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November 30, 1993 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-30

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 30, 1993

aWhe 4 d Jg t ailg
420 MaynardJO DB
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Josr DCOw
Editor in Chief
Edited and managed
by students at the -N L
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editor
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Editor's note: In order to tackle some of our letters backlog, we are filling the majority of today's editorial page with
your letters. We are still trying our best to accommodate all of the letters we have received.



. CAN SPE6< vT
A Formlc-%N
\ _ANC0-1)&- INTOAY S



*. WOULDt your)L1KE ' lE




Daily editorial
insensitive to workers
To the Daily:
In the Daily's editorial (9/29/93)
about the glut of construction work
on campus, you (undoubtedly
without realizing it) reinforced
negative stereotypes of working-class
As most University students are
not from working-class backgrounds
and, therefore, are unlikely to have
had life experiences which would
contradict those stereotypes, it is
particularly important that the Daily
refrain from inadvertently bolstering
the elitism and class-bias which such
stereotypes support.
It's also important not to insult
Specifically, you referred to
construction workers as "burly louses
with hardhats." You also implied
(through your reference to "perpetual
coffee breaking") that they avoid
working. Of course, the image of the
worker as a lazy lout is a common
and hurtful stereotype. I wonder if
any workers happened to pick up the
Daily today and, if so, how they felt
when they read the slurs about
themselves. As a person from a
working-class background, I can tell
you that I felt insulted and upset. I'm
sure other students, whose fathers,
sisters, uncles, neighbors, etc. are
those "burly louses," felt the same.
For the record, the building trades
are honorable professions.
Construction work is demanding and
often physically punishing work.
Hourly workers tend to work more,
not less, than their more privileged,
salaried counterparts in white-collar
professions. Any worker can tell you
that breaks are few, far between, and
strictly monitored by the bosses.
Finally, people in hardhats are no
more likely to be louses than people
in business suits.
I may have belabored my point,
but Iwanted to makeesure that you
"got it."
.W.W. Local IU670
Letter advocates
'Thought Police'
To the Daily:
The Oct. 28, 1993 issue of the
Daily contained a letter from a reader
who seemed to advocate that the
Daily become our "Thought Police.
In arguing that the Daily "failed
to provide needed point-by-point
rebuttals" to Bradley Smith's
Holocaust revisionist letter, Jonathan
Berger complains that "The reader
was forced to draw his or her own
conclusions." He further states that
the Daily failed in its "duty to leave
the reader no room to believe Smith's
Is life so oppressive, Mr. Berger,
that we have no time to waste on
forming our own opinions? In the
best of all worlds, would we pick up
our daily copies of the Michigan
Dogma to find out what our beliefs
are? How do you propose that we
choose those who will become the
arbiters of our beliefs?
It is certainly frightening to
envision a world that would deny the
existence of the Holocaust in order to

avoid dealing with the harsh lessons
it teaches us about ourselves. To
demand verbal persecution of those
who would do so, however, is to
deny all of us the opportunity to
weigh the issues ourselves, to think
more deeply on it, to absorb the
lessons not just into our minds but
into our hearts. We are fallible, yes,
and some of us will form opinions
that most find reprehensible, but that
is the price we pay for freedom of

Second Amendment is contrived at
The Second Amendment states,
"A well regulated militia being
necessary to the security of a free
state, the right of the people to keep
and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Through a curious interpretation of
this clause, Tykoski argues that "the
first part of this statement is merely a
dependent clause giving a possible
reason supporting the independent
clause and central meaning of the
If the argument over gun control
is to be waged at the grammatical
level, another, more probable,
reading of this sentence should be
introduced. Without studying any
historical facts surrounding the
amendment's creation, a simple
reading of the clause indicates that
the authors intended the dependent
clause as a modifier of the
independent clause, rather than as
"mere" supporting evidence. The
first part of the sentence, then, should
be understood as a qualifier on the
"main" idea of the sentence, namely
"the right of the people to keep and
bear arms shall not be infringed."
The entire clause, can and should
be read as meaning that as long as an
effective militia is necessary to
ensure the security of our nation, the
people have a right to arm
themselves. This interpretation is at
least equally as plausible as
Tykoski's strained "possible reason"
As a matter of legislative policy,
Tykoski is correct. By definition,
criminals break the law, so any
attempt to make gun ownership
illegal is likely to have little effect on
the armed status of the criminal
element other than to make it better
equipped than the law-abiding
population. Furthermore, Tykoski 's
statement that the lack of value that
young people give human life is a
large part of the reason for so much
violence in our nation is certainly
accurate. However, these are factors
to be considered in crafting
legislation and not in the
determination of the validity of an
argument for supposed constitutional
Banning private gun ownership is
bad policy; it is not an infringement
of the Second Amendment.
LSA Senior
America First!
To the Daily:
As an American citizen, I am sick
and tired of reading, in the past few
weeks, letters which have been
supporting the military of Israel.
More than $4 billion in our tax
money goes to Israel each year, some
of which goes for housing and
helping Israelis. I have a hard time
supporting this policy, especially
when I see so many homeless people
right here in Ann Arbor.
Those who are pro-Israeli would
counter by saying that Israel is our
only ally in the region. But former
CIA director Robert Gates stated that
China had purchased Patriot missile
secrets from Israel! Also, General
Dotan, an Israeli general, has
recently been jailed for defrauding

our government of over 40 million
dollars in military contracts! With
friends like these, who needs
The State Department imposed
trade sanctions against China for
illegally shipping advanced Chinese
missile components to Pakistan, so
why not the same for Israel? The
cold war is over, I think it is time we
start thinking of Americans and
America first!
Rackham graduate student

instead of buying pre-made
coursepacks, the lines at the copy
machines would move a lot more
slowly than the lines to buy
coursepacks. Maybe Jeff has tons of
time to blow, but for most of us, time
is precious. Any other bright ideas,
Rackham graduate student

, '

'Vestigial sexism: it's a real turkey'

Damoose quotes Bible
To the Daily:
I have just finished reading the
letter from John Damoose regarding
homosexuality and Romans 1:26-32.
Damoose obviously stopped reading
there. If he had continued, he would
have read: "Therefore you have no
excuse, O Man, whoever you are,
when you judge one another; for in
passing judgement upon him you
condemn yourself, because you, the
judge, are doing the very same
things." (Romans 2:1).
His selective use of the Scripture
is both frightening and dangerous.
His belief that he and others like him
can oppose such behavior and such
people "because he believes that the
Bible is God's infallible word"
reminds me of the fact that the Ku
Klux Klan uses "God's infallible
word" to pursue its ideology.
LSA senior
MSA isn't
unprofessional; the
Daily is
To the Daily:
This letter is in response to your
editorial "A Lack of
Professionalism" (11/10/93). This
editorial is a great affront to the
hardworking members of the
Michigan Student Assembly. Most
members volunteer a great deal of
their own time, balancing jobs and
studies, to ensure that MSA runs
From distributing funds to student
groups, to acting as a voice of the
students to the administration, MSA
serves a vital and important role here
at the university. Yes, MSA does
have its problems. For example,
MSA helps fund political lobbying
organizations such as the USSA (A
group with ties to the Young
Communist League), the MCC, and
the AATU. But what does the Daily
base its opinion of MSA on? People
talking too loud. People doing
homework. As if the Daily is a
bastion of professionalism!
You complain that people sit with
their feet up on the table. You assert
that this is inappropriate behavior for
an MSA representative. Well, what
about that Mistress of Misquotes, the
Daily MSA reporter? She sits up on a
window sill with her legs folded
underneath her. You don't see
reporters on Capitol Hill behaving in
such a manner.
You claim we resort to name
calling. I suppose your newspaper
referring to the College Republicans
or Regent Baker as "ignorant" or
"backwards" does not qualify as
name calling.
Finally, you, the esteemed staff of
the Daily claim MSA is in a state of
utter and total chaos and should be
disbanded. Have you forgotten that
the ruling party was endorsed by
you? Logically, if you feel MSA is
worthless, you have no one to blame
but yourselves.
Engineering sophomore
MSA representative

I had a very opinionated Thanks-
giving this year. I spent the holiday
with a friend of -
mine from Chi-
cago who just
happens to have
my old column
space in the (Uni-
versity of) Chi-
cago Maroon;
consequently, we
spent much of
dinner discussing
ideas for columns
(yes, Virginia, we journalists are in-
capable of Giving It a Rest.)
Outside of his opinion of Ann Ar-
bor ("It looks like Mayberry," he said),
we mostly talked about his latest idea
for a column: the ten types of sexual
partners. There were of course the
obvious like "Experienced Woman,
Totally Inexperienced Man," and vice
versa; we also came up with some
gems like "The Nervous Birth Con-
trol Users" ("Is it still on? Did you
take your pill? Are you sure?"). "I
should write this up," I thought to
myself, but then it occurred to me:
I couldn't write that column.
My male columnist friend could
get away with it - men might think
he was showing off, but then wish
they'd thought of it, and women would
muse about how much he really knew.
If I wrote it, with my picture running
next to it, men would think I was
loose and women would think I was
either loose or weird.
The double standard is still with
us, kids. I call it vestigial sexism -
another apt name would be sublimi-
nal sexism. It's those things we have
gut reactions to that we can't neces-
sarily explain logically, those things
that more than twenty years of femi-
nism have not been able to cure.
What goes through your mind
when you see a couple in which the
man is shorter than the woman? What
if you're in this situation yourself -
thinking of dating someone taller (if
you're a man) or shorter (if you're a

woman)? Logically you may have no
problem with it, but somewhere in an
almost unreachable place in your mind
it probably bothers you. Of course, no
one blinks an eye if the man is taller
- that's "the way it's supposed to
be." Why, we have no idea, but it is.
The same can be said for the guy
being older, smarter, more compe-
tent, and more assertive. These are
unabashedly sexist stereotypes, but
they die hard. Women have made an
incredible number of gains in the
working world, but masculine and
feminine roles in romantic relation-.
ships have quite a tenacious grip on
our souls.
Sociologist Arlie Hochschild
writes about a student of hers who
expressed her opinion in class and
argued forcefully about her term pa-
per grade, yet when asked about her
relationship with her boyfriend said
in a little-girl voice, "I want to fit in
the palm of my boyfriend's hand, like
She might not be so dumb - there
are still a lot of men out there who
want to date a woman like that, a lot of
men who are intimidated by assertive
women. There also are plenty who
aren't, but I've been told more than
once not to "act too smart" with a guy
on a date.
It works the other way around as
well. As a male friend of mine pointed
out, it is acceptable for a woman to
say no to sex (it's "her right"), but if
a guy turns down sex, his partner may
wonder what's wrong with him. Just
as I couldn't write that column with-
out appearing "too sexual," a guy
who doesn't feel like having sex at
that particular moment is assumed to
be "not sexual enough."
Jokes are another example of ves-
tigial sexism. While it is no longer
acceptable to tell racist jokes in polite
company, a joke about women driv-
ers or dumb blondes is still acceptable
(jokes about gays and lesbians are
even more prevalent.) One of my fa-
vorites goes like this: "Q: How many
actually voting for, and what these
people believe in as individuals. I
would like to see the Daily consider
its own responsibility in getting
students interested enough to vote.
LSA senior
Daily skews AIDS
To the Daily:
I have just finished reading yet
another opinion accusing the College
Republicans of all manner of evil
intentions with the "Cure AIDS"
flyers. If you want to continue to
encourage the debate on this topic,
then good for you, it should be
debated. But, if you please, let's hear
from both sides. I find it hard to
believe that you haven't received any
letters supporting the College
Republicans, and on the outside
chance that you haven't, here is one.
Please print it. I am very wary of the
way the Daily manipulates the
presentation of editorials and letters
to slant the outcome of what could be
a productive and educational debate,
hut I will ive you this chance be fair

feminists does it take to screw in a
lightbulb? A: Just one, and that's not
funny!" This is meant to imply that
feminists have no sense of humor, a
dubious proposition, considering my
collection of feminist cartoons alone.
Yet I like it because there are still so
many sexist jokes that almost every
self-respecting woman has had to re-*
sort to saying "that's not funny" at
least once.
The problem goes much deeper
than jokes, however. I was shocked to
find the following letter in Ann
Landers' column last Wednesday: "I
just had a baby boy, after two girls.
The comment I've been hearing re-
peatedly is, 'Your husband must be so
proud.' No one ever said that to me*
after my two girls were born. The
comment that took first prize was the
one my Neanderthal brother-in-law
made after his daughter was born:
'I'll trade you.' Can you believe it?"
"Someone should tell the man that
it's the father who determines the sex
of the child," was Ann's somewhat
lame response. (Someone should tell
Ann that both her hairdo and that
hideous checkered jacket she wears
in her mugshot went out about the
time mood rings hit bottom.)
The incident the letter-writer de-
scribes is not an isolated case. Ac-
cording to numerous surveys, both
men and women would prefer to have
a boy if they only had one child, and
would prefer to have the boy older if
they had a boy and a girl (the effect is
stronger with men, but still well oveD
50 percent with women.) Requests
for the test-tube techniques that can
influence the sex of a child run at
around 75 percent for boys, only 25
percent for girls. (I say "influence"
because, as my genetics professor said,
"The technique works about 50 per-
cent of the time." Heh.)
Sexist jokes I can put up with, but
when a female's very existence is
disappointment, we have a serious
problem. We've come a long way,
baby, but not far enough.
have prevented the transmission,
resulting in that many less cases of
Taking this a step further, if all
those with AIDS now took all the
steps advised by the medical
community to stop the transmission
of the virus, AIDS would be isolated
to only those who were currently
infected. If research comes up with a
cure, then those currently infected
will be treated. If a cure is not found,
at least the disease will spread no
further, as those with the virus would
not pass it on. My heart goes out to
those who would sadly die uncured,*
but we cannot use their plight to
justify the rampant lack of morality
which can be traced to almost all the
cases of "avoidable" transmission.
LSA junior
Kill two birds...
To the Daily:
It seems to me that the Nazi/Klan
groups and the AACDARR/
NWROC are all the same ugly
monster. They both try to smash
anything that is not them, be it by
wnv f m1nr nr nnlitirl alagnda.

Everybody has to pay
for U.S. defense
To the Daily:
In response to Timothy Pearce's
letter stating that he will not pay the
balance of his taxes until he is
assured that what he pays is not used
for military purposes (11/9/93), I
must add that if this "Peace Tax Fund
Bill" is passed, I will withhold the
amount of my taxes that supports
I don't feel that I should give
someone free money any more than
he believes that he shouldn't have to
pay for the defense of the nation that
gives him the freedom to speak his
mind. Unfortunately, reality sets in;
the poor must be subsidized so they
don't starve, and the people of this
nation must pay for its defense.
LSA junior
former sergeant, USMC
Daily should do MSA

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