4 - Friday, November 1, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4 - Friday, November 1, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
c l e micbifan ly
Whores and horrors
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
and ADRIENNE ROBERTS MATT SLOVIN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
EDITOR IN CHIEF
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.
An unnecessar gambe
Detroit is not in the position to take on more debt at this time
Last week, Detroit City Council rejected a $350-million loan pro-
posed by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. If approved by
federal Judge Steven Rhodes, who's overseeing the city's bankrupt-
cy case, the loan would provide the city with money to pay off debt, invest
in the city and fund public services. The council rejected the proposal and
won't put forth an alternative deal. The loan is being floated to help pay
off the city's $18-billion debt. Yet, the current debt owed by Detroit was
incurred from previous loans and the subsequent failure to pay them back.
Taking on more loans to pay for previous loans is simply continuing a pat-
tern that has gotten Detroit into its current financial situation.
A bout a week ago, while
walking up the steps to
my co-op, I noticed a new
our front door.
tered across our
activities was KATIE
a particularly STEEN
loween," it read
in electric green Goosebumps style.
Beneath the text was a drawing of
a ghoulish uninvited guest bursting
through a door with a bloody chain-
saw. To the left cowered a terrified
and bodacious redhead, mascara
streaming down her cheeks as she
braced for the intruder. Of course
she was only wearing a purple
thong and a size XXS camisole. Of
course she's got the body of a Vic-
toria's Secret Angel. Of course her
nipples are erect.
Something about the thong and
the cami and the nipples - they're
just so .:. unnecessary. So done-
before. And I know that's part of
the fun of the poster - it's a paro-
dy of that classic horror trope. Of
course the girl in the underwear is
goingto murderedbythe chainsaw-
wielding zombie / skeleton / vam-
pire / madman / man ina raincoat /
male figure in general. As Gretchen
Weiner, from the movie "Mean
Girls" would explain, it's, like, the
laws of horror movie anti-femi-
nism. But why?
It's no secret that horror films
traditionally don't like the ladies.
There tends to be at least one
woman who ends up anywhere
from partially to completely naked
and then sliced, hacked and other-
wise butchered. Let me diverge for
Recently, wanting to find a qual-
ity horror movie to watch, I went
on IMDb and looked up a list of
the top 100 classic horror movies.
I noticed a trend within the movie
descriptions. Antagonists include
"a practical man," "an obsessed
(male) scientist," "a (male) doctor,"
"a young man," "a brilliant (male)
surgeon," some more doctors and
young men. Victims include "the
virtuous young Mina," a "beautiful
woman," "a (female) secretary," a
bride, "nice young women," - just,
you know, "women ... " many of
whom are displayed on the front
covers in skin-tight ensembles
show off their conveniently sized
So, basically, what we have here
is hot women beingkilled by men.
Yes, occasionally females are the
"bad guys" - wow, masculinity is
even in the name. There's Stephen
King's Carrie, the shy girl who you
can't help but sympathize with
even though she kills everyone and
her mother. There's the possessed
girl with the green puke in "The
Exorcist." There's the girl with the
hair in her face from "The Ring."
There's the woman with the hair
in her face from "The Grudge."
Those are a few examples that
immediately come to mind, but I
think it's notable that the common
factor with these female terrors is
that they're all somehow inhuman
- essentially "crazy" or possessed
by something else. These female
antagonists aren't completely in
control of their actions, but rather
have been corrupted by something
Granted, the "Cabin
films I cited
earlier are clas- Woods" c
sics, so these
movies weren't tradition
during the peak roles in ho
But, really, not
too much has changed since then.
Women continue to be - the vic-
tims - de-robed and sliced up on
screens across the world. The thing
is, I really like scary movies, but
part of liking horror is having to
willfully ignore blatantly misogy-
nistic themes a lot of the time.
Now being yesterday. I watched
"The Cabin in the Woods" for the
first time. I know, I'm a little late
in the game. I'd been told countless
times to watch it by my friends. But,
sitting at the dining room table a
few days ago, a friend of mine sug-
gested that I watch "The Cabin in
"It's sort of feminist," she said.
"But they still show boobs. They
just had to show boobs."
Yeah, they do show boobs in
"Cabin in the Woods." Of course
they're the boobs of a blonde - "the
Orr put out inquiries for loans to about 50
financial institutions, with four committing
loans to the city. To secure these loans, Orr
pledged income and casino tax revenue as
well as $10 million in proceeds from the sale of
city assets. The loan, from the London-based
bank Barclays, is broken down into two por-
tions: $230 million going towards the pay-
ment of previous loan debt and $120 million
going towards the funding of city services and
investment in the city.
There are many concerns about this loan. It
has a floating interest rate, meaning that the
rate could potentially rise based on market
forces, further deepening the city's debt. Orr
has pledged revenue from the sale of city assets
to secufe the loan. He has not said, however,
what would be sold to acquire the $10 million.
The sale of city property - possibly Belle Isle
or works of art from the Detroit Institute of Art
- is a point of contention for many Detroit resi-
dents who are patrons of these establishments.
This loan is being secured and promoted
during the city's bankruptcy trial. Orr, who
is also a bankruptcy lawyer, is the main force
behind the loan and is also the main promoter
of the city's filing for bankruptcy. Orr is pro-
moting both further loans as well as bank-
ruptcy for the city as ways to save money and
restructure Detroit's finances. This appears to
be a conflicting attempt to tackle the issue from
two different angles: One of the main reasons
for the current fiscal crisis is debt from previ-
ous loans. In 2005, Detroit took out a $1.44-bil-
lion loan - also based on fluctuating interest
rates - to finance its two pension funds, which
backfired and left the city even more in debt
and still trying to pay off the pensions to this
day. Filing for bankruptcy is a safe route for the
city - no more debt can be incurred while.the
legal system helps the city responsibly liquidate
its assets and pay off its debts. The city made
the decision to file for bankruptcy, and it should
attempt to utilize that route before putting into
action other plans for rescuing the city from
Although Detroit's city council rejected the
loan, the proposal is now to be decided by Ste-
ven Rhodes. The decision is being deferred to
the judge because the city council chose not
to propose an alternative option. Under the
emergency manager law, city councils are only
offered 17 days to consider such a proposal by
an emergency manager. While Orr's office
had ample time to compile and present the
loan from Barclays, the city council is given an
extremely short time span to come up with a
counterproposal with "the same level of benefit
to the city." This is not nearly enough time to
create a counterproposal, especially one to pay
off millions of dollars of debt.
This loan is a continuation of the actions that
got the city of Detroit into the dire fiscal straits
in which it currently finds itself. Taking on
more loans to pay for previously incurred debt
will justcontinue the downwardspiral, one that
could potentially put up the prized possessions
of Detroit - the DIA, Belle Isle - as collateral.
Under the direction of Orr, the city is already
attempting to deal with its financial crisis by
filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Detroit should
continue down that path, and only upon failure
should it attempt to find alternative ways of
dealing with its debt.
whore"- and, of course, the boobs
are exposed when she's engaging in
some form of sexual pleasure, right
before being attacked by a zombie
redneck torture family.
But that's the whole point. While
waiting for the quintessential
blonde to show some tits, one of the
technicians in the film even says,
"OK, baby, let's see some boobies
... Gotta keep the customers satis-
fied." He watches the boobs/zombie
attack scene with close attention
- partly, because he wants to see
boobs, but also because that's what
people expect when they see a cute
young woman ina horror movie.
"Cabin in the Woods" challeng-
es the traditional role of females
in horror movies in that it follows
the traditional tropes to an almost
absurd degree. The "whore" is
pumped with pheromones until
she's a horny, ass-shaking vixen
who makes out with a taxider-
mied wolf - it was a dare, but still,
she appears to really enjoy it. The
"virgin" is naive and clueless, con-
stantly in need of male guidance
and consolation. Even the female
killers in the
movie are pretty
in the useless - there's
hallenges like ghost girl
al female by a classroom
full of ador-
rror films. able Japanese
and then there's the girl zombie,
who's overall pretty unintimidat-
ing and useless - except for when
she actually helps the protagonists
of the film.
I get that alot of scary movies are
meant to be fun - that not every
portrayal of women is going to be
realistic, just like Freddy Krueger
and Count Dracula aren't the most
realistic men. But "Cabin in the
Woods" does a damn good job at
showing how hackneyed - and
comical - these female characters
are. If you're looking for a solid hor-
ror film to cap off the Halloween
season, perhaps consider "Cabin
in the Woods." But no matter what
film you decide on, keep a critical
eye on the women in the movie -
and not just on their tits.
- Katie Steen can be reached
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, James Brennan,
Eric Ferguson, Jordyn Kay, Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine,
Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Adrienne Roberts,
Paul Sherman, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
Response to 'Hood Ratchet Thursday'
It's not black and white
T he City of Detroit's 2013 mayoral race he thinks needs to be said in order to win an
could've been a slugfest. It could've election, hoping to ultimately serve the city in
been bloody, bruising and divisive for the best way possible as its top official in 2014.
a city and region too often But, at the same time, these jabs intentionally
at odds within and among expose old wounds and a deep-seated racial
itself. antagonism that has permeated city-subur-
And yes, I'm talking ban politics for decades.
about more than just the Fortunately for the city, though, Detroit
competitiveness of the elec- voters aren't having it. What could've been a
tion, with the most recent perfect storm for stirring up municipal and
poll numbers giving candi- , regional animosity regarding race has turned
date Mike Duggan, former ' into an election campaign characterized by
CEO of the Detroit Medical ALEXANDER indifference to racial politics.
Center, a commanding 2 to HERMANN One poll from September found that race
1 lead over Wayne County is not a factor for nearly 80 percent of Detroit
Sheriff Benny Napoleon. voters, a city that's almost 83-percent Black
I'm also talking about according to 2010 census data.
the explicit racial implications. Urban planning Prof. June Manning Thom-
"The white guy, Mike Duggan," as one voter as, who has written extensively on race and
in Detroit's August primary election wrote on Detroit, said residents desire a candidate who
his ballot, defied all political and campaign possesses the skills to get the job done and
logic by taking a commanding 51 percent of demonstrates competent leadership, regard-
votes in August's primaryelection asa write-in, less of race.
candidate after being thrown off the ballot due Left unexamined are the broader implica-
to complications with his residency. tions for Duggan's probable election, which
Before then, and even would make him the first
now, pundits, - commu- white mayor of Detroit
nity officials and outside Detroit's since Roman Gribbs left
observers insisted that office in 1974.
the election be about race, mayoral race is Appropriately,the Taub-
using every opportunity man College of Architec-
to turn the conversation characterized by ture and Urban Planning
toward the juxtaposi- is hosting a symposium
tion between Duggan's ,racial indifference. today titled "Planning
whiteness and Napoleon's in a 'Post-Racial' Society
continued residency and (?): New Directions and
black legitimacy. Challenges" in the University of Michigan
Although Duggan was born and raised in Museum of Art. Though many claim that the
Detroit, he lived in suburban Livonia for years United States has progressed into a "post-
before returningto Detroit in 2012, anticipating racial nation," mountains of evidence exist to
a potential run for mayor - garnering the "car- the contrary, with racially segregated Met-
petbagger" moniker from those most skeptical. ropolitan Detroit oftentimes comprising the
Even Napoleon's camp has engaged in unflat- contradiction peak.
tering political discourse, making frequent Regardless, though, Duggan's seemingly
allusions to Duggan's status as an outsider. imminent election indicates some healing in
According to Napoleon campaign spokesman a city and region desperately needing even
Jamaine Dickens, in a recently published small moral victories.
Detroit Free Press article, Duggan "couldn't And given Detroit's current turmoil, we'll
find a specific Detroit neighborhood without a take all the wins we can get.
In part, these statements comprise accepted - Alexander Hermann can be
campaign practice. Napoleon is saying what reached at email@example.com.
As the host, and author of the
event "Hood Ratchet Thursday," I
would like make a formal response
to Erin Fischer's viewpoint.
First, I would like to sincerely
apologize for any negative emo-
tions that you and any other offend-
ed members of the community may
have felt. Let me be the first to admit
that the party's theme and the lan-
guage used in the event description
were insensitive and distasteful.
Please allow me to clarify my moti-
vations behind this, because it was
never my intention to purposefully
offend or degrade another culture
"Hood Ratchet Thursday"
started out as an idea for a party
centered around hip-hop music
- a genre that I've grown up with
and still love. As with all music,
it's nearly impossible to separate
from its culture, and hip hop has a
particularly prolific one that per-
vades mainstream consciousness.
At most college social events, the
music of choice, if not electronic
dance. music (EDM) or pop, is hip
hop.. Thus, hearing, and rapping
along to, the lyrics of A$AP Rocky's
"Fuckin' Problems" or Juicy J's
"Bandz A Make Her Dance" - the
songs from which I derived the
phrases "bad bitches" and "ratchet
pussy" respectively - or other vul-
gar songs on any given night while
out with friends is not unheard of, if
Mainstream hip hop is now dom-
inated by rappers who glorify sex-
ist and superficial themes. These
are the artists whom the media
promotes and whose music we all
consume at social events and at our
own leisure. As an avid consumer
of the music, it's easy to get caught
up in the lyrics and attitude. Herein
lies the first mistake I made: trying
to emulate the culture and attitudes
prevalent in the music.
Of course, I'm aware of hip-
hop's roots in African-American
culture, and I understand why so
many are upset at my usage of the
words "ratchet," "twerking," etc.
But let me be clear: in no way was
it my intention to appropriate Black
culture. I was attempting to emu-
late the distasteful party culture of
hip hop, not as a synonym for Black
culture, but rather as the musical
genre that is consumed by all races.
Because, at least in my opinion,
when hip-hop culture reaches the
level of appeal which it enjoys with
listeners of all races and differ-
ent cultural backgrounds, it tran-
scends strictly racial definitions.
And that's how we can sometimes
forget, as I did, that it's not always
OK to emulate respected hip-hop
artists; that racial sensitivity is
no small issue; and that people
can, and will, negatively perceive
Black culture because of media and
I wish that we lived in an age
where we as people could collectively
celebrate the music that we consume
without aggravating racial sensitivi-
ties. It pains me to see that "hip-hop
parties" are immediately cast under
a racial lens, even if not so intended.
Just because we celebrate and enjoy
the music and terminology used by
predominantly Black hip-hop artists,
that does not mean we are attempt-
ing to appropriate Black culture. We
take it for what it is, and that's hip
hop as music, and thus, hip-hip cul-
ture. If current hip hop is dominat-
ed by terminology like "twerking,"
"ratchet," and "swag," then that's
what its audience absorbs as hip hop:
it doesn't have to be Black. But if peo-
ple perceive it as so, then I agree that
it's completely inappropriate.
As a fellow minority, I sympa-
thize with you for the racial preju-
dice leveled against you. I could
never pretend to understand what
you face. But as someone who has
experienced firsthand how rac-
ism, whether blatant or subtle, can
affect our emotions and livelihood,
I apologize for any hurt that I've
caused in our community.
Again, I would personally like to
offer my sincere apologies to those
affected by my lapse in judgment and
would be open to joiningthe conver-
sation on how we as a community
could-find ways to educate ourselves
on controversial race issues so that
we can avoid future misunderstand-
ings, and move forward asa healthy,
Allen Wu is an LSA junior.
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