The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 20, 1991 · Page 130
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October 20, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 130

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Sunday, October 20, 1991
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J-2EditOhaEs THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Sunday, October 20, 1991 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER arassment must be banished H WILLIAM J. KEATING Chairman and Publisher GEORGE R. BLAKE Editor, Vice President THOMAS E. DUNNING Managing Editor THOMAS S. GEPHARDT Associate Editor DARRYL W. EVERETT Vice President, Advertising WILLIAM R. JOHNSTON Vice President, Circulation MARK S. MIKOIAJCZYK Vice President, Production JAMES A. SCHWARTZ Vice President, Finance GERALD T. SILVERS Vice President, Marketing Services Fvl Robert Li" i A Gannett Newspaper Cincinnati's schools Governor's endorsement of levy reflects confidence in report Women are normally more sensitive than men. They're generally more compassionate, more empathetic, more nurturing. Exceptions abound, but they also tend to bruise more easily than men. God, in His wisdom, made them that way. Men, by contrast, tend often to be insensitive, even sometimes, it seems, purposefully. Some still look at women as playthings, as primarily sex objects even in the workplace. Promote respect The frequent exploitation of women in advertising, films and media generally scarcely aids the drive against sexual harassment. That's why a major aim of communications in all its forms should be to promote respect, rather than the opposite, for women. To be sure, some women permit themselves to be exploited sometimes pornographically, sometimes when driven by the alternative of poverty or need to support a drug habit. This writer will never forget the distraught woman who phoned one morning with the agonizing story of her teen-aged daughter whom she feared was not only into drugs but also pornography. All one could think of was to refer this mother to a Christian psychologist who worked with juveniles. The Senate hearing into Professor Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment against Judge Clarence Thomas, now confirmed for the Supreme Court, has sensitized the nation, of course, to the abuse of women in the workplace. Whatever the truth or falsity of her charges, employers should have a new conception of the prevalence of sexual harassment. So, presumably, do members of Congress, still exempt from civil-rights law applying to the rest of the nation. Any civil-rights law enacted this session should clearly cover the thousands of congressional employees, many of them women. Three members of the House none from the Tristate were accused Governor Voinovich's endorsement of the proposed 9.83-mill levy for Cincinnati Public Schools comes as yet more evidence of the new confidence the Buenger Commission reforms have instilled in their future. Normal ly, governors dqn't endorse local levies, but the Buenger report so impressed Governor Voinovich he threw his support to this one. Clearly all interests in the Cincinnati School District should pull together, not only to, pass the levy but to pass it by the heaviest majority possible. The word should, go out that Cincinna- Voinovich tians are bucking the national trend of deteriorating school systems, that they plan reforms as thorough, drastic and historic as those by which they once reformed municipal government. Justus the home-rule charter adoption in' 1926 brought a new dawn to City Hall, so the Buenger reforms promise not only statewide but also national recognition for Cincinnati schools. Those reforms in organization, management and maintenance, thankfully, have the strong support, so essential, of the school board and new superintendent, J. Michael Brandt. They have the support, as well, of many community groups and Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of the Voter interest hinges Neediest Kids Sponsors ooen 40th camoaien to court." President Bush, House Minority Leader Robert H. Michel of Illinois and many businessmen backed a provision in the civil-rights bill this year providing up to $150,000 in damages for harassment. Rep. Patsy T. Mink, D-Hawaii, held out for unlimited damages for all kinds of gender discrimination. "Times have changed since Title VII (of the 1964 Civil Rights Act) was first enacted," she said. "Millions and millions of women have gone into the workplace. . . . They are harassed, they are not given job opportunities, they are not given promotions, they are not considered equal at the job site." What Representative Mink said is doubtless true in many companies, but clearly not all. Even employers who insist on gender equality in hiring and promotion, however, may have more difficulty barring sexual harassment, especially if victims fail to speak up, as many do. Tougher provisions Tougher provisions against harassment in state and federal law will help, but so will employers who make it unmistakably clear to all concerned that offenders won't be tolerated, that they'll be punished swiftly and severely, that no excuses will suffice. Women employees can help by refusing to dress provocatively, but provocative dress is no excuse for harassment. Every potential offender might well ask himself whether he would want his mother, sister or daughter harassed. That might do more than anything else to make him more sensitive to and respectful of his co-workers of the opposite sex. But employer edicts and laws against harassment should be strict and rigorously enforced. Robert Webb is a member of The Enquirer's editorial board. on drama even in presidential campaigns to find himself so in extremis. Should we reorganize the presidential debates more along the lines of a Senate committee hearing? Actually, I believe the inherent drama of a black female law professor bringing allegations against a black Supreme Court nominee accounted for at least as much of the interest as was generated by any questioning by the senators themselves, though they of course came in for some close scrutiny by the public as well. In fact, the marshmallow questioning by senators such as Orrin Hatch was about as unexciting and unenlightening as the typical softball media questioning of candidates during a presidential campaign. Off-limits subjects Judge Clarence Thomas was severely tested by Anita Hill's progressively more explicit charges, but not as severely as he might have been had some subjects not been put off-limits such as his reported past interest in porn. Certainly some things should be off-limits. But perhaps this notion of a truly profound testing of candidates is what we have sorely missed in recent presidential campaigns and may help account for the lack of drama and the low voter turnout. In other words, perhaps what we truly seek in our political contests is not so much partisan confrontation as a true testing of candidates down to very depths of their souls. Tony Lang is an Enquirer staff colum nist. about this Not only did the low-cal rodents live longer, but they also did not get as sick as their gluttonous peers. Fifty-one percent of the chubby females got tumors after 24 months, as compared to 17 of their slimmer sisters. The rates for meaty males were worse: All the tubbies got tumors, as opposed to 17 for the more slender models. The blahs Bronson and his sponsors include the usual scientific cautions in their recent report on this so-called experiment. You can't infer much about humans from rats, the physiology of mice is poorly understood, more study is needed, blah, blah, blah. Forget it. The handwriting is on the wall. What's good for mice and rats will soon be recommended as good for you. You have been warned. Let your congressmen know where you stand. They have probably bounced enough checks stuffing themselves at fancy restaurants to know where you're coming from. Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Minnesota, is a columnist for the Saint Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. to help the community's young in 1988 alone of sexual harassment. But they were exempt from litigation. The most publicized was a Peace Corps volunteer's charge that Rep. Gus Savage, D-Ill., made sexual demands on her during his trip to Africa. The House Ethics Committee expressed disapproval of his conduct, but took no further action. In another case that year, Rep. Jim Bates, D-Calif., who has since left Congress, was accused of harassment by two female aides. His main accuser, Dorena Bertussi, became the first House employee to file a sexual-harassment charge with the House Ethics Committee. Her initial complaint was rejected because it wasn't notarized. Her second, properly filed, was ignored for nearly a year. Finally, a year ago this month, the committee sent Bates a "letter of reprov-al." Accepting the committee action, Bates said, "Times are changing. Members of Congress will be carefully scrutinized (henceforth) on personal and professional behavior." Times are indeed changing. Many women are thankfully becoming bolder, more assertive and more courageous. With complaints of sexual harassment increasing, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) last spring moved "admirably to reduce to as few as 30 days procedures for processing complaints. Formerly, a complainant could wait up to two years for EEOC action. EEOC Chairman Evan J. Kemp Jr. branded sexual harassment "the crime of discrimination which keeps on hurting. No time should be wasted in protecting its victims and bringing an employer who harasses Jony Lang and we haven't had a really exciting one since the televised Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960, which also happens to be the peak year for voter turnout in presidential elections since the 1920s. Since the Thomas-Hill confrontation demonstrated that sexual politics can totally energize the American public even during pro baseball's pennant playoffs, I assume political operatives now are busy trying to figure out how they can crank this intensity into next year's coming presidential campaign. But confrontational sexual politics is no automatic guarantee of a higher voter turnout, and it hardly seems a likely way to unify the country or generate good will. Not to mention the fact that many present incumbents seem unable to ask even simple questions on the subject of sexual harassment or abortion without bringing down a rain of ridicule and scorn on their heads. But can presidential candidates or any candidates for that matter hold the attention of the American public for very long without polarizing confrontation? Let's face it: We all love a good contest, and most of us don't get really interested till very late when the stakes are raised. In Clarence Thomas' case, had Anita Hill's charges been able to stick, he really would have been a dead man to all intents and purposes. He really was fighting for his life. It is rare for a U.S. candidate must hear t t Not only did the low-cal rodents live longer, but they also did not get as sick as their gluttonous peers. J J Now you know. Bronson has been putting helpless mice and rats on a forced diet at government expense. You say you care not a whit about what rats get to eat. You say you don't see why a mouse should be spared the kind of experience Tommy Lasorda or Kathie Lee Gifford babble incessantly about in extolling the virtues of your drinking a watery, colloidal milkshake twice a day. You say you feel safe sprawled on your sofa, conducting your own research as to precisely how many carbohydrates can be ingested during four quarters of football or one 30-minute soap opera. Pay attention, bubba, Dr. Bronson is coming to get you. See, the little critters who were put on the low-calorie diet wound up living 29 longer than those Bronson allowed to eat as they wished. By the time half the rats and mice on the forced fast had died of old age, all of the buck-toothed gnawers on the eat-all-you-can plan had long since gone to the Big Mousetrap in the sky. i T Cincinnati Archdiocese. Explaining his unusual endorsement of the levy, Governor Voinovich said, "In the case of Cincinnati, the business community did something that is extraordinary. They (business lead ers) made a major commitment to look at that system, and they came back with recommendations on how it can be reformed, how dollars can be better spent and how the quality of education can be improved." He was struck, as well, that "every candidate for the school board, for the most part, has subscribed to the implementation of that program." Furthermore, Governor Voinovich cited the Cincinnati initiative as the kind the State Board of Education and state school superintendent "should be encouraging in local communities." The governor's support, then, was based at least partly on his desire to call attention to the Cincinnati reform effort as one for schools across the state to emulate. The school board and superintendent should implement the reforms as soon as possible. By their example, Cincinnatians may make a difference not only in the schools of one district but in many, across Ohio and the nation. est Kids came to the rescue. No school sounds a trumpet when a child is helped this way. But those who see poverty's blows firsthand, who see children at the thin, barren edge of existence, are grateful for the difference Neediest Kids makes. Sometimes it is the difference between staying in or dropping out of school. One school staffer tells this story: "We had a very sad situation after the holiday season. A first-grade student's coat was either lost, stolen or misplaced. The child's mother called the school in tears because of the severe cold weather. Fortunately, NKOA enabled us to quickly purchase the child a new coat." Some 428 public and parochial schools in the Tristate participated in Neediest Kids last school year, when donors generously gave almost $431,000. The needs are no less now. Checks or money orders, payable to Neediest Kids of All, may be sent to Neediest Kids of All, P.O. Box 31477, Cincinnati, Ohio 45231. things were equal, the advantage is in being close to downtown. That can be mutually advantageous. The downtown location means that the games may draw out-of-town-ers who are staying in downtown hotels and looking for an entertaining way to spend time. Similarly, Riverfront Coliseum is centralized enough to be convenient for local patrons. At the same time, downtown restaurants and hotels need the boost that varied entertainment offers. The arts center planned for the Sixth and Walnut block will be a major attraction. But Cincinnati is a great sports town as well. We hope arenaball in downtown Cincinnati adds one more success to that tradition. The kid may need glasses, a pair of shoes or a coat as cold weather hits. Or the need may be an enriching educational experience. Whatever the heed, Neediest Kids of All (NKOA) is there. So it's vital to give to the Neediest Kids campaign, now beginning its 40th consecutive year and expected to end next February. The program began as a Christmas party for underprivileged children in downtown Cincinnati. Funds left from the party were used for otherwise-unmet needs of the poor. Tristate residents have given generously ever since to the annual Neediest campaigns. Every cent goes to help a boy or girl in the Tristate. All expenses and administrative costs of the campaign are paid by its sponsors, The Enquirer and WKRCQ102 radio stations. Funds are dispensed mainly by area schools and serve needs met by no other source. Typical were two little sisters who needed glasses but whose parents couldn't afford them. Needi What's wrong with this picture? Supposedly many Americans don't think their vote counts for much anymore, right? Only half of those eligible vote in presidential elections, right? Americans supposedly are apathetic about government, right? OK, so an obscure Oklahoma law professor accuses a Supreme Court nominee of committing verbal sexual harassment against her 10 years ago, and suddenly the whole country is glued to the tube watching Judiciary Committee hearings, and senators are flooded with more constituent mail than they received over the Persian Gulf war. Go figure. Busy, busy, busy I was receiving phone calls myself from readers griping they had been try-' ing to telephone their senators for days and could never break through the busy signals. If the American electorate supposedly believes their vote is like spitting in the ocean and that fat-cat PAC lobbyists own Congress, why were Americans dialing for days for a chance to tell their senators how to vote on a conservative Supreme Court nominee for an already solidly conservative court and who, had he been defeated, would simply have been replaced with a nominee even more conservative? Maybe those citizens weren't calling to tell their senators how to vote. Maybe some were calling just to tell him he's a jerk or that they are furious at Congress. But clearly this one hit America's hot button. Candidates can go through entire presidential contests without ever achieving this kind of public intensity. About the only thing approaching it that I can think of is a make-or-break presidential debate, Congress BY ARTHUR CAPLAN Knight News Service Roderick T. Bronson, a researcher at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, is using government money your tax dollars to support a cruel experiment that can only produce a result that will make your life miserable. Yet no congressional inquiries are be-, ing launched. No protests bubble up from the bureaucratic bog that festers inside the Washington Beltway. President Bush has said nary a word about this university scandal. It is left to me, your humble servant and friend, to sound the alarm, lest malevolent science wreak havoc upon you and your loved ones. Fiendish 'research' The innocent, helpless victims of Dr. Bronson's fiendish, misanthropic "research" are mice and rats. Bronson has cruelly subjected 1,400 of these cute rodents, kin to Mickey, Minnie and Mighty, to reduced-calorie diets. They have, according to a press release issued by the agency complicit in this despicable madness, the National Institute on Aging, coerced pur little furry friends into getting by on a diet consisting of 40 fewer calories than they would normally eat. And this cruelty, this deprivation of helpless, defenseless fellow mammals, has been allowed to go on for the entire life of these creatures! Downtown Cincinnati arena football team will provide another attraction Any mention of arena football ought to be punctuated with question marks. The sport is too untested locally for it to be otherwise. Still, it is good news that the owners of the Cincinnati franchise have agreed to a contract with Riverfront Coliseum. -Ted Gregory and his family have signed for three years, with a three-year option. The Arenaball league, which has been playing with eight teams, hopes to raise its membership to 12. The new season begins the weekend of May 29, 1992. The Cincinnati franchise had two sites to consider in addition to the Coliseum, Cincinnati Gardens and the new, Sh6emaker Center on the University of Cincinnati campus. Both are excellent venues. But if all other 17 -r V

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