I* The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Friday, February 17, 2012 - 5
For abuse, 'l is 2 many
More than twenty years ago, I read a study of
junior high school students in Rhode Island that
included one finding I've never been able to get
out of my head. Students were asked if a man who
spent money on a woman during a date was entitled
to force her into sexual activity. An astounding 25
percent of the young boys said yes - and even more
astounding, 17 percent of the junior high school
" girls agreed.
You may think that sounds like a long time ago
- and it was. But, sadly, dating violence remains a
very real problem in our country - especially on
Today, while in college, nearly one in five
women will be a victim of sexual assault and one in
ten teens will be hurt on purpose by someone they
are dating. These aren't just statistics, these are
people you know: your roommates, your friends,
your sisters, your classmates. This is a problem we
all have to face.
My dad used to say that there's no worse sin than
the abuse of power. Whether it was raising a hand
to someone weaker, or using any advantage to push
people around, he taught me that if you saw abuse,
you had an obligation to attempt to stop it. It's a
lesson to remember every day, but especially this
February, during Teen Dating Violence Awareness
and Prevention Month.
Awareness is the first step to pushing back against
a problem this big. When I held Senate hearings on
violence against women more than two decades ago,
domestic abuse in American society was rarely spo-
ken about in public. I'll never forget the stories of
abuse I heard in over a thousand hours of hearings.
The brutality of family members, acquaintances,
and strangers against the women in their lives was
It was those hearings that led to the Violence
Against Women Act, and since then annual inci-
dents of domestic violence have dropped by more
than 50%. But for women in college and younger
today, the risk is still much too high.
That's why I joined with Education Secretary
Arne Duncan last April to announce historic new
guidelines for colleges and universities about their
responsibilities under Title IX to prevent sexual
assault. Under the federal civil rights law, schools
have an obligation not only to respond appropriately
when an assault occurs, but also to create a climate
on campus that makes such violence unacceptable.
I also started an initiative called lis2many to
help reduce dating violence and sexual assault
among teens and young adults. We harnessed
the power of technology to get our message out,
launching a national contest to develop "Apps
Against Abuse." The two winning apps - which
will be available later this spring - will let you get
in touch with your friends quickly and safely so
you can call for help if you need it and stop violence
in its tracks. We've also made sure the National
Dating Abuse Helpline can be reached by text,
online or phone 24/7.
Last month, the FBI changed the way the fed-
eral government defines rape. The narrow, out-
dated definition - unchanged since 1929 - said the
assault had to be forcible and against a woman's
will to be classified as rape. It's just not true, and
it's a point that I make on college campuses all
across the country. Rape is rape, and no means no.
No means no whether drunk or sober. No means no
whether in the dorm room or on the street. There
is never an excuse. Young women and men alike
need to understand this. Under the new definition,
rape occurs when there is no consent, and it also
includes sexual assault against boys and young
men in national law enforcement reporting.
These are important changes, but ending dat-
ing violence and sexual assault isn't just a matter
of laws and legislation. It's about education. It's
about attitudes. It's about your participation. I
need your help to address this issue in your dorms
and on your campuses. Studies show that men's
ideas about what other men think is one of the
strongest determinants of how they act. So guys,
you need to speak out.
The ultimate measure of a civilized society is
how its laws and culture treat the abuse of women.
Attitudes can change. Violence can end. But it
can't happen without universal understanding
that dating violence and sexual assault will never
be tolerated anywhere, at any time, for any reason.
Period. That's all of our responsibility.
Joe Biden is the Vice President of the United States.
The Honorable Rick
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM
B efore my candidate
for President of these
Americas, the former-
nia Sen. Rick "
to the even
podium at a WEINER
luncheon yesterday, a prayer was
Well, two, I suppose.
The first and always-foremost
favorite prayer:the Pledge of Alle-
giance. I mean, I don't need to re-
pledge my allegiance to America,
as I was born here and born with
allegiance in my beating heart.
But still, it's nice to hear.
A priest recited the second. It
was a nice concept, but the con-
tent was all wrong. Frankly, it was
offensive to real red-white-and-
bluers such as Mr. Santorum and
myself. The priest had the right
idea when he blessed the blessed
candidate - but then he made a
grave, and possibly communist,
error. Along with Rick, he blessed
allwho seek office.
Father, for someone who has
such a direct line to the big man
upstairs, you should know that
God specifically and explicitly
does not bless all candidates -
that would include a certain
named. How do I know God's
will? Rick told me, and who would
know it better than the former
representative of Pennsylvania?
After all, what's Scranton if not a
modern day Garden of Eden?
Speaking of paradise, Rick said
he was hot and bothered to be in
Detroit, a city that was "known
for prosperity." Detroit: model
to the country - nay, the world!
And Detroit was honored he was
No eyes could have been more
honored to look upon the future
President of the United States of
America than the student groups
that were there. A couple stu-
dents fainted from the sheer sight
of him - wait, that was me. Each
group's plate was paid for by a
sponsor, which sounds an awful
lot like a handout, if you ask me.
But since they were from a busi-
ness, I'll have to ask Rick if that's
Rick talked a lot about taxes.
Luckily for real American job
creators like myself - I recently
hired two dogs to paint a por-
trait of another dog - he talked
about my favorite kind of taxes:
I don't always pay taxes, but
when I do, my rate is in single
digits. So while only two rates for
income taxes are nice - 10 per-
cent and 28 percent that Ricky
proposed in his speech - I would
have thought God would have
told his BFF Rick to keep them
a little honorably closer to my
favorite number: no taxes.
While we're on numbers, Rick
spoke to the Occupiers, or as my
painting dogs and I like to call
them, "the poor." Rick, honor-
able as ever, knows that Presi-
dent Oh-what's-his-name has
been engaging in class warfare
since the day he was born in the
hot Kenyan sun.
Rick knows this isn't about
99 percent, or Mitt the Mud-
slinger's 95 percent. We need a
candidate like Rickles, who said
at that podium he supports 100
percent of the 1 percent. I think.
Don't quote me on those num-
bers. Fractions aren't really my
thing. If they were, I'd be a lib-
Speaking of liberal elit-
ists: Obama. As if I needed any
reminder other than the gap-
ing hole in my heart since he
took office, I learned some new
reasons Obama has ruined our
country beyond repair - unless
Did you know that by raising
federal fuel economy standards,
the Socialist in Chief forced
automakers to produce more
unsafe cars? Rick said it, so it
must be true.
Or how about the rejection of
the Keystone XL pipeline? Rick
told us today that Obama has
social-communist idea to keep
natural resources in the ground.
Rick and I want them in the
economy where they belong. He
brought a rock along that sup-
posedly oil comes from. I usu-
ally don't believe in that science
mumbo-jumbo, but I'll take his
word for it.
Most importantly, Rick
warned me of Obama's biggest
war against society: the war on
families. I don't understand the
economic formula behind it, but
families are absolutely vital to
our economy. And not just any
kind, the honorable kind. If you
don't know what kind that .is,
you're probably in the wrong
ending with a
We need families with amoth-
er and a father. Marriage is on
the decline, and that just doesn't
groove with Rick, myself or my
dogs and their paintbrushes. To
encourage the honorable types
to have honorable-type children,
Rick will triple child deductions
and end marriage tax penalties.
After all, Rick said an over-
whelming majority of prison
inmates grew up without a
father. We've got to save the
family before all our kids are
in prison! Maybe all children
should be required to have two
fathers. They could even share a
bed tobe economical!
Because here in America, the
Shining City on a Hill, isn't fam-
ily, oil rocks and ending with a
Reagan quotation what we're all
about? It is in Rick's America, and
isn't his the honorable kind?
- Andrew Weiner can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or on Twitter at @AndrewWeiner.
Celebrating 40 years of Title IX
TO THE DAILY:
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Title IX,
the Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act,
my public radio station aired a story on the sub-
stantial improvement in girls' and women's sports
since Title IX was enacted in 1972. As I listened, I
distinctly recalled my own experience at the Uni-
versity of Michigan, where I started the women's
It was the mid-1980s, 13 years after the passage
of Title IX, and I was a freshman at the University.
An East Coast transplant living in the Midwest for
the first time, I had spent my spring seasons playing
high school girls' lacrosse. So it was with some dis-
may when I fielded questions repeatedly about the
wooden stick laced with leather straps that I carried
around campus with me looking for a playmate.
After finding a critical mass of women who knew
9 what my foreign object was and how to use it, my
effort to start a team began. At the time there was
a men's club lacrosse team, so precedent for such
an endeavor existed. The Athletic Department
approved our application and gave us a modest sum
of money and permission to use the turf late in the
evening on a weeknight to practice. Each player paid
dues, and we used the money to buy equipment and
uniforms and rent vans to travel to our games.
I remember the long walk to the field downby the
Intramural Sports Building on those chilly March
nights. Being mindful of our safety on those dark,
deserted streets, we would walk there and back as
one large posse, carrying dangerous instruments
we called lax sticks. On the field under the lights,
after the men had their practice, we would run drills,
condition and strategize for our upcoming games.
We were a motley crew of University women, from
freshmen to graduate students, all coming together
under tough conditions for the love of lacrosse and
the camaraderie of team sports. On the weekends we
rented vans and drove ourselves three hours south
to play other women's college teams. Because there
wasn'tone other lacrosse team in Michigan, when we
wanted to compete closer to home, we played against
the few suburban Detroit high schools that had girls'
lacrosse teams. Four years later, when I left Michi-
gan, the team was growing in size and strength.
Those were the 1980s. Much has improved since
that time - both at my beloved University and for
female athletes around the country. Women athletes
my age have stories much the same. As I look to my
daughter's generation of competitors, I am mindful
of the past and encouraged by the .course that has
been set for the future.
Hillary B. Farber
1988 University alumni
Politicians have a funny way of rewriting history
FARMINGTON HILLS - Politicians
have a funny way of rewriting history.
Few people exemplify this unfortu-
nate truth better than former Massa-
chusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Yesterday, I
had the pleasure of attending a Romney
campaign luncheon in Farmington Hills
where Republican Gov. Rick Snyder
publicly endorsed Romney's presiden-
Prior to yesterday's luncheon, Rom-
ney had been campaigning throughout
Michigan and focusing much of the
discussion on Detroit's auto industry,
particularly General Motors. GM, the
largest member of the Detroit Three
automakers, was the focus of an op-ed
written by Romney in the Detroit News
on Tuesday. In the op-ed, Romney
declared that President Barack Obama
had used "crony capitalism" to bailout
GM and Chrysler, and that he should
have instead allowed the free market
to function and force the two automak-
ers into managed bankruptcy. Romney
went on to claim that because Obama
did not allow the free market to fluctu-
ate naturally, Detroit has been unable to
recover as well as it could have.
Coincidentally, yesterday was also
the day GM released its 2011 financial
report from 2011. After a year of rebuild-
ing the company and repaying much of
its bailout money, GM reported $7.6 bil-
lion in earnings for 2011, the highest in
the company's history. Because of the
massive profit, 47,500 hourly workers
will be eligible to receive revenue-shar-
ing checks of up to $7,000. Best of all,
due to its eighth consecutive profitable
quarter, GM is once again the largest
carmaker in the world, reclaiming their
position from Toyota.
At 10:30 a.m. yesterday, one hour
prior to Romney's speech, I was finally
able to secure my seat in the designat-
ed press area and wait for the event to
start. Shares of GM were already up an
astonishing 4.13 percent. I discussed
with a fellow Daily staffer how unlucky
it was that Romney was about to speak
just hours after GM proved him wrong.
How embarrassing it was going to be
to look at this room filled with Michi-
gan voters and accept responsibility for
being wrong about the government's
role in saving the auto industry.
By 11:45 a.m., 15 minutes after Rom-
ney was supposed to speak, GM shares
were continuing to climb - they had
already risen by 5.86 percent. As is
expected of presidential candidates,
Romney was running late. I began scan-
ning through my phone.
Of the many articles concerning GM's
positive announcement, one delivered
yet another political blow for Romney.
The Economist renounced its ear-
lier support of Romney's stance on
GM's bailout. At the height of the cri-
sis, the magazine agreed with Romney:
The government shouldn't bailout the
auto industry, it instead favored man-
aged bankruptcy. Taking into account
GM's reported success, The Economist
decided it was wrong to support Rom-
ney's stance. If the government had not
stepped in, the managed bankruptcy
that the company eventually entered in
2009 could have likely ended in the col-
lapse of the entire automotive industry.
Finally, Romney entered the building
with Snyder, and after a few brief intro-
ductions, the pair stepped on stage. Like
Romney, Snyder was a venture capital-
ist prior to entering politics. Snyder
claimed that because of Romney's abili-
ty to run a successful company, Romney
was the best choice for president.
"Washington is holding Michigan
back," Snyder claimed, and voting for
a Michigander who "understands the
problems this state faces" would correct
Romney was quick to accept the
blessing, explaining to the crowd why
he is a true Detroiter.
Here we go.
Finally, Romney was going to bring
up the auto industry and either explain
he was wrong or continue bashing the
bailout. Instead, Romney explained
why he loved Michigan, loved our lakes,
loved our cars and used the word love at
least an additional ten times.
"I drive a Mustang," Romney said, as
if that qualified him as patriot and presi-
It was near the very end of his speech
that Romney spoke of the auto industry.
He referred to Obama's policies as "job-
killing" and informed the crowd of his
new catchphrase, "crony capitalism,"
and its auto industry application.
Then, at last, Romney congratulated
GM for regaining its footing and claimed
that he had been "right all along."
Stunned. This man, a man who claims
that "corporations are people, too," and
that we "should allow Detroit to go
bankrupt," was standing in front of peo-
ple and news outlets claiming his theo-
ries were correct. In a desperate plea to
Michigan voters, Romney was simply liquidated and that many of its more
rewriting history in order to take credit than 202,000 employees would have
for Michigan's economic recovery. lost their jobs. Imagine where Michigan
By the time I returned to Ann Arbor, would be if the auto industry had col-
the stock market was about to close. lapsed. Luckily, there is some history
GM shares had finished the day up 8.99 that can't be rewritten.
percent. Had Romney been president
during the financial crisis, there is a Patrick Maillet is an assitant
good chance that GM would have been opinion page editor.