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April 02, 1993 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-02

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Page 8 --The Michigan Daily-- Friday, April 2,1993

In an effort to better represent the voices of the
community, the Daily has reserved this extra page
to print letters to the editor. The following submis-
sions do not necessarily represent the opinions of
the editors.
Students have many summer options

Morris shouldn't compare opression

To the Daily:
During this time of the year, some
students decide to move out of the
residence halls, and into off campus
housing. But before you sign your
lease, there are a few precautions you
should take.
Do not sign a lease for an
apartment you have not seen.
Managers often show tenants a
"model" apartment rather than the
actual unit in which you may want to
live. The model could have new
carpet, furniture, and other fixtures,
while the unit they want you to rent
has old, worn out furnishings and
possibly a different layout or smaller
rooms. Insist on seeing the unit you
want to live in, get it in writing if they
tell you that your apartment will be
just like the model, or live some-
where else.
Never sign a lease without
reading it first. Make sure everything
in the lease is the same as what the
landlord told you verbally (e.g. rental
amount, beginning/ending date of the
lease, pets allowed, etc.). Have the
landlord write any promises that he/
she made to you into the lease (e.g.
numer or paricmg spaces ana costs
for them, if any; laundry facilities;
new carpet or other renovations). If
any clause in the lease is confusing,
ask the landlord to explain it to you.
Some things that landlords put into
leases are illegal, and therefore are
unenforceable, even if you sign the
lease
Negotiate with the landlord Just
because an apartment is advertised at
a particular rate, does not necessarily
mean that it is what you have to pay
for itOffer the landlord less rent
than what he/she requested. The
worst that can happen is they will say
no; if you don't ask for it, you
certainly won't get it! You can also
negotiate on fees and the beginning
and ending dates of the lease. Be sure
to do all negotiating before you sign
the lease, and put all agreements with
the landlord in writing.
As the end of the term nears,
many students will be moving out of
their houses and apartments for the
summer. Some may be looking for
ways to get out of their lease. The
AATU offers a suggestion on how to
break your lease. The most popular
Stop AIDS through
change in behavior,
not money
To the Daily:
I feel an obligaton to respond to
Daniel Ramirez' letter to the Daily,
"Safe Sex may be possible today" (3/
17/93). To me, this represents the
incredible amount of ignorance
associated with current feelings
about AIDS.
First of all, please spare us your
incessant whining about Reagan and
Bush. As it happened, President
Bush directed an unprecedented
amount of money towards AIDS
research, for all of the good it
did,which wasn't much. The fact is
that HIV and AIDS are viruses, and
in all of history, mankind has never
cured a virus. Throwing money at
the problem won't make it go away.
AIDS is a "behaviorally spread".
disease, and behavior modification is
the only way to stop it as of yet.
Mr. Ramirez insists on dismissing
the arguments posed by the previous
letter, "Safe Sex cannot exist

today..." (3/8/93) by saying that the
author was a freshman and therefore,
his/her arguments were meaningless.
On the contrary Mr. Ramirez, the
fact that he/she was a freshman
means that they haven't yet been
corrupted by this politically cleansed
liberal University, and that their
views actually come from the outside
world.
Jeff Marsh
Engineering Sophomore
I& Wie the

To the Daily:
In Natosha Morris' column
"Informative Action," (3/19/93), she
claims not to appreciate the use of
"the entire Black race in America as
an example of comparative degrada-
tion," but then goes on to do exactly
what she condemns - except to a
different minority, homosexuals.
Worse, while paying lip-service
to the idea that both "African
Americans and homosexuals are
oppressed groups," in herfcompari-
son she implies that the legitimacy of
the gay-rights struggle is somehow
less than that of the fight for racial
equality. Homosexuals, she says,
have not been fighting for rights for
more than "a decade or two," have
done little more than "a march here
and a protest there," were not
brought to this country involuntalily,
have no nation to call their own, and
will never suffer from extensive
systematic dehumanization or
degradation.
In all these cases (the first two of
which are both insulting and untrue),
she herself compares the homosexual
experience with that of African
Americans. But where the people she
criticizes argue that all humans
should be treated equally (i.e., that
homosexuals should no more be
discriminated against than should
blacks), Morris implies that homo-
sexuals don't have the historical
justification for equality that African
Americans do.
Later, she argues that African
Americans should not be dehuman-
ized by regarding them as a "blob of
colored mass," and as an example
suggests that "Black" women were
offended by the sexist sign at West
Quad. Then, however, she argues
that the only time homosexuals and
other "so called minorities want to
identify with African Americans is
when they need to muster under-
standing and support for their [own]
cause." Is it not likely that African-

American homosexuals identify with
African Americans more often than
they are in a gay pride march here or
there? Morris dehumanizes homo-
sexuals by lumping them together in
one mass concerned only with their
homosexuality, just as she criticizes
others for lumping African Ameri-
cans together in a common-colored
mass. By her own argument, it is
difficult to take this as anything less
than an "insult."
Her only justification for what
she does seems to be her repeated
assertion that "race and sexual
orientation are not the same," and
that African Americans "are a race of
people, not a choice of lifestyle."
Setting aside the basic anthropologi-
cal illegitimacy of dividing homo
sapiens along racial lines, in aligning
"sexual orientation" and "choice of
lifestyle," Morris is either claiming
that homosexuality is "only" a choice
(i.e., has no biological component),
or else that homosexuals have the
opportunity to hide their sexuality
and thus escape discrimination.
In other words, keep quiet about it
and everything will be all right.
Ignore the sky-high rate of suicide
among closeted teen homosexuals,
ignore the fact that remaining
closeted cuts the throat of one s
chances of having a fulfilling
emotional relationship. Besides
ignoring those little costs of her
proposal, Morris misses the point
entirely by not recognizing that the
equality deserved by one oppressed
group is deserved by all. Homosexu-
als should no more have to stay
closeted than Blacks should be
confined to ghettoes. Ultimately,
there is no need for Morris to
downplay the oppression of another
group to highlight recognition of the
burden suffered by African Ameri-
cans.
Jonathan Harrison
RC senior

0

EVAN PETRIE/Daity

way is to sublet.
Subletting is one of the most
common ways a tenant can get out of
paying full rent on a place they do not
wish to live in. When you sublet, you
essentially become a landlord. You
negotiate a contract with the tenant,
and you can collect a security deposit
from the subtenant.
Your landlord can require in your
lease that the tenant get his/her
approval before subletting, but he
cannot unreasonably withhold}
approval of a subtenant.
One disadvantage to subletting is
that if the subtenant does not pay all
of the rent, the original tenant can be
held responsible by the landlord. The
original tenant would have to sue the
subtenant for the rent money, or take
it out of his/her security deposit.
Model sublease forms are available at
the Tenants Union.
After your lease is up, and you
have decided that you will not renew

your lease, your main concern will be
getting your security deposit back.
When moving out, you must give
your landlord a forwarding address, in
writing, within four days of the date
you move out. It might be a good idea
to send it certified mail or give it to
him/her in person.
If you are moving out of state,
consider giving the landlord a local
address that will accept mail for you.
Some landlords will make deductions
because they think it will not be worth
the tenant's expense of returning to
sue in Small Claims Court. This is an
illegal, but typical landlord tactic to
make more money.
If you have any problems, or
questions about your lease, call the
Ann Arbor Tenants Union, come to
our walk-in counseling, or send us an
e-mail message.
Monique Johnson
Jeri Schneider
Ann Arbor Tenants Union

Two 'U' faculty members
are 'femi-nazis,' repress
freedom of expression

To the Daily:
I was astonished to read in
Harper's Magazine of Steve
Rosenstone's and Debbie Meizlish's
absurd and vindictive attack on a
student, Shawn Brown, who used a
rather ludicrous, though innocuous,
example in an essay concerning
telephone polls. The hypothetical
case, involving a man entertaining
several willing females in his
penthouse, was somehow twisted, in a
huge leap of logic, to construe sexual
harassment of Meizlish.

What it really revealed was blatant
repression of freedom of expression,
and an attempt by Rosenstone and
Meizlish to ensure that students use
only politically correct speech,
because Shawn Brown didn't include
either of them in his example.
The term "femi-nazis," coined by
Rush Limbaugh, appropriately
describes the two humorless faculty
members, who apparently have a
thought control agenda in the works.
Jason Larix
Missoula, MT

0

To anorexic girl in aerobics class:You look terrible, honey

by Wendy Shanker
LSA senior
I'm sending this one out to the
anorexic girl in my aerobics class.
You look terrible, honey.
Ifeelawful thatwhen you look in the
mirror, you see excess flesh. I only see
skin and bones.
Iknow thatmy thighs won'tearnme
a permanent page in the Sports
Illlustrated swimsuit issue, butI'drather
beme than you, kicking twice as high as
anyone in the class with half as much
body mass.
I don't know why you are the way
you are. But I realize that you are one
of millions of women who spend an
inordinate amount of time stressing
about the way they look.
I'd heard a lot about this issue, so
over a recent vacation I read Naomi
Wolf's The Beauty Myth: How Images
of Beauty Are Used against Women.
Wolf's thesis is that women, as a re-
sponse to the success of feminism, have
been "punished by an ideology that is
using attitudes, economic pressure, and
even legal judgement's regarding
women's appearance to undermine us
psychologically and politically."
I found this very disturbing. The
book was way too focused on the plight
of white, middle-class urban women. I
also felt her concerns to be that of schol-
ars, rather than women living in the real
world.
I found Wolf's thesis to be the big-
gest myth of all. I'm tired of hearing
fashion magazines and the diet industry
being blamed for how women are

0
0

puters for helping us run our lives more
efficiently. If a woman wants to pay big
bucks to look however she wants to
look, let her do it. She's not being
forced into itby amale-dominated soci-
ety. Au contraire, more power to ya.
I love fashion magazines. I fully
realize that I am not one of the women
pictured in those magazines. I know
my body will never look that way, be-
cause I do not contain the rare
supermodel gene in my DNA construc-
tion. That's all rightwith me. Idietand
exercise and wear makeup and spend a
load on clothes because I want to look
good. Forme. For others. I strive to be

influence you? Sure. Could it make
you strive to attain goals that are a
physical impossibility? Sure. But the
dive over the edgeinto anorexia, bulimia,
compulsive eating and exercising, is
not an impetus found on the pages of
Cosmopolitan.. Those magazines are
spending more and more space focus-
ing on issues like women's mental and
physical health.
Yes, the new trend of the "waif' like
model is as upsetting to me as it is to
anyone. As opposed to the tall, breasty,
killer thighs, big hairmodelsof the 80's,
magazine covers arenow plastered with
models who look more like pre-pubes-

good living. As long as women are
susceptible to poor self-image, adver-
tisers will use that angle to sell prod-
ucts.
Wolf doesget a couple things right.
She talks about learning to love our-
selves andloveour bodies. Shewrites,
"If a woman loves her own body, she
doesn't grudge what other women do
with theirs." This goes for you too,
anorexic aerobics girl. Whatever pain
you are feeling, please stop taking it
out on your body. You are too young,
you have too much potential to be
wasting yourself away to nothing.
After 21 years, I'm tired of thinking

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