Contraception not tied to women’s careers

To the Daily:

I enjoyed Emily Beam’s column (The debate that just won’t die, 09/14/05) about challenges to the availability of emergency contraception. However, there was one little logical connection that I missed – it was probably overshadowed by the feminist rhetoric. What exactly is the connection between contraceptive rights and women being able “to pursue their own interests, even careers, before settling down and starting a family?” To me, this implies that being able to have sex without consequences is somehow a necessary right of the empowered modern woman. The only way I can rationalize this is if I equate “their own interests” with “promiscuity.” However, this line of thinking raises unpleasant notions about what Beam means by “career.”

I understand, of course, that women like sex. So do men. And contraceptive use limits unpleasant outcomes of pleasure. This does not mean that a woman (or man) cannot pursue his or her interests or career in the absence of casual sex. I also understand that one mistake can mean spending the next 18 years as a slave to the spawn of your ephemeral pleasure. Nevertheless, by implying that contraceptive availability is a fundamental part of equality between the sexes, Beam seems to agree with the view she ascribes to Wisconsin Rep. Dan LeMahieu (R): Maybe the female population is able to keep its pants buttoned; it just doesn’t want to.

I still don’t see how this implies equality, unless we have been assuming all along that men are scum. I guess that would make it all make sense. But, as a male, I am probably too dumb to understand.

Dan Bertoni

LSA junior

 

Former Daily editor deeply disappointed in magazine

To the Daily:

The Statement? Oh la-dee-da.

Look, if I learned anything in college, it’s that trying really hard, like completely vein-poppingly straining to say something “important” is a terrible, terrible waste of resources and time. From the epic Taco Issue and Random Student Interviews to its proud legacy of barely literate smartass columnists, the mission of Weekend Magazine, later just Weekend, was to not have a mission; to avoid at all costs making a statement. With all the heavy-handed, pompous seriousness shoveled down students’ throats, every Thursday they deserved a break. Maybe it’s just a name change, but a picture of man with a zipper mouth speaks loader than words.

In the name of respectability, The Michigan Daily dumped its Jeopardy issue well over a year ago, perhaps inevitably for the best granted its track record of violence and pain. Still I’ll say now what I said then, at no other time in your career as writers are you ever going to have the freedom to publish what you want as you do at The Daily. Don’t squander it trying to be taken seriously. They have a name for this sort of thought-provoking, in-depth crap; it’s called News. For god’s sakes, lets have no more of it.

Scott Serilla

Alum

The letter writer is a former Daily arts editor.

 

Edwards fails to see the real culture in Ann Arbor

To the Daily:

I was shocked after reading Victoria Edwards’s narrow-minded opinions on theatre and culture (Too Far from NY, NY, 09/14/2005) being that she is an Arts editor. I think it is extremely arrogant of her to only consider Broadway and off-Broadway plays “real theater.” She demeans our student body’s experiences by saying that many of our students are from “some bumblefuck town in Michigan” and makes a patriarchal attempt to advocate for those less fortunate than she: “those students deserve as much as anyone else to see real theater. Who knows. This may be the only opportunity some people have to experience real culture.”

Excuse me? “Real theater?” “Real culture?” What the hell is it that we are doing here in Ann Arbor? Is it “fake theater?” Does theatre need to have an $85 price tag be performed in a glamorous locale to be deemed “real” and for a person “to experience real culture? No, theatre is something that began outdoors, without any of those things. Despite its commoditization and commercialization in our capitalist society, theatre is of and still belongs to all people, and I think that the University and Ann Arbor theatre scene is exceptional in that it stays true to that concept, is experimental and socially conscious and allows students to actively participate – it doesn’t get any more real than that. Finally, how dare Edwards assert that some students haven’t experienced “real culture,” because they’ve never seen a Broadway or off-Broadway show? While it would be beneficial to bring more theatre to Ann Arbor, she is ignorantly discrediting Ann Arbor’s theatre scene by saying we need go elsewhere to “experience excellence in professional theatre.” First of all, Ann Arbor does have a professional theatre, The Performance Network, which is renowned more than locally. The University Musical Society seasons feature international professional productions, at which students can experience theatre with a global, rather than American, sensibility.

As she believes that professionalism means paid actors, I challenge her to see a show from MUSKET, a student-run musical theatre group and not be absolutely stunned. Other student theatre groups, such as the RC Players, the Basement Arts, the Rude Mechanicals, Shakespeare in the Arb, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, ComCo and Witt’s End, offer student written works, improvisational comedy and unique interpretations of plays that one will not find anywhere else. She is wrong that we need transportation to Detroit “so that each and every student who wants to be enriched through the theater can do so,” when we are in Ann Arbor and we have that opportunity here – if we recognize it.

Marilia Kyprianides

RC junior

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