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Page 4 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Page 4 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

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

The true price of a

MEGAN MCDONALD
PETER SHAHIN and DANIEL WANG
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS

KATIE BURKE
MANAGING EDITOR

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.
The F word'

he older I get, the more I realize that
it's not labels that make me uncomfort-
ablebut ratherthe weightcthey hold, the

expectations they carry and
the connotations that come
with them.
Still, there are plenty
of labels I identify with,
labels I carry proudly and
unapologetically. Labels that
don't define me, but rather
encompass little parts of my
existence. I'm a woman. I'm
an Arab. I'm a Muslim. These
are parts of my identity that
fit in little boxes. And while

HAYA
ALFARRAN

I'm comfortable identifying with them, I know
that those little boxes don't look the same to
everyone. The way I define my gender, ethnicity
and religion isvery specificto me.
Feminist is a label I go back and forth on
every day. I used to think I've been flirting with
feminism since I was 10, but I now realize we've
been courting since birth. I learned her name
when I was 15 and we've been slowly getting
acquainted ever since. Still, I sometimes don't
feel comfortable associating with her.
So let's talk about feminism.
When a woman identifies as a feminist, I've
found that the reactions include everything
from "so you're a man-hater" to "YAAAS." Over
the past year, there has been a popularization
of feminism. Countless celebrities and notable
figures have come out and stated their support
of it. Still, among all the diverse feminist
discourse on equal pay, reproductive rights and
respectability, there seems to be a different, ever-
present, unofficial debate. A debate on who gets
to identify as a feminist.
When Beyonce proclaimed her feminist
status last year, the world went wild. The
mainstream couldn't figure out what to do with
her proclamation. The public tried to figure
out whether she was a "true feminist" and
proceeded 1to scrutinize her life-to disprove it.
People picked apart her album, her wardrobe
and her choice to take on her husband's
last name.
The mainstream seems preoccupied with
the notion that there can only be one true form
of feminism. When I decided to call myself a
feminist, I was metwith questions. Can you be a
Muslim and a feminist? Can an Arab woman be

a feminist?
Yes. Hell, yes.
People assume my identity mustbe in conflict
with my feminist status, because there couldn't
possibly be a way to reconcile the two. My
little box of feminism looks a lot different than
Beyonce's, Emma Watson's, Malala Yousafzai's
and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's, but it's just
as valid.
Policing which women get to identify with
feminism has a multitude of repercussions.
It's just as harmful as the concept of feminism
being associated with anger and man-hating. It
propagates the idea that women must validate
their brand of feminism. It belittles the efforts
different women have contributed to the
movement for equality. When you propagate
the idea of true feminism, you're stripping
women, often those who belong to marginalized
identities, of the power to own their choices.
I'm tired, and I imagine that many other
women are too. I'm tired of having to justify
my opinions because I don't look like the
"ideal" feminist. I'm tired of being asked to
present my credentials at the door. I don't
understand why the world thinks that the
only way Muslim women can call themselves
feminists is if they run down the street nude
while renouncing their faith. I don't understand
why I have to constantly reassure people that
I'm not oppressed. Why I need them to validate
my choices.
When I made the decision to study abroad,
my parents got a lot of backlash for it. Different
family members and friends couldn't fathom how
my parents could let their 17-year-old daughter
move across an ocean unsupervised. Issues of my
safety and corruptibility were brought up. People
opposed their choice, because I was a girl. Still,
no one brought up the fact that I was pursuing a
better education. No one cared about that. The
day my parents got behind my decision was the
daymyparentsbecame feminists. (Sorrytobreak
it toyou Mom and Dad)When Idecided to put my
education ahead of my society's judgment, I too
became afeminist.
MyfeminismisintegraltothewayIlive.It'sthe
way in which I sustain and control my presence
in the world. My feminism comes from my lived
experience. That'sthe only credential I need.
- HayaAlfarhan can be
reached at hsf@umich.edu.

wasn't going to write a column
about Michigan football. In fact,
I had half an article on educa-
tion reformtyped
up and ready to
go. But, I suppose
my journalist
senses were tell-
ing me to strike
while the iron
was hot - or in
this case not - DEVIN
and talk about
some long needed EGGERT
reforms in Mich-
igan football.
Since I'm in an educational mindset,
I'll spell it out.
M stands for Marketing. From the
big block 'M' to "THE TEAM, THE
TEAM, THE TEAM" plastered on
jumbotrons, our T-shirts and our
hearts. We are the "Leaders and
Best" at outreach. I really do believe
that - and it's not necessarily a bad
thing. Recently though, it hurts
when I see those messages flashed
on the bigscreen. I question whether
or not our program reflects our val-
ues. At times, I feel like I'm playing
dress-up in the stadium with my
bright maize and blue. When I was
walkingback to North Campus from
the Utah game, drenched, I won-
dered whether I was a team member
or a spot to fill on ESPN's shot of the
student section.
I'm tired of the artificial feel.
I stands for In 1969. I sympathize
with the alumni who will absolutely
not take any criticisms of our team.
Back then, it was not all glory days.
Major challenges were overcome.
However, the atmosphere is much
different than what I was promised
entering the University. I want it to
be about football, friends and fami-
lies rooting for underdogs, topdogs
and such. Yet, promises remain hol-
low as the University's marketing
pocketbooks remain wholesome. It's
wrong to still be banking so much
off of Bo Schembechler's honorable
legacy. I'm starting to see tactics
instead of respect, a son that relies
on dad's legacyto stay relevant.
I, and perhaps many recent alumni,
don't feel the personal connection that

older alumni feel.
C stands for Challenges. If I can
figure out how to fully finance my
room and board at the University,
work two jobs and get good grades
while balancing my other commit-
ments like' so many of my friends
- you all can do the one job you're
getting paid multimillions of dollars
to do. There are so many excuses,
it's ridiculous. "He needs five years."
"We lost this guy or that guy."If
you're not going to give me a free
ticket for my troubles, I'm not going
to give you a free by-pass to sit on
your millions of dollars, because not
every statistic is right.
I'm not asking that we win - I'm
asking that if we lose it's not for
embarrassing reasons under our
control. Step up to challenges.
H stands for Honor. "The Team,
The Team, The Team." Tell me how
I should feel as a collegiate woman
in the stands shouting, "The Team,"
knowing that former kicker Brendan
Gibbons was put on the field. Gib-
bons was given the privilege to play
beside men who truly upheld the val-
ues of the University on and off the
field. Scoring points was chosen over
principles that directly affect me. In
the Minnesota game we witnessed
sophomore quarterback Shane Mor-
ris, with a potential concussion, put
in for a play that resulted in virtually
nothing anyway. A collegiate man's
safety was chosen over the use of a
timeout or a third- or fourth-string
player with a full scholarship.
An honorable game is not only told
by the scoreboard.
I stands for I SHOULD be able to
afford to pay for my siblings to go to
a freaking football game. Even with
everything going on, I STILL want
to take my little brothers and sisters
to a football game. I feel GUILTY
that I can't afford to purchase my
familytickets. If this is a program so
geared toward the legacy of family
at football games, it would make
sense for there to be some MAJOR
discount available for at least one
family game/family ticket package.
This is about the University
community. At least that's what
Marketing tells me.

ticket
We're not all rich here.
G stands for Game Day. Sorry
Scrooge, Tiny Tim is making a ruck-
us in the stadium. You're raising
ticket prices, not allowing us to buy
tickets with friends, switching idiot-
ic seating regulations constantly and
not giving us a community and fam-
ily feel. When seat-filling times get
desperate on your end due to your
own terrible management skills, do
you think we're going to grant you
any favors?
"Miscommunication caused the
'two Cokes for two tickets' national
embarrassment." The '100,000 sta-
dium attendance' mark is in jeopardy.
Scrooge, Tiny Tim isn't an idiot.
A stands for Attitude. Our mascot
is a freaking Wolverine - the most
badass, terrorizing, little badger of
our animal kingdom - known for
attackingcariboumanytimesitssize.
You're chanting you're a Wolverine?
A real Michigan Wolverine? Then
fight. Watch a full YouTube video
of a wolverine attacking a large
animal. Tell me when you stop
watching. Do you leave when the
small animal gets hit? No, you would
leave when you don't see the fight in
the wolverine anymore. That's just
sad to watch. Think of that next time
the audience leaves. We're with you,
Wolverines. We're paying absurd
prices to stay. We want to 'root
for you.
N stands for Not the NFL. My
high school history teacher told our
class that he never watches NFL.
He only watches college football,
because that's where he sees the
passion. Real kids who have having
something on the line -not someone
on a contract.
"Those Who Stay Will Be
Champions." Deserve to Stay.
Ifyou can sell me that next game or
next year, I'll gladly pay.
So, there are my two-cents about
the true price of a Michigan football
ticket in 2014. Its answer lies in what
we're selling. You can take it or leave
it. Unfortunately, you can't trade it
in for a Coke.
-Devin Eggert can be reached
at deeggert@umich.edu.
MBERS
, Nivedita Karki,
legan McDonald,
ael Schramm,
i Raeck, Linh Vu,
Ing, Derek Wolfe

EDITORIAL BOARD ME
Barry Belmont, David Harris, Rachel John
Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh, M
Victoria Noble, Melissa Scholke, Mich
Matthew Seligman, Paul Sherman, Allison
Meher Walia, Mary Kate Winn, Daniel Wa

The common interest

t takes a spectacular amou
to claim that a single, narro
characteristicsareintrinsic
eration. Interests, however,
are a different story. Thanks
to the forces of history, the
idea that those born between
1980 and 2000 - us much-
maligned Millennials - have
a specific set of interests that
distinguish us from previous
generations has more than a
grain of truth to it. Our great-
est and most common chal-
lenges - a weak job market,
student loan debt and climate
change come to mind - imply
that we are united in our need
them. After all, who would gain
than us?
Private entrepreneurship, p
and representative government
avenues through which we can p
tions. These are not all equall
and the payoffs from each differ
quantity and scope. The entrepr
tions and risks taken to develop,
new technologies can lead to ma
the individuals involved and are
of the American economy. Put
including social media campaig
canvassing and letters to the ed
once-obscure issues squarely
spotlight and generate ideas for
And campaigning for candidate
lions and communicating with
from the local to national level -
of representative government -
est potential for change in all th
shaled, the combined power th
presidency and state and local g
bring to bear on these issues thr
executive orders, law enforcer
and policy implementation is u:
scope unmatched. My generatio
solving the challenges it faces ar
who it elects.
Bear with me here - thisi
youthful optimism and reality
ism. I'm fully aware of the prev
this country about our leaders-
recently noted in its typical man
rassed U.S. populace ... confided1
for a moment there they had fo
actively seeking meaningful ac

unt of arrogance elected representatives." I feel those concerns.
w set of personal When according to a poll by Real Clear Politics
toanentiregen- only about 14 percent of the American people
believe Congress is doing its job well, it truly is
foolish to expect them to think their representa-
tives are addressingthe issues importantto them.
But while The Onion is a quality publication with
a solid argument here, it passed over another key
point regarding our representatives: in order for
themto represent your interestsas a constituency,.
you haveto present yourself as such.
Our generation isn't very good at that. For
ERIC starters, only -the brightest (and luckiest) of us
FERGUSON students and young professionals are indepen-
dently wealthy, can raise large sums of money or
are close to the heads of those organizations that
wield so much power in the public sphere. You
for solutions to don't see corporate lobbies, super-PACs or even
more from those the Republican and Democratic Parties priori-
tizing issues for young people, and you certainly
public advocacy don't see any young people at their respective
are all essential helms. The power and money they have there-
ursue these solu- fore isn't used to advocate for our generation's
y easy, however, interests. Even more disappointing in light of this
r greatly in their fact is how young Americans have had the lowest
eneurial innova- voter turnout rate of any segment of the popula-
produce and sell tion in recent years - in 2010, only 19.6 percent
assive payoffs for of the 18 to24 year old population turned out to
an integral part vote. In short, our generation is reluctant to use
blic advocacy - the ballot box to advocate for its interests even
ns, door-to-door as the next powerful avenue to effecting change
itor - can move through representative government - spending
into the public money and working through existing institutions
their resolution. that are powerful in the public sphere - is many
s, voting in elec- times more difficult toutilize.
representatives How this can change is an open and immensely
- the core actions complicated questionthat I cannotmyselfanswer.
- has the great- I can suggest several reasons for Millennials' dis-
ree. When mar- mal participation in electoral politics from my
at Congress, the personal experience: severe and understandable
overnments can disillusionment in the political system, a lack of
ough legislation, awareness regarding how to effectively lobby
nent, regulation elected representatives to act on a certain issue
nrivaled, and its (notto mention not knowing who those represen-
n's best hope for tatives are inthe firstplace), nevergettingaround
e therefore those to voting on Election Day and, in some cases, pure
carelessness. One thing is clear, though: whether
isn't a study on representatives will represent and prioritize the
-oblivious ideal- Millennials' collective interests depends not on
ailing opinion in overcoming some generational character trait,
- as The Onion but on each individual making a commitment to
ner, "the embar- those interests.

CHARLES ZHOU I
To Dave Brandon (and President Schlissel)

Dear Athletic Director Brandon,
You have no idea who I am, and
you probably don't care. Why do
I know that? Because you clearly
don't care about the opinions of the
generations of loyal Michigan fans
that have come before me, nor the
generation of lifelong fans that you
should be tryingto create right now.
With the team's poor
performance in recent games,
many people are calling for Coach
Brady Hoke to be fired. Iam not one
of those people, and those losses
are in no way your fault. However,
there needs to be a fundamental
change in the University Athletic
Department, and that begins
with you. Your job is safe for now
because University President
Mark Schlissel, while a capable
administrator, cannot claim to
come from a tradition of athletics,
regardless of what anybody says.
That's perfectly fine - he went
to Princeton and Johns Hopkins
and a tradition of athletics doesn't
exactly run through the veins of
every student at those institutions.
However, a president who studied
at Michigan or another perennial
athletics powerhouse such as
Oklahoma, Alabama or Michigan
State would have fired you a long
time ago.
What I don't understand is your
utter disregard for Michigan's
traditions. You and I are more alike
than you realize - we were both
part of the game day experience,
you as a football player and I as
a member of the band. However,
Michigan fans who had watched
you play in Bo's early years would
sense a definite difference in the
atmosphere had they attended
a recent game. The blame for
that, I believe, falls squarely on
your shoulders.
Surely you remember what it
was like to play under Bo, how the

Big House was a sacred place on
Saturdays. Without piped-in music.
Without inexplicably long media
time outs. Without advertising
galore. One of your great
predecessors, former University
Athletic Director Fielding Yost
(who originally was responsible for
obtaining the Little Brown Jug that
Michigan lost this Saturday), would
be rolling in his grave right now.
You may have heard the story in
which he called up Dr. Revelli, then
director of the Marching Band, and
chastised him for using the band to
advertise Buick on the field.
I'll put it bluntly. You're out
of touch. You don't have a clue
about what your fans, alumni and
students want. If you do, you clearly
don't care. We couldn't care less
whether we get cell phone reception
in the Big House or not. However,
students do wantto be rewarded for
their loyalty to Michigan Football.
Raising prices and instituting a
first-come-first-served seating
system last year was not the way to
do that, and it wasn't a good way to
get them to show up on time, either.
You lost roughly a third of your
student season ticket holders just to
make a bit more money.
You do deserve credit for one
thing: for turning the Athletics
Department into a very fat cash
cow. While the two-dozen plus
varsityteams are almost completely
supported by football revenue,
they were doing fine before you
came along and turned Michigan
Athletics into a business. The men's
gymnastics team probably would've
still won its back-to-back national
championships if the Athletic
department pulled in $100 million
instead of $150 million.
It's as if you make excuses to
justify bad decisions. At the end of
the day, they're still bad decisions,
and you'll see consequences

that can't be covered up. If the
attendance streak of more than
100,000 that stretches back to
1975 ends this season, how will
you explain that? When there is no
longer a waitlist for non-student
season tickets because the price
is so prohibitive and because you
alienated several years of current
students, how will you explain
that? You seem to forget the
basics of investing - that today's
students are tomorrow's season
ticket holders.
I want you to think about a very
serious question. Is selling the soul
of a 135-year-old tradition worth
any amount of money in the world?
We want football games to not
last four hours. We want to listen to
the band, not canned pop music. We
want to pay a reasonable price for
student season tickets. And we don't
want to hear about tickets sold under
face value to get more than 100,000
people to go to a game - even if the
promotion wasn't approved, what a
slap in the face to loyal fans.
We want to impatiently count
down to football season in January.
We want to be quivering with
excitement because we have tickets
to Saturday's game. We want to be
ecstatic after attending a game at
the Big House, even when we lose.
We want to inherit a tradition that
we can be proud of.
I love the University of Michigan.
If I didn't, I wouldn't have come
back for graduate school (and there
were four others who were happy
to take me). I will bleed maize and
blue until I die, and support the
football program through thick and
thin, but I cannot support you as
Athletic Director.
Forever Go Blue.
Charles Zhou is a is a second-
year master's student at the
School of Public Health.

to reporters that
ound themselves
tion from their

- Eric Ferguson can be reached
at ericff@umich.edu.

A

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