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April 18, 1995 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-18

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16 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 18, 1995

writer's meaning
To the Daily:
I am writing in reference to the
letter co-authored by Ellen Oberwetter
and Caroline Arnold that appeared in
the Monday, March 27 edition of the
Daily ("Level Playing Field still eludes
First off, I must concede an error
that I made in my original letter to
which they were referring ("Sexism by
any other name is still sexism," 3/17/
95). Near the end of my letter, I stated
that "men are better than women at
some things, and women are better
than men at some things." They pointed
out that my remark sounded much like
'men are better at bringing home the
bacon, and women are better at clean-
ing house." Thisof course, is not what
I meant.
However, while they are absolutely
inaccurate in interpreting my meaning,
andaredeceitful and completely incor-
rect in putting words in my mouth, the
fact remains that I was unnecessarily
vague in my phrasing. I realize now
that I should have said, "some indi-
viduals are better than other individu-
als at some things." In this, I agree with
Ms. Oberwetter and Ms. Arnold. Abil-
ity should be the only consideration in
considering a person's capability. I
apologize for my vagueness in phras-
ing and lack of clarity.
This being said, I would like to
refute some of the misconceptions that
they attempt to furtherin their letter. In
arguing that sexism is a reality that
women face every day, they point out
that, in our country, women comprise
52 percentof the population, but only 5
percent of the top administrative jobs.
Fortunately, I read to the end of the
same article in the March 27th edition
of Newsweek magazine ("Holes in the
Glass Ceiling Theory"), wherein I as-
sume Ms. Oberwetter and Ms. Arnold
garnered their information, and I found
out the truth.
The authors of that article explain
that the commonly touted 5-percent
figure (which they also point out is a
threefold increase from the mid- 1980s)
is flawed, and that the true figure is now
nearer to9or 10 percent. Furthermore,
the authors state that many women are
on their way up the corporate ladder,
because elite business schools began
admitting large numbers of women in
1975, and senior executives usually
need to have 25 years of MBA experi-
Thus, women who graduated that
year are only now reaching the point in
their careers where they would nor-
mally be considered for top positions.

And, experts say that if current trends
continue, the pace of their progress
may increase, since women make up
one-third of the students at business
schools and one-half of those attending
law schools, according to the authors
of the article.
They then claim that I present no
alternive to the present system, as if
my entire letter were not about the need
for our society to create a more level
playing field, based on true equality for
all regardless of sex. As I argued be-
fore, if a system which considered abil-
ity the most important factor (instead
of sex) existed, sexism would be, by
definition, nonexistent. The logic is
straightforward and self-explanatory.
A level playing field - in essence a
system of true equality - is antitheti-
cal to affirmative action, wherein deci-
sions are made on the basis of sex.
Later on, Ms. Oberwetter and Ms.
Arnold point out that women are cur-
rently marginalized and discriminated
against. They further assume that I
relish this, and that I am in support of
such a system, probably because I'm a
man. They are wrong. I agree with
them completely that it is wrong for
women to be paid less than men on the
basis of sex. I scorn a corporation that
would promote men over women on
the basis of sex. This is wrong. Re-
member now, I am the advocate of
complete and total equality. Simply
because I want to make things fair for
everyone (men included), I am labeled
a misogynist by Ms. Oberwetter and
Ms. Arnold. This is just plain silly.
Aren't we searching for the same equal-
ity, after all?
After avoiding common sense and
logic for most of their letter, Ms.
Oberwetter and Ms. Arnold then re-
mark that I have "the audacity to say,
'don't punish me for the sins of my
fathers."' They explain thatl"display
my ignorance when [I] suggest that
affirmative action is a punishment."
They tell me that it's not about me.
They are dead wrong.
This is about me. This is about
them. This is about everyone at this
University and in our country. If all of
us, as humans, can't fight for and ex-
pect total equality in the workplace and
in the world, then who are we?
I am not the cause of the past or
currentdiscrimination. Ido not support
it.I have not benefited from it. So don't
punish me with affirmative action pro-
grams just for being a man. I would
hope that when Iam hired one day, I am
hired on the basis of my ability and not
on my sex. I should also think that Ms.
Oberwetterand Ms. Arnold would hope
the same. But by advocating a system
that would make decisions based on
sexist policy, Ms. Oberwetter and Ms.
Arnold obviously do not believe in
equality. At least not in the same equal-

ity that I do. Ms. Oberwetter and Ms.
Arnold are sexists: they believe and
actively advocate a forced equality,
one that is by definition sexist and
anything but fair. This makes no sense
to me.
As if all this weren't enough, Ms.
Oberwetter and Ms. Arnold tell me that
I have benefited from maligned hiring
practices (despite the fact that I've never
been in the job market), that I'm not
concerned with maligned hiring prac-
tices (implying that I like the dominant
male power structure), and that I some-
how disempower women. They don't
exactly explain how they reached these
conclusions, but they do allude to the
fact that I've never been told that "Boys
can't do math (even though I tell my-
self this every time I'm in amath class),
[or] boys can't be President."
First, they should not presume to
tell me what I am concerned about, or
what has happened to me. They could
not possibly have a clue. Ms.
Oberwetter and Ms. Arnold are stereo-
typing me, assuming that because I am
a male, I am the beneficiary of every
old-boy network that has ever existed.
This is not true, and even if it was, I
would not appreciate it. Remember,
now, I am for a system that considers
capability on the basisof ability and
nothing else. I would imagine that Ms.
Oberwetter and Ms. Arnold would
doubt my sincerity, but I am the one
who is advocating a system of total
equality and justice for all, and not just
for those who meet some sexual re-
I, and many who think likewise, are
searching for equality by promoting
equality. Only by ensuring equality to
all persons, regardless of sex, can we
ever hope to bring about true equality.
Ms. Oberwetter and Ms. Arnold and
Ms. Eriksen and affirmative action all
seek justice through forced equality.
By definition, you can't have equality
by forcing it. You can't possibly make
things equal, and at the same time,
discriminate against some on the basis
of sex: It's antithetical. Only by ensur-
ing equality for all, regardless of race
and sex, can we ever hope to achieve
true equality based on ability and noth-
ing else.
A level playing field, wherein equal-
ity-true equality-exists does elude
us still. Until this society decides that
ability, and not sex, should be the sole
consideration in decision-making, we
will see sexism. Any time sex (or any-
thing else for that matter) is used as a
basis for decision-making, it's sexism,
plain and simple, and it's wrong. After
all, sexism by any other name is still
Randall A. Julp
President, Michigan Men's Club
LSA sophomore

Goodbye and
thank you to
the Fab Five
To the Daily:
We have witnessed the end of a
historical moment in college basket-
ball history. All that is being talked
about is our disappointing season and
how we should have beaten Western
Kentucky. The truth of the matter is
that it does not matter that we lost. It
does not take away from the Fab Five's
accomplishments. The Fab Five was
about winning, but it was also about
more than winning. They won with
style; not the style that some NCAA
administrators would have liked, they
played their own way. You can't tell
us that people didanot like it. Fans
wore their jerseys; they bought their
hats. School administrators cannot
fool themselves into thinking that the
great education is the reason that
young kids these days love this uni-
They made mistakes, they pissed
some people off, they lost some big
games. So go the lives of America's
youth. They were unique. Destroyed
some teams, embarrassed others, all
in a night's work. So they will now
move on. Three in the NBA already,
two soon coming. They have forever
affected this university and college
basketball. We think it is time that
this university stand and thank Jimmy,
Jalen, Ray, Juwan, and Chris. The
Fab Five was the greatest recruiting
class ever. Their style was crude, abra-
sive as well as dominant, captivating.
The Fab Five will forever be etched in
our memories. Don't believe us? Who
were the 1992 Big Ten Champions?
Don't know? Then just shut up and
play, stop all that trash talking. And
can't you kids buy some shorts that fit
you? Thank You Fab Five.
Frank Kress
Bryan Mills
John Murino
LSA first-year students
involve women
To the Daily:
I am writing this letter in response
to Jennifer Fried's article about the
involvement of women in politics that
appeared in the Daily on Friday, April
14 ("Study: Women have less politi-
cal involvement"). As one of the
women whom Ms. Fried interviewed
for her article (but whom she did not
mention), I can honestly tell you that
she did a wonderful job of misrepre-
senting her findings. As a five-year

member and current vice president of
the U-M College Republicans, I have
seen just as much, if not more, in-
volvement of women in the political
arena as I have seen the involvement
of men.
Maybe this isn't the case for the
liberal organizations that Ms. Fried
interviewed but it is certainly the case
for our organization. So, any of you
women out there who are feeling op-
pressed right now, know that you have
some place to turn to. If you want to
be involved in politics when you come
back in the fall or if you want to start
now you can always turn to the U-M
College Republicans.
Jeanette Lamer
Vice president, U-M College
Column unfair to
'U' fundraisers
To the Daily:
I would like to respond to the col-
umn that had been written in the Daily
by David Wartowski on 4/11/95 re-
garding the Senior Pledge Program.
In his column, he questioned the le-
gitimacy of the program and went on
to question the purpose of contacting
alumni and students by phone.
There has been a consistent argu-
ment made by a few alumni and stu-
dents that U of M should rely only on
mail solicitations for fundraising and
terminate the "telemarketing" opera-
tion. These individuals find the phone
calls disruptive to their lives. How-
ever, we have found that the vast
majority of alumni and students we
contact do not mind taking five min-
utes out of their busy evening to speak
to student representatives of their alma
mater, and in fact many enjoy doing
so. Further, there can be no denying
the greater impact, convenience and
rapport that telephone fundraising has
over mail solicitations. This is clearly
demonstrated by the fact that tele-
phone operations raise more than three
times as much as mail solicitations
do. In addition, telephone fundraising
also allows the University to have a
vital communication link with alumni
and provide a forum for their feed-
back and suggestions.
I would also point out the hypoc-
risy of the column, considering that
the student who wrote it has been
benefiting from our program by means
of funds that we have raised for com-
puter labs, classroom equipment,
scholarships and special lectures here
at U of M. It is important for students
to be aware of the fact that the tuition
dollars they pay cover only two-thirds
of the cost of attending U of M. Addi-
tionally, with the state funding re-
maining flat next year, the impor-
tance of private support of U of M (i.e.
alumni and class gifts) can not be
stressed enough. I would suggest to all
students that they consider the level of
quality education they would have re-
ceived here and how much more in
tuition they would have paid without
the 3.5 million dollars that Telefund
has raised this year alone.
Finally, I would like to state how

unfair your column was to the callers,
clerks, managers and all those who
volunteered for the Senior Pledge
Program to make our campaign a suc-
cess. While they do nothing as noble
as publishing their highly critical
views about U of M and the rest of the
world, they have all made a concerted
effort to organize the Class Gift for
1995, and deserve far greater appre-
ciation and respect than your article
gave them credit for.
Daniel K. Marko
Michigan Telefund

Hindus left out
of religion article
To the Daily:
I was very disappoined that the
Daily article on religion on campus in
the April 7 issue totally ignored Hin-
dus on campus. As the third largest
religious group on this campus (after 4
Christians and Jews), it is unfortunate
that nobody at the Daily realized that
such an important group was ignored.
This is even more unfortunate consid-
ering that the Daily actually covered
various activities of Hindu Students
Council a number of times this year.
Hindus come from many coun-
tries around the world and follow a
variety of religious beliefs and prac-#
tice a number of spiritual paths. What
all Hindus have in common though is
respect for a multiplicity of paths to
spiritual growth. In the ancient texts
of Hinduism, which take over 4,000
years back, it is said "Ekam Sat Viprah
Bahudha Vadanti" - Truth is One,
Sages Call it by Various Names. This
stems from the universal ideal of,
Hindu culture which is "Vasudhaiva
Kutumbakam" - the whole universe
is one family.
Hindu heritage stresses tolerance
to others and respect for differing
beliefs. Hindus believe that each indi-
vidual has his or her own inclinations
and should seek out his own path and
guru (teacher) for spiritual and pesonal
development, ultimately to find Truth,
or God. This is important in today's
world, where bigotry, fundamental-
ism, and hatred are all around.
I hope that the Daily will not re-
peat this mistake again in the future
and that the Daily will also attempt to
educate its readers about a very sig-
nificant and active community on the
University of Michigan campus.
Mihir Meghani
member, National Steering
Committee of Hindu Students

Join the
Summer Daily.
writers and
are needed.
Editorial board:
May 5 at,2 pm
and every Friday after
Columnists submit 2
samples by May 1
Cartoonists submit 3
samples by May 1
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