Letters to the Editor

    UCSD feminist groups promote harmful myths

    Editor:

    It has come to my attention that several groups on campus, such as the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, are promoting the dangerous myth that the vast majority of domestic violence victims are women.

    If you look at the Web site of just about any feminist organization, you’ll find the following statistic: 95 percent of domestic violence victims are women. Battered women’s shelters report this figure (which makes sense, considering that battered women’s shelters don’t accept men). This is clearly a biased number.

    So what’s the real number? Several studies, such as one by Strauss and Gelles, have been done, using a better approach: anonymous surveys. In survey after survey, it has been shown that women attack their partners at roughly the same rate as men. Yet, feminist organizations seek to cover up the truth and perpetuate myths.

    Events like April 15’s “Take Back the Night” work toward this goal. Such events don’t create awareness for violence against women — a terrible crime that people are already aware of. Instead, they hide 50% of the domestic violence problem by making it appear as if only women are victims.

    So why is this important?

    Feminist groups are seeking to create a society in which only men are arrested for domestic violence, even when they can also be the victims — a society in which violent women are viewed as victims regardless of the circumstances. For decades, these groups have tried to obtain this goal by “educating” police forces, judges and other people in power. And they’ve had success in the past: Just a decade ago, male victims who sought help from the police were routinely arrested and accused of being the abuser. Female abusers were rarely put in jail.

    But recent events are encouraging: Men’s rights groups have fought the feminists and are making progress — the situation for abused men is not as dire as it was a decade ago. There is still, however, work to be done. Only by refuting feminist myths can we gain equality for all.

    — Adam Bronstein

    John Muir College junior

    Thomson Learning continues exploitation

    Editor:

    The current state of the textbook industry is atrocious. Textbook companies are driving up the prices for students and taking advantage of their position in the market to gouge students. I am appalled at the underhanded methods that the textbook industry is using to keep their prices high. While it is true that textbooks need to be updated periodically, many textbook updates are simply unnecessary and serve only to suppress the used book market for students and to inconvenience faculty.

    Thomson Learning likes to claim that their products are driven by faculty demand. Hopefully, the fact that over 500 math professors from over 100 colleges and universities across the country are coming together to call for action will prompt Thomson Learning and other publishers to rethink their practices. Thomson also claims they are simply pricing to the market. This means they will simply keep ripping students off until someone stops them. I am an engineering student here and I can attest to high prices. A new copy of my Computer Architecture book cost $120 this quarter. I found the paperback international edition new on eBay for $33, including shipping. Fewer bells and whistles (i.e., CD-ROMs we never use, black and white printing, paperback covers) would cost publishers less money and result in fairer prices for students, as in the international market. It is perfectly reasonable to expect textbook publishers to produce useful books at fair prices.

    This is an issue affecting every student on this campus. I urge everyone to go to http://www.calpirgstudents.org and send a letter to Thomson Learning about their unfair publishing practices.

    — Lindsey DeSalvo

    Earl Warren College junior

    “Punk Voters” need more political savvy

    Editor:

    This article is for all you kids out there with the Clash and Velvet Underground t-shirts you charged on your dad’s credit card at Urban Outfitters. The ones that galvanize your buddies to join in anti-Republican chants. The same ones who’ve never watched an episode of “Crossfire,” picked up THE NEW YORK TIMES, or justified any legitimate stance on the current administration without quoting an Op Ivy song. Sorry, that’s right. You were too busy strategically pinning your black Jansports with safety pins to prove how “punk” you are.

    Oh, the irony of the institutionalization of anarchy USA. Original punk music was about freedom from societal confines, free thinking and a cathartic release for those who felt like the irrationality of the world was leading their generation into destruction. Punk was and still is a very dynamic social movement and the music is the voice. But at the recent UCSD-sponsored Punk Voter Tour, that voice was perverted by many belligerent concert-goers.

    I don’t want to belittle the music, but I think the venue did that for us. Free is free, but I didn’t know my UCSD ID afforded me some good old political indoctrination. So much for that punk free-thinking. Granted, Jello Biafra’s eloquent acrimony was well received considering the legitimacy he garnered from the epic Dead Kennedys. But the deluge of anachronistic CNN video clips from the first Gulf War juxtaposed with Fox News blurbs from last week were ridiculous, simply manipulating the soft minds of those black-nail-polished, spike-belted 16-year-olds into thinking that this ignorant government skepticism was actually their own.

    For the “liberals,” I suggest we compile a video of Carter and his decisions regarding the Ayatollah Khomeini. Perhaps JFK’s decisions at the Bay of Pigs that almost led us into a nuclear holocaust? To centralize the issues of a failing international structure, the decline of Pax-Americana on a president is almost ludicrous, but convenient. I understand I am over-simplifying. And true, I am a registered Republican and was a bit out of my milieu, but so were a lot of students in the crowd just out for some solid sets as an alternative to the stale silence of Geisel.

    I do not claim to be punk in any way, but I don’t support the abrasive outbursts of the crowd’s neo-conservatives either. All I am saying is, don’t be that guy. That guy screaming “F*ck Bush” ad nauseam, too sloppy to even register to vote. He was an embarrassment for those of us who oppose Bush on educated grounds. Progressive ideas are essential to the survival of the punk generation. Ignorant pugnacity is not punk. So instead of using those two hours it takes you to get that “I don’t give a fuck” mohawk or to memorize the life history of Sid Vicious, listen to those POLI 142K lectures, find out who Thomas Friedman is, and perhaps develop a rational solution to all that social angst.

    —Jacqueline N. Goodman

    Muir College Senior

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