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April 11, 2003 - Image 4

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 11, 2003

OP/ED

SA

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

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

LOUIE MEIZLISH
Editor in Chief
AUBREY HENRETTY
ZAC PESKOWITZ
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
Your nation will
soon be free."
- President Bush, on Iraqi television
yesterday in an address to the Iraqi people,
as reported by The Associated Press.

SAM BUTLER TEi SOAPBOX
. v

0

Mental masturbation
HUSSAIN RAHIM NARCoLEPTuc INSOMNIA

So the year has
finally reached its
denouement. The
air is cathartic and
reflective. Everyone is
either espousing life the-
ories or sharing revision-
ist nostalgia of their
halcyon days at the won-
derful University.
Although I can't partake in the latter, I have
a clearance sale on the former. So let's jump
into the fun.
Men and women aren't and can't be
neutral friends. The Hussain dictionary
defines friends as people you talk to out-
side of places you have to be, that know
your thoughts and that you associate with
outside of Ann Arbor. Sadly, this excludes
Chad, who talked to you in the laundry
room, and Jeffrey, who helped you set up
Mulberry your freshman year. So with this
idea in mind, also know that friendship
between men and women is inherently dif-
ferent from that of two people of the same
sex. Surely no man wants to hear about
your period, nor does any female want to
hear the details of the rare beautiful women
who appear in Angell Hall once per under-
grad. More often than not, people gravitate
toward those they find attractive. And if
that is the reason two people are together,
then you're already heading down that
street. Being a general misanthrope, it is
hard enough to find people who can gener-
ate and sustain my interest over a period of
time, so once that is found, why banish
them to the level of friend?
Every friendship is not a Meg Ryan
movie waiting to happen, and all relation-

ships end - except maybe the last one you
have. After hearing this theory, I usually
must add I have no female friends and that
there is one exception, gay friends. And even
Will got Grace. If two people associate a lot,
someone will be attracted.
Going onto dating. Here's the idea that
has kept me single in Michigan (along with
many other issues, I'd need the whole Daily
for that): I don't pay for dates. Before I get
an animal porn virus, I will give one excep-
tion, and that is in regard to a relationship.
If you are in a meaningful relationship, then
there is nothing wrong with treating each
other. But what I say no to is the sole fund-
ing of the introductory and courtship stages
by the male. During my highly scientific
and formal study of female dating opinions
(I was awake in two statistics lectures) I've
seen that most women - and to my dis-
may, men - take it as a given that a man
must pay for the first d'ate. To this I say
nay. I took a step, or leap, back from the
situation and said, "Why?" For what reason
should I bear the financial burden of the
date? It has to date back to some paternalis-
tic view that men should take out women
because they can't themselves. And these
are the responses I got: "He should be
happy to be out with me." "He should feel
good paying for me." "I'm worth it; he
should be a gentleman." Even sadder was
the guy who told me, "She'll think I'm
cheap." Jesus Christmas ... This can't be
the state of gender relations. This attitude
furthers the misunderstandings and purports
the idea of men as the providers and women
as the recipients. Although no one is owed
anything, if a man pays for a date or three,
logic can occur which would enable him to

think he is making a sort of investment with
future returns. It is also disturbing that the
women I talked to considered their time
something to be bought or paid for. There's
a specific job for that. I would sincerely
hope that a female on a date would be there
for the reasons I am: because she's interest-
ed, not for monetary compensation.
And on top of that I'm broke and cheap.
It's a vicious cycle with complexity of
chicken/egg proportions. Dates are not
free, and if I sponsor one and she has a bet-
ter time than I do, with my winsome per-
sonality and all, I'll feel jerked. Since men
have to do the bulk of initiating, dates can
resemble favors from women. If we are
both interested enough to see where this
could go, at least we could split the date. If
it goes poorly, we can shake hands and call
a truce. If it goes great, don't spoil it by
sliding off to the bathroom around bill
time. To the women who told me they
approach men and pay for dates, pat your-
selves on the back, for you are a rare breed.
And to the men whose manhood is
destroyed by the notion of a woman open-
ing her purse, come out of the cave and try
out the 21st century; it's nice out here.
Newly discovered and parting informa-
tion: Ali G and Larry David are your daddies,
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" may be better than
"Seinfeld," The new Harry Potter book will
kick your ass. Who can resist a little British
boy with magical powers? Illmatic is the best
rap album ever, as Nevennind is the best rock
album ever.
Ifyouagree or disagree with any
of Rahim's musings on life,
he can be reached at hrahim@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

University should not appeal
court decision in Johnson
sexual harassment case
To THE DAILY:
University campuses must be places where
young women have an equal opportunity to
develop intellectually. They must be marked
by an atmosphere in which women are free to
develop their talents, to define their interests
and goals and to excel. Sexual harassment and
other forms of sex discrimination prevent these
principles from becoming real, undermining
women's education and impeaching the claim
of universities to function as a force for greater
democracy.
The University now faces an important
decision about how to situate itself with respect
to these issues.
Last April, in a groundbreaking decision, a
jury found the University liable for the sexual
harassment of a female student by a professor.
The jury's verdict in the case, Johnson v.
Regents, rested on the view that the University
had not done enough under the law to ensure
that Johnson and other young women would
not be subjected to a hostile environment due to
sexual harassment.
The University must decide whether or not
to appeal the Johnson verdict - whether to
view the jury's finding as an affront or as an
opportunity. As the leader of a national organi-
zation that stands for the full and equal partici-
pation of women in the intellectual, social and
political life of the United States, I urge the lat-
ter approach.
The implicit criticism in the verdict should
prompt reflection and change. By rejecting it,
the University would send the wrong message
to young women and men and to those profes-
sors who abuse their power. But by responding
to Johnson in a positive, open manner, the Uni-
versity can contribute to progress toward fair
and equal opportunity for women in academia.
Studies show that at least half of young
women are sexually harassed during college, no
doubt with grave effects on their self-confi-
dence and intellectual engagement. Sexual
harassment also makes young women more
likely to drop out of college altogether. It com-
bines with other forms of gender inequality -
like those that have recently been documented
in studies of the climate for female faculty
members in the sciences at various schools,
including the University - to deprive women

focus its resources on efforts to ensure that
this campus is one where young women
can thrive as intellectuals and leaders in all
fields, side by side with young men and on
equal footing with them.
KIM GANY
President, National Organization for Women
Smith protects rights of males
to preserve status quo
TO THE DAILY:
Thanks to Luke "Progressive" Smith for
warning an apathetic campus of the danger of
"left-thinking fools like Martha Burk (WNBA
wants equal treatment? End it., 04/10/03)." That
darned woman wants the Augusta Golf Club to
admit women. What a crazy idea! Will women
want the vote or something next? Holy jeez!
And how 'bout those long-limbed leftistic
loony ladies who think they know how to drib-
ble a basketball!
Perhaps the University administration can
help stop the "red tide" by banning tonight's
Take Back the Night march. Once those female
screamers get the idea that they should be safe
from male violence and control their own bod-
ies, what other nuttiness could break out? I bet
some wacky college students might sit in at the
Woolworth's counter in Greensboro, N.C. and
try to desegregate society or something
(Whoops, that already happened on Feb. 1,
1960).
And thanks, Luke, for hacking at "pursuit of
equality through unequal means." That
deranged radical Ronald Reagan should never
have approved the 1988 act giving $20,000
reparations to Japanese Americans interned dur-
ing World War II because some of that money
comes from red-blooded taxpayers like us-uns,
who didn't even incarcerate those folks in the
detention camps in the first place. Ohhh the
inequality, shame and injustice. "No taxation
without incarceration," or something like that.
In conclusion, without free thinkers like
Smith laying down the law, Martha "Saddam's
Mom" Burk would lead our great country to
hell in a handbasket - except there wouldn't
be handbaskets anymore, because the women
would all be president or senators or something
instead of basket weaves. Life just gets worse
every day, especially if you're a white male,
huh Luke?
DAVID BOYLE
Alumnus

Theodore Grenier. It's more likely Theodore
Hughes does not feel "his show was above the
rest," but was simply doing his job as a pub-
licly-funded, personality-driven radio jockey.
His audience has spoken to WEMU manage-
ment on more than one occasion - including
war time - regarding not including news dur-
ing his four-hour radio program.
Of benefit to the station's finances and to
better serve the public who supports them, they
should listen to their desires. The Bone Con-
duction Music Show - as stated in last week's
Sminty's Electronic Circus in The Detroit
News - "brought more than its fair share of
pledge dollars," which alone should motivate
the management and marketing staff to poll his
listenership so they might replicate some of its
success factors. Beyond the breath and depth of
musical offerings, many of us tune in because
there is a strong, entertaining, tolerant personal-
ity who understands his audience enough to
have spent 20 years absorbing corporate grief
so the listener could get away from the world
awhile on Sundays, pre- or post-Sept. 11.
Truth be known, news is switched off or
ignored when in the midst of a program which is
longer than 55 minutes; it is simply National
Public Radio headline news repeats heard last
hour. Any emergency news items usurp all pro-
gramming, and Hughes can be quoted from his
Snow interview which is an example demon-
strating he has and would air this type of news,
but saw no sense in airing repetitive headline
news. Perhaps WEMU management and DJs
should take a look at their audience's desires
(i.e. their market niche), for if there is one thing
we do not lack, it is a media source for in-depth
news.
Greiner should personally hear Hughes'
side of the employment story, as he claims
never to have received an offer to return to the
air. In fact, when calling in Sunday night to
inquire as to why the show was not going to be
aired (as the business office, e-mails and
phones were not being answered the previous
week) and when it would be back on, I was not
the only one who was told by someone at the
station (who duly noted he was tape recording
the conversation), that it was unlikely the show
would ever air on this station again. The ques-
tion might be asked if Hughes has not changed
his practices in 20 years and has never aired
anything but emergency news, what prompts a
station to cut out the heart of its DJ personali-
ties along with arguably 10 percent of it's rev-
enues in difficult economic times for
publicly-funded media?

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JUDITH ROSELLA

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