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September 10, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-10

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 10, 2001

OP/ED

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420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
daily. letters@umich.edu

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
I'm worried sick about
what's going to happen
with Supreme Court
nominations, trade policy,
the environment, if we get
eight years of Bush ... But
I'm also worried about the
prospect that we could
have four years of Bush and
then four years of a DLC
Democrat."
- Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) in the
Sept. 17, issue of The Nation.

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Hey Nike, this one's on me.
JOHANNA HANINK IN THE PARLANCE OF OUR TIMES

n mid May I sat in
the common room of
my hostel on the Isle
of Skye watching a British
Broadcasting Corporation
segment on globalization.
A cursory glance or a rea-
sonable assumption would
hardly lead to the conclu-
sion that the Isle of Skye,
an island that lies off the northwest coast of
Scotland, seethes with the oft-touted destructive
consequences of globalization: corporate influ-'
ence in every cultural corner and a worldwide
society that dresses, dines and perhaps thinks in
a uniform way.
Virginia Woolf, during her stay on the Isle,
sent a postcard to a friend with a Spartan mes-
sage - but a message that still encapsulated
the island's distinct persona: "Skye is often
raining, but also fine: hardly embodied; semi-
transparent; like living in a jellyfish lit up with
green light. Remote as Samoa; deserted, prehis-
toric. No room for more."
As for the BBC piece, it was a brief bio-
graphical career sketch of Jose Bove, France's
author of "The World Is Not for Sale," a book
that has akeady been translated into dozens of
languages and which outlines the negative
effects of globalization as it is presently pro-
ceeding. Bove, famous for both the philosophy
of his anti-McDonald's campaign and the
action behind that movement - he has led
groups of farmers in physically destroying
McDonald's restaurants - has quickly risen to
the position of one of the world's premier anti-
globalization activists.
But what did Jose Bove have to do with my

vacation destination? Granted, no yellow arches
stood out in contrast to the sharp angles of the
mountain tops - there are only two McDon-
ald's restaurants in the Scottish highlands and
the closest one from me would be more than a
half-day drive. Even so, in spite of Skye's
"Samoan" isolation, the shadow of corporate
America still looms in the tiny villages and out-
posts that dot the island.
The day we arrived there, I took a walk by
myself along a riverbed in search of the famed
Skye otters. What I found instead was an empty
Coca-Cola bottle and a serenity disturbed by
the music of Michigan's own Eminem blaring
from a thatched roof cottage just off the path.
Sadly, this American and big business influ-
ence in what is a primarily English-speaking
corner of the western world comes as no sur-
prise at this stage of the game. Even more than
that, it is to be expected. So I had to ask myself
what, then, really bothered me about it? It's
admittedly easy for an American to become
numb to an American presence abroad. The
part that really worries me? I was kind of happy
it was there.
In almost every city that I visited during my
trip, the friend I traveled with and I would aid
each other in creating new justifications for our
surrender to Extra Value Meals: the first time,
we were only weaning ourselves off of Ameri-
can food, the next time we found an Irish fast
food chain - Super Mac's - and reasoned
that our indulgence in indigenous fast food was
a dive into Irish culture. When in Rome, right?
By the time we'd hit the United Kingdom we
were complacent with our lamest excuse yet:
buying fast food left us time and money for the
sights that we had really traveled across an

ocean to see. Less time eating meant more time
exploring, right?
It's easy to be inspired by the work of
activists like Bove who argue, correctly inemy
mind, that there is something inherently wrong
with buying a hamburger in the United States
and buying a hamburger in Sri Lanka that tastes
exactly the same. But it can be even easier to be
persuaded, or to persuade yourself, that there is
nothing wrong with searching American fast
food restaurants in Edinburgh for a working
milk shake machine while passing, and ignor-
ing dozens of local businesses on the way.
Which is not to say that avoiding local, tra-
ditional delicacies like haggis (basically every
internal organ of a sheep mashed into a block
that resembles meatloaf) isn't sometimes justifi-
able. But every time that we, as a society, walk
into the McDonald's that we are philosophically
against - but which is obviously the only
"restaurant" in the area with acceptable french
fries - a little part of our case against that cor-
poration is destroyed. The same happens every
time that we figure one pair of Nike running
shoes doesn't keep the sweatshops alive, that the
purchase of one shirt made in China in the midst
of gross human rights abuses doesn't directly
hurt anybody, that your daily $4 frappuccino
from Starbucks is never responsible for putting
locally owned, independent coffee shops out of
business; the list goes on ad infmitum.
And although globalization of this sort is
one of the last things that I'd personally want
for the world, I have to stand up and say that I
have directly funded it.

Johanna Hanink can be reached via
e-mail atjhanink@umich.edu.

VIEWPOINT
Condoms can't prove consent

0

Y IN PASSING

LET GAY AND LESBIAN
COUPLES ADOPT CHILDREN
Last week in a Federal District Court in
Florida, Judge James Lawrence King upheld a
Florida law that bans lesbians and gay men from
adopting children. He argued that gays "have not
asserted that they can demonstrate that homosex-
ual families are equivalently stable, are able to
provide proper gender identification or are no
more socially stigmatizing than married hetero-
sexual families."
This move not only affirms bigotry and is a
slap in the face to gays and lesbians around the
world, but it also will have extremely harmful
consequences for the very children Florida is
attempting to protect.
First of all, there is no credible evidence
proving children in gay and lesbian-headed
households are any less well adjusted than those
in heterosexual ones. In fact, a reputable study
presented at American Psychological Associa-
tion's annual conference last month concluded
that the overwhelming majority of children
raised in gay and lesbian households had clear
and strong identities and did not experience any
more problems in school than those with hetero-
sexual parents.
Even if someone could prove that homosex-
ual parents are not "equivalent" to their hetero-
sexual counterparts, it is still better for children
to have some parents than none at all. It's not as
if there is a surplus of parents who want to adopt
children and Florida is simply weeding out those
they see as least qualified. In reality there are
many more children that need to be adopted than
there are parents willing to adopt them, meaning
children who would have otherwise been adopt-
ed by loving and caring homosexual parents
now simply won't have any parents at all.
But it seems that the ruling has less to do
with any scientific study than it does with simple
intolerance and prejudice. Why else would Flori-

da reject adoptions by gays and lesbians on the
basis that "placing children in married homes
(instead of with homosexual parents) is in the
best interests of Florida's children," when about
one-fourth of all adopted children go to unmar-
ried heterosexual parents in the state?
- Kevin Clune
HIV MUTATIONS, CURES
AND CAUSES
A recent study shows that 20 percent of the
HIV strains in existence today are resistant to
today's medical treatments. Right now it is
reported that there are 21 million cases of AIDS
worldwide and 36 million more cases of HIV. It
is obvious, with this new development, that the
HIV/AIDS problem has just become more
threatening. The question is, are world leaders
taking these problems seriously? With President
George W. Bush reluctant to fund stem-cell
research and pharmaceutical companies only
recently deciding to' drop a case against the
South African government for distributing
cheaper AIDS drugs to the poor, it isn't clear
that the Western world is too concerned about
this matter. Africa and the developing world are
concerned, due to the high percentage of the
population that is infected.
It is in the Western countries' best interests
to isolate the spread by any means necessary,
even though it is not as large of a threat to their
populations. Must we wait for it to be as large a
crisis in Western Europe and the United States
for the pharmaceutical companies and conserva-
tive politicians to make it a national priority to
find a cure? By that time it will be too late.
--Ari Paul
In Passing views are those of individual
members of the Daily's editorial board and
do not necessarily represent the opinion of
The Michigan Daily.

By SARAH PAYTON
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Wearing black
pants, only a summer out of a high school full of
prom queens and most-likely-to superlatives,
some freshmen girls visit the frats, ready to find
the perfect college guy that they are sure will be
their boyfriend.
While many freshmen probably don't have
sex at any of these parties, and some don't even
consider it, the facts from every resource from
the Health Center to government awareness
websites state that many teenagers do choose to
have sex on nights like these - with partners
whose last names will forever remain unknown.
One of the newest gadgets on the market, the
ultimate buzz kill for a couple's sex drive, is the
Consent condom - a hot commodity in the
British sex market that always pushes the enve-
lope.
The idea behind this new condom is that the
partner removes an inner sleeve from the outside
packaging. The sleeve that is removed then
records the fingerprints of the partners, indicat-
ing a mutual consent.
According to Newsweek magazine, the
inventor feels that the partner's consent is
proven by the removal of this sleeve and can

substantiate any actions that might transpire
once the sleeve is removed.
The partner can then tear numbers on the
side of the sleeve to indicate the date of usage
and after doing so can put it back in the package
and give it to their partner to keep for proof,
should anything go amiss when the morning
comes. Sounds wonderful to many partners who
could fear potential rape charges, right? While
this might be the latest fad overseas, it appears
to be just another excuse for sex that shouldn't
be happening in the first place.
VWhile random situations mixed with alcohol
or drugs could wind up with one more willing
partner than another, in which case the condom
might come in handy, it is doubtful that two
wasted people could even tear out the right date
or remember to make sure that both sets of
prints cover the sleeve. Rapists never have con-
sent, even with protection, so the fingerprints of
a victim don't guarantee a victim's willingness,
in any situation.
The Consent condom seems to provide a
false sense of security for a sexual world that is
not so secure. Rape doesn't stop for condom
cases that can hold fingerprints just as it hasn't
stopped at the word "no" for decades.
Alcohol impairment won't instantly end

when the sleeve is removed either, forcing eager
freshman or college seniors to take it slow.
What will probably happen with or without
this Consent condom is what would have hap-
pened with a regular condom or without any
protection at all. Those who would have jumped
into the game of sexuality, willingly or unwill-
ingly, will do so and the need for fingerprint
proof that slows down the intimacy of the
moment seems silly and doubtful.
Although the idea for proof of consent
seems like a good one, the true proof of consent
should come from two willing people in love or
with a mutual desire, who understand the reper-
cussions of their sexuality and engage in it
knowingly, understanding any and all conse-
quences.
Any sex other than that shouldn't exist. And
rapists, even with some flimsy condom that can
hold prints, know that they will never have con-
sent, as that is implied by the word "rape" just as
it is with the word "no."
Sarah Payton is a writer for the Indiana Daily
Student, the student newspaper at the
Indiana University at Bloomington. This piece
was distributed via U-WIRE.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Reproductive rights
are under assault
TO THE DAILY:
The world's crowded population doubles
approximately every 40 years and still, while
there are pitiful abstinence-only campaigns to
prevent teen pregnancy, there are no other cam-
paigns to limit population growth, to encourage
sustainable growth. Today it seems it is every
adult's right to possess children. Once, adoption
agencies served to find homes for orphaned chil-
dren. Now, black market criminals, individual
entrepreneurs, fertility clinics, adoption agencies
and even religious organizations find (or pro-
duce) children for lonely couples, often to great
profit. What then happens to those inadequately
clothed, fed, sheltered, and educated children
living, when that line in which they stand wait-
ing for assistance becomes increasingly crowd-
ed? Where are the roving billboards of those
children? But, I guess "life" is enough, quality

global gag order, bills that propose to deny
funding to clinics that perform abortion services
are an attempt to coerce physicians and hospital
administrators to remove abortion from the list
of their services performed, effectively making a
legal alternative increasingly unavailable to the
country's population, and therefore invalidating
the Supreme Court order.
It is imperative that we fight for a wide
range of reproductive choices.
KATRINA MANN
Rackham
The letter writer is a member of Students for Choice.
Commentary full of
'half-truths and lies'
TO THE DAILY:
I was absolutely appalled to open up The
Michigan Daily and read what is essentially an
anti-Israel diatribe written by Fadi Kiblawi
("U.S. should not have backed out of U.N. con-

that the United States should "work with the rest
of the world in condemning Israel." Which is
quite ironic as the European Union threatened to
leave the conference if the language bashing
Israel was not changed. The eastern European
States along with many Latin American states
were expected to follow the EU's lead. This is
the truth. The final draft of the deceleration does
make mention of the Palestinians, and yet it has
all of the hateful language removed. This is the
only way that the EU would stay.
Kiblawi goes further to compare the United
.States walking out of this ridiculous conference
to their lack of action during World War II. I
will not even dignify this absurd notion with a
response.
In closing Kiblawi talks of how the U.N.
Conference on Racism is the perfect place to
condemn Israel. This is backwards. I'm no
expert on racism, but I think that singling out
one country and one people whose national
aspirations have led to founding of a movement
called Zionism and subsequently the founding
of the. nnlv democratic rniintrv amidst a seanf.

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