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April 13, 1989 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-04-13

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Men

must

Thursday, April 13, 1989
fight

rape

The Michigan Daily

4

culture

By David Keiser, Danny
Rosen, Jim Burg, Ilan
Rubenfeld, John Ifscher and
John Price

They must
deplorable
"isolated i
rather mani
incidents ai
- these mr

We are a group of men very concerned are not ca
about sexual inequality and how it is vio- ported, mo
lently manifest in our society. We believe cized. It is
sexual inequality - read sexism - should are viewed
be actively opposed by both men and pranks.
women. Ours is a rape culture in which We belie
male supremacy is demonstrated in a con- available to
tinuum of sexism ranging from language choose wh
to battering to rape and murder. As men, the sexist
we need to reexamine our societally-man- power of c
dated sex roles and challenge stereotypes, stereotypes
particularly ones that espouse violence and violenc
against women. These stereotypes exist in essential; ig
ourselves and we should not be hesitant to Our poin
recognize and eschew them. ceptance of
We believe all men have control over clouds the
their beliefs and behaviors. The eight men example, fe
involved in the recently, well-publicized, ment "rape
ncidents of sexual harassment (the four sive when
nude fraternity members who invaded the lustrated s
,sorority and the four hockey players who not rotest
sexually harassed members of our com- it
munity), need to be seen in this light. Unfortuna
David Keiser, Danny Rosen, Jim Burg, will:y assau
: han Rubenfeld, John Ifscher and John uafl assaiul
Price are members of the Sexual Assault of two will
Prevention and Awareness Center's spouse or
" Men's Outreach Committee. sexual ass
one eachof

be held accountable for their
actions. Their actions were not
ncidents," nor "deviant," but
festations of rape culture. Such
re commonplace on our campus
en just got caught. Most men
ught, most rapes are not re-
st sexist behavior is not criti-
little wonder that these actions
d by many people as "mere
ve that men have other options
them. They have the power to
ether or not they will buy into
culture. By giving up this
hoice and adhering to sex role
, men perpetuate sexist culture
ce against women. Awareness is
gnorance is oppressive.
t is that the prevalence and ac-
f violence against women often
gravity of these practice. For
ew would argue with the state-
is wrong," but men get defen-
asked to boycott the Sports I-
wimsuit issue. Most people do
violence against women unless
someone close to them.
Lely, FBI statistics suggest it
ut of three women will be sex-
ilted in her lifetime and one out
be battered at least once by her
partner. Thus the probability of
ault or violence affecting some-
f us knows is very high. Let us

not wait for such catastrophe; let us act
now.
What is to be done? Men can and should
take action to end violence against
women. We can begin by being aware of
sex-role stereotypes within ourselves and
others. Men need to accept the burden of
shame created by the fact that 98 percent
of all rapists are heterosexual men. Men
who socialize in sexist circles, even if
they personally are not overtly sexist,
perpetuate sexism against women. Every
unchallenged sexist joke, every Budweiser
woman on the wall, every rented X-rated
film, and every sexist slur serves to further
objectify women and perpetuate rape cul-
ture. If men do not want to encourage
sexual assault and violence against
women, they should take action against
men that do. Unless men confront sexism,
they are accountable for it; they are ac-
complices to rape culture.
Men should confront sexism in them-
selves and others. Remember, confronta-
tion need not be violent: much positive
confrontation comes from questioning ba-
sic assumptions about ourselves and the
way we were brought up to think; or
questioning our friends (men and women)
about their assumptions; or refusing to
participate in openly sexist acts.
Peer pressure is one way sexist norms
go unchallenged. For example, in most
male-oriented social groups there is often
pressure to have frequent dates with
Three years later there is

women and try to "get laid," or "score."
Peer group organizations use their status
to control the behaviors of its members;
i.e. the organization will lose prestige if
its members are dateless. A social organi-
zation whose prestige is based on the ob-
jectification of women as sexual objects is
wrong. The institution of "little sisters"
---- women who come to parties, etc. - is
nothing more than insurance of prestige
for the house. What would happen to a
house party without women assigned to be

condoning sexism. Many men buy into
rape culture because they believe there is
no alternative. We say there is an alterna-
tive. You do not have to rush to get into
the "best" fraternity, or do not have to
drink until you throw up. You do not have
to answer to so-called friends to tell them
"how far you got" on your date, or even
lie to seem cooler or more macho. You
can treat women as people rather than sex
objects. Please consider this.
If any of the above suggestions sound

'If men do not want to encourage sexual assault and violence
against women, they should take action against men that do.
Unless men confront sexism, they are accountable for it; they
are accomplices to rape culture.

there?
We argue that men can choose not to be
sexist. No one forces men to rape, to tell
sexist jokes, or to otherwise harass
women. OK, this is a first step, but we
propose that this is not quite enough. That
is, a man can abstain from engaging in
overt sexism and still support the patri-
archy. For example, not all the men that
go to Dooley's to drink are necessarily
rapists, but in supporting an establish-
ment which perpetuates rape culture
through "hot legs" contests these men are

good to you, there are people who would
value your input. Men, you do not have to
be sexist! If this stuff seems new to you,
that's fine. It was new to all anti-sexist
men at one time as well. If you want to
help our struggle against the violent
patriarchy, cool. If you just want to find
out about education and awareness, that's
fine too. Reme'mber, you have a choice
over your actions and affiliations. Granted,
you were born with societal power, but
what you choose to do with that power is
entirely up to you.

4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

still cause for alarm:

I

Vyaaa YKNVV aVa

Chernobyl and glasnost

420 Maynard St,
Ann Arbor. MI 48109

Vol. IC, No. 133

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.
How to smuggle drugs

THE U. S. Supreme Court's recent
decision, which allows detention of air
travelers on the basis of "drug courier
profiles," represents an unwarranted
erosion of our civil liberties. It raises
troubling questions about how far our
legal and judicial system is going to go
in undermining constitutional rights for
the sake of the "war on drugs."
The case in question was the U.S. v
Sokolow. Sokolow was detained be-
cause he fit a certain "profile": he used
an alias to reserve the airline tickets,
paid in cash, was booked on a
roundtrip flight from Hawaii to Miami
with less than-a two day stay in Miami,
did not check his luggage, appeared
nervous, and he wore a black jumpsuit
and gold jewelry. While the police
questioned him, a police dog sniffed
his bags and located a few pounds of
cocaine, which led to Sokolow's con-
viction.
Writing for the 7-2 majority, Chief
Justice William H. Rehnquist said that
Sokolow's case was just "a typical at-
tempt to smuggle drugs through one of
the nation's airports." The key word
here is "typical," because this search
and seizure was based on stereotypes,
not evidence. None of the reasons for
the detention of Sokolow were directly
correlated with drug smuggling. He
just happened to fit the "drug smug-
gler" stereotype.
Such stereotypes have racist and
class biases. The court's decision im-
plicitly approves of the use of these

stereotypes as justification for unwar-
ranted detentions and searches. This
violates the Fourth Amendment of the
Constitution, which provides for "the
right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, paper, and effects,
against unreasonable searches and
seizures..."
Drug enforcement agents have no
need for search warrants when they can
just use their racist, classist judgement;
hence, maybe they should no longer be
called agents but judges. Since the
agents in these situations are serving in
a capacity similar to police officers, the
Court can use this decision as prece-
dent for extending this carte blanche
power of law enforcement officers to
the police.
This court's decision, along with re-
cent policy proposals such as using the
National Guard in Washington D.C.
and the measures suggested by drug
czar William Bennett, indicates how
desperate the government has become
in its "war on drugs." It continues to
focus its efforts on drug smugglers and
drug dealers, ignoring the root causes
of the problem. And in the process of
reducing the problem to a question of
"law and order," the civil rights of or-
dinary citizens are being sacrificed.
The Court's decision in this case,
however absurd it may be, does have
educational merits for some. Drug
smugglers now know how not to
dress, how not to pay and just how not
to act in general while transporting
drugs through airports.

By Alexander P. Gamota
the Ukrainian nation is facing an eco-
logical catastrophe and is virtually living
in one big nuclear reactor.
F.Ya. Shipunov, USSR Academy of
Science Representative
At roughly 1:30 AM on April 26,
1986, reactor 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear
power plant experienced an uncontrollable
explosion which released 139 pounds of
radioactive material, compared to the 1.6
pounds released by the atomic bomb
dropped on Hiroshima, into the biosphere.
Two days later, the Swedish National
radio reported that "10,000 times" the
normal amount of cesium 137 existed in
the air, prompting Moscow to officially
respond. The Soviets immediately under-
took a massive clean-up effort which in-
volved as many as 43,000 workers. Today,
some three years later, there continues to
be a hotly debated discussion on the actual
danger of the situation. The Chernobyl
disaster also added to a more global issue:
the USSR's decision to become largely
dependent on nuclear power and the social
and economic costs they are willing to
expend to achieve this goal.
Officially, 31 people died within the
first month of the disaster. The number of
individuals this will ultimately affect has
been estimated as high as 11 times that of
the cancer deaths expected from the 1945
bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Already the toll on living organisms has
been grave. During the summer of 1987,
over 800,000 individuals were given
medical examinations as a result of com-
plaints stemming from either legitimate
radiative exposure concerns or of radio-
phobia, the fear of having been been ex-
posed to radiation. Unofficial estimates
report that an unusually high number of
women in the 100 mile radius around
Chernobyl feared delivering their babies
and aborted their pregnancies. Some areas
near Chernobyl have even now reported
the total absence of animal life. Dead rats,
Alexander P. Gamota is a senior in eco-
nomics and natural resources. le is presi-
dent of the Ukrainian Students Association
and is a member of the School of Natural
resources Committee on Diversity.

mice and other wild or stray animals have
been found in massive quantities. Muta-
tions due to the radiation have resulted in
farm animals being born without heads or
eyes or internal organs.
For most people living outside the So-
viet Union, the Chernobyl "chapter" has
long been over. This is in large part due
the Kremlin efforts to understate the seri-
ousness of the accident. A good example
of this is that five days after the lethal ex-
plosion and without warning anyone of
the potential danger, the May Day Parade
took place as scheduled some 60 miles
south of the plant in the city of Kiev, the
Ukrainian capital and one of the Soviet
Union's largest metropolitan areas. This
callous decision not to inform the public
and to sanction their country's largest
procession could only have been done as
an effort to demonstrate to the public,
both in the Ukraine and on the rest of the
globe that the fire at the nuclear plant re-

in the Soviet Union with 42 million peo-
ple living on its soil. It is generally ac-
cepted that without the Ukraine and its re-
source output, the Soviet Union would
virtually collapse. Ukrainian soil produces
the majority of the Soviet agricultural in-
take as well as supplying 70% of the So-
viet's coal. Its ideal location has also added
to its strategic worth. However, the
Kremlin could do without the people's
nationalistic tendencies. There has been a
long history of its almost systematic
"Ukrainian identity" genocide. Ukrainian
language has only recently been allowed to
be taught in the schools and the Ukrainian
Christian churches still remain largely
underground. Josef Stalin's forced famine
which starved to death over 7 million
Ukrainians between 1932-33, is another
good example. Many view Chernobyl and
the fact that most of the existing and
planned nuclear power plants are in
Ukraine as continuation of this legacy.

'Some areas near Chernobyl
total absence of animal life.

have even now reported the
Dead rats, mice and other

wild or stray animals have been found in massive quanti-
ties.'

ally was not that significant. Less than a
week later, 250,000 children and pregnant
women were evacuated from Kiev.
The media is also responsible for the
lack of information that has ben given to
the public. Most Americans consider the
Chernobyl accident as being on the same
scale as the one that occurred at Three
Mile Island. The Soviet government is
again indirectly, if not directly, responsi-
ble for the press's inability to report the
actual situation. Journalists and scientists,
both Western and Soviet, alike are in the
precarious position of not wanting to,
"bite the hand that feeds." They fear that
they will suffer repercussions from being
critical of the government's nuclear power
plants by not being allowed to participate
in future conferences or interviews.
While the press have not been an active
participant in today's Soviet nuclear de-
bate, the people of Ukraine have.
Ukraine, a republic slightly larger than
France, has the second highest population

Here at the University, there is little
that we can do. One can only hope that the
intentions of glasnost allow for an open
discussion and change regarding the Soviet
Union's nuclear policies. While the eco-
nomic markets may be opening, what
needs to be opened is the discussion on
human freedoms and rights. It is essential
that Soviet leaders involve their citizens in
their nuclear power decision making pro-
cess, in order to insure that their plants are
safe just as every nation's reactors need to
be safe. The effects of a nuclear disaster
know no boundaries. The Soviet's un-
willingness to completely discuss Cher-
nobyl can only be seen as a crime against
humanity. These discussions must take
place openly, before glasnost can be con-
sidered a sincere change in the USSR's
policy.
Tonight at 7 pm the Soviet-made
documentary Bell of Chernobyl will be
shown in Rm. 1046 School of Natural
Resources Bldg.

' AIS CtI 6o ow - Ti1
K'sa

:, v&v(7sAND GUMS tXMOVWG.
U 12'sm LIFE ./
b

Letters
University

priorities

?9

What is the culprits had decided
indiscriminately to shoot the
basketball team just before the
game? After all we don't know
where these people could pop
up.
Better yet - wouldn't it
have been a powerful political
statement if the Black men on
our basketball team had decided
not to play until the culprits
were found? Seton Hall would

a real impact on everyone
whether they like it or not.
(those of us who are the object
of racist incidents might have
to suffer more visible detri-
ment, but in the end we all
lose.)
But no, given this society
and this campus I can guess
how a boycott would be re-
ceived. First the students would
blame not the white

upset about the fliers?) then
students would probably extend
the blame for all the trouble to
the rest of the Black student
son the campus. And you
know what? That's just what
the white supremacists want,
On the other hand, maybe
the University would put out a
thorough investigation to find
these cowards. (It probably
wouldn't have taken long if the

To the Daily:
I'm amazed at the way the
University of Michigan oper-
ates. First some white

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