The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 01, 1991, Page 5, Image 5

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    Readers differ on war topics, voice opinions on sexism
Thin skin prompts
reader’s allegation
of sexism in DN
J.M. MacMillan desperately needs
to lighten up (DN, Feb, 26). Despite
the warning bells that may be clang
ing for the politically impeccable,
this continuation heading was neither
the carefully premeditated ploy of a
male-dominated newspaper to under
mine the integrity ofUNL women nor
an oversight of a villainous sexist
It was an abbreviation — nothing
more or less, containing no oppres
sive hidden meanings, not written
because the “She Said” side was
deemed less important The incidence
of such “offensive” abbreviations stems
most often not from sexism, but from
journalistic procedure practiced by
both men and women.
MacMillan’s letter, though short,
revealed that, despite David Dalton’s
hopes, our campus is not removed
from those who act as watchdogs for
any small word or phrase construable
as sexist. Yes, discrimination does
exist — the UNMC incident is a par
ticularly grotesque example — but
discrimination can’tbe and shouldn’t
be as rampant as to lock the most
innocuous abbreviation into a pre
sumption of guilt. MacMillan’s ideas
unfairly push all speech into the camp
of the committed bigot, leaving even
the most unbigoted people stammer
ing to justify their slights against
political correctness.
Since I am a woman, why was I not
offended by the “He Said” heading?
Aside from the reason that I didn’t
notice it at first, I wasn’t offended
because the heading could have been
offensive only to those with skin much
thinner than mine. A man's or a
woman’s attestations of strength are
no good when an incident like this
reveals his or her fragility. Sexism
does exist, but “He Said” is not an
example of it.
If your integrity as a person was
indeed undermined by the-heading,
MacMillan, then the problem isn’t
with the heading — the problem lies
under your thin skin.
Maren Chaloupka
political science
UNMU Officials
missing point
of sexism charges
As women graduate students at
this university, we too would like to
express our support for Carey Nesmith
and Jo Falkenburg, the first-year
medical students who spoke up about
sexist practices in the medical school.
We would also like to comment about
some of the arguments that the male
administrators at UNMC have made.
The point is NOT that the female
students have a chance to learn cer
tain procedures later in their educa
tion. The point is that male and fe
male students don’t learn the proce
dures in the same way at the same
time and that female students are
dismissed from class while male stu
dents can stay or leave. The point is
NOT that female students can set up
times outside of class to learn the
procedures. How feasible is it for
someone who goes to school all day
and studies all night to set up addi
tional time with an instructor to learn
something that they should learn during
class time with the men? Not only
that, but the women would have to
find a volunteer to be the “patient” for
their instruction, which seems ridicu
lous. The point is NOT that male and
female students arc uncomfortable
with disrobing in front of each other
and doing the procedures. I’m sure
that with a minimum of effort, that
problem could be taken care of. How
about a room partition so that men
could be on one side and women on
the other? I bet there might even
already be one there. Perhaps the
instructors could find some volun
teers to be “patients” so that both
sexes could learn procedures that arc
generally performed on the opposite
sex. It is our understanding that people
arc often paid by UNMC to do just
that. . ,
It is fairly clear to us that learning
the rectal and pelvic exams is not the
difficult part of the training. The dif
ficult part is getting used to and
comfortable with examining private/
sensitive areas of the body. If this is
the case, then the male students have
a definite advantage down the road in
their training. And one more thing. It
is obvious that there are more males
than females in medical school.
Women are only beginning to over
come sexism in this country. There
are a lot more women in medical *
school now than there were even a
decade ago. The first-year medical
school class is about two-thirds male
and one-third female. Can you seri
ously say that it is OK for one-third of
a class to be barred from learning a
procedure? What kind of education is
that? What other discrimination is
going on over there at the medical
All of the medical students should
learn the same procedures in the same
manner at the same time and be able
to make the same choices to partici
pate. It is simple common sense.
We can only hope that Carey and
Jo are not being harassed for doing
the right thing. Unfortunately, the
chances are that life has been very
difficult for them lately. Hang in there,
Carey and Jo!
Jeri Thompson
Jane Howard
Tamara Daily
Renee Michael
Michele Krueger
graduate students
Claudia Price-Decker
administrative technician
psychology department
shouldn’t criticize
military for war
This letter is in response to Lisa
Donovan’s column regarding opposi
tion to the troops (DN, Feb. 19) and
the debate it has engendered. I must
confess I did not read Donovan’s
column. I did, however, read the couple
of letters that followed it. While I
admit at the outset that I’m not the
most intelligent guy in the world (I’m
also probably “irresponsible, impu
dent and narrow-minded as well’*), I
don’t think I’m so out of touch with
what the average American thinks
about the war and one’s duty to serve
one’s country.
You see, Lisa and Chas Baylor, we
average Americans don’t have the
luxury of your education, your so
phistication or your time to sit back
and reflect on the morality of war.
The soldiers in Operation Desert Storm
are fulfilling what they basically be
lieve to be their unqualified patriotic
duty. Even if these “pawns” had ac
cess to the same information that lead
you to the conclusion that this was an
unjust war, they likely would not have
availed themselves of it, being more
concerned about such trivial matters
as putting food on the table. These
average Americans serving in our
armed forces, lacking your obvious,
keen insight, may even believe this
war is based upon a just cause. Does
this belief exculpate them in your
While the soldiers may lack the
sophistication necessary to objectively
evaluate the justness of the cause for
which they serve, George Bush, on
the other hand, is sophisticated, edu
cated, and has had the lime to reflect.
If you must blame someone, at least
blame those who really are respon
sible. Blaming the soldiers for the
war makes as little sense as blaming
the messenger for the message.
The analogy to the Nuremberg trials,
I’d like to note, is so completely with
out merit that I’m surprised someone
so dang intelligent would have men
tioned it. We, the allies in World War
II, tried for war crimes only those
German and Japanese military offi
cials who were in positions of respon
sibility to order the commission of
heinous atrocities, or those who actu
ally committed them. We did not
hold every soldier of the German army
responsible for the policies of Hitler.
Moreover, the violations of the Ge
neva convention and breaches of inter
national law were the heinous atroci
ties about which we were concerned,
not the mere participation in the war
From all indications, the war in the
Persian Gulf has been executed with
the utmost deference to the laws of
war and compassion for the “pawns”
on the other side who were no more
responsible for the breakdown in
diplomacy than our “pawns.” Gen
eral Schwartzkopf has done one hell
of a job, not only to the extent of
trying to minimize casualties on our
side but also to ensure humane treat
ment of our adversaries. Do not criti
cize General Schwartzkopf or I might
be moved to violence. He’s a hell of a
general and a leader for whom I’d be
willing to fight and die.
I am no hawk, but I hope my
fellow doves have taken notice of
Schwartzkopf’s demeanor during the
briefings he has delivered. The man
nearly broke down describing how
the small number of U.S. casualties
would not seem a miracle to those
families whose sons and daughters
have died in this war. Moreover, he
has stated on more than one occasion
that, were it up to him, this war would
never have started. He still directed
this war, as was his duty, but to ac
complish the mission with the maxi
mum possible concern for the welfare
of the troops.
This is as it should be. Our mili
tary, which is based on the military
philosophy of Karl von Klauswitz, is
not itself political but is a tool of the
political leaders of our country. My
point is that if you want to engage in
finger-pointing, point at Congress and
the President, because, once told to
fight, it is not up to the military to
evaluate the cause; they ’ll be too busy
trying not to get killed.
Gregory R. Coffey
College of Law
Header ignorant
of U.S. generals;
they’re not wimps
I’m writing in response to a letter
by Chas Baylor (DN, Feb. 27). Obvi
ously Chas is just another peacenik,
along with Lisa Donovan and Gary
Hanna. Chas said that Gen. Colin
Powell could have “quietly protested”
going to war, and that Air Force Gen.
Dugan made statements about U.S.
plans, and got Fired because he didn’t
agree with the war. Boy, do you have
a brain, or are you just ignorant?
First, Gen. Colin Powell and Gen.
Dugan are career military men. They
are not the wimps with whom you
associate, like Gaty Hanna. Gen. Colin
Powell had two combat tours in Viet
nam. Now come on, if he didn’t think
the war in the gulf was unjust, do you
think he would have volunteered for
two years in Vietnam, which even he
declares as a war that we lost? Sec
ond, maybe you should do a little
more research and thinking before
you write letters, because Gen. Dugan
was fired because he advocated the
i U.S. Air Force bombing Saddam, his
I family and his mistress, not because
he said, “No blood for oil.”
So you see, Chas, your dim view
of the world, along with your bud
dies, is more totalitarian than my view
or Richard Schmidt’s. We don’t spread
lies and make up stories to fit our
beliefs, as you have done.
Jonathan Shricr
Russian and international affairs
Atrocity of war
can’t be equal
to moral action
Before the Persian Culf war started,
I opposed it with ail of my being.
After it started, I grieved, cried and
tried to cope with overwhelming waves
of horror at the daily depictions on
television. I never wrote a letter to a
newspaper or congressman about my
concerns although I thought about it.
I didn’t go to a peace rally, but thought
about it. It all seemed so futile.
The day the war ended I finally
went to a peace vigil, pushed over the
edge by our unresponsiveness to peace
overtures. Today the war is over. The
country is celebrating “victory” and I
feel nausea. I am nauseated by one of
our generals standing on television
and gloating over the vanquished,
leaving no shred of dignity as a human
being for our defeated foe. I am ap
palled at the “We really kicked butt”
jubilation. I grieve the human car
nage, destruction of property and rape
of the environment. I cannot ever
visualize this atrocity as a “moral”
action, and I say this fully aware of
the government information telling
us how bad the enemy was and why
we needed to engage in this war.
As far as I'm concerned, the poor
and underprivileged have again been
the pawns of elitist goals. We call
ourselves civilized, but in my view
we behaved like high-tech barbari
ans. I think I may have been afraid to
say how I feel for fear of the reaction
of pro-war individuals, but I realize
that I want to be known for how I see
this war regardless of the response.
We supposedly were fighting for free
dom, so it is ironic that those who
oppose the war are criticized for
exercising their freedom by opposing
war. It seems that war crushes the
very things it is supposed to be achiev
ing. To me, war will never be a solu
tion. Man’s inhumanity to man is not
right or good, and never will be.
Martha Barrett Metroka
graduate student
Victory over Iraq
should silence
left-wing voices
And so the thing is done. Done too,
I’m afraid, are the fondest hopes of
the blame-America-first crowd of the
left As “longtime peace activist”
Patrick Lacefield recently wrote in
the Village Voice, Feb. 19, “The left
in this country is in sorry shape if its
politics can only be vindicated by
American defeat and disaster.”
Casualties mounting in a chronic,
inconclusive conflict; continuing,
massive demonstrations in major cit
ies; doubts about the competency and
commitment of our military forces;
and above all, the widespread convic
tion that America is the principal locus
of evil in the world (in short, a reprise
of the 1960s). None of these manifes
tations of ‘another Vietnam” so breath
lessly awaited by some on the left are
going to occur. (There’ll be massive
demonstrations, all right, trying to
put Desert Storm personnel on their
So put away your field jackets and
clenched-fist stencils, folks, it ain’t
gonna happen this go-round. And you
might consider dropping that silly
two-fingered “peace” sign. In six short
weeks, it has come full circle to its
original 1945 meaning — victory.
Henry Eugene Brass
Music & Dance of SumatraT^^^
Aceh & Minangkabau
Festival of Indonesia In Performance
Twes., MarchS 8:00p.m. Lied Center
Tickets: $ 18, $ 14. $ 10 UNL Students & Youth: $9. $7. $5
Experience the fantastic artistic traditions from the distant land of Sumatra.
Ancient martial arts, "body music” with finger snaps, loot-stamps, skips and
claps, plus intense dance and hauntingly beautiful music—all performed by a
new generation of artists.
Ping Chong
Tues., March 19 8:00 p.m.
Wed., March 20 2:00 & 8:00 p.m.
Johnny Carson Theater
Tickets: $10
UNL Students & Youth: $5
A feast for your eyes. ears, and soul. Ping
Chong's outrageous comedy follows the
friendship of six urban characters from child
hood through college. Simple enough, except
one character is a good-guy gorilla named
Bu//. An engaging story that dares you to step
off the edge of reality into another world.
Good seats still available!
Call 402/472-4747
Lied Center Box Office
12th & ‘R’ Streets
Open Mon.-Fri.
11 - 5:30 p.m. uNivmmt«MmiiiA.uNooii«
"With Ihr »up|MMl of Ihr Nebraska Ana Council.
"Made poaelblr In pan by a gram from ihr National Endowment for ihr Arta,
a federal agency.