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March 10, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-03-10

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4A - Monday, March 10, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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 modern family
Michigan's ban on gay marriage is outdated and overdue on reform
his past week, a Michigan couple, April DeBoer and Jayne
Rowse, challenged the state's constitutional ban against gay
marriage. The state government's callousness toward gay
rights must come to an end, as the state's 2004 constitutional ban on
gay marriage is outdated and discriminatory. Michigan must reform its
marriage policies to treat same-sex couples equally and to ensure that the
children of same-sex couples will be able to remain with their parents.

Notes on the vortex
U '..s

Currently, Michigan does not recognize
same-sex marriages, meaning that same-
sex couples are unable to share custody of
independently adopted children. Therefore,
neither DeBoer nor Rowse has custody over
the other's adopted children. In the event of a
catastrophe involving one woman, Michigan
law would not recognize the other parent's
custodianship of the first woman's adopted
children and could take the children away -
arbitrarily and cruelly destroying a family.
The fight for same-sex marriage is only
one of many movements that have emerged
in the last few years that reflect the growing
support for the LGBTQ community. In fact, in
a recent Gallup poll, nine out of 10 Michigan
residents already believed that there was
existing legislation protecting individuals
against discrimination based on sexuality.
Popular support and relevance of the 2004
state constitutional amendment today is
questionable, seeing that nine states legalized
gay marriage in the past year, as opposed to
the six that confirmed a ban. Three of the 17
states that permit civil unions were adopted
by popular vote. Thirty-three states currently
have constitutional amendments and state
laws banning gay marriage. However, the'
anticipated statutes run counter to the
majority opinion, as 59 percent of adults in
the United States supported gay marriage
according to a recent Washington Post-ABC
News poll.
There are many progressive movements

pushing Michigan to join other pro-equality
states. Efforts that promote LGBTQ equality
are rapidly coming to fruition. In Michigan,
a petition with more than 1,000 signatures
created the Royal Oak anti-discrimination
clause in 2013. In the same year, Federal
Judge David M. Lawson granted a preliminary
injunction against a state law that bans
domestic partners of employees of local
Michigan government and school districts
from receivingjobbenefits.. On a national level,
President Barack Obama's administration
is continuously working to extend marital
rights to LGBTQ couples. The legalization of
same-sex -marriage in Michigan wouldn't be
groundbreaking, but rather an overdue ruling.
Though Assistant State Attorney Kristin
Heyse has presented social research that
reveals the advantages of both a mother
and father figure in a child's life, it does not
imply that same-sex marriage households
are detrimental or not sufficient. And there
is no question that love and support from
two parents is as good as, if not better than,
those from one divorced parent. 58.6 percent
of voters approved the 2004 ban, but that
number is outdated and doesn't reffect the
views of today's voters. As LGBTQ support is
rising, the state government must take action
along with it. Governor Rick Snyder should
recognize that the ban on gay marriage is a
prominent concern and work toward reform
that accommodates the LGBTQ community's
demands and rights.

alking back from the
Intramural Sports
Building, my sweat
freezes my hair
against my fore-
head. It's incred-
ibly painful and
incredibly unat-
tractive, and it
makes me think
about winter.
wanting it to SOPHIA
end, hating the P
snow that turns USOW
into slush that
turns into ice
that turns into sprained ankles or
lost dignity, etc. It's a very pensive
moment, and I'm glad the walk
from the gym to my house is short
because thinking in the cold hurts.
Brains, like iPhones and glass beer
bottles, have extreme-temperature-
induced breaking points, and it's not
smart or polite to mess around with
such delicate gray equipment.
At my house everyone is pretty
Vitamin D-deficient and it shows.
Conversations trail off into languid
silences only to be broken by the
enduring question: When does
Dominick's re-open again? (March
10th, we only ask because we like
to hear the answer). The thought of
walking up the steep slippery hill
to go to class makes my spine ache,
but I already used up almost all of
my sick days in one week because I
just gave up and decided not to leave
the house. That week my bedroom
was warm. I burned candles to give
the tiny attic space - in which I
dreamed sweet dreams of men with
Tom Selleck mustaches feeding
me pork tenderloin, a nice "Little
House on the Prairie" glow. Humans
don't hibernate - that type of
thing is for woodchucks and garter
snakes - but with proper funding
and a little technological follow-
through I'm sure humanity could
make the Great Leap Forward into

collective seasonal unconsciousness.
Personally, I'd be thrilled to give
my body up to science for a cause so
noble. I'd love to be remembered by
the world as the Neil Armstrong of
not being awake.
On a more serious note, we're in
the midst of a full-figured Tastee-
Freez. While the Arroyo Seco gulps
at dusty runoff, here in the North
Country I'm starting to think this
downyprecipitation will never stop,
that we'll die in Frosty's cleavage.
The Republican Youth of America
and their benevolent leaders will
try to persuade you that the whole
Polar Vortex Carbon Apocalypse
thing is a figment of your overactive
liberal imagination, but I say trust
your instincts. Believe your eyes,
believe the steel-tipped icicles
dangling off the edge of Weill Hall,
believe the sinking feeling you get
when you see the 10-day forecast
that winks menacingly and growls,
It ain't over yet. It's real. It's scary.
It's cold in a way the Mayans could
never have dreamed.
Also, believe the cabin fever.
Winter's not a great time for a
transition period, but that's what
I'm in right now, moving perpetually
forward inside the bounds of a drafty
house. My friends and I curl chapped
hands around mugs filled with Irish
coffee and ask one another, When do
you think you'll get married? I want
to go to a wedding, want the spring
to break so loved ones will copulate
like bunnies and bring rosy things
into the world that I can hold and
hand back. Nobody I know is stable
enough to care for another human
life, but I wonder if maybe 40 years
ago they would have been. Back then
instead of murky wooden beer dens
we would have met in fluorescent-
bulbed produce aisles, bouncing
babies on our hips, already familiar
with their weight and the sticky
touch of their fingertips. Or maybe
not. Maybe we were always destined

to be this rudderless, this unattached.
I think of my grandmother, pregnant
at 19 in the howling Upper Peninsula
winter, tethered to a life in which she
could never growby my mother, who
left her womb to travel the world:
Cuba, Venice, the top of the highest
building in Hong Kong. Mygrandma
still lives in the house she moved into
with my grandpa in 1949. She talks to
me in the third person. Does Sophia
want another cookie? Has Sophia
grown or am I just shrinking?
Ice can evaporate without ever
becoming a liquid. It's a process
called sublimation and usually
occurs on sunny days when there is
low humidity and high winds. Mt.
Everest enjoys frequent sublimation,
but I've seen it happen at the corner
of Arch and State - ice rinks
shrinking and cracking in the face of
a cold sun. Psychologically speaking,
Freud believed that sublimation was
how humans dealt with undesirable
impulses in acceptable ways. Instead
of making love to snow banks
or barren tree branches, people
shoveled and built fires. Instead
of giving in to distasteful forms of
sadism, they become dentists. There
is no in-between in sublimation:
earth becomes air so fast you'd like
to imagine it was never anything
different, that the winter never
happened, that it was always
summer. Freud called it a defense
mechanism, but here at Michigan
we know better than that. We don't
care how the ice goes away or what it
becomes. We just hope for shorts and
warmth, camping and moonlight
swims, renewal and rebirth. We go
inside and wipe the frost off of our
faces and look longingly at pictures
of warmer places, knowing that
they are not for us. If we lived in
Florida we wouldn't be able to truly
understand the gift of spring.
- Sophia Usow can be reached
at sophiaus@umich.edu.

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
How to shave like a feminist

Questions left unanswered

This past summer my sister - a bubbly,
makeup-wearing, nail polished, perfumed
14-year-old - went on a wilderness trip with a
local YMCA summer camp program. For close
to two weeks she did a combination of rock
climbing, whitewater kayaking and hiking -
and she loved it. But there was something she
told me in the car on our way home that got to
me. Oneofher counselors on the trip, acrunchy
woman in her 20s who had just hiked the
Appalachian Trail, proudly touted unshaved
legs and armpits on the trip. She hadn't shaved
in months and wasn't planning on it anytime
soon, she told them. When my sister asked her
why, she said it was because men didn't shave
their legs or armpits, so she felt that she didn't
need to.
What gave me pause about this comment
wasn't that I disagreed with it. In fact, acouple
of years ago I would have felt inclined to
agree with her: if men don't do it, why should
women? But simply condemning a practice
just because men don't do it is too simple of
an outlook to take on the social roles women
and men occupy in our society. In fact, it's
regressive for feminism. Women don't need
to be like men to be worthy of equal value in
our society. What a woman wears or whether
she shaves her legs or applies makeup doesn't
make her less than any other man or woman.,
She is different, perhaps. But that difference
does not imply inequality of worth.
The idea that women should not shave their
legs, wear makeup or give as much thought
to their outward appearance simply because
men don't do the same things still hinges too
heavily upon the way a woman should look.
And because of that it can often implicitly per-
petuate the very thing that it seeks to eradicate
- a stigmatization of women based on their
appearance. While it should by no means be bad
not to wear makeup and not to shave your arm-
pits, it should not necessarily be better. The fact
that a woman or a girl wears makeup isn't an

implicit indication that she is unsatisfied with
her appearance. Though manytimes, it can be.
It's true that our society doesn't give enough
value to diverse appearances - our magazines,
beauty stores and movies all have eerily familiar
faces that have failed to evolve significantly
over the past 50 years. Oftentimes, wearing
makeup or shaving one's legs feels less like a
personal decision and more like a necessary
ritual performed in order to receive recognition
from others. We're not at the point in time
where we, as women, can have full autonomy
over the way we look - there are implicit
(and explicit) standards for what constitutes
attractiveness in our society. But that doesn't
mean we ought to condemn those who conform
to those standards.
What we need to realize is that condemning
that girl, like my sister - who wears makeup
or puts on perfume and paints her nails
everyday - effectively achieves the same
results as the people who tell her she needs
those things to feel beautiful. It alienates her
from her own control over her appearance.
And perhaps more importantly, it still focuses
on a notion of a "right" appearance for
women, one that excludes a particular subset
of females - the ones that wear makeup like
my sister.
Instead, in order for women to truly be
equal to men, we need a shift away from the
importance of female appearance - we need
to have a varied and equally valued array of
appearances that aren't stigmatized within
or outside of the female community. Equality
doesn't mean adopting the same customs as
men. It means demanding the same amount
of respect irrespective of whether or not we
choose to share those customs.
So to my sister I say: Shave your legs if you
want - or don't. You're still a feminist, what-
ever you do.
Phoebe Young is an LSA freshman.

By now everyone has heard of the
Brendan Gibbons scandal and the
University's handling of the situation.
Since 2009 the University has waited
four - yes, I'm serious - four years
to separate Gibbons from our Univer-
sity. It shouldbe noted that many rape
offenders often repeat their offense.
But there is one thing that the
University has not addressed, and
that is the role of offensive lineman
Taylor Lewan in the case. Itis alleged
that Lewan sent a text message to
the victim threatening "to rape her
because (Gibbons) didn't." At the
NFL scouting combine Lewan said
in his defense, "That's definitely a
situation between those two people
... I've said a lot of dumb things in
my life, but those are not things that
I've said ... I would never disrespect
a woman like that." Meanwhile, the
University has remained silent.
Farewell, Dingell
I was just your average
caffeinated college senior, barely
old enough to legally drink a beer
when I satdown ina quiet room for a
one-on-one interview with a living
legislative legend, Congressman
John Dingell (D-Mich).
Congressman Dingell had just
spoken next door in a crowded
room full of supporters inside a
United Auto Workers building in
Taylor, an industrial downriver
city about 30 miles away from the
University that is gerrymandered
into the same congressional district
as Ann Arbor.
It was Dingell's final congres-
sional victory. He had 29 of them.
Though triumph seemed a routine
occurrence for almost everyone in
the room that night, the congress-
man wasby no means complacent.
There was a genuine passion
for progress in Mr. Dingell's eyes,
and the 85-year-old had the same
fiery look you might see on an
idealistic, politically active college

It really isn't surprising that the
administration has said nothing. In
her Fireside Chat, University Presi-
dent Mary Sue Coleman said, "I am
very comfortable with the process
and what happened. We have pretty
well-defined procedures that we
use." If those procedures involve
waiting four years then they are not
exactly the most efficient or just
procedures are they? We need new
procedures, separate from the Uni-
versity as it has proven itself unreli-
able, to deal with these situations.
The president is comfortable
that no charges were filed because
the University avoided heavy
scrutiny. Coleman stated that the
Athletic Department didn't play
a role in reviewing the case, but it
seems highly suspect since Gibbons
was only separated after his final
season was over. Why are we left in

the dark? It cannot be for student
protection because, if the University
had our protection in mind, it would
not have waited so long to act. We are
tuition-paying students of this public
university who deserve to live in a
safe environment.
One thing is indeed obvious, and
that is that the University is not
doing all it can to protect its stu-
dents. The administration has shown
that they're willing to let dangerous
crimes go unaddressed for years. It
remains to be seen if the University
will make any further comments
regarding "Gibbonsgate." Until then,
we are left with only questions left
unanswered, and the hope that the
Department of Education investiga-
tion will shed further light on the
University's handling of the case.
Sorin Panainte is an LSA sophomore.


student who truly believes they can
somehow change their world.
He took public service seriously.
Any decent reporter can tell
when a politician is feeding them
the safe and memorized lines from
a campaign pamphlet, and that was
not the case that night or anytime
I interviewed the congressman. In
fact, I was honestly astounded at
Dingell's frankness.
Either Iwas just anaive collegekid
who didn't realize the congressman's
years of experience had given him
herculean ability for crafting nifty
and seemingly heartfelt sound bites
on the spot, or he was genuinely
speaking from the heart.
I don't know. Either way, Dingell
was at least talking to me - just some
college reporter. And that's more
than you can say for most politicians
these days.
If you're a member of the press,
especially at a college publication,
you're lucky to even get a politician's
staff person to respond to your
e-mail - even if it's days or weeks
ahead of time.
Yet there he was, speaking on

the record, as he had time and
time before with so many different
Michigan Daily reporters - the
one and only John Dingell, whose
vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964
helped change the country and made
it so my generation never had to see
how "equal" separate really is.
Despite his historic list of legisla-
tive achievements, Dingell sees him-
self as just another Michigander, and
he would talk to me not just abouthis
hope for America, but about his time
in the military and his experiences in
the wilderness with bears.
With a generation who knows
the name Frank Underwood and
a Washington, D.C. that seems
increasingly distant and unreliable
to so many Americans these days,
Congressman Dingell's penchant for
giving people at least a few moments
of his time, let alone new rights and
freedoms, was a very welcome sight.
We can only hope the next
generation of leaders takes a page
from his book.
Steve Zoski
2013 Alum

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