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September 29, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-29

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4

OPINION
Tuesday, September 29, 1987

Page 4

The Michigan Daily

Ete m ddan iy
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

'U'

lacks

human

Vol. XCVIII, No. 14

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.

No means no

D EEPLY-ROOTEID
sexism, as well as
impediments in the 1
prosecuting acquainta
are among the mo
,revelations of the Anr
former University st
┬░Neal.
Neal is charged wit
University student
party last March.
however, has tur
inquisition into the w
character. Witnesses
as to her sexual inter
and her behavior at ti
night of the crime.
outrage. The fac
testimony is accepted
the media as well a
segment of the pop
indication of just ho
society is permeated
that women somehc
raped."
If women were co
our society as truly in
their own will, then
pay any attention to
the plaintiff left th
evening with the idea
The only relevant qi
she willingly have
defendant , or was she
The inquiry into1
moral values als
puritanical and w
ideology that attempts
in cases where a won
to be "too permissiv
for it." This is anoth
of rape culture that fo
acquaintance rape.
A recent survey c
campuses showed tha
the women who wer
their assailants. And
those rapes occurre
casual dates, or in a
situation.
The admission of
testimony that has be
this trial is not u
accounts for the fac
acquaintance rapes e
And as this case she
prosecutor may be no
Act

and blatant slick and expensive legal staff that
the inherent can be assembled by the defendant.
egal system to Only 2 percent of all reported
nce rape: these rapes result in a jail sentence for the
st disturbing defendant, and 80-90 percent of all
n Arbor trial of rapes are never reported to the
udent Griffith police. These statistics describe a
society in which rapists, for all
h the rape of a practical purposes, are not
at a fraternity punished.
The trial, The focus on the law in the case of
ned into an this trial is unfortunate and
roman's moral inevitable. To talk about what is
>have testified "illegal" takes away from the real
ests, clothing, issues of violence against women,
he party on the the mixing of sex with violence,
This is an society's tolerance for violence
t that such against women - everything from
as relevant by sexist jokes to violent pornography.
as by a large Maybe the first step for some men
)ulation is an is realizing that their behavior may
)w deeply this land them in court. But there are
i by the myth other more subtle forms of coercion
w "ask to be that may not be "illegal."
Despite the limits of the legal
nceptualized in system, there has been a great
1 possession of outpouring of support for the
no one would plaintiff. As a sign of solidarity
whether or not with this woman and survivors of
e house that rape, hundreds of community
of having sex. members are wearing green
aestion is: did ribbons. Others have written letters
sex with the of support. And there have been
e raped? calls from women who told of
the plaintiff's similar experiences with the
D reflects a defendant, Griffith Neal.
roman-hating Whatever the outcome of the
to justify rape current trial, it has helped to
nan is deemed increase awareness about
e" or "asking acquaintance rape. The University
er ugly aspect Sexual Assault Prevention and
sters and abets Awareness Center has done much
educational work about
of 35 college acquaintance rape and now has a
t 90 percent of counselor for survivors and their
e raped knew families.
almost half of There needs to be an atmosphere
d on first or in which women will feel safe in
similar social coming forward to report these
crimes, to seek counseling, and in
f the kind of spite of the odds, seek justice
-en allowed in through the courts. Ultimately, the
ntypical and elimination of acquaintance rape
t that so few will require fundamental changes in
ver get to trial. our society's view of women and
ows, the state the violence that is perpetrated
match for the against them.
on AIDS now

By Robert D. Honigman
This summer Harold Shapiro told a Free
Press reporter that the University's pledge
to achieve the ten percent black enrollment
goal over the next few years was widely
misinterpreted by the public. He said there
were important qualifications attached to
the pledge - small print so to speak -
that involved protecting the quality of the
University's reputation. Apparently, the
University isn't going to integrate its
student body or its faculty if the cost will
be any decline in its academic standing.
Someone else was also interviewed this
summer. There was a shoot-out at a motel
in Inkster, and three policemen lost their
lives. A young woman who survived by
hiding under a bed all night in a motel
room next door was asked if the terrible
tragedy had affected her, and she said, yes,
her car had been shot up and she wondered
how she was going to get to work in thie
coming week. I couldn't help comparing
the two interviews because the responses
seemed so similar. There is a great tragedy
in our society - racial segregation - but
the University is obsessed with its vehicle
for going to work.
Let me illustrate what I mean by
imagining what our state will be like
twenty years from today, picturing two
scenarios. In the first, the University of
Michigan is still among the top ten
universities in the nation. People still
come here from all over the world to
study. But the State of Michigan is a
miserable place, with large urban ghettoes
in virtually every major city, social
unrest, and enormous burdens of social
welfare and crime. So as soon as students
are done studying here and have their
degrees, they leave. In the second scenario,
the University has slipped to thirtieth in
national rankings, but our cities are
integrated, our businesses are flourishing,
and the state attracts graduates from other
universities to stay and invest in Michigan
because it is healthy and a wonderful place
to live.
Perhaps these two scenarios are a false
Robert D. Honigman is an attorney in
Sterling Heights.

vision of years to come - worst cases so
to speak. But they illustrate how narrow
the University's vision of its social
responsibility is, for undoubtedly it's
committed to retaining its prestige and
national ranking at virtually any cost.
Over the years the University has
consistently placed its own ambitions
ahead of any responsibilities either to
society or to students. It has neglected
student housing, campus safety, trans-
portation, and a host of other problems
because it felt the money was better spent
on increasing its reputation as a research
university. It has consistently recruited
narrow technocrats as its presidents -
people obsessed with the success of the
University as an institution. Its regents
and officials have seldom distinguished
between what a university owes to society
and what it owes to its own ambition.
"What's good for the university is good
for humanity," seems to be uncritically
accepted as a modern day gospel of
science.
Of course, it costs tremendous sums of
money to integrate blacks into a major
research university - as witness the cost
of our football and basketball teams. But a
large part of that cost is based upon the
fact that the University is really
unresponsive to students. Blacks are being
asked to give up their old communities -
which developed values under enormous
pressure and hostility - in return for a
non-community. The University doesn't
have a community. If the University were
more democratic and more responsive to
students, then blacks would have some-
thing to join and be integrated into rather
than merely leaving behind their old
communities and joining the rat race for
grades and credentials.
Study after study has shown little
correlation between grade rankings and
career success, even in fields as demanding
as medicine. Students who earn a passing
grade are as likely to be at the heads of
their professions after thirty years as are
students who have four points. What that
means is that the University's insistence
on high grade points is unrelated to
serving society, and is simply a means of

values
having power and control over students -
illowing the University to extort work and
:onformity from students in return for as
little investment as possible in them. It's
a game of power and irresponsible elitism.
And it effectively bars blacks and and other
lisadvantaged groups and individuals from
a fair chance for career routes and career
training they are probably capable as
students of performing as any "A"
students.
I'm not urging that blacks be integrated
into the University just out of sympathy
for blacks, but equally out of a sympathy
for the students who are already at the
University. The University is unintegrated
in a much more deep and profound sense
than most students realize. It is a place of
uncaring, non-communication, and of non-
sharing between people. The University
has no real interest in the majority of its
students. They are just there to provide the
financial and social support for the
University's research goals. That's the real
reason blacks don't fit in. Their
:ommunities have formed profoundly
human and healing values to compensate
for 200 years of brutality and rejection.
Blacks are simply an innocent chemical
whose presence reveals the flaws in the
University's structure, the fact that the
University is the opposite of a healing
environment. The absence of black
students in the University is a form of
tragedy not simply for blacks, but for
white students as well. The University is
ommitted to not paying attention to any
of its students as human beings.
That's why one of the questions that
needs to be asked of any prospective
University president in the coming
months is whether the the University is
committed to 12 percent integration,
without qualifications or reservations. It's
a simple question, but it would be an
effective test to distinguish between those
who see racial segregation as a tragedy
only when it interferes with or damages
their vehicle for going to work, and those
who have a deeper commitment to the
social body and to people. Only those who
say "yes' need apply.

LETTERS:

Men and women: be frank on sex

0

T HE FORCED RESIGNATION last
week of Linda D. Schaefer,
nominally the executive director of
President Reagan's advisory com-
mission on AIDS, highlights the
internal dissension and inadequate
personnel which have plagued this
group since its inception in May.
Having neglected the burgeoning
AIDS epidemic for several years,
President Reagan doomed the panel
to failure by appointing thirteen
generally unqualified but politically
safe members. Only upon intense
prodding by public health and gay
rights leaders did the president dis-
regard conservative dogma enough
to appoint even one homosexual
member. Judging from the panel's
constituency and Reagan's own
words, the group seeks to fight the
disease in the arena of morality, not
on the medical front. Unfortunately,
"conventional values" are but only a
simplistic attempt to solve a much
more complex and pervasive
problem.
That the panel is hopelessly
unqualified and understaffed is
evident. The commission's chair,
Dr. W. Eugene Mayberry, is
admittedly "no AIDS expert," but
rather a friend of White House

officials. Concerned groups' and
public health professionals' assess-
ments of the appointments ranged
from no comment due to unfamil-
iarity with the appointees to
"unconscionable."
Commission members assert that
Ms. Schaefer was responsible for
the panel's lethargic progress on its
project. Further, many observers
interpret Ms. Schaefer's forced
resignation as a sign of internal
disgruntlement with Dr. Mayberry.
Although Ms. Schaefer's inability
to lead the panel was cited as the
prime factor in her ouster, more
likely the panel was hindered by its
own inexperience, geographic
separation, and possibly a less than
fanatic desire to attack the problem.
Whatever the reason, the com-
mission clearly has failed its
mission. An assessment of the
extent of the epidemic due at the end
of October has barely begun, and
several commission members and
outsiders express little hope that the
panel can meet a June deadline for a
comprehensive strategy against the
syndrome.
So dissatisfied with the pace of
the President's commission is
Congress that it has already com-
._ "I . . _.- - , r - . 1 ' . _ - -

To the Daily:
I want to say that the
article by Steve Blonder
("Sexual assault trial begins,"
Daily, 9/22/87) about the court
proceedings of the rape case
involving the two university
students SCARED THE HELL
OUT ME. It really brings the
rape issue right up front when
you see it hit campus like this.
Reading the article a n d
realizing that rape can happen
to anyone, even a university
student hits almost too close to
home.
Wondering if the guy who
asked you out from class is
going to be the one who is
going to hurt you is a lot of
fear for a woman to walk
around with. Wondering who
is a potential rapist can really
dampen a girl's social life.
How arewe girlsrsupposed to
know who will rape? An d
from information from the
Woman's Crisis Center they
say there is no certain "type"
who rapes.
Guys often think of girls as
"cold" or "bitchy" if they
approach them at bars and then
the girls not knowing them
turn them away. My advice to
malestis look at what women
have to be afraid of. No girl
wants to be raped, and since
they do not know if every guy
they meet is actually a "nice"
guy, do you blame them for
being cautious? Girls do not
set out to be "bitches," but you
should look at the way you
come across sometimes to
them.
No girl wants to be raped.
And in the end she is usually
the one blamed anyway and
made to look bad or like a

for any other crime. This goes
to show whether it is rape or
murder, people do not go
looking around to make up
stories in which they can suffer
public humiliation and distress.
I think a woman who puts
herself through the grueling
aspect of a rape trial should be
supported not condemned,
especially since in the issue of
rape to begin with the victim
is the one blamed anyway.
Guys if you are confused

about the way a woman acts,
ASK HER! You do not need
someone to play mind games
with. If she wants to play
mental athletics ask them to
clarify their intentions or just
walk away. You will save
both sexes a lot of grief.
Females, you should be
aware of your situation and
learn to make yourselves clear
on what you do or do not want.
You have the right to assert
your opinion and have it

respected, but you can not just
leave it up to the guy to figure
out what you want or read your
mind.
I think if the sexes learned
to leave the "games" at home
and communicated more openly
with each other both sexes
would eliminate problems
before they turned into
tragedies.
-Paula Han
September 23

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