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October 22, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-22

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 22, 2002

OP/ED

~~Jb'rtt A:ibi3n tilg

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
He has completely
marginalized himself
and turned himself
into a pathetic,
strange figure."
- Francis Brooke, an adviser to the Iraqi
National Congress, on Scott Ritter, the former
UN weapons inspector and vocal critic of an
invasion ofiraq. The quote was reported in
yesterday's Washington Post.

A~temrrvt-UVe Stvc v

"$tu'dy by O.srno sis:

bp -

Thch ni ve

BONNIE KELLMAN MxiED NUS

'stogy by Tne gtiorx:

J

~~5tudyi. Not 1virekHCd.

Pedagogy of the oppressor
AUBREY HENRETTY NEUROTICA

ood morning,
my little
sponges. Wel-
come to Opinion 240:
How to Think. Grab a
cookie and have a
"f seat; class may run a
little long today.
First, I want you to
forget everything you
learned in the prerequisite, which, as you'll
recall, was Opinion 101: What to Think
(excruciating, wasn't it? I can't believe that's
still required). As far as this course is con-
cerned, it doesn't matter what you think.
You in the corner - did you just write
that down? Unbelievable. Get out of my
classroom. Anyone else feeling insignificant
today? Good. Then let's get started.
The topic of the hour is oppression and
boy, is it a hot one. Everyone's got a plight
these days and woe is the poor sap who
can't keep them all straight. Oh, no, I'm not
saying people don't have all kinds of
garbage to put up with specific to religious
affiliation, race, gender and what have you.
Of course they do.
Take me, for example. I've got your basic
European feature blend and mainstream dis-
illusionment with religion, but as you may
have noticed, I'm also a girl. I missed evil
white male oppressor status by the skin of
my second X chromosome, a microscopic
but formidable difference that affects my life
in ways my male contemporaries may never
fully understand.
It goes beyond the Barbie ideal, sexual
harassment and the rest of feminism's
favorite complaints. Am I right, girls? Is

there not something particularly horrifying
about hearing that noise in the bushes at 4
a.m. on a deserted and poorly lit street three
blocks from home in the studeni ghetto,
something uniquely infuriating about the
only drugstore in a 10-mile radius charging
$9.35 for one lousy box of tampons?
Forget the wage gap; the chasm between
the rich and the poor in this country is a
human problem and crowning more women
CEOs just to prove we're not sexist isn't
going to narrow it. Would I like to see more
female politicians? Not if they're just like the
male politicians we've already got. The sys-
tem needs a good swift kick in the ass and I
don't care who's wearing the steel-toed boot.
A lot of self-proclaimed feminists insist
women and men should be treated exactly
alike (the assumption being that they basical-
ly are exactly alike), then turn around and
claim that our never having had a woman
president is some kind of affront to civil
society, as if a little estrogen in the big chair
would have changed everything. They want
to have it both ways and they can because
they have made it political suicide to dis-
agree with them. The moment a man tries to
point out the error of this logic, they tell him
he'll never understand either because he per-
sonally benefits from marginalizing women
or because he lacks necessary first-hand
experience of the system's folly.
But I can talk about this until I turn blue,
using the same line of reasoning as our hypo-
thetical male (pay attention now, this will be
on the test) and somehow I am seen as more
credible. I know what it's like to bleed for
five days and not die (overrated), so I am
eminently'more qualified to spot logical

inconsistencies. Obviously.
This isn't an exclusively feminist strate-
gy; many vocal members of oppressed
groups are adamant about the importance of
different perspectives until someone belong-
ing to another group offers an opposing one,
at which point they dismiss it as uninformed.
I was talking to one of these guys not too
long ago, a condescending minority male
who shook his head slowly, sighed audibly
and told me there was no way I could possi-
bly understand the subtle racist ideas with
which I'd been indoctrinated since birth, the
way my brain was hard-wired to discriminate
against "people like him." I objected and he
sighed again. It was just part of my culture,
he said. Completely unconscious.
Just part of my culture, eh? OK, let's talk
about culture. Since the underdog in ques-
tion's home culture has been keeping its
women powerless and uneducated for thou-
sands of years, I suppose I could have con-
cluded that he wouldn't be patronizing me
like this if I were male. I wasn't willing to
stoop that low. There are no winners in the
game of whose-life-is-harder and anyone
who suggests otherwise is probably trying to
exploit other people's real problems for his
(or her - let's cover all our bases, shall we?)
personal gain. This is no way to make the
world less oppressive; as soon as the
oppressed stop trying to understand the
oppressor and vice versa, communication
and progress will cease.
That, you can write down. Put a big star
next to it.

0

0

Aubrey Henretty can be reached
at ahenrett@umichledu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

There are more University
students running for Board
of Regents than Petering
TO THE DAILY:
The Daily's editorial Touting tuition,
(10/21/02) incorrectly notes that Green Party
candidate Matthew Petering is "the only stu-
dent running for regent"" this November, but
fellow Green candidate Susan Fawcett and
Reform Party candidate Nick Waun, both stu-
dents, are also running.
About the race, I believe Fawcett, besides
supporting affirmative action, has endorsed
the ideas of: having at least one designated
student regent, as in Iowa; inaugurating a
"question time" during which regents will
answer questions from the audience; contin-
ued efforts to assure fairness to Graduate
Employees Organization and University
workers; a moratorium on spending more
money for such things as improving the Presi-
dent's house, overly expensive airline flights
for high University officials, etc. This all puts
her far ahead of any other candidate I know of
in the race, as regards support of innovative,
socially conscious, and democratic ideas.
By contrast, I believe that Waun opposes

affirmative action, and that Petering at the
October 14 candidate forum said he opposed
the University's court-challenged undergradu-
ate affirmative action program and was not
sure about the Law School affirmative action
program; and Petering did not say just when
he would decide about the latter program.
At least until other candidates support
the ideas Fawcett has supported, I would
like here to endorse her candidacy for
regent, as no one else deserves as much to
win, and students deserve a candidate of her
caliber and idealism.
DAVID BOYLE
Law School alumnus
AJC ad campaign against
divestment was not divisive
To THE DAILY:
In David Horn's (10/18/02) column enti-
tled Wherever we stand, we stand together,
(10/18/02) Horn criticizes the actions of major
Jewish organizations in responding to the
ongoing anti-Semitic divestment campaign. In
his rant, Horn claims that solidarity efforts,
like that of the American Jewish Committee,
are "counterproductive, hypocritical and pro-

pagandizing." This charge is not only absurd,
but also completely misinformed. Horn refers
to the statement that AJC printed on Oct. 7 in
The New York Times, in which over 300 uni-
versity presidents endorsed their support for
an "intimidation free campus," condemning
recent hate crimes committed on a number of
campuses over this past year. Horn's criticism
is definitely undeserved as the language of
this statement is completely innocuous:
"In the current period of worldwide politi-
cal turmoil that threatens to damage one of
our country's greatest treasures - colleges
and universities - we commit ourselves to
academic integrity in two ways. We will
maintain academic standards in the classroom
and we will sustain an intimidation-free cam-
pus. Our campus debates will be conducted
without threats, taunts, or intimidation. In
doing so we uphold the best of American
democratic principles."
So, what is Horn complaining about
exactly? This groundbreaking initiative by
the AJC is a laudable step towards achieving
the very ideals of "cooperation and dialogue"
that he claims to support. Horn foolishly
overlooks the importance of this initiative
and should do us all a favor and stick to
sports writing.
BEN ROTH
LSA senior

*I

VIEWPOINT
Editor in Chief has small Schwartz; low self-esteem

BY JOEL WINSTON
Ladies and Gentlemen of this fair Univer-
sity, here is something you missed at Orien-
tation: The Michigan Daily is better than
you. That's right - whatever causes you
support or memberships you hold, the Daily
is better than you. Pro-choice, anti-war, for
affirmative action or against terrorism, the
Daily is better than you. Whether you are the
President of this University or the President
of the X Box (sic) gaming club, The Michi-
gn Daily can do your job better because,
well, they are better than you.
My cynical attitude has developed in
response to the comments of the Editor in Chief
of the publication that is better than you. Quot-
ing from Monday's editorial It's not the date rape
seminars, it's the date rape, what Jon Schwartz
enjoys even more than a fun filled Saturday
evening involving a jar of Skippy Peanut Butter

"Dick Cheney Assassinated; Bacon Cheese-
burger Wanted for Questioning"
"Hanink Caught Sniffing Own Dad's
Underwear."
"Monkey Flings Poop, Child Loses Eye."
"Daily Editor Schwartz Beat Up During
Recess, Cries to his Mommy"
Another characteristic necessary to be
publisher at the Daily is the ability to regu-
larly employ logic so faulty it would make
your LSAT tutor want to beat an orphan for
mercy. Case and (sic) point: in yesterday's
article Schwartz claims that the Greek Com-
munity should be condemned not for
expending time and energy in ensuring the
safety of their social events, but for the very
fact that they need such provisions in the
first place. Schwartz says: "I just wonder
what kind of society of college aged people
needs sober monitors."
Since its (sic) pretty obvious Schwartz
nulled this argument from somewhere

age (sic) people needs (sic) a source to
mediate disputes, a center to provide treat-
ment and a department to promote responsi-
ble alcohol consumption?! (sic)
As Editor in Chief for a day, my time is run-
ning short and the glamour is fading. If this seg-
ment was funny, I want to thank the Daily for
providing so much help in deriding themselves!
(sic) If it sucked, I blame those Daily freaks for
censoring my article!
My final message, in all seriousness is
this: there is a fine line between reliable
journalism and trashy tabloids. Many stu-
dents won't be surprised the day when there
is a picture of Rosie O'Donnell eating a
Twinkie and a headline about the prophecies
of Nostradamous (sic) on the front page of
the Daily. When the Editor in Chief openly
resorts to bashing groups of people because
he couldn't think of a better topic to write
about, he is practicing tabloid journalism.
When a number of large student organiza-

Aw

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