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February 20, 1989 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-20

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Page 4

Monday, February 20, 1989






By Hilda Beltran
Fifty or so women and men met at 8
o'clock Saturday morning to join the
Committee to Defend Abortion Rights
(CDAR) in the protest against the Preg-
nancy Counseling Center (PCC) in Ypsi-
'Janti. As we were outside chanting and

picketing -- with the Ann Arbor News,
reporters from the Daily, and the TV gang
filming away - volunteers from the cen-
ter came out from their brick box office
bearing trays of coffee and doughnuts for
Those who were protesting the center's ac-
Since only an hour before those same
volunteers had all slipped quickly into
their brick box office without so much as
a "good-morning" to their Ann Arbor op-
position the volunteers' sudden effusion of
hospitality once the media arrived at ten
was clearly not a function of having
emerged from early-morning crankiness,
but rather a premeditated attempt at
"newsworthiness." It was an attempt to
make themselves look good - good as in
not bad , which is how one might nor-
mally regard a center which guises itself as
"neutral" while providing pregnant women
with misinformation, lies and manipula-
tive, anti-choice literature.
Of course, no one knows for a fact what
motivated the PCC volunteers to bring
CDAR members a continental breakfast.
But since it was maybe, just maybe, a
symbolic publicity stunt, a little theatrical
k review seems in order.
First of all, the offering of coffee and
Hilda Beltran is afirst year graduate
student in the Department of English.

doughnuts to strangers has an appeal to a
wide audience. It is an unmistakably, al-
though not exclusively, "Christian" act,
one which we all - Christians or not -
could probably do more often, particularly
for those who are really hungry and cold.
On this level, the coffee Magi for the
PCC can be seen as having acted from
pure altruism. The act, to romantics at
least, may auger well for Bush's "age of
the proffered hand."
However, the fact that the particular
group of strangers to whom PCC volun-
teers offered coffee were members of an
organization which is, in short, PCC's
enemy, complicates the issue. While on
this level, too, the PCC volunteers per-
formed another classically "Christian" act,
it is not a simple act of do-onto-your-
brotherness (which according to Jesus
Christ ought to be a private act anyway,
and certainly not a media event). The PCC
volunteers, exposed by CDAR, as the
hypocrites they actually are, were turning
their other cheek to their critics and
thereby representing themselves as Suffer-
ing Martyrs, as The Oppressed, as The
Discriminated Against. Their allusive act
went beyond making them look good as in
not bad; they looked righteous as well as
they enacted as updated version of one of
Jesus Christ's most memorable com-
mandments: love your enemies, give them
caffeine and cholesterol.
For fear of provoking a record breaking
bounty on my head by Christian funda-
mentalists, I wish to make the obligatory
but genuine disclaimer that I'm challeng-
ing neither the teachings of Jesus Christ
nor the legitimacy of Christianity. In fact,
it is because religious acts - and, by ex-
tension, quasi-religious acts like the
PCC's - do hold hope and meaning for
many members of our society, we must
examine the ways they can be manipula-
tive - and their meanings inverted -
when misused by organizations such as
the PCC, who hide offensive political
agendas behind "neutral," but subtly
evocative, public relations campaigns.

Their contrived placidity conveyed two
things. First, they were untroubled by the
significance of this peaceful confrontation.
Second, their smiles communicated that
their position was one of uncompromised
righteousness. They seemed, hopefully
only for sake of the media, unperturbed by
thoughts of poverty, incest, child abuse,
sexism, racism - crimes in which they,
by the so-called virtue of their so-called
"Right to Life" position, are implicated,
crimes for which they, like all of us, are
ultimately accountable.
But it was more than just this histrionic
imperviousness which was disturbing. It
was the way they approached, two at a
time from two different sides of the oval
in which members of CDAR were march-
ing. It was the way in which, as the
CDAR members continued to walk and
chant for the reproductive rights of
women, the two volunteers - one man
and one woman - walked forward holding
their trays of steaming coffee. And it was
the fact that although we outnumbered
them about ten times over, they were suc-
cessful, even if only for a moment, in
physically changing our formation.
In a matter of seconds, our oval became
a circle, the circle constricted, spaces be-
tween individual members of CDAR less-
ened, and we now covered only half of the

space that we had before the volunteers
came with their insidious tidbits. As the
PCC Breakfast Club approached,' our
group was being pushed further away from
the office, toward the edge of the public
sidewalk, and might have been pushed into
the parking lot next door if a couple of
members had not had the ephiphanal real-
ization that this fate was not inevitable,
that we didn't have to be pushed around,
and that the answer was simple: include
them in the circle, step around them, en-
close them, use the power of our numbers.

'They seemed... unperturbed by thoughts of poverty, incest,
child abuse, sexism, racism - crimes in which they... are
implicated, crimes for which they, like all of us, are ultimately


powerful minority but not an
unconquerable one, and that they were
emblems of The Larger Picture. This is
important to remember when we consider
that although some seventy percent of
Americans recognize - in the privacy of
poll-taking - the importance of a
woman's control over the process of
reproduction, the thirty percent who
disagree have been publicizing their
opinion for years now. It is essential that
we organize in defense of abortion righlts
and that we do not underestimate the

Once this occurred, once the volunteers we
within the circle rather than on its periph-
ery, it mush not have been so easy to
smile indifferently; PCC volunteers turned
around quickly, walked out from within
our circle, and returned to their office.
What is significant about this mere
thirty-second long event was that this
PCC duo proved to be an unexpectedly

power this minority, which is well ac-
quainted with the currently fashionalile
economics of morality and the manipula-
tion of their public image. Nor can We
overestimate the immunity of the even
greater minority, the nine Supreme Court
members in whose malleable hearts the
final decision rests, to the insidious
proselytizing of the not so righteous few.

The all new Girlie Mag ...

a femzine for the broad minded:

It's about reclaiming'

By the Girlie Mag Staff
"I'm not a feminist or anything, but...."
Some women who claim to believe in
gender equality actually say things like
that and we got sick of hearing it. There
are people who recognize that women de-
serve safety, respect, and equal power in
society, yet persist in seeing "feminism"
as a dirty eight-letter word. Unfortunately,
feminism often has a reputation for being
dryly political and anti-male.
Feminism is not one strict ideology. At
its base, it is anti-patriarchy and pro-
woman, beyond that it takes many
different forms. Sometim,.s it takes the

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. IC, No. 100

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.

very serious form of challenging the
manifestations of rape culture (a Girlie
Mag salute to POWER and SAPAC.)
Sometimes feminism can be irreverent and
fun, as in the formation of our new
rockin' -rollin'-reelin'-til-the-break-of-dawn
feminist humor magazine GIRLIE
Humor publications tend to assume that
their audience is exclusively male. Not
everybody who wants to read comedy is
interested in looking at the TITS TITS
TITS and more TITS that the likes of Na-
tional Lampoon spread across their pages.
It is no help that magazines such asVogue
and Cosmo continue to treat women as
little more than allies and/or competitors
in the search for men. There was a vast
abyss in the world of periodicals, an abyss
that we wanted to confront with an em-
powered female voice. Yes, indeedie, fem-
inists do have a sense of humor. Women
Girlie Mag is about reclaiming. It is
about taking control and exposing the
stupidity of derogatory words and images
that affect women. It is a satiric look at
patriarchy, stereotypes, and the irony of
conflicting pressures on women. We call
ourselves afemzine, because we found that
most pop underground magazines, known
as fanzines speak to a male audience. Our
first issue features a look at Barbie, that
age-old plastic companion/icon of
American girls, with bigger breasts and
longer limbs than a Hefner centerfold
could ever hope to have. Articles also in-
clude a "Girl's Guide to the Suburbs,"
"Advice to the Angst-Ridden" featuring
Dirk Thrust and Submissiana Fashioni,
and reviews of some of the more heinous
pop-culture assaults on the "feminine"
Girlie Mag will be available for one

Barbie shoots into the nineties with a new
stainless steel head vice by Submissiana


KKK is not alone

$S ATURDAY, THE race for the
Louisiana state legislature came to an
lend, with a proud-to-be-racist in
power. David Duke, an outspoken
racist, leader of the National As-
sociation for the Advancement of White
People, former leader of the Ku Klux
Klan and Republican, emerged victori-
ous, despite the concerted efforts of
leading politicians, including Ronald
Reagan, to denounce Duke.
The outcome of the Louisiana race
may seem to be a shocking aberration
from the norm, but it is only one of
many political races which have re-
cently demonstrated the resurgence of
public support for extremist "right"
political groups.
Take for example, the Republican
party in West Germany, which stands
behind an anti-foreigner platform and
managed to capture 7.5 percent of the
popular vote in West Berlin. A leader
of the party,who is also the Bavarian
Premier, is quoted as saying, "The
G party does not want a multicultural so-
ciety." Is this beginning to sound sim-
ilar to the ideas of the Nazi party as led
by Adolf Hitler?
Last year's Presidential elections in
France bear a strong similarity to those
in Germany. National Front leader Jean
Marie Le Pen's rallying cry to "keep

about his past military service for Ger-
many during WWII. Although Wald-
heim did not take any discriminatory
stands during the election, a study con-
ducted by a group of historians re-
vealed that Waldheim "facilitated" war
crimes as a Nazi intelligence officer.
Perhaps the reason for Waldheim's
victory is that as many as one third of
Austrians are estimated to still hold
anti-Jewish views. Many Austrian
Jews believe that renewed animosity
has been directed towards them be-
cause of Waldheim's election.
In countries of the second and third
worlds, including the USSR, El Sal-
vador and Iraq, and in first world na-
tions such as South Africa and Israel,
discriminatory policies and views are
not unusual. Many people, however,
do not expect to see the same policies
instituted in the "democratic" countries
that make up North America and West-
ern Europe. Politicians, such as state
representative David Duke, are hoping
that people will believe that discrimi-
nating against "minority" groups will
serve as a cure-all for their problems.
Their popularity is contingent upon the
discriminatory views of their con-
stituents, who find the ideas of these
politicians- appealing. This should serve
as a reminder that the "civilized" coun-
tries of the first world are not immune
to "barbarianism" which is so often
attributed to other parts of the world.

dollar at local book and clothing stores the
first week in March. So nix your National
Lampoons and cancel yourCosmos and
grab a Girlie Mag. The cover is MARS
MAGENTA, so you can't miss it.
Anyone who has comments, sugges-
tions, major fundage, minor fundage, or is
interested in working with us can contact
Girlie Mag through P.O. Box 7118, Ann
Arbor MI 48107.
Girlie Mag was formed by University
students Jeanne Gilliland, Erika Herzog,
Tansey Rosset, Sa Schloff, Stephanie
Snider, Sarah Somers, and Lara Staple-
ton. Thanks to many other supporters.

This month, Barbie turns thirty with the
post lipo-suction body of a nineteen year
old. Rumor has it she gets naked in the
coming issue of Girlie Mag.

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To the Daily:
Let us examine the action at
Yost Ice Arena last Friday
(2/3/89). Yes this letter be-
longs on the Opinion Page be-
cause I am speaking of the ac-
tion between approximately
twenty-five protestors and
many fans of the Michigan
Hockey Team. Are we as fans
so supportive of rour teams that
some will harass protestors in-
stead of thinking and dealing
with the issues? I had a few

and someone. Let us take some
time out to applaud the courage
and strength of POWER's
-Russ Meller
February 8
protest un-
To the Daily:
We are writing about the
outrage over the actions of
Mark Sorenson, Jeff Urban,
Todd Copeland, and Brad
Turner. Last month they were

that Red Berenson and/or the
Michigan Athletic Department
take action against them? As
we recall, the crime that they
committed appears in the laws
of the State of Michigan and/or
the City of Ann Arbor. The
University of Michigan Ath-
letic Department has nothing
to do with this matter. Red
Berenson's job is to coach
hockey; he is not their father or
babysitter. When these men
leave Yost Ice Arena, Beren-
son's responsibilities towards
them end.
Allow us to make a compar-
ison. Suppose I (that is, the
male co-author) were to com-

mit the same crime. Would
people protest my place of
work for not suspending me?
Would my actions reflect upon
my employer (which, in my
case is the University)? Of
course not. I would be pun-
ished according to the laws of
the City of Ann Arbor, just
like these four men were. Our
point is that just because these
men happen to be hockey
players, they should not be
punished twice for their crime.
Let them serve their time and
leave them alone.
-Robert Levine
Elizabeth Davis
February 7
ge letter policy 1

Daily Opinion Pa

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