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April 20, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 4-The Michigan Daly- Tuesday, April 20, 1993

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief

Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, signed articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Rape won't disappear until attitudes change

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N THE LAST four months -in less than fif-
teen weeks - 38 women and men have
reported rapes to the Sexual Assault Preven-
tionand AwarenessCenter, and April's noteven
over yet. The number 38 is misleading too- it
represents onlythe people who gathered enough
courageto reporttheir assaults. Only six of those
people went to the police.
The FBI estimates that one in three women
and one in ten men will be sexually assaulted in
their lifetime. One in four women will be raped
while in college.
When statistics are echoed so often, they
sometimes losetheirsignificance. Statistics turn
human beings into numbers -"one of four."
Butthese numbers are people -people who
struggleto regaincontrol.To escape. To breathe.
To once again maintain confidence.
And later, to tell their friends. Their boy-
friends. Theirsisters. Theirparents. Sometimes
the police. They hope no one blames them, and
they hope no one tells them they should have
been more careful or wom something else.
Someone has shared her or his sexual asault
experience on this page every week this semes-
ter. Each article told a unique story about a
unique human being. Phones rang regularly at
the Daily from surivors who understood and
wanted to write about what they were feeling.
These stories were intended to break the
silence - to urge people to talk about rape.
These stories should tell people that rape hap-
pens and it happens to people they know.
Rape is not an impulsive act of passion. It is
acrimeofviolence thatcomes from a perception
that women are weak and can be controlled and

Involving penetration: 20
No penetration: 6
Acquaintance: 24
Stranger: 1
EOn Campus: 1
Reported to police: 6
* No additional information avail-
able for some reports
manipulated. It is not a random act of crazy men
attacking strangers on the street. Of the 38
reported rapes this semester, only one was
performed by a stranger. The most dangerous
place for a woman may just be at a party with
friends - or with her lover.
This is not to belittle the fact that men are
raped as well. But because of their gender,
women are told to be weak and notto fightback.
One in four women will be raped in college.
Funding advocacy groups is a postive step.
More changes need to occur in the legal system
and more counseling services need to be devel-
oped to work with survivors. But first, and most
importantly, attitudes must change. Women
need to stand up and show they won't take it
anymore. And men need to show repect.

Faulty comparisons damage everyone

by Kim LeBrane
Rackham graduate student
Although I disagree with Natosha
Morris's belief that sexual orientation is not
inherent, and feel that she grossly under-
stated the extent of the struggle and perse-
cution of homosexuality in America, I also
feel that she is absolutely right to chasten
people for assuming "we [Black people]
can relaterto every individual because of
our racial experience."
As a Black person, I find it extremely
annoying when members of otheroppressed
groups (be they racial, religious, or sexual)
tell me they understand what it's like to be
Black. Let's get this straight right now: the
only people who truly know what it's like
to be Black, are. The same is true for any
other group. It would be extremely pre-
sumptuous of me to believe that my expe-
riences with discrimination as a Black per-
son in any way, shape, or form, provide me
with an adequate understanding of what it
is like to be a lesbian, or Jewish, or Native
American, or a member of any of the many
other oppressed groups in America.
Discrimination in this country is as di-

verse as the groups that face it. Case in
point: despite arguments to the contrary,
Black people are a visible minority and
homosexuals are not. I am notrefening to
national visibility in the sense of having a
strong, united, active community, which
both groups have, buttoindividualvisibil-
ity in the simple sense of being identifi-
able on sight. Homosexuals do not have to
face the types of discrimination that stem
'Comparing the struggles
of oppressed groups far
too often degenerates
into the childish game of
"I'm more oppressed than
you are," which we could
all do without.'
from this visibility,justas Blackpeopledo
not have to face widespread public re-
crimination for whom they love (unless
they're of a different race - but that's
another topic entirely.)
Which brings us to the underlying point
of Natosha's article: "what society needs
todo isrecognizethatwhile African Ameri-
cans and homosexuals are oppressed

groups, our struggles are not one in the
same."We can show sympathy, empathy,
respect and support for each other and our
respective struggles but we cannot and
should notcombine or compare them. Com-
paring the struggles ofoppressed groups far
tooof tendegeneratesintothechildishgame
of "I'm more oppressed than you are,"
which we could all do without. This in-
cludes the inane University practice of put-
ting every discriminatory incident into an
African-American perspective with point-
less questions such as: "can you imagine a
1993 military ban on Blacks?" or "would
the Universityallowasignthatsaid 'Nigger
Rd.'?" My answer is no, probably not, and
what does that have to do with the price of
Kool-aid? Does the fact that there isn't a
military ban on Blacks or a sign that says
'Nigger Rd.' in the window of some dormi-
tory somehowmaketheexisting banorsign
more offensive? Are Black people sup-
posed to apologize for not being explicitly
included in every discriminatory incident?
What is the purpose of asking these ques-
tions, if not to drag African Americans into
playing yet another game of "Who's More
Oppressed?" Personally, I'd rather play

February 10
It happened several years ago and most of the time I don't even think about it anymore. But it
changed me forever ... I know there are many of us out here quietly living our lives as
someone who survived rape. Just because we don't talk about it all the time doesn't mean we
don't exist.
February 17,
I'm not just writing this article to pass time away, or to show how smart I am about the issue.
I really want to influence someone to be more careful, so that they won't have to go through
the pain of being a victim of sexual assault.
March 3
I was eleven the first time my uncle sexually abused me. Now, ten years later I'm in therapy
and trying to deal with the lasting effects of what he did to me.... Every day in many ways
the abuse is with me. I don't trust pe very easily, especially men.
She didn't have a face, she didn't have a name, she was scared.... Suddenly, all these
emotions swirl around here like on the train, but this time she feels like she is underneath the
train trapped, watching it speed over her. The train never stopped that evening to let her off.
... She is me and this is my story. She could be you.
March 17
I will talk over your head
till you are dead
Because you robbed me of this person I could be
who could once love
but cannot now
March 24
Not one, but a million women out there to tear this creep off of me, make me strong, fight
him off.... I'm the one who's screaming, screaming because it gives me control, because he
has to defend himself against it.
March 31
While victims typically feel guilt, I felt even worse because I had been there by choice,
passed out and naked. To make matters worse, I confided in a friend and she told me that it
was not rape. In retrospect, I know that it definitely was rape. Any sex without consent is
April 7
I ran back to the dorm by myself. How could I trust my friends to get me there safely? He had
been my friend. I had trusted him.
Seven showers later I was still dirty. Almost three years later, I am still dirty.... Dizzy. Sick.
Crying. Alone. Totally alone.
April 14
Telling friends has been difficult. While coming out as a sexual assault survivor is an excruci-
atingly painful task alone, I often fear ridicule and humiliation from friends who think women
are the only ones who can be sexually assaulted.
AIDS patientforced to wear mask in court

Denying tenure seems hypocritical

To the Daily:
In a March 30 address,
"Undergraduate education
for today and tomorrow,"
LSA Dean Edie Goldenberg
stressed the vital importance
of teaching in the research
university. "Faculty are often
given the message that
attention to students will hurt
their research careers, their
tenure and their salaries," the
Dean declared. "We are out
to change this culture so that
the many faculty who value
their educational missions
can feel supported rather than
But can we really believe
that the University means
what Dean Goldenberg says?
If so, why in late February
did the LSA Executive
Committee override a
departmental decision and
deny tenure to Richard
Campbell, assistant professor
in the Department of
Professor Campbell is
precisely the kind of

academic Dean Goldenberg
says this university now seeks
to encourage. Last October,
he was awarded the
University's coveted Faculty
Recognition Award, in
recognition both of his skills
as an undergraduate teacher
and his supervision of
students at the graduate and
professional level. The
University Record called him
"a tireless organizer, excellent
teacher, and nurturing
Campbell is also a
nationally recognized critic of
broadcast journalism and
author of the acclaimed 60
minutes and the News: A
Mythology for Middle
America. With co-author
Jimmie Reeves of the
Communication Dept., he has
a new study of TV crack
cocaine coverage forthcom-
ing. Both books bear the
imprint of respected univer-
sity presses.
The decision to deny
tenure to Prof. Campbell, if

allowed to stand, would have
repercussions beyond the
Communication Department
he serves so effectively. It
devalues the professor's role
as teacher and intellectual
guide, in blatant contradic-
tion of Dean Goldenberg's
stated aims. It discourages
initiatives across conven-
tional disciplinary bound-
aries. It sets up roadblocks to
those who would develop a
truly interdisciplinary and
engaged scholarship,
especially in the ever more
significant area of contempo-
rary news media and popular
We therefore strongly
urge the Executive Board to
reconsider its unfortunate
Marsha Ackerman
Chris Martin
Ellen Poteet
Jeremy Wood
and 40 other Rackham
graduate students

Freedom of
speech allows
for other views
To the Daily:
This is in response to
Kristin Johnson's letter,
"Maoist propaganda offen-
sive" (4/14/93), regarding the
availability of a Communist
newspaper on Michigan's
It seems inconsistent that
at one point you say you
"support the First Amend-
ment" (referring to its
guarantee of freedom of
speech,) while later you say
you "speak out against the
free existence of MIM Notes
on campus."
I hate to point out the
obvious, but what sets
America apart from the
repressive regimes repre-
sented by MIM Notes is the
fact that here, you can
espouse any political position
you damn well please -
even an unpopular one.
What you're proposing,
namely the withdrawal of
MIM Notes based on its
political content and associa-
tions, is a tactic favored by
those very regimes you
Martha Sorbet
LSA senior


Quotas can work both ways

ert Williams, an AIDS-infected pris-
oner, withattemptedmurder for throw-
ing a bottle of feces at a nurse, it revealed their
ignorance of the disease and bias against AIDS
A Jackson judge, last week, furthered this
ignorancebyordering Williams to wear ahockey-
style mask in court. Judge James Justin feared
Williams might spit and spread the disease to
those in the courtroom. But instead of protect-
ing the general public or his staff from the
disease, Justin only fueled their fear of AIDS
and AIDS patients.

sciously did was to segregate and dehumanize
the AIDS patient.
If society really wants to combat this fatal
disease, the first major step is learning about the
real risks of AIDS. It is sad that a judge in such
anhonorable andrespectedpositionis still apart
of the ignorant group that continues to falsely
stereotype and heighten illegitimate fears of
AIDS and AIDS patients.
Justin's inhumane decision to put a Hannible
the Cannibal-like mask on the defendant not
only increased the false sense of fear that most
haveof AIDS, but also denied the defendant due
process of law. Wearing such a mask, Williams

To the Daily:
The editorial, "No
Rainbow" (4/14/93), was
nothing more than another
example of the foolish
ideology held by many
modern liberals and "civil
rights" proponents: any
institution must consist of
personnel which is represen-
tative of the ethnic, sexual,
and racial distribution of the
general U.S. population. It
also showed the hypocrisy.
and close-mindedness that
often accompanies such a

various athletic departments
for not boosting the number of
African- American basketball
staff (presumably coaches and
trainers) in order to make it
more sympathetic to the needs
of its players.
Hypocrisy! The editorial
fails to acknowledge the
lacking number of whites and
other racial groups on the
court. Isn't this discrimination,
too? Should we be alarmed
and call for an increase in
recruitment of non African-
American basketball plavers

hiring procedures be any
different for the non-playing
staff: coaches, administrators,
and trainers? The fact that all
of the teams were in the Final
Four shows that the formula
they use for success is
working, in short, they are
winning basketball games.
If proven discrimination in
hiring non-playing staff or
recruiting players on the basis
of race does exist, then indeed
there is a problem and it
should be addressed, if not,
then let the teams do what


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