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November 12, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-12

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, November 12,1991
G3be Lid gan

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420 Maynard Street ANRW .GTdSA
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 ANDREW K G ESMAN
Edited and Managed STEPHEN HENDERSON
by Students at theST PNiHEDtON
University of MichiganhOpinion Editor
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.

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Gay
oCity ordinance extends recognition to all single-sex couples

WE L L, (tF - H(ZE' S
&o6-C>If HI N6-A~to(-a
OUR- VNAT-/OW'S '1
£t1J L L F i VA L LYM //
14Ni>CHAN~&E -ri-
*4A TS@)

' Mf -r-A M o K.1',&
TH FOR
dSd

T eading the nation in the battle for gay and
, lesbian rights, the Ann Arbor City Council
pssed an ordinance last week granting single sex
coples the right to register their domestic partner-
ships with the city. This ordinance marks a major
step in allowing homosexuals, who are prevented
frQm obtaining a legal marriage from the city, to
Mbtain the legal recognition they deserve.
+The City Council's initiative on this nationally
taboo issue should be applauded. Few legislators
have the courage to acknowledge the fact that same
sex relationships should carry the same legal weight
as heterosexual relationships.
In a sense it is absurd that any government need
recognize a relationship in order to legitamize it.
Ideally, even heterosexual couples should not be
forced to get married in order to obtain govern-
mental approval of theri relationship. But the fact
is, an array of advantages are extended to married
couples that are systematically denied to single-
sex couples because those relationships lack legal

recognition. Many companies, for example, offer
extended health programs to only married employ-
ecs. TheFederal Govemmentgives married couples
a break on their tax returns. If these benefits are
going to be offered to help out families, than
governments have no business evaluating what
constitutes a "real" relationship on a gender basis.
The City Council's ruling is by no means the
answer to equal recognition and benefits for gay
and lesbian couples. Health care and other benifits
are issues that must be addressed in the private
sector as long as companies offer them on an
unequal basis. Federal recoginition of gay couples
must be preceded by initiatives that offer homo-
sexuals the legal right of marriage.
But Ann Arbor's ordinance is a step in the right
dicrection. With further efforts on the part of the
City Council, the private sector, and other gov-
ernments on the state and national level, true
equality may soon exist between both gay and
straight couples.

i

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"I

Magla

Exploration of Venus teaches us
o often, theAmerican space program spends
billions of dollars on extravagant exploration
programs. The American people currently do not
favor a large budget for National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) because the ben-
efits of space exploration seem distant or nonexist-
ert. Exploration for the sake ofexploration doesn't
help the poor to find work or the hungry to find
food. Because challenging the human mind and
iniagination is a natural instinct, space exploration
is not necessarily a frivolous cause. But, the United
States is just too strapped for cash to afford gran-
dipse projects, such as the president's plan to land
the first humans on Mars.
NASA, however, has managed to complete
programs that have direct impact on the goings-on
here on Earth. The Magellan space probe, launched
in August of 1990 is currently adding to the library
'f 'knowledge already collected concerning our
neighboring planet, Venus.
The study of Venus is of vital importance to
tiderstanding the processes that shape and change
tht Earth's surface and atmosphere. Venus is said
to be the Earth's twin planet. While thatdescription
is not quite accurate, it is true that Venus and Earth
'stem to have been formed as similar bodies, but
Venus took a tragic turn, making its environment
"hOstile to life. What happened to Venus is ex-
plained today as the greenhouse effect gone mad.

about Earth 's future
The atmosphere is composed almost entirely of
carbon dioxide and is simultaneously transparent
to ultra-violet radiation, which has turned Venus
into a virtual oven, with average temperatures
ranging around 900 degrees Fahrenheit. These
enormous temperatures are several hundred degrees
hotter than Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun.
On Earth, the amount of carbon dioxide has
been increasingly steadily during the past decades.
At the same time, scientists continue to report the
dissociation of the precious ozone layer, which
protects the Earth from the Sun's deadly ultra-
violet radiation. While the greenhouse effect is not
yet completely understood and some scientists are
still unsure whether the Earth is really under the
threat of a devastating greenhouse effect, the study
of the Earth's twin will answer many questions
about the possibilities facing Earth and its inhab-
itants.
The primary responsibility of NASA should
not be to follow a 21st century manifest destiny, but
to find methods by which to guarantee the per-
petuation of a habitable environmenthere on Earth.
Someday, that may mean emigration to other
planets. But today, such programs are not practical.
The study of Venus's atmosphere can help us
understand the future of Earth. This is what the
focus of the American, European, and other space
programs should be.

Hate in the 1930s
To the Daily:
I recently wrote my grand-
mother and mentioned the ad that
had been printed in the Daily
concerning the denial of the
Holocaust (10/24/91). Here is her
reply:
As for the ad about the
Holocaust never happening, while
it is terrible to see such a lie
published, I'm not surprised.
Anti-semitism is all around us
and always has been. The first
time I ever came in touch with it
was when I was a freshman atrthe
U of M. At that time there were
only three dorms for women:
Helen Newberry, Betsy Barbour,
and Martha Cook, so most of the
women lived in league houses, as
I did. My house was to become an
all "French" house the second
semester, so those of us who were
not French majors had to move.
I went from one league house
to another trying to find a room.
In each house I was turned dlown
because I was Jewish. The
excuse-"It's not that I object to
Jewish women, but the other girls
object to the Jewish gentlemen
callers coming here when their
dates are here." Finally, after a
number of turn downs, I went to
the Dean of Women with my
problem. Her answer: "Don't
worry my dear, we have a Jewish
league house on South Division
street where they will welcome
you." Naturally I moved there, but
I wept tho think that I had to go to
a state university to live in what I.
called a ghetto. We Jews have
survived many things, and we will
continue to survive.
Amy Nathan
RC first year student
Ruth Nathan
class of 1930
New voice needed
To the Daily:
How can our white-dominated
society hope to better understand

Black American culture, and
situations that African Americans
have been forced into, when we
continue to have white people
speaking for them?
This was the question that
struck my mind - more so than
the snapshots on the wall, during
Jacob Holdt's presentation of his
"American Pictures." I do not
doubt Holdt's sincerity in wanting
to expose us to the reality of
injustices that prevail our country
so that we can work to get rid of
them.
However, what this visitor
from Denmark didn't learn in his
journey through America is-that
part of the reason problems such
as racism still exist in our country
is because our society refuses to
give certain people the power to
speak for themselves and have
their voices heard.
Following "part one" of his
presentation, Holdt conducted a
question answer session. He
responded to a question about
audlience reactions with a story
about an African American
woman who, last year after his
presentation, expressed her anger
for the way that he "portrayed her
people."
In describing her comments he
said that this woman "just kept
talking, and just shouting " at
him. An attitude of disregard for
the concerns of this Black woman
came across clearly to me. He
then quickly finished off the
anecdlote by implying that the
woman suddenly changed her
mind and was no longer angry.
Somehow I didn't believe his
interpretation of a sudden change
of heart. This quick assumption
on his part, I think, only rein-
forced the fact that we need to
start listening to all Americans
and refuse to accept white male
interpretation of America.
I don't believe that Holdt is
capable of relating to us a Black
America that he himself couldn't
possibly understand--a Black
America that he chose to visit and

also had a luxury of the choice to
leave it. He seemed more con-
cerned that people approve of is
show than he did with actually
listening to the concerns of the
people he was portraying.
If we truly want to find out
about the Americans in Holdt's
photographs, than it's time we put
the camera in their hands, and
give them the stage and our ears
and the opportunity to be heard
with their own voices.
Vivian Babuts
Art School
PC-ness criticized
To the Daily:
What's more important, the
words that you use to express
yourself or the thoughts which
you are expressing? If you are not
up to date on the most recent
"correct" term for a group of
people, does that make you a
racist?
As a member of Residence
Hall Senior staff I am disturbed
by the answers many people
virtuallyhoping they can take
offense at something you say. As
a result, I find that many thoughts
go unexpressed.
On the few occasions where I
voiced an opinion which may not
have been mainstream, (I support
the deputization of the security
department) I have encountered
extreme hostility. Is there only
one "correct" opinion on every
issue? I go to meetings and
workshops now and "play it safe."
The politically correct
movement has literally shattered
all hopes of having a free and
open forum for ideas in our
University community.
: Avi Rubin
Resident Director,
West Quad
Ph.D. Candidate,
Computer Science

plants
'Woren forced to risk health, dignity with surgery

A lobby .war is currently being fought over a
call for the Food and Drug Administration
(fDA) to ban silicone-based breast implants. The
lOntroversy stems from concerns made by health
advocates about the safety of implanting such
:stbstances in a woman's body. In opposition to the
, tncerns of health advocates, plastic surgeons
,eoss the country have staged a $4 million cam-
paign to allow their business to go undisturbed.
However, without overlooking the real issue
eenceming women's health, there is a much larger
osiue at stake. It must be questioned why women
;ve these types of operations in the first place.
-omen, as the advertising industry tells us, must
!e-slim, rosy-cheeked, smiling objects with tight
jbttocks and breasts as large as gravity will allow.
Wemen are taught to strive for this form by
'agazines like Vogue and Mademoiselle. Those
wmen who do not fit this conception are made to
fel inferior. Here is where the cosmetics industry
steps in, telling these "social deviants" that they
'can be real women if they buy certain products, cut
thir hair in a certain way, and undergo cosmetic
surgery.
a The dangers of silicone are real. Silicone im-
plants can leak into a woman's blood stream and
can have harmful effects on a woman's body.
Furthermore, silicone has been known to cause
adverse immune system reactions in some women.

For the most part, cosmetic surgery is an indus-
try founded on, and sustained by, the stereotypes
placed upon women. Every year, thousands of
women undergo cosmetic surgery molding their
bodies into a better looking form, hoping to make
themselves more accepted by society. Plastic sur-
geons are not concerned with whether or not the
implant procedures are really good for a woman's
physical and emotional health. They seem to be
concerned only with their own profits.
This is not to say that reconstructive surgery is
without benefit. In an age of rising breast cancer
rates, mastectomy patients have a legitimate desire
to retain their feeling of dignity. But silicone im-
plants are not the only option. There are safer sac-
like vesicles that can serve the same function as
silicone. In addition, techniques similar to those
involved in skin-grafting can be used in recon-
structing breast tissue from other parts of the body.
There are two dangers associated with breast-
implant surgery. One is the possible medical dan-
ger associated with silicone implants. But an even
greater danger is that of a society that equates a
woman's personal worth with her external ap-
pearance. If what women "should" look like was
not determined by an uncompromising society,
then the dangers of plastic surgery, risked by
thousands of women, would not be so easily dis-
missed.

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Press f reedo s under attack

"Congress shall make no law
abridging...the freedom of speech,
or of the press" - from the First
Amendment to the Constitution
In 1964,
in New York MICHIGAN DAILY:
Times v. CELEBRATES
Sullivan,
the Su-
preme.li
Court ex-O
tended the
rights of by
freedom of
speech and David
press intoj
two critical
areas: the .J
right of
public officials to sue for libel and
paid political advertising. This
protection of political advertising
and the right to criticize public of-
ficials isfundamental to theguaran-
tees of the freedoms of the Bill of

Rising Voices." The ad stated that
"thousands of Southern Negro stu-
dents are engaged in widespread
non-violentdemonstrations" and the
Montgomery police have engaged
in "an unprecedented wave of ter-
ror."
However, the ad contained sev-
eral errors. Singing in the state
capitol did not lead to the arrest of
nine students, but rather for de-
manding service at a courthouse
lunch counter. There had been no
attempt to "starve" students into
"submission" as the ads stated. The
Times could have checked these
errors, but it did not.
An Alabama court awarded
Sullivan $500,000, the largest libel
judgement in Alabama history, at
that time, for the New York Times
"libel against a public official"-
The Supreme Court overturned
the verdict unanimously (9-0),
stating the Alabama statute did not
safeguard freedom of speech~ and

sharp attacks on government offi-
cials."
The other issue Sullivan argued
was that criticism of the police is
not protected by the constitution
because it is a paid political adver-
tisement. The Supreme Court
unanimously rejected this argument
stating, "the ad communicated in-
formation, expressed opinion, re-
cited grievances and sought finan-
cial support on behalf of a cause."
It is immaterial whether the ad is
sold as is the fact that newspapers
and books are sold. Brennan sum-
marized this stating, "Any other
conclusion would discourage
newspapers from carrying 'editorial
advertisements' of this type, and so
might shut off an important outlet
for the promulgation of information
and ideas by persons who do not
themselves have access to publish-
ing facilities."
College newspapers have re-
cently come under attack for their

t
0

Nuts and Bolts
L ANE asw 'OULP'tOLIKE
TGO T HE MOVJE5
To N 1TOIGeT?

"~TO W>N56 THAT YOUR~~I
I W &JNGS RAMARMR
THM"JUS)OT F NQS4"TIA3UGM
2 EN3OY YOM~~CfF ANV(AiJP

by Judd Winick
NO SHI-? NO Sar.

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