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October 04, 2013 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4A - Friday, October 4, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Friday, October 4, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

l e Mchinan [ 43atlp

I bitch, therefore I am

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


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.
No city left behind
The state of Michigan needs to take the lead in repairing Detroit
In a press conference Friday, President Barack Obama announced a
$320-million aid package for the city of Detroit. The package is not
aimed at relieving Detroit's $18-billion debt and is by no means a bail-
out for the city. Instead, this allocation includes federal, state and private
aid that will go toward improving several aspects of the city's infrastruc-
ture. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and the state of Michigan have done lit-
tle to help Detroit financially, a fact that needs needs to change if the city is
going to improve. Investing in the city is a logical policy that will not only
encourage Detroit's recovery, but also benefit Michigan as a whole.

itch" can be a pretty
harmless word.
For instance, when
trying to fig-
ure out what to
write about for
my column, I
went around ask-
ing my people,
"What should I {
bitch about this
week?" I write a KATIE
feminist column, STEEN
so I realize that
in asking that,
I'm half-jokingly admitting to being
a bitch.
I bitch, therefore Iam.
I'm not trying to be self-depre-
cating, but rather I'm using "bitch"
in a way that isn't negative. I've
reclaimed it - along with plenty of
other women (I'm talkin' about you,
Meredith Brooks). What used to be
an insult has become somethingthat
a woman can now be proud of - a
label that signifies strength, outspo-
kenness and all those other "unlady-
like" qualities.
Of course, the reclamation of
"bitch" is nothing new, but it's still
in the process of being reappropri-
ated. It's because of this reason that
the 2008 Saturday Night Live sketch
where Amy Poehler and Tina Fey
declared, "Bitches get stuff done" is
still resonant and funny (it's funny
'cause it's true).
But at its core, "bitch" is a misogy-
nistic word, and the problem with
"bitch" doesn't only arise when
it's used disparagingly. "Bitch"
screamed into a cell phone, yelled out
a car window, delivered with a slap
across the face, scrawled ona scrap of
loose leaf and handed to a frenemy in
Mrs. Collins' third hour - these are
all moments when "bitch" is indis-
putably a not-nice word to use.
The more subtly problematic
usage of "bitch" arises when peo-
ple who aren't women - or per-
haps more specifically, not bitches
- say the word, especially if it's

not being used in a de
insulting manner.
I'm thinking, in part
a conversation I had wi
friends the other day. One
a male - was talking abc
cert that got out of hand
were thrown, bodies wer
and "bitches were broug
the stage to dance and h
poured all over them." L
look the discussion of v
stage props for a second,;
about the fact that he felt
able labeling women ast
the presence of a woman
say anything, partly beca
only half-listening to the
tion, but also because I di
to be labeled as that-girl-
labeled one, for
thatmatter. And
the conversa- At
tion continued
on its course. an
The fact that But
he used that
word seems to funn
say something
that's simulta-
neously reassuring and tro
He's comfortable enough it
ence to use that word arou
also, it says I am not part of
of women known as "bitt
least in his use of the wo
ing dumb-bitches-who-i
poured-all-over-them. It's
way some friends feel co
talking to me about howe
girls are "sluts" - hell, eves
sorority girlscan sting if sai
right tone. I'm not "one of
it's cool if we criticize and
ly overgeneralize women
friend groups, their Bodyc
and "walks of shame," righ
The answer, by the way
still misogynistic, even if y
ing to a female.
I have another friend w
use the term "white bitche
record, he's white, so the<

liberately that's really differentiating him from
these stupid white girls he's talk-
icular, of ing about is the fact that he's not a
ith a few female). I wouldn't anecdotally refer
e friend - to a male as a "white dick." I realize
out a con- "dick" is hilariously not interchange-
. Punches able at all with "bitch," which again
e bloodied shows how rooted in misogyny the
ght up on whole existence of the word is -
ave vodka there simply isn't a male equivalent!
et's over- So why is "bitch" an appropri-
women as ate general term for females? I real-
and think ize there's the fact that "bitch" can
t comfort- be used on males as well, but really
bitches in you're just equating men to females
n. I didn't and implying females are weak/stu-
use I was pid/whatever else, so it's still sexist.
conversa- Moving on.
idn't want But, after all this bitching about
-who-you- the word "bitch," there's stillthe part
- or to be of me that really truly does think
the word has its
uses. "Bitch" can
its core, "bitch" iS be funny, "bitch"
liSOgyniStiC Word. canhbe clever,
"bitch" can be
"bitch" can also be useful. "Bitch"
Sc adu ful.is a verb and a
y, clever and usefu-noun and even
an adjective.
Really, who could
'ublesome: argue that "bitchin' " as an adjec-
n my pres- tive is offensive? Who actually gets
nd me. But offended when told that their outfit
'the group is "bitchin' " today? No one! But seri-
hes" - at ously, "bitch" just works sometimes,
rd, mean- and that's whyI use it. With caution.
get-vodka- The debate over the word "bitch"
the same has been written about and talked
imfortable about countless times. Hell, there's
sorority even a piece in The Michigan Daily
n the label from 2008 that more or less sums up
d with the a lot of what I'm trying to say here.
them," so Some vilify the word; others defend
d massive- it as a God-given right to identify as
for their a bitch. I'm not aiming to reach any
on dresses overarching conclusion here regard-
t? ing "bitch." I'm only hoping to point
, is no. It's out some things I've noticed and
ou're talk- hope that it increases our mindful-
ness over how we use the word.
ho likes to
s" (for the -Katie Steen can be reached
only thing at katheliz@umich.edu.

Instead of paying for the city's debt, the fed-
eral aid will help fund city services that will
help Detroit's citizens. The aid distributes $25
million to Detroit's firefighters, $24 million to
repair the city's bus system and more than $90
million - from both public and private sources
- to demolish and refurbish abandoned build-
ings. This gesture demonstrates that Detroit
is not merely a bankruptcy project, but a city
where families and communities live and work
- and aid from the government can positively
impact lives. However, it does overlook the
city's school system. Detroit Public Schools is a
district that has been plagued with ineffective
teachers. A portion of the funding could go to
attracting better teachers to the district.
Snyder and the state of Michigan need to fol-
low Obama's lead and invest in the Motor City in
order to create jobs and make it a more attractive
city to live in. Once a city peopled by 1.5 million,
Detroit has seen its population decrease by more
than 50 percent in just 60 years, with only about
700,000 residents remaining. Detroit is Michi-

gan's responsibility and the state needs to take
the lead in constructing its recovery.
President Obama's aid package illustrates
that Detroit and its residents is important to our
nation. This view directly counters Congress'
sentiments about Detroit - for they seem to
feel no obligation to help a city whose popula-
tion serves no political benefit to them. In fact,
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced an
amendment earlier this summer that would pro-
hibit government bailouts of municipal cities like
Detroit. Bloomberg reported on Sen. Richard
Shelby's (R-Ala.) disapproval of a Detroit bailout:
"What's happening to Detroit is going to happen
to a lot of our cities," Shelby said. "They're losing
their tax base, have eroding schools. It's a tough
situation." Because Obama couldn't garner the
support of Congress in compiling federal aid,
he had to scramble to collect the several grants
and private aid sources to generate $320 million.
Hopefully this aid package serves as a stepping-
stone in the revival of what was once the nation's
industrial powerhouse.

Slighted student fans
Ithought I'd follow the Michigan men's bas- shift from 2,700 to 3,000 seats. T'
ketball team anywhere. And proudly, for a represent nearly 24 percent of
time, I can say I did. panty - admirable, to be sure. T
To Atlanta, I went. refusal to allocate more seating to
I stayed three nights, University claims they have other
in three hotel rooms, with - alumni, fans, donors - to accou
three different groups of student show rate was a paltry 46 F
people in what can only be entire season and 67 percent durin
described as a whirlwind of I've been with you until now, At
an April weekend to cheer ment, but here I have to scratch my
on the Wolverines in their For last year's nonconferen
first Final Four appearance ALEXANDER against big-time opponents Clevel
in nearly 20 years. And I'm NN Indiana University-Purdue Univ
no bandwagon fan either. napolis - or really, most bad to m
To Brooklyn, I went. every year- you couldn't tell me a
Why travel over 600 face that the general basketball-
miles early last season to watch a seemingly tion filled their seats at a significan
meaningless game against West Virginia at the than students. Students, however i
Barclays Center? Well, umm, why not? occupy Crisler at a rate similar to e
To Crisler Arena, I went. Practically, a better alternative
For four years as an undergraduate at the Uni- policy would've expanded the st
versity, I attended nearly every game. My first a small amount - another 400 sea
two years, the student section almost never grew one year to justly accommodate
beyond courtside. And even before I was a stu- purchased tickets under false pret
dent,I'dtraveldownI-94severaltimeseverysea- scenario, the Athletic Departmei
sonfromthe'burbsofDetroittowatchBrent"Air utilized the merit-based system
Georgia" Petway - a future Harlem Globetrotter attending the most games get prior
- throw down massive dunks for early-arriving ited seating for games highest in de
fans while the rest of the team was warming up. appropriate. And with this seas(
If you don't know what I'm talking about, let's weak home slate, I doubt that woul
just say there was rarely much to cheer for back tional two games.
when Crisler was still an "arena" and Beilein was If this system worked unsatisf
just some coach at West Virginia University. year - say, the University had to t
But now, in my first year as a graduate student, dents unexpectedly at several gam
I've decided to return my season tickets because letic Department could then unve
of the new student-ticket policy instituted earlier policy next year before students bu
this year. The current policy - only a m
For those out of the loop, due to unheard-of nience for die-hard fans -unfairly]
demand following Michigan's best season since students who don't make basketba
the Fab Five, the Athletic priority. Thro
Department has divided bothersome n
the season into six differ- The current policy and the assoc
ent "claim periods" where, ments that con
at some predetermined punishes students who ing games,n
time before each "claim don't make basketball will be incenti
period," the 4,100 students go attendingg
who bought season tickets games a top priority. really the way
will have to login online student section
to call dibs on a maximum tedlylacking?
of 3,000 tickets per game. Claiming tickets and That brings me to my last point.
missing games incurs different penalties. Four the University is adamant the ne
missed claimed games, and you're out. No more driven by revenue. But after anal
basketball for you. similar student-ticket policies acro
To be fair, this isn't an entirely egregious sys- cited by the Athletic Department,c
tem. The Athletic Department clearly did its due price is higher than Michigan's -a
diligence, showing in a recent e-mail to student State's $250 ticket package alsoi
ticket buyers that several universities across the ball. Tradition-rich University ofC
nation - including some basketball powerhouses Angeles ($99), Indiana University (
- use similar systems. Anticipating backlash, the University of Kansas ($150, who
Athletic Department even addressed two alter- football), don't approach Michiga
native solutions. How fair would it be to disallow son-ticket price.
incoming freshmen from purchasing tickets, or If creating a more formidable
dividing ticket packages into two different sets? which necessitates bolstering the
Not fair at all, clearly. tion, is truly the genuine concern(
But a third alternative, expanding the size of sity, then adopting new student-f
the student section, isn't discussed until later. policies is an absolute must.
The University claims that a 10-percent increase
in the size of the student section was already -Alexander H
planned before the policy change, representing a reached at aherr

ose seats now
Crisler's occu-
o justify their
students, the
r stakeholders
nt for, and the
percent for the
g Big Ten play.
hletic Depart-
y head.
ce matchups
and State and
versity India-
iddling games
with a straight
going popula-
tly higher rate
mperfect, still
veryone else.
udent section
ats or so - for
students that
tenses. In this
nt could have
-- students
ity on the lim-
mand - when
on's relatively
d add an addi-
factorily for a
urn away stu-
nes - the Ath-
1i a new ticket
y their tickets.
inor inconve-
punishes busy
ll games a top
ugh both the
ew procedure
iated punish-
me from miss-
many student
ivized to fore-
games. Is that
'to build up a
n that's admit-
In the e-mail,
w policy isn't
yzing the five
ss the country
only one ticket
and Oklahoma
includes foot-
alifornia, Los
($120), and the
also includes
n's $200 sea-
home arena,
student sec-
of the Univer-
friendly ticket
ermann can be

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, James Brennan, Eli Cahan, Eric Ferguson,
Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Patrick Maillet, Aarica Marsh,
Megan McDonald, Harsha Nahata, Adrienne Roberts, Paul Sherman,
Sarah Skaluba, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
To anyone who's ever grown up

When we were very young,
California summers
were my vision of infin-
ity. I remember
asking from
under the covers
one night at bed-
time how long
it would take to
count to infinity.
Dad said it was
impossible. No JULIA
one ever could. ZARINA
Not even if the
first person on
Earth started
counting and each subsequent per-
son picked up where it left off when
he died. I tried to imagine the con-
cept of everything there had ever
been to count. I pictured the hills
from the back deck. I pictured every
blade of yellowing grass. I pictured
the sepia sunlight that illuminates
every memory I have and is the only
real way I know to distinguish what
was reality from what was a dream.
That was truly the only uncountable
thing I knew. Sunlight. It was noth-
ing and it was everything.
Growing up, I thought people
existed with a singularity of pur-
pose. That the universe was wholly
utilitarian and the unending strug-
gle against entropy was largely
tipped in favor of order. Our physi-
cal lives are geometric construc-
tions set starkly against a wild and
organic backdrop, and I believed
that our internal lives could be con-
ducted in much the same way.
I guess at some point every per-
son realizes that a life drawn in neat
lines is untenable. Just as water and
wind erode buildings poured in
sturdy concrete, growing up erodes
the belief that we are predestined
towards order in who we are, what
we do, who we love. Maybe it's acute-
ly destructive, like an earthquake,
the sudden jolt of losing everything.
Maybe it's the steady drip, almost
imperceptible until the day you find
yourself drunk and untraceably lost
in the cab on the way home from
the bar, reflecting on the vast "why"
of disappointment under a staccato
ticking of passing streetlights. Night
day night day night.
We fail. We win when we
shouldn't. The universe is reckless

and arbitrary when we ne
orderly and kind. We fall in
the wrong person, or the rid
at the wrong time. The b
you know would be per
comes around, the girl n'
the stars never align.
After you lose everythi
first time (or everything
you), you latch hard and f
worldview. Something i
un-losable, permanent. S
that you think will forever,
in a place inclined towar
That nothing in existence l
sic value; that everythingc
self-respect means being
ing; that self-respect mea
ing which places and peop
away from. That no one
understand us exactly in tl
want them to; that we wan
ever fullyunderstand us.VW
must be." We know "it mus
What we don't expect is
of infinite magnitude in o
mean nothing
in another per-
son's. Please, I In c
need this job. at ae
You made me
want to die. a ball
You are liter- he
ally all I have. I the
love you. I hate
you. Met with
the blinking eyes, the turn
the implosive silence not o
who cares enough to oppo
of someone who will never,
take ownership of what yi
Communication is inheren
uous. We choose only word
they will be received.
Show me pictures of 11
and I will pick out the one
son among the 99 who are
every time. It's somethingi
that says "I always knew."
died, I couldn't look at thos
The eyes consumed me. I
for days at a time, trying t
alive with my tears.
Then I tried to will m
with my anger.
It's not that I wanted to 1
but I wanted a physical res
the way I did. It was a str
bination of infinite andn
all. I checked my pulse pe
Sometimes I swore I hear

ed it to be but echoes. When neither worked,
love with I got up. I smashed the frames of all
ght person the pictures. I screamed until I for-
'est friend got who I was, until I forgot I was
fect never human. I drove too fast down empty
ever calls, roads, flirting with reckless abandon,
teasing death. Sometimes I wished
ng for the I would get caught just to appease a
has lost misplaced desire for justice; I never
ast onto a did. I destroyed everything in my
ntangible, power. I stopped when I reached a
Something line at which I would have to proceed
define you inwardly or not at all. She had a per-
rds chaos. sonality like autumn sun and smooth
has intrin- stones in a river. I could not destroy
does. That that. I could not define that unambig-
unyield- uously, universally, perfectly.
ns choos- Now I'm older and I still don't
le to walk know if I know better - if I've ever
will ever done anything unquestionably right
he way we - but there are a few mistakes I'd
t no one to be willing to make twice. In college,
re think "it everyone is at a crossroads, stuck in
t be." a balancing act between a past they
for words cannot change and a future they're
ur lives to desperate to. The challenges seem
to increase every
year: grow-
ollege, everyone is ing up, moving
crossroads, stuck in away from home,
meeting people,
ancing act between losing people,
ir past and future. trying to con-
stantly define
yourself as some-
thing unique in
ing cheek, a world where everyone must be
f someone special to fit in. It's easy to become
se you but nostalgic and to feel more safe in
can never the past than secure in the future.
ou've said. Things that were difficult in the
tly ambig- past seem bittersweet; as though
s, not how everything was sand then, rough on
the knees and golden to the eyes.
00 people, The best lesson we learn in grow-
dead per- ing up is also the one we are most
still alive hesitant to use. People are inher-
in the eyes ently resilient, far beyond what we
After she give ourselves credit for, but we're
e pictures. afraid to fail. We learn that almost
lay in bed nothing is so permanent that the
o will her future will not change the course
we've set, and yet we're afraid to
yself dead make mistakes. Balance isn't stat-
ic. It's a constantly tipping scale
kill myself, between order and chaos.
son to feel Everything and nothing has
ange com- changed.


nothing at
d nothing

-Julia Zarina can be reached

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