on the participation of its
constituents. There are a variety of
the things the assembly could do in
addition to the candidates' issue of
the campus report. A sound system
on the Diag would allow all the
candidates to speak to a variety of.
students who would have no
choice but to listen to them.
One of the complaints at MSA is
that the election excessively
dominates assembly business.
Assembly members say that
candidates for executive office
offer resolutions more to draw
attention to themselves than to
move forward the goals of the
assembly. MSA should be more
concerned increasing interest and
participation in the campaign than
whatever inefficiency it causes
within the assembly.

Dr. Mercedes P. Briceno, the
assistant general secretary of the
United Nations, is not only the highest
ranking female in the UN, but is also
married and has four children. She has
achieved success in both a career and
family. Briceno spoke to Daily reportcr
Vibeke Laroi about international
feminism.
Dialogue
Daily: How do you view the radical
feminists' approach of excluding men
from participating in the women's
movement?
Br ice no : In the international
environment, that is not the case. First of
all because most women find they don't
want to separate themselves from the men
when the relation with them is the one
that has to be changed. And second, my
experience, international and national, is
that the men sometimes are more
committed with the women's issue than
the women themselves. Maybe we should
ask ourselves how we failed during the
past decade by not arousing the curiousity
of men. We were competing with them,
but we were not sharing with them.
D: What is your experience in reaching
the ranks predominately held by men?
B: I feel among men very comfortable
because I feel they are my colleagues,
they have always been my colleagues. I
think its part of socialization. When you
come from a very equal socialization, you
just don't understand how it can be
different. But I have seen a lot of
discrimination towards others. As in the
minority cases, when you speak about
blacks or you speak about ethnic or
religious cases, the women's (situation)
is the same. It's part of those minorities.
And I don't know, but I have the feeling
sometimes that the minorities have
Laroi is a Daily reporter.

certain complexes to overcome. They
want to be recognized as minorities and
continue to be recognized as minorities.
In the same way, there are some women
who want to accept equality but continue
to have the privilege and protection of the
situation. And that in some way is the
most important barrier because you don't
accept the challenge of life. You need to
accept that there is a confrontational,
negotiational process always. You know
that you will have to go through that step
if you don't want to stay behind. That is
why I think socialization is very
important. If you don't have family life,
you cannot learn. We have to make a
stronger family, we have to change the
family. The family has a lot of problems,
as an investment it is a very bad
investment, but it is something that at
the end of your life gives you some
meaning. And you find something very
unique -- a divorce is to make a new
marriage.
D : Do you think women can be
successful in both their professional and
family lives. Do you think they can
overcome this so called "double burden?"
B: I think it depends too much on how
women will have solidarity. Solidarity
means that whatever choice you make,
you have to help bring up solutions to
that choice. Solidarity means that you
have to find the others that have to
understand the problem. And solidarity
means that you have to accept the
imperfections of the problem. I have
found women in the high level posts that
just reject the married women because
they suppose they will have problems
with the family. We have the time when
a young woman could not find a job
because potentially she could be a mother
- she was not pregnant, but pregnancy
was a disease. We have to come through
solidarity to understand that there is a
mother because there was in some way a
father, and that the problem is of both.
The only role that is not reversible is
motherhood so that it is not a women's

problem, it is society problem. You'
protect motherhood not because you
protect women but because you protect
society. You are finding a lot of young
fathers who are very scared of leaving
their children in school or a daycare center
and they are beginning to reject better
posts to share more in the family life -
very few ones, but it is coming.
D: You mentioned the double burden#
being now a triple burden because women .
must be active in politics and change the.
power structure.
B: When you look at government, you.
don't see many women. In Geneva you,
don't see women. In Reykjavik you don't.
see women. But they are coming. And I.
think the young people are going to make.
the change - more qualified, more
educated, and more diversity of interests..
We have to accept the risk of the,
responsibility, the risk 'of continuing,
participation. We have a lot of personsr
who come to the power structure to do,
something but after they have done
something they go out. We have to be
opening the doors for other women. Its
very beautiful to talk about Margaret
Thatcher or Indira Ghandi or Golda Meir,;
but they were exceptions, they were not
common women. We have to open the
doors for common women. Power is not
only something far, something not:
tangible - power is the local
community, power is the local issue that
prepares you for the middle issue and the
middle issue for the higher issue. We:
have to have the power behind the throne:;
and it has to in some way be a solidarity;
process. We are the most critical of
ourselves so that is were we have to:
really overcome the barrier - women's:;
fear of power, of, evaluation,::
confrontation, and fear of priorities. We:
have to make priorities in life.
D: How can I and other young women;
like myself learn to make these priorities?
B: Have confidence in yourself and
optimism to overcome.

4

4

4

I

LETTERS: '
Capitalists milk racism for a proit

4

t HSYAISEDO

THIS YEAR, INSTEAD OF T
THNKING ABOUT "POR ME;... P
1MEW HOR1KW*N,
TUITION, JOB,
EXPENSES, etc.
-ucaA-O 9s6

PINK ABOUT
'DOR HIM.
CLOTHES,
4: SHELTER
6 MICH~I&AN DAILY

7'

To the Daily:
Blatantly racist and sexist
jokes played on U of M radio
station. Poster slipped under
the door where black women
students are meeting, declaring
open season on blacks.
Professor tells student it's
understandable she has
grammar problems; he's never
met a black who can speak
English properly.
Set in the backdrop of a
country where a few dozen civil
rights marchers were attacked
by four hundred KKK
supporters, and a young black
man was'beaten and killed by
twelve white punks.
Racism has obviously not
been gotten rid of. It still
Irages.
In responseto recent racist
attacks, there have been
forums, teach-ins, and rallies,
most of them focused on the
need for dialogue-changing
racist attitudes. But racism is
not just an attitude held by
individuals. It is a cornerstone
WJJX apologizes
To the Daily:

of an entire system of
organized violence. The object
of the game in the system is to
make money. It only makes 1
sense then to find as many t
ways to pay less wages, in t
order to keep more profit.
It makes sense for European
merchants to consider the ;
inhabitants of their
"discovered" land to be I
uncivilized, lower forms of
life, and enslave them to mine
gold. It makes sense for slave
traders to consider Africans ini
the same way, and kidnap them1
over to American to do thosel
fine gentleman plantation I
owners' work for them. It 1
made sense for Colonists to
systematically murder millionss
Protest would
To the Daily:-
After reading Benjamin I
Sowers' defense of the egg and2
snowball throwers during
Edwin Meese's visit to the Lawa
School on February 4 (Daily,
2/20/87), I say "right on!"c
I have participated in many2
protests during the past five
years; for example, in Detroit
last October where 500 people
were present to show their op -
position to President Reagan'sI
policies when he came to speak
at a fundraiser for gubernatorial
candidate William Lucas. I l
spent several hours marching
around in a circle in front of -
Cobo Hall where Reagan was
speaking, carrying a sign that
read : "U.S. Out of Nicaragua."
What did we accomplish? 1)
The demonstration was men -
tioned in the Detroit and Ann
Arbor newspapers. 2) We
appeared on television during a
short segment of the evening
news. 3) I saw a friend from
my undergraduate days at the

of Native Americans while
stealing their land.
It makes sense for these
people today, in their endless
drive to make money, to pay
blacks 75% of what they pay
whites, to pay women 60% of
what they pay men. It makes
sense for them to pay Mexican
workers $1/day for which they
used to pay Americans
$9/hour. It further makes
sense for them to turn around
and tell American workers that
it is the Mexican workers' fault
that plants are being closed
here, because they are "willing"
to work for so little; to tell
them that Japanese imports are
the problem, rather than their
own greed.

They foster racism in order
to keep their pockets filled.
We need to examine racist
attitudes on an individual level,
but will that touch the
systematic injustice capitalism
shows to people of color in
this country and the world? As
long as our lives are controlled
by a few people whose concern
is to make themselves richer,
there will always be groupings;
of people they degrade anq
devalue even more harshly tharn
others. The struggle to end
racism will not be successful
unless we see this fact and act
to change it. x
-Phyllis Floral
Peter Putnam'
March 2

I
4

be ignored without
zation against his policies? No. about o
I left the demonstration feeling, disgust, 1
as I had after countless other question t
demonstrations, that I had our gover
accomplished nothing. our concer
Since Mr. Meese does not Finall
care to defend his positions in "distingu
an open public forum where we and influe
can debate the issues in an Mr. Mees
orderly fashion, I and others by the "
have to resort to these sorts of some of u
confrontations to let our top mustering
law enforcement official know of disresp
of our displeasure with him and
his policies. That this incident
happened at all speaks volumes

eggs
ur frustration and:
besides calling into:
he ability or desire of':
nment to respond to
rns and needs.
y, that such a;
ished," "important,"
ential public figure as'
se can still be pelted;
masses" shows that.
us are still capable of:
g up a healthy show
ect for our "leaders."
-Karl M. Will
February 21 g

'II
CAN YOU BELIEYE
WHAT'S BEEN
HAPPENING WITH
THE PRESIDENT?-
I MEAN, WTH ALLIRAN!?! WHO'S
THAT DRAMA AND TALKING ABOUT IRAN?
CONTROVERSY ABOUT HIM, 7A TALKING ABOUT
ITS JUST INCREDIBLE! REAGAN'S PROSTATE
r SURGERY.
EAH . TH IS T9

As Station manager of
WJJX (650AM), I would like
to apologize to the University
community for racist remarks
by a D.J. (who has been
dismissed). It is unfortunate
that one individual can cast
such a dark cloud over a very
dedicated and conscientious
group of students at WJJX.
I am beginning to
implement corrective measures
to assure that events of this
magnitude will never occur
again. With the help of the
United Community Against
Racism (UCAR), WJJX will
begin to schedule programming
to hl n ,P.',-tP mmhorQ r-f tht.

Wasserman

GOS4, Noce- TKS t5 EXcit
0,1
AND TO TAINK IT ALL
IN T l5 HOUSE
i %ij

I'
,110 STUF!t 14a
kPPEED 9K $ LA iPPS5YW 4

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