4A - Monday, March 10, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
k~w Edited and managed by students at
the University ofMichigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
The fact that we have not been attacked
over the past six and a half years is not a
matter of chance."
- President Bush, justifying his veto of a bill to ban waterboarding as an interrogation method
in the Central Intelligence Agency, as reported yesterday by The New York Times.
An obituaryfor the word 'bitch'
EDITOR IN CHIEF
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
The Daily's public editor, Paul H. Johnson, acts as the readers'representative and takes a critical look at
coverage and content in every section of the paper. Readers are encouraged to contact the public editor
with questions andcomments. He canbe reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Movin up, not out
New student high-rise can't be another expensive option
ousing in Ann Arbor can be brutal on a student bank
account. A proposal to build a new 26-story high-rise
called University village would do nothing to fix that.
Ann Arbor residents, though, are opposed to the plan for another
reason: They're afraid that such a tall building will hurt the city's
atmosphere. But that's not the right reason for rejecting this plan.
While the development would increase downtown density and
boasts an eco-friendly design, it fails to recognize that opulent
housing is not what a majority of students need.
xcept in reference to female
dogs - and even then self-
control is advisable - it's time
to stop using the
word "bitch." A
good place to start
is this campus,
which is suppos-
but where the word
is said often. It's
said in Angell Hall,
dorms and this
paper's newsroom K
without a single STAMPFL
turned head. A few
just being a bitch," "Stop acting like a
bitch" and "He's a bitch."
A better place to start this word's
demise is this generation, which is
sufficiently colorblind to put a black
candidate over the top but too resent-
ful toward women who challenge
traditional gender roles to stop casu-
ally calling his opponent a bitch. For
example: "I can't believe that bitch
won Ohio," or "Did you hear what that
bitch just said about NAFTA?"
I'm not a bleeding-heart liberal,
a cloistered academic or a radical
feminist. I've never taken a women's
studies class, and I don't own a single
Hillary Clinton bumper sticker. I'm
just a regular person who's asking
other regular people to join him on the
right side of history.
It wasn't that long ago that words
like "nigger" and "faggot" became
unacceptable. On this campus at least,
using either in the same way we use
bitch is universally unimaginable.
The word "faggot," while still popular
in junior high school, was enough to
get Isaiah Washington dropped from
the cast of "Grey's Anatomy" after he
used it on the set. If he had substituted
"bitch" for "faggot," would he still be
on the show? Probably.
It's foolish to compare the horrid-
ness of certain words, but few rea-
sonable people would argue against
treating "bitch" with the same disdain
as the handful of other upper-echelon
hateful words. But, it's a mystery why
the word doesn't taste as bad when it
rolls off of our tongues.
I can already imagine the argu-
ments on this column's online com-
ment thread, so I'll respond to some of
them in advance:
Language has power; it affects us
consciously and subconsciously. The
word bitch isn't a problem because
it's offensive or because it may make
some women feel bad when they hear
it. It's a problem because it perpetu-
ates dangerous gender stereotypes,
the same notions that result in tan-
gible discrimination like male-female
wage disparity. Its common usage
makes it seem like it's a bad thing for
a woman to be assertive or strong. For
instance, it makes it seem like it's OK
not to vote for Hillary Clinton because
she doesn't fit old-fashioned views of a
woman's role in society.
Isn't this just overzealous politi-
No. I'm not proposing that we pre-
tend the word doesn't exist.As youmay
have noticed, it appears often through-
out this column. It'sjustnot OK to refer
to anyone derogatorily as a bitch.
Even if the person you're refer-
ring to is a guy?
Even then, because the word is still
rooted in prejudice and misogyny.
When you're calling a guy a bitch,
you're basically calling him a woman.
That shouldn't be an insult - just like
calling someone gay or black or Jew-
ish shouldn't be an insult.
Haven't you used it regularly
in private conversation just like
everyone else, you hypocrite?
Yes, but I stopped when I realized
how unacceptable it is. I'm no differ-
ent from you, and your life will be no
worse when you stop using it.
Shouldn't women try to reclaim
ownership of the word and change
Maybe, but I doubt it will work.
A better strategy is to trumpet how
unacceptable it is, noting its obvi-
ous ties to misogyny. No matter what
feminists decide it should mean, it
will still connote ill-tempered women,
portraying their lack of submissive-
ness as a negative.
Bitch, a hateful
term, dies of
Why go after "bitch"? Aren't
"cunt," "whore" and a few other
words just as bad?
Yes, but "bitch" is more ubiqui-
tous. It's also seen as more acceptable.
Watch network television for an hour
and count the number of times it's
used. I don't think any words should
be prohibited from network TV, but I
do think a healthy society should balk
at the usage of "bitch" if it also pro-
tests the usage of racist words.
You're a prude.
Fine, but in this case a little pru-
dence is necessary.
Karl Stampfl was the Daily's fall/
winter editor in chief in 2007. He can
be reached at email@example.com.
University Village would be built at the
corner of South University and South Forest
Avenues. Housing up to 1,400 residents, the
building would include luxuries like flat-
screen televisions, a workout facility, a caf6,
a washer and dryer in every unit and Resi-
dential Advisor on every floor. The plans
also include a green roof, which would save
energy and recycle rainwater. No announce-
ment has been made about how much the
units would cost.
At a public forum last week, some Ann
Arbor residents said the high-rise will
threaten Ann Arbor's small-town feel. They
said they're afraid of turning South Uni-
versity Avenue into something resembling
Chicago. And they're worried that the tall
building might block sunlight. But a few
shad sidewalks aren't a travesty.
Wat these residents fail to realize is that
Ann Arbor will change. Healthy cities grow.
That growth can happen in two ways: up
or out. Building out is an env'onmentally
unfriendly practice that creeps into green
spaces, destroys wildlife and forces people
to consume resources. Building up is more
The problem with the planned develop-
ment is its cost. Ann Arbor doesn't need
its own Trump Tower. It needs affordable
housing. The Central Campus housing
market is already a nightmare. Near cam-
pus, even the worst living conditions come
with hefty price tags, driving poorer stu-
dents further from campus. Although this
primarily affects students, Ann Arborites
doesn't seem pleased either. Worried
about students encroaching on their sub-
urban tranquility, Burns Park residents
got the City Council to rezone part of
the neighborhood, effectively preventing
homeowners from turning their proper-
ties into student rentals. That doesn't take
away from the fact that the city has to put
Housing blatantly targeted at wealthy
students creates class segregation. The
University has long trumpeted its efforts to
increase diversity. This new development
challenges that stance. Students of all finan-
cial backgrounds need convenient living at
a reasonable price. While it can improve the
situation by building and renovating new
residence halls, it is also the University's
responsibility as such an influential institu-
tion to be the voice fighting with the city to
achieve this goal.
The plan for University Village acknowl-
edges the important reality that more hous-
ingmight costthe city alittle sunlight. It also
recognizes that new construction shouldn't
come at the expense of the environment. But
students are in desperate need of affordable
housing. This issue cannot be ignored, even
if a few disgruntled residents think it will
make downtown a little less quaint.
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Emad Ansari, Harun Buljina, Anindya Bhadra, Kevin Bunkley, Ben Caleca,
Satyajeet Deshmukh, Milly Dick, Mike Eber, Emmarie Huetteman,
Theresa Kennelly, Emily Michels, Arikia Millikan, Kate Peabody, Robert Soave,
lmran Syed, Neil Tambe, Matt Trecha, Kate Truesdell, Radhika Upadhyaya,
Rachel Van Gilder, Rachel Wagner, Patrick Zabawa.
PAUL TINKERHESS W T
No excuse for no caucus
A graduation e-mail
TO THE DAILY:
In December 2007 I graduated
from the University's Ross School of
Business, and I have a piece of advice
that I would like to pass along to all
graduating students: Save your e-
mails before you graduate.
When I signed up for my e-mail
account through the University, I
was told to choose my uniqname
wisely because I would have it for
the rest of my life. However, the
University failed to mention that I
would have to pay to continue my
e-mail account after I graduated.
I found this out when my e-mail
was cut off the other day without
any other warning. When I called
Information Technology Central
Services to ask about my account, I
was told that it would cost $10 per
month to continue with my e-mail
address. After paying more than
$70,000 for my master's degree,
I figured the least the Univer-
sity could do was keep its promise
of providing me with an e-mail
account that was supposed to be
Next time the Alumni Associa-
tion calls me and asks for a dona-
tion, I'm going tell it that I already
gave my allocation to ITCS.
Streetcars are back in
style and worth a shot
TO THE DAILY:
When I read the editorial Fri-
day advocating that the city of Ann
Arbor buy streetcars, I realized that
I have come full circle in my life (A
desire named streetcar, 03/07/2008).
Streetcars are back in vogue, and I
I am old enough to remember rid-
ing streetcars in Detroit. For young-
er people streetcars are hip and
modern; forne they open an ency- Smiler had
clopedia of wonderful memories. to shine light
. When my husband and I went on receives little
our first date to the Fox Theatre in she chose to f
downtown Detroit over 50 years of excess whi
ago, we took a streetcar. Growing bemoaning her I
up, I rode the streetcar with my
family to visit friends, go to work, Scott Rudolph
attend church and go shopping. I Rackham
can still hear the click of the tracks
and feel the sway of the ride as the Usin mi
streetcar picked up speed.
I say go ahead with bringing
streetcars to Ann Arbor, including e
some form of shuttle transporta-
tion into the city from surrounding TO THE DAILY:
places. Streetcars are environmen- Though nIan)
tally friendly and worth consider- have been awar
ing as an "original and exhilarating International -
way to get around the city," as the Women's rights
editorial contended. I love it. enhanced by a
allow more fem
Mary Badalamenti society. With n
University Health Service staff boardroom, ge
Missing a chance to cal involvenen
you might thint
confront consumerism gained true e
and other parts(
TO THE DAILY: women are depi
Shakira Smiler's most recent right to life.
column (The high cost of success, One ofmanye
03/07/2008) transformed a real empower wome
issue into a superficial tantrum. credit loans. Mi
From the article's title, readers vide women wi
might have thought Smiler would their economicC
talk about the challenge of afford- and develop sE
ing a complete business wardrobe instance, Joyce)
before even landing a job requir- gar in the wors
ing expensive attire. Whether pur- robi. Because of
poseful or not, appearances matter she has been at
in interviews, putting a financial nesses and empl
strain on those who already strug- Despite the
gle to make their tuition payments. cess of microcrE
Instead of discussing this serious has not implem
issue, Smiler gave us a glimpse into development to
a life of over-consumption and fis- legislators anda
cal irresponsibility. increased inves
None of the purchases that Smil- nance and mic
er detailed have any professional opment prograr
use. Instead, she buys these things half the fundin
to "keep up with (her) rich friends." poor. I cannot
The frivolity these items and inad- ter way to cele
equate reason for having them Women's Day 2C
only trivializes the real problems
confronting people who genuinely Jae Seung Lee
want to afford a quality education. LSA freshman
on a problem that
launt her lifestyle
lack of funding.
y people might not
e of it, Saturday was
'omen's Day 2008.
have been greatly
constant urge to
ale participation in
sore women in the
nuine equality in
s and more politi-
nt among women,
k that women have
ms exist in Africa
of the world, where
rived of their basic
ffective methods to
n has been micro-
crocredit loans pro-
th credit to lessen
dependence on men
Wairimu was a beg-
t slum area of Nai-
f microcredit loans,
ble to run six busi-
4oy 62 people.
edit loans, America
ented them as main
ols. Write to your
ask them to support
stment in microfi-
ms, specifying that
g goes to the very
think of any bet-
If firefighters realize they've been hosing
the wrong house, they don't say, "Sorry, we
can't put out the fire; we already used a lot of
water on the house next door."
Trying to make that case would beas irre-
sponsible as the one offered by the Daily's
editorial that claimed resources should not
be spent on a fair Michigan Democratic cau-
cus because funds were already used for the
pointless Jan. 15 presidential primary (No
election mulligan, 02/19/2008),
The fire in this case is the burning desire
of a people to playtheir part in the unfolding
drama of American democracy. Resources
wasted on Jan. 15 have no bearing in the
urgent need to meet that desire.
The facts are plain enough. State Demo-
cratic Party officials invited voters to a Jan-
uary election that had been boycotted by the
Responding to concerns that tiny Iowa
and New Hampshire should not be alone
in determining the race's early momentum,
the Democratic National Committee offered
a new approach for 2008. Yes, Iowa and New
Hampshire would maintain early positions.
But this year, one southern state and one
western state with substantial minority
populations, South Carolina and Nevada,
were be moved ahead in the primary calen-
dar, to January. Other states were to hold
contests after Feb. 4.
Florida cut ahead in line with a January
primary date despite warnings from the
DNC that it would be disqualified. It was dis-
qualified. Like lemmings to the sea, Michi-
gan party officials followed by announcing
a January contest. It was disqualified. The
candidates themselves vowed not to recam-
paign in the renegade status, with several
further distancing themselves by pulling
their names from the Michigan ballot, mak-
ing it crystal clear that Michigan would not
be holding a legitimate primary on Jan. 15.
In a sequel to the original tragedy, Michi-
gan Democratic Party leaders are now com-
mitting a second failure of leadership by
perpetuating the lie that the Jan. 15 primary
was valid after all.
Rather than stepping into our rightful
place in the pageant of history, we find our-
selves placed in the absurd and embarrass-
ing role of bystander at the naked emperor's
parade. In a transparent deception, Sen.
Carl Levin wrapped himself in an invisible
garment: "Given that 600,000 Michigan
voters participated in a primary that was
held in accordance with Michigan law," he
told The Detroit News, "it seems to me that
it would not be practical or fair to throw out
the results of that election."
Michigan law?As if this were a contest for
governor instead of the Democratic nominee
for president. Where is the innocent child
who will explain to the senior senator that
Michigan consists of two peninsulas, not an
island unto itself?
But there is hardly time for that. Our
burning desire to have our voices heard is
unquenched. The future may show whether
it was practical for elected leaders to ignore
this need. History shows that meeting this
demand for empowerment is not a luxury
that can be passed over as an extravagance;
it is the fundamental business of govern-
ment. It is the source of the same flame that
sparked the American Revolution. Keeping
this in mind, it becomes clear that the cost
of any election is trivial compared with the
sacrifices made over centuries to secure this
chance at representative government.
Ironically, the national spotlight sought
by planners of the Jan. 15 primary is focused
on Michigan now more than ever. With the
contest so close, so late in the race, Michi-
gan should hold a legitimate caucus in the
coming months, reclaim our seats at the
national convention and perhaps play the
starring role in determining the next U.S.
Or, Wolverines, we could give that up to
Paul Tinkerhess is an Ann Arbor resident.
WYMAN KHUU G
Nthing much. Just excited T
about graduation. I'm the first in Co7rats man. Thats
my family to graduate! -awealw. Yeah yo. I'm about to iRobe
SupQ What'sod?Frost this badboy... You kno
up Wht \take the road less travelled.
Yeah... Us Asians sdft really
have m roads to travel