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March 26, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-26

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a'

4A -- The Michigan Daily - Monay, March 26, 2001

Ulie Aid igun il idg

420 MAYNAR IcSTREuT
ANN ARimop, Ml 48109
daily. I etters ~aumich. edu

Tit for tat: the Playboy/NOW smackdown
EMILY ACHENBAUM IAMON D IN THE IwROuGHt

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
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

asked my boyfriend
to buy me a Playboy
yesterday.
If I had known that the
magazine wouldn't have
lived up to its lurid 'n'
lush reputation, I would
have been a liberated
women who can buy porn
from Village Corner with
a straight face herself. I wanted to read the
April issue before hearing Playboy contribut-
ing editor and columnist Asa Barber and
National Organization of Women President
Patricia Ireland speak at Rackham tonight. It
was not the bull's eye feminist target I was
hankering for. All this fuss over a magazine
more excited to present their in-depth inter-
view with Metallica than its own centerfold?
There are so many great things the feminist
movement can do, and blindly attacking Play-
boy is not one of them. Key word here is
blindly.
Let's pay attention to the details and be
aware of the following:
Playboy's advice columnist is surprising-
ly less demeaning than expected, answering a
debate over cup size with "when a man loves
a woman, her breasts look just right" and
telling a would-be philanderer that "a man
can't live on cheap sex alone." The infamous
cartoons, jokes page (and amusing who voted
for Gore/who rents porn graph on page 61)
are pretty tame. The film reviews, fiction and
interviews are sophisticated - and make up
the majority of the magazine.
Does that make Playboy harmless? Of

course not, but if it is going to be attacked, it
should be for the right reasons. I'm not going
to touch on the pornography debate as a
whole, but rather the specific reason why the
pornography in Playboy is dangerous.
Playboy suggests that there is only one
type of "beauty": fake-tan, fake-blonde, fake-
boobed.
When you have to use the word fake three
times to describe the typical Playboy model,
perhaps it is needless to say no one naturally
looks like that, but hey I guess the
fantasy/reality line can be hard to draw.
Two weeks ago I saw Students Promoting
Education, Awareness and Knowledge about
Eating Disorders (SPEAK) perform at their
Speak Out, where brave women (with vary-
ing cup sizes, hair colors and concentrations
of melanin) spoke about their quests for the
unattainable. The cause of eating disorders is
multi-faceted, but there is no denying the role
of the mass media. Playboy does not offer a
lot of variety - they picked one view of
female beauty and have stayed surprisingly
monogamous to it.
Playboy can try to squirm out of the you-
make-girls-hate-their-bodies accusation by
claiming they promote a "womanly" figure, but
silicone does not a woman make. Take a look at
last week's People magazine, which had the
audacity to proclaim "Healthy bodies are
back!" on its cover. Featured are Drew Barry-
more and Kate Winslet (who have always been
Hollywood's zaftig heroines), Catherine Zeta-
Jones (whose soft tummy and swelling breasts
are not a statement but the result of just giving
birth) and former Baywatch star Gena Lee

Nolin (who claims to love her new curves, now
that she's up to 129 lbs. on her 5'9" frame).
What these women and Playboy's women all
have in common is a rack, be it a baby fat, post-
baby-fat or a silicone-induced rack. Tits, no
matter their origin, make 120 lb., 5'11" models
like Heidi Klum and Giselle "curvy" and "fem-
inine"; their boobs are heralded as double-hand-
edly responsible for the end of heroin chic and
self-starvation.
Is causing self-doubt exploitive? In Play-
boy's case, yes - they make a fortune off of it.
Playboy's first cover model, Marilyn
Monroe, is the ultimate symbol of 20th Cen-
tury female exploitation - and insecurity.
Playboy contributes to an environment where
women feel insecure, and capitalize on their
desire to prove themselves worthy - making
them think they are beating the system, yet
they are becoming its ultimate victim.
The weird thing about Playboy's models
is that they, despite being crowned Perfect
Woman with a photo spread and intimate
wax job, don't look radiant. They know
damned well what their breasts and hair once
looked like, what their faces look like with-
out crazy amounts of makeup, what their butt
looks like without self-tanner. But they were
convinced that "themselves" wasn't good
enough, and all the foundation in the world
can't mask the fear of not quite meeting a
warped standard. And that's not very sexy.
Emily Achenbaum's column runs every
other Monday. Give her fedback at
www.michigandaily.comfrum or via
e-mail at emilylsa umich.edu.

0.

Henson sells out to
lucrative Yankee deal
TO THE DAILY:
Say it ain't so, Drew. I must say that the
recent news of Drew Henson's signing with the
Yankees leaves me just a bit disillusioned. It's
not the fact that Henson gave up a promising
football career for baseball - baseball is a very
fine sport. The thing that gets me about this
signing is that Henson signed with the Yan-
kees, a team that has the highest payroll in the
major leagues, nearly twice that of my beloved
Detroit Tigers.
In a recent press conference, Henson said,
"Why not go to the team with the most tradi-
tion, with the best chance to win?" Now, impli-
cations for the inadequacy of Michigan aside, I
think that Henson is misunderstanding what it
means to win. No one will deny that the Yan-
kees have won three of the past four World
Series. But I would certainly deny that a team
so obviously built on money - the kind of
money that drew Henson away from a possible
Heisman Trophy - deserves to be called a
"winner." Winners are characterized by grit, by
determination, by a refusal to give in. The 1984
Tigers were that kind of team. The 1997
Wolverines were that kind of team.
Henson may or may not be a winner in his
professional career. A bite out of the Big Apple
will bring him no closer to that goal. As for
myself, I look forward to seeing Henson's
debut at Comerica Park. Without a doubt, I will
cheer as Henson's name is announced and he
steps to the plate. And I will cheer even louder
when the Yankees lose.
DANIEL PROPSON
Education senior

'The landlords need to stop raising rents before they
drive everyone - entrepreneurs and franchises away.'
- Amer Bathish, owner ofnAmer's delis and Cava Java coffee house,
last week on Caribou Coffee's decision to close its State Street
location because of the skyrocketing cost of rent in Ann Arbor.
I WAS REALLY GLA TO SEE
THEM WIN. NOSObY ELSE
THAT WAS IN THE RUNNN
REALLY DESERVEt TO
w"..GET IT.
I'M GLA I'M NOT THE I WAS TALKING ABOUT
ONLY ONE THAT TAKES THE OSCARS. MSA IS
THE MSA ELECTIONS A JOKE.
SERIOUSLY.
AA
University's investments in Burma
send anti-humanitarian message

V CODE WATCH
PART OF THE DAILY'S EDITORIAL PAGE SERIES
'UNMASKING THE CODE'

''.
Y

Hughes to face 'U' discipline officials tomorrow

After rescheduling his Code of Student
Conduct hearing from this past Friday to
tomorrow, LSA senior Ryan Hughes is to
meet with Office of Student Conflict Resolu-
tion officers to address the University's alle-
gations that he assaulted anti-gay protesters
during the LGBT Kiss In Feb. 16.
Although neither the Department of Pub-
lic Safety, nor the protesters, have filed
charges in the matter, the University adminis-
tration is charging Hughes - who unsuccess-
fully ran for the Michigan Student Assembly
presidency under the pseudonym Galaxor
Nebulon - with assault and vandalism.
Under federal law, the University cannot
comment on individual discipline cases; this
casts a veil of secrecy over the Code of Stu-
dent Conduct process. Hughes has allowed
the Daily to follow his case through the Code
process so students can gain a better under-
standing of how administrative discipline
policies really work.
OSCR officials and other administrators
claim that University discipline is only an edu-

gossip and rumor, the lack of a "beyond a rea-
sonable doubt" standard are great injustices
among other unfair Code practices.
All students should pay attention to Hugh-
es' case. Regardless of whether he is guilty or
not, this case will shed light on the Universi-
ty's extremely unfair discipline policies.
In order to fight the Code, students must
rally behind the Michigan Student Assem-
bly's Student Rights Commission and its sup-
porters.
Turn out for a rally tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.
outside the Fleming Administration Building
to show your opposition to the Code's unjust
practices.

Henson right to seize
his Yankee dreams
To THE DAILY:
Someone I know well grew up dreaming of
becoming a doctor from the time he was a little
kid. During his senior year of high school, he
got the chance to go to medical school straight
from high school through one of the BS/MD
programs and he went - and passed on accep-
tances from Harvard, Stanford and the Massa-
chusetts Institute of Technology to do it. It was
an accelerated BS portion, and it meant he did
end up missing perhaps a lot out of his college
experience ... but he got to live out his dream.
And certainly today he unhesitatingly believes
it was worth it.
The generous financial package Drew Hen-
son will receive from the Yankees is undoubt-
edly nice. But if it were only about money,
Henson could have left last fall, before the
Yankees traded him away ... he could have
entered the NFL draft this spring. Although
nobody can really claim to get inside of Hen-
son's mind other than himself, I suspect that the
chance to wear the pinstripes in the House that
Babe Built is itself worth at least as much as the
money ... the fulfillment of a dream.
He's led the Wolverines - helmed the
Maize and Blue in the greatest stadium in the
country - and done a dang good job of it, too.
That was the fulfillment of one dream. Now
he's being offered a straight shot at another and
a nice chunk of change, too. The alternative is

VIEWPOINT
In Burma, writing a viewpoint like this
can get you killed. That's because the mili-
tary dictatorship of that country - which is
located between India and Thailand -
doesn't like students speaking their minds.
Universities have been open for only 30
months since 1990 and hundreds of stu-
dents who advocated democracy have been
imprisoned, tortured and killed by the mili-
tary regime.
The students aren't the only ones. Since
the generals cancelled democratic elections
in 1990, Burma has suffered a reign of ter-
ror. The elected president, Nobel Laureate
Aung San Suu Kyi, has been under house
arrest for six years. Millions of Burmese
have been drafted by the military for forced
labor projects. Ethnic minority groups have
had their languages and cultures banned.
Rape, torture and execution have been sys-
tematically used to intimidate dissenters,
including hundreds of students. Meanwhile,
the generals who run the regime have
cozied up to the drug lords who peddle 50
percent of the United States' heroin supply,
and presided over the clearcutting of some
of the last pristine rainforest zones in
Southeast Asia. The United Nations, U.S.
State Department, Amnesty International,
and the AFL-CIO have all spoken out
against the human rights abuses there.
Burma is a long way from Michigan.
Some people on campus think that the Uni-
versity shouldn't pay attention to anything
that happens outside of Michigan Stadium,
much less overseas. But the connections
between us and the Burmese are not as
small as you might think. Here are three
things we can do about the situation in
Burma:
r;«.o4 -: hn ea c.fr -enar - r

that do business in Burma are directly help-
ing the military regime and its atrocities.
The University should get rid of this stock.
Divestment is not an appropriate solution
for every political problem. But in Burma,
where the economy is tightly controlled by
the dictators, every penny of foreign invest,
ment strengthens the regime.
Finally, Marina Whitman, a professor at
the University's School of Business
Administration, sits on the board of direc-
tors of Unocal. This oil corporation is a
business partner in a pipeline project with
the generals. While Unocal's operations
may have been beneficial to the few hun-
dred people employed by the pipeline, the
project has been responsible for environ-
mental destruction, increased use of forced
labor for infrastructure projects in the area,
and giving credibility to the military dicta-
tors. We should call on Whitman to do the
right thing and advocate that Unocal get out
of Burma.
. Dozens of corporations have withdrawn
from Burma already. Levi-Strauss with-
drew from Burma after concluding that "it
is not possible to do business in (Burma)
without directly supporting the military
government and its pervasive violations of
human rights." Even the Wall Street Jour-
nal - no great supporter of boycotts - has
called against investing in Burma.
The least we at the University can do is
use the free speech we have to speak out on
behalf of our fellow students in Burma, and
against University involvement with the
dictatorship. Corporations doing business
in Burma are profiting from crimes against
humanity. It is inappropriate for Whitman,
as our representative, to participate in sup-
porting human rights violations. It is even
less appropriate for the University to invest
our tuition dollars this way.
What to. An ahnt ;i t tin t Ihenirnn-

"
"

FOR MORE INFORMATION
READ THIE DAILY'S COMPLETE EDITORIAL
PAGE SERIES "UNMASKING THE CODE" AT
www.michigandaiy .com/code.'
E-MAIL MWICIAEL SIMON AND RomRI
GooDnsPEE, CO-CI lAIRS OF TIL MI I-IIGAN
STUDN'N' ASSEM Iwy's STUDENT RIGI-ITS
COMMISSION AT src-core@umich.edu.

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