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November 13, 2014 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Page 3A - Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Page 3A - Thursday, November13, 2014

Jbe 1J*idii~ant &3i
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.
Postponing the inevitable
State must act to ensure equality despite court ruling
Furthering the struggle to obtain marriage equality in
Michigan, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued
a 2-1 ruling Nov. 6 upholding the state's ban on same-sex
marriage. The long-awaited decision offered a response to the
ongoing legal battle that gained national attention in March of
this year when U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman revoked
the ban established in 2004 by declaring the Michigan Marriage
Amendment unconstitutional.

Us and them

In the brief period after the declaration,
more than 300 couples were legally married
before Michigan Attorney General Bill
Schuette, a Republican, successfully appealed
for an emergency injunction on Friedman's
ruling. The case then fell under the jurisdiction
of the Sixth Circuit. With the issuance of a 2-1
decision by the Circuit Court judges, same-sex
marriage bans will be maintained in Michigan
as well as in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The ruling - while arguing the ultimate
decision should remain in the voters' domain
- runs counter to both a national movement
to establish marriage equality in all states
and growing support for same-sex marriage
amongst Michigan residents. The case will,
most likely, be taken up by the Supreme Court,
but until a final decision is a reached, the
Circuit Court's decision will only strengthen a
painful impasse and delay progress.
Public opinion regarding same-sex
marriage has undergone a dramatic shift since
the ban was enacted a decade ago. In 2004,
an amendment to ban same-sex marriage -
known as the Michigan Marriage Amendment
- was passed with 59 percent voter approval.
However, a recent survey conducted by
Michigan State University in March suggests
54 percent of Michigan residents now support
granting same-sex couples the right to legally
marry. The survey found only 36 percent of
citizens stood in opposition to the matter.
The survey results do not only support the
movement for Michigan laws to be revised
by striking down the ban. The results of the
survey also mirror an emerging national trend
of increasing calls for legalization of same-

sex marriage. The percentage of Americans
who believe the idea "same-sex marriages
should be recognized by the law as valid, with
the same rights as traditional marriages" has
risen to 55 percent, according to a Gallup poll
conducted in May 2014. Likewise, same-sex
marriage is now legal in 32 states, but the
recent court decision places Michigan in a
precarious position to be left behind by this
national momentum.
While the legality of marriages occurring
before the issuance of the stay continues to
be recognized, the state is far from granting
these couples full equality. In a statement
released after the ruling Gov. Rick Snyder
acknowledged the marriages were legal, but
he added: "However, the Court of Appeals
decision does not allow for state benefits
of marriage for those same-sex couples in
accordance with our state constitution. That
decision could only be changed if today's
Appeals Court ruling is overturned."
In the Sixth Circuit majority opinion, Judge
Deborah Cook and Judge Jeffrey Sutton
acknowledged the inevitability of marriage
equality by stating: "the question is not
whether American law will allow gay couples
to marry; it is when and how that willhappen."
LGBTQ couples residing in Michigan,
however, shouldn't be expected to suffer
during a lengthy postponement period as the
state awaits a Supreme Court ruling. A final
resolution may take time, but until then, the
government should work to enact legislation
that will award benefits to same-sex couples
who are currently being denied the entirety of
their rights.

TTth an epidemic of sexual
assault sweeping college
campuses across the
nation, including
the University
of Michigan,
there are
countless topics
of uncertainty
and controversy.
In a four-part
series, James
Brennan seeks to JAMES
explore them with BRENNAN
interviews and
personal research.
This is part two.
Trigger warning: The following
article includesdescriptions ofsexual
assault and may be triggering.
Before she became a well
renowned playwright and scholar,
Dr. Endesha Ida Mae Holland was a
prostitute in the Mississippi Delta.
Holland, like many Black women
in the south, was raped by a white
man who employed her as a domes-
tic worker. He gave her five dollars,
and she spent the next several years
making a living through prostitu-
tion. Holland, as quoted in Danielle
McGuire's book "At the Dark End of
the Street," recounted the twisted
culture of white men in the south
holding dominion over black wom-
en's bodies, and how "no white man
wanted to die without having sex
with a black woman." (McGuire,
pg. 203)
The same year that Holland
was first raped, 1955, 14-year-old
Emmett Till was murdered in
Mississippi for flirting with a white
woman. It wasn't until 1967 that
the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated
state laws against interracial
marriage, many of which remained
in state codes for years after. The
state of Alabama did not amend its
constitution to reflect the court's
ruling until 2000, a time when 40
percent of Alabamans voted to keep
their anti-miscegenation law. In
2012, polls showed that one in five
likely Republican voters in Alabama
believed interracial marriage
should be illegal; in Mississippi, the
number was closer to one in three.
We may often try to push it aside,
but racism infects every single aspect
of American life, including already
complex issues like sexual assault.
Americans may no-longer be living
in a time when the rape of black
domestic workers is a normalcy,
but this combination of racism and
sexism is by no means extinguished.
LSA senior Arnold Reed and
Speaker of the Black Student Union,
recalled a class discussion where
a student cited high numbers of

single-parent Black households
as evidence that Black men are
particularly "philandering." Along
with the hypersexualization of
Black men, Reed also argued that
a certain level of hesitation still
lingers in the minds of Blacks
and whites alike with regards to
interracial dating.
According to Business senior
Sumana Palle, the diversity of
experiences in sexual assault has
been largely ignored by the Univer-
sity and Central Student Govern-
ment's "It's on Us" campaign. Palle,
an active member of the Michigan
Women of Color Collective, wrote a
heavily shared viewpoint indicting
both students and administration
for these failures. In an interview,
Palle expanded on the themes in
her piece, explaining that the cam-
paign has largely painted sexual
assault as it is seen by straight,
white people. A survivor herself,
Palle argued that women of color
often experience sexual assault in
a racialized context, adding to the
already overwhelming trauma.
In our conversation, Palle alluded
to the dynamics within individual
communities, explaining that the
frustration felt by men of color due
to their own oppression may then
be channeled into sexual violence.
Reed also discussed the particular
lens through which a certain
group views sexual assault. In the
Black community, this has meant a
progression from not discussing the
issue, to focusing on giving women a
voice regarding domestic abuse, to -
Reed predicts - deeper discussions
of sexual abuse. As for now, Reed
and other BSU executive board
members are focused on education
and building a strong understanding
of the issue before playing a bigger
role on campus.
In exploring the diversity of
experiences and views regarding
assault, what may have been the
most enlightening experience
was a long talk with LSA senior
Irene Suh, President of Students
for Choice. Suh, who also detailed
connections between the pro-
choice movement and survivor
advocacy, gave me a crash course
in how conservative, East Asian
cultures can see sexual abuse.
Suh is a first generation Korean-
American, and said that she was:
socialized to be submissive and not
to speak up, especially with regards
to sex and sexuality. While in high
school, she was sexually assaulted
multiple times by two men, also of
East Asian descent. It was not until
long after that she told her parents,
and this was only after a school

counselor became aware of the
situation and forced her to.
Summoned to her counselor's
office with her mother, Suh recalled-
being told "either you can tell her
or I can tell her." According to Suh,
this was a huge mishandling of the-
her disclosure would necessitate
the school notifying her parents.
"I knew I wouldn't be supported
in the way that I needed," Suh told
me, explaining the accompanying
shame, embarrassment and silence
present within many (but not all)
Asian American communities.
Feeling, powerless already, the
school ended up taking away even
more control fromher.
Suh and her parents have rarely
discussed the situation, and she.
spent the rest of her time in high
school trying to "brush off" every-
thing. However, once at the Univer-
sity, she began using resources like
Counseling and Psychology Ser-
vices and Sexual Assault Preven-
tion and Awareness Center to take
the issue head on. Today, Suh uses
her experiences to fuel advocacy
and education work, all in an effort
to tell others they "deserve better"
and should "love themselves."
Suh, Reed and Palle present just
a few of the various perspectives
students bring to the table when
it comes to sexual assault. I could
probably write an entire series solely
dedicated to exploring these views
and still barely scratch the surface.
I haven't even begun learning about
the challenges for groups like male
survivors, the LGBTQ community
or mixed race individuals - but I
want to.
While "It's on Us"has thus far got-
ten a lot of attention, I should pause
to remind everyone that for every
"us" there is almost always a "them."
If our idea of "us" only includes the
experiences of straight, white stu-
dents, then the "them" inherently
becomes everyone else. The campus
will be divided, per usual, and prog-
ress will be limited atbest. This does
not have to be the case.
The University and CSG can
decide to create a truly inclusive
campaign. They can build some-
thing that reaches out to student
organizations and individuals from
every corner of campus. They can
take a step back and acknowledge
the role that privilege plays in
racializing and misogynizing sex.
If they - or, I should say, if we -
fail to do this, then "It's on Us" will
mean little beyond a catchy slogan.
- James Brennan can be reached
at jmbthree@umich.edu.

Makeup's deceit

" Y ou can't win. If you wear make-
up you're a deceitful whore, and
if you don't you can forget about
getting any action," accord-
ing to an article written by
Hannah Ongley featured on
Styleite, a news-and opin-
ion-based blog with a focus
on the fashion industry.
A friend of mine read the
article, which discussed
men's feelings toward
women who wear makeup -
how unnatural and deceitful SIERRA
they are. She found herself BROWN
disagreeing with many of the
males' comments, and sent
the article to me, wondering
ifI'd share asimilar reaction."WearingMakeup
Means You Are Lying to Men" was the title of
the article. The article was published ayear ago,
but the issues discussed are just as prominent
today. In the article, Ongley informs readers
that makeup artist Melissa Murphy posted a
photo on Reddit that displays two side-by-side
photos of the same woman. The photo on the
left shows the woman without makeup and
the one on the right shows her with makeup.
"Makeup. That's it" was captioned with
the photos.
Ongleywrotethatmale commentersbecame
angry with the photos, "positively outraged
that this woman would lie to them by wearing
makeup." Reddit user, plokoonismyfave,
was especially critical, saying women who
wear makeup are equivalent to men who
wear prosthetic muscles under long-sleeved
shirts. Really?
The same Reddit user went even further-
and wrote "The girl in the photo is apparently
not satisfied with the way she looks without
makeup and uses makeup to artificially portray
a person more people would find attractive." I
highly doubt all women who wear makeup hate
the way they look without it. I also doubt that
women are only comfortable going out into
the world after they've applied makeup. All
women are not self-loathing beings who turn to
makeup as their remedy. Some men should stop
being arrogant and critical because everything
is not about them and what they desire.Women
do not only use makeup to provide a pretty face
for them to look at, some women just simply
like wearing makeup. Others may find it fun
or use it to hide small marks. However, if men

were less critical, women may stop wearing
- or wear less - makeup. As Ongley wrote,
"you can't win." Women, ditch the makeup
and go natural, but you must be pretty; if you
feel un-pretty and wear makeup you're a fake
representation. Sadly, those are the options
with which women are left.
User RG150 agreed with plokoonismyfave's
comments, saying the photo is deceitful
because men go for looks, which, for most,
are an important facet of potential partners.
This comment is evidence that society places
a ridiculously high value on looks. Where
does this leave women who are viewed as
less attractive? Physical attractiveness is of
devastating importance to us, such that we
desire physical approval from others. Thus,
women who feel un-pretty feel disadvantaged.
Since appearances seemingly matter to these
potential partners, women conclude that they
fundamentally have to change what they look
like to obtain a partner.
Makeup is advertised as something that
will make women look younger or more
attractive. It will make eyes pop, produce
higher cheekbones or mask pimples. There are
countless cosmetics for face, eyes, lips, nails,
hair color and fragrances that send women
the message that they can always do more to
look more beautiful, whether it's lengthening
their lashes, or strengthening their nails. The
combination of makeup's promises to make
women more beautiful and men's desire for a
beautiful woman puts pressure on women.
Another user, cjc23, gives more insight to
women's desire to use makeup. "Really not
trying to sound mean here, but I was always
against makeup until I saw this photo. I always
preferred natural beauty, even with some
imperfections (who doesn't have them), But
that is literally a photo that goes from 'No' to
'Hello'." That's ironic. Men prefer "natural
beauty," except if it resembles the photo of the
woman with no makeup. Her natural beauty
photo was a "No." How should women feel
when their natural beauty is filed into the "No"
pile? The reality is no woman was born flawless,
with a perfectly symmetrical face free of any
kind of blemish, and imperfections are natural.
I admit that there is a thing as too much
makeup. However, is it women's fault that
they equate makeup withbeauty?
- Sierra Brown can be reached
at snbrown@umich.edu.

Edvinas Berzanskis, Devin Eggert, David Harris, Rachel John, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh, Megan
McDonald, Victoria Noble, Michael Paul, Allison Raeck, Melissa Scholke, Michael Schramm,
Matthew Seligman, Mary Kate Winn, Jenny Wang, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
Tripping over the line

Several weeks ago, in an Intro
to Informaticslecture that fea-
tured a lesson on privacy, Uni-
versity Professor
Cliff Lampe - as
he admits - made
a mistake. Unre-
lated to the perti-
nent content of the
course, he asserted
that if in the hypo-
thetical event that
he were to contract LAUREN
herpes, it would be MCCARTHY
his own fault for
having slept with
a member of the
Delta Delta Delta sorority.
Yik Yak, among other social media
outlets, quickly disseminated his
flawed judgment. Students wrote,
"Prof. Lampe foot in mouth with that
tri delt joke," "I feel bad for the one
tridelt everyone pointed at in SI110
after Lampe went off, the truth hit
her like a brick hitting a window"
and "Lampe takes down tridelts."
They also misquoted Lampe, post-
ing, "'you won'tgetherpes unless you
sleep with a tridelt' -si110 professor
OMFG. BRB dying."
In the wake of his blunder, I can
attest that Lampe has reacted quite
professionally. He has since delivered
sincere apologies to both the member
of Tri Delta taking his course, and to
the Delta Delta Delta organization
as a whole. He addressed his "mea
culpa" to the class in the subsequent
lecture and again via e-mail, writing,
"One thing about walking the line
with humor is that sometimes you
trip on that line and fall on your face.
I made a joke in class today about a
Greek organization that was unpro-
fessional, unfair, and cheap" - not to
mention wildly misled, unwarranted
and incorrect.

While I commend Lampe for
admitting his faults, the sheer fact
that a comment such as hiswas made
during a University of Michigan lec-
ture, and consequently endured and
accepted by well over the major-
ity of this woman's classmates,
is concerning.
As they sat in lecture, over a hun-
dred students tolerated a professor
- a professor twice the age of the
women he insulted - to derogatorily
sexualize an entire student organi-
zation. Those students tolerated an
innuendo that assumes that the mem-
bers of this student organization are
so grossly promiscuous (and sexually
irresponsible) that their contraction
of sexually transmitted diseases is
inevitable or without question. Not
only did they tolerate this assertion,
most found it to be humorous. At a
university with such a high collective
intelligence, why was this lecture
hall not chillingly silent in disdain
for such a presumptuous, hurtful
and misogynist attackon members of
their own studentbody?
Regrettably, it's my assumption
that the stigmatized nature of the
University's Greek Life, and Greek
systems as a whole, bears some
responsibility. One anonymous Yik
Yak user claimed that, "the truth hit
her like a brick hitting a window" -
asserting that although Professor
Lampe's comment may have been
out of line, it was nonetheless
true. While Professor Lampe has
expressed his regrets, the issue
remains that he wrongly perpetuated
unconscionable stereotypes and seta
substandard example for more than
a hundred impressionable first- and
second-year students who may be
unable to see past the concessions
made in hindsight. These stereotypes
are so societally engrained - and not

only on this campus - that such an
offensive comment can simply slip
from the mouth of a longstanding
professor at a highly ranked
university, and taking cheap shots at
women who are themselves wrongly
perceived to be cheap has become a
widely accepted societal practice.
I question how would that lecture
hall have reacted if Lampehad made a
similar comment attacking a religious
organization or a specific ethnic
group - instead of collegiate women? ,
Moreover, I would argue that a
were made concerning agroup of men
is nearly unimaginable. Undoubtedly,
students hold preconceived ideas
on the topic of what is considered
promiscuity - based on Greek
affiliation, breast measureient or an,
affinity for applying eye makeup -
so is this comment excusable simply
because people believe those crude
Both Lampe's comment and.
the classroom's reaction are an
illustrationofthe classical ignorance,
as well as the disturbing effect, of the
collective mind. Throughout this
flamboyantly prideful liberal arts
campus, male and female students
alike are quick to attest to being a
"feminist." Were none present in
Lampe's class that afternoon?
Let us not belittle the term
feminist, or attempt to wear the
title unwarrantedly - and feminism
aside, there is such a thing as decency.
Brash assumptions concerning any
student organization or classification
of peoples on this campus should not
be tolerated, and the degradation of
women should never be mistaken
for humor.
- Lauren McCarthy can be
reached at Iaurmc@umich.edu.


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