The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 4, 1992- Page 7
Women label harassment as demeaning
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by Pete Matthews
LSA junior Amy Harfield was
walking down an Ann Arbor street
when a driver called her over to his
She thought he was asking for
directions, but when Harfield ap-
proached the car, she realized the
driver was masturbating while talk-
ing to her.
Street harassment - verbal or
visual - is something almost all
women experience at some point in
their lives. While some may argue
that comments are meant as com-
pliments, many women report feel-
ings of anger, fear, but sometimes
indifference, to these encounters.
"It makes me very angry and
very self-conscious," Harfield said.
"Women are viewed as prey - it
makes me feel as if I should walk
around with a sign announcing
Verbal harassment doesn't only
happen on the streets, but is a reality
in bars, parties, and campus
Harfield said she was told in a
bar "what you need is a boyfriend or
a good fuck," after refusing to date
the teaching assistant she had beat in
a game of darts.
"I don't even notice it any more
at work" said Laura, an LSA soph-
more, who works in a local bar.
"I came from a small town and
grew up without harassment -
coming here was a new experience
and now I'm immune to it," Laura
said. "The best way to deal with it is
to ignore it."
The definition of verbal harass-
ment "depends on the person's per-
sonality" said Susan Stark, a first-
year LSA student.
LSA senior Val Boreland defined
verbal harassment as "anything that
makes me feel uncomfortable and
that is inappropriate. I used to be
embarrassed by it, but now I take it
for what it is, and it's nothing com-
pared to New York."
Other students agreed that Ann
Arbor streets are tame compared to
those in other locales.
"People don't say anything com-
pared to Pittsburg and New York or
Spain," said Lisa Rubin, an School
of Art senior, adding that the way
she handles harassment depends on
"One time I blew a kiss after a
guy blewone. If it was five minutes
later I might have said 'fuck you'...
Some people talk shit, play along or
tell the guy to 'fuck off.' You've got
to find ways of dealing with it be-
cause you can't walk around pissed-
off all day."
'Women are viewed as prey - it makes me feel
as if I should walk around with a sign
announcing 'prime ribs"
- Amy Harfield
U-M semmar permits
students to visit home
in 'virtual reality'
One student said she feels she is
often targeted for sexual harassment
by homeless people because of her
appearance and economic status.
"I get derogatory remarks for
being female or for being dressed
well and being wealthy enough to
study," said a School of Natural
Resources and Environment junior,
who preferred not to be named. She
said being harassed by some home-
less people has perpetuated her nega-
tive stereotype of the group.
Many women feel they have ex-
perienced something akin to being
stereotyped. Women said verbal ha-
rassers ignore their personality, in-
tegrity and feelings - only recog-
nizing their bodies as objects of
"It's difficult to walk through a
campus building or city street and
not have your physical aspect valued
more than any other part of you,"
"It plays into your self esteem
and success as a student. It's hard to
carry on a vigorous academic career
when you are constantly being
commented on and critiqued physi-
cally," Harfield added.
by David M. Powers
Daily Staff Reporter
In "Total Recall," Arnold
Schwarzenegger had to wait until
the year 2084 to travel to Mars -
in his mind.
Yesterday, however, U-M stu-
dents could take a simulated ride
through San Francisco just by
visiting North Campus.
"This is the future," said Rick
Smith, a School of Music junior,
after experiencing the simulated
flight through San Francisco.
"You don't have to take a
vacation, you can just download
Japan. Why watch a movie when
you can be part of it?"
Smith took flight at the Virtual
Reality seminar and
demonstration held by the U-M
Program in Scientific
Visualization at the Chrysler
The seminar showcased one of
the recent developments in
computer science - Virtual
Reality (VR) - and its
applications. Visitors were also
allowed to try two different types
of VR machines.
Peter Beier, director of the
visualization program, described
VR as an interactive, realistic,
"The user puts a helmet on....
This helmet encloses him from the
environment he is in, and through
very miniature video screens, he is
presented with a stereo image of a
computer-generated world. As he
moves his head that world
changes in concert," he said.
With the use of various con-
trollers the subject is able to
interact with the artificial
environment, said Steven
Aukstakalnis, vice president of
Martix Technical Services - a
company specializing in VR.
Using gloves equipped with
sensors and hand controls, the
subject not only affects the
images, but can actually feel a
simulated physical response.
"There's been a lot of recent
effort to provide the users with ...
tactile feedback," he said. The
user feels a rough approximation
of what the objects are like in real
"They've also developed suits
that track ... full body motion," he
added. Currently these suits
resemble wet suits.
The applications are extraordi-
nary, he added. Currently, VR is
used to test aerodynamics by
simulating wind tunnels, and by
chemists to simulate molecular
reactions in which the scientist
can interact with the molecules. It
is also being developed as a
surgical aid, Beier said.
Dave Gillie tries out a simulator at a demonstration of Virtual Reality
technology at the Chrysler Auditorium on North Campus yesterday.
However, the use of VR has
raised some ethical concerns.
Some research has focused on
simulating situations such as sex.
Important questions need to be
asked, said Fred Budelman,
director of marketing at Virtual
Reality Inc. in New York. "Whom
does it hurt when it's all computer
Currently, the most
economically profitable field of
development is entertainment,
Budelman said. "VR
Entertainment is going to be a bil-
At the moment no VR research
is being done at the U-M, Beier
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Q o o
Don't forget to say
Michigan city heads list of
possible locations for new
Pentagon office complex
While one Michigan city prepares
to show off its highlights in hopes of
getting a Pentagon office complex,
another plans to fight the gov-
ernment' s decision to drop it from
the list of possible sites.
Saginaw was one of 20 sites an-
nounced Tuesday by the Department
of Defense as a possible location for
one of five new accounting centers.
Detroit, one of six other Michigan
contenders, didn't make the cut.
Officials in the cash-strapped city
of Detroit had hoped the office com-
plex might aid in revitalizing down-
But Kenneth Dobson, Detroit
Downtown Development Authority
director, and other officials said
Wednesday the requirements for
placement of the building were bi-
ased against big cities like Detroit.
"They asked for small towns in
the southern regions of the country,"
Dobson said. "We started out being
behind the eight ball. They clearly
were intent to not use this as an
economic development program for
The site criteria included quality-
of-life measures geared to small
Coleman Young said Wednesday.
The office complex would hold
up to 7,000 federal employees.
Urban centers making the cut in-
cluded Cleveland, New Orleans and
A final decision is expected in
Detroit's $100 million'proposal
involved turning part of the aban-
doned Hudson's building into a
parking garage and renovating the
top floors for offices. Dobson said
the plan met all the Pentagon's
technical requirements, including
free rent and up to $20 million cash
to cover operating costs.
Defense Department spokesper-
son Jean Marie Ward said only that,
"The overriding evaluation criterion
was the cost to the Department of
Meanwhile, Saginaw officials are
mapping a final push to persuade
federal officials to transfer the work-
ers to the city.
Three staffers from the Defense
Finance and Accounting Service will
visit Saginaw Wednesday to inspect
10 downtown sites city administra-
tors are offering.
"It's just amazing to beat out all