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January 30, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-30

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 30, 2001

ItgANN ARBOR, M l 48109
Editorial Page Editors
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

Housewives and other misconceptions

eminism has gone
out of vogue.
Many times when
a woman discusses gen-
der issues she prefaces it
with, 'I'm not a femi-
nist, but ..." That is
because of the connota-
tions associated with the
word: Angry male-bash-
ers with hairy armpits.
On the other side of the fence lies the
stereotypical housewife, who also calls up
negative images. One thinks of a pathetic
woman in an apron resembling Donna Reed.
So what is a feminist reared by a house-
wife to do? First, attempt to dispel those
definitions. I'm a feminist because I
believe in the ideal that women deserve an
equal shot as men in practically everything.
I don't think a woman should have to apol-
ogize for playing hardball with the big
boys, or for expecting her opinion to be
taken just as seriously. There is nothing
hairy or hateful about it.
It seems the feminist movement went
awry somewhere, because though it failed
to depict itself properly to society, it some-
how has managed to cast a negative light
on the phenomenon it rebelled against:
Housewives. Women who stay home have
been made to feel inadequate. They have
been cast, somehow, as pathetic because
they live their lives serving their families.
This has something to do with the sub-

servient term "housewife." Why not
"housemother," or better yet "housepar-
ent?" Meanwhile, feminists are considered
selfish because they only serve themselves.
College is a selfish time, for men and
women. And the number of females attend-
ing college grows steadily each year. Most
college girls I know are not women after
finding their husbands, but women prepar-
ing for med school, law school and various
professions. But some people don't want
these careers. Last weekend a friend con-
fessed that she is such a person: "I know it
sounds horrible butI just want to have kids
and raise them."
Though this sentiment is not usual at the
University, it's not horrible. Most modem,
Third Wave feminists of today preach that
women can do whatever they want to do.
Women do not have to remain docile, sub-
mit to their husbands and quietly rear chil-
dren if their passion is to say, climb the
corporate ladder. But if a woman's true
desire is to stay home with her kids once
she has them then, finances permitting, so
be it. Child rearing is a profession of sorts.
And it is nothing to be ashamed of. My
mother is a homemaker and she has led a
good, selfless life. There has been nothing
pathetic about it. She does not eat bon-
bons; she does not watch soap operas. I
don't remember the last time I saw her in
an apron. She has dedicated her time to her
children and it is a 24-hour job that
involves unlimited rides and pep talks and

so much more. Her job entailed making
soup for me mid-afternoon when I was
home with pneumonia. It included listening
to me ramble for ten minutes at three
o'clock about what I did that day at school
(the information mysteriously forgotten by
dinner). Hers is the face I associate w*
my childhood. She has given her life to my
siblings and I, and it has made her perfect-
ly happy. I think we turned out better
because of it.
In fact, if my mother did not give herself
to me as I was growing up, I'm not sure
that I would have the confidence to be the
person I am. I don't think I would have
always pushed myself the way I did.
Maybe without the homemaker, there
would not be the feminist.
That feminist in me cannot wait to gr*
uate, grab the proverbial bull by its horns
and launch my career. I know that I will
never stop writing. I also will eventually
want my kids to get the same attention that
I got. Every family has to figure details out
on their own but I think one parent work-
ing at home, freelancing perhaps, with the
kids sounds like a good solution. I would
ideally like to be that parent. So I want
both. I want to have a successful career a
be a homemaker. Maybe feminists are se
ish after all.
Gina Hamadey's column runsevery
other Tuesday. She can be reached
via e-mailatghamadey@umich.edu.

LE TS MTwE l ems
Does Sanz know
anything about U.S.
foreign policy?
After reading Branden Sanz's views
about terrorism and how the U.S. should
react to it ("It's time to kick some terrorist
ass," 1/24/01), 1 wondered whether Sanz
understands anything about United States
policy in the Middle East (or in the whole
of the Muslim world, for that matter) and 4.
the effect it has had on its people.
Sanz neglected to mention that the pres-
ence of American forces in the Middle East
is part of U.S. policy on Iraq.
The U.S. is able to carry-out its policy remained virtually untouched
with the help of its Arab allies in the ing and sanctions, however. 1
region; repressive monarchies or dictator- President Bush encouraged
ships that enjoy American support despite Shi'ites in the south and the
the U.S. 's supposed commitment to north, then did nothing as'
"democracy." sein's forces slaughtered
Ordinary Muslims in these countries Schwartzkopf even refuse
cannot speak out against their govern- rebelling military officers a
ments' support for U.S. policy in Iraq for tured Iraqi arms.
fear of imprisonment or execution (or During this time, the Stat
worse). And the Iraqi regime the U.S. is refused to have any dealings
supposedly trying to punish for invading democratic opposition, pron
Kuwait is a former ally, the same one that to question whether Washingt
was armed and financed by the U.S. during opposed to military dictatorsh
its invasion of Iran. Contrast this with U.S.p
Now that Iraq is no longer among the Israel. Despite having viola
U.S.'s Arab allies, U.S.-imposed sanctions U.N. resolutions the U.S. cla
and bombing campaigns (which continue ishing Iraq for (and many m
despite having been forgotten by the being rewarded with military
media) have devastated Iraq's population multi-billion dollar aid packat
and turned its economy upside-down. Washington merely looks
More than 2 million Iraqi civilians have while Israel slaughters Palesti
died since 1991 and 5,000 children a and expands Jewish settleme
month die of hunger and disease as a direct pied territories (again, the
result of the U.S. policy. behavior the U.S. claimed it'
Depleted uranium from the bombings Iraq for).
has resulted in a dramatic rise in cancer Now Sanz and others w
and birth defects. viewpoint are "mad as hell" a
The sanctions prevent Iraq from pur- to take it anymore" because
chasing essentials such as food, medical world's anger is manifesting
supplies and ambulances, resulting in mal- form of terrorist attacks on U
nutrition and inadequate health care. one can justify these attacks
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who is attempting to do so.
supposedly the target of U.S. policy, has But can Sanz or anyone e

L~K- 1IPWSfj

it EA~rATiVEL'(

.4t 9 IsS 1 39 lT 03?IT I

nog ,

by the bomb-
Ten years ago,
rebellions by
Kurds in the
Saddam Hus-
them. Gen.
ed to permit
ccess to cap-
e Department
with the Iraqi
npting people
ton was really
ip in Iraq.
policy toward
ted the same
ims it is pun-
ore), Israel is
supplies and
the other way
inian civilians
ent into occu-
same type of
was punishing
ho share his
nd "not going
& the Muslim
g itself in the
.S. forces. No
and I am not
Ise can justify

an American foreign policy that has resul
ed in the death or displacement of millions
of innocent Muslims and thus prompted the
seething rage of the entire Muslim world?
Engineering junior
Ashcroft nomination
challenges Bush's 0
moderate promises
I'm confused by President Bush's nomi-
nation of John Ashcroft to the Attorney
General position. I thought Bush ran as a
moderate, a "compassionate conservative."
Then he nominates someone to be the
nation's top law-enforcement officia
whose politics are so far to the right he
practically off the map.
Ashcroft opposes civil rights, gay
rights, women's rights, gun control and
protecting the environment. I can't help but
wonder: Did Bush somehow make a mis-
take with Ashcroft's nomination or was all
his talk of moderation just another cam-
paign lie?
Artand Design graduatestudeT

Gujarat response proves an idiot won the election

promised myself not
to write more about
George W. Bush. I've
written about him and my
deep loathing of every-
thing he stands for
enough. I promised myself
I was going to write about
something involving this
campus, something that
would strike closer to home. Perhaps some-
thing about the BAMN/BSU brawl, but that,
and the resulting flurry of mail received was
embarrassing enough, without any need for
me to add my two cents.
So I was at a loss. What to write about?
And then I read the paper and saw that Bush
has continued his theme of doing everything
wrong and my muse jumped up and down on
my shoulder, pointing at a column for me to
On Friday, an earthquake hit India, in my
home state of Gujarat. I was filled with relief
when I heard from my mother that my grand-
parents were fine. Shaken (pardon the pun),
but fine.
The death toll is expected to reach at least
15,000 (by the most conservative estimates)
and may be as high as 30,000 to 40,000. It's
the type of disaster that begs for humanitarian
relief, especially in a nation plagued with an
already disastrous economy. Canada, Switzer-
land, Thailand, England ... even China (a
nation which has been historical enemies with
India) have sent aid, in the form of money,
supplies and manpower.
And then we turn to George W. His actions
(or lack thereof) and words have always been
slightly hilarious, slightly upsetting, slightly

mediocre. But on this particular issue his
actions (or lack thereof) and words aren't sim-
ply cause for laughter. His actions (or lack
thereof) and words are incredibly indicative of
the type of man who is now at the helm of this
In the face of incredible need, W. was
capable of only this: "I send my condolences
and those of the American people to the fami-
lies of the many victims in the cities and vil-
lages of Gujarat and elsewhere."
He probably doesn't even know how to
pronounce 'Gujarat.'
Condolences? Who the hell needs condo-
lences, especially from a man who currently
controls one of the wealthiest nations in the
world? India doesn't care about his faux-grief,
they care about the lives of the thousands of
people missing, dying, screaming for help.
Not to say that America owes anything to
anyone - that's certainly not the case. But
this is the type of situation requiring some-
thing more than a $25,000 gift certificate from
Richard Celeste, U.S. ambassador to India,
from a fund specified for disaster relief.
$25,000 wasn't enough to buy W.'s admis-
sions into Yale; it certainly isn't enough to
save the lives of thousands.
And what has W. been doing in the mean
time? According to The New York Times,
he's putting forth efforts (re: money) into a
program to fund religious groups, in an over-
whelming display of his lack of constitutional
knowledge. Separation of church and state,
Speaking as a non-Christian (non-reli-
gious, in fact), non-white, non-majority male,
I'd like to give W. a swift not-so-non-violent
kick in the groin.

While he's busy trying to shove religion
down the throats of Americans - as if Jesus
H. Christ is the answer to this nation's prob-
lems - people are dying. Not just dying in the
intangible, world-hunger, civil-strife manne
People are literally dying from a natural di:
ter that should supercede petty governmental
policy decisions. Fine, India doesn't produce
oil (which is apparently the only thing Bush
cares about, or knows about). But one would
think that a guy who claims to read the Bible
every day of his manufactured life would at
least give a damn about the lives of thousands
of people. I suppose that the excess melanin in
their skin makes them unworthy of that "com-
passionate conservatism" talk that W. was 0
fond of.
In the face of two major issues, W. has
chosen the worst possible route. Offering only
condolences when aid is needed is selfish and
careless. Offering Christianity as a solution to
inner-city violence is horribly naive and is
more of an attempt to avoid the real, structural
issues that plague the poverty-stricken por-
tions of this population.
A friend told me a while back that Bush's
ascension to the White House is going to
prove wondrous for journalists - as long
he's in office making all the wrong moves,
we'll always have something to write about.
I suppose I agree, but that's a heavy
price to pay. I would rather be scraping for
something to write, instead of being con-
stantly faced with yet another George W.
Bush misstep.
Manish Rafi's column runs eve
other Tuesday. He can be reached
e-mail at mraiii@umich.e.


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