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March 28, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-28

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 28, 1997

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 JOSH WHITE
Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by ERIN MARSH
students at the Editorial Page Editor
University of Michigan
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

'Japan permitted penniless Jews to land while the
democracies of the world bolted their doors against us.
Has there ever been another period of history when our,
principle enemy had become our savior?'
- Holocaust survivor Ernest Heppner who found
refuge as a young man in Japanese-occupied China

Customer serVICe
Ypsilanti must ban anti-gay discrimination
tmagine walking into a local business and is a crime to discriminate based on ra
being denied service - sound like the gender, religion and an array of other ca
'Ss? Members of TriPride - a gay and les- gories, it is still not a crime to discrimini
bian student group at Eastern Michigan against people based on their sexual orien
University - received such treatment while tion. In Ann Arbor, the Hansens would fa
attempting to place a printing order for raf- sanctions for violating the Human Rig
fle tickets at Hansen's Standard Printing in Ordinance. Under the current anti-discrin
Ypsilanti. Citing "religious convictions" as nation act in Ypsilanti, the Hansens ha
justification for the denial, the Hansens done nothing wrong. Groups must not lc
sparked a heated debate. While moral argu- their privilege to conduct everyday busin
ments over sexuality continue, Ypsilanti simply because of their sexual orientation
must include sexual orientation in the cate- Those who have religious convictic
gory of areas protected by anti-discrimina- that homosexuality is wrong are entitled
tion ordinances. their own opinions, yet denying someo
The Ypsilanti City Council is asking for services because of personal beliefs
a recommendation from its Human unprofessional and a violation of ci
Relations Commission on whether to rights. There is a vast difference betwe



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include sexual orientation in the category of
areas protected by the city's anti-discrimi-
nation ordinance. The commission will rec-
ommend one of three options: no change in
the ordinance, a public vote on whether to
change the ordinance, or including sexual
orientation in a revised ordinance. Ypsilanti
must strive to provide equal opportunity to
all its citizens. The commission's recom-
mendation should call for the inclusion of
sexual orientation in the ordinance and the
council should adopt such measures.
The City of Ann Arbor has a similar
ordinance to the one proposed in Ypsilanti.
Under Ann Arbor's Human Rights
Ordinance, no one shall be denied access to
housing, employment or public accommo-
dations based on sexual orientation. The
University has a similar policy offering
equal opportunity for all.
Equal opportunity acts in the United
States should be one of the best bridges to a
true definition of equality. However, while it

disapproving of one's actions and using
those feelings as a discriminatory tool.
Citizens that support the Hansens' decision
must stop pointing fingers and take a closer
look at themselves and their responsibility
to serve the community.
It is ludicrous that the national govern-
ment fails to include sexual orientation in
equal rights clauses. The notion of equality
remains skewed in America today; the
American ideals of liberty and equality are
severely threatened by the federal govern-
ment's failure to protect gays, lesbians and
bisexuals from discrimination.
The Hansens' actions are a painful
reminder of the discrimination that groups
face every day. Hatred and bigotry thrive
while the majority of anti-discrimination
ordinances fail to include sexual orienta-
tion. Ypsilanti must take a step to a truly
equally opportunistic society by imple-
menting an ordinance that protects gays,
lesbians and bisexuals from discrimination.

Waiting room
Abortion law mandates unfair scare tactics

While abortion has always been a hot
W topic on Capital Hill, the Michigan
Court of Appeals recently brought abortion
legislation closer to home. Last week, the
court ruled to uphold a state law that
requires women to wait 24 hours after
counseling before having an abortion. The
mandatory waiting period encourages
women to ponder the ramifications of abor-
tion prior to the operation, while doctors are
required to give women graphic literature to
study during the period. While knowing all
the information, risks and consequences
before receiving any medical procedure is
necessary, the law and the tactics used to
present medical information clearly
degrade women.
The law states that doctors must give
women both oral and written information
about the risks and procedures involved,
and information about the fetus' develop-
mental stage. Women must then wait 24
hours after receiving the information before
legally obtaining an abortion. At first, the
legislation might seem to provide nothing
but concern for the safety of women facing
abortions. However, the law is filled with
scare tactics that violate women's rights to
privacy and choice. For instance, the infor-
mation that women receive about the fetus
is not simple oral advice from a doctor.
Instead, the law requires that doctors must
show women diagrams of what the fetus
looks like at the stage of development at
which the abortion is being performed.
Viewing pictures of fetuses is unnecessary
and may only cause additional anxiety, fear
and guilt before an abortion. It abuses the
element of shock that legislators use to

ramifications. Those who must make travel
arrangements to receive abortion services
will now need to make the trip more than
once. Moreover, the mandatory 24-hour
waiting period will likely require women to
take another work-day absence, most likely
on medical leave. Legislators not only
threaten women's psychological health,
they also attack everyday issues when they
stall or reduce access to abortion services.
A group led by representatives of the
Michigan American Civil Liberties Union
and the Detroit City Council plan to appeal
the decision to the state Supreme Court.
However, the Supreme Court usually only
accepts about 5 percent of the Michigan
Court of Appeals' cases; combined with
Gov. John Engler's support of the law and a
3-0 ruling in appellate court, the possibili-
ty of a Supreme Court ruling is not promis-
Engler applauded the decision, stating
that it gives pregnant women an opportuni-
ty to seek out the "opinions and help of oth-
ers." His comment exemplifies most law-
makers' ignorance on anti-abortion legisla-
tion. A woman does not choose abortion on
a whim or a flip of a coin. There are reasons
behind her choice, whether they are social,
political, financial or personal. Abortion is
never an easy decision but it must remain
an unrestricted option. That Engler and
conservative lawmakers think so little of
women's decisions demonstrates chronic
disrespect. A 24-hour waiting period does
not offer "extra" time for thoughtful reflec-
tion. Instead, it encourages panic, guilt and
last-minute anxiety.
With its decision, the Michigan Court of

Playboy not
redeemed by
'good literary
In response to Stephanie
Stowe's letter to the editor
("Playboy is an art form,"'
3/24/97), I would like to
voice a somewhat more edu-
cated view of pornography.
Playboy's presence on cam-
pus had indeed caused a stir
in the intelligent female and
male population on campus.
With good reason, those
with self respect would be
offended at any type of
media that portrays women
as sexual objects. Simply
because Playboy is not as
harsh as perhapsPenthouse
or Hustler, does not make it a
decent commodity. Playboy
still objectifies women.
Likewise, adding good lit-
erary material to junk does
not redeem it. That would be
analogous to saying putting
fresh milk with rotten eggs
makes an edible lunch. The
egg would still stink, you
would have just ruined the
Having been exposed to
various forms of pornogra-
phy, I can also safely say that
if anything, my feelings
towards the subject have
become stronger. I cannot
report picking up a Playboy
magazine and thinking,
"Wow! They were right.
People really can learn what
female genitalia looks like.
This rich resource of knowl-
edge really has gotten a bad
Considering a female
seductively posing in an
obvious sexual context as art
is also ridiculous. While the
human body is a truly beauti-
ful creation, portraying it
with various features missing
or enhancing existing fea-
tures is nothing but a dis-
Finally, you are absolutely
right; do what you will with
your body. However, next
time you get strung out on
drugs, feel like jumping off a
bridge or any other hazardous
activity, look in the mirror
and re-evaluate which group
of people should be disgusted
with whom.
JIu Ews
caps unwise
for MSA
Recently, some students
have pushed for campaign
finance limits for MSA can-

not be easy. I do not want
MSA meddling in my finan-
cial affairs. It is shameful
that some candidates spend a
lot of money, but limiting
campaign spending can sub-
ject all candidates to public
financial scrutiny. This may
discourage students from
running in MSA elections.
There has been some ille-
gal activity in MSA. This con-
cerns me because parties
with a large number of seats
can use MSA power to subject
their opponents to inquiries
while ignoring huge amounts
of spending from their own
candidates. Spending limits
give incumbents an advan-
tage. Who is to decide what is
an appropriate amount to
spend? Five hundred dollars
seems to be arbitrary.
If campaign spending lim-
its were $5, my opponents'
posters would not have so
greatly outnumbered mine.
But I must overlook the per-
sonal gains I would get and
instead protect the rights of
others to spend their money
as they feel appropriate.
Support new
Why haven't more stu-
dents responded to President
Clinton's recent higher edu-
cation proposals? The main
purpose of Clinton's new
education agenda is to help
upcoming generations
securely adjust to the rapidly
changing economy. This
includes decreasing the
financial burden on middle-
income families and encour-
aging students of low-income
to attend at least the first two
years of college.
I realize that students will
respond to this letter with
opposition to Clinton's pro-
posals. The common argu-
ment against his initiatives is
the claim that an increase in
financial aid will result in an
equal increase in the cost of
tuition, thus totally eroding
the initial benefits from the
student aid. However, consid-
ering that this argument has
received little support from
economists nationwide and
historically bears no support,
it seems that this is only
political rhetoric.
I urge my fellow students
to put partisan politics aside
and to support the following
proposals, which will help
insure that a college educa-
tion becomes more affordable
and accessible to everyone: a
boost in the maximum Pell
Grant by 33 percent, which
specifically targets students
of lower-income, a tax deduc-

Porn feature
I wish to express dissatis-
faction with last week's spe-
cial on pornography
("Weekend, etc.," 3/20/97). 1
speak for a group of women
with diverse views on
pornography; but we are unit-
ed in our belief that the
important question is whether
and to what extent pornogra-
phy harms women. Informed
by this feminist perspective,
we have three specific com-
First, the weekend maga-
zine, while purporting to be
objective, lacked any analysis
of possible correlations
between pornography, sexism
and violence against women
- as if joking about phone
sex is important and deserves
two pages, while sexism is
not the issue. How can sex-
ism not be the issue?
Feminists' concern is that
pornography contributes to
the subordination of women.
We cannot believe the Daily
would not consider this per-
spective important enough to
include. Perhaps it is related
to the fact that all but one of
the articles about pornogra-
phy were written by men. Did.
the Daily really think it could
be objective without solicit-
ing women's voices?
Second, the cover itself
betrayed the magazine's so-
called "objectivity." We do
not need to open our papers
and see the Daily selling sex,
using a woman as an object
to attract readers, which is
exactly what pornography
Third, several articles
were blatantly sexist. Brian
Gnatt describes the porn
actress Lexus as a "busty
coed" ("Sex and porn
American style," 3/20/97).
Since when is it acceptable to
talk about women this way?
He suggests that she has
found "more orgasmic ways
to pay tuition' automatically
assuming women get off on
being in pornography.
Both Gnatt and Josh Rich
("Porn industry dips deep
into American culture,"
3/20/97) whine about how
poorly men are treated in the
pornography industry; they
miss the fact that many
women are coerced into
pornography, and that the
only reason women are treat-
ed better is that it is more
profitable in our culture to
objectify women than men.
Gnatt also repeatedly refers
to women as "girls;" this
label, which has allowed men
to treatwomen as children
and objects rather than
equals, is not only inaccurate
but offensive.

Sick of the 'U?'
Venture abroad
Dear Heather,
I am an underclassman here at the
'U,' and I am thinking: Four straight
years in Ann Arbor,; how can I take it?
Would you be so kind as to impart
your most sage advice to a humble
supplicant such as I?
Bored in the Midwest
D ear Bored in the Midwes,
The answer you seek is quite sim-
ple: leave. Do not
drop out to pursue
your dream of
doing a one-man
Hamlet dinner the-
atre in Miami. Do
not transfer to
somewhere sunnier'
and glitzier (tra-
tor). Study abroad.
I could go into <
some long-winded HEATHER
exposition of my GORDON
most fabulous RIDE
semester - in WITH ME
London, but let's
just cut to the chase. (I had a fantastic
time, otherwise I would not be pushing
the idea on you.) So, let us just move it
right along into Heather's "How T
Make The Best of Your College Ye
and Get Your Butt Abroad."
In a fashion reminiscent of my dia-
tribe against Cafe Pretentious, I shall
now once again step over that line in
the sand and disingratiate myself to
the Office of International Programs.
It is in the Union, but one can only
find it with two bloodhounds, a com-
pass, six maps, a professionalksleuth
and a virtually preternatural knowl-
edge of the secret passageways of t'
Clue board. If you do not wind up it
either some Orwellian underworld or
in the International Center, you might
just pass the first obstacle and find the
little closet office. Then you have to
get by the ex-elementary school bully,
bulldog secretary with some personal
issues about the Donahue show being
cancelled by gracing you with a most
delightful attitude. In my experience, a
typical conversation with an OIP off
cer goes as follows:
Me (sweet as pie): "Hi, I am won-
dering if I could get some information
about programs in dolphin training in
Lisbon for second semester?"
OIP Lady: "Bark.
But do not be daunted. If you persist
as I did, you will gain entry into the
top secret library vaults that contain
lists of all the schools that offer the
programs you might be interested
and if you contact them, yourare 'su
to fill your mailbox with heaps of fun,
oversized envelopes full of their
descriptions and just begging you to
fly with them.
Then all you have to do is pick.
Okay, maybe it is a little more difficult
than that. There is a cursory applica-
tion process in which you have to send
them a couple of recommendations
that they do not read and assure thee
that you are not going to spread yellow
fever to the natives. In reality, all these
programs care about is that you can
read (usually you need a 2.5 GPA or
so) and your hand works properly to
write them their checks.
If money is an issue, donot sell your-
self short. Often, financial aid can
cover the costs associated with the pro-
gram, so you just have to do some plan-
ning to save up for personal expenses.
There are lots of different types 6
programs. You can do an internship.
You can take classes with American
students taught by American teachers

(although I must admit this notion baf
fles me - if you are going to go, go
whole hog), or be totally immersed in
a regular university of your host coun-
try and take their regular classes. You
can stay with a family, have an apart-
ment, or live in a dorm. It is all up .
you. Trust me when I assure you th
there are enough programs out there to
find one that suits your interests, and if
you take a non-University program
you have the added perk of not caring
how you do in classes because the
credits transfer (assuming you pass),
but the grades most certainly do not.
And then all you have to do is get
ready to have your mind open and
have a fabulous time. You learn the
hard way how to wear the same outs
for two weeks straight and that wear-
ing the same pair of underwear for
multiple days is in fact unpleasant. I
burned most of my clothes upon my
return to the States.
You get to see all those great places
you read about, but never think of
actually visiting, like Liechtenstein;
For Spring Break, you take a bus to.
Scotland or Austria for $20 instead of
visiting your siamese cousins in Oh*
You see lots of naked people (try the
Englischer Gardens -in Munich for real
hippie-style nude sunbathing in the
middle of a city), and. have truly
bizarre professors (I had a nice little
frustrated thespian Oxford graduate
_nmt nmc Rnw wo a s ie


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