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February 06, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-06

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 6, 2002

OP/ED

Cibe £irbtigau !DuiIg

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

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

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
Editorial Page Editor

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
" < The great
thing about
hanging out
with Republicans
is that it's very
unhip for both
of us."
- U2 lead singer Bono on fraternizing
with conservatives at the World
Economic Forum, as quoted by Reuters.

r p@LL2N ~.

NONC'LL
MISS IT./
/r
oA'
-E /

6l

CHIP CULLEN GRINDING THE Nips

.

80?

i
C ni QCa boy I o Ma+ . Go , "

Attn. women: You don't stand a chance
MANISH RAIJI NOTHING CATCHY

L adies, I've got
}> something to tell
you; it's unfortu-
nately something you
} probably already know. If
a guy rapes you, there's
almost nothing you can
do about it. It starts from
the beginning; a guy is
likely to be stronger than
you and capable of forcing himself upon
you. If force doesn't work, coercion (GHB,
etc.) almost certainly will. After the deed is
done, you'll probably only tell your closest
friends - certainly not the police. If you're
brave enough to go to the police, they'll
probably pat you on the head and tell you
that there's not enough evidence. If they
decide you've got a case, it's probable that
the courts will disagree. And if the courts
figure that you've been raped, the guy's
probably going to get the equivalent of a
stern talking to.
And through all of this - not to men-
tion the rest of your life - you'll be
looked at as "that poor girl who was
raped" or, worse yet, "that bitch who cried
rape."
Sad, but true.
Usually I find feminist complaints
about the patriarchal nature of society to
be nothing more than hogwash. (I actually
heard someone trying to explain the "fact"
that the letter "M" is patriarchal in that it
not only is the first letter of "male," but it
is also an upside down "W." And since
there are more words that start with "M"
than "W" ... you get the point.) But in
terms of rape, I totally understand. Rape,
as word, has no meaning anymore - rape
jokes are seen as tasteful because rape is
considered funny. People cringe to hear
pedophile jokes, but ones about rape are
always greeted with laughter.
Furthermore, rape is the only crime for

which the victim is somehow guilty for
having a crime perpetrated against her. If I
got my car stolen, no one would seriously
condescend me by saying "Well, you asked
for it." It doesn't matter if my car is nice, it
doesn't matter if it was parked in a bad part
of town, it doesn't even matter if I leave it
unlocked, keys in the ignition, idling in
front of Chesey's in Ypsilanti. I might be
accused of being unsafe, perhaps even
dumb, but no one would honestly say "Hey
man, you really wanted your car stolen."
But rape? "You asked for it" is the
knee-jerk response. You can be dressed up
in a mu-mu with earmuffs and army boots
on, but you still asked for it - you're still
a woman of loose morals.
With that much stigma attached to rape,
coupled with the near impossibility of get-
ting justice, is it a surprise that women
don't report it?
The number of women who bear the
burden of rape alone is significant. There
are two relevant crime databases in this
country - the Uniform Crime Report and
the National Crime Victimization Survey.
The UCR compiles police reports from
across the country while the NCVS anony-
mously surveys a wide range of American
households. According to the UCR, rough-
ly 90,000 rapes were reported last year.
But according to the NCVS - which
allows people to report crimes without
anyone knowing about it - 300,000
women were raped. Less than a third of all
rapes get reported - for the other 210,00
rapes, women weighed the desire for jus-
tice versus the social stigma attached with
reporting rape and decided that the stigma
was too much.
Let me repeat that, in order to stress the
horror of that sentence: 210,000 women
weighed the desire for justice versus the
social stigma attached with reporting rape
and decided that the stigma was too much.

Let me address the other side for a
moment (fitting, since "the other side" is
the gender to which I belong). Some guys
think that women call any bad sexual
experience rape. "She obviously didn't get
off and then decided to call it rape."*
I don't even need to argue against this
line of reasoning; it's absurdity is self-evi-
dent. But among the less chauvinistic of
my species, there is serious confusion
regarding what rape is. If a girl has been
drugged with GHB(eta), she's the victim
of rape. If a girl is drunk and passed out,
she's the victim of rape.
But what if both parties are drunk, not
passed out and certainly wouldn't be
caught holding hands (let alone copulat-
ing) if it weren't for the alcohol? Is that
rape? And if it is, who did the raping,
since both parties were drunk? What if the
girl's drunk (but not drugged or passed
out) and the guy's sober? He's sleazy, yes,
but is it rape?
The ambiguities aside, it's still clear
that rape is a tremendous social problem.
Even if I were to take a spectacularly sex-
ist view and suggest that fully half of the
women who reported rape on the anony-
mous NCVS are just "whiny bitches,"**
that still leaves 150,000 rapes per year, of
which 60,000 are not reported - nearly
half.
The stigma of rape is that heavy.
It's disgusting that women don't have a
chance when it comes to rape. I, for one,
would rather live in a place where, if my
car got stolen, I don't have many options.
My car can be replaced. A woman's sense
of safety and dignity? Not so much.
*Yes, 1 have actually heard this.
**Yes, I have actually heard this, too.
Manish Raiji can be reached
at mraqi@umich.edu.

6

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Writing a tetter to the editor? Our address has changed.Now, e-mai letters@michigandaiy.com

Tom Monaghan should do
with his money 'whatever
he jolly well wants'
To THE DAILY:
I Peter Cunniffe's editorial, The World's
Biggest What? (2/5/2002), reveals that he
does not understand the rights of property-
owning citizens.
Tom Monaghan has owned the land
near US-23 and M-14 for quite some time.
Now it seems that he wants to use some of
his land to erect a very large crucifix,
almost 200 feet taller than the current
"World's Largest Crucifix" which stands at
55 feet in Indian River, Michigan.
Cunniffe argues that the cross will send
a false message concerning the values of
the largely non-Catholic Ann Arbor. He
makes much of Monaghan's personal con-
victions, but those should make no differ-
ence. The cross which Jesus died upon is
certainly not a symbol exclusive to Roman
Catholicism.
It may in fact be true, as Cunniffe
fears, that the cross would suggest "a char-
acter about an area." Cunniffe's fault is
assuming "an area" to mean Ann Arbor,
and not simply Monaghan's land. The fact
is, Monaghan's property is his property.
Whether one agrees with Monaghan's
wonderfully pro-life stance, where is the
harm in him publicly proclaiming that he
is Christian?
What Cunniffe fails to admit is that
Monaghan earned the money and should be
able to do with it whatever he jolly well
wants. If he wants a towering figure of the
crucified Jesus on his property, let him
build one.
ANNE NAGRANT
LSA senior
Cunniffe's column offensive,
'out of touch' with students
T ruJT AT i

Rev. Jerry Falwell.
Furthermore, I disagree with Cunniffe's
statement that the statue of Jesus "suggests
a character about an area," as if the statue
symbolizes something negative. Whether
one believes Jesus is the son of God, one
can hardly say that a statue of Jesus would
reflect unfavorably on this city.
Jesus was the most perfect person ever
to walk this earth. Is Cunniffe against the
statue because he believes it tarnishes the
reputation of the community or simply
because a conservative wishes to express
his religion on his own private property?
Cunniffe asks "Why do I get the feeling
that what he's actually building is a giant
middle finger pointed right at our going-
straight-to-hell campus?" This question is
ludicrous. As a Christian, I am offended by
Jesus being associated with this vulgar sign
of anger. Cunniffe's politically correct
opinions against "shoving religion down
people's throats" may serve him well on
the Daily's editorial staff, but are sorely
out of touch with the majority of students.
ANDREW HOEKSTRA
LSA Freshman
Seibert's column dignifies
gender stereotypes
To THE DAILY:
I am writing in response to Mr. Seib-
ert's column, The Truth about Cats and
Dogs: Los Gatos. Seibert stated, "It is a
well-known fact that men typically use
logic and cognitive reasoning to dictate
their actions, while women typically allow
their emotions to guide them." I question
where he got this "well-known fact." Both
men and women use emotion and cogni-
tive reasoning to guide their actions. In
fact, they are inexorably connected; one
cannot think without emotion and one can-
not emote without thinking. This is why
most people say, "I feel ... " when they
mean, "I think ... "
In addition, as to saying that "this may
ha re~n w men in our society hold

ert that our National Security Advisor,
Condoleezza Rice, is a woman. One can
argue with her politics, but no one can
argue that she has not preformed extreme-
ly well in the male-dominated realm of
security. Finally, Seibert says that it
should be obvious that this stereotype does
not apply to everyone, but by writing a
column on the stereotype that women do
not think but feel, he has dignified it and
applied it to all women.
MARGARET PETERS
LSA Senior
Senior issue 'tasteless,'
'poorest excuse for satire'
reader has seen to date
To THE DAILY:
Friday's issue of the Daily was the
poorest excuse for satire I have seen to
date. Although some quips were laughable
(i.e. kid slipping on the ice), the majority
seemed to be written in tasteless, sailor-
mouthed drunkenness. Next time you
decide to amuse yourselves by mocking
handicapped kids, the faculty, homosexu-
als, minorities, violated sorority girls,
hardworking athletes and religious groups,
please designate your free-for-all to a sepa-
rate issue or spare our tuition. Show some
University pride! This time I didn't even
tear out the crossword!
KRISTEN BLOOMSTROM
LSA sophomore
Editor's note: The Daily operates on ad revenue. It is
completely financially independent of the University
and does not receive any of students' tuition dollars.
Editorial page shows bias
for 12-year-old Vietnamese
girls, illicit drug use
To THE DAILY:
In past editorials, the Daily has argued
that those wxho hbuv products made in sweast-

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