Kinesis

Kinesis Nov 1, 1980

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 tf  —MJIDB  2 MHR guilty of child  abuse: welfare rights  groups are organizing  9 Is there a place for  men inside the women's  movement?  3 The Vancouver  Women's Bookstore was  destroyed by arson, but  our archives were saved  1 1 Skeena Welfare  Rights Committee  speaks out on women  and poverty  S Older women's  realities are invisible and  unrecognized  1 8 No Life for a Woman  goes on the road across  Canada  6 What's all this chat  about the constitution  have to do with  feminists?  1 8 The editor of  Manushi, India's  feminist publication,  comes to town  8 The ultimate death trip  of the patriarchy is a  feminist issue and here's  why  23 Finding Common  Ground and enjoying  the discoveries  COVER STORY: She's 76 years old and she's being shoved on to  the scrap heap. See our story page 22.  SUBSCRIBE TO KMMJiJ  Published 10 times a year by Vancouver Status of Women  1090 West 7th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6H 1B3  Subscriber  Member/Subscriber  Institution  Sustainer  $10  By donation  $20  $50  Name  Address  Pavment Enclosed  Phone  Please  remember that  VSW operates  on  inadequate  funding — we need member support!  NOVEMBER 1980  KfMJESIJ  -      O  3   .p- ! 2 Kinesis November '80  LOCAL NEWS  of poverty, welfare in B.C.  MHR guilty of child abuse, Skeena Terrace women tell Brown  By Kinesis staff writers  A number of recent activities have clearly  indicated that Grace McCarthy's ministry  of human resources is under increasing  attack from welfare recipients and some  MHR workers.  On October 15, about 50 people attended a  meeting of the Skeena Terrace Tenants' Association to hear the Skeena Terrace Welfare Rights Committee present a position  paper to NDP.MLA and human resources critic Rosemary Brown.  The paper was collectively developed and  presented by members of the committee.  In opening the presentation, Ruby Townsend  said that the committee members had learned that the problems of welfare recipients  are not personal ones but problems faced  by all people on welfare. "The issue," she  continued, "is not whether welfare recipients support the NDP, but whether the NDP  support welfare recipients...No one can  express the problems faced by welfare re-  ipients as the recipients ourselves."  Townsend also noted that not all ministry  workers are guilty of the offences detailed in the position paper. But many are.  She invited them to stand with welfare recipients to make many crucial changes.  The presentation continued with the statement of issues of concern to recipients in  a range of areas. Each section ended with  a list of strong demands relevant to that  area (see the centrefold of this month's  Kinesis).  A key point of the presentation was the  accusation that the ministry of human resources, for all its pious proclamations  about concern for the welfare of children,  is actually guilty of child abuse in refusing to provide families with sufficient  income to give children the support that  is their due.  Will continue to fight for changes  Sharon Curtin summed up the position of  the committee by saying that they've worked hard to prepare their demands and will  work even harder to see them implemented.  After the half-hour presentation, Rosemary  Brown was given the opportunity to respond,  followed by a question and discussion period. Brown opened her response by noting,  "I don't know when I've heard a more powerful presentation." She indicated that she  was prepared to provide welfare groups with  the ministry's policy manual and update,  as well as "top secret" memos that come to  her as human resources critic. She made a  commitment to keeping the committee informed of development in the ministry.  "I think all your demands are realistic,"  added Brown, "but I just don't see you getting anywhere with this government."  Several questioners, however, noted that  the NDP record had been far from perfect  when they were in power, from 1972 to 1975.  When asked what she would do if appointed  ministry of human resources after the next  provincial election, Brown indicated that  her first move would be to undo some of  the legislation of the present government,  in particular, the re-establishment of the  Vancouver Resources- Board. She also pledged  to proclaim Section 8 of the GAIN Act which  would allow for COLA increases for welfare  rates.  The meeting ended with a feeling of strength  among the women from the committee and the  knowledge that they had put their demands  forward on their own terms.  Ironically, the day before the Skeena presentation, two ministry of human resources  workers announced their resignations due  to the total inadequacy of MHR services to  children.     0  Skeena Terrace Welfare Rights Committee meets with Rosemary Brown  Single mothers let McCarthy know they're fed up  By Cole Dudley  On the week-end of October 18 and 19, the  YWCA hosted the second annual Single  Mother' s Symposium. The minister of Human  Resources, Grace McCarthy, gave the opening speech in which, besides telling us of  her busy and interesting schedule over  the past week, she outlined her plan to get  single mothers out into the workforce and  into some "productive" work.  There was no talk of raising the welfare  rate to the poverty level for those who  wish to stay at home with their children,  nor any plans to upgrade and support the  daycare system for those who choose to, or  have to, go out to work.  The question period afterwards was short  and, anticipating this, the Skeena Welfare  Rights Committee confronted the minister  with a verbal presentation in which they  poured out their.'anger and listed the  inadequacies of the welfare system.  "\7e are fed up with the meaningless intervention of the ministry in our lives. We  are tired of confused policies which on  the one hand says that families should be  kept together and on the other hand work  to tear families apart," they explained.  Other women then got up and voiced their  frustrations and asked pointed questions  which the minister evaded expertly.  After talking to many of the women during  the symposium, it definitely seemed that  welfare was one the main problems. Most  single mothers are either struggling at  low paying traditional jobs and with inefficient daycare, so they can avoid the  stigma that our society attributes to  those on social assistance, or they accept  their meagre allotment and struggle with  poverty and social pressures.  Housework is work and raising children is  not unproductive. These jobs deserve decent wages and the women doing them deserve  respect. The workshops were flexible and  lent themselves to general discussions  as well as specific ones, if that was the  mood of the group.  The YWCA should be commended for their  diplomatic job in handling the question  period with Grace McCarthy and for their  forethought in giving us the chance to confront her, by inviting her as keynote  speaker. They were open to any suggestions for the symposium next year and welcome input into their programs throughout  the year.  The Single Mothers Symposium is a positive  yearly forum for the frustrations of  single mothers and can serve as an information and support centre for new single  mothers. Next year's will be even more  satisfying. 0_  The right to poster has city hall surrounded  It was the world's biggest poster and it  had a right to be there. On October 21,  representatives from the numerous community groups protesting the city's sign bylaw wrapped up city hall in a huge 300-  metre poster made of brown paper. This we  decorated with slogans, ("up against the  wall, city hall) to both inspire and educate. The oppressive by-law, which provides  for fines or imprisonment for postering,  has already been overturned and rewritten  once. It's next court challenge comes up  November 7. Update in the next Kinesis.  Meanwhile, keep on postering!    0 Kinesis November '80  LOCAL NEWS  Vancouver Women's Bookstore destroyed by arson  By Gloria Greenfield for the Women's Bookstore Collective  In the early hours of Tuesday, October 14,  the Vancouver Women's Bookstore was the  target of arson.  By the time the firefighters arrived to  flight the blaze, the building was beyond  saving. It was an old wooden structure, a  virtual tinder box.  The bookstore had been burglarized twice  in the week preceding the fire and it is  our feeling that when the burglars returned for their "fix" — roughly a $30 float  — and found the cash box empty, with a  note indicating that no money was around,  they were angry and frustrated and lit  a few matches to wreak their revenge.  While the building is beyond repair, we  were able to go in after the fire department had made sure no burning embers remained and salvage some of our stock —  as well as some files and other oddments  and endments.  Fortunately, one of our collective members  lived right down the street and members  of her communal household pitched in to  help us. We were able to store whatever  we could rescue in their house.  They offered warm support and hot coffee,  as well as a space for us to meet and try  to assess our feelings and gather some  sense of "where do we go from here?"  There seemed to be no doubt that we would  rise from the ashes like the mythical  phoenix. Personally, the only doubts I  had about that was...where was all the  energy going to come from to make this a  reality?  As in most collectives, there has been an  ebb and flow of energy over the past seven years/ Some weeks it's about all we  can do to assure that the store is staffed  as scheduled. But we're going ahead on  the assumption that we have good strong  support out there in the women's community.  We had tried to negotiate for temporary  office space downtown so that we could begin the process of rebuilding our stock,  titles and records — and have a sense of  continuity while we sought a new store  location. But unfortunately that fell  through.  However, due to the generosity of the Pacific Life Community and the Marginal Market Cooperative we were able to move our  The Women's Bookstore on the morning after the f  things on October 25 to the area previously used at Marginal Market by the PLC.  In the meantime, phone calls have been referred to Ariel Books — and will continue  to be while we remain at Marginal. It  wouldn't be practical for us to install a  phone there. We are certainly appreciative  of Ariel's help.  Our fire sale took place November 1 at the  YWCA. It's likely that we'll "keep store"  at Marginal. But their hours of operation  are fairly limiting for us, and it's too  soon, at this time of writing, to be more  definite.  We've had many kind offers of.assistance.  And we feel the best help we could use at  this point is the organization of a benefit for us. So many of you have encouraged  us to have one — and we would love to —  (not only for the financial aid it would  provide, but as a unifying force strongly  needed in the women's community right now)  — but we feel up to our ears in the nitty  gritty of "reconstruction". We simply  don't have the leftover energy needed to  run a successful benefit.  If you can put some time and energy into  organizing/working on a benefit for us,  please call the VSW office (736 1313) and  we can get together to work out the details.  What of the future? We'd like to relocate  downtown. But this might not be financially  feasible.  So if you know of any space you  think might be suitable (in, for example,  the Main-Broadway area), please leave  word at Vancouver Status of Women. 0_  Good news: archives were saved  By Margo Dunn  On October 4, ten days before the bookstore  fire, some wimmin sorted through twelve  years of local women's movement herstory  collected in the bookstore basement. Fifteen boxes of records and journals were removed to another location.  Whether the goddess or the progression of  the dialectic set the timing, the effort  meant the continued existence of irreplaceable documents.  Some of us have been mumbling about archives  for year. But Pat Leslie of the Women's  Movement Archives, Toronto, recently prodded us to turn good intentions to action.  It's really thanks to her this material  was saved.  The collection includes some early position  papers and correspondence of Women's Caucus, The Pedestal, Working Women's Association and A Woman's Place. There are back-  files of The Pedestal, The Other Woman,  Long Time Coming, Equal Times and many U.S.  feminist periodicals.  The afternoon-itself was zanily reminiscent  of the old days. Bookstore staff had arrived to find the place had been broken  into.  Then the toilet overflowed into the space  where we were working. The retreival process went on with cheerful wimmin bailing,  separating paper for the recyclers, escorting cops around, trying to get a locksmith,  boarding up a broken window, and gritting  teeth at fungoid growths, spiders and rat  turds, while store business went on as  usual.  Right now the treasures are being sorted  and inventoried. And records of other  groups and invididual feminists need to  be collected, so we can have together the  raw materials to see the flow of our past.  If you have items that could be of interest, call VSW at 736 1313 to contact Margo.  How Vancouver feminists cope with the upcoming civic elections  On November 15, Vancouver voters will go  to the polls to elect a new city council,  school board and parks board. To date, the  election campaign has been relatively low  key. However, this belies the importance  of the election. Many issues raised in  civic government have direct and crucial  influences on our lives.  The record of the current council is abysmal in many respects. The NPA-dominated  council has chipped away at social services and ignored the need for housing  and public transit while promoting million  dollar giveaways for such projects as B.C.  Place and Transpo '86.  Many issues are of particular concern to  women, and VSW has been involved in a number of. them. Before you vote, consider  the candidates' position on these issues:  * Equal Opportunities. In February 1979,  the newly-elected council took any early  opportunity to axe the Equal Employment  Opportunities program, firing EEO officer  Shelagh Day. Mayor Jack Volrich had voted  against the program when it was initially  proposed in 1977, and the NPA majority on  council sealed its fate.  * Ward system. Council has refused to implement a ward system, thus ignoring the  victory of pro-ward forces in the 1978  plebiscite. Only the Committee of Progressive Electors (COPE), represented on  council by Harry Rankin, and Independents  Darlene Marzari (who is not seeking reelection) and Michael Harcourt (contesting  Jack Volrich for his position as mayor)  have consistently supported a full ward  system.  * Funding for women's groups. This spring,  VSW was denied funding for a women's advocacy service after a vicious campaign  directed at our pro-choice policy on abortion and our support for lesbian and gay  rights. Only COPE's Rankin and Independents  Marzari and Harcourt support the full  grant request. They were joined by Marguerite Ford, Don Bellamy and Helen Boyce in  support for half of our request, but were  blocked by Volrich and the NPAs Bernice  Gerard, Doug Little, George Puil and War-  nett Kennedy. In a typical example of much  of the debate in the 1978-80 council, Kennedy advised VSW to "go back to knitting."  * Housing. Vancouver has never seen a more  severe housing crisis, yet in March of  this year, the Sun wrote, "It's almost as  if nobody believes people when they speak  of a housing crisis — one look at the  minutes of city council will show they do  don't believe it either."  * Postering. In July 1980, city council  passed a more severe by-law prohibiting  postering in public places, providing for  maximum penalties of $2000 fine or three  months in jail. Council has been unresponsive to the position that community groups  (like VSW), who have no funds for expensive  advertising, rely on postering to announce  our programs and services.  These are a few of the issues of concern  to us as women and as residents of Vancouver. We urge you to vote, and to ask  candidates and municipal groups these questions before you vote:  * Will you reinstate the Equal Employment  Opportunities i  Will you move to implement a full ward  * Will you support the funding of VSW's  advocacy service and other women's programs?  * What concrete plans do you have for  easing the housing crisis?  * Will you reconsider the anti-postering  by-law?O Kinesis November '80  B.C. NEWS  Indian people demand control of their own children's lives  By Cole Dudley  Amid chants of "Hands off, Grace" and  placards reading, "You've stolen our land,  now you're stealing our children" and  "Our children are political prisoners",  over 600 Indiands and whites marched  through the elite Shaughnessy district to  Human Resources Minister Grace McCarthy's  house on October 13. Of course the honourable Minister was not home at the time.  B.C.'s Native People took to the streets  to protest the "needless apprehension of  Indian children", and the right of Indians  to govern their own affairs.  The march was preceeded by a rally in  Oppenheimer Park where several Indian leaders spoke with emotion and determination  about their situation.  Indian people have  been kept down long enough. They want to  "live side by side" with us (the non-  Indians) and want us to,"walk with them  instead of of on them."  Since white settlers appeared on this continent, the Indians have been abused, and  cheated out of most of their rights. Their  dignity as a people has been almost destroyed. They have been forced to adhere  to "settlers' law", which they consider  unnatural. On a leaflet that was passed  out at McCarthy's, it was made clear that  "there are those among us who are not in  disagreement with the settlers' law that  has been imposed upon us, and whose only  disagreement is with who enforces that law  — Indians or whites." Indians want self-  determination over their own lives and customs.  Protest organizers, the Spallumcheen Indian  Band has passed by-laws that reclaim control of their lives and the lives of their  children. Right now they are challenging  in court the right of the provincial government to move Indian children from their  own families.  To find out more information about the  subject or to give support, please write:  P.O. Box 461, Port Alberni, B.C. Cj  Three days after the march of the Indian  Child Caravan, Grace McCarthy granted  the Spallumcheen Indian Band the right to  reclaim thirty to forty Indian children  now in foster care. This agreement only  refers to the Spallumcheen Indian Band, but  opens the door for other Bands to approach  her similarily.  Does this mean that each Band has to march  and protest on Grace's front lawn!  Chief Wayne Christian, the Spallumcheen  Band leader, said that this was an historic  event because it was the first time that  the Indian tribal government has been  Miles Goldstick  recognized by the B.C. government.  The onus is now on Indian Affairs minister  John Munro to agree to transfer the federal funding for the return of the children and the creation of care facilities  in the Indian community. Cj  UPDATE ON GERI FERGUSON CASE:  The male  guard was acquitted on charges of assaulting Geri, a woman imprisoned in  Oakalla. This injustice only goes to  show that the state won't convict its  own people! Q  Here's the local latest on the nasty new disease of TSS  By Chris DeLong  Here's an update on what's happening locally with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). In  May of this year, the National Centre for  Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia reported TSS as a new disease.  According to Karen Bartlett, micro-biologist working out of the G.F. Strong Laboratory in conjunction with Vancouver General  Hospital and the UBC Faculty of Medicine,  there is a possibility that the rise in  the incidence of Toxic Shod Syndrome (TSS)  related to tampon use manifests a peaking  in a cycle of the presence of staphylococcus aureus in the general female population.  Historically, the incidence of staph  diseases (there are others than the TSS  related to tampon use) fell off dramatically with the introduction of penicillin  in 1946. Six years later in 1952, penicillin resistant staphylococcus bacteria  began to appear. According to Bartlett,  the staph bacteria associated with TSS  related to tampon use have been, thus far,  penicillin resistant.  Bartlett and members of the Infectious  Disease Department of Medicine, VGH, and  the UBC Faculty of Medicine propose to  test the hypothesis that TSS manifests a  peaking in a staphylococcus aureus cycle.  The Vancouver Women's Health Collective has  been asked for their assistance in the  proposed study. At the moment, the  Collective is examining the proposed study's  merits before making a commitment.  The research will demonstrate whether the  hypothetical percentage of the population  (10$) carry the staph bacteria in their  cervix, or if that population is greater  than 105?.  Women who carry the staph bacteria in their  cervix do not necessarily develop TSS.  The research will attempt to determine why  the women who carry the bacteria yet do  not develop TSS do not do so. Possible  variables to date include personal hygiene  during menstruation, personal hygiene  products used during menstruation, number  of sexual partners, and the woman's age.  A differentiation is made between women  who carry the bacteria and women who are  "true carriers". A "true carrier" carries  the bacteria within the cervix (105? of the  population) and within the nose (30-605?  of population).  The bacteria is "ubiquitous" (found everywhere) on the skin's  surface and "transient" — its presence  being determined by the woman's exposure  to it.  Because of the "ubiquitous" and "transient"  nature of the bacteria, the research will  entail taking swabs from the palm of the  hand, the armpit, the nose, the vagina  and the cervix over a three month period  of time.  Bartlett stated, "the bacteria does not  intrinsically inhabit the tampon." The  tampon holds the bacteria high in the  vagina next to the cervix, providing  blood for the bacteria to take nutrients  from. And so the bacteria flourishes,  giving off waste products known as "etoxins". Etoxins are the protein waste  products which causes the symptoms specific  to TSS related to tampon use. Frequent  changing of the tampon — every 2-4 hours  — will reduce the opportunity for the  bacteria to give off the etoxins.  The superabsorbent tampon is more likely  to cause problems, due to the convenience  inherent to a tampon which doesn't need to  be changed so frequently. There is also  the possibility that the structure of the  inner cotton fibres of the super absorbent  types — the way in which they are bound  — may contribute to the incidence of the  syndrome.  The use of chemicals to increase absor-  bancy (carboxymethyl cellulose) has not  been ruled out as a possible contributing  factor.  The best advice so far is as follows:  * Stay away from "supet- absorbent"  tampons  * Change the tampon every 2-4 hours.  If  this is not possible, use a pad at night1  * Wash your hands thoroughly before  handling a tampon  * If you use a sponge, the same basic  advice applies. Rinse it out thoroughly, and frequently  * If you want to avoid the possibility of  infection, use pads.  Canadian manufacturers will be asked to  label tampon boxes with warnings and instructions. Although sea sponges have  been touted as an attractive "natural"  alternative, the risk, to date, appears to  be as high with prolonged use of a sponge  as it is with prolonged use of a tampon. Q Kinesis November '80  B.C. NEWS  NDP Task Force on Older Women  Older women's realities are invisible^nrecognized  By Mercia Stickney and Hilda Thomas  She 's  83,  spry,  neat as a pin,  and she  quit the labour force 10 years ago.  If it weren't that the rent on the trailer  pad keeps going up,  and the cost of home  repairs has her paying $26.50 to have a  12-cent washer put in a leaking hot water  tap,  she would be able  to get by on her  old age pension combined with the guaranteed supplement.  Politicians talking about issues such as  housing, pensions, or retraining will not  reach this woman, nor the many others  who have appeared before the Task Force on  Older Women, now at the midpoint in its  hearings around the province.  At the task force hearings conducted so  far — in Prince George, Cranbrook, Terrace and Kamloops — groups working with  older women, as well as individuals, came  out to speak about their problems and  experiences.  Some issues were of concern chiefly to  women in their mid years (40-60); some  affected seniors (60 and up); others were  common to both groups.  It was clear, however, that the life experiences of these, women have largely remained invisible and unrecognized and  their contributions to society have been  devalued.  The goal of the task force is to hear from  these women, to recognize their special  needs and problems and to use this information in framing meaningful solutions.  For the woman in her middle years, employment is a pressing problem.  ■A composite profile of the concerns most  frequently expressed would show a midyears woman as one struggling with the fear  of inadequacy in the job market, angered  that the skills acquired through 10 to 20  years of managing a household carry no  credit and going job-hunting in a market  of low-paying jobs, where her chances of  success are clouded by the image of desirable women as young, slim and hip.  Women in their mid years are seeking reentry into the labour market because  they're divorced, separated, or widowed,  or because their mothering role is over.  Whatever the reason, the process is highly  stressful.  Where family members are supportive, their  encouragement rarely extends past words  into sharing the work which still needs to  be done in the home.  Women had much to say about feeling put ,  down, about being devalued as human beings.  They were very much aware of the negative  societal image of women who are neither  young nor bearing children.  They felt  isolated, vulnerable, uncertain and guilty,  and often had great difficulty in making  personal life choices.  Women in their mid-years become almost invisible to the public eye, only to emerge  in their senior years as indulgent grandmothers .  To mid-years and (especially) to senior  women, the couple-oriented society was the  model that loomed large. But, on the  average, women outlive men by seven years  and, often, they are unprepared for the  loss of a spouse. They spoke of loneliness,  of the fear of not being able to remain  in their own homes, of the fear of being  alone, and of the grief at the loss of  their husbands.  They spoke, too, of the resentment they  felt at being trapped in the role of nurse  to an ailing husband — and the guilt they  suffered for having such feelings.  Pensions present another problem. Women  spoke at length of their inability to belong to a pension plan in their own right  when their occupation is homemaking. They  Prince George Task Force panel (L to R): Eileen Dailly, MLA, Mercia Stickney, Gloria Levy, Jill Ter Heide and Margaret Mitchell, MP  felt their lifetime labour brought them  no security in their old age and no recognition of value.  A Prince George widow, believing that her  husband's Canada Pension Plan benefits  passed to her on his death, went to make  the application. Confronted with her conviction that she was entitled to it, the  man she was dealing with threw out, "What  have you ever done to deserve a pension?"  Although he went on to inform her of her  right to the reduced survivor benefit, she  was still shattered by this easy dismissal  of her 30 years' labour in the home.  In the North, transportation presents a  special problem. Public transport is  inadequate or non-existent, while cheaper  housing is usually on the outskirts of  town. Private vehicles are not of much  use either during the winters, when roads  are too slippery for safe driving and  driveways are covered in mounds of snow.  The message came through strongly in both  the Friday presentation and the Saturday  discussions that there is a lack of knowledge about what resources are available  in the community and about how to use those  resources. Quite obviously the traditional channels of information are not working  There is a need for career planning  There is a need for career planning which  will enable women to recognize their  skills and to plan their education or  training programs with a realistic sense  of their interests and their prospects in  the job market.  The hearings continue. The wealth of  information which is being gathered will  provide a basis for the development of  strong policy. Q  Notes from the first year -  Offering services and support to battered women  Battered Women's Support Services is an  organization focussed on the issue of wife-  battering.  It was founded in September 1979 to address  and act on the need for support groups and  support services specifically for battered  women.  The group is a coalition in the sense that  its members are women who have worked on  this issue through other women's organizations in the past and continue to do  so. Specifically, Battered Women Support  Services members are also workers in: Vancouver Status of Women, Vancouver Transition House, Women's Research Centre and  Munro House.  The diversity of members' experience means  that we bring together different aspects  of working on wife-battering; for example,  both practical and theoretical work, as  well as work from an institutional base  and a community base. In these ways, Battered Women's Support Services work benefits from different perspectives. In addition, each member benefits from the support and analysis we are developing together and can take back into our onging  work in other settings and groups.  The development of a clearer understanding  and analysis of wife battering in order to  be more effective in our work is one of  the major purposes of Battered Women's  Support Services. An additional and complementary purpose is to support each  other in our work with battered women.  The location of Battered Women's Support  Services, outside an institutional structure and separate from the other organizations in which members are involved,  provides us with a perspective and freedom that are often more difficult to attain in the midst of our day-to-day activities.  Battered Women's Support Services has  two main objectives: '  — to develop and facilitate support  groups for battered women, and;  — to develop and exchange information  and educational materials on wife-battering.  The major work of the organization, in  its first year of operation, has been  focussed on support groups. Based on the  past experience of some Battered Women's  Support Services members in support group  work, we conducted a training program for  women who wanted to lead support groups  for battered women. Eight women participated in a two-day training session in  August and are continuing to meet on a  regular basis to learn skills and work out  the support group process. This leaders'  group will continue to meet to provide  for the leaders of support groups.  The first support group will begin in November and run for ten weeks. Battered Women 's Support Services and the leaders'  group intend to document what, in the support group process, works and doesn't work  and what we learn about effective ways of  working with battered women.  In addition, Battered Women's Support Services undertakes educational work on wife-  battering, primarily with women's organizations that are taking initiative on the  issue, such as organizing a support service or transition house; assessing their  work with battered women, and so on.  Another aspect of our educational work is  workshops, seminars or presentations for  professionals in legal or social services  to increase their understanding of the  issue and most important, to assist them  in improving services for battered women.  Battered Women's Support Services has access to $9,000 in United Way funds through  Family Services of Vancouver to offset  the costs of training support group leaders; to pay group leaders; and to cover  the transportation and baby-sitting expenses of participants in support groups.  In addition, we have received genert us  contributions from women across Canada in  response to a fund-raising program we  began in the summer of this year and which  we will continue, in order to ensure our  independence of any single funding source. Kinesis November '80  ACROSS CANADA  What's all this constitution talk got to do with feminists?  The wording in the proposed new Charter of  Rights is almost the same as that in the  1960 Canadian Bill of Rights.  And that  wording has not helped women at all in  the past.  So says a new pamphlet,  WOMEN,  HUMAN RIGHTS  AND THE CONSTITUTION,  recently released by  the. Canadian Advisory Council on the Status  of Women and here summarized by ACSW researcher Beverley Baines.  Women, Human Rights and the Constitution  traces the history of judicial reluctance  in Canada to recognize women's claim for  equality of rights.  The only federal attempt to create a human right to equality for women has been  the equality before the law clause of The  Canadian Bill of Rights (i960).  But restrictive and biased interpretation  of this clause by successive Canadian  courts, especially the Supreme Court of  Canada, has so weakened this clause that  women cannot rely on it to protect their  right to equality.  The federal government's proposal to constitutionally entrench the equality before the law clause in a charter of rights  binding on all levels of government is  inadequate.  British Common Law does little for  women's equality  There is very little recognition in the  British common law tradition that women  have a human right to equality. From 1788  to 1929, British courts used the common  law to prevent women from voting, from  holding elected or appointed public office  and from entering or training for various  professions, especially the legal ones.  In many cases dealing with the interpretation of the word "persons" in statute laws,  the courts excluded women from personhood.  They argued that under the common law, women were legally incapable of undertaking  public office. This legal disability  could only be removed by the most explicit  wording in laws and the word "persons" was  not specific enough to include women.  The most infamous Canadian example is the  Persons case, in 1928, when the Supreme  Court of Canada interpreted section 24 of  the British North America (BNA) Act to exclude women from personhood. A year later,  the Privy Council in Britain was able to  override the Supreme Court of Canada and  rule that women were persons. But it did  this by suggesting that the word "persons"  in the BNA act was ambiguous. So its decision did not upset the common law rule  about the legal incapacity of women.  In other types of discrimination cases,  Canadian courts did not protect racial  or ethnic minorities. In a 1914 decision  upholding a Saskatchewan law forbidding  Chinese men to hire white women, the Supreme Court commented that there was no  common law principle which could enable  it to interfere with the racist nature of  this legislation.  In 1940 the Supreme Court dismissed the  claim of a black man who had been refused  service in a Quebec tavern. His right  to equality in the common law was said to  be a lesser claim than the tavern owner's  right to "freedom of commerce."  These cases demonstrate the absolute necessity for effectively worded laws if women are to achieve any legal protection  for their claim to equality.  Conventional rights codes are inadequate  All provinces have passed Human Rights  Codes or Acts which prohibit certain discriminatory practices in selected relationships such as employer-employee and  landlord-tenant. As important as these  codes are, they do not protect us from  a denial of our fundamental human rights  by government. They did not limit the  power of a government (whether federal or  provincial) to pass discriminatory laws.  Unlike a Bill of Rights, a conventional  human rights code does not contain a general principle of equality capable of overriding all other legislation.  In the absence of such an overriding principle, the courts have been unable, or  have refused, to distinguish between those  sections of the code which prohibit "negative" discrimination and those which permit "positive" discrimination. As a result, they have struck down affirmative  action programmes, calling them favouritism for particular groups.  Equality before the law is equality for  whom?  Section 1 (a) of the Canadian Bill of Rights  guarantees the right of the individual  to "equality before the law and the protection of the law....without discrimination by reason of race, national origin,  colour, religion or sex...." The failure  of the Supreme Court of Canada to interpret  this clause as a comprehensive guarantee  of equality is due to inadequacies in  both the wording of the clause and the  composition of Canada's highest court.  All men sitting on the Supreme Court  Since its creation in 1875 there never hat>  been a woman on the Supreme Court of Can-  Eight more male judges — almost an entire bench — have been appointed by the  federal government in the ten years since  the Royal Commission on the Status of Women recommended the appointment of women.  Male judges may lack the essential judicial trait of impartiality since their sex-  role conditioning consciously or unconsciously may intrude on their judgement.  An American study found that male judicial  opinion contained unsupported assumptions  about individual capabilities, goals and  social roles based solely on sex differences .  This sexist approach may explain the judges'  inability to perceive any injurious results  from sex discrimination.  A British study went further and suggested  that pronouncements by male judges about  women reflected their personal interest  in keeping women at home and out of the  ranks of competitors in the workplace.  What happened to women in the Lavell  and Bliss cases  The Supreme Court of Canada has taken the  position that the meaning of equality  before the law clause in the Canadian Bill  or Rights is not self-evident and can only  be interpreted through specially formulated  principles.  Unfortunately none of the principles developed by the Court for this purpose comes  close to being a fundamental right to  equality.  Jeahnette Lavell and Yvonne Bedard argued  that section 12(l) (b) of the Indian Act  created a sex inequality because an Indian  woman who marries a non-Indian loses her  Indian status while an Indian man who marries a non-Indian does not.  A majority"of the Supreme Court ruled that  this law did not contravene the equality  before the law clause because the clause  only requires fairness in the administration or application of the law by law enforcement authorities and the court.  Traditionally, this "rule of law" principle  has been used to prevent claims by high  officials that their status exempted them  from the application of the law. Such a  principle is not relevant to most modern  sex inequality cases. For example, Lavell  and Bedard were not claiming an exemption  from the law — they were protesting  against one.  In the Bliss case, a woman who had recently given birth argued that Section 46 of  the Unemployment Insurance Act discriminated on the basis of sex because it denied  her normal unemployment insurance benefits  although she met all of the qualifications.  Mr.Justice Ritchie of the Supreme Court  stated that, if there was any discrimination, it was based on nature, not on sex.  He refused to acknowledge that discriminatory laws could turn a natural difference into discrimination.  Using the "worst consequences" principle,  he concluded that Section 46 did not result in harsher treatment for Stella Bliss  because pregnancy benefits were additional benefits.  But the complaint before him was not that  Bliss was denied pregnancy benefits —  she had not been claiming them.  The basis  for sex inequality was the denial of regular  unemployment insurance benefits.  Clearly the denial of these benefits to  Stella Bliss when she was in need of them  resulted in worse consequences for her!  Another principle referred to by Mr.Justice Ritchie was the "possibly relevant  distinction." Using this principle, almost any law which differentiates in its  treatment of women and men will not contravene the equality before the law clause  so long as the courts are able to find a  relevant or logical reason that Parliament  might  have had for passing the law.  It did not occur to Mr.Justice Ritchie  that the function of the Supreme Court  should be to evaluate  Parliament's reason  for passing the law to see if it met the  test of equality before the law.  The Bliss decision shows just how far the  Supreme Court has strayed from a positive  concept of equality.  Here are three essential ingredients for  women's equal rights  Women's human right to equality must be  expressed in the clearest of legislative  terms.  There are three essential components.  First, the prohibited classification must > Kinesis November '8C  ACROSS CANADA  Doctor calls off abortion  A 25-year-old Toronto woman was recently  denied an abortion as she lay on the operating table. Why? The anesthesiologist,-  one Dr.Willard Wilson, recognized her  name.  Joiane Lechot owed him $200 for a  previous medical bill.  Wilson said he wasn't worried about the  effect of the cancellation on the woman's  health. "The fact that she had to wait  24 hours, or a week, doesn't make one  iota of difference to her health," he  said. ? .  Rich students get jobs faster  A recent study at Carleton University revealed that students from high-income families were fastest in finding summer employment and that women had a harder time  than men in getting jobs.  In the summer of 1979, women students  earned an average of $3.71 an hour while  men made $4.90.  It took most women almost  four weeks to find work, while the average  time for a man's job search was two and a  half weeks.  The report, sponsored by the Ontario Federation of Students, also mentioned that  at the University of Western Ontario in  London 42.85? of students from families  with incomes of more than $40,000 found  jobs through personal or family contacts  compared with 295? for all students.  line, "You Can Win at Rape" (by fighting  back, in case you'd care to know). Neither  would it quote William French in a headline, creating the impression that he was  the author of an article that carries no  byline and that is also a reprint... from  Imperial Oil's house organ.  "There isn't anything in Breakthrough,  with the exception of the tone of MacCall-  um's editorials and an obscure note on cancer detecting bras, that the editors of  Chatelaine, McCall's and Cosmopolitan  wouldn't happily include in their copy." 0_  Broadside  Sleazy publication no breakthrough for feminists  Breakthrough for Women is a pesky little  Toronto tabloid which made its debut last  summer, claiming to be a feminist paper.  Editor John MacCallum, a Ryerson journalism student, admits that his links with the  women's movement are weak. He also admits  to having written most of the copy himself.  Broadside's Susan Cole comments: "On the  purely j ournalis ti c front, Breakthrough's  integrity is questionable. A serious feminist journal would never make a few changes to an article...and pretend it wasn't  a reprint...it would never publish a head-  Minister of Revenue Canada  ready to wink at anti-choice pals  Certain Knights of Columbus members across  Canada have stated publicly that they are  refusing to pay a portion of their 1980  income tax in order to protest the grants  that the federal government gives to organizations like Planned Parenthood which do  abortion counselling.  The Hon. William Rompkey, Minister of  Revenue Canada, is a vocal advocate of the  anti-choice movement. He has announced he  would not prosecute these people for  failure to pay their full tax.  Let Rompkey know he has a mandate from all  the people of Canada to uphold the law,  regardless of his personal feelings about  abortion. Write to: The Hon. William  Rompkey, Revenue Canada, Connaught Bldg.,  Mackenzie Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L5.  A CARAL campaign 0  Sexist ad refused  The CBC recently refused a television advertisement for a new milk product being  marketed in the Maritimes because its  tasteless sexism did not meet CBC advertising guideline standards.  The ad showed eight young people — half  of them women — hopping about on a beach,  drinking the milk.  The boys "are only  shown ogling the girls," says Rosella Mel-  anson of the New Brunswick advisory council on the status of women.  "The girls  are there but you hardly see their heads.  It's only shots of their midriffs, bottoms and breasts."     0  +      Sun %nfo  Libraries should carry more  material on lesbians and gays  At the 1980 annual convention of the Can-  ^ adian Library Association a motion was  "(£ passed urging that more information on gay  o> and lesbian sexuality be made available in  § this country's libraries. The motion was  t^ introduced by the Gay Interest Group.  tja, The group points out that this is one area  ^ in which the lack of information has  resulted in powerlessness.  0^  Where's those amendments to  the Indian Act?  Last July Indian Affairs Minister John  Munro finally agreed to a moratorium on  that section of the Indian Act (I2,l,b)  whereby Indian women who marry non-Indians  lose their status.  The moratorium (which was to apply only on  application by each of the 590 bands) was  to be accompanied by an amendment to the  Indian Act, squashing the discrimination  once and for all.  In support of these demands 23  women MPs  and senators, in an unprecedented cross-  party alliance,- signed a joint declaration  of solidarity to recognize Indian rights  for Indian women.  We're more than half way through the fall  now. Where is that amendment?     Q  MORE ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION   be "women", not sex, to make clear to the  Supreme Court of Canada once and for all  that it is the sex of women  that has consistently been used to deny them personhood.  A specific directive should be included to  prevent the Supreme Court from upholding  laws which discriminate against only some  and not all women (women who are pregnant,  for example).  Second, equality should be expressed as a  positive goal to be achieved.  Third, a new principle must be developed  by the legislature and not the courts to  define and interpret the human right of  equality.  This principle must be broad enough to  prohibit harmful discrimination while permitting affirmative action. And it must  specify a method for distinguishing between the two.  The American Equal Rights amendment formulation — "Equality of rights under the  law shall not be denied or abridged...on  account of sex" — is not sufficient, because it does not specifiy a principle  which the courts can use to give clear  meaning to the word "equality."  Beyond its role of preventing  discrimination, the essential function of a positive  principle of equality must be to achieve  equality.  In order to ensure that women do not have  to go to court endlessly to prove that  they qualify for affirmative action programs, the law must specifically include  women as a group that is disadvantaged by  reason of sex discrimination.  Historically, legislation which is called  "beneficial" has been used to deny women  equal acess to jobs, such as the laws prohibiting women from working underground  "for their protection."  To avoid this in future, any such law must  first be approved by the group which it  is supposed to benefit. The danger of  allowing the courts to determine what is  "beneficial" is perhaps best illustrated  by the Burnshine case, where the "benefit"  was the privilege of staying in prison  for a longer term so that there would be  more time for rehabilitation.  To entrench or not to entrench?  Should feminists support the notion of the  entrenchment of human rights within the  constitution?  A compelling reason in favour of entrenchment is the achievement of uniform fundamental human rights legislation throughout  Canada to replace the present situation  where only four jurisdictions (the feds,  Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec) have a  Bill of Rights.  Those who oppose entrenchment often argue  that it is inappropriate for courts to  have the final say in human rights quest  ions.  It is true that governments should be responsible for enacting human rights laws  of general application.  But it does not make sense to have the  government interpret its laws, for this  would allow it to be both judge and litigant. It is important to realise that  court  decisions will always be a part of  protecting human rights since, in essence,  human rights are the people's protection  against the government's misuse of power  to enact laws.  As for the final say, legislators will  still have it since the constitution can  be amended. Entrenchment only makes amendment more difficult, not impossible. This  same difficulty of amendment makes it less  easy for individual governments to tamper  with human rights.  There is only one serious drawback to entrenchment for women, the pro-entrenchment argument goes — this is the continuing use of the equality before the law  clause which the federal government now  proposes.  The constitution-makers must agree to legislate an equality clause which is detailed enough to convey to judges in unmistakable terms the appropriate meaning for  equality.  Only then will entrenchment advance women 's rights.# Kinesis November '80  WOMEN AGAINST NUKES  The ultimate death-trip of patriarchy is a feminist issue  By Annette Clough  Ain' t nowhere we can run,  no,  no,  Ain't nowhere we can run  Holly Near  Those of us in feminist work and antinuclear power work are constantly being  asked to answer the same questions: "Is  nuclear power a feminist issue? Aren't  you taking womanpower away from women's  issues like rape and abortion? Aren't you  narrowing your focus to a single issue?"  The detractors of feminism would have us  believe that women's concerns are a "single  issue", somehow unconnected with politics,  ecology, history, religion, culture. We  know that the way women have been treated  over the ages is inseparable from the political/social/religious/cultural history  of civilization as we know it. As Gloria  Steinem says, "there is no subject that  feminism doesn't transform".  Feminists, in particular over the last  decade, have delved deeply into the sexism  inherent in the male-oriented view of the  world which informs the so-called "objective" disciplines such as anthropology,  sociology, history.  Lfore recently, feminists all over the world  have begun to make the.connections between  environmental issues and the essentially  masculine "man as master" attitude to the  world that we call the patriarchal mentality.  The increased focus in the eighties on the  nuclear menace begs for an analysis: from  where comes this insanity of the increase  of dangerous nuclear power plants and weapons to the point where there is enough  destructive potential on this planet today  to put an end to life as we know it many  times over. What emerges is that nuclear  power is no more a "single issue" than  feminism is.  Nuclear power is patriarchy's latest crime  Nuclear power is the latest and most  serious manifestation of-the patriarchal  mentality; the same mentality which has  supported a "power-over", ownership,  rapist attitude to women over the ages  now allows the rape of Mother Earth with  uranium mining, the dumping and unsafe  storage of nuclear and chemical wastes,  nuclear weapons testing, nuclear power  plants which leak low-level radiation,  chemicals in our water supply, pollution  in our atmosphere, pesticides in our food  and numerous other ecological atrocities.  Patriarchal thinking supports a dualistic  view of the world — spirit/matter, mind/  body, good/evil, reason/intuition, self/  other, man/environment. Somewhere in our  history this breaking down of reality into  polarities provided a model for the male/  female polarity, and, as the qualities  associated with maleness — mind, matter  reason, self — became more valued, so  did the qualities equated with women —  body, intuition, other — become debased  and thought of as inferior, if not actually evil.  Out of this duality paradigm evolved the  rationale for sex-role stereotyping based  on the notion of the natural superiority  of men and the right of men to control and  dominate women. Since women are associated with the earth, and it is obvious  from anthropology and the creation myths  of many cultures that men did equate  women with the earth from early times,  then possession of and domination over the  earth is an extension of the power over  women that men claim a right to.  As this, expression of power over women has  become increasingly more violent with the  development of "civilization", so has the  violence to the planet increased until  today we are faced with the horror of a  technology which could destroy us all.  "This earth is my sister; I love her daily  grace,  her silent daring,  and how loved I  am,  how we admire this strength in each  other, all that we have lost, all that we  have suffered, all that we know: we are  stunned by this beauty,  and I do not  forget: what she is to me, what I am to  her. "  Susan Griffin  It is not that all men in all times have  incorporated this attitude of domination  over nature into their way of living.  Native people on this continent did live  in close harmony with the environment before the white men came (and ironically  are the ones who today must deal with  uranium mining on their land and the direct  health costs of the dumping of uranium  mining wastes on their land to their population). They have a saying: "as the  earth is treated, so is the woman".  It is no accident that, with patriarchal  thinking being the dominant culture in the  world today, women, original peoples, the  environment, are all considered expendable  Dr. Helen Caldicott, long-time foe of nuclear madness  in the pursuit of power and technological  "progress" to support a system which values production and consumption of commodities over the quality of human life.  The medical system, being part of the  patriarchal establishment in North America,  is lying to us about the long term effects  of low-level radiation and the dangers of  nuclear power and nuclear waste disposal.  Phony "safety" levels of radiation have  been set for workers in contact with radioactivity, for medical x-rays, for people  living near nuclear plants.  The popular  media colludes with these lies.  We have been lied to about the real and  likely effects of the accident at Three  Mile Island, for example. There is much  evidence available about the effects of  Three Mile Island which has not found its  way into the mainstream press which seems  to believe the opinions of the scientists  who work in the nuclear industry over  independent researchers.  The statistical research of Dr. Ernest  Sternglass, chief radiologist at the University of Pittsburgh,' attributes a minimum of 430 infant deaths to the accident  at Three Mile Island.  Sister Rosalie Bertell, a biostatistician,  said at a press conference less than a  week after the Three Mile Island accident,  that "newborn babies all along the East  Coast — as far as New York, Boston and  Ottawa — should have thyroid function  tests taken for the next few years."  The nuclear industry lies about the so-  called economic benefits of nuclear power.  The nuclear industry is a highly centralized capital-intensive business which employs relatively few people, (mostly highly  skilled scientists and technicians), generates huge profits and increases energy  costs to the consumer.  (Decentralized solar power, if used widely  and if not developed by the multi-national  corporations, could employ more people  with much less sophisticated scientific  and technical skills, and would, of course,  be environmentally safe. )  Governments conceal nuclear power,  arms connection  The connections between the "peaceful" uses  of nuclear power and nuclear weapons is  concealed by the governments involved. In  the case of the United States, the nuclear  power industry was developed after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, presumably to assuage  any national guilt by putting the atom to  "peaceful" use.  The highly centralized nuclear power industry is closely linked with the government's nuclear research and development of  nuclear arms and is justified by the  At last, when the man has all but  destroyed our species, our sister  earth, our children that we made  in our own holy bodies, at last  we are beginning to be shrill as  banshees, and to act,  Robin Morgan  supposed energy needs of the countries  involved. The cold war mentality provides  a rationale for the continued development  of nuclear weapons. Somehow having this  arsenal of death on our continent, capable  of destroying us all by man-made error or  accident of nature, is supposed to make us  feel safe from the "enemy".  We may not need the enemy's bombs or a  nuclear war to annihilate us, although we  must consider that as a real possibility;  North Americans are effectively committing  suicide with low-level radiation from  nuclear power plants and waste dumps (and  the many other forms of environmental  pollution) as well as increasing the  chances of disastrous nuclear accidents  with each new nuclear plant, each new  nuclear warhead or submarine that is built.  That the health and welfare of the earth,  and women, and native peoples, and anyone  or anything that can be used as fuel for  the patriarchal machine is increasingly  threatened by the many expressions of this  mentality — sexism, racism, nationalism,  and the inhuman uses of technology, none  of which are in the best interests of a  happy, healthy life for all of us — is  really one issue.  The issue is the quality of life, not  mere survival in a violent world in which  one in four women in Canada will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, where the  life expectancy of native people which is  now lower than white people will be even  less because of uranium mining and the  dumping of uranium wastes on their land,  where there is a continual increase in  cancer and birth defects from low-level  radiation and environmental pollution.  There are many groups which oppose nuclear> Kinesis November '80  MOVEMENT MATTERS  Is there a place for men inside the women's movement?  Dear Kinesis:  I hear there's a group in town called "Men  Against Rape." That bothers me. I hear  that group is considered a feminist ally .  That bothers me even more.  The name, "Men Against Rape" is an American import, the kind of name a group  of men conditioned to believe they have  a god-given right to run the world might  choose. As Canadians, we are sometimes  prone to accept cool rhetoric without  keen thought.  In 1970, a local group derived the name  "Vancouver Liberation Front" from the  VLF, the Vietnamese Liberation Front,  via lots of SDS-derived local American  liberation fronts. The initials matched.  The organizations didn't.  The Vietnamese fought and won a courageous war against imperialism. Our VLF  smashed some windows, sprayed some paint  and led some transient teenagers into  street encounters with well-prepared  police. The comparison insulted the  Vietnamese and belittled their struggle.  It not only did nothing to deal with  local injustices; it fortified the status  quo.  In the same way, the imitative title, "Men  Against Rape" belittles women's organizations which for years have comba/tted violence against women.  Is the gesture of men against rape in any  way comparable to women's millenial,  multi-cultural, resistance to and struggle against sexual violence? Can the male  anti-rape movement match our latest decade  of building sisterhood, trust, organizations, analyses — with all the work, pain  and joy that entailed?  To a non-movement person using a Vancouver  directory, how can "Rape Relief" (which  connotes take two aspirins and call your  doctor in the morning) compare to "Men  Against Rape" (the guys who'll see you  safely home)?  And why use the word "rape" itself, when  "sexual assault" as in "National Association of Sexual Assault Centres of Canada" seems to be the term of choice among  feminists?  But much more than the name bothers me  about this organization. When I think  about men whose political raison d'etre  is work around the sexual abuse of women,  I get the same nasty knot in my stomach  as when I think of men who want to become  gynaecologists.  To ask an old question: where are they  coming from?  There are areas where men need to work  against the violence of sexism. Gay men  are often attacked because of misogyny.  Perhaps a man who's had hatred of women  worked out on his body can deal with that  oppression better with a male counsellor.  I would like a responsible group to be  available for him, as in, perhaps, "Gay  Men Against Sexual Harassment."  However, let's not assume that such a  group would be more than an ad hoc ally  of the women's movement. Many gay liber-  ationists hold political views of adult-  child sexual activity (for example, "Men  loving Men loving Boys") directly opposed to feminist views. An unequivocal alliance with a gay men's group would only  be possible after careful study of their  politics and practice and that of other  men's and mixed groups they allied with.  Some rape crisis workers feel men provide  a back-up service to help an assault victim readjust through talking with men  close to her. Many men have secondary  experience of rape through rape of a loved  one. Would men who join Men Against Rape  have unresolved feelings around vengeance  and protection which they would carry  through to a male client?  In most sexual assault centres a volunteer  with unresolved trauma around her own abuse is delayed from direct crisis cousel-  ling activity. She has to come to grips  with her outrage in case she projects  specifics of her attack on to someone  else. Are Men Against Rape counsellors  equally well screened?  Strong women in action are the best  antidote to violence  I am also concerned about men given official clearance by the women's movement  to speak to student groups about sexism.  Male role models can be a strong medium  for the wrong message.  Women speaking  out about socialization, self-defence  and sexual abuse counter the image of the  male expert. Strong women in action are  the best antidote to violence against women there is.  Men articulate in feminist theory are  probably the only persons who can ease  the brutal treatment of sexual offenders  in male prisons and rape within male prisons. Both contribute to recidivism and  further violence against women.  As anti-prison activists have pointed out,  the elimination of prison violence will  occur only with the elimination of pri  sons. But it looks like it's going to  be a long haul. Lessening institutional  dehumanization helps both the anti-rape  and the anti-prison movements, so "Men  Against Violence in Institutions" might  be a group feminists could support.  But what about the women in "protective  confinement" in Kingston and Tanguay who  have sexually abused children or allowed  men to do so? What about the mistreatment of lesbians in penal institutions?  What about sexual assaults of women in  prison? Are we as feminists ignoring the  distasteful fact of women's sexual violence while automatically accepting the  value of a men's group working on prison  reform?  Looking at the process  Rape crisis centres arose from women's  common experience of sexual abuse by men  and dissatisfaction with the legal treatment of assailants.  The 40 or so rape  crisis groups in Canada have evolved as  the women's movement has evolved. The  trend has been away from mixed groups to  autonomous women's groups.  The focus of the anti-rape movement evolved concurrently.  In the beginning, rape  crisis centres fought to get cases into '  court. Crown prosecutors often are reluctant to advance cases where the odds are  against their winning. For example, in  the provincial capital where I worked as  a rape crisis volunteer, there had not  been a conviction of a rape case for 25  years. The first recent conviction coincided with the formation of the Rape  Crisis Service in 1975.  The collective  pressured the crown prosecutor to bring  a particularly grisly case to court and  the rapists were convicted.  As more cases were tried, it became apparent that the interests of the court were  very different from those of the victims  and the anti-rape movement. Women began  to explore other ways of combatting rape.  The change came from women's direct experience of victimization, counselling, analysis and action.  It was a process, not  an overnight growth.  Does Vancouver Men Against Rape have such  a solid footing? Or do some men feel they  have acquired the correct line and want to  flaunt it? Do they have unresolved personal experiences to work out?  To ask another old question: whom do they  serve?  Why do "feminist" men champion women's  causes? Don't they realise we're strong  enough to do it ourselves?        Q  NUCLEAR INSANITY   power — environmentalists, leftists,  religious groups. Their reasons may be  solid but their analysis has lacked the  depth of the feminist analysis which  connects the nuclear mentality to all other  expressions of "power over" and disregard  for the rights of all people to have  healthy and safe lives.  Polls in the U.S. show that more women than  men are opposed to nuclear power.  Even  without the analysis, women know at some  gut level that nuclear power is not good  for us.  Control of our bodies is an issue  One of the basic issues for feminists has  been the right of control of our bodies.  Control of our bodies must surely include  stopping the demonstrable health dangers  of nuclear power. As women we are particularly affected: we bear the genetically  defective children or look after them, we  form the majority of health care workers  who look after the cancer victims, we do  many low status technical jobs which expose us to low-level radiation. And we  are the most likely group to get organized  and say no to the nuclear madness.  V/e do not have to leave our other feminist  work in order to be anti-nuke activists;  we can take anti-nuke consciousness and  information into whatever group we work  with and to whatever women we reach through  our work and lives, as mothers, as workers,  as teachers, as union members.  If we do not act now to save the planet,  we may have no planet in which to create  and develop our vision of a non-sexist,  non-oppressive society that celebrates  life. 0  Further reading:  Ain't nowhere we can run: a handbook for  women on the nuclear mentality — Susan  Koen and Nina Swaim  No Nukes:  everyone's guide to nuclear  power  — Anna Gyorgy and friends  Nuclear Madness  — Dr. Helen Caldicott  For further information about anti-nuclear  power organizing, contact Women Against  Nuclear Technology, c/o Ani Arnott, 1211  East 15th St., Vancouver, B.C. (604)  873-9962. Q Kinesis November '80  OUR BODIES, OURSELVES  Support the Rally for Repeal, November 30 at Kits Secondary  By Nancy Walker  On November 30, the Concerned Citizens for  Choice on Abortion (CCCA) is sponsoring  what promises to be a big and exciting  rally for repeal of the abortion laws.  Featured speakers will be Dr Henry Morgentaler, a Canadian leader in the movement  for choice; Ann Kingsbury of the Labour  Abortion Rights Campaign (LARC) from London, England and from across the border,  Dorothy Young Sale of the National Organization for Women (NOW).  The issue of abortion has been front-page  news in the Lower Mainland for months now.  Health minister Rafe Mair set the stage  for the present intense confrontation when  he fuelled anti-choice flames last year  with statements of indignation'about the  number of abortions being performed in  B.C. hospitals. These he followed with ominous threats to turn the situation around.  This fall, after a summer of hard campaigning by both sides, several hospital societies elected new members to their boards.  North Shore pro-choicers came away winning  every seat. But we lost out in Victoria,  and most dramatically at Surrey Memorial  Hospital.  In Surrey, for the first time, anti-abortion forces have taken control of a hospital board in B.C.  Surrey Memorial is in a state of crisis  Since election night, moves to ban all  abortions at Surrey Memorial have marched  ahead. Now Surrey Memorial is in a state  of crisis, with doctors having quit all  medical committees, turned in a vote of  non-confidence in their board, and called  on Rafe Mair to clean up the mess.  Meanwhile, Surrey women seeking abortions  must turn elsewhere.  Fights like the one we're seeing in Surrey are part of the international struggle by women for reproductive control.  This battleground is well-recognized as  a key one in the movement for women's  liberation.  The right to decide for ourselves whether  to bear children, the right to access  to medical technology to back up our decisions are basic.  Until women wrest control from hospital  boards, churches and governments, our  full participation in political and  social life isn't really possible.  Though the pro-choice movement is an increasingly popular one, women everywhere  are up against a new offense to chip away  at the rights won in the past decade.  These cutbacks can be understood in the  context of economic crisis, when governments are scrambling to reduce social service spending wherever they can get away  with it.  But the onslaught against women's reproductive rights must also be seen as part and  parcel of a drive to erode all democratic  rights, especially the right to strike,  and basic rights of lesbians and gays.  CCCA is based on two central demands that  we think can help direct the fight. These  demands are for repeal of the anti-abortion laws and for a woman's right to choose.  We think the only way that these rights  can be realized is by having abortion  wiped out of the Criminal Code once and  for all.  Having an abortion is not a crime.  Nor do we accept the present framework that  permits abortion only in very particular  circumstances, that gives an eleven-member  board, a three-person committee and an entire hospital society the right to decide  Stan Sierakowski  was one of the most liberal in Europe.  Attacks through the seventies culminated  in the Corrie Bill which aimed to wipe out  that gain.  The British pro-choice movement, represented by the National Abortion  Campaign (NAC) and the Labour Abortion  Rights Campaign (LARC) went on a drive to  build strong links with labour and bring  the Labour Party and the Trade Union Congress (like the CLC here) into the fight  to turn these developments around.  In November 1978 the first congress of the  British labour movement on the question of  abortion was held. Delegates voted to take  on the issue and build mobilizations if  Parliament made the slightest move to  Quite  1 f\tl)0A  The right to choose on abortion should not be negotiated over  the fate of each and every woman requesting an abortion.  Just as the right to collective bargaining  or to freedom of speech is not up for election by interested layers of the community  each year, the right to choose on abortion  should not be negotiated over and over again.  We want laws making abortion illegal repealed from the Criminal Code. We want hospitals and clinics to provide the service of  abortion in the same way as they provide  other services.  Anti-abortion laws are federal, so it is  at Ottawa that we must aim our fire.  Pro-choice forces tossed out Corrie's Bill  Repeal will be won by a movement like the  one in Britain that threw out the repressive anti-abortion Corrie's Bill last year.  In the late sixties in Britain, as part of  the same trend that changed Canadian law,  new legislation on abortion was passed  Despite all its restrictive clauses, it  undermine the 1976 law.  The Corrie Bill was that move. On October  28, 1979 40,000 people organized by the  TUC took to the streets in London, and the  Bill was defeated.  A pro-choice movement like that one across  Canada will not only win repeal of the federal laws, it will change the political  climate so much in our favour that local  anti-choice health ministers or hospital  boards will think twice before taking us  on.  The rally on November 30 can be an important step forward for the pro-choice movement here. In tying together lessons from  Britain, from the United States and from  our own recent past through Dr. Henry  Morgentaler, who was so central to the  repeal movement in the last decade, we can  learn together how to build a movement that  will win.  Rally for Repeal of the Anti-Abortion laws  will be held 2 p.m., Sunday, November 30  at Kitsilano Secondary School, 2550 W. 10th  Vancouver.  0  RALLY FOR REPEAL  OF THE ABORTION LAWS  2 p.m.    SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30,1980  KITSILANO SECONDARY SCHOOL  2550 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. Kinesis November '8C  WOMEN'S WELFARE RIGHTS  WOMEN TACKLE THE ISSUES OF POVERTY,WELFARE  By the Skeena Terrace Welfare Rights Committee  The Skeena Terrace Welfare Rights Committee  has been meeting over the past months to  share our experiences about living on welfare and to put into our own words how  welfare policy must be changed to improve  our lives.  °We have learned that our problems are not  personal problems but that they are in  fact problems faced by all of us on welfare. We have learned to believe in our  own power as a group and how important it  is to continue building our power by involving more and more people.  This discussion paper is the result of our  efforts. Based on our conclusions here  we hope to plan strategies and take action  to gain control over our lives.  We encourage other welfare groups and individuals to make use of our work and we  welcome any comments you would like to  make.  Let's keep each other informed of our activities and let's join together because  ilone we are powerless but together we can  be strong.  1. WELFARE RATES FOR FAMILIES  Welfare incomes simply do not meet the needs  of those of us on welfare because:  Welfare rates are far below all recognized  poverty lines in Canada.  Welfare rates are not adjusted to keep up  with the rising cost of living.  Welfare rates do not take into account the  needs of families of different sizes. The  larger the family, the worse the poverty.  The shelter component of the welfare cheque  is not in line with actual market rents.  Because most of us cannot find accomodation in existing public housing we are  forced to rely on our support money to pay  the rent. This problem has become worse  since rent overages were eliminated in 1979.  The support component of the welfare cheque  does not allow us to feed our families  adequately. Money for food takes up the  largest chunk of any family's spending.  The lower a family's income, the bigger the  portion of the total budget spent on food.  (See One Child, One Chance  — a report on  nutrition by the National Council of Welfare, March 1973)  What appears as food money in the welfare  cheque must in fact be shared with a whole  list of other needed expenses, (e.g.  clothes, childcare, utilities, transportation, home furnishings and equipment,  health care, personal care, special school  needs, emergencies — not to mention addi- '  tional money to cover the rent. )  In reality, food money is that money which  is left over after all other expenses have  been paid. The result is inadequate nutrition for ourselves and our children.  The biological parent who is on welfare is  given less money to support a child than a  foster parent. This means that our children are better taken care of financially  when they are "in care" of the ministry of  human resources.  Inadequate finances result in mental and  physical hardships for both parents and  children. Given the fact that our incomes  are not keeping up with the cost of living,  it is not surprising that more and more of  our children are ending up "in care".  Our welfare incomes are too low to allow  us to participate in the activities that  this society takes for granted (birthdays  and Christmas celebrations, holidays,  recreation, entertaining in our homes).  Our poverty forces us to live lives of  social isolation.  Devor  The Skeena Terrace Welfare Rights Committee,  in its fight against poverty, supports the  following demands:  * We demand a guaranteed annual income for  all  poor people in Canada. We reject  the labels of "deserving" and "underser-  ving" poor. No one deserves to be poor.  Such myths only serve to divide us.  We reject explanations of poverty that  place the blame on us — the poor. We  are not poor because we don't work hard  enough. We know that 63 people out of  every 100 poor people in Canada work for  a wage. We also know that the majority  of "working poor" do not receive any  income assistance at all.  A guaranteed annual income would ensure  that all people have an income sufficient  to live on — be they employed or unemployed. Eligibility would be determined solely by financial need and the  stigma of being a welfare recipient would  be removed.  * We demand welfare rates that are determined in accordance with the poverty  line established by the Canadian senate.  The senate poverty line, at this point,  seems to reflect most closely the actual  costs of daily living.  * We demand a built in cost of living  allowance (COLA), to insure that welfare  rates keep up with the rising costs of  inflation. A cost of living adjustment  should occur every four months as is the  case now with the Handicapped Persons  Income Allowance (HPIA).  * We demand that the rent component be adjusted immediately to take into account  average market rents, and that such  monitering and adjusting continue until  an actual COLA is in place.  Under no circumstances should a family  be required to use support money for  rent repayments. A system of rent overages must be reinstated for those persons who due to the rental crisis simply  cannot find accomodation within the  established financial guidelines.  * We demand that the support component be  reassessed immediately and that an actual food requirement be determined based  on estimates re: the cost of adequate  nutrition for families of varying sizes.  The undernourishment of the poor must be  stopped now.  To ensure that much needed food money is  not spent on other necessities, we demand  at the same time that all necessary expenditures be itemized with the cost estimates and that these be included in  the total support allowance.  * We demand the immediate reinstatement of  the Special Needs Allowance. It is an  insult to tell us to budget our money  more carefully. We have no extra money  to set aside for an emergency or for a  rainy day. Until welfare incomes actually reflect the real costs of daily  living, special need allowances are one  of the only safety valves that keep us  financially afloat. The restrictive  crisis grants now in operation must be  replaced by a more liberal application  of the special needs allowance.  * We demand that welfare cheques be issued  bi-monthly. Such a simple administrative chance would make it just a little  easier for us to administer our meager  incomes.  2. PRIVACY AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION  Living on welfare means having our privacy  invaded. Our lives are controlled and  manipulated by a whole group of workers-  social workers, financial aid workers, family  support workers, youth workers, community  health officials, homemakers, teachers   Too often social workers and financial aid  workers act as though they are taking our  welfare cheques out of their own pockets.  We are made to feel guilty in taking money  that is rightfully ours for the work we do  in raising our children.  When we apply for special money from welfare for things we simply can't afford on  our incomes, it is assumed that we have  not budgeted properly. We have to give an  account of all our expenditures — even the  Child Tax Credit — which for other people  is income with no strings attached. Workers have been known to examine our refrigerators and cupboards just to make sure  that we are not stockpiling while requesting extra money.  Our bank accounts have been examined by  officials from the ministry of human resources .  It is often assumed that people on welfare  want a "free ride" and because we are seen  as wanting something for nothing we are  suspected of being fraudlent.  -lost of  us are not guilty of collecting welfare  while employed, yet this is what■frequently makes the headlines.  Most of us, however, at one time or another  fail to report little gifts of money we  receive from family and friends because to  do so would simply mean that we couldn't  make ends meet. This too is considered  fraud by the ministry of human resources.  Instead of giving us sufficient money so  that we can adequately house and feed ourselves and our families, the ministry  spends money on special investigation  officers.  Some of us discover that we are being investigated without even knowing why.  Neighbours have been asked to spy on us  and have on occasion been threatened with  investigation themselves should they re-C> Kinesis November '80  Kinesis November '80  WOMEN'S WELFARE RIGHTS  fuse to co-operate. This is a complete  violation of our privacy.  Some of us have been subjected to lie detector tests when reporting lost or stolen  cheques and money. We are not trusted  because we are on welfare. Although we  have been victims of crime in the situation, we are treated as the criminal.  We are denied the right to our own private sex lives. To be in a relationship,  of whatever duration with a man, puts us  in a situation where we can be investigated. It is up to us to prove that a man  is not supporting us financially. We are  assumed to be guilty until proven innocent.  Our lives are an open book. Often there  are a whole variety of professionals who  discuss "our situation" without involving  us at all. Psychiatric assessments on  our children have gone directly to the  school — assessments we haven't even seen.  Teachers have called social workers concerning difficulties with our children  without consulting us — the parents. We  feel like we are constantly on trial.  The yearly compulsory visit from our social  workers sometimes resembles a police visit.  Because we are on welfare, it is assumed  that we have no right to any privacy and  that everything we own or do is open to  scrutiny.  Social workers, often from middle-class  backgrounds, tell us how to raise our  children. Health nurses make us feel  guilty because our children do not receive  adequate nutrition. Teachers complain  when our children do poorly at school. Yet  the source of our difficulties is poverty.  We are given insufficient money to raise  our families properly, and then when we  run into problems our children are taken  away from us.  The Child Crisis Line-(Zenith 1234) is a  source of fear and intimidation. Although  the line has supposedly been set up for  the protection of children, it is frequently used to "fink" on welfare recipients.  We end up being investigated because of  some anonymous phone call often from a  neighbour who simply may not like welfare  recipients. There must be better ways to  ensure the protection of children, without  at the same time causing harrassment of  parents on welfare.  We are made to feel fearful of using services that might possibly be available to  us (homemakers, family support workers,  special needs daycare, therapists) because  this could be used against us in the future. We face the threat of being called  incompetent or "unable to cope" and have  our children taken away from us.  Welfare workers are expected to collect  information on us and write reports about  us which we are not allowed to see.  We are frequently kept in a totally dependant position because we do not know what  our rights are. We are at the mercy of  social workers to tell us what we are entitled to. MHR policy manuals, although  they govern our lives, are not available  to us as welfare recipients.  As welfare recipients, we demand some control over our lives. Specifically, we demand:  * That a proper grievance procedure be  established (with some input) so that we  can grieve issues such as harrassment  and invasion of privacy.  * That MHR immediately stop discriminating  against women by dictating their sex  lives. Our relationships are our own  affairs. We have as much right as anyone else to choose who we will sleep with  or if we will sleep with someone. We  demand that we be spared having to look  at every man as a potential breadwinner.  As women we demand our right to independent incomes whether or not we happen to  be in a relationship.  * That the files which welfare keeps on us  be available immediately on request and  that all information in the file be  grievable.  * That MHR policy manuals be made available  to any group of welfare recipients that  requests them.  are to be seen as job training. What job  training?  We say that there is no difference whatsoever between CIP and VIP placements.  In  most cases neither offer any real kind of  job training.  We provide for free work that is highly  undervalued and underpaid in our society  —r social service kinds of work — work  that we already know because of our experience as women in the home.  The only benefit that we really gain from  CIP or VIP placements is some confidence  The policy states that crisis grants are  not to be used to duplicate the costs of  food, furniture, etc., yet most of our  crises arise because we don't have enough  money in precisely these items.  Crisis grants often take too long to be  approved.  If there is a crisis, help is  required immediately and it is of little  help to us to be refused and forced to go  through a lengthy appeal procedure.  The conditions under which MHR will pay  • for moving expenses are completely unrealistic.  It is next to impossible for us  3. VIPs, CIPs-WORK INCENTIVES AND TRAINING  The assumption behind the MHR policy on  VIPs and CIPs, work incentives and training,  is that persons on welfare are unproductive.  The intention of this policy is to get us off  welfare and "doing something useful." As  welfare recipients we find the policy to be  based on false assumptions, unrealistic and  incapable of meeting its own objective.  Most of us are already working, although  in unpaid jobs within the home. A recent  estimate states that if women were paid  for all the work they do in the home at  labour market prices, they would be earning approximately $40,000 per year.  We are both angry and apalled at a recent  ministry report that advocated that women  be forced into the labour market.  Many of us, because of our responsibilities  as mothers and child-rearers, have not had  the opporunity to develop skills that  would allow us to adequately support our  families through employment. We seem to  be left with two equally negative choices  — either to stay in "no paying" jobs or  to take "low paying" jobs.  Where are the job opportunities that pay  enough to make two jobs worth our while?  The job of raising our children in the  home and a job outside the house that pays  enough to ensure that we can raise our  children without welfare assistance.  The maximum $100 per month earning exem-  tion allowed by the ministry of human resources acts as a job disincentive rather  than as an incentive. It is very difficult to find part-time employment that will  pay less than $100 per month and yet to  earn more means that every single much-  needed dollar goes back to the ministry.  The training policy of the ministry of  human resources serves to place women in  jobs that are an extension of the unpaid  work they do in the home. We are encouraged to train as domestics, child-care  workers or office workers — low paying  jobs with minimal job opportunities.  Because of the two year ceiling that MHR puts  on training, we are discouraged from exploring many jobs that might be appealing  both from a personal and a monetary point  of view.  Because the purpose of MHR's training  policy is to "get us to earn our keep" as  quickly as possible our job choices are  very narrow. At the same time these restrictions are often self-defeating because  they really bear no relationship to actual  job openings — forcing us to train for  non-existent jobs.'  The present system of VIP's and CIP's are  an insult to us. We are told that what we  are doing in these placements is not work  and that the payment of $50. or $100. per  month which we receive is paid to us to  cover basic expenses incurred in getting  involved in our community.  This is how the  ministry of human resources gets around  paying less than even the minimum wage.  How hypocritical!  At the same time we are told that VIP's are  to be available to those of us who are  employable, on a one-time basis only and  At the Skeena Terrace Welfare Rights Committee's meeting with Rosemary Brown, MLA  in our ability to work outside the home.  This confidence could certainly be bolstered if the placements were also accompanied by an actual payment for the work  done.  We demand that the ministry of human resources stop treating us as "parasites on the  system" and that their policies be reassessed  in terms of our needs  * We demand that we be allowed to keep  every dollar we earn or receive as a  gift until such time as our incomes  correspond to the senate poverty line.  * We demand that CIP's and VIP's be seen  as work (which they are) and that we  receive payment for our work. At minimum this means bringing these placements under the minimum wage laws for  B.C.  * We demand job training be available to  us on the basis of our interests and  that the two year ceiling for MHR sponsored training be dropped. We resent  being forced into job categories that  the ministry of human resources "chooses"  for us.  4. SPECIAL NEEDS, CRISIS GRANTS AND OTHER  ALLOWANCES  All people dependent on welfare are "in crisis"  because of our starvation incomes. Because  we are not given enough money to cover the  basic costs of living (food, shelter, clothing,  household maintenance, recreation, etc.) we  can get a little extra money to make ends meet  through the various grants grudgingly handed  out by the ministry of human resources. These  grants do not meet our needs because:  Our Special Needs Allowance has been taken  away from us and the existing crisis grants  in no way compensate for this loss.  Crisis grants are almost impossible to get  because crisis is defined so narrowly:  - if there is danger to physical health  - if children are in danger of being  apprehended  to actually move into a cheaper place given  the present rent situation in Vancouver,  yet it is under these circumstances that  MHR will pay up to $500 for moving expenses.  For those of us who have applied to be  moved back to our home province, we have  •been treated like immigrants. The home  province actually has to give approval before we are accepted back. Our right to  live wherever we choose has been taken from  us.  Damage deposits are given to us only once.  If, for some reason we should lose a damage deposit we must pay the required amount  out of our own pockets. Even if we do get  the full deposit back when we move, our  new place will likely demand a larger  damage deposit because of rising rents.  And we then have to pay for the difference  ourselves.  The Special Emergency Food Vouchers don't  really assist us because any money we get  is deducted dollar for dollar from future  welfare cheques. Many of us go without  food rather than asking for a voucher because we dread the decrease in our cheques  — a decrease.that makes life even harder  for us.  Paying us with vouchers is degrading:  - we are forced to run back and forth  with estimates  - vouchers indicate that we are not  trusted with money  - our shopping choices are severely restricted  - our bargaining ability has been removed  - we have to buy the cheapest goods which  means we buy the same items year after  year because of their short life span  - store officials often treat us with  disdain  Once again, we demand our right to decent  incomes. We demand:  * We demand a realistic assessment of food  costs be made and that this be included  as part of our regular welfare cheque.  * We demand that a realistic assessment of  all household maintenance costs be made  and that this be included as part of our  regular welfare cheque.  * We demand that a realistic assessment of  all clothing costs be made and that this  be included as part of our regular welfare cheques.  * That we be spared filling in endless  forms to prove that we have no leftover  income before we can get special grants.  Welfare knows that we have no extra  money.  * That the voucher system be abolished  and be replaced with cheques.  * That the Special Needs Allowance be  brought back.  * That a clothing allowance be made available to cover both adults and children:  $100 per person when school begins in  September; $50 per person at Christmas  and $50 per person in the summer.  Until such time as these are implemented, we  demand:  * That a household maintenance allowance  of $250. be made available twice a year  * That Crisis Grants be made available  immediately in times of crisis and that  they supplement, not replace, the Special Needs Allowance  To facilitate the speed with which these  grants are distributed we suggest that  the social worker have the power to  approve them and that a Special Crisis  appeals procedure be established to include the district supervisor and the  regional manager.  * That the Special Dietary Allowance and  the Pregnancy Allowance be increased  immediately to reflect the rising cost of  living since they were first instituted.  Above all, that people on welfare be  treated with the respect and dignity that  they deserve.  * That any emergency financial assistance  which is given not be deducted off future  welfare cheques.  5. WELFARE POLICY AND CHILDREN  Parti: BILL 45-THE FAMILY AND CHILDREN'S  SERVICES ACT  The new proposed Family and Children's  Services Act, Bill 45, does not protect children  but further removes control from parents on  welfare and gives huge power to the child  welfare authorities.  There are no guidelines in Bill 45 on what  is child abuse. This puts unlimited power  in the hands of welfare authorities who  need to make only one telephone call to a  judge for a warrant to apprehend.  For us, the welfare parents, this can mean  constant threats and fear that our children  will be removed from us based on arbitrary  decisions, often by a single worker.  While we are supportive of the provisions  for parents to give up children into short-  term care without having to go before the  courts we have several real concerns.  What guarantee is there that the parent who  has voluntarily given up a child will get  that child back upon request?  What happens to the child in cases where  the parent feels incapable of assuming re-  sponsibilty after four months?  We object that such a child will be considered abandoned and that the ministry  will proceed as though an apprehension has  taken place. This appears to us as just  one more example of blindly applying legislation without any consideration of the  important issues that could be affecting  each individual situation.  We are concerned that Bill 45 allows the  courts to order up to 12 months temporary  custody. While we agree that there needs  to be a lot of flexibility regarding the  maximum length of time before a child is  taken into permanent custody, a temporary  custody order of 12 months duration severely reduces the chances of re-uniting  parent and child.  We are concerned over the issue of mandatory maintenance orders. So long as the  courts had some discretion regarding maintenance orders it was possible at least in  theory to waive such orders for persons  who are truly financially incapable of  making payments.  Mandatory maintenance orders, rather than  bringing much-needed income to welfare  mothers, would only serve to punish and  harass the poor.  Bill 45 appears to ignore completely the  rights of the child: there is no provision for legal representation of the child  or for a child's advocate. Moreover, it  does not specify that a child is to have  access to family members.  Bill 45 also ignores the rights of the  parents by removing parents' rights to  lay panels.  Further, Bill 45 appears to be completely  indifferent to the cultural and class  differences in raising children. Surely  it is significant that the vast majority  of children in care come from poor families and that a huge percentage of these  children — 40$ — are native Indian  children.  Is it really believable that we as poor  parents or native Indian parents are  doing such a terrible job of raising our  children? Or are there perhaps other  issues here that Bill 45 has chosen to  ignore?  The time has come for the ministry of human  resources to be held accountable for its contribution towards child abuse and child neglect  in this province  * We demand that Bill 45 not be proclaimed without a proper public hearing at  which those whom Bill 45 most affects  can be heard.  * V/e demand that the responsibilities of  the ministry of human resources be outlined in Bill 45 to ensure that child  abuse and child neglect are minimized  through the mandatory provision of  adequate resources to families.  * We demand that Bill 45 be examined to  see whether children are really receiving the protection they need, or  whether in fact Bill 45 only serves  to further harass the poor parent.  * We demand that Bill 45 include a definition of child abuse and neglect.  We define child abuse and child neglect  as the failure to provide children with  the material and emotional support that  is their due.  We are asking the ministry of human  resources, "What definition do you  use?"  Part 2: MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT  MHR policy on maintenance and support  completely ignores the interests of the mother  and child involved. Instead, the policy serves  to absolve the ministry of human resources of  all financial responsibility by shifting, whenever possible, the burden back on to the  family.  The ministry of human resources does not  respect the rights of adults to make de-D>> Kinesis November'80  WOMEN'S WELFARE RIGHTS  cisions about their relationships. It  ignores the emotional and often financial  difficulties involved by insisting that  reconciliation be attempted before MHR  will offer any financial assistance.  It is also insulting that the MHR has the  power to insist that a couple submit to  marital counselling.  MHR places an additional burden on women  by insisting that we are responsible for  locating our husbands and that it is up  to us to persuade them to pay support money. MHR even suggests that we make use of  skip-tracing services.  This policy is ridiculous and ignores the  fact that few relationships end harmoniously. Women are therefore forced into situations of possible physical abuse because  we have to harass men for financial support.  Where "voluntary" support cannot be agreed  to, as is most often the case, women who  are already undergoing tremendous stress  are required to initiate a court procedure for maintenance. This is an additional burden that we could certainly do without.  MHR can actually refuse financial assistance if they believe the separation to be  one of convenience!  We ask whether the ministry has ever considered that it is guilty of abusing children by refusing financial assistance to a  family in need until the parent's "innocence" is proven?  Poor women have little to gain by suing  for maintenance. For those of us on welfare, sporadic support payments do little  to ease our financial burden. Many of us  have been in relationships with men who  are themselves poor.  For those of us who have had connections  to men with money, we still don't benefit  because the ministry takes back all maintenance payments over $100 a month.  We demand that the MHR stop harassing  women through its maintenance policies  * We demand that MHR do its own policing.  Women have nothing to gain by being  forced into this role.  If MHR is going to insist on collecting  maintenance money, then MHR should initiate the court proceedings.  We demand that you spare us from doing  your dirty work.  * We demand that so long as MHR insists on  suing for maintenance that women get to  keep every dollar of maintenance paid  until we reach the senate poverty line.  * We demand that MHR respect our decisions  regarding our relationships.  We demand an immediate end to the policy  of reconciliation as well as an immediate end to comDulsory marriage counselling.  * We insist on the right to control our  own lives and resent all interference  based on nothing else than the financial  considerations of the ministry.  5. WELFARE POLICY AND CHILDREN  Part 3: CHILDCARE  We believe that good free childcare should be  available for all children. Childcare is not a  welfare issue, but a basic human right. This  right is not recognized by the ministry of  human resources.  There is no money available through the  ministry to cover the capital costs invol  ved in setting up a daycare centre.  There are no resource people available to  work actively with parent groups who are  struggling to establish a childcare facility in their community.  The licensing branch at the ministry of  health, rather than being supportive to  groups attempting to meet the licensing  requirements, acts as an obstacle to all  childcare endeavours.  There is little recognition of the urgent  need for group childcare centres for  children under the age of three.  The ministry poses family daycares as the  solution while:  — underpaying women who do childcare in  their homes, thereby using family daycares  as a cheap alternative to quality licensed  group facilities;  — forcing women to search out family daycare options on their own because the ministry itself appears to do no active recruiting and therefore has no list of  available families to refer us to;  — offering no money to women who might  open their homes for childcare to cover  items such as toys, cribs, creative play  materials and other items that would improve the home's chances for meeting with  ministry approval;  — not offering an adequate income exemption to women on welfare, thereby not making it worth our while to take children  into our homes.  There is no recognition of the urgent need  for good childcare'alternatives for all  mothers whether they are working inside or  outside the home. Mothers on welfare are  given subsidies for only three days a  week and only if they are actively seeking  employment. This makes it very difficult  to find childcare, because most centres  are dependent on full enrollment and full  subsidies so that they can continue to  meet their operating expenses.  And what about those of us who are unable  to seek employment, but who badly need a  break from the responsibilities of full-  time parenting? (And all of us do.) We  cannot receive any subsidies unless our  children qualify for a Special Needs Program.  Most often our needs as parents and the  needs of our children are not so special.  We have needs that are shared by all parents and children. We need time away from  each other.  The childcare subsidies offered by MHR  bear little relation to the actual costs  charged by childcare facilities. As a result, we are forced to make up the difference out of our own pockets. For many of  us this means that childcare is unafford-  able.  MHR does not allow us to use the support  that is often most readily available, "because the ministry refuses to pay relatives  to do childcare.  MHR contribute" to the problem of child  abuse by not offering women any safety  valves. Where are the crisis childcare  centres that we could turn to in time of  stress? Where is the babysitting money  that would allow us that much-needed break  away from our children?  It would be cheaper for the ministry to  spend money on the provision of good childcare facilities than to deal with the effects of child abuse and child neglect.  The money that is now spent on fostercare,  group homes, correction institutions and  so forth far exceeds the amount required  to establish a comprehensive childcare  program for all children in this province.  When will the ministry take action in recognition of this simple fact?  We are fed up with the meaningless intervention of the ministry in our lives. We are tired of  confused policies which on the one hand say  that families should be kept together and on  the other hand work to tear families apart.  We want to make our own choices and we  demand that the ministry provide us with the  resources needed to make such choices  possible  * We demand that the right to good free  childcare for all children be recognized  in MHR policies.  * We demand that money be available to  parent groups to cover the full costs  of setting up a childcare facility in  their community.  * We demand that MHR make money available  to parent groups to hire a resource person.  * We demand that MHR back up the licensing  requirements of the ministry of health  with adequate funds.  * We demand that the family daycares cease  to function as a money-save for the ministry and that money be put into quality  group daycare services.  * We demand that women who offer childcare  in their homes be paid adequately for the  work they do and that women on welfare  get to keep every single dollar they earn  until their incomes correspond to the senate poverty line.  * We demand that the ministry financially  support all efforts to establish crisis  childcare facilities.  * We demand that the ministry automatically  provide all mothers on welfare (who have  children under the age of 14) with a babysitting allowance of $30 per month.  * We demand an immediate increase in subsidies so that they cover the full cost of  placing a child into a childcare facility.  * We demand that MHR get involved in the  push for block funding so that childcare  centres have adequate funds for their  everyday operation and so that workers  can get pay that reflects the vital work  they do.  * We demand that the government bureaucracies involved in the issue of childcare  (the ministries of health, human resources  and education) stop the buckpassing which  now characterizes their approach.  These government bureaucracies should  make up their minds about who is to administer the funds. (We favour the ministry of education.) Then they should  distribute the funds in recognition of  childcare as a basic right for all.  All children and all parents are entitled  to the social and educational benefits  that could be offered through provision of  a comprehensive 24-hour per day childcare.  Children are our most important resource  and are, therefore, the responsibility of  society as a whole, o  This article was researched and written by:  Sarah Abbey  Nadine Allen  Del Cernos  Sandra Currie  Sharon Curtis  Doronn Dalzell  Jean Gullickson  Shannon Hoffman  Kathy Hunter  Debra Lewis  Darlene MacDonald  Marion Malcolmson  Janice O'Brien  Rosalyn Reely  Ann Schaefer  Linda Stinson  Ruby Townend  Brenda Wells  CatWickstrom  Pauleen Widen Kinesis November '8  WOMEN AND DRUGS  It's a chilling account of one woman's battle with Valium  By Colleen Walsh  I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can, by Barbara Gordon. Bantam  Press.  I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can , by Barbara  Gordon, is a personal story of Valium addiction. The author comes off tranquillizers cold turkey (on the advice of her  psychiatrist), experiences a total psychotic breakdown, and attempts to put the  pieces of her shattered life together again.  More than this, though, I'm Dancing as  Fast as I Can  is a book, as the author herself says, about "the collective ignorance  of the psychiatric establishment" and the  "prejudice and suspicion that greet a  mental patient" wherever she or he goes.  This book deals with the over-prescription  of drugs in our society — the pill-for-  every-pain type of drug abuse that is so  prevalent today.  It also addresses the  matter of the individual and collective  choices that women must make.  I enjoyed the book.  It is well written,  and is "an easy read". Barbara Gordon, at  age forty, is an Emmy award winning documentary producer for CBS who has been  living with her lover Eric for five years.  She has also been seeing a psychiatrist  for ten years at the point where the book  opens. She is beginning to have doubts    =  about this doctor: "So many visits for so  1  many years. What am I doing here? Then   «  I reminded myself. Even though we don't  seem to talk about anything that matters,  I get the Valium from Dr. Allen. And I  knew how much I needed that."  She takes Valium for the anxiety attacks  which plague, and have begun to increase  in intensity. She also ups her intake of  Valium, hoping to alleviate these attacks,  without success. She tries to discuss  this problem with her psychiatrist:  "Look, you're a doctor...The pills aren't  working anymore. I'll face'whatever it is  that is causing this...I need your help.'"  Her psychiatrist's response to this plea  for help is to suggest more medication and  stronger medication — Thorazine. When  she objects, he offers her Lithium. She  rejects both, and as she leaves his office  thinks: "Again I had the prescription (for  Valium) and no answers.  The same anxiety."  Gordon decides that she will go off Valium  and phones the same doctor for advice on  how to go about this. He tells her to do  it cold, and not even to drink:  "Withdrawal from Valium can cause more  serious complications than withdrawing from  heroin. Months later I would see other  addicts ... being withdrawn from Valium  5mg. a week over a long course of treatment. I was taking 30mg. a day and went  off it cold ... I blew my head open."  The physical symptoms were horrendous  This was the beginning of a total psychotic breakdown for Barbara Gordon. The  physical symptoms were horrendous:  "... a creeping sense of anxiety ... like  little jolts of electricity, as if charged  pins and needles were shooting through my  body. My breathing became rapid and I  began to perspire ... My scalp started to  burn as if I had hot coals under my hair.  Then I began to experience funny little  twitches, spasms, a jerk of the leg, a  flying arm, tiny tremors that soon turned  into convulsions."  She is unable to sleep at night. Thoughts  from the past, from her childhood become  incredibly clear, and she begins to share  these experiences with Eric.  This initiates a fifty-seven day period of  horror that takes place in her apartment,  either alone, or with her lover. He stops  going to his law office and alternates between caring- for her needs, and degrading  her. He changes from the warm, loving  man she knows to a sadistic brute, and  eventually lapses totally into abusing her  — verbally, emotionally and physically.  She can no longer even remember who she  is. After nearly two months she reaches  a point where she realizes that she needs  medical attention. Eric will not take her  to a doctor, nor will he allow her to go  on her own. He tells her that he is the  only one who loves her, the only one who  will care for her, and that "they" will  lobotomize her.  In a moment of lucidity she is able to  trick him and two of her friends come to  her assistance. She is then admitted to  a mental hospital where she remains for  seventeen days. There she acquires a new  doctor, a new diagnosis, and a new prescription for yet another kind of drug.  Upon leaving the hospital she commences on  what she calls "the great shrink hunt" and  runs across several whom she considers  belong inside the institution that she  just left.  The first is Doctor Popkin — who is both  saddened and excited by her experience and  seems to want help from her!  "... before  I knew it, I had lost the ball and we were  embarked on a 30 minute analysis of why  Dr. Popkin felt sad ... I couldn't afford,  either financially or emotionally, to help.  Dr. Popkin with his problem."  Her next encounter with a psychiatrist is  even more disastrous and potentially more  expensive!  "During our consultation he showed me how  the therapy worked.  'Touch the wall  Barbara' he said. I touched the wall.  'Thank you Barbara for touching the wall.  ... And so it went for 50 minutes and I  realized that I was talking to a lunatic."  Eventually she finds a psychiatrist who  seems somewhat more realistic. She sees  him regularly. After months of "treatment"  he diagnosis her as schizophrenic and gives  her Thorazine. He tells her that she won't  really mind it, and that it will help her!  "I took the pill, a small, round, white  capsule, and within thirty minutes I had  fallen into a stupor on the bed.  I felt  as if I were in a coma. When I woke up my  tongue was so thick I couldn't talk and  the sense of unreality was worse than ever."  Despite this she attempts to follow her  psychiatrist's advice and continues to  take the Thorazine, hoping that these side  effects will disappear. As time goes on  she finds herself incapable of feeling anything, and unable even to function.  ■On the advice of her friends she seeks out  a new doctor. He doesn't believe that she  is a schizophrenic, or that she needs  Thorazine. He recommends a hospital.  It is there that Gordon encounters her  first effective therapist — a woman. She  continues to go through the after-effects  of her withdrawal from Valium.  But she  begins to look at the underlying causes of  her anxiety and begins to piece her life  together again — without drugs. It is a  long and tortuous process.  As a woman, and a feminist, she makes connections between what happened to her, and  what happens to many women:  "... The primary problem with the tranquillizers is that,you are unable to articulate your anger. As long as you take them  you are incapable of feeling the anger  necessary for change."  This is a problem shared by many women.  Valium prevents them from dealing with the  problem — by damping the symptoms.  Gordon  says to her therapist at one point:  Men sedating women, helping to rob them  of themselves. It's obscene  "I have a haunting, almost obsessive picture in my head ... Thousands of women, all  across the country, being given pills by  male doctors. Men sedating women, tranquillizing them, helping to rob them of  themselves.  It's obscene."  As her therapy continues and goes well —  she realizes that there are others in the  hospital who are not as fortunate.  "In a mental hospital, getting a good  therapist is like a crapshoot for your soul  ... You cannot choose a doctor in a mental  hospital, or get rid of an inept one. In  a hospital, any attempt by the patient to  change doctors is viewed by the staff as a  wish to avoid working hard in therapy. It's  always the patient's fault, the inept doctor is always protected ... We would never  treat our bodies the way we permit doctors  to treat our minds. Never! ... I explained  the psychic roulette of mental hospitals,  the feeling of helplessness which is one of  the most terrible emotions that all mental  patients experience."  She survives the ordeal, and is deeply  scarred. What about others? I recently  read an article in a Canadian magazine  about Valium. The information that it  presented was astounding. Canadians spend  $30 million a year on diazepam (the generic name for Valium). Fifteen percent of  the women, and ten percent of the men, in  the Western world take Valium.  According to Dr. Yvon La Pierre, a psycho-  pharmacologist who has spent ten years  studying Valium and works out of the University of Ottawa, the Royal Ottawa Hospital, and the Ottawa General Hospital:  "Valium is a fantastic drug ... By inhibiting the release of chemicals in the part  of the brain which is the seat of anxiety,  it decreases the strength, and irritability  of the electrical activity there.  It  modifies the anxiety ... (it) also relaxes  muscles ... reduces heart palpitations,  stiffness of the neck muscles, difficulty  in swallowing, backache, tension headaches  ... And you know it's one of our safest  drugs ... The dangers of tolerance build  up and addiction are very slight."  Would Barbara Gordon agree with this glowing tribute to Valium? I doubt it. Espec  ially, knowing that seventy-five percent  of the Valium that is prescribed is for  anxiety — a purely subjective diagnosis.  In her afterword Gordon writes:  "Because of my strong feelings about medical mismanagement, because of the prevalence of drug-abuse — and the soft core,  prescription pad variety is abuse all the  same — I felt I had to tell my story." 0. Kinesis November '80  ACROSS CANADA  No Life for a Woman goes on the road to single industry towns  Earlier this year, Sharon McGowan, the  associate producer of No Life for a Woman,  the film about B.C. women in single industry towns, took the film on the road.  She went to women's groups in Alberta, Newfoundland, Labrador and Ontario.  Approximately 500 women from 31 different  towns, including Fort McMurray, Labrador  City and Thunder Bay, saw the film.  Funded by the Women's Program of Secretary  of State, the tour project aimed to distribute and animate an information package  on the issue of women and economic development. The package included the film and a  handbook entitled Women and Economic Development.  Sharon returned with first-hand information  in animating this film, and with observations relevant to other women interested  in the issue of women's relationship to  economic development.  This interview between Sharon and the project resource person, Diana Ellis, was  taken from the project's final report.  DIANA ELLIS: Sharon,  you've taken the film  and handbook to many small resource towns,  and you grew up in such a town yourself —  what kind of animating guides can you  share with us?  SHARON McGOWAN: For me, it's important to  remember that I am just a visitor — the  women live in these communities and they  have to stay there after I leave. For the  most part, they really do care about their  communities too. So I'm always sure not  to put them on the defensive — not to  push what was negative about their town,  but to encourage them to act as a resource  person to me — the visitor. Often, after  the film was over, I'd begin by asking  them if there were similarities in their  own communities to the world portrayed in  the film.  What kind of response was  there to that?  First of all, there was always  a response  — people always talked. Generally someone would respond with a story similar to  one they had just seen. And generally  after that someone else would refute that  story; or say there wasn't a problem for  them.    This is where you have to be really  careful as an animator because this is  when women would begin — right away — to  personalize the issues.  If this discussion  carried on unguided it could end up with  women blaming themselves for not coping  with community problems very well.  How did you deal with that personalization  and with the group tension?  Respect the personalization  First of all, I respected the personalization, and recognized it — and acknowledged it. After all, I'd done it for  years too. I would then encourage consideration of the fact that these issues went  beyond the personal, into the social and  economic sphere.  I'd reinforce for them,  as the film had done, that they weren't  alone with these concerns, and tell some  stories about my life in Kitimat, or  stories women in other towns had told me.  Then I'd ask them if they felt there were  any specific things in their community  that they could imagine changed — using  the issues raised in the film as an example.  I'd often start with town planning.  Were women able to consider possible  Well, they may not have thought of them as  possible  changes but this is when all their  own stories and hopes really poured out.  It was amazing how much they had to say  about inadequate houses, poorly planned  shopping areas, no sidewalks, no public  transit.  It would go on from there to employment, childcare, social services etc.,  depending on the audience. Sometimes  Some single industry towns  Sharon MacGowan  women would tell me what they had already  done in their town, and would offer suggestions for the women in the film too.  What other issues did the film trigger  discussion about?  Quite a few women felt the film was not  strong enough in its statement of problems.  "Boy, it's sure worse here", was a  comment I heard. Many were personally  strengthened in realizing that women all  across the country had situations similar  to theirs. One woman told me the film  did more for national unity than anything  else she'd experienced!  One of the particular issues raised —  this was in Newfoundland — was the issue  of pollution and health. At a meeting in  St. John's there were some women who had  travelled in from Baie Verte and Long  Harbour. They said their husbands and  kids were getting sick too often and they  linked it to the phosphorus plant.- They  said they were having trouble getting the  information they needed from the plant,  etc., and the meeting in St. John's enabled them to meet one another and begin  working together.  This also happened in Fort Frances in  northern Ontario — the Business and Professional Club women met up with some  from the family life class at the college  and after the meeting agreed there were  some things they could do together.  Do you present,  or animate,   the film  differently in larger cities?  I often find big city screenings difficult  because the audience gets impatient —  they want those women to DO something.  They see that the situation is bad, and  they perceive that women in small towns  don't recognize it and they can get annoyed. Again, what I had to do was remind  women in larger cities that these issues  are not personal — they're part of a  larger problem, and to remind them that  Sharon MacGowan  urban women shouldn't use the film to lay  on an organizing trip in small towns.  It's just not that simple.  Can you tell me something particular about  the issues women raised?  Well, let's go through a listing. Daycare  — most towns had some but it wasn't  enough and operated for limited hours.  There was always a need for more childcare  and this was spoken to by women working  inside and outside the home. Generally,  someone at every meeting said they felt  there was a need for some kind of shelter  or transition house for battered wives.  Employment for women would be talked about  in terms of few jobs for women. Women with  nursing or teaching skills who move to  these towns with their husbands can't find  work in their field.  The companies often  have a policy of not hiring two people froir  one family — and it's the woman who  doesn't get the job. Strikes were a big  scary topic. And they related to alot of  other things.  Many women said they wanted their town to  develop more secondary industry because  they hated being so dependent on the one  company — when a strike occurred they were  in real trouble. Women really wanted some  kind of economic stability for their  families.  As a matter of fact, when I was in Fort  Frances women told me that a nearby town  had just shut down and many of the families were trying to settle in Fort Frances  — people were really worried.  In Buchans,  Newfoundland, there's talk about the town  shutting down and this is an older town  with three or four generations of families  living there. Lots of women said there  were no social problems in Buchans because  it was an established resource town —  but then others pointed out that they were  all subject to the threat of the town  closing down and what kind of social prob-^ Kinesis November '80  ACROSS CANADA  lems did that bring? They were all fearing  for their family's livelihood.  An interesting side story on this is that  dying resource towns sometimes get desperate for any  kind of new industry to  help keep them alive. A nuclear dumping  site was being looked at by some city  fathers in one area of northwest Ontario  — you can imagine the contradictions  that would raise in the community!  What about women's centres — how many  towns had them?  Aside from the major cities like St. John's  and Edmonton, only one town had a women's  centre — and this was actually a family  centre sponsored through preventive social  service in the province. This was at  Grand Cache in Alberta.  The women there  felt this centre answered a lot of their  needs but they admitted to spending much  of their time getting, and keeping, funding for its operation.  Women in every town really liked seeing  the women's centre (people and place) in  the film and felt such a centre could  operate successfully where they lived.  They talked about putting it in the main  mall or shopping centre and using it as a  place to meet, exchange information, get  counselling, plan actions. They wanted to  know how women's centres were organized  — then they  could begin to do it.  Daycare was another issue they wanted organizing skills on.  Sometimes discussion  would reveal that someone in the audience  had, or knew where to get hold of information "regarding these things — so some  useful linking of people and skills  happened.  Another issue that everyone raised, but  carefully — almost skirting it — was the  problem of depression for women.  They related it to no jobs, no daycare, no way to  relieve themselves of childcare for just  a few hours a week. Sometimes they'd be  surprised at how many other women in the  room agreed with them — and then they'd  say things like "if this is the way we  feel about it, imagine how women who never  come to these events feel." Many of them  were impressed with the way the women's  centre people in the film dealt with these  Was there any point that women raised  everywhere  — aside from childcare?  Yes — public transit! Every single town  I went to was poorly laid out for getting  around in. The women had to drive lots if  they had a car — or walk if they didn't.  Some had already been trying to convince  their town councils to consider some kind  of public transit but had been turned down.  In many cases there was a bus that took  their men to work each day — and it lay  idle until the shift change.  The women wondered why it couldn't get used  for in-town transit during that time.  They're not thinking about a bus every 15  minutes — even one circuit of town an hour  would enable them to plan to get out.  The $4 loaf of bread is common everywhere  The "$4 Loaf of Bread" was a story that was  common everywhere — you run out of bread  and have to get a cab to the store —  there's $4 gone!  Shopping was another tie-in with this. The  film just touches on shopping as an issue  and everyone was curious about shopping  as a women's issue.  It got to them right  away — they had never thought anything  could be done about wilted lettuce and bad  meat — they hadn't thought anyone else  would take it seriously.  Were there things that women said the film  didn't deal with that were important to  them?  Yes, the whole area of social class, '".'omen  said the film didn't deal with it and  they're right — it didn't.  They said they  lived with class differences every day.  Who you related to as a friend depended on  their husband's position at the mill or  in the industry. So the social fabric of  the community was not a whole piece, it  was many pieces.  The issue of social class and how it related to their husband's work, and the  effect on their lives was raised by manager's wives and worker's wives — and  they told me long stories of the special  strains between women during a strike.  Only one town said class didn't affect  them and it turned out that all the managers live in another town 30 miles away  from where the workers live.  You said to me once that you thought there  was a circuit of people who move from one  resource town to another  — can you tell  me more about that?  Well, it was almost weird sometimes —  everywhere I went there were women who  recognized the women in the film! They'd  say — "oh, there's so and so; I knew her  Sharon MacGowan  Imagine your life as a  in these surroundings  when we lived in such and such a place."  It's actually not surprising to think of  a circuit of resource town inhabitants —  sometimes they might move with the company  from one town to another, or if their husband has a particular skill he moves to  where the employment is. So lots of people  don't go to these towns for three years  and then leave to go back to the city or  farm. They move to another resource town.  Another interesting point on this is that  women "on the circuit" thought all scenes  in the film were from Labrador City —  "Oh is that Lab City?" they'd ask. I  had visions of all these women "passing  through" Lab City at one time!  You went to Grand Cache in Alberta — many  British coal miners and their families  were brought in to work because it is said  that Canada doesn't have that kind of  skilled labour easily available.    Did you  talk with any of these women?  Yes, and they had quite ambivalent feelings  about expressing their concerns. You see,  they felt almost guilty about "complaining"  because they admit it was the thought of  making good money that brought the family  to Canada in the first place. Women had  been told they could work here, but when  they arrived they found they couldn't.  They also find that if they want to stay  in Canada after their two year temporary  visa is up (as many do) they must return  to Britain for six months to apply to get  "landed". So they're really in a deadend situation.  Can you describe the hopes women in single  industry towns have for their families?  They are always proud of their community  and have a strong sense of loyalty. They'd  like to settle and stay, but are resigned  to the economic reality of having to follow  their husbands to wherever they can get  work.  Despite the lack of services, most  of the women liked the idea of their  children growing up in these towns (although pollution did bother them in some  areas).  But — and this is interesting —  many expected, and hoped, their kids  would not take on the same work that their  parents were doing.  This means they expect their children to  have to leave town after high school, and  this has considerable ramifications for  their family life, especially if they have  children ranging in age.  For boys they  admit that there are work possibilities in  the mines and mills, so if their son  chooses that kind of work there's a place  for them in town. For their daughters —  the only way to stay in town is to marry a  local fellow who works there.  Most women had found it hard to imagine  the towns being any different.  So, they  were really excited at the way women in  the film articulated their concerns and  worked on projects — the audience felt  encouraged to think about possibilities.  In Fort McMurray they told me they were  tired of people coming down to document  the phenomena the town was but not doing  anything about it. They said the film and  handbook gave them at least some way of  thinking about their situation that was  new, fresh, and meaningful to their experiences.  So that's what the film does for women  watching it — it points the way?  Well, not so-much pointing the way as it  validates their personal observations about  their situation that they may not have  verbalized before. Some of them agreed  with points in the film, some disagreed,  but they all said that those women in  Mackenzie and Fraser Lake had the right to  speak. And they found the experience of  listening to those women talk about their  lives a very powerful thing.  Was there a  "worst scenario" in your trip?  Oh yes — there were two kinds of incidents  that were always difficult. One was when  women who were real "go-getters" in the  community would talk about how women had  to pull up their socks, quit complaining  and get to it.  It was always hard, because I respect the phenomenal work that  this kind of woman can do in a town.  But  this attitude they have can be really  oppressive to other women — and they just  don't see it sometimes. Just because women  are critical doesn't mean they are complaining.  Listen to what the women say in this film  I was also frustrated with the people who  told me (usually in a patronizing way)  that the film didn't have any political  analysis. To me, they are negating the  importance of what women  say in the film,  and they're missing the boat in terms of  understanding that women are usually not  allowed to speak of their own experiences.  The women in No Life for a Woman  are saying "we  are the experts, our  experiences  are real", and that's the political statement.  And what was the best part of the tour  for you?  One of the reasons the film was made was to  show women that they aren't alone in their  concerns, and that the situation in these  towns is not a matter of personal problems.  Seeing women make that connection  was always really exciting. And then,  when they'd come up afterwards, individually, and say "thanks for making a film  about me, and my sister, and all of us",  it would just feel terrific.  I'd always think of those women in Mackenzie and Fraser Lake who put so much of  themselves on the film — hoping to make  connections with other women — and it  was working.  0 Kinesis November '80  INTERNATIONAL  Discussing the huge tasks facing a feminist publication in India  By Morgan McGuigan  Madhu Kishwar, a feminist from India, was.  in Vancouver this October. She works with  a feminist magazine called Manushi. Looking through the journal we found articles  on women in jail, on rape, on dowry murders, on abortion, on working conditions  of telephone operators in Dehli and many  others.  Kinesis met with Madhu to speak about the  work of Manushi. Here's some of the things  we learned.  Manushi means woman, or more specifically,  human woman.  It is a word coined from  manush, meaning human, by adding the i_to  make it female.  Manushi began with a women's group at a  university in Dehli. After deciding to  put a journal together, the women contacted other women's groups and organizations  across the country, asking for support and  suggestions.  They received "dozens and  hundreds" of letters in response, and have  been able to set up an all-India distribution network of their own. Madhu stressed  that Manushi felt it was very important  to develop their own network and not to  use regular commercial ones.  The magazine, which first came out in January of 1979, has grown rapidly. They now  print 10,000 copies in English and 4,000  in Hindi. With each issue they try to make  contacts in a new city.  Madhu stated that Manushi is a forum for  women to speak out, a collective sharing of  personal lives. After starting the process,  the Manushi women began to hear of struggles which seem to point out the direction  of the women's movement. Manushi acts as  a catalyst for women wanting to get together in cities where there aren't any women's  groups yet.  What are the central issues of Manushil  Sexual exploitation by landlords and families. In some rural areas the landlords  still have the right of the first night,  where they can take brides to their beds  and rape them.  Wife beating is another central issue.  When we mentioned transition houses, Madhu  said that they're weren't any in India and  that one or two battered women's shelters  wouldn't solve the problem. Women in India, she pointed out, are economically unable to leave their husbands: there are  no jobs for women. India has a sharply  declining employment rate for women.  One method women have used to fight back  against family violence is a form of confrontation. Women go in a group to visit  the man and literally beat him up. Such  public exposure and pressure from outside  the family does seem to help.  Dowry is one other important issue. Dowry  is a bribe given to the husband and his  family by the bride's family. Dowry demands have been escalating, and the use of  dowry has spread to the working classes.  Dowry murders are widespread. In these  cases a family thinks the dowry they are  receiving for their son's wife is not  enough. They hassle the woman, trying to  get more. Eventually the woman is killed,  perhaps in a kitchen fire.  Due to the work of women's groups such as  Manushi dowry murders are now no longer  dismissed as suicides. The crime has been  admitted and publicized.  'Manushi is produced out of the homes of  the women involved. They have no office  and no phone. They rely entirely on donations to met their bills.  You can take out a subscription to Manushi  by writing to them at: Manushi, Cl/202  Lajpat Nagar 1, New Delhi 110024. A year's  subscription, airmail, costs $15 in U.S.  funds. Send your Manushi subscription by  bank draft.O  From the pages of Manushi — comments on police rape and dowry murders.  On the night of March 26, two  ooor rag picker women Teresa  and Kasima along with their male  family members were sleeping  near the railway station, Bhati-  nda. Three Railway Police  Force men led by a havaldar kicked these poor people awaka  "Have you a chhokri (young girl)  for our sahib? It will only be a  ten-m.nute job," the havaldar  allegedly   said   to   the   puzzled  W°"We  are  poor,  homeless,   rag  pickers from   Maharashtra   and  Tamil  Nadu.    There   is  no  girl  among us. Please leave us alone,  replied    the     terrified     women.  "No   No.   We want a chhokri.  Get us  one from  anywhere you  like-   if you  don't  we will arrest  Jour   men    on    the   charge    of  smuggling," threatened the havaldar.     With    these    words   the  police party went away.  P The next day the police party  came again and  made the  same  demand        The     poor     people  Seaded   their   inability to meet  Sis  atrocious demand     "Should  we  take   that  woman?" said the  havaldar to the  other policemen-  Teresa,   terror-stricken,   pleaded  that she was a ^ow  and they  should    spare    her.     The   other  two policemen seemed to tninK  that Teresa would not do. So they  took Kasima's husband Krishna-  murthi and Teresa's   son  Albert  Lawrence into custody They  were repoitedly kept in the railway police station for two days  and mercilessly tortured.  On March 29, Krishnamurthi  and Albert Lawrence were produced before a judge The police  had allegedly extorted a confession from them. The judge, as  is the common practice, decided  within minutes that the two  must pay a fine or go to jail. The  men were unable to pay the nne-  and since then have been languishing in jail. The starving  women have no money with  which to hire a lawyer and bai  out the men    None of the local  people     are     willing   to    stand  surety for nomads  Meanwhile Krishnamurthi  and  Lawrence were again produced  before the judge on April 8. 1 he  iudge, without even looking up  from the papers on his desk,  fixed April 19 for the next appearance. When the women tried  to appeal to him, the judge  rudely ordered: "Turn them out  of the room." The wailing  women had no alternative but to  leave the courtroom. No one  knows when the helpless rag  p,ckers will be released from |ail.  — Ved Parkash Gupta, General  Secretary, Poniab Human Rights  Committee.  Bhatinda.  Manorma,  25, was   burnt to  death last August in the house of  her in-laws, 72-B  Rani-ka-Bagh,  ^^M Amritsar.   She died apparently  because her brothers   who had  since her marriage given money  to her in Jaws, refused to comply  with further demands for dowry-  Man orma   was    married   to  KaiJash Chand three years ago  and had a son and a daughter.  According   to   the   neighbours,  Manorma was constantly harassed by her mother-in-Jaw Savirri  Devi.    Manorma's   in-laws had  always taunted her for bringing  insufficient dowry and their demands became   more persistent  when their neighbour's son got a  car in dowry.   Two days before  Manorma   met    her   gruesome  death, there was a violent quarrel  between her in-Jaws and her brothers. Manorma and her brothers  were brutally beaten up.  The girl's bhabi (sister-in-law)  implored her to return with them  to    her   brothers'   home.   Her  bhabi expected   the worst from  Manorma's in-laws because  they  had  burnt their youngest daughter-in-law barely ten months before in their ancestral village   of  Fatehgarhchurian. The youngest  daughter-in-law's   parents    were  poor,  moreover her stepmother  was unconcerned, so the case was  not   pursued.    Another   reason  why her in laws got away  with  the heinous crime was that they  had managed to force  the poor  girl    into   signing   a   statement  saying she had   committed suicide.  The    neighbours     say     that  Manorma had agreed with  her  bhabi and  was about  to   leave  with them  when   her   husband  appealed     to    the    mother   in  Manorma by drawing her attention to the plight of her children.  Manorma was taken in and agreed  to stay on for the children's sake.  The burning of two daughters-  in-law in  a year   enraged   the  people   of   Rani-ka-Bagh.    On  hearing the news  they gathered  in    front    of   Gopal   Krishan's  (Manorma's   father-in-law)  resi-  ^Su°^an0Uicf08anSan^ecry  through the citv J. P   marched  relatives was f m     ma s tearf"'  On   oktu *    moving s ght  (co^doSlrtin^^^  ■ Rani-ka flSh an8d T hdd  attended.     Tt*    and  ,was  well  anxious to ensure »h We seern  death is no! jusrone LMan°rma's  the long ]/st 0r « •   J* amon8  shed. Taevar*Jr.y ^° unpuni-  thePoliceyo^e  ;mmedto«et  against thetcSa,rPeraCt,'°n  - Vanaana Chatrath  and Protest arePortI'ng  against KyStdead^o^rationf  three-line news-item £ e same  appearing tT± haVe started  again: 'Woman c0mn\TrS °nce  or ,Womanmtn7t,0,tSdesa"'cid«'  stove explosion'. ath  ,n  zoologyiS £*■•  a g^ate fa  Wiat,^   *am  mother    of    afiteacher   and  daughter, h js \PnT?month-°'d  Parents that afterT^  by her  * Dr Hari Than rarmar'age  Scientific       »*.«.-       Goar,  (Class I) at MRfp °fficer  Delhi, she was b'no "Sa' New  for more dowry T"* loured  was demanded whth "BeratoT  °y her parent,^ Was *ive"  before her  mMrH      ~     m°nths  'njured her onThe £ u' and  that the  woimH       f°rehead so  Pitches Her hula;edqu'red fo^  go to West  fiprm       Wanted  to  marry for m' W,SW to re-  October 1 aDZ dowry. On  Parents to cISl ^ t0 her  When she SSSd fUSSehra-  n'ght,her brother dH°me at  aster too noticedIt.3,   uyounger  AbhawassedJsYyyn«sthat  •n hospitaj Wh*" .u d Was  ,here, a nurse ?"f hey rushed  'hat Abha had die/Ted- them  The   parens  h       °fpo,s°n'ng  -seofmuXl^8rred a  band   and    L& "St, her hus-  arrests haibSS;^^.^  Ca^rare%'eTo^err^'   suc"  dayontheThrd%3lmo0s;-ery  Papers, and all of nT« Jnews"  r° silent specific K reduced  We apnea! tH 0nce   more  mtherntSaPTrrteo\nrrttrS  des' and0"' SeSn7sCa,,ed '«**!  PeoP'e may fc tade aS° that  the reality   Ii,a    i      aware   of  administrL-onandC,e3oI(che3ththe  entered into a °npollce have  «•'«<* and wish tTT* °f  such cases so Sat  tL    Wy a" Kinesis November '80  INTERNATIONAL  Madhu Kishwar describes  oppression of women in India  By Morgan McGuigan  While in Vancouver, Manushi_ editor Madhu  Kishwar also spoke at a meeting sponsored  by IPANA (Indian People's Association of  North America). She talked about the position of women in India.  India is an enormous, diverse country where  there is immense general oppression. More  than 70% of the people of India live below the poverty line. There is lawlessness, and growing city slums. This all  affects everyone, women and men, but it is  the women who bear the brunt of it, remaining invisible all the time.  In India, Madhu Kishwar pointed out, there  is a constitution which professes to give  women anything they demand: equality, no  discrimination on the basis of sex, property rights, divorce, anti-dowry laws, equal  wages — all are on the books.  But there are always huge loopholes so that  none of this is implemented.  A handful of women are allowed to gain  power. Two percent of government jobs are  held by women, although that percentage is  declining. Women never have participated  in the lower echelons of politics. There ,  is a myth of equality, but behind the  facade, fearful things are happening.  Women's employment is declining  Ever since independence, women have been  losing employment. In 1901, 34% of women  were in the labour force. In 1971, that  figure had fallen to 17%. The agricultural  employment of women, moreover, has declined. The introduction of tractors helped  to push women out of jobs.  There is an assumption that there is a  male head of household in all homes. But  one third of households are headed by women. Women still lose their jobs due to  the myth that the man's the breadwinner.  Even where both the woman and the man  earn, the woman's income goes to feed the  family.  women are politically backward. From the  early seventies on there had been a landless poor movement of which women form  50%.  Some women activists of the landless poor  movement have confronted the lack of women's participation in meetings. They  held a special meeting to talk about this.  After that the women began to articulate  all the issues concerning them: landlord  rape, sexual exploitation, marital rape,  drunkeness and wife beating. 1000 women  then marched and broke up all the liquor  pots they could find. Hundreds of women  went to a house when a man had been beating his wife, and beat him up. They  set up a number of landless poor women's  organizations. And from the work on  their own issues, they have begun working  on class issues.  Stan Sierakowski  Women die first  In India, there is a great gap in the sex  ratio. There are now 20 million fewer women than men in that country. Infant mortality is 50$ to 60% higher among girls  than boys, indicating an incredible amount of neglect of female children.  In the recent drought, 200 million people  were affected, but it was the women who  died first, and who died in greater numbers. Women eat last, after their husbands  and children have eaten. Ironically, the  women who died of malnutrition didn't die  because there was no food. 70% of the  crops were saved and were sold for profit.  During the drought, there were reports of  families selling their female children  into prostitution at the rate of 2,000 a  week. At least they didn't starve that  way.  Development is having disastrous effects  Every aspect of development in India has  had disasterous effects. One example is  what happened in a poverty-stricken region of Bihar. In the 1950s the government  set up a steel plant. They forcibly acquired land from the indigenous tribal community which had subsisted there for many  years. Because the tribes resisted the  confiscation of their land, the government decided they would not be docile  workers. So they brought workers in from  other provinces. This was an all-male imported workforce. A monstrous city was  created with demand for prostitutes. The  tribal community found that the only way  to live was by the prostitution of the  women.  Women aren't politically backward  There are struggles going on all over  India today that disprove the myth that  While her name still appears on the marquees of X-rated theaters,  Linda Lovelace has spoken out against the violence that coerced  her into appearing in the films and the violence against all women  the films represent. On 42nd Street in New York City, marchers  publicized her statements and called for a boycott of the film  "Deep Throat."  Feminists acquitted in porn shop  action charges  Three feminists were acquitted last month  by a sympathetic Harford, Conn., jury  which heard the women explain why they had  poured blood all over a local pornography  shop.  The Bare Facts Lingerie Shop sold provocative women's underwear, and periodically  provided women to model the outfits for  male customers, according to the feminist  monthly Off Our Backs.  In addition, the shop stocked whips, spikes  and copious magazines illustrating the abuse of women and children. Other books  advocated rape, particularly of lesbians  and third world women.  The three feminists, Linda Hand, Jane Quinn  and Shell Wildwomoom, members of Women Against Violence, began by organizing pickets of the shops "men's nights." When the  male customers threatened to rape some  female bystanders watching the picketing,  Quinn, Wildwomoom and Hand decided on  stronger action. On February 7 they poured  blood on books and magazines in the shop's  "fantasy room."  Defending themselves at their trial, Hand,  Quinn and Wildwomoom carefully explained  the connection between pornography and  rape, battery and child abuse. In spite  of prosecution attempts to accuse the women of censorship and to compare them to  the Nazis and the KKK, the jury of four  women and two men was clearly unconvinced.  Several jurors wept during the defendants'  closing statements and a "not guilty" verdict was returned within the hour.  Guardian  Woman dying in Uruguay for  crime of political activism  Gladys Yanez, 33, is critically ill in a  hospital in Montevideo, Uruguay.  She is suffering from a serious kidney  disease and is now believed to be in a  terminal stage of kidney failure.  The  military hospital in which she is being  held prisoner doesn not have the facilities  for renal dialysis.  These facilities are however available at  the Hospital de Clinica de la Facultad de  Medicina de Montevideo, where she could be  treated if she were granted libertad anti-  cipado (provisional liberty).  Gladys Yanez was arrested in 1975 in San  Jose. Her arrest is believed to have been  due to her membership in the Union of  Communist Youth, a branch of the Uruguayan  Communist Party.  The charges against Yanez relate to alleged  participation in painting political slogans  on walls, distribution of leaflets, attendance at political meetings and publication  of an illegal news sheet.  She was charged for these "treasonable  offences" under the military penal code of  Uruguay. She was arrested, tortured,  released, re-arrested and tortured again.  Her court-appointed lawyer Dr Amilcar  Perea has refused to cite serious kidney  disorder as a health factor. He continues  to refuse to press for clemency in her  case, or to try to obtain proper medical  treatment for her.  Send telegrams and airmail letters expressing concern at the serious state of  health of Gladys Yanez and urging that she  be released into libertad anticipado on  humitarian grounds to:  Sr Presidente de la Republica del Uruguay  Dr Aparicio Mendez  Casa de Gobierno  Plaza Independencia, Montevideo, Uruguay  Sr Presidente del Supremo Tribunal Militar  Coronel Dr Federico Silva Ledesma  Canelones 2335, Montevideo, Uruguay  Sr Ministro de Salud Publa  Sr Antonio Canellas  18 de Julio 1892, Montevideo, Uruguay Q  Sharon Crigler, charged with  murder in self-defence case, is  free on probation  Sharon Crigler, a young Black woman who  accidentally killed a man who was attacking her, is finally free after years of  legal battles that won her strong community support.  Crigler was originally convicted of manslaughter in Tacoma, Washington, and sentenced to 10 years in prison for firing  a fatal warning shot through her closed  front door. The terrified Crigler was trying to prevent her former boyfriend from  breaking it down.  He had beaten her frequently, both before and after she ended  their relationship.  The judge described her to the jury as  "one of those welfare mother leeches who  suck up my tax dollars."  Crigler won her legal appeal in April 1979.  But the Pierce County prosecutor, who  could have let the case drop at that point,  was unwilling to let the reversal mar his  20-year record of courtroom victories.  Claiming that this was not a case of  self-defense, he ordered a re-trial.  As her re-trial approached this spring,  the prosecutor offered to deal: to recommend probation if she would plead guilty  to the original charge. She accepted. On  July 14-, 1980, she was freed on a five-  year probation.     Freedom Socialist Kinesis November '80  CULTURAL WORK  Interview with Bernice Reagon  Sweet Honey in the Rock: they're returning to Vancouver  By Helen Mintz and Robin Barnett  Sweet Honey in the Rock will be singing at  the Vancouver East Cultural Centre on November 23 and 24 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are  $6:00.  'A/hen Bernice Reagon, of Sweet Honey,  was  at the Vancouver Folk Festival this summer,  we had a chance to speak with her.  Every woman who ever loved a woman  You oughta stand up and call her name  Mama  — sister  — daughter  — lover  Every Woman  Sweet Honey in the Rock is a powerful group  of four women. They are strong black women; women who use music to celebrate who  they are; women who use music as a weapon  against oppression.  When they performed at the Vancouver Folk  Festival last summer they stirred their  audiences with the warmth and immediacy  of their presence.  Their songs combine  an inspiring mixture of personal experience with social and political struggle.  And they are able to harmonize their  voices with great precision and depth.  As a group, Sweet Honey dates back to 1973.  Initially both women and men got together  to sing acappella. In November of that  year four women from the group got together and "for the first time it worked! We  realized this was it."  Their music at that time was traditional,  based on the experiences of blacks living  in the United States.  Sweet Honey has had to be flexible in its  organization.  Women in the group have  come and gone depending upon their economic, family and personal situations. Singing in Sweet Honey is not a means of financial support.  Since 1973 there have been 16 different women in Sweet Honey. Bernice Reagon, as  the constant member of the group, sees the  maintenance of the group's continuity over  time as an educational experience. Now,  for one month out of the year, Sweet Honey  makes no commitments and six or seven women work on their material. Out of this  work they get four or five women with a  year's booking.  Acappella is an important root of the rep-  etoire and style of Sweet Honey. This  type of music derives from a tradition in  which black people in the U.S. learned to  use their voice as a substitute for the  instruments they lacked.  They sang acappella in churches, on street corners, where  people hung out.  The strength of acappella lies in the harmony of voices in chorus. Because of this,  members of Sweet Honey, although they  must be able to sing solo to join, must  work out their needs to perform as soloists elsewhere.  "In this kind of a group, a woman has to  be equipped to back people up to a much  higher degree than in other groups."  As entertainers, Sweet Honey members "have  to figure out what works.  It's almost  like a conversation. I talk to you and  the audience talks to me. It's my responsibility to tell you what I think, not to  find out what people want. It's our part  of the conversation. Entertaining is a  way to talk to more people than one at a  time."  While many Sweet Honey songs focus on  being black in the U.S., they also have a  repetoire that includes women's music,  contemporary'love songs and songs that  focus on struggles against oppression around the world.  In line with their wide repetoire, Sweet  Honey performs for diverse groups: in  . black communities across the States, at  benefits to support liberation struggles  in South Africa and Chile, at women's festivals, at anti-nuclear benefits...and  even in the pouring rain at the Vancouver  Folk Festival.  Bernice Reagon feels that Sweet Honey  makes statements that their audiences  need: she feels that their music is nurturing and supportive to their audience  in reinforcing both their personal experience and their political commitments.  Sweet Honey members sing about their own  concrete experiences. They find that people relate to their songs because they can  link them to specifics in their own experience.  Our base is in the black community  "Our base is the black community and everything that comes out of that. But it is  not a base that has walls; it's like the  ground you stand on. What we do about being women comes out of being black. What  we do about being lovers comes out of that  too. What we do about nuclear energy  comes out of that. There is no limit to  what we can experience and express."  "Billie Holiday worked in a male-dominated  industry. We worked in an exploited situation and that's what her songs are supposed to be about. All those black women  who sing about their position, with the  implication that that's all they could  see — I stand on all their ground.  "I will not lay any of it down.  If anyone has trouble with the fact that I can  hold all of those women in my hand and be  proud that I stand in their tradition,  they really do not understand Sweet Honey.  "I don't taste Billie Holiday's dope. I  have more options than she did. I don't  have to operate in a male-dominated industry. Billie Holiday was in it all the  time from the day she was born. And when  I think of that, I have to try to be as  strong.  "There were times when Billie Holiday was  not so strong. Once she was singing with  the Count Basie Band and the man told her  to put on black face. This was the 30s,  1937. She was in one of the biggest theatres in Detroit. She was making $300 a  week. It was the biggest money Count  Sweet Honey in the Rock. Bernice Reagon is on the far right  Diem 3 Studios  With the music of Sweet Honey so solidly  rooted in the black experience in the U.S,  Bernice Reagon was asked how she related  to black singers like Billie Holiday. Holiday sang about women's oppression in love  and sex without questioning the basis of  that oppression.  Reagon replied:  "I am here today because of the black women who lived before me: the ones who compromised and the ones who didn't.  "I am here today because of black women  like my mother who stayed at home and  raised eight children. My father worked  as hard as he could but she was clearly  the extension that made it all work. What  she did for those eight children is directly responsible for me being able to  sing what I sing — which says I can be  more.  "When I think of Billie Holiday I think:  if I could be like Billie Holiday about  my music, I could not go wrong. People  say that she sang too slow; she sang too  syrupy. But even when she was a dope addict, she would not change her music, although they put every pressure they could  on her.  "I don't want to lose in the way that Billie Holiday crumbled. But when I hear  'Strange Fruit', when I hear 'God Bless  the Child', I know that she was a genius.  Basie's Band had gotten to that date. The  manager told her to put on black face or  he would fire the band. Billie Holiday  put on black face. She had the future of  the band in her hand and she put on black  face. When I think of that, I think of  black women during slavery trying to figure out what they could do to keep their  children alive another day. And so they  made decisions.  "I know damn well I am here because of  those women who compromised to try to live  another day. Survival can be radical. It  can be revolutionary just to be alive."  Tote that barge,   lift that bail  don't you know, world  I can work like hell and  Ain't I a woman?  . I've got love for you  my child and my man  It's for you I work so hard in this land  Don't get me wrong  I can't complain  through all the stormy icy rain  I emerge still  A Woman  In singing about the experiences of black  women, Reagon feels Sweet Honey has "tied  itself to a major struggle for women's  liberation that is going on in the United  States."  The role black women have played, Reagon Kinesis November'80  CULTURAL WORK  Edwards' Laurence: these are the women we've read about  By Jan DeGrass  Norma Edwards is not very startling. If  she were to pass by in the street you  would be excused for not noticing the  traces of Hagar Shipley or Morag Gunn  within her face or movements. She is of  average height, with a pleasant face. She  is of indeterminate age. What's remarkable is that every Thursday and Saturday  of October she aged seventy years on the  stage of Presentation House in North Vancouver. This she does during her one-  woman performance of The Women of Margaret Laurence.  Seventy years drop from her face again  when as the young Hagar {The Stone Angel)  she whirls around the dance floor with  Bram Shipley, "like a young colt tossing  my black mane." Fresh from finishing  school she bucks the authority of her  austere Highland father and tramples  his design for her into the ground.  Thirty years are gathered up again, hastily, in time for her to stare at her battered reflection in the mirror of the  first public convenience in Manawaka.  Now she is a woman in middle age, with  two sons, an old unbecoming man's coat  and a lot of bitterness.  The years whirl  by until she is once more the 90-year old  Hagar, who smokes and grumbles because  these are the last pleasures left to her  in her life.  Yes, Hagar, 90 an indecent age — arbitrary and impossible. But so is 39.  Thirty nine is worse because there still  remains the feeling that you should have,  could have, done so much more. If only  you could lose a few pounds. If only you  could stick with those night school  courses.  "When the kids are gone, I'll  have more freedom," says Stacey Cameron  in The Fire Dwellers.      And then she ponders the thought: more freedom, to do  what?  Stacey cuts back and forth between her  fantasies and her reality. Under the  hair dryer, a handsome space pilot seduces her. Her nightmares and fears immobilize her minutes after doing morning exer-  TALKING ABOUT SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK  pointed out, goes back to wnen they were  brought into the country as slaves. "Black  women have had to do certain things in  order that there still be black people in  the United States in 1980. We stand on a  tradition of womanhood that has a stream  of struggle in it."  This little light of mine  Her song would fill the air  She rocked the state of Mississippi  Now a few more Black people stand there  Fannie Lou Homer  When Reagon speaks of the women's movement  in the U.S., she sees it as a progressive  movement representing the efforts of white  women to get together and take control  over their own lives.  This is, for Reagon, an important part of  the struggle against institutions of power  within the U.S. which'are anti-human, organised for profit and incapable of serving  the needs of people.  "But the women's movement, as we have experienced it, has not really served the  needs of the black community. Not only  is the structure white, but the culture is  white. So while it is doing important  work for white women it is not, on the  whole, a place where other people can do  liberating work."  In our interview with her, Reagon emphasized that she felt it unproductive to  focus on areas in which the women's move-  Norma Edwards in her one-woman show  cies, until the force of the day's ordinary tasks take over.  Then, happy and articulate, she sits at  her writing desk and prepares to write a  letter to her mother.  "I wish I could  really talk to someone." The result is  a dual letter: the bread-and-butter version that goes on to the paper — "the  kids are pretty good generally these  days" — and the genuine version, which  takes place in her head.  "I wish I could write to my sister, Rachel," she thinks, "but I can't." This  is too bad for Laurence's readers know  that Stacey and Rachel (A Jest of God)  have a lot more in common than Stacey and  her mother.  The single reference to Rachel in the Edward's portrait of Stacey helps us see  Rachel through Stacey's eyes: the lonely  woman sitting over the funeral chapel in  Manawaka or making sandwiches for the  ladies' bridge tea.  As well as her portraits of Stacey and  Hagar, Edwards enters into the lives of  Rachel, Vanessa (,4 Bird in the House),  and Morag (The Diveners ).  As readers, we know a lot more about these  characters than we do as audience. As  audience, we have to move quickly to catch  the lightning changes of mood. To telescope the bulk of five books into a two-  hour performance is no easy task and  sometimes the order of events feels random and rushed as a result.  If you hadn't read Laurence's books, you  might not be able to keep up. Why, for  example, does the Stacey of Norma Edwards  abruptly begin to sing, "Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home"?  Preparing a dramatic anthology based on the  works of Margaret Laurence is a pretty  safe bet.  She is widely read and liked.  We know that this show has her seal of approval because she is thanked in the program. This production does nothing unsafe  or adventurous.  Our imagination is left  intact — these are  the women we have read  about.  But do they have anything in common with  the women we know today? In the audience"  during a Thursday matinee were two high  school classes.  They must have been about  15 or 16 years old. Did they see their  own mothers as they watched Stacey? Or did  they see only a pathetic woman who didn't  know what she wanted, was subject to  strange fits and talked about sex in a  knowing and enjoying way.  They must have seen something that moved  and threatened them, because their relief  was obvious when Edwards switched to Hagar.  But — surprise — none of Margaret Laurence's women had forgetten their passions.  They are, as Hagar says, "rampant with  memory." They're vulnerable and strong  at the same time, a balance which Edwards  manages to convey successfully.  The force of their memories is, indeed, the  most dynamic element of the performance. Q  aent has been weakest. To focus on the  ways in which the U.S. women's movement  has failed to serve black women is to  focus on a progressive movement at its  weakest link.  Reagon has learned and grown from the women's movement, she explained. And Sweet  Honey has been supported by the women's  movement.  "Sweet Honey came about in 1973.  And it was about that time that primarily  white women in the U.S. stormed against  the system in addressing the issues that  After the revolution, after you  destroy the system—then you  can fight each other. But you  don't clean house before you  have a house to clean.  affected their lives. In a lot of ways we  have the opportunity to share with each  other these experiences. But it'is not  the same story. It has been expanding for  us to grow during these times."  Reagon expressed concern over the divis-  iveness within progressive movements.  "There is no division among progressive  forces that is important enough to focus  your energy upon. Every time you find  yourself about to put down another fighter  because of incorrect positions, you should  try to take a mirror and figure out who  your enemy really is and why you're not  moving against your enemy. Because if I'm  fighting another black fighter I am not  fighting the forces that are keeping us  both down. And that is what the division  is.  "Any time you have women in the movement  putting other women down for having incorrect positions, you've got some really  scared women who have taken a look at  how hard it is to move against the system.  They've said that it's easier to beat  another woman. It's easier for me to  fight another black person than to go  against the system.  "After the revolution, after you destroy  the system — then you can fight each  other. But you don't clean house before  there's a house to clean."  Now I'm not talking about my particular  cause/ Racism,  sexism,  class,   they all  need to fall  If we want to live to struggle another day/  We've got to wake up to this common cause  we face  If the bombs began to fall all over the  world/ Your particular oppression would  be lost in the swirl.  .. See What  B'lieve I'll Run On  the End's Gonna Be.  Thanks to Jillian Ridington and Helene Rosenthal for the use of their tape. Kinesis November '80  OUR PERSONAL LIVES  Our cover story  It's not the cats that are the problem, it's the landlords.  By Joey Thompson  Doris Driver painfully bends her 76-year-  old body in a gallant attempt to cuddle  her four cats for the first time since she  was evicted from her East End Vancouver  apartment three weeks ago.  The Prairie-raised woman visiting her powder grey pets at a temporary home in North  Vancouver, pleads her case with eyes turned soft and watery.  "People tell me they need a good home.  What was the matter with the home I had?  They're brothers and sisters, one family.  I've had them for seven years. I can't  separate them. I can't leave them. What's  the matter with people today anyway? They  don't want pets, they don't want children.  Pretty soon they won't want people."  Driver had nine cats roaming her tiny one-  bedroom apartment when she was handed an  eviction notice. Tenants had complained  to the new landlord about the mess.  At the eleventh hour, Driver called a woman in North Vancouver who she knew took  in homeless animals. The woman picked up  the nine pussies, gave some of them away  to "good homes" and is keeping Driver's  favourite four until the aging woman can  find a place to live.  Social workers say chances of finding a  landlord or landlady who will rent to  Driver and one cat are slim, and four cats  are out of the question.  Meanwhile, the short, grey-haired Driver  is staying in a six-by-ten room at the  YWCA. She desperately wants to move and to  recover her goods and personal belongings  stored in a Vancouver warehouse by a social worker.  Workers from the ministry of human resources say she should be put in a nursing  home, that she should get rid of her furniture, her pots and pans and dollies. They  say she is no longer able to do housework,  let alone look after four cats.  Driver says she has earned the right to  keep her pets. To her, the problem is not  the cats. It's the landlords.  "After 76 years, why should I have to  give everything up? People have given me  presents. Other things like furniture I  have bought and paid for. That and my cats  is all I've got. I'm sick and tired of  people telling me to do this and do that.  Good heavens, I've managed for this long."  Feminism has reached a small mining town, high in the Rockies  By Catriona MacLeod  Eight years ago I made my first and what .  I vowed would me my last visit to Vancouver. For all its welcoming spring  beauty, its cultural aspirations, it was  transformed by a single incident into  something crude and menacing. Vancouver  remained in my memory as a hateful place,  a raw hick town that crystallized for me  the profound misogyny that seemed to pervade and poison everything in the West.•  I had escaped for a weekend from the remote Albertan mining town high in the  Rockies that had been my home for two  years to accompany my husband to a mining  conference at the Hotel Vancouver.  Driving from the airport to the hotel, I  had looked at the brilliant sea, the enteral grass, the tulips, and crowds of  people with a growing sense of elation.  I felt as if I had just got out of prison.  But it was not the nine months of snow  and 40 below temperatures that made my  prison. I could get used to those. What  I was not prepared for, even after six  years of coping with machismo in South  America, was the hostile, male-centered  world of Southern Alberta. And, the corollary to this — the dead suffocating blanket of silence imposed on women. Our invisibility, our powerlessness.  What was most devastating of all, however,  was the alienation of women from each  other and the total dependency on the men:  men who seemed to prefer each other's company, men who spent their days working  double shifts at the mine and their nights  at the Legion drinking together.  But, ah...Vancouver. Vancouver felt like  coming home. Perhaps that is why what happened at the Hotel Vancouver caught me  so totally off-guard. It left me with a  deep sense of personal failure, with mistrust and revulsion for anything connected  with western Canada. This is what happened:  Anne, the wife of another conference delegate, and myself had been out sightseeing  when, about four in the afternoon, it began to rain heavily. We couldn't find a  taxi and were cold, weary and wet by the  time we got back to the Hotel Vancouver.  After searching in vain for somewhere .to  have a hot cup of tea we sat down in a  partly screened-off cocktail area in the  main lobby.  A waitress in a bunny-type costume bounced  over. "Have you asked this gentleman's  permission to sit here?" She nodded at  a gawky young man in his early twenties  at the next little round table. He was as  uncomprehending as we were.  "Why should  we ask his permission?" I asked, extremely  puzzled. "I have to keep order here," was  her answer as she furiously wiped our  table and rushed away.  And then a kind of strange comedy unfolded  itself in slow motion. She had, for some  reason, decided we were prostitutes and  refused to serve us. Anne did not appear  to be particularly perturbed. She laughed  and said that as a grandmother she was  almost flattered that anyone should think  that men would be willing to buy her body.  I felt that I was suffocating, choking  with humiliation and rage.  In about thirty minutes a plenary session  of the conference ended. We waited and  we were not served. Then I went to meet  my husband coming out of the session and  returned to the same table. The same waitress was immediately willing to get us  drinks. With my husband as witness I demanded to see the manager. His reply put  the icing on the cake. "You should have  been wearing your conference badge to  prove you were the wife of a delegate,"  he said in the most perfectly reasonable  way imaginable.  As a person, I had no right to exist  Everything clicked into place. There was  no mistaking the message. As a female person you have no rights here. You do not  exist exeept in so far as some man — any  man — chooses to acknowledge you as his  property.  At dinner that night everyone thought the  whole episode very funny and trivial.  Everyone, apparently, except me.  The incident was never discussed again. I  only saw Anne once or twice more and very  briefly before I left to live in Ontario.  Anne had been born, grown up and married  in that same small place and if she had  any problems I believed they were very  different from mine. In any case, I had  soon discovered that there was no asking  other women in a company town for help  or advice. There could be no admission  that your world was less than perfect. It  reflected badly on your husband.  It could  undermine his ability to do his job,  and if he was not rendering his heart and  soul to the company he would-be fired.  You and your children would be out of that  company house so fast you wouldn't have  time to cancel the milk, much less find  somewhere else to live. We had seen it  all happen.  Now, after eight years in eastern Canada  I am back in Vancouver, to live here. And  I have just spent the better part of two  evenings at the Hotel Vancouver, where  my husband was attending another mining  conference.  What was I doing there? I think I was trying to lay old ghosts to rest. Would I be  able to find changes that will make my  experience here happier than the time before?  If the conference banquet was anything to  go by, nothing has changed. A thousand  stalwarts of the mining community hooted  in derision as Marc Lalonde, the Minister  of Energy, was introduced as someone who,  before stepping in to tell them what to  do, had been, of all things, the Minister  Responsible for the Status of Women.  After the banquet I met Anne again. Her  once-black hair is now white. She still  lives in the same town. She greeted me  with a warmth that surprised me. Her first  words were, "Do you remember what happened  to us the last time we were here?" She  hadn't forgotten and she didn't think it  was funny any more.  The next day I met Anne, and Jane — another woman I had known before in that  same Alberta mining town. The three of us  went for lunch. We talked seriously, like  old friends making up for lost time. We  talked about personal things, about our  hopes and dreams and frustrations. We  had never talked like that before. We  didn't have time to discuss everything,  but I sensed a change.  The female solidarity was there now  The feeling of warmth and female solidarity that I had searched for in vain all  those years ago was there now.  These women from that small mining town  are feminists now and they feel that  their lives have just begun.^  Now's the time to get a subscription for a  sister at solstice. Fill out the sub form Kinesis November "80  BOOKS  Finding Common Ground and enjoying the discoveries  By Kinesis staff writers  Common Ground: Stories by Women. Edited by Marilyn  Berge, Linda Field, Cynthia Flood, Penny Goldsmith and  Lark. Published by Press Gang, 1980. Paperback, 173 pp.  $5.95.  Fiction means different things for the women who work on Kinesis. For some of us,  it's right up there with March 8 and the  day after Kinesis is put to bed each month.  For others, fiction figures someplace alongside a bottle of good German wine.  But Common Ground  is the first anthology  of women's fiction to be published by a  Canadian feminist press. That in itself is  enough to make a news item.  To welcome Common Ground  into the world,  some of us from Kinesis got together on a  Sunday afternoon in October. The first  thing we could reach consensus on was this:  Common Ground  is the most beautiful book  Press Gang has produced so far. The typeface, the colours of Colette French's cover — they're aesthetically satisfying.  But at Kinesis we don't judge a book by  its cover. What did the stories inside  tell us about our own lives? That's where  'we started from. We went through the anthology story by story, to share our responses with you.  Skin Deep  is authentic prairie gothic.  Those of us who grew up in small communities felt we knew exactly where writer Joan  Lyngseth found her material and why she  adopted a laconic tone.  In this story a  woman's life is, quite simply, wasted. It  happens.  Mary Schendlinger's School  was one of our  favourities, for three reasons. First,  it's funny (and Common Ground isn't exactly a barrel of laughs, so we enjoyed that).  It's about a completely ordinary day and  Schendlinger manages to make it interesting. And it's about a real political issue:  sometimes it's best to speak up and sometimes it's best to shut up. How do you  tell the difference?  Helen Potrebenko's When Winter Came  is  another story that touches our political  lives. When the rains came the fairweather  picketers disappeared. If you've been involved in organizing, you'll relate. Potrebenko's pessimism is flawless, so be prepared. Some of us felt we'd found.finer  Potrebenko prose elsewhere; others were  totally enthusiastic. So check that out  for yourself. You simply cannot mistake  Potrebenko: she's a writer who (as the  literary critics say) has found her own  voice.  None of us could muster much energy for  Frances Duncan's The Squirrel.  Yes, we've  been victimized by the ones we've loved.  Yes, we've struggled to overcome. But we're  just not used to seeing all this in terms  of an encounter with an uppity squirrel  who needs to be enrolled in obedience  school.  Duncan is a skilled writer — she  has a book forthcoming with Women's Press  in Toronto — and she charts her terrain  through a tricky, surreal world.  Is it  fair to set her up in an anthology where  she's completely surrounded by realists?  Also not at the top of our charts was Frances Rooney's Evening at Home.  A story of  adolescent emotions (hatred, mainly), it  wanders badly at the end. Just where  should the reader's sympathies lie? With  the teenage woman? With the mother? With  the father?  Nobody's Women will, we predict, go down  well with the typical Kinesis reader. Anne  Cameron (Cam Hubert, she used to be) has  written about working as a psychiatric  nurse. Cameron's writing tumbles along at  breakneck speed and conveys an amazing  emotional energy. Good one.  A difficult relationship between a mother  and daughter, told from the daughter's  point of view. That's what Cadillac At  Atonement Creek  is all about. The woman (in  her late twenties or early thirties and  with a young daughter herself) is hoping  that this visit with her mother will yield  a breakthrough, that they'll really communicate. The theme is irresistible. And  some of the writing is good. Trouble is,  it doesn't go anywhere. We appreciated the  US expatriate experience ("That word,  Canadian.  It gives my mother trouble.").  It's worth reading, despite the disappointing conclusion.  The only story that gets anywhere near  the streets is L.L.Field's Pink Lady.   It's  about a night of booze and sex and pills.  All of it very real and all very politically incorrect. Women have been involved in  scenes like these from the year dot, but  our experience of them simply hasn't been  written about from our own point of view.  L.L.Field is breaking new ground, articulating where we have been mute. Sometimes  she has her first-person voice speak in  a tough-guy impersonation of a Dashiell  Hammet character.  Is this because her  character really thinks like that? Or  because these stories have always been  told to us by men?  Women living in a communal house, taking  a course in self defence. That's the setting for Maureen Paxton's A Wolf at the  Door.  The women rescue the woman next  door from a ghastly scene of marital torture. Women against violence, women actively taking back power. You might think  we'd have loved it. Well, we didn't. The  polemic device of the self defence class  sticks out into the fiction like a sore  thumb. A Wolf at the Door must have sneaked its way into this anthology by flashing  credentials of content. That's not enough.  Gay Bell's "I" -Grec is Y : Autonomie  is  the only lesbian piece in the collection.  Also ^the most lyrical. And it's optimistic.  An Anglo's Montreal love story, it's even  a little bit bilingual. We all enjoyed it.  Roses are Red is tremendous revenge  Roses are Red  is a tremendously satisfying  revenge story. More than any other piece  in the anthology, this one moves steadily  up to a climax. It's all about what happens in a series of pre-natal classes. We  won't blow it by telling you what exactly  takes place. Suffice it to say that a total prig gets his come-uppance in a way that  will warm you to the cockles of your vengeful little hearts. There's a quality of  fantasy, of super realism, to the moments  of revenge that's both inspiring and empowering for feminist readers.  We were divided over the last story, Mar-  lene Widerman's Six Weeks.  A farm wife has  a brief six weeks' affair while her husband is in hospital. The unexpected, sexual validation makes her exceptionally  vulnerable, and we respond immediately to  that. Some of us identified intensely and  loved the story, appreciating its abundance  of dialogue. Others felt that the prose  barely clunks along; others were bored  to tears by the tired old theme of the  Male Rescuer.  Now for the big questions: what kind of a  statement does Common Ground make? And  would you buy it for a sister for solstice?  The stories, for the most part, are very  firmly anchored in realism. This is not  in the least surprising for its the biggest and widest stream in Anglo Canadian  fictiona But realism is by its nature  nervous about optimism, preferring to  leave the brave new worlds to science fantasy and science fiction.  Therefore we do not find in Common Ground  radical visions of what we all wish our  lives to become. Politically correct/ fine/  strong/ caring/ sharing/ emotionally together/ non-sexist/ non-racist/ non-imperialist women are thin on the ground.  So if it's visions you're after, you're  not going to see them depicted in Common  Ground.  Better stick to that bottle of  good German wine.  But if you Want fine fiction by Canadian  women, step right up 0_  Janet Berry,  Jan DeGrass,  Chris DeLong  and Gay la Reid took part in this discussion.    Gayla Reid wrote up the notes. Kinesis November '80  BULLETIN BOARD  Events  SAFE BIRTH CONTROL? It does exist! Then  why are dangerous methods, the Pill  and the IUD, still being prescribed?  The•Vancouver Women's Health Collective is presenting a session on some  historical and practical issues around  birth control. Choose the time and  place that suits you.  Friday, November 14, 12:30 p.m.  Student Union Building  UBC  Tuesday, November 18, 7:30 p.m.  Mt. Pleasant Neighbourhood House  535 East Broadway, Vaneover  Tuesday, November 25, Noon  YWCA  580 Burrard, Vancouver  Call 736-6696 for information about  childcare and for more details.  WOMEN AGAINST PRISONS video and slide show  evening. Visuals and information on the  situation of women locked-down in US  institutions, given by women from the  publication, Through the Looking Glass  and the Washington Coalition Against  Prisons.  Sunday, November 30, 7:30 p.m.  Video Inn, 261 Powell Street  All women welcome. Childcare provided.  Call 738-8293 for childcare details.  RALLY FOR REPEAL of the abortion laws.  2:00 p.m. Sunday, November 30, 1980  Kitsilano Secondary School, 2550 West  10th Ave., Vancouver.  Groups  TASK FORCE ON OLDER WOMEN sponsored by the  NDP Women's Committee has set up the  following public hearings:  November 14, 15 — North Vancouver  November 21, 22 — New Westminster  November 28, 29 — Vancouver  December 5, 6   — Victoria -  For more details, contact your local  NDP constituency office.  SPEAKERS FOR CHOICE. Please note that  article in last month's Kinesis, "Women willing to speak up for choice on  abortion" gave the wrong phone number  for the group. To contact Speakers for  Choice, call Pat at 255-1555.  A LESBIAN FEMINIST PROBLEM SOLVING group  is looking for new members and for  women interested in forming a second  group. We are meeting weekly with a  paid facilitator until ready to continue as a self-help group. For more  information call Cyndia: 251-2534.  On the air  THE LESBIAN SHOW:  November 13: Meg Christian speaks —  an interview  November 20: Lesbians and abortion —  our attitudes towards it.  November 27: Lesbians and Music. Featuring Sweet Honey in the Rock.  The Lesbian Show on Co-op Radio, 102.7  FM, Thursdays from 7:30 to 8:00 p.m.  W0MANVTSI0N SHOWS:  November 10: Women Show — news from  around town, around the country, and  around the world.  November 17: Fat is a Feminist —  beyond calories. Why we consume what  we consume.  November 24: The Art Show — featuring  a review of Charlotte Bronte, the  author of Jane Eyre.  Womanvision on Co-op Radio, 102.&  FM, Mondays from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.  Classified  THE LEARNING COLLECTIVE, a small alternate  school, is looking for approximately  2000 square feet to rent or lease five  days a week. We are willing to work  out a sharing arrangement with other  groups in a bigger space.  Close, easy  access to playground or open space essential. Call Trisha at 731-2719 (w)  or at 228-1084 (h).  ROBIN BARNETT is the featured artist this  month at the WOMEN IN FOCUS ART GALLERY  #6 - 45 Kingsway. Her exhibit of hand-  built sculpture, entitled Woman's Body-  scapes, are on display Monday through  Friday, 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m. and  Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  November 4 to November 27.  VSW updates  VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN, 1090 West 7th  Ave, Vancouver V6H 1B3, phone 736-1313  is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon-Thurs.  GUIDE TO THE B.C. WOMEN'S MOVEMENT is now  ready. Comprehensive, annotated list of  B.C.'s women's groups, including phone  numbers. To receive your copy, send $1:50  to VSW at 1090 West 7th Ave, Vancouver V6H  IB3.  THE B.C. FAMILY RELATIONS ACT. Our 12-page  appraisal of the new B.C. Family Relations  Act, covering such areas as custody, separation and property settlements, has been reprinted and is available for 50 cents from  VSW at 1090 West 7th Ave, Vancouver V6H  IB3. Written by feminists Jillian Ridington  and Ruth Busch, it's invaluable.  WOMEN WORKERS IN THE HOME is now holding a  speakers' series in a dozen family places,  community centres, moms and tots groups etc.  Topics include Shared Parenting, Assertiveness Training Techniques, Welfare Rights,  Housework, Single Parenting.... If you'd  like to get a series going in your neighbourhood, phone Gillian at VSW: 736-1313.  As we go to press, we're frantically searching for a place to hold our annual Solstice  (aka Christmas) party.  KINESIS  KINESIS is published ten times a year by Vancouver Status  of Women. Its objectives are to enhance understanding  about the changing position of women in society and work  actively towards achieving social change.  VIEWS EXPRESSED IN KINESIS are those of the writer and  do not necessarily reflect VSW policy. All unsigned  material is the responsibility of the Kinesis editorial group.  CORRESPONDENCE: Kinesis, Vancouver Status of  Women, 1090 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6H 1B3.  MEMBERSHIP in Vancouver Status of Women is by  donation. Kinesis is mailed monthly to all members. Individual subs to Kinesis are $10.00 per year. We ask members  to base their donations on this, and their own financial  situations.  SUBMISSIONS are welcome. We reserve the right to edit,  and submission does not guarantee publication. Include a  SASE if you want your work returned.  DEADLINE: 15th of each month  WORKERS ON THIS ISSUE: Janet Berry, Cole Dudley, Jan  DeGrass, Chris DeLong, Penny Goldsmith, Helen Mintz,  Morgan McGuigan, Gayla Reid, Joey Thompson, Cat  Wickstrom, Joan Woodward.  SUBSIDIZED RENT: two bedroom house available in South Vancouver from end of  December '80 to mid-February '81. Prefer women occupants to look after one  cat and one dog. Fully furnished.  Phone evenings: 327-5392.  MERGE POLITICAL AND SPIRITUAL awareness  through Applied Meditation taught by  Margo Adair.  You can use these techniques to work  through health problems, allergies,  phobias, tensions, creativity, collective awareness and relationships.  Introductory workshop: November 28,  29, 30. Friday, 7:30 — 11:00 p.m.,  Saturday, Sunday, 10:00 — 6:00. CRS  warehouse, 1239 Odium. Advanced workshop December 1 and 2, Monday and  Tuesday: 7:00 — 10:00 p.m. at 5637  Larch.  Margo Adair is a San Francisco-based  feminist. "In my workshops women use  their collective energies to regain  personal power,, enabling them to be  more effective in creating social  change."  Pre-registration is necessary. Call  Cyndia at 251-2534.  In the arts  FESTIVAL 82 : A CELEBRATION OF THE ARTS  by, for and about women.  Women are shown, heard and seen less  than their male colleagues. This fact  was demonstrated and documented by  16 women from across Canada in St.  Mary's, Ontario, during the weekend of  September 5-7. They were the members  of the National Planning Committee for  Festival 82 to be held in London, Ontario.  A primary function of Festival 82 will  be the formation of supportive networks  of Canadian women artists to combat the  underrepresentation of women in the arts  Panels and workshops on visual arts,  music, literature, theatre and dance  will explore the financial, social, historical and future aspects of Canadian  women in the arts.  B.C. women interested in joining the  local planning committee may contact  Jean Kamins at 604-738-8991 or Marion  Barling at 604-872-2250.  COMING UP IN DECEMBER at the WOMEN IN FOCUS ART GALLERY is a group retrospective of the Women's Gallery incorporating a variety of artistic disciplines.  All works will be for sale, with artists adding new works on a biweekly  basis. Hours at the gallery will be  extended in December: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.  A COMMON ASSAULT, produced by Peg Campbell  is a slide-tape program on wife-beating outlining social and legal services  for families needing help.  The new tape is available at no cost  on loan from Legal Services Society  (604-689-0741), from the Justice Institute of B.C. (604-228-9771) and  MOSAIC (604-254-9626). Translated versions and information pamphlets are  available in Cantonese, French, Greek,  Italian, Portuguese, Punjabi and Vietnamese .  For more details about this award-winning slide-tape call Peg Campbell at  604-669-3253. FLSSH  VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN IS HAVING A HOLIDAY EVENT!!  AT THE LEGION HULL # 16  -- 727A EAST 49th AVENUE  ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12 - from 8 p.m. TO  1 a.m.  ADHOC FOOD BOOZE      AND MORE  PROCEEDS TO GO TO THE MOMENTS BOOKSTORE  COME OUT AND SUPPORT THE WOMEN'S BOOKSTORE

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