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July 16, 2014 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2014-07-16
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SWednesday, July 16, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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RELEASE DATE- Wednesday, July 16, 2014
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MORRISSEY
From Page 11
"Gaga in Malaga, / No mercy in
Murcia") on "Neal Cassady Drops
Dead" and "The Bullfighter Dies."
At other times, as on "Staircase
at the University" or "Earth is
the Loneliest Place," it's hard not
to think that, like a TV psychic,
Morrissey's lyrics only succeed
in speaking to people by virtue of
their vagueness.
On a purely musical level, more
often than not Morrissey seems to
be at war with his band. There are
a few instrumental gems, like the
glittering guitars and keyboards on
"I'm Not a Man," and the splashes
of noise sprinkled throughout the
album are a welcome touch. Mor-
rissey's voice also seems to be
improving with age - he abandons
most of the whininess present on
his earlier material while main-
taining his strong baritone. But
even those successes are cheap-
ened by Morrissey's clumsy vocal
rhythms and bombastic, operatic
delivery - both holdovers from
his time with The Smiths - which
seem to say that his voice is the
Same singer,
less charm.
only thing worth paying attention
to and fail to cohere with the music
going on around him.
The most disappointing aspect
ofWorldPeace,however,isthe ines-
capable feeling that I've heard this
all before. The instrumentals pro-
vided by Morrissey's band combine
an eclectic group of influences into
a combination that, rather than cre-
ating something new and exciting,
sounds like a group of studio musi-
cians rehashing ideas from their
other projects. With the exception
of songs like "Smiler With Knife"
and "Istanbul," a number of his
lyrics seem like leftovers from his
earlier albums and others simply
repackage platitudes as profound
discoveries - he astutely observes
on the closingtrack "Oboe Concer-
to" that, yes, the "round rhythm of
life goes round."
While the more devoted Mor-
rissey fans will likely see the same
biting social commentary and
brooding lyricism in World Peace
as they do in his other work, I can't
say that he's succeeded in casting
me under his spell.

As a woman (and a feminis
I fully and wholehearted
believe that gender equal
should be the
norm. Empirical
evidence,including
gender distribution
across academic
disciplines,
differences in
wage earnings for
equal work and VICTORIA
the prevalence of NOBLE
rape and sexual
harassment
towards women
overwhelmingly shows that o
society is a long way from equality.
other words, we've got a whole lot
work to do. A lot of people recogni
this and agree. But they still are
callingthemselves feminists.
According to a Huffington Pc
poll, only 20 percent of America
self-identify as feminist, while
percent identify as anti-femini
The rest don't consider themsel
either one. Further, the identity
extremely political. The same p
found that 32 percent of democr
identify as feminists, while only
percentof republicans do. Meanwhi
82 percent of Americans - and
percent of Democrats and 76 perce
of Republicans - felt that "men a
women should be social, political a
economic equals."
Without the feminist label a
its highly political connections -
with public reeducation of what
means to be a feminist - more peol
would at least support and may
even fightfor women's rights. Furth
the movement could see much mo
bipartisan support without the clea
political connotations that often cot
with feminism.
This is consistent with oth
trends. When polled, more peol
are opposed to the new healthca
legislation when it's called Obamaca
than when it's called the Affordat
Care Act. When the highly politiciz
title is removed, policy preferenc
look much different. I believe tI
similar dynamics shape opinions.
women'srights.Formany,theobsta
preventing them from speaking o
for gender equality comes from
tension between feminism and th
other political identities.
What it means to be a feminist
understood. How can we best ensu
that all 82 percent of Americans
support of gender equality have t
opportunity, resources and educati
actually go out and make it happen?
I think it starts with re-educati
on what it means to be a feminist, a

st), adding some wiggle room within the
dly definition. People should be able to
ity oppose abortion or other traditional
"women's issues" for religious,
moral or other reasons. Modern
feminism needs to be solely focused
on supporting and fighting for gender
equality - not a political agenda. And
the public needs to know that.
I think that a lot of people will
disagree with me on the last point,
saying that the right to choose
is, fundamentally, a women's
right. However, it would be in the
movement's best interest at the
moment to focus on other, more
ur pressing issues, like changing rape
In culture and promoting a workplace
of (and campus) more accepting of
ze female leadership. While we rehash
n't the same arguments over issues like
abortion, we alienate thousands of
ost people who might otherwise work
ns to change the culture that inhibits
8 progress and safety for women.
st. The obstacles women face are
ves implicit, and consequently hard to
is counter. Sm talking about the kinds
oll of problems that come in the form of
ats dirty, salivatinglooks when awoman
5 shows up to a party in a miniskirt
le, ' and crop top, or facing higher
87 expectations at work to get the same
ent praise as hermale peers. It'sthinking
nd that a kiss is an invitation. It's fear,
nd imitation, and objectification.
These challenges are massive,
nd and culturally rooted. As America
or knows all too well, cultural shifts are
it difficult and take time.But this issue is
ple important, and affects the safety and
be stability of our campus community,
er, and really the entire nation. Tackling
are these issues will require almost
rly universal support - the kind of
me support that women's rights enjoy
in its politically neutral form. But in
ter order to build a society where women
ple can be safe and successful, we need to
tre change our culture, and to do that we
tre must change the way we think about
ble and define women's rights.
ed We can start here, in Ann Arbor.
ces Tell your friends how they can
hat support the movement towards
on equality, no matter what else they
cle believe. Lead by example. Support
gut your female friends in their
a work and social endeavors. Most
eir importantly, find the courage to
pursue your own goals, regardless
tis of yourgender. Atthe end of the day,
ire equality isn't about advancements
in for one gender or another. It's love
he and support for everyone, no matter
on who they are.
on - Victoria Noble can be
nd reached at vjnoble@umich.edu.

terrible symptom of
infighting on the left
is creating boogeymen
and casting
opposition as
the evil root
of oppression. '
Factions
always want
to frame
an issue as
simply as J
possible, BRENNAN
choosing
groups to
be the evil
villain behind injustice. This
has been the case with Israel
time and again, a fact made clear
during Friday's pro-Palestinian
protest near the Diag. In the
crowd of 100 or so peaceful
demonstrators, one sign stuck
out: it was adorned with
swastikas and read "Nazi Israel
is a cancer it must be radiated."
I spoke with the person
holding the sign, a middle
aged Palestinian man named
Muhammad. He claimed Israel's
policies of stealing land, killing
civilians and operating prison
camps qualified it as a "Nazi
country." He also claimed that
only a week earlier, his home
in Gaza had been destroyed.
This type of system, he told me,
must be "uprooted" (the word he
chose to describe what his sign
meant by "radiated").
Regardless of the truth behind
this man's anger - Israel's human
rights violations, their continued
breaking of international law,
the destruction of his own home
- his rhetoric is wrong. Israel is
painted as the end all, be all evil
empire behind his oppression
and the oppression of others,
meaning any support for the
country is completely evil, too.
This is nothing new when
it comes to the left criticizing
Israel, from claims that the state
is a "Nazi country" to implying
that the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee and casino
magnate Sheldon Adelson use
their influence and money to
control U.S. foreign policy.
While these narratives
are pleasing to those facing
oppression, they're untrue and
polarizing. Those on the left,

more r
of Isra
of ani
contro]
apolog
only fu
and bo
debatej
Our sid
is evil,
with e
Ultin
oppres
transla
doingt
Israel,
framet
as ha
suppor
say th
of anti
the a&
Zionis
affairs
anti-Se
plague
toward
of
but th
age ofs
racism
into th
sign).
but it
Palesti
I'm
the two
fightin
equal.I
by a w
to kill
much]
mains:
the ev
doesn'
The
this tr
Becaus
is more
versus
it as
Valid-
has its

Feminist problems

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 15
To live and die on the left

moderate or supportive Arabs, while Palestine has its
el are turned into pawns left-wingers who hate Jews, etc.,
international conspiracy etc. It's framed as a push, and the
lling U.S. foreign policy, new illusion is a fake solution
ists for a country whose right down the middle. For
inctions are stealing land Israel and Palestine, this turns
mbing civilians. Once the into "they need to both sacrifice,
reaches this level, it ends. stop killing each other and make
de is good and the other peace."
and you don't negotiate While the latter "fair"
vil. narrative comes off much better,
mately, this framing as it's just a different side of the
sors versus the oppressed same coin: simplicity. If we can't
tes into the other side have a narrative that's black and
the same. In the case of white, instead we assume it must
moderates on the left be equal shades of grey, where
the pro-Palestine groups both have similar amounts
teful, anti-Semitic and of good and bad. Things are
tive of terrorists. Not to typically far more complicated,
at there aren't elements and the same logic doesn't apply
-Semitism in the far left; to every issue. There aren't
ssumption that wealthy always equal sides, nor is there
is and Israel dictate world always one good and one evil.
hearkens back to the There aren't always only two
mitism that has always sides, either; sometimes there
d the world. The prejudice are three, or four or ten.
Is Jews is less pronounced, When the left chooses to take
a simplistic narrative, dialogue
ceases to progress and the real
The worst causes of oppression, injustice
and war that we all despise
roblems are continue on. It isn't some
monster causing the problem
ten the most that needs to be slain, it's
complex systems of oppression.
complex. But instead of acknowledging
the intricacies and depth of a
problem, the left grabs, on to
an easy narrative that hinders
at's to be expected in an solutions.
subconscious, dog-whistle The Israeli-Palestinian
(and let's not even get conflict is one of dozens of issues
e use of swastikas on that the left needs to be having a real
The prejudice is there, debate on. Given the conflict's
doesn't control all pro- one-sided history, one of the
nian activists. left's agreed solutions may
also not asserting that ultimately be a more extreme
vo sides we typically see tactic like BDS - or maybe not.
g in this conflict are But we can't know if we don't
Israel is beating Palestine have a real debate, one where
ide margin when it comes facts, reality and the truth play
ing civilians and deserves out instead of demonization or
harsher criticism from the fake balance.
tream press. Israel isn't I don't blame anyone for failing
i1 one here, but this debate to do this, because it's hard -
t have equal sides, either. our minds crave simplicity. But
left gets caught up in the worst problems are often
ap too: false equivalency. the most complex, and the left
se people realize an issue has to unite and search for real
e complicated than Good solutions instead of tearing itself
Evil, they instead frame apart fighting straw men.

Side A versus Equally-
And-Flawed Side B. Israel
s right-wingers who hate

- James Brennan can be
reached atjmbthree@umich.edu.

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