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March 18, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-03-18

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4 - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


EtMichlioan 41atip
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.
A punishment to fit the crime
The 'U' needs to adopt stricter sanctions for forced sexual penetration
artmouth College has proposed changes to its sexual assault
policy, calling for expulsion in most cases where a student is found
guilty of "penetration accomplished by force, threat or purposeful
incapacitation or where an assault involving penetration is motivated bybias."
Both Dartmouth and the University of Michigan are under investigation by
the U.S. Department of Education due to accusations of mishandling sexual
assault cases. While the University has made strides in improving its process
for investigating and handling sexual assault cases, there remains room for
improvement for the punishment for these offenses. The University's current
policy leaves too much leeway in punishing determined offenders, leaving
open the possibility of offenders slipping through the cracks or getting off
too lightly. The University should consider strengthening the potential
punishments for student sexual misconduct and reducing the discretion
of the Office of Student Conflict Resolution in assigning these penalties.

How to be a girl

nspired by Jamaica Kincaid's
They say: this is how you
sew on a popped
button; this is
how you comb
lemon into your
hair to coax
out the blonde; .
this is how you
bleach those fine1
mustache hairs;
this is how you EMILY
wield a razor PITTINOS
without slicing
your ankles. But
porn stars and strippers are the only
women who shave above the knee.
Theysay: thisishowtostep ontoan
escalator without catchingyour dress;
this is the deodorant that smells like
rain; slather your delicate chest with
this sunscreen, even in winter. If you
yawn too wide, your mouth will catch
flies; if you sit with your legs open,
things will get in.
Don't stick your fingers down your
pants; the waitress doesn't want to
watch you fidget with your private
parts. Don't say "vagina" at the dinner
table. Call it your "front bottom," or
your "floofy;" it's your "no-no square;"
it's a frail flower; a fishy mystery; keep
it clean, shaven.
Wearing underwear with your
pantyhose will prevent yeast
infections. If you itch down there,
slip this small egg of medicine inside
your bajinga. Eat a little yogurt each
day. Eat spinach when you're on your
period. Use cold water to massage
the bloodstains out of your panties.
Tampons clog the toilet, and choke
birds when they drain into the
watershed; don't flush them. Instead,
wrap your feminine products in toilet
paper. Instead, bury them deep in the
wastebasket where no one will see.
Don't let boys kiss you on the bus.
Don't do drugs in that parking lot by

According to a Centers for Disease Control
study, 19 percent of college women reported
experiencing attempted or completed sexual
assault during their college career. With sexual
violence averages on college campuses higher
than the national average, University policy
changes need to follow recognition of the
problem and adopt stricter punishments similar
to those outlined in Dartmouth's proposal.
A mandatory expulsion policy for sexual
assault in the case of sexual penetration
ensures that committing a heinous crime
means facingaserious punishment. Especially
in light of the University's response to the
public disclosure of former Michigan kicker
Brendan Gibbons' permanent separation
and resulting protest, it is important that the
University send a strong signal that sexual
assault will be taken seriously on campus.
The current wording of the University's
sexual assault policy, using phrases such as
"reprimand" and "Potential Sanctions or
Interventions," is too weak.
While it is important that stricter policies be
put in place, it is equally important to ensure
that they are as supportive and beneficial to
the survivor as possible. According to the
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network,
about two-thirds of rapes were committed by
someone the survivor knew. The University
should keep the "Resolution by Agreement"
portion of the sexual assault policy, which
allows the Complainant and Respondent to
either accept or reject a proposed agreement in
regards to what the sanctions or interventions
will be regarding their case. This process
should be kept so the survivor has input with
regards to the punishment the respondent

the lake. Don't smoke cigarettes. Don't
throw your life away with booze like
ourneighborwiththecreditcard debt.
Don't have sex; you would
disappoint your father.
Don't have sex; we're too young to
be grandparents.
Do you love him? Well that doesn't
mean you have to offer him your
virginity. You think you're in love,
but you're too young to know how
that feels.
Don't have sex; the world is too
dangerous and your mother would
worry. You see, girls have to be more
careful than boys. Don't walk hone
alone in the dark. But if you must:
carry mace, hold your keys like a
weapon, pretend to talk on your cell
phone, wear headphones. Are you
listening? Do you want to inspire a
story on SVU? Always check under
your car for aggressors. Don't traipse
around in mini-skirts, or drink more
than one Cosmo atthe bar.
But when you're old enough for
consensual sex with a responsible
partner, use a condom, pee afterward
to prevent UTIs, and remember: don't
trust men with facial hair; don't trust
men with floppy handshakes; don't
trust men who resent their mothers.
Remember: boys don't like girls
who beat them at arm wrestling; men
don't like girls with hairy armpits;
men don't like sarcastic women. A
woman teaches a man how to treat her.
If you don't keep him satisfied, he will
leave you.
Stop slouching. Stand with your
back flat against the wall to practice
good posture. Quit stomping around
like a hunchback. Walk with your
chest out and your tummy tucked
in. Walk with rolling hips. Walk in a
way that stops traffic. Make strangers
hang from their windows and howl
like cartoon coyotes. Trust the
architecture of your high heels; they
were built to bear your weight.

Take smaller bites of your burger. If
you eat too fast, you'll gain weight like
ourneighbor with thecreditcarddebt.
Just don'tbring idiotshome for dinner.
Remember the knife always protects
the spoon from the fork. This is how
you make a chicken stock; this is how
you salt a soup; this is how you getfree
food in awhite-cloth restaurant.
On laundry day, always separate
your whites and bleach your pit stains,
Never clean your ears with anything
smaller than your elbow. Leggings are
not pants. Only streetwalkers wear
that much eyeliner. Don't over-pluck
your beautiful eyebrows. Beauty is
pain. Beauty is a full-time job.
You are a natural beauty; you're
prettier than those tubby sluts at
your old high school; you have the
lips of an angel; you will have no
trouble attracting a boyfriend in
college. College is where women
find their ideal nate. Did you hear
your cousin is getting married? Are
you seeing anyone? Why haven't
you met someone by now? Find a
kind man with a good job; marry
someone with good genes; try not
to marry a musician.
But I don'twant toget married.
You always say that, but just wait.
Someday you will find a guy to take
care of you. You'll settle down in a
modest home and get pregnant. You
will grow fat on corned beef and sour
cream donuts. Your feet will swell.
You will spend hours in the hospital
screaming for morphine and sucking
on ice chips. After giving birth, your
daughter will rest in the crux of your
elbow. You may be sad for weeks; you
may regret forcing a little girl into
this dangerous world. But for the rest
of your life, you will be responsible.
You will love.
- Emily Pittinos can be reached
at pittinos umich.edu.

receives. This may include someone who does
not wantto be responsible for ending someone's
educationalcareerorwhowantstotake further
steps to protect their identities and the identity
of the assailant. However, there should be
policies in place that to make certain survivor
isn't intimidated or threatened by the assailant
or anyone else while this process takes place.
Furthermore, the University needs to
refocus on education incoming freshmen
about sexual assault. The Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center's
Relationship Remix, the mandatory program
for students living in dorms, should include
information about steps to take if you
are sexually assaulted. Knowing how to
preserve DNA evidence on the body or
clothes and knowing who to go to in order
to report an assault could ultimately lead to
a more successful investigation. Information
about counseling and medical services for
victims could be life saving. Furthermore,
the consequences for being convicted by
the courts or found responsible for sexual
assault by the University should be presented.
Furthermore, the University should call on
organizations like SAPAC to help increase
education for students on campus about
sexual assault. Education will foster cultural
awareness and reduce stigma associated
with incidences of sexual assault.
The University's sexual assault policy
should be made stricter by incorporating
mandatory expulsion for proven assailants.
The wording of the policy reflects the severity
of sexual assault, signaling appropriate
respect for the trauma and long-lasting effects
of sexual assault for survivors.

Reflections of a 'person of color'

Barry Belmont, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay,
Kellie Halushka, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria
Noble, Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul
Sherman, Allison Raeck, Linh Vu, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe

In response to 'Leaving the
savior mentality behind'

school, ASB parti
practical projects.
reduce the weight
serve a purpose. TI

TO THE DAILY: rub elbows with pe
What's the point? tive solutions to so
Armchair criticism of an Alternative Spring rated part of my tri
Break or Foundation for International Medical how easy it is to 1
Relief of Children trip is unfair (even if you did something that seer
almost participate in one). Your concern for the Finally, though a cy
oppressed is admirable, but I think the uptick in izations do arise ou
Facebook cover photos that accompanies a trip, Discussing how less
the ones with a student posing, the underprivi- post-ASB life is a va
leged arranged neatly around them, has led you backed up by data.
to a hasty conclusion. I'd like to ease your worry return from ASB mm
about the mindset of the hundreds of students ing to dedicate their
that set out this Spring Break. There is a discu
The emphasis on education is what sets ASB pitfalls of'help' and
apart. Prior to leaving, ASB groups meet to tality. Ideally, evet
learn, reflect, discuss and prepare. Site leaders the field, heads fu
work to foster empathy, notsympathy - the trip the Oppressed." Bu
is presented not as an opportunity to pity peo- service is that it's
ple, but understand what they're going through. Luther King, Jr., no
And, more importantly, what can be done. "everybody can be
It's difficult to improve a community in can serve." That s
a week, you're right, but meeting key social while mindset to m(
needs is nothing to sneeze at. From pack-
ing and delivering meals to AIDS victims, to Aditya Vedapudi
spending a couple hours tutoring a kid after Business junior

cipants complete simple,
These might not greatly
of oppression, but they
hey also allow students to
ople who develop innova-
ocial problems. An under-
p was gaining insight into
become an active citizen,
med quite daunting before.
nic might scoff, great real-
it of the nightly reflections.
ons can be transplanted to
luable exercise, and this is
Studies show that students
ore engaged and more will-
' lives to service.
ssion to be had about the
d the troubling savior men-
yone would venture into
ll with the "Pedagogy of
it the beautiful thing about
not exclusionary. Martin
stranger to activism, said,
great ... because anybody
eems like a more worth-

Earlier this year, an amazing,
inspiring group of women created
a new student group on campus:
the Michigan Women of Color Col-
lective. This collective has united
women of color from every corner
of the University and seeks to pro-
vide a safe space for us to discuss
the issues we face - from overt rac-
ism to the microaggressions we face
daily that often are neglected, dele-
gitimized and trivialized.
After attending the first few
meetings, I felt a concoction of
emnotions. I related to many of the
women in the room, and their sto-
ries and testimonies caused me to
reflect on my own experiences in
an attempt to identify instances
of racism, bigotry and sexism that
I hadn't previously considered.
These women made me realize
that, as an Arab American Muslim
woman, I had often been tokenized
both in and out of the classroom at
a young age and forced to speak on
behalf of an entire racial, ethnic
and religious community.
I learned that it wasn't my duty
to educate, and the anxiety I felt
having to be the spokesperson for
Arabs and Muslims in all sorts of
spaces was warranted and legiti-
mate. How would I possibly be
able to provide enough context and
nuance when describing a religion
practiced by billions, or an identity
that hundreds of millions across
the world shared? It simply didn't
make sense, and this space provid-
ed me with a sense of relief that this
overwhelming feeling of stress and
confusion wasn't exclusive to me.
However, I also felt a certain
level of discomfort in the space and
at first couldn't understand why.
This resulted in my reluctance to
share as much and a greater inter-
est in hearing the experiences of the
other women in the room. I came to
realize that there were oppressions
and barriers I would never have to
face because of my privileges (hav-
ing fairer skin and being a part of
the upper-middle class). I also real-
ized that my privileges often came
at the expense of other brown and
Black bodies.
I grew up in the bubble that is

Bloomfield Hills. Bloomfield Hills
is not only one of the wealthiest cit-
ies in the state of Michigan, but in
the entire nation. While I did face
racism growing up, I belonged to a
sizable Arab and Muslim commu-
nity, not to mention that my socio-
economic privilege, coupled with
my skin color (which falls in some
awkward place between light and
medium when picking out makeup),
gave me the opportunity to forego
many of the oppressions that poor-
er and darker Arabs and Muslims
face, both nationally and beyond.
I come from an Iraqi family; when
I meet people, they are often sur-
prised when I reveal my nationality
in conversation. I've been told mul-
tiple times that I am "too pretty" or
"too light" to be Iraqi. This always
confused me because the Iraqis who
I interact with, the ones in my family,
look like me. I realized soon enough
that the same people who were mak-
ing these harsh, racist generaliza-
tions were typically interacting with
the poor, darker-skinned refugee
population of Iraqis both in the Unit-
ed States and in countries I visited
abroad, such as Jordan and Lebanon.
My mother's skin is even lighter
than mine. Combine her fair skin
with her green eyes and light brown,
almost dirtyblonde hair. When meet-
ing some of her relatives for the first
time this past summer, her cousin
immediately asked me why I wasn't
pretty like my mother, why I didn't
inherit the green eyes or the fair skin
that my mother claimed. I hadn't
experienced anything like it before;
the man looked at me disgustedly, as
if I was subhuman simply because I
had dark, thick hair, dark eyes and a
slightly darker complexion than my
mother. I was somehow a lesser ver-
sion of her because of my color and
my darker features.
This was when I began to under-
stand that while I am a person of
color, there are many privileges I
enjoy based on my color and my class.
This is when I began to understand
colorism on a deeper level, that I
would be judged relative to the other
people of color around me. This is
when I began to understand that rac-
ism is an issue of black and white;

the whiter you are, even as a person
of color, the less oppression you face
and the easier it is for you to assimi-
late into the ideals of whiteness.
I struggle reconciling these inter-
secting identities and privileges, and
also struggle at times identifying
as a person of color because of how
different my experiences have been
based on my lighter skin, as well as
my privileges as an upper-middle-
class, heterosexual, cisgendered,
able-bodied person. While there are
certain settings where I feel com-
fortable claiming the "person of
color" label to build political solidar-
ity across non-white communities,
there are probably more instances
when the label can be deceitful in its
implication of a monolithic experi-
ence and narrative of what is actually
an overwhelmingly nuanced, diverse
group of people. This is particularly
misleading when the label "people
of color" includes non-Black POCs
like myself, who indirectly reap the
benefits of white supremacy and are
complicit in a system that promotes
anti-Black culture.
Being aware of the privileges I
hold and the role that I play as a non-
Black woman of color has helped me
become cognizant of the space I take
up in settings with other women of
color, namely Black women who are
oftentimes the direct targets of any
form of racism - even racism that is
directed at me, and especially racism
initiated or perpetuated by my com-
munity and other non-Black commu-
nities of color.
So as a "person of color," I reflect
on the ways I benefit from and am
complacent in these systems of
oppression. Because the term "per-
son of color" isn't enough for me and
it certainly isn't enough for those
under the label whose oppression I
am too privileged to know or ever
claim as my own.
Michigan in Color is the Daily's
opinion section designated as a space
for and by students of color at the
University of Michigan. To contrib-
ute your voice orfind out more about
MiC, e-mail iichiganincolor@
Farah Erzouki isan LSA senior.

Check out The Michigan Daily's editorial board meetings. Every Monday
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