4 - Friday, February 5, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
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EDITOR IN CHIEF
RACHEL VAN GILDER
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position oftthe Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
Bring out the bins
'U' needs to increase easy access to recycling in Lawyers Club
S tudents who live in the University's Lawyers Club experience
elegant architecture, pristine surroundings and, apparently,
a surprising vacuum of recycle bins. Residents of the Law-
yers Club, a residence hall located in the Law Quad, are expressing
frustration over a lack of recycling options in their residence hall. In
attempts to explain the absence, administrators have offered excus-
es that simply don't fly. Recycling serves an important environ-
mental purpose, and the University needs to ensure that recycling
receptacles for paper are readily available in the halls and rooms in
residence halls, including in the Lawyers Club.
An immodest proposal
As reported in the Daily on Monday,
there are no recycling bins available with-
in the halls or rooms of the Lawyers Club.
Residents who wish to recycle must walk
their recyclable materials to a separate
location because there are no receptacles
in the actual living area. Students say
they are being discouraged from recycling
because it's simply much more convenient
to throw away recyclable materials like
plastic and paper in much closer trashcans.
In the past, the University hasn't been
blind to the value of recycling. The Ross
School of Business, for example, recently
introduced composting and recycling pro-
grams to reduce its waste. And in the 2010
College Sustainability Report Card by the
Sustainable Endowments Institute, the
University received an 'A' for its efforts.
Recycling at the University is an effec-
tive way to reduce waste and help the
environment. With landfills overflowing
and the U.S. annually producing 251 mil-
lion tons of garbage, according to a 2006
report from the Environmental Protection
Agency, trash is aserious problem. Recy-
cling also supports the environment by
reusing materials that take energy, natu-
ral resources and pollution to make. The
simple act is clean and efficient, and there's
no reason that it shouldn't be available to
But the recycling problems at the Law-
yers Club are a black mark on the Uni-
versity's record. It's both surprising and
inexcusable that students living in the
Lawyers Club don't have easy access to
recycling options within their residence
hall. Students shouldn't need to search or
trek through snow to find a place to recycle
their trash. Recycling bins need to be avail-
able in prime locations, including students'
rooms or surrounding hallways.
Perhaps as pitiful as the absence of recy-
cling options at the Lawyers Club are the
excuses being offered by administrators,
who cite a lack of space and fire safety con-
cerns as the reasons recycling has been
neglected. But if trashcans can be provid-
ed within the hall, as they have been, it's
absurd to suggest that a recycling program
can't be implemented. To make matters
worse, the Law School has also neglected
to recycle the paper waste produced in an
office space it rents within the Lawyers
Club. Administrators at the Law School
and the Lawyers Club can't agree who is
responsible for overseeing recycling in
,the office - so recycling has simply been
neglected. But these excuses are laughable
and could be easily overcome.
The truth of th m terjt }gXputtjg gtt,
recycle bins in the Lawyers Club shouldn't
be a difficult process. The University needs
to stop its bureaucratic excuses and get
recycling into the Lawyers Club.
Last weekend, University Health
Service's peer sexual health
education group, Sexperteam,
presented its sec-
ond annual three-
day seminar called
sexual health, and
author of "A Return
to Modesty: Dis- LIBBY
covering the Lost ASHTON
Virtue" and "Girls
Gone Mild: Young
Self-Respect and Find It's Not Bad
to Be Good," helped to launch the
weekend's events, serving as the key-
note speaker for the panel discussion
Wednesday night titled "No Strings
Attached? A Conversation About Sex
and Relationships on Campus."
Shalit's motivation in writing and
speaking about the status of sexuality
today seems to be twofold: she's both
urging young people to consider the
negative implications of the "hook-
up" scene (which refers to anything
from a long kiss to sex) and facilitat-
ing our realization of our own dissat-
isfaction with it.
After reading aloud the saddening
personal accounts of young people
who sought her counsel regarding
their feelings of worthlessness after a
nightofhookingup, Shalitspoke about
the pluralistic ignorance she's found to
be binding young people to the empty
reality of casual sex. According to her,
we're wrong to assume that everyone
around us is hooking up with each
other and probably even more wrong
to assume that those who are hooking
up feel satisfied by their hookups. She
reminded the audience of the impor-
tance of emotional intimacy in experi-
encing fulfilling physical intimacy and
asked,,rletorically, "What's thepoint.
of casual sex if it isn't any good?"
Although many of Shalit's obser-
vations contained kernels of truth,
something about the way she articu-
lated her message was off-putting.
Shalit calls for a reconsideration of
whether or not sexual prowess is a
means to empowerment. She seems to
have a visceral, negative reaction to
the relationship between sexual lib-
eration and personal empowerment.
This reaction, I suspect, follows from
an insight that a failure to honor the
intimately personal nature of her
body would allow a feeling of worth-
lessness to seep into her innermost
self-regard. She extrapolates from
that personal insight (one to which I
and probably many others can relate)
to prescribe that all people must
honor their bodies, with a behavioral
lifestyle of "modesty" and "virtue," in
order to be truly empowered.
Shalit seems to have mistaken the
foundational problem of the cyclically
devaluing hookup scene as being an
oversexed culture with no care for
the private realm. She sees a genera-
tion of young people who blindly fall
prey to the precedent of sexual free-
dom established in the '60s and - as
her narrative samples illustrated -
wake up the next morning feeling self-
loathsome and inauthentic.
That diagnosis, however, ignores
those who do have a foundation of
self-respect and aren't emotionally
repressed but still choose to engage
in behavior that Shalit may not deem
"modest." To imply that one must
either be emotionally repressed or
sexually repressed leaves everyone
powerless in some respect. While our
hypersexual culture certainly facili-
tates the devaluing of physical inti-
macy and the repression of emotional
intimacy, the primary cause of con-
sistent self-inflicted degrading sexual
behavior is a pre-existing lack of self-
worth and self-awareness.
The general insecurity that seems
to plague many young people features
a variety of symptoms including binge
drinking, bullying, eating disorders
and injurious sexual behavior. If, in
attempting to remedy this societal ail-
ment, we distract ourselves by focus-
ing too heavily on one of the products
of the insecurity, we'll allow the inse-
curity itself to continue masquerading
as other (seemingly more pertinent)
equal an unhealthy
Near the end of the panel discus-
sion, Shalit suggested that perhaps
people are reluctant to accept the
reality of a problem when no obvious
solution seems to be available. The
prospect of somehow lessening this
mass psychological handicap (which
could be a timeless characteristic of
youth) is daunting, but not impossible.
As Shalit noted, the necessary
first step toward solving a prob-
lem is accepting that it exists. This
would require a lifting of the veil of
pluralistic ignorance and an admis-
sion of the fear of vulnerability and
rejection that guides so many people
down a path of unfulfilling, mutually
Applying Shalit's rather abstract
conversation about sexual emotional
health to a Saturday night in Ann
Arbor is similarly daunting, but not
impossible. As you walk into the bar
or your friend's house or the frater-
nity house, make a commitment to
honor your own fragility and that of
those around you. Guide your actions
by a doctrine of respect. Modesty
may (or may not) follow.
- LibbyAshton can be reached
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, William Butler, Nicholas Clift,
Michelle DeWitt, Brian Flaherty, Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Edward McPhee,
Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga, Alex Schiff, Asa Smith, Brittany Smith,
Robert Soave, Radhika Upadhyaya, Laura Veith
It's time to end sex trafficking
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be fewer than 300
words and must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. Letters are edited
for style, length, clarity and accuracy. All submissions become property of the Daily. We
do not print anonymous letters. Send letters to email@example.com.
Entering the Tyson Zone
Want to make $32 billion in a year? That's
more than Nike, Starbucks and Google com-
bined. Go to your local massage parlor, nail
salon, ethnic restaurant or men's club to find out
the secret. India, Thailand and the Philippines
know as well. What's the answer? Just join the
sex trafficking industry.
If you think this only happens in poor,
Southeast Asian countries, reconsider. People
are sold as sex slaves right here in America and
right here in Michigan.
For almost a year, Katya, a 20-year-old
Ukrainian college student, was forced to work
in Detroit strip clubs, according to a December
2007 MSNBC.com report. She was enticed by
two men who, using a waitressing job as bait,
lured Katya into coming to the United States.
Upon her arrival in the country, however, she
was imprisoned along with 15 other women in
separate apartments around Detroit. They were
threatened with violence to force them to work
12-hour shifts, earning up to $1,000 a night. But
they never saw a penny of the money. The men
controlled their every movement. These women
were imprisoned and exploited, without any
freedom or any way of finding help.
There are stories worse than this. Young
teenage girls are sometimes kidnapped from
their driveways and forced into sex slavery.
Girls are gang raped, brutally abused, threat-
ened to submission, treated worse than animals,
locked up in cages or dresser drawers during the
day and brought out to work entire nights with
their every action closely monitored.
These are modern-day slaves. Females are
exploited to work for sex without pay. You
would be shocked to find out that the U.S. is the .
second largest destination of sex trafficked vic-
tims. These people can be found in New York
penthouses, Nevada's brothels, California's
massage parlors and in our very own metropo-
lis, Detroit City's strip clubs.
Traffickers use children to sell sex in big cit-
ies and small towns across the United States.
Victims are tricked into the business through
jobs and educational opportunities or sold
by parents or spouses. Sex trafficking often
includes exploitation through prostitution,
pornography and stripping.
Some sources will tell you there are around
27 million slaves in the world right now - more
than at any time in history - making the trade
the most lucrative and fasting growing crime
industry in the world, behind the illegal drug
trade. Over 2.2 million children are sold into
slavery every year, though not all to perform
sex work. There are girls who start working
as sex slaves at the age of 10 or even younger;
for boys, the average age is between 11 and 13
years old. In India, 40 percent of prostitutes
are children ages 12 to 14. Every year, 244,000
to 325,000 American children and youth are at
risk for sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.
According to a 2006 U.S. Department of State
Trafficking in Persons Report, an estimated
14,500 to 17,500 victims of all ethnicities, rang-
ing from 12 to 18 years old, are brought into the
U.S. against their will.
But this doesn't have to continue. We can
be the new abolitionists of this century to free
these people. There is hope: There are already
victims who have survived, rebuilt their lives
and even reached out to help others suffering
as they once had.
We can raise awareness within our commu-
nities. No longer can people be ignorant of this
issue by thinking that human trafficking only
occurs in foreign places. No community is seen
as untouchable in the eyes of human traffickers.
We can change the conversation. Children
are too young to consent to sex so they should
not be viewed as entering prostitution, but as
victims of human trafficking. Victims should
not be punished;as is the law now. Those on the
demand side - buyers and pimps - are the ones
to be held responsible.
We should be on the lookout. If you suspect
slavery or exploitation, call the National Traf-
ficking Hotline at (888) 3737-888.
Be informed. Fact sheets and articles on this
issue are easily accessible online. Organizations
like International Justice Mission will send you
updates when you sign up online at www.ijm.
org/justicecampaigns. Go to the website now to
read and sign a petition asking President Barack
Obama to push for further change in this area.
We must reduce demand. Fight sex tourism.
Ask travel agencies, hotels, tours to sign the
Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children
from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism
And go to the League this Friday. At 7:30
p.m., Emmanuel Jal, a former child soldier
turned musician and human rights activist,
will speak about similar issues at the 6th Annu-
al Midwest Hip Hop Summit.
Amy Song is a Public Policy senior.
The Rip Torn story, currently
buried on the third page of
most national newspapers,
may very well be
the most under-
scandal of all time.
It has now made its
way up the hierar-
chy of crazy celeb
stories with the h
likes of Eddie Mur-
phy receiving fel-
latio from a tranny LINCOLN
hooker, Rob LoweBM
filming a sex tape BOEHM
with a 16-year-old
and Kanye West's
infamous - yet underrated - "George
Bush doesn't care about black people"
comment. (You do realize he was talk-
ing about the sitting president, right?
For those of you who don't know
who Rip Torn is or what happened, let
me break it down for you. Rip Torn is
a hilarious actor. You have most likely
seen him in films and would without
question recognize him. He played
Zed in both "Men In Black" movies,
he was the coach in the wheelchair
in "Dodgeball" and he played Artie
on what is in my opinion the best TV
show of all time, "The Larry Sand-
ers Show." Rip Torn is a legend. Some
may say a comedic God - he even did
the voice of Zeus in the Disney movie
"Hercules." Coincidence? I think not.
The question is, if he's so amazing
and so important, why haven't you
heard about what he did one week ago
today? And if you have heard about
it, why haven't you heard more about
it? Rip Torn is 78 years old, and last
Friday night he got incredibly drunk,
loaded up his revolver and broke into a
bank in Connecticut.
Pause for disbelief.
That's right. This 78-year-old mhan
broke into a bank with a loaded gun
while he was close to over three times
the legal blood alcohol level, accord-
ingto reports by The Associated Press.
When I first heard this story, I didn't
believe it. It's not that I didn't believe
it could have happened - I just didn't
believe it could have happened and not
garnered appropriate attention from
In my mind, this story has five
unbelievable parts to it, but it only
needs two or three of them to be a
front-page story. Part one: We have
a 78-year-old man. That's older than
a lot of your grandparents. Part two:
He's piss drunk. Part three: He's car-
rying around a loaded revolver. Part
four: He breaks into a bank. Part five:
He is a very well-known celebrity. Put
two or three of those parts together
and you have a shocking story. All five?
That's pure chaos.
lsat down with one of my friends to
try to figure out why this wasn't front-
page material. We determined that it's
because society has thrown Rip Torn
into the Tyson Zone. For those of you
not familiar with writer Bill Simmons,
the Tyson Zone is a group of people
who have displayed such craziness
that they can do anything, and if you
heard about it you'd believe it and
not be shocked. Other members of
the Tyson Zone include Mike Tyson,
Ron Artest, Gary Busey, Tom Cruise
and Flava Flav. For example, if some-
one said to me, "Yo, Lincoln, did you
hear that Ron Artest is going to fight
a caged lion on national television to
raise money for Haiti?" My response
would be "Dude, not now, I'm in the
middle of writing my column."
My friend and I determined that
Rip Torn is the first person in history
to be retroactively inducted into the
Tyson Zone. He hadn't done anything
too crazy prior to this, but once it hap-
pened it came as no surprise. Most
people's responses were something
like, "I've been expecting Rip Torn to
do this for years." I don't get how this
made so much sense to everyone, but
it did. Nobody seems to be surprised
by this story, but I think the idea of
anybody older than my grandpa rob-
bing a bank is nuts - not to mention
that the culprit is Zed from "Men In
The most crazy
celeb story you
You may be asking yourself, "Why
would you write your column about
Rip Torn, Lincoln?" Well, that's a
valid question. The answer is simple: I
refuse to be a part of this conspiracy
to ignore Rip Torn and his ridiculous
behavior. The man was too much of an
influence on me as a child. I respect
him too much as a human being to let
this slide. Someone needs to put a foot
down and say: "Did nobody see that
this just happened? For the love of
God, someone please care." So I'll take
it upon myself to say: Did nobody see
that this just happened? For the love of
God, someone please care.
- Lincoln Boehm can be reached
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