BY THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Published April 11, 2002
First no Naked Mile, then mandatory school uniforms for 'U' students
To the Daily:
While some of the reasoning behind the University's sudden outcry against certain campus activities is understandable, the administration is going much too far in its sudden crackdown on student traditions and the scare tactics it uses to accomplish this - especially with the Naked Mile. Yes, we understand that the Naked Mile can be dangerous for the runners for a number of reasons. In all honesty, though, is there really anybody running that isn't aware of the dangers? They choose to run, knowing the risks.
As the Daily said in its editorial No thank 'U' (4/09/02) perhaps the police should be focusing more on eradicating the "gropers" and perverts, rather than just giving up and accepting their presence as an inevitable fact, then going after the student participants. Last year, we watched as a harmless naked runner was tackled by a police officer and shoved roughly onto the sidewalk. Looking on, we thought, "Is this really necessary?" The looks on the faces of everyone around us confirmed that they felt the same. It was the perfect example of the skewed priorities being displayed by those in authority. As years pass, our University traditions are being increasingly strangled into non-existence. The next thing you know, we'll be mandated to wear uniforms to class and be forbidden to sing "The Victors" unless the administration dictates otherwise.
Daily neglects importance of Palestinian casualties
To the Daily:
In the Wednesday paper, the largest headline was Ambush kills 13, wounds 9 Israeli troops (4/10/02). It is alarming to see that when 13 Israeli soldiers are killed it makes headlines but at the same time when the same Israeli soldiers kill "over 500 people in the Nablus and Jenin refugee camps" (according to CNN.com) the news is ignored.
I guess it is expected because the killings of the Palestinian people is no longer "big news" or anything out of the ordinary. It is not a big deal that Palestinian dead bodies are piled on top of each other in the streets. It isn't headline news when the Israeli army shoots 19 missiles into a refugee camp. When 14 Israeli civilians die it is a front page "massacre" but when 500 Palestinians die it doesn't even make the paper.
On April 9, 13 Israeli soldiers (who were armed with their semi-automatics and bullet proof vests, who probably already had the blood of any innocent Palestinians civilians on their hands) were killed, it made headlines. It sickens me - and I ask you why? Is it because a Palestinian life is just not worth as much?
Under no circumstance do I think that killing of innocent people (or for that matter any people) is right - whether they are Jews sitting in cafes or or Muslims in their refugee camps. But when one man straps on a bomb and kills 13 armed soldiers who have already killed thousands of his fellow people you cannot call it a suicide bombing. It is justified self-defense. It is not a suicide bombing - it is one armed soldier killing another armed soldier.
Student thinks of super- lame tradition and wants all to join in the 'fun'
To the Daily:
I ask all of you to join me in a new tradition at the University of Michigan, The Skivvy Mile! It is clear that the powers that be of Ann Arbor are not thrilled to have all of us running through the streets naked, but why not the next best thing - in our underwear? This idea is not new, it is done annually the day before the Iron Man Triathlon World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. I am sure that the students of Michigan can do it bigger and better. If we are in our underwear there is no indecent exposure, just a bunch of students that happen to be out for a jog. We may at least preserve the tradition for future generations. Perhaps they will some day be able to run naked in the streets of Ann Arbor again. But until then, it's boxers, tighty whities, or leopard print who-knows-whats! We'll start the running around 11:30 along the usual route ... or as close as we can get.
Feminism has no need to apologize to its critics
To the Daily
LSA junior Mari Poulos brought up an interesting topic when quoted in Feminist Fair attempts to debunk myths of feminism (4/11/02). It saddens me that she, like so many people, thinks of a "stereotypical feminist" as a woman that hates men. If this is the stereotype, it is one that those opposing the Feminist Movement began. In order to discredit the pioneers of the movement, people portrayed them as man-haters wearing combat boots who opposed everything natural, wanted to disrupt the family structure, castrate all men and turn America on its head. Oh, yes, and they were supposedly all lesbians, too. When you can't beat the logic, just question someone's sexuality, right?
Seriously, thanks to the courageous women who fought for suffrage and equal pay and against sexual harassment and gender discrimination, women today are more free than ever to pursue their dreams. Not too long ago, my graduate school program admitted a mere two or three women each year. Today, close to 50 percent of the students here are women.
And yet, people still talk of "those man-hating feminists" and, perhaps my least favorite term in the world, "femi-nazis." They still give power to the close-minded view that women are not equally as valuable as men and should not be given the same opportunities. What is most troublesome is that women are using these terms to describe themselves! Ladies, let me be clear: If you are asking for an equal opportunity, you are not a "femi-nazi." Even women who realize there is more to life than scrubbing a bathtub or setting the table often feel the need to apologize for taking opportunities our grandmothers could never dream of. This must stop. If you believe men and women are equal how ever you wish to define that then announce with abashed pride that you are a feminist. You do not need combat boots. Women, you can still get married if you want to. You don't need to burn your bras. Men, no one worthwhile will question your masculinity. Your relationships will be the better for it.
As an eloquent male friend of mine said today, "Anyone who opposes feminism is just nuts." It's true. What is so difficult about understanding that men and women can contribute equally to this society and that we are all the better for ending oppression of any form? If you don't believe men and women are equally valuable, you should be sent back to the Dark Ages from whence you came and take some combat boots with you.
Israel fails to recognize its own human rights atrocities
To the Daily
Recently on campus there has been rising tension between those supporting Palestinian human rights and others in favor of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Individuals that support the Israeli military offensive have voiced accusations of nearly every variety, in reference to all subjects other than one that addresses the core issue of the problem in Palestine - that Israel, in violation of international law and international human rights agreements, is in fact attempting to ethnically cleanse a population out of existence.
For the past week people protesting the illegal occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been confronted with allegations of racism and subject to assaults on their moral character. In the words of a Palestinian poet, "I do not hate people, nor do I encroach ..." but frankly, I do resent the falsified accusations of a group that is unwilling to recognize atrocities committed by a state they support. I speak for myself when I say I hate no one for their religion or ethnicity. However, my hatred for the ugly acts of any state that systematically oppresses and murders a civilian population is unbounded.