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November 22, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-11-22

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 22, 2005

OPINION

be £u *ia

JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
SAM SINGER
Editorial Page Editors

ALISON GO
Managing Editor

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

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

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
I've never seen it
this bad.
- Alvin Jones, a 59-year-old General Motors
employee with 40 years experience, responding
to GM's announcement that it will close 12
facilities and cut 30,000 jobs by 2008,
as reported yesterday by nytimes.com.

COLIN DALY TiH Mi:ICIAN DALY

At-SfJ, b " csGIV NG. T

The vagina alliance LISTEN ~
Download a podcast of this
WHITNEY DIBO ENTER STAGE LFTI column at www.mchgandaiy com.
A ccording to unite all women in a strong, symbolic, na Monologues" have inadvertently weak-
to the U.S. artistic stance against sexual abuse. It is a ened our female coalition.
Department celebration of women - all women - our I was in "The Vagina Monologues" last
of Justice, a woman bodies, our spirit, our potential, our beauty. year. I stood on stage with 26 other amazing
is sexually assaulted Every woman is included in Ensler's vision. women and spoke out against sexual abuse.
every two and a half "The Vagina Monologues" is a fusing of all On stage that cold February night, I felt
minutes somewhere women regardless of race or ethnicity, sex- empowered. Looking around at the 2005
in America. Whether ual orientation or age, in hopes of making cast, I felt proud. We were an interesting
she is white or black, the world a safe haven for the female sex. It bunch. Feminists, activists, sorority girls,
>a child or adult, has nothing to do with race and everything RC theaterettes, theatre majors, Business
wealthy or poor, a to do with gender. majors - we had it all. We were not homog-
woman - her body and herself - is vio- There are times to be separate, times to enous, and we were not "white washed"
lated every two and a half minutes. The define one another as different and unique. - we were a solid group, a united front of
statistic doesn't specify the race, age or "The Vagina Monologues" is simply not one strong, diverse women. In fact, in a cast of
economic status of these women, and that's of those times. The production is an oppor- 27 girls, there were 12 women of color - 44
because it doesn't matter. These are women tunity to find our similarities, our common percent. Not bad for a campus that claims a
who said no, and that's enough. ground as women - not to exacerbate our 24 percent minority population.
Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues," differences. The fact of the matter is sexual This whole discussion, however, begs
in combination with the broader V-Day abuse does not discriminate; unfortunately, a far deeper question: Are we really so
campaign, has strived since 2001 to cele- it is a great equalizer. alienated from each other on this campus
brate women's strength and sexuality, while In actuality, the rate at which black - dare I say segregated - that even some-
working against the horrific truth of sexual and white women are raped in this coun- thing as inclusive as "The Vagina Mono-
abuse - until the violence stops. try is strikingly similar. According to the logues" must become exclusive? Are we
But this year, the University's production U.S. Department of Justice's Prevalence, really so divided as a student body that we
of "The Vagina Monologues" will not rep- Incidence and Consequences of Violence must sacrifice Ensler's vision of female
resent the voice of all women. The direc- Against Women Survey, the lifetime rate solidarity in the name of race? Ensler laid
tors exclusively recruited women of color to of rape/attempted rape for black women the groundwork for unity in her script, but
come out and audition for the show this past is 18.8 percent, compared to 17.7 percent the directors of this year's "Vagina Mono-
weekend - while politely requesting white for white women. While it is slightly more logues" felt compelled to go the other way.
women to step aside. likely for black women to experience sexual Sadly, I think this decision is very telling
It is a courageous thing the directors of abuse, the difference is minimal. And even about the racial dynamics on our campus.
"The Vagina Monologues: A Colorful Pro- if it weren't, even if the gap were larger, The very fact that some women of color
duction" are trying to do, and any person this is not a subject that benefits from being felt this production necessary underscores
with appreciation for artistic chutzpah has quantified. that we have a long way to go before reach-
got to respect their bold choice. Recognizing Despite its best intentions, this year's ing Ensler's vision. I fear this year's pro-
the dangers of tokenization and providing production of "The Vagina Monologues" duction of "The Vagina Monologues" has
women of color a venue where their voices has colorized an issue that should be com- widened the chasm between white women
can be heard in unison, loud and clear, is pletely colorless. The directors have drawn and women of color on this campus, some-
an admirable undertaking. The directors of a line in the sand - dividing us by race, thing that we cannot afford here at the
this year's "Vagina Monologues" have the when we should be breaking all barriers to University.
right idea; they are just doing it with the overcome sexual abuse, together. By draw-
wrong production. ing this line between white women and Dibo can be reached
"The Vagina Monologues" is meant women of color, the directors of "The Vagi- at wdibo@umich.edu.
VIEWPOINT
The definition of class
BY WILL KERRIDGE Michigan is the only school in the Big a role model and someone who has brought
Ten without a separate basketball facil- decency back to a program marred with
A little more than three years ago, Mich- ity for the men or women's program, and recent corruption. It is men and women of
igan's men's basketball program endured Crisler Arena is as eye pleasing as a worn Amaker's character that make the Univer-
what will go down as the worst day in the out bomb-shelter. Amaker has gone 64-60 sity the leaders and best. Some have had
program's illustrious history. Early in the with no NCAA tournament appearances in the audacity to call for Amaker's job after
morning, University employees removed his four years of coaching here at the Uni- last year's lackluster finish, but Amaker
several banners from the rafters of Crisler versity, but if one were to observe Amaker has done nothing but continue to put forth a
Arena - the 1992 and 1993 NCAA final- at practice or run into him on campus, one positive message, giving student-athletes a
ist flags, the 1997 NIT Championship ban- could never pick up on the obstacles he has reason to play for him and students a reason
ner and the 1998 Big Ten Tournament title. had to overcome every day. to cheer for him.
Along with forfeiting 113 games and return- Amaker is the kind of guy who tells stu- The Athletic Department overlooks the
ing $450,000 to the NCAA, the University dents they are not at games to cheer on the basketball program here at the Univer-
announced several self-imposed sanctions team - they are at games because they are sity, and I ask students to do the opposite.
in the wake of the scandal and banned the an integral part of the team. Amaker walks The signature walk down Hoover Avenue
basketball team from any postseason play into the crowd during pre-season scrim- on football Saturday does not have to end
for the current year. While the basketball mages and with that ever-beaming smile of for all of the maize and blue faithful out
program hit rock bottom, one man took his, shakes hands and talks with any stu- there - men's basketball provides 15 more
it upon his shoulders to bring respect and dent that beckons. Always the one to show chances to walk past the Canham Natato-
class back to a program that needed it most. his undying appreciation of the student rium and Elbel Field en route to an exciting
Upon realizing the task at hand, many men body, Amaker sends out multiple e-mails Wolverine sporting event. Amaker is one of
would sacrifice the integrity of the student every year thanking the students for show- a select group of coaches that values educa-
athlete and cut corners in an effort to rack ing their support at games. Two free road tion, the character of his players and student
up extra tallies in the win column and bring trips have been set up for interested Michi- support as much as he values winning. Sup-
prestige back to the University. A man who gan fans this season, and anyone with half port Amaker and his players this winter, and
can see the importance of an education, the a brain can discern who was responsible for join them in defining what it means to suc-
necessity to be a role model and the true the anonymous donation that made bleacher ceed with class.
purpose of this University would not take seats free for students the past two years.
the easy route. Tommy Amaker is this man. Amaker elevates the persona of everyone he Kerridge is an LSA junior and member ofthe
Amaker is the definition of class. comes in contact with; he is the epitome of Daily's editorialboard.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR

0

IeA

Students should unite to
raise minimum wage
To THE DAILY:
As your editorial (Fair pay for all workers,
11/21/05) correctly stated, "The raise the
wage campaign should present a clear oppor-
tunity to stand for the future of our economy
and its workers." Eight years is simply too
long to leave the more than 400,000 mini-
mum-wage-earning hard workers of Michi-

certainly a noble cause. future to contact core.raisethewage@umich.edu
Here at the University, the newly formed for more information.
Raise the Wage Coalition serves as a Peter Borock
medium for those interested in helping the LSA sophomore
neediest get involved. We encourage any- The letter writer is member of the Raise the Wage
one interested in fighting for our collective Coalition and an MSA representative.
TO TIE M ALPE DESIANI T G EYWEIH oT
CROSSMG TH STREET BY THE MAIN UNVERSTY BUS STOP ON .c A
CAMau A AP A I NmAULY 6 P& ONTIt Nl o...15

6

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Reggie Brown, Gabrielle D'Angelo, John Davis,
Whitney Dibo, Milly Dick, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared Goldberg, Ashwin
Jagannathan, Theresa Kennelly, Mark Kuehn, Will Kerridge, Kirsty McNamara, Rajiv Prab-
t 1 ---n - n- J ---_I, v_.L_ . . 1 1 D-- ., 0 -1- 11- c.;,,L1 , r, - - Q AC I --.~

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