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June 08, 1985 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1985-06-08

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OPINION
Saturday, June 8, 1985

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

Vol. XCV N 15-S
95 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Constructive action
THE DEFACEMENT OF the Black Velvet whiskey
billboard on North Main Street in the early morning
hours of March 7 was not a constructive way to handle the
problem of sexist advertising.
Granted, the billboard has been in the news and people in
and around Ann Arbor have probably discussed the
billboard and the issue of sexist advertising. But that does
not justify the hit and run tactics used by people involved
with the defacement.
Mary Emanoil and Jennifer Akfirat were recently found
guilty of the malicious destruction of the sign after they
had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
It is ironic that their claim that sexist advertising in-
duces violence has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The
people involved with the defacement of the sign should
have come forward and taken responsibility for their ac-
tions.
It's a shame that the group had to use destructive means
to make a point.
A more constructive idea to effect change of sexist ad-
vertising was to have a contest to find the most sexist ad in
Ann Arbor. The Community Action Against Sexist Adver-
tsing awarded first prize to the Black Velvet whiskey
billboard. Constructive ideas like this one should be en-
couraged.
The group should also work toward developing adver-
tising guidelines for the billboard industry. One that
protects First Amendment rights, but questions the goal of
any advertising campaign which uses sexism to promote
its product.
The group claims that sexist advertising and
violence are connected. But research support for this
claim is lacking. Research institutions, like the Univer-
sity, should be encouraged to investigate sexist adver-
tising and its effect on society.
The public will not consider any issue seriously if it ap-
pears that a representative group has resorted to destruc-
tive means without first exploring constructive avenues.
The Ann Arbor community should join the Community
Action Against Sexist Advertising in their fight. A boycott
of Black Velvet whiskey, for example, would be an effec-
tive way of changing advertising policy. Consumers, af-
ter all, have the control. Through innovative idea sharing
and the strength of the general public we can change sexist
advertising.

Letters:
Keep things in perspective
To the Daily: people probably complain louder significant he was, compared to the
The article, "Radio Angst," (Daily, about washing dishes. higher calling of the country's
June 4, 1985) prompted me to share a We easily forget the message welfare. Keep things in perspective.
recurring thought. The writer was behind Nathan Hale's famous last Nobody cares if President Reagan
complaining about commercialism words, "I only regret that I have but doesn't like his Mr. Coffee Machine.
and hype in the media, particularly one life to lose for my country." He -Rob Matson
on radio. What follows is not concer-
ned with the article's content, but the was brave enough to realize how in- June 6
way it was written reminds me of
what I hear coming out of so many
mouths: complaints.
Undirected complaining is not
productive and people who don't have
a concern tied up in what you don't
like, aren't interested. The National
Organization for the Reform of To the Daily:
Marijuana Laws (NORML)used to MSA President Paul Josephson may help them somewhat, but it will
have an ad that read, "In the time it claims that student government of- make a difference only for a few
takes to smoke your next joint, you ficials need salaries in order to offset students. Someone who's poor isn't
can write your congressman about the 50-60 hours they work each week. going to suddenly be able to afford the
it." Find out who can change things This may be a valid principle. I have awful sacrifices demanded of our un-
and complain to them. If enough friends in computer science who put fortunate student leaders.
peope areein heircomlaitsin over 68 hours a week and they don't Of course, if well-cqualified people
thinpeople agree inchange. their complaints, paid either! In fact, they have to aren't running due to the lack of pay,
If it doesn't involve your pay the University for the privilege of what does thistsay about the
congressman, change things youself. working so much. qualifications of the people we do
Everyone can change their situation. Some may suggest that if the com- elect, including one Paul Josephson?
You can turn off a TV. You can stay puter scientists can't take the MSA should be careful about
or leave a party, a university, your workload then maybe they shouldn't Josephson's idea. Any attempt to
life. You can organize peoplewho be in the field. Then again, if MSA of- press the serve-for-pay notion may
share the same feelings and change ficials can't take the workload, lead students to believe that MSA's
things by group effort or by creating a maybe they shouldn't be running for moneybags area little too full. Such a
new situation. office. Given the number of students belief could lead to a backlash that
Try proposing new ideas. If people who run for MSA offices, I'd have to would end student apathy-and crip-
don't like your new ideas, either find say that the lack of pay isn't much of pie MSA.
new ones or improve old ones.Having a deterrent (Some may wish it was). -Steve Augelutti
an original idea rejected can be Paying MSA officials $1000 per year June 5
disappointing. Yet it is only by
suggesting new ideas or improving on
what exists, do constitutions improve,
businesses become more efficient, or What feminism is about
what-have-you.
It is sad that creativity is so scarce,
and new ideas are not encouraged T h al I believe the more feminine
very ch.ea s eng a I wish to state a simple case against creative response to the
as long as people like what you have defacing property in the name of unquestionable exploitation of women
created, that part of you will stay political action. In my view the two which angers many of us is represen-
alydscmotswleawy women who painted over part of the ted by the awards for sexism in ad-
Lastly, discomforts will always exploitative billboard on Main Street vertising, along with the social
exist and if we lose one, we'll in-
variably find another. omplain- were expressing their justly felt pressure exerted at the winner's
aabt difos ank Complaing anger in a traditionally masculine doorstep.
aboutf discomfortscan bekefa manner. They committed a little Granted, the latter way is more
from doing something truly beneficial violence by tossing paint and watered down, but to me it is a model
for ourselves. Our discomforts are in destroying what they found objec- for a new way, which is, after all,
significant compared to our lives. I'm tionable. It calls to mind big violen- what feminism is all about.
sure that most people would rather ces: destroying the enemy by tossing -Jason Lee
wash their dishes by hand, if their explosives. May 29
choice was that or death. Ironically,
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