Daily”s senior issue”s treatment of women “abhorrent,” “dehumanizing”

To the Daily:

I write today in reference to the Friday, Feb. 1 edition of the Daily. The Daily”s treatment of women and female images in this issue is abhorrent and dehumanizing. This abuse is expressed through many quotes and stories and is captured perfectly in the editorial cartoon on page four. This picture displays a man dominating and devaluing a woman through words, portrayal and physical position. As a counselor, I deal face to face with the effects of such images in the lives of men and women on a daily basis. The damage they do is real and horrific.

The staff of the Daily has the right to publish nearly anything they want. Friday”s issue demonstrates this. The staff can call it a joke. They can pretend it”s harmless. They have no legal obligation to apologize. All of these are rights protected by our collective liberties in this country. I do not condemn the staff as people, nor do I hate or dislike them, because I have never even met them. But I reject the value of their corporate decision to publish the material in Friday”s Daily.

I wholly condemn the usage of the great influence, inherent in the publicly distributed Daily newsprint, to visually and verbally assault women through pornographic content. Any female on this campus who does not raise a voice against such usage does not necessarily voice support for it, but she does through her passivity encourage it happening again. I will personally never read a copy of the Daily again in my time here at the University unless proper recompense is given.

Furthermore, I will encourage all of my friends and acquaintances to boycott the paper, and I will save a copy of Friday”s paper to remind them why. Editorial Freedom may remove restrictions on content, but it can never remove the social damage and real consequences caused by reckless usage of it.

Joshua Hansen

LSA Senior

Parking fines in snow emergency “outrageous”

To the Daily:

On Friday, Feb. 1, residents of Ann Arbor and University students awoke to the horror of fallen trees, damaged cars and power outages after a night of wind and freezing rain. Therefore, one might expect the city of Ann Arbor to direct all of its resources toward this very problem. Sadly however, Ann Arbor”s entrenched bureaucrats had something entirely different in mind.

At around 10 a.m., the city dispatched its parking Gestapo and fined parked cars an outrageous $125. Let me repeat that again: $125 (the fine for reckless driving). Their crime? They violated draconian “Snow Parking Restrictions” in which the city bans parking on a particular side of the street for example, sides with odd numbered addresses on odd numbered days. Tragically, the city targeted University student neighborhoods on a day when the street (Oakland) had been plowed the day before!

While a $125 fee might seem like pennies to the growing Briarwood-suburbanite class in Ann Arbor, to the average University student with tuition debts, this amounts to two weeks of part-time work after taxes.

The ridiculous notion that such a steep fee might serve as a deterrent is laughable there are rarely more than two snow emergencies per year. (Maybe the city”s $3.75 million budget deficit this year has something to do with it). If the city wants to enact other revenue-earning schemes, signs should be posted on every street warning student residents.

The City Council and other City Hall hooligans should hang their heads in shame and remember that without the 35,000 University students, Ann Arbor would be nothing more than a rust-belt carcass.

Scott M. Behnan

LSA senior

Saltsman”s argument against transgender bathrooms

demonstrates ignorance

To the Daily:

I write to thank the Daily for its fair-minded coverage of the installation of transgender bathrooms on campus (Unisex bathroom creates alternative for people in need, 1/24/02).

However, Mike Saltsman”s letter in response to this article (Transgender bathrooms make life “uncomfortable, 1/25/02), is both distressing and ill-informed. Saltsman”s argument against transgender bathrooms (or in his words, “gay bathrooms”) is built upon a foundation of misunderstanding and ignorance. Transgender bathrooms are a step in the direction of providing protection and safety for all members of our campus community. A fundamental ideal of our University community is to provide a safe and respectful environment for all people regardless of how “typical” (in Saltsman”s words) they may or may not be.

I won”t build an elaborate counter argument in this letter I will simply invite Saltsman, along with the rest of the campus community, to join the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community for its celebration of Queer Visibility Week (February 3 through February 16). Perhaps if Saltsman joined our community in one of the events of the week, he could learn why transgender bathrooms are a necessary development in our changing society, as well as understand the day-to-day struggles of being an LGBT person. The purpose of this week is to bring individuals together so that we might learn from one another and prevent similarly ignorant outbursts in the future.

Jim Leija

School of Music Senior

The letter writer is the co-chair of the Michigan Student Assembly”s LGBT Commission

How did the Daily get bin Laden to write Op/Ed piece?

To the Daily:

How did you manage to get Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush to write for your newspaper (Jihad! Tora Bora and Texan style, 2/1/02)?

Of first importance is the bin Laden angle. If you know how to contact him, it is important that you let the proper authorities know where he is. I understand journalistic integrity, but this guy is responsible for a lot of evil. I”m sure that your colleagues in the press will forgive you for selling out a source, especially if the source is the world”s most wanted man. (I hesitate to call him a man. He doesn”t act like one.)

Of second importance is the meaning. What Bush wrote seems to have been intentionally sarcastic and perhaps the same can be said for what bin Laden wrote. I think it irresponsible of Bush to have written as he did, even if it was satirical. Did you tell bin Laden to write a satire peace as well?

Either way, publishing these two pieces was damaging to the unity of this nation, united against terrorism. I”ve never considered bin Laden to be a guy with much of a sense of humor, and most people will take his Op/Ed as being very serious. If they consider it to be serious, they may consider Bush to be serious too. In that case, people might be more united against bin Laden, who sounds very insulting towards Americans, but some people might turn against Bush. That”s dangerous for our unity.

Still, you have a duty as an American to let the proper authorities know where bin Laden is at. I”m sure that the FBI and CIA have already contacted you and I hope that you aid them. If you don”t, you are clearly siding with the terrorists and undermining all the great things that Bush has done for us. If anything more happens to Americans while you are protecting a terrorist, you will be partially if not totally to blame.

If you have complied, congratulations for standing tall as Americans. And congratulations to the staff for finding and contacting bin Laden. Whoever is responsible for that should be proud.

Daniel Quinn

Reader

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