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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Chill out and solve a real problem!

    I was very surprised at Mr. Hathaway’s article yesterday (“”More human than humans?””). While I have seen some very strange articles grace the pages of the Daily Wildcat in the past, I have never been quite so baffled by one. How can Mr. Hathaway honestly argue that cartoons featuring animals with human tendencies can be a threat in any way? Mr. Hathaway argues that these anthropomorphic movies distract us from the big questions, like “”Why am I here?””, yet he fails to realize that it is not, nor has it ever been, the job of DreamWorks Animation to provoke such deep inner thoughts. It’s a family movie for crying out loud. If every movie was based in deep reflective, thought on the essence of being human children would suffer a rather bleak childhood. It’s not as if the market is saturated with nothing but these type of films. If you want to do some soul searching after you watch a movie, watch a deeper movie (“”No Country for Old Men”” was quite good). To assume children are at risk because they watch “”Winnie The Pooh,”” however, is ludicrous. I got by on a steady diet of Pooh Bear when I was young and I assure you it has in no way damaged my ability to “”unravel the mystery of being human.”” If anything, creating human-like animals in the occasional fantasy helps us reflect on very human characteristics we are usually too blind or proud to see. The fact that Mr. Hathaway sees anthropomorphic animation as a threat to the lines that separate humans and animals suggests a lack of confidence in one of those very things that sets humans aside; our ability to use logic and reason. Even a mere child is more than capable of understanding bugs don’t really talk, unless terribly mislead by an adult. The truth is Mr. Hathaway is right when he says we “”have bigger issues to address and solve.”” So chill out, leave the children’s movies alone, and get working on them.

    Brett Thompson
    history freshman


    Anthropomorphism just metaphor

    After reading “”More human than humans?””, yesterday’s opinions column by Mike Hathaway, I can only hope that Mike was trying to follow the style of Jonathan Swift, otherwise the strength of hate he expounded to a benign subject would be horrifying. At worst, anthropomorphism is an annoying but harmless gimmick used by the media to get customers. To hear Mike talk about anthropomorphism, one might believe that it is responsible for the demise of our humanity. He is so radical as to suggest we should, “”Take a humanized stuffed animal or figurine – rip its head off. Deface posters showing these repulsive anthropomorphs.”” What Mike fails to realize is that anthropomorphs are just a metaphor for humans and human problems. Metaphors than can give us new ways to look at the human condition. Furthermore, anthropomorphs show us that other animals share some of the same traits as humans, feeling pain and sadness for example, and foster compassion in us for animals. As the species which most impacts the environment of Earth, it is good to have compassion for the animals that depend on us. Mike, however, does not feel that metaphors or compassion for animals are good. He wants his precious bodily fluids of humanity to be uncontaminated by anthropomorphism. Well, Mike may wish to live in a Dr. Strangelove universe, but as for me, I think Mike’s view is far too extreme for such a benign subject.

    Tiffany Shucart
    engineering physics sophomore


    Men’s involvement critical to end violence

    Acclaimed author, feminist, scholar and activist Bell Hooks once wrote that, after hundreds of years of anti-racist struggle, more than ever before non-white people are currently calling attention to the primary role white people must play in anti-racist struggle. The same is true of the struggle to eradicate sexism – men have a primary role to play. While these words were written with sexism in mind, the message is also true of both sexual and interpersonal violence; men must be involved in ending such violence. Violence against women remains the most underreported violent crime in the country, and most incidents involve men perpetrating against women; hence the aptly coined terminology. Rather than become defensive about the grim statistics, however, it is time for men to embrace a positive role in addressing the violence that harms us all.

    Indeed, men perpetrate sexual and interpersonal violence at alarmingly high rates compared to their female counterparts. Although much of this violence is aimed at women, we are also adept at harming, maiming and killing each other. To further compound this troubling news, men have higher rates of suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol at disproportionate levels compared to women and are incarcerated at higher rates than women. Taking all of these factors into consideration, it becomes apparent that men need to take a long collective look in the mirror. At the UA, a new student group called Men Against Violence has started to address some of the aforementioned issues by looking at how men are socialized to act and behave. In viewing violence as a learned behavior, men can begin to deconstruct the messages we are sold on a daily basis and work toward the realization of a more just, and far less violent, society. While we commit much of the violence in our society, it is also true that only a small portion of men are themselves violent. As such, and in reaching out to men in particular, we can begin to see men as partners in violence prevention.

    Hooks’ words allude to the power dynamic in contemporary society, affording some people privilege, while leaving others to face oppression. With this quote, Hooks reminds us that, as men, we have privileges that women do not. This power can be dangerous too, and is proven as seen every time a man assaults, beats or otherwise violates a woman. If men are able to conceptualize this power in terms of having social access and capital, however, it is possible, indeed it is imperative, to use it to gain justice and equity for others who have previously been marginalized. Such is the work undertaken by those involved in Men Against Violence. We are working towards a way for men to redefine what it means to be a man in a way that does not include being violent in any way, shape, or form. Furthermore, our group seeks to build upon the great work done by the feminist movement by recognizing that our liberation as men is wrapped tightly up with that of women.

    Elie Rabinowitz
    teaching and teacher education
    graduate student

    Zach Nicolazzo
    violence prevention specialist, Oasis Program for Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence

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