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November 03, 1994 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-03

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 3, 1994 - 5
*Center for Independent Living helps the disabled take control

By JENNIFER ZULSKI
For the Daily
Billing itself a "catalyst for per-
sonal and social change and a place
where pride, power and personal
style come together," the Center for
Independent Living focuses on help-
ing the disabled.
A branch of the United Way, the
enter for Independent Living's un-
derlying philosophy is that people
with disabilities have the right to
take control of their own lives and
make decisions for themselves
Center director Dana Emerson
said the program helps people to
make decisions that can make their
lives easier in certain areas.

"These decisions are not neces-
sarily life-changing decisions, but
goals that each individual sets for
themselves," Emerson said.
While some may wish to take
control of their lives financially,
others may want to find a person
other than family for personal assis-
tance.
Emerson said the center has re-
sources and staff to help individuals
accomplish their goals.
One of the more popular pro-
grams is "Case Management." By
working in conjunction with insur-
ance companies and injured per-
sons, Case Manager Janet
McLennan can assure both the indi-

vidual and the insurance companies
that they are getting the best price
for the services being provided.
But they don't stop there. "We
are different from other case man-
agement programs because we go
beyond merely supplying the per-
son with care," McLennan said.
"We also follow up and make sure
that the individual is adapting
comfortably to their new situa-
tion."
Diversability Theatre is a reper-
tory company dedicated to dissect-
ing and commenting on disability
issues through performances by ac-
tors with and without disabilities.
The troupe writes all of its material,

which usually deals with the per-
formers' experiences with disabili-
ties, and with society's concerns
about people with disabilities.
Past plays have dealt with politi-
cal correctness and the frustrations
of helping a friend with disabilities.
Upcoming plays for 1995 explore
the quality of life for a person con-
sidering assisted suicide and a si-
lent comedy about a janitor in the
Warehouse of Dreams. Auditions
for both shows are being held Nov.
10-11 from 6-9 p.m. at the center.
Those interested can call 482-9708
for details.
Don Anderson heads up the
center's Disability Rights and Edu-

cation section. The section deals
with federal, state and local govern-
ments to help enact building codes
and laws for the disabled.
Recently, it was active in the
passage of the Wheelchair Lemon
Law, which requires a manufacturer
to take responsibility if its product
does not work properly. The Dis-
ability Rights and Education sec-
tion also works within the commu-
nity by helping local businesses keep
up to code on access for the dis-
abled.
"We were recently involved with
Seva restaurant and The Del Rio in
order to make those buildings more
accessable to the physically dis-

abled. That had a real good effect
on the community," Anderson said.
The center also offers services to
those who feel their rights as a dis-
abled person are being violated.
Center Coordinator Dana
Emerson emphasized that the cen-
ter is not only for those with physi-
cal disabilities, but also for those
with other disabilities such as learn-
ing disabilities, or vision and hear-
ing impairements.
For more information about the
center and its numerous services,
call 971-0277. For those needing
to use a telecommunications device
for the deaf (TDD), you can call
971-0310.

*U' couple
reveals
secret Thai
sex habits
By JOHN LOMBARD
Daily Staff Reporter
Professors Chanpen Saengtienchain
and John Knodel study sexual habits
for a living.
The couple travelled to Thailand to
gather data on how Thai men and
women view extramarital affairs, with
focus on the use of prostitutes or
commercial sex workers (CSWs).
"CSW is seen as something you go
and do with a group of men. Going to a
CSW alone in Thailand would be like
going to a movie alone in the U.S.,"
Knodel said.
Knodel, a professor for the
University's Population Studies Cen-
ter and sociology department, said the
on for his and Saengtienchain's
search focus on CSWs is that they are
the main mode of HIV transmission in
Thailand.'
By studying the Thai culture,
Knodel and Saengtienchain hope to
discover the way AIDS is spread among
the population at large.
The virus was first transmitted in
Thailand in 1989. Once CSWs became
infected by intravenous drug users with
r'e virus, it spread to CSW patrons.
odel said the infected patrons were
responsible for the incredible accelera-
tion of the virus infection in the popu-
lation.
In Thai universities, it is common
for upper-class students to take first-
year students to a brothel. "You prob-
ably don't know anyone who has been
to a prostitute?" said Knodel. "Indeed
r) some faculty ... such as Engineer-
g it's almost a ritual." Knodel said
men were not going to prostitutes as
much because of the fear of the HIV
virus.
Saengtienchain, a visiting re-
searcher from the Institute of Popula-
tion Studies at the University of
Chulalongkorn in Thailand, explained
thatupper-class students were expected
to treat new students to a night of
ofessional sex.
Knodel cited one Thai university
study that showed that slightly less
than half of the students had been to a
prostitute, which they said was a dra-
matic decrease.
"The difference there is that male
students don't have any moral hang-up
about going to a prostitute, but there's
much morereluctance for single women
sleep with a man in a non-commer-
cial relationship," Knodel said.
"Whereas here (in the United States), it
would be the reverse. It would be very
deviant to go to a prostitute but it's
fairly normal or ordinary to sleep with
your boyfriend or girlfriend.
"Married women don't feel par-
ticularly unhappy or disapprove of the
fact that their husbands had been to a
rostitute before they got married."

New book asks
questions about
Thomas hearing

EVAN PETRIE/Daily
Professors Chanpen Saengtienchain and John Knodel have studied Thailand for more than 20 years.

Knodel maintained thatmarried women
would turn a blind eye on their hus-
bands having sex with other partners.
He explained that they see CSW
"as an alternative to establishing a mi-
nor wife or some other kind of non-
commercial relationship that would
require some sort of resource commit-
ment on the part of the male."
For two months in 1993 and in
1994, Saengtienchain and Knodel went
to Thailand to conduct their field re-
search. Knodel said the Thai situation
was very different from that at the
University.
According to Knodel, "AIDS here
is not widespread outside these several
risk groups - IVD users and homo-
sexuals," he said. "In Thailand ... the
main source of transmission has been
through patronizing commercial sex
workers where the levels of infections
are quiet high..."
Knodel explained that condom use
was' on the rise due to the fear patrons
have of the HIV virus.
Knodel and Saengtienchain met in
Thailand while Knodel was doing field
research. "I was very impressed with
the way Chanpen operated in the vil-
lages and dealt with the common people
in Thailand." Saengtienchain and
Knodel have been married since 1992.
Knodel, detailed how the two re-
searchers operated in Thailand. Infor-
mation was gathered during group in-
terviews of seven people. A total of 112
Thais participated in the group inter-
views. These "focus groups" talked
about general perceptions and atti-
tudes of Thais toward sex especiallyx
extramarital affairs.
The focus groups avoided talking
aboutindividual behavior. Starterques-
tions such as, "What do wives think
4boutcommercial sex?" would be stan-
dard questions used in these group in-
terviews. The focus groups were guided
in their discussions by Saengtienchain
and other Thai-speaking moderators.
They also gathered data through
one-on-one in-depth interviews. Forty-
six Thais participate in the in-depth
interviews. Laughing she said, "My

eyes got very big when I heard some of
the stories about their spouses."
Knodel believes that their research
is important because there is such a
huge HIV problem in Thailand. With a
better understanding of extramarital
CSW sex, Knodel said, the Thai gov-
ernment may be able respond to the
problem.
"We really enjoy this type of re-
search ... and we learn alot personally
we just get an understanding ... of the
principle actors in this drama," Knodel
said. "But if it wasn't fun and interest-
ing, I probably wouldn't do it."
Saengtienchain enjoys studying
extramarital relationships because "it's
about(the village people's) lives. Some-
times if we don't talk with them per-
sonally or individually it looks like
their lives are simple, but once we talk
with them more and more we learn that
their lives are complex."
For example, one married woman
explained her attitude toward permit-
ting her husband to visit a brothel. "Eat
the same curry all the time, it's impor-
tant to have change," Saengtienchain
recalled her saying.
How do the Thais view masturba-
tion? "They think it's pretty normal,"
said Knodel. "They have an expression
called Chak Wao is the expression for
pulling the cord on a kite."
"It would be seen as less sensitive
than here," said Knodel. He explained
how masturbation in the United States
has a moral dimension which has been
fostered by the Catholic Church.
"Most Thai men do not have a lot of
hang ups about sex. It isn't defined in a
moral sense," said Knodel. "Thais view
the sexual drive of men a more natural
kind of urge that needs to be fulfilled
without a lot of moral connotations to
it." HeexplainedthatThai society places
more constraints on women, especially
when it came to masturbation.
Saengtienchain said that Thai views
on sex and pornography were different
from those in the United States. Pic-
tures of nude women were freely dis-
played in public areas in Thailand such
as barber shops and open markets. Pin-

up posters were hung next to portraits
of the Thai Royal Family and Buddhist
priests. Saengtienchain said that even
though pornography was more freely
accepted in Thailand than here in the
States, AIDS posters are also more
prevalent.
Saengtienchain described how men
normally go about getting CSWs. In
Thailand, men and women normally
socialize separately. The men will go
off to bars and will drink.
One or two of the lead men in the
group might suggest that the group go
and have sex at one of the local cafes or
specific brothels, explained
Saengtienchain. If one man refuses to
go, the others will tease him and accuse
the man of being afraid of his wife.
Saengtienchain said, "He will be kid-
ded to the end of harvest." The man will
then give in and have sex with a CSW.

The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - A new book
about the 1991 confirmation of Su-
preme Court Justice Clarence Tho-
mas says that the Senate Judiciary
Committee deliberately avoided fol-
lowing up on additional evidence that
Thomas may have lied when he de-
nied allegations of sexual harassment.
The book, titled "Strange Justice:
The Selling of Clarence Thomas,"
and written by two Wall Street Jour-
nal reporters, describes the commit-
tee as awkwardly and only half-
heartedly pursuing the truth of ha-
rassment charges made in testimony
by law professor Anita F. Hill. It
portrays individual senators as sty-
mied by a lack of committee leader-
ship, political fears and their own
alleged personal indiscrlions.
Showing Thomas as a man who
talked crudely about sex and proposi-
tioned female co-workers, the book
calls into question his denials to the
committee. It uses statements from
Thomas' friends and associates from
his college years through his nomina-
tion to the court by then-President
Bush to show that he had a long-held,
active interest in pornography.
Written by Jane Mayer and Jill
Abramson, the book, published yester-
day, already has contributed to the ideo-
logical and factual debate that began
with the hearings three years ago. A
book published last year, "The Real
Anita Hill: The Untold Story," by David
Brock, contended that Hill lied in her

Judiciary Committee testimony. Brock
was attacked by liberals and harshly
reviewed in a lengthy article in The
New Yorker by Mayer and Abramson.
Sen. John C. Danforth (R-Mo.)
who was Thomas' chief Senate de-
fender, published his own account of
Thomas' confirmation hearings, titled
"Resurrection." It contends that Tho-
mas believed his opponents would
have stopped at nothing - including
fabricated stories--to derail his nomi-
nation.
The new book has received exten-
sive publicity, including lengthy treat-
ment on ABC's "Turning Point," and
"Nightline." Brock, Danforth and
other Thomas supporters have sought
equal time in the media to counter the
version presented by Mayer and
Abramson.
Thomas declined to comment yes-
terday on the new book. His longtime
friend and colleague, Armstrong Wil-
liams, said "There is nothing new in
the book. It's he-said, she-said, they-
said. Unless there was an eyewitness
there, no one knows what happened"
between Thomas and Hill.
The book introduces new people
who might have corroborated parts of
Hill's allegations if they had testified.
"Strange Justice" says, "If Thomas
did lie under oath, as the preponder-
ance of the evidence suggests, then
his performance, and that of the Sen-
ate in confirming him, raises funda-
mental questions about the political
process that placed him on the court."

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