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December 07, 1993 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-07

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 7, 1993

1 je £irbinau DaxI

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

JOSH DUBOW
Editor in Chief
ANDREW LEVY
Editorial Page Editor

1

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.

Sharp as Toast;
TALK TO
SANTA!
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Berman's letter was
enlightening
To the Daily:
This letter is in response to Scott
Berman's letter (11/17/93), which
insightfully and accurately
characterized all engineers. His
liberal and open-minded thoughts
have been most enlightening to us.
As students of the College of
Engineering, we agree completely
with Berman's opinions. Having
each chosen an engineering field as
our major, we are now completely
devoid of all human emotions, social
awareness, and self-autonomous
thought. You see, we were
genetically engineered to carry out
the conservative opinions and
actions of our parents.
Upon graduation, we are
gleefully looking forward to the
opportunity to be subservient in the
workplace to all other majors.
Sadly, we have to cut this letter
short. The reason, you ask? "Star
Trek" is on soon. Some things are
really important.
DAVID FISKE
Engineering sophomore
MINIR PATEL
BRANDON PERSINGER
Engineering juniors
Piazza distorts the
facts on Israel
To the Daily:
In his piece "Apply terrorism
standard equally" (11/11/93), James
Piazza tenaciously attacks Israel and
claims it implements policies of
terror and overt oppression. Piazza,
however, distorts the facts and uses
cheap demagoguery to inflame a few
isolated incidents in Israel's past.
Inducing from these cases that
Israel's policies are sheer terrorism is
nothing more than fascist
propaganda.
An Israeli citizen and soldier who
spent five months in the Gaza strip
and West Bank, I can assure Piazza
that the Israeli government has no
policy of killing innocent children.
The political and strategical situation
in the area is too sensitive and
complicated for it to be reduced to
"good guys and bad guys." I totally
agree that the current presence in the
occupied territories is wrong and
oppressive to human rights, but the
solution will be political. Israel is
already making major concessions
that are changing the atmosphere
every day.
AARON GUTNICK
LSA first-year student
I'm using a real tree,
so there!
To the Daily:
(The following is the text of a
letter the author wrote to Eric
Luskin, director of Family Housing
at the University, with a copy sent to
the Daily for publication. -ed.)
Some sunny day in December,
I'm going to take my wife, my spn
and my daughter, and go to my
favorite Christmas tree spot, one to
which I went with my own parents
years ago. I'm going to patiently
hold up trees for my wife until I'm

blue in the face, and finally agree
with her on what will probably be an
overpriced Douglas Fir (I'm a Scotch
Pine man myself). Then, I'm going
to take said tree home and put it up
in my living room, all the while
enjoying that wonderful fresh pine
aroma, which more than anything
brings back Christmases past, and
watch nervously as my daughter
drops ornament after ornament while
trying to get the hook on the limb.
Next, I'm going to give it some
water, which, according to your
study, makes a tree nearly
imnossible to ignite. Finaly afte~r

burden on the part of the lessors to
invent new and infringing policies. In
other words, take a break, and have a
Merry Christmas!
JOHN HEFFERNAN
Business graduate student
Don't blame the victim
for the crime
To the Daly:
I am writing in response to Chief
Leo Heatley's statement in the article
concerning the rape behind South
Quad ("Local police investigate rape
behind South Quad," 12/1/93). He
says the attack could have been
prevented if the woman had walked
with someone. Why is it her
responsibility to find an escort at
night? Why isn't it the police
department's responsibility to make
the streets safe enough for women to
talk alone? Since when have we
started blaming the victims for the
crimes?! She simply walked 10 yards
out of her back door. Do we have to
call Safewalk even to cross the street
now? Women should not have to live
in a society that pampers criminals
and puts them back on the street to
rape again.
Chief Heatley is correct, the rape
could have been prevented. Maybe if
the men of the world would take
responsibility for their actions and not
blame women for rape, this could
have been prevented. Instead of
interrogating the victim about her
lack of responsibility, why not work
to toughen the criminal system and
place the blame and interrogation
where it belongs?! Stop blaming
women for men's power tripe, start
convicting rapists, give them harsher
sentences. Then maybe, the attacks
will be more preventable. Until men
stop thinking with their dicks and
start thinking with their minds,
women will be forced to live their
lives in fear.
BECKY HOLLENBECK
ABBY GOODMAN
LSA first-year students
Don't force your
values on others
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
Michael Martz's letter (12/2/93).
First of all, he says that he
"believe(s) that AIDS is a disease
resulting from immorality." While
this may be true for the majority of
AIDS cases, there are still a
significant amount of people who
contract HIV regardless of their
moral actions, i.e. blood transfusion
recipients and newborns. I don't find
these people to be involved in a "web
of sin."
It is also arbitrary for Martz to say
that "Americans need to change their
moral values in life, like abstinence,
don't use drugs, and don't commit
the act of homosexuality." I think that
he should consider that it isn't the
immorality of these acts that causes
AIDS, it is the lack of responsibility
in committing these acts. Besides, he
shouldn't ask us to commit actions
based on his subjective "morals;"
people should have the right to do
whatever they want as long as it does
not affect others in a negative way.
And as for the use of religion in

Martz's letter, all I can say is that
forcing another's morals or values on
someone else is detrimental to man; it
doesn't allow him to think for himself
and learn from his mistakes. It is best
to let people consider religion only by
their own volition.
GREGORY L. PARKER
Architecture first-year student
Don't make them die
for their supposed
sins

proposed cure is to be effected. The
call to "family values" is merely a
retrenchment - a rear guard action.
Rather than seeking to pro-actively
develop a medical cure, campus
Republicans propose that, in effect,
society passively close the watertight
doors to prevent a flood of polluted
blood from contaminating the
remaining pure stock. Essentially,
they propose to let those with AIDS
die while watching from afar in their
morally sealed stockade.
Considering that a significant
portion of the world's population has
become infected by supposedly
immoral conduct, one may
legitimately question the Christian
compassion of those who propose
this course. Furthermore, as a society
we do not deny medical care to
victims of physical accidents, yet
College Republicans imply that those
who commit what they deem moral
mistakes should be left to perish.
Moreover, the Republicans' position
implies that allowing the moral riff-
raff of the world to die off will
morally improve society by allowing
those who adhere to their concept of
family values to survive. The
comparison to the eugenic arguments
of the early part of this century
cannot be ignored. By choosing the
term "cures" rather than "prevents,"
College Republicans propose that the
solution to this tragic epidemic is to
simply allow untold millions to die
while they preserve their own
pristine blood.
MARK CHASTEEN
LSA senior
'Morality' would stop
'avoidable' HIV/AIDS
transmission
To the Daily:
Are we debating issues or
semantics? I am not proposing family
values will cure the physical
manifestation of AIDS. What they
will cure is the societal problem of
transmitting a deadly disease. In the
case of the dentist and the wayward
husband, the disease was transferred
because they had no values. But, if
that dentist or husband had applied
moral standards, they would not have
carelessly transmitted it. (If the
husband had respected his role in the
family, he wouldn't have been
wayward in the first place.) Here,
morality would certainly have
prevented the transmission, resulting
in that many less cases of AIDS.
Accordingly, if all those with
AIDS now took steps to stop the
transmission of the virus, AIDS
would be isolated to only those who
were currently infected. If research
develops 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.
PAMELA NASH
LSA junior
Oops... I almost forgot

To the Daily:
After posting my recent letter
concerning your lack of coverage of
Veterans Day, even I got the
impression that you completely
neglected the holiday. My actual
complaint is not your coverage of it
in the Nov. 11 edition, but a lack of
promotion of events that were to take
place. You offer advance notice of all
other events on campus and yet on
the actual holiday, not a word was
mentioned. Please add these
comments to my previous
correspondence.
MICHAEL SCHUILING

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If the Fiske gde doesn't suffice try this

Ranking colleges on the basis of
quality is big business these days.
There's no longer --
a need to get into
philosophical ar-
guments over the
intrinsic worth of
your chosen insti-
tution of higher
learnig. Open up
a copy of U.S.T
Snooze and
World Distort,
and you can prove
to the bozos back home that Michigan
is better than Michigan State.
This concept has recently been taken
to new heights by an obscure "men' s
magazine" called "The Inside Edge."
These guys decided to rank colleges
not on the basis of quality, but on the
basis of how easy it was to get a degree
and how many attractive women you
could boink while you were there. The
whole concept struck me as bizarre; I
could just see every magazine in the
country getting in on the act.
"Women's Day" and "Good House-
keeping" (read by mothers everywhere)
would rank colleges based on security
on campus, the availability of laundry
facilities, and the strict rules prohibit-
ing opposite sex visitation in the dorms.
"Cosmopolitan" would tell you how
easy it was to walk around the campus
in high heels and how much cleavage
you should show. "Soldier of Fortune"
would rank how easy semi-automatics
were to come by. "Seventeen" would
pretend to care about academics, but
would end up telling you how fashion-
ably the women dress and how many

cute guys there were.
Even if these surveys were done, I
would still find the "Inside Edge" sur-
vey the most bizarre. For those of you
who haven't heard of the survey, the
magazine had 50 raters from around
the country rate the nation's 300 larg-
est co-ed colleges and universities on
how "fun" they are to attend (Michigan
ranked number 25, in case you're won-
dering). The exact criteria they used
are worth reporting: proximity of bars
and clubs, number of parties, sexiness
of the women at the school, percentage
of women at the school, quality of
sports teams, quality of facilities, loca-
tion, and ease of graduation and classes.
By these criteria, a school where
you learned nothing, got drunk every
weekend, and screwed as many women
as possible would be at the top of the
list (which explains the placement of
Florida State as No. 1, I suppose.)
Maybe it's because I attended the
bottom-ranked school in this survey
(the University of Chicago ranked num-
ber 300, after Oral Roberts and West
Point), but I think this is a ratherwarped
view of fun.
First of all, why does an active
social life have to revolve around drink-
ing? Most people I know have just as
much fun hanging out with friends at a
coffee shop as they do hanging out
with friends at a bar - maybe even
more since they don't say stupid things
or throw up afterwards. Drinking in
moderation has plenty to recommend
it, but I have a feeling the guys at "The
Inside Edge" are into the lampshade-
on-da-head school of drinking.
And what's this junk about the sexi-

ness of the women - and just the
women? (Not that adding in the attrac-
tiveness of the men would have helped
U of C's ranking -unless you're into
geeks.) I'm sure their excuse is that
they are a men's magazine, something
that heretofore has not existed witho
pictures of half-naked women, spo
figures, or disassembled cars. At any
rate, I was under the mistaken impres-
sion that it takes more than sexiness to
make a woman fun to be with; I would
hope that there are a few guys out there
who want to date friendly, intelligent,
and self-confident women. But maybe
I'm wrong.
It would be easy to dismiss this
survey as so much mindless, sex@
junk, but the truth is, it touched a nerve.
The Associated Press picked up the
story, and almost every major newspa-
per in the country ran it somewhere in
their front page section. With more
people going to college these days,
there are a sizable number of people out
there who care which colleges are the
easiest to skate through.
This is the most disturbing part
the survey: the implication that t
easier it is to graduate from a school,
the more fun it is to go to. Going to
college to actually learn something
seems to be a fading ideal -these days
the point is to have lotsa fun, learn as
little as possible, and get out with your
piece of paper as soon as you can.
How can such an empty experience
be considered fun? "Uh, I dunno," sa
the guys at Florida State, chugging
beer. "Gotta go to my class - you
know, Math for Trees. Where's the
babes?"

Society is to blame for rape, not the rapist

By RYAN ESSENBURG
"Rather let the crime of the
guilty go unpunished than
condemn the innocent."
-Justinian I, Law Code, A.D. 535
Late Tuesday, as I was studying
my homework for the next day's
classes, a friend of mine stopped to
inform me that another rape had
occurred on campus, this time right
outside of South Quad. Still fresh in
my mind was last month's horrifying
description of what happened to the
woman who was stopped at gun
point with her companion. After
being abducted, she was repeatedly
raped (arms restricted) and then
thrown off of a bridge into a river
(with her arms still restricted.) This
woman could have died at least four
or five times but still, miraculously,
she lives today. I was nonetheless
quite upset to find out that another
rape, this serious disregard of a
human being's dignity, rights and
self-worth, had once again occurred.
I desperately wanted to know the
person's name who committed the.
crime, so that I and the rest of
campus could see what type of vile,
base and loathsome creature he was.
But is it this man that I despise so
much or do I despise, rather the

society that has made him into who,
or what, he is? It is very easy for us
to put the blame on two sources: the
victim and the rapist. The victim.
That is what she (or he in rarer cases)
is. They are a victim of someone's
illogical actions and are therefore
unwillingly sentenced to a
punishment, for a crime, they did not
commit. The crime? Being a woman;
then to add, being at the wrong place
at the wrong time. The rapist is a
mere tool in this highly complex,
overall picture of rape. He is the one
who carries out the final act in a
progression of injustices that are
distributed to all minorities everyday
by society.
But contrary to what conventional
thought would have us to believe, the
victim is not totally responsible for
this injustice and neither is the rapist.
I am not advocating that whoever
rapes should not have to face the
consequences of his or her actions,
but rather, I am showing how the
rapist is just an immediate source to
point the finger. The real criminal is
you, me and the rest of society. We
have constructed and adhere to a
society where we treat the rape
victims as the beginning and end to
the entire rape problem. University
Department of Public Safety Chief
Leo Heatley said, "(The attack could

have been prevented) if she had
walked with someone, if she had
called and escort service." Heatley
probably chose a modest way of
assessing the situation and stating
what he felt was a cause. But in this
nonchalant, everyday manner we see
how dangerous victim-bashing is. It
has become so integrated into our
thought processes that we come to
assume that she could have prevented
the rape if she really wanted to. But
instead of this "could have been
prevented" scapegoat answer, we
should be asking, "Why should
women feel as though they are
objects? Why can't they feel secure?"
To answer this and other very
rigorous questions, would demand a
critique of society; we are guilty of
constructing a society that is based
upon how women act, how women
dress, and the way they conduct
themselves to males. It's time to re-@
think our cultural assumptions that
we, as a society, place on both sexes,
so that we can change for the better.
This argument can be debated much
further than this, however, just as
society acts quickly to point the
blame on rape and other crimes, I too
will act quickly by ending here. The
rapist is the mouthpiece for a society
whose morals and foundations have@
gone awry.

A not on . -s.
Over the course of this semester, and for some time before that, the Daily has
struggled to print all of the letters we receive that include the author's name and phone

i

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