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April 14, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-04-14

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, April 14,1992
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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Editor in Chief
Opinion Editors

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

. - -

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.
U' must hire more women faculty

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In this era where administrators espouse
multiculturalism and campus awareness, focus
is on the diversity of the student population, where
the administration strives to create an equal mix-
ture of cultures, races and genders. But as the
student body becomes increasingly varied, the
faculty ceases to provide a corresponding pot-
pourri of role models. A recent study by the Uni-
versity found that, while nearly half the under-
graduates in Ann Arbor are women, only one fifth
of the faculty positions and less than one tenth of
'the executive administration positions are held by
What are the implications of these figures?
First and foremost, the new report shatters the
image.of the University as a place.of equal oppor-
tunity. Michigan pales in the company of schools
such as North Carolina, University of California at
Berkeley, Washington and Northwestern.
More importantly, it leaves female students
only a handful of mentors from whom to draw
inspiration. Carol Hollenshead, leader ofthe group
which gathered data for the report, put it simply:
"Students turn to faculty who look like them."
The lack of female faculty and administrators
places a greater burden on current women profes-
sors and assistants. That is, the existing female
professors have greater numbers of students com-

ing to them for advice and support than their male
counterparts, therefore these women end up either
taking on too much responsibility or turning away
eager, intelligent students.
On the other hand, the University has recently
taken some steps to increase the number of women
in faculty and administration. Despite past efforts
to increase hirings of women faculty, the number
of female full professors inched up from 6 percent
in 1980 to only 9 percent in 1990.
A 1990 policy called "stopping the tenure clock"
refers to women who are looking to begin a family
just as they become eligible for tenure. This policy
allows them an extra year to complete the typical
seven-year tenure process.
A 1991 policy allows women to negotiate the
time allowed for paid sick-leave because of preg-
nancy, as the normal leave may not be sufficiently
The University has also advocated a special
hiring plan, comparing University statistics to pools
of women nationally and then allocating funds
specifically for hiring senior women faculty.
These steps promise a brighter future for women
in the academic world, giving them increasing
opportunity to build stable careers and families.
No one should be fooled for a moment, though,
into thinking the problem has been solved.


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Violence at Olivet raises code issue

.Olivet College administrators and parents of
Olivet African-American students reached
an accord to deal with racial tensions that surfaced
after a brawl involving 70 Black and white stu-
dents. The academic difficulties that the fearful
Black students will encounter may be alleviated by
this accord, but it is shameful that the students
don't feel safe at their own university. Unfortu-
nately, some students are calling for the Olivet
administration to take steps to punish wrong-do-
ers. Racial violence, however, should not be fought
through administrative discipline, but rather
through civil and criminal action in the legal sys-
The tragic irony of the African-American
population's abandonment of the Olivet campus is
inescapable. American universities remained seg-
regated for hundreds of years, until political pres-
sure forced the gradual reversal of such policies in
the 1960s. Over two decades later, the situation
remains so tenuous that Black students still find
college campuses hostile to integration.
Rumors spread through the Olivet campus sug-
gesting that four African-American male students
had attacked a white woman. The rumor was and
Porn l son
Kentucky senator recently submitted a dan-
gerous piece of legislation to the U.S. Senate.
The bill, called The Pornography Victims Com-
pensation Act, would allow victims of sexual as-
sault to sue pornography publishers if it is proven
that pornography was a factor in the assault. Simi-
lar legislation has been proposed in Massachu-
setts. Though sexual assault is a very serious issue
which demands attention, this bill is will result in
censorship and tries to solve the problem at the
expense of free speech.
Ironically, feminists from the far left, led by
University Law Professor Catharine MacKinnon,
have formed an alliance with conservatives on the
far right to ensure passage of the bill. Both sides
have demonstrated an alarming tendency to place
their own political agendas ahead of the First
The bill's premise is that pornography itself
causes sexual violence, and that companies who
publish it are accomplices to sex-related crimes.
But this analysis ignores the fact that people who
commit assaults are more likely to read pornogra-
phy, not the other way around. The 1986 Congres-
sional study on which the legislation is based
concluded that the majority of those accused of
sexual assault were regularreaders ofpornographic
But the study ignored countless other personal
and psychological problems that lead to assault. To
attribute the violence to the pornography is a big
jump in logic. Most people who read pornography
do not tend toward violent behavior..
Proponents of the bill claim that the govern-
ment would not be censoring pornographic mate-

remains unsubstantiated and seems to have been
spread for the sole purpose of causing trouble.
Racist mobs do not often wait for verification,
however, and soon massive brawling broke out.
Fires were set in a dormitory which housed several
Black students, and many went home fearing for
their safety.
Those concerned about racial tensions on cam-
puses, however, should be careful not to fall into
the trap of supporting codes of non-academic con-
duct. Allowing Olivet College to punish those
students responsible for the violence could lead to
the excessive interference into the lives of stu-
Our own experiences here at the University
should teach us to be wary of universities institut-
ing parallel judicial systems. Students should be
reminded that President Duderstadt, underregental
authority, can dismiss students from the University
at will. Such administrative powers pose terrific
dangers to students' rights.
Those who suffered terrible racial injustice
deserve protection and just compensation. But the
solution shouldn't involve administrative interfer-
ence, but civil and criminal suits instead.
I 0 C
rials, but just holding publishers responsible for
crimes they help fuel. This bill would not specifi-
cally censor pornographic material, but would
have a "chilling effect" on it's publishers. Pornog-
raphy publishers would be scared away from pub-
lishing anything that might bring legal trouble.
If this bill were passed, it would not only lead to
the inevitable demise of the $10-billion-a-year
pornography industry - an institution that has
been ruled constitutional time and again. Some
who favor the bill may think this would be a good
thing. In fact, it poses a clear threat to free speech.
Soon Congress may determine that it is necessary
to censor any material which refers to sex. After all,
most beer ads, rock videos, and even Hollywood
films include sexual references. Would Mackinnon
claim that these mediums, too, lead to sexual
Though Catharine MacKinnon is gaining sup-
port for her cause, many feminists still disapprove
of her radical actions. Marilyn Fitterman, presi-
dent of the New York Affiliate of the National
Organization forWomen (NOW), along with Karen
DeCrow, the former national president of NOW,
wrote MacKinnon expressing their disapproval of
her actions.
They claim that censorship has been used
throughout history in order to "protect" women
and that only through free-speech will the feminist
movement be successful.
MacKinnon's intentions may be good. She is
fighting for an important cause - a woman's
rights to be safe from sexual assault. Unfortu-
nately, her actions, if successful, may result in the
censoring of us all.

Quick to judge Israel
To the Daily:
This is in reference to Jason
Forge's recent letter to the Daily
(4/8/92). We agree that the death
of Mustafa Akawi is a tragic
event which should not be
diminished, but it is an event that
needs to be put into perspective.
Contrary to what Mr. Forge
wrote, the doctor who performed
the autopsy never linked his death
to ay "beatings or torture." In
fact, this private American doctor
hired by Mr. Akawi's own family
stated that the death was a result
of acute arteriosclerosis with a 90
percent artery blockage. The
doctor also stated that the bruises
were inflicted at least one week
prior to death and did not contrib-
ute to Mr. Akawi's death.
But for a moment, suppose
that there were definitive evi-
dence to support Forge's conten-
tion on the cause of death; history
has shown that Israel is the only
nation in the Middle East which
prosecutes and justly punishes
such criminals. Linking the
Akawi incident to a blanket
condemnation of Israelis ludi-
crous, just as saying that the
United States as a whole is
responsible for the beating of
Black motorist Rodney King by
the Los Angeles Police Depart-
Forge contrives to link South
Africa, where Blacks are not only
prohibited from forming their
own political parties, but cannot
vote at all, to Israel, the only
Middle Eastern country where
Palestinians can and do form their
own political parties. Simply
stated, Israel's "application of
Zionism" has not resulted in
institutionalized racism. Instead,
Zionism is the force which
recently acted to absorb over
30,000 Black African refugees
into Israel.
Mr. Forge's linkage only
belittles the horror of true racism.
Eric Edidin
LSA junior
Joshua Freiwald
RC junior
Alan Landau
LSA sophomore

To the Daily:
As most people know, this is
National Rape Prevention Month.
The Sexual Assault Prevention
and Awareness Center (SAPAC)
and other organizations on
campus have been sponsoring a
series of events to raise aware-
ness about rape and sexual
harassment, and to show support
for survivors of sexual violence.
Our last event will be a rally
on the Diag, at noon on Wednes-
day, April 15. As partof this
event, there will be a "Wall of
Sexism" on the Diag beginning at
10 a.m. on Wednesday.
As sexism is discrimination
based on gender, as well as the
institutional denial of power and
access to power, examples of
sexism can take many forms. We
invite everyone to post examples
of sexism on the wall - sexual
objectification and degradation of
women in advertising, devaluing
of women in the media, articles
abcut discriminatory policies, or

Help trash sexist garbage

Greek loyalty includes reform

To the Daily:
I am writing to extend a long-
overdue but quite sincere
congratulations to a brave and
eloquent Daily reporter, my
friend Melissa Peerless, for her
piece, "Sorority Women are not
Sex Objects."
When it comes to the Greek
system, it is the whirlwind of
social activities and philanthropic
events that receive the most
attention. Much less talked about
is the verbal and sometimes
physical harassment of women at
these social, and as Peerless
pointed out, also philanthropic
events. Or about the male-
dominated gossip circuit that
takes us back to the maturity
level of, say, freshman year ... of
high school. I won't stereotype
by claiming that all fraternity
men act this way. I will say that
my friends and I have often been
victims of both types of this
nauseating behavior, and quite
frankly, we are sick to death of

putting up with it.
I honestly love my sorority and
have proved my loyalty to my
house and my sisters many times.
I also think that the opportunities
the system has offered me usually
seem to outweigh this stone-age
behavior displayed by men,
fraternity or otherwise. However,
I will do what I can to protest it
when it occurs so often and so
blatantly in an organization in
which I have sunk so much time,
energy and money.
Women that are considering
pledging a sorority should by all
means do so if a sense of solidar-
ity, a network of friends, and a fun
college experience are the benefits
they seek. But keeping a sense of
identity and doing what we can to
discourage these sexist attitudes
and behaviors are two strategies
that will make these benefits
Beth Davidson
LSA sophomore

more personal examples, such as
sexist comments or slurs. There
will be a space on the wall
reserved for the contributions of
The featured speaker for this
event will be Andrea White, a
service provider at Latino Family
Services in Detroit, and a member
of the Ojibwa tribe. Ms. White
will be speaking about sexual
assault and substance abuse in
Native American communities.
Following her speech, there will
be a self-defense demonstration by
Joyce Dorado. At the end of the
event, we will invite the audience
to tear down the "Wall of Sex-
ism." Please come add your
experiences with sexism to the
wall before the rally, and stay to
tear it down. By tearing down the
wail together we will show that
we will no longer tolerate sexism;
on campus, in our communities,
and in our daily lives.
Mary Bejian
SAPAC volunteer

.". . f:.h h 1hSV.SSi

Breakin the male political monopoly
by Katherine Metres makeup. The big question now is, support Ms. Braun.

How far have women come --
Virginia Slim- notwithstanding
- since feminism's heyday in the
late 1960s? We have drastically
increased our numbers in the
professions, we have become the
majority of undergraduate
students, and we have finally had
om concerns about sexual
haassment and rape brought to
I et,a major goal of feminism
remains unachieved. Women are
pitifully underrepresented in
national political leadership.
There has never been a woman
president, vice president, White
House chief of staff, secretary of
state, secretary of defense or chief
justice of the Supreme Court -
the most powerful positions in
national government. There have
been some strides in the legisla-
ture, but we still have only 41
women out of a total of 535 in
Congress. That's a whopping 8
percent to show for our 51 percent
o~f the if ~latinn_ And thev tell ins

are we any wiser? Will we recruit
and finance women candidates?
Will we exercise the franchise to
elect them and those committed
to appointing women? Or will our
anger dissipate into the little

Then there is Hillary Rodham
Clinton. Even her husband,
presidential candidate Bill %
Clinton, acknowledges that she is
"smarter" and "better organized"
than he. An influential lawyer and


There has never been a woman president, vice
president, White House chief of staff, secretary
of state, secretary of defense or chief justice of
the Supreme Court.



battles we fight to enlighten those
around us?
No matter how important the
personal is, we cannot relinquish
the political. Women are already
picking up the banner and
running with it. Witness the
stunning upset of two-term
incumbent Sen. Alan Dixon (D-
Ill.) by an African-American
woman in the Illinois Democratic
primary last month. Carol
Moseley Braun, the Cook County
(Chicago) Recorder of Deeds,
was asked to run by women's

activist, Ms. Clinton also has
received appeals to run for office.
Not that she isn't running for
office now; it is clear that she
intends to be equal partner in a
Clinton administration. During her
appearance at the University, she
detailed the Clinton stance on
everything from education to the
proposed North American Free
Trade Agreement, as if she had
devised them. If the Clinton bid
for the Democratic nomination
succeeds, voters will have a clear
choice between First Grandmother
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Nuts and Bolts
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