The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 19, 1988, Page 4, Image 4

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I Nebraskan
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Curt Wagner, Editor, 472-1766
Mike Reilley, Editorial Page Editor
i Diana Johnson, Managing Editor
Lee Rood, Associate News Editor
Bob Nelson, Wire Page Editor
Andy Pollock, Columnist
Micki Haller, Entertainment Elditor
Opinions unfair
Post-rape exams re-victimize victims
jri is 1 a.m. The buttons of her blouse are pissing, the
I material is tom from her shoulder. Tears mark trails on
-**her dirty faee. She has driven to the police station to
report a rape.
But that’s not enough.
In Nebraska, she will not be granted a juiy trial unless
she can provide collaborating evidence of the rape, says
Thomas Shanahan, Nebraska Supreme Court judge.
Within 24 hours of the alleged rape, she must undergo a
physical exam. Hair and fingernail scrapings must be
taken as evidence of the assailant and ail body orifices
must be swabbed. The clothing she was wearing at the
rime of the assault must be taken by the police as evi
Some dl winded uninformed people that m
alleged rape v* * “ revenge on
EHSL &■<«
a woman s or j ajmsuy
a furthering into the]
Once vii Victim!
rcpmthe^sex ^ ttotlsf
Andis only in Nebraska that rape victims must jhow
further evidence of the assault. All other states have J
updated ibis precedent to include individual representation
as substantial evidence of the assault
The requirement for evidence is not a part of Nebraska
statutes, Shanahan says. It stands only because of judicial
opinions that support it
It still stands that all defendants are innocent until
proven guilty.
But if rape victims were no longer forced to supply
collaborating evidence of the assault, perhaps victims
would be more likely to report the incident to the police.
for Urn Path Nebraska*
Gay rights activist confused with caption
As an advocate for gay people and
a journalism major, it confused me to
read the caption with the photo of
people participating in National
Coming Out Day (DN, Oct. 12).
The caption implied that the
people in the photo, one of whom was
myself (the one not holding the sign),
were “members of UNL’s gay/les
bian population
However, if the photographer had
checked with us instead of assuming,
which is bad journalism, he would
have learned that not everyone there
was a “coming out” gay man or les
bian woman. I was there because I
was a “coming out” straight person.
Coming Out Day’s purposes
weren’t only to increase the visibility
of a population of more than 20 mil
lion people in the United States, but
also to show respected and famous
gay men and lesbians and to educate
the public of the oppression that gay
people endure. On that day, and
throughout history during other
events, parents of gay sons and les
bian daughters, the children ol gay
parents and friends, like myself, have
publicly introduced themselves as
supporters of gay men and lesbians.
It's a misconception that only gay
people arc fighting for the rights and
respect that other cultures receive.
There are many straight people fight
ing beside them. But because they are
labeled as being gay or lesbian for
their support, their number is far less
than that of gay people.
Still, straight supporters exist and
should be recognized, just as the gay
protesters are. It’s my belief that the
existence of gay people and straight
people working together is the sole
purpose of the gay movement. Gay
people can’t stop fear and ignorance
without the help of others and while
hidden and ignored behind the walls
of a closet.
Amie DcFrain
news-editorial and member
Gay/Lesbian Student Organization
Critics should judge movie, not Elvis
If I am not mistaken, Michael
Deeds and William Rudolph are sup
posed to be movie critics, not criticiz
es of a man’s life. Elvis Presley was
an extremely talented man who be
came trapped by his fame. He became
a vie till of that fame and suffered
becatBe of it. He paid for it with his
life. All ihal I’m saying is critique the
movie and stop judging other
people’s lives. I’m sure that both of
you are far from perfect. After all,
“Let’s be real, here.”
James Ingles
"The Auntie N, AuntieN”i
coper vatnc attire for that
First Lady Vamp
OriffinalW worn by Cher
wren she dated the ftl.33 bassist.
Poor selection generates doubt
Columnist says election ‘firsts’ may damage America’s future
For the first time in 20 years, we
are observing a presidential
election that does not involve a
sitting president
heartbreaker to Nixon/Agnew has the
nation had to guess about what two
unknowns would do. Millions of
Americans, myself included, have
never voted in a contest that did not
ask us to evaluate the actual perform
ance of one of the candidates in light
of the promises of his challenger.
Another interesting statistic,
though basically irrelevant to this
column, is that it has been since 19S2
— when Dwight Eisenhower faced
off against Adlai Stephenson—that a
presidential election has not involved
a sitting president or sitting vice presi
dent. The great majority of Ameri
cans have never voted in a race be
tween two complete outsiders.
This year bom are challengers, and
we aren’t quite sure how to handle it.
This is one reason the election has
seemed so strange. It is also the main
reason, I think, that we have not been
able to evaluate the issues that ought
to make a difference, and have been
susceptible to such bogus issues.
As a pre-election service, I will
spend this week and the next on issues
that are real ones, whether we realize
it or not. This week I look at a few
unadulterated real issues, and next
week I will examine what I call “yes,
but” issues. You’ II have to check back
next Wednesday to find out what that
But here arc three matters that
strike me as much more important
than many people want to consider
•The “L Word”/ACLU Contro
versy. Many want to label this a “non
issue,” and Michael Dukakis has
spent much energy combating the
politics of label-pinning. But labels
are important, particularly if they
stick. It makes a difference to me if
the label on my new shirt says “100
percent cotton.” It tells me something
about how the shirt is made, and how
I can expect it to react in certain
situations. And what baby-boomer
has not grown up singing, “Look for
the Union Label?”
So why is Dukakis so worried
about labels all of a sudden? Espe
cially labels that he complains about
but refuses to denouncer I can only
think of one reason why he should be
so concerned about the labels Bush
wishes to pin on him. He is worried
that, if people believe the label fits,
they will not vote for him.
And this is why the label issue is a
real issue. If Dukakis’ being a liberal
(a la Ted Kennedy or Walter Mon
dale) or a card-carrying member of
the ACLU is enough to make millions
of Americans decide against voting
for him, what could be more of an
issue than that?
If Bush is right, and these labels
represent a departure from the main
stream of American sentiment, then
Dukakis must cither admit that he is
such a departure, or summarily reject
the stands behind the labels — and
demonstrate that his past political
record need not be a concern to those
for whom these labels are unaccept
• National Health Insurance. The
Republican party has continued
steadfastly in its refusal to admit that
the lime is long overdue for the United
Stales to take responsibility for the
health care of its citizens. Bush be
moans the fact that so many Ameri
cans cannot afford to buy their own
homes, while ignoring the fact that
many more Americans cannot even
afford to buy their own hospitaliza
Dukakis has been emphasizing the
issue of national health insurance
since the campaign began, and very
few have paid any attention to him.
His stunning story at the first debate
—about a lather who had to refuse his
son’s request to participate in high
school athletics because he could not
afford to buy the insurance needed —
should strike at every compassionate
heiut in the county. That it did not
strike at Bush's is disturbing to me.
The Republicans tell us that such
insurance would cost too much. It
can’t possibly cost more than the
combined thievery of private hospi
talization and obscene health care
costs do now. What is the ditterence
between spending a fortune on a na
tionalized health program and spend
ing a fortune on a private health pro
gram? The only differences I can see
is that the former would be more fair,
would probably rise less dramatically
and would make sure that everyone
could afford to get sick or hurl.
•The Ultimate Issue. I have writ
ten before that I prefer a good presi
dent to a strong one (and that is why I
voted for Carter in 1980), but it 1
cannot have the former I would lake
the latter over a weak president (and
that is why l closed my eyes, clenched
my fists, and voted for Reagan in
1984). This year I even do not have
that choice. I see neither candidate as
promising goodness or strength, so I
must go to the last two choices in the
hierarchy—weakness and detriment.
Would I rather have a president
who will undoubtedly be weak, or one
who could quite possibly be bad? I
think that Bush would be weak. He
would get pushed around, and he
would fail to continue the Reagan
chutzpah. However, I do not think he
woula be especially bad. Amcricacan
survive a weak president — we have
done it before. I am not sure we could
survive a bad one.
Ana tnat is wnai gives me
about Dukakis. I am afraid that he is
just out of touch enough to do some
real harm. One example must suificc.
Dukakis keeps talking about how bad
the economy is. Now, either he be
lieves that or he doesn T. If he docsn l,
then he is a liar. If he docs, then he is
out of touch. The plight of the poor
and homeless notwithstanding — and
it is a serious, serious issue — the tact
is that the economy of this country is
in the best shape it has been in for
If Dukakis gets in and starts push
ing buttons and flipping levers, wc
could see double-digit inflation, in
terest rales, and unemployment again
before the end of his term. And that is
Certainly weak or very possibly
bad. The choice is yours, America.
And remember—you could have had
a race between Bob Dole and Jesse
Sennett is a graduate student in philoso
phy and Is a Dally Nebraskan editorial col