Kinesis

Kinesis Dec 1, 1980

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 WJIDM  2 Voters vanquish  9 A Jamaican woman  (ft  3  1?  Volrich, Little and Gerard;  is fighting her deportation  COPE gains  order; join the support  committee  3 Workshops, structure  10 l thought there  discussions dominate  was no more slavery in  the 7th annual BCFW  Canada! Our centre  W  0)  convention  feature on domestic  workers by Rachael  I  Epstein  * o  4 North Shore women  SPECIAL SOLSTICE  CO  are conducting a  SECTION ON WOMEN  national campaign  AND MUSIC:  ■1   ^»  against the unreasonable  <"£  beliefs of rapists  Meg Christian: "I am a re  covering alcoholic."  b?  Holly Near: "Take your  ll  anti-nuke work with you  © Feminism decked out  wherever you go."  Lynn Calvert Interviews  in false clothing. We  Terry Garthwaite, Bobbie  appraise the dress-for-  Louise     Hawkins     and  CD  success syndrome  Rosalie Sorrels.  8 Herotic Art Show is  INSERT:  coming: we take a look at  The second edition of  the process  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  SUBSCRIBE TO KfMMJM  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  Payment Enclosed      Phone   Please remember that VSW operates on inadequate  funding—we need member support!  4  DEC 80 - JAN 81  KIMMSiJ  news about women that's not in the dailies  —      J^vm^.i^maji-r Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  LOCAL NEWS  Volrich, Little and Gerard vanquished; COPE gains ground  By Kinesis staff writers  Hopes for the institution of a ward system,  advances in housing and transit, and increased support for social services were  raised on November 15 as Vancouver voters  caused the Non-Partisan Association, which  has controlled city council, school and  parks board for the last two years, to  suffer significant setbacks.  As the final votes rolled in, it was obvious that Mike Harcourt had been successful in his bid to unseat Mayor Jack Volrich.  Volrich, who had attempted to ride on the  momentum of incumbency and attended few  all-candidates meetings or public events  during the campaign, blamed his failure  on the superior organization of Harcourt's  forces and those of the Committee of Progressive Electors, which had also made  important gains in all areas.  However, although there is no doubt that  the COPE and Harcourt campaigns were indeed superior to those of the NPA, it is  clear that the willingness to deal with  real issues, such as the ward system, had  a deciding impact on the election.  Of particular interest to women in Vancouver was the defeat of NPA candidates  Bernice Gerard and Doug Little. Gerard  and Little had launched a particularly  vicious campaign against Vancouver Status  of Women last spring, during our request  for funds for an advocacy service for  women.  "  >»t>^;  co«\£  0^  Sharon Thibert and June MacLauren, two homeless single  mothers, camped in their van outside city hall for almost a week  early in November. They were protesting the fact that landlords  discriminate against single mothers with young children, and that  Vancouver's vacancy rate is the lowest in Canada. Action on  housing must be a priority with the new council.  of lesbians and gay men, Gerard and Little  spearheaded an offensive which led to the  rejection of our request.  That attack was the most blatant kind of  moralism which Gerard and Little attempted  to enforce at City Hall and which contributed to their defeat.  Citing VSW's support for a pro-choice position on abortion and defence of the rights  The new council will be "composed of Mayor  Students tackle sexual harassment and child care  For the first time in its five-year history, the B.C. Student Federation (BCSF)  held a separate women's conference the  day prior to its semi-annual conference  November 21 to 23.  BCSF is an organization of student unions  at post-secondary educational institutions  across the province. It currently represents about 30,000 students at eleven institutions .  About twenty participants attended the women's conference. Debra Lewis of VSW  took part in the conference as a resource  person. She opened the proceedings with  a brief discussion on the role of women's  caucuses in student organizations.  Such caucuses, she said, serve to provide  support and skill development for women  working in an area usually dominated by  men. They also serve to facilitate the  articulation of issues of concern to women.  The women's conference made recommendations on a series of issues — from sexual  harassment to rape and safety on campus  to women's access programs.  The consensus of the participants was that  the conference had been very successful.  Plans are already underway to ensure that  it becomes a regular feature of BCSF conferences .  Women's issues were also highlighted at  the main conference.  Early in the opening plenary session,  there was an extensive discussion of sexual harassment, and a sexual harassment  grievance committee was set up to operate  at the conference itself.  Women have often faced harassment  Women delegates have often faced various  forms of harassment at previous conferences of student organizations. A grievance committee has proven to be a successful way of protecting women's delegates.  In addition, such a committee raises the  consciousness of both female and male  as to the extent of the harassment both  in student organizations and in post-secondary institutions as a whole.  Sexual harassment was also included as a  specific grievable offence in the proposal for grievances procedures as part of  a student rights and responsibilities  package.  A women's issues workshop, open to both  women and men, discussed many of the issues  raised by the women's conference. It was  clear that the prominence given to women's  issues throughout the conference signfi-  cantly increased the proportion of men  attending this workshop in comparison to  previous conferences.  During the discussion of student campaigns  for the remainder of the year, much attention was given to the BCSF child care campaign.  A number of institutions across the province are currently organizing child care  committees on campus, with liaison with  other concerned campus and community groups,  February 12 has been chosen as Child Care  Day of Action on campuses. On that day,  press conferences, public meetings and temporary child care facilities will be set  ap on campuses to dramatize the lack of  child care on campuses and in the community.  The federation plans to demand a meeting,  two weeks after the Day of Action, with  the provincial ministers responsible for  social services, education and finance.  At this meeting they will press the case  for child care, one more time.  BCSF plans to integrate two other campaigns with the action for child care:  a campaign against proposed tuition fee  increases and a campaign for student aid.  The federation recognizes that cutbacks  in education are closely related to those  in child care and other social services,  and that all cutbacks have their worst  effect on women and other disadvantaged  groups. For more details about the child  care campaign being organized by the federation, call them at 291-4677.   £_  Mike Harcourt and council-members Harry  Rankin (COPE), May Brown (TEAM), Bruce  Eriksen (COPE), Marguerite Ford (TEAM),  George Puil (NPA), Helen Boyce (NPA),  Warnett Kennedy (NPA), Bruce Yorke (COPE),  Don Bellamy (NPA) and Nathan Divinsky  (NPA).  COPE's breakthrough on council, as well  as school board and parks board, was  especially significant. Since COPE's beginning in 1968, they have consistently  elected Aid. Harry Rankin to council, but  have been unable, until now, to elect  additional representatives.  Particularly promising is the turnover of  control of school board from the NPA to  COPE. COPE elected five of the nine  school board members, on a platform centered on the needs of students including  recognition of the problems of sexism in  education. COPE also elected two members  to parks board.  VSW is looking forward to putting women's  concerns forward to council, school board  and parks board. Reinstatement of the  Equal Employment Opportunities program,  institution of a ward system, better policies in the areas of education — all  of these will mark a city government concerned with our interests. 0_  How the right to choose is  winning out in Surrey  Thanks to the pro-choice stand of the medical staff at Surrey Memorial Hospital,  therapeutic abortions have been re-established at that hospital.  When the anti-choice dominated board got  into power, they decided to ban all abortions at the hospital. The medical staff  promptly threatened to resign from all  hospital committees, and the B.C. Medical  Association backed them up.  The medical staff also demanded a meeting  with health minister Rafe Mair, a man who  has gone on record numerous times as being anti-choice on abortion.  But the doctors * demands had clout. Mair  met with doctors and board members from  Surrey Memorial. One day later, board  chairperson Lyle MacMillan announced  that the hospital would be appointing a  new therapeutic abortion committee, on  what the board described as "a trial  basis."  The doctors at Surrey Memorial have decided to accept the board's proposal. They  have put forward nominations to the reinstated therapeutic abortion committee.  The board meets December L,  to consider  those nominations.  Updating all our hot issues  * The strike at KENWORTH is going into its  sixth month. The main issue behind the  strike: equal pay for work of equal value.  The women in the data processing division.  are asking for wage parity with the workers  in the plant, most of whom are men. The  data processors earn $1.26 an hour less  than the men in the plant.  * The KING EDWARD COLLEGE council is going  ahead with plans for a daycare at China  Creek after all, thanks to community  pressure.  * THE RIGHT TO POSTER still goes to the  provincial court. Stewart's attempt to  have the charges thrown out did not succeed.  * Just as we put Kinesis to bed, we take  time out to hip over to Kits High School  for the RALLY FOR REPEAL. Fantastic! More  than 700 people jammed into the auditorium to express their pro-choice support,  while a few anti-choicers booed and growl- Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  ACROSS BC.  Workshops, structure discussions dominate BCFW convention  By Kinesis staff writers  Plans to re-structure the federation were  the focus of plenary sessibns at this  year's annual convention of the British  Columbia Federation of Women.  Held at Trout Lake Community Centre in  Vancouver from November 7 — 10, the seventh annual convention drew 170 women  from 4-3 groups across B.C.  The convention pledged support for the  struggle of Maliseet Indian Sandra Lovelace. Lovelace has gone to the United  Nations to protest the denial of full  status to Indian women who marry non-Indian men.  The three women wrongfully dismissed from  the Pratt and Whitney aircraft plant in  Quebec gained unanimous support from the  federation. BCFW called for the immediate  re-hiring of these three activists who  were fired after what the Quebec Human  Rights Commission has now revealed to be  RCMP intervention.  Women at the convention also passed a resolution demanding an end to nuclear proliferation in B.C. and Canada, and supporting the development of renewable energy  systems.  In addition, the federation gave support .  to the CAIMAW workers at Kenworth's truck  plant in Burnaby, B.C., who have been on  strike since the summer with a key demand  being equal pay for work of equal value.  Federation members will join CAIMAW on the  picket line on a regular basis until the  strike is won.  Highlight of the plenary sessions was an  address by Barbara Koburski, of the Indian  Homemakers' Association.  Koburski explained how her association  had been started by the department of Indian Affairs with the notion of setting up  sewing bees on the reserve. The Homemakers  rapidly developed their own issues. It's  impossible- to be the ideal little home-  maker, Koburski explained, when you have  no stove to cook on, and no job with which  to earn money to buy nutritious food.  The Homemakers' Association now have 92  clubs in B.C., and have supported the  campaign of Indian Rights for Indian Women  to win full status rights for women who  have married non-Indians. They are also  working on the issues of the lack of legal  aid for Native people, and the apprehension  on Indian children. Koburski invited BCFW  members to contact local Homemakers' clubs.  For the first time, convention was open  For the first time in the history of BCFW,  this convention was opened to all interested women. Previous conventions have  been open only to delegates and registered  observers from federation member groups.  Good attendance at the workshops on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning reflected .  strong community interest.  Elitism and the women's movement; feminism  and vanguard politics; mothers and children; violence against women — workshops  on each of these topics drew packed houses.  The mothers and children workshop was organized by the Lesbian and Feminist Mothers Political Action Group (LAFMPAG). They  welcomed all feminist women, regardless  of sexual preference or motherhood status.  The question they ask is this: is the feminist community as a whole prepared to  take responsibility for raising the community's children?  LAFMPAG is preparing a handbook which will  include specific suggestions about how to  integrate our children into our community.  The workshop on feminism and vanguard politics generated such intense interest that  further discussions on the topic are now  in the planning stages. Watch the Bulletin  Board of Kinesis for those.  interesting part of the convention for most  of the women who attended, the structure of  the federation itself was the target of  energetic and committed reappraisal. Hopefully, this work on the structure of the  organization will yield some long-term,  energizing results.  We're not happy with our structure  There are problems. The Structure Committee  came to the conclusion that a major re-ordering is necessary if BCFW is to survive  in a dynamic way.  Reporting to convention, the Structure  Committee explained that they had looked  at ways to involve as many women as possible in the decision-making process without our traditional reliance on a Standing  Committee.  They recommended that the convention delegates consider a committee structure to  replace the current, hierarchal standing  committee structure which assigns specific  tasks to individuals. A committee structure would mean that huge tasks no longer  rest on one woman's shoulders.  The convention voted' overwhelmingly in  favour of a change to a committee structure, and a committee was struck to bring  to the 1981 convention a proposal for a  new constitution.  BCFW conventions are the one time of the  year that we get to meet each other and  share experiences provincially. But what  exactly is BCFW and what should it be  doing in between conventions? That question came up at this convention, as it  has at previous ones. The answers remain  elusive. Perhaps some of them will be  found in the new structure.  In her action facilitator report, Prabha  Khosla outlined some of the current problems.  At the annual convention in 1979, a decision was made to focus on a May 11 province-  wide action about Violence Against Women.  Actions took part in different parts of  B.C., but as Prabha comments, on the whole  the action did not need a provincial  Action Facilitator... there is a motion by  the Structure Committee that the position  of Action Facilitator be deleted from our  constitution.    I support this motion on  the basis that our job descriptions ...  are unrealistic in practise and some also  in theory.  Prabha Khosla also mentioned that the  assortment of political opinions held by  women elected to standing committee (social democrat, socialist, marxist, anarchist and so on) does not always constitute  enough unity, for united decision-making.  BCFW, Prabha concluded, has been absolutely critical for communication and solidarity on a provincial basis. But we need to  have a better definition of our needs and  defined goals for our actions.  Are we an internal communcations network?  An action oriented group? Both of these?  Issues arose at the convention which could  bear debate in these pages. Should we,  for example, open the convention to non-  delegates and why or why not? What exactly is  BCFW? "BCFW is all of its member  groups" — is this a reality for your  group, or is it a semantic act of faith?  We hope that this year can see some dialogue in these pages about BCFW's evolving  structure and its role in our political  lives.  Have you ever felt too incorrect for the movement?  ByMargVerrall  The topic, "Elitism and the Women's Movement" was chosen for the BCFW convention  out of a growing complaint that the women's  movment is being held back by some form of  elitism. Here's what we discussed:  Many feminist fear labelling, blacklisting and exclusion from groups should they  present an unpopular position.  There was concern expressed over a prevailing notion that there is "one true  way" — political correctness. One member  of the workshop described this as "the  tendency to hold on to newly acquired power by portraying our own conclusions as  the best ones." We discussed the pitfalls  of using the movement as a way of feeling  in a position of authority.  We talked about the difficulty of retaining an open concept of what the women's  movement is, and where we are headed, when  collective decisions-and ..group political  analyses are easily put on to pedestals  as the right way to go.  This problem is compounded in that women  working in these groups may have no intention of frightening other women; they are  in fact in need of help and support themselves .  We hit upon a form of geographical elitism  — rural versus city concepts of political  action and radical feminism. From a rural  point of view it looks as if city women  spend their time intellectualizing rather  than working on down-to-earth issues.  While the workshops were probably the most   Women working within the existing polit  ical system expressed a need for trust  from those choosing not to. Those choosing not to, needed recognition that their  way of attempting change is difficult.  We touched upon the age-old problem of  accepting each others individual politics  — deciding what we can accept and agreeing to debate the differences that disturb us.  There has been a great amount of distrust  in the movement arising from different  lifestyles. Women who are married to,  work politically with, live with or befriend men want to feel trusted by those  who don't. Conversely, those who live  as separately from men as they can want  to feel accepted in their choices.  As we rounded the circle of discussion we  were surprised to discover that so many  of us have felt judged, hard-working feminists that we are. V/e began to piece  together suggestions that could lead to  solutions. Here are just a few:  * Define "political correctness" in a different way, each of us remaining consistent with what we have stated that we believe .  * Trust in each other that we mean well.  * Remain open to talk so that we can formulate new directions together.  * Try to ensure that analyses, are not presented as the  correct philosophy behind  feminism.  * Recognize that we all need the movement  and that many of us are expressing the  need to feel more accepted within it.Q Kinesis Dec 80-J an 81  ACROSS CANADA  Protesting the Pappajohn precedent  North Shore women campaign against unreasonable beliefs  By the North Shore Women's Centre  The North Shore Women's Centre of North  Vancouver wishes to draw attention to the  dangerous precedent which has been established in Canada by the R.  v. Pappajohn  rape case. Although the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of rapist George  Pappajohn, a decision was taken which is  nothing short of incredible, and which  poses a grave danger to all Canadian women.  The Supreme Court of Canada judges, all  male, who heard Pappajohn's appeal against  conviction, agreed that if an accused  rapist claims he honestly believed the  woman consented to sex, then he need not  provide any "reasonable grounds" for his  belief.  In other words, the would-be  rapist can feel free to ignore his victim's begging for mercy, screams or kicks.  All he need say is that, in spite of all  the woman's protests, he honestly believed  it was OK — and he need not provide any  grounds outlining why he believed it  was OK!  The origin of this dangerous line of defence for accused rapists is the 1975  DPP v. Morgan  case in the United Kingdom,  where the British House of Lords decided  (against bitter protests from women's  groups and even from male lawyers) that a  man accused of rape need not provide reasonable grounds for his professed belief  that a woman had consented to sexual  intercourse.  Woman raped at her husband's invitation  In the Morgan  case, a woman had been raped  by three men at the invitation of her husband. He had told the rapists that his  wife would scream and cry, but that was  only play-acting — in reality, she liked  it. Consequently, although the woman cried  and begged the men to leave her alone, she  was raped. At the trial, the rapists used  the husband's invitation as their defence,  and this defence was eventually accepted.  The evidence of the victim — that she had  screamed and resisted — was apparently  considered to be of less importance.  Shortly after the Morgan  decision was handed down, a man who had been convicted of  rape had his conviction overturned as a  result of the Lords' decision. His defence  was that as a result of a conversation with  the victim's husband, he too believed she  was consenting, even though at the time  she was crying. In this case also, the  husband had invited another man to rape  his wife (R. v.  Cogan  (1975) All E.R. 1059).  In other words, because of the Lords' decision, a woman in England in 1975 lost all  say in whether any attention should be paid  to her protests that she did not want to be  raped.  A man's opinion — whether that man was her  husband or a stranger — was to be considered to carry more weight than anything  she could say or do. Pappajohn quoted the  Morgan decision, and although he lost his  appeal, the Supreme Court decided to adopt  the Morgan decision that a rapist need  not have reasonable grounds for his belief  that a woman was inviting him to have sex  with her.  Victims of rapists have two choices: to  physically resist the attacker, with the  risk that this will provoke him to use  greater force which may result in her  death; or to accept the degradation, physical damage and emotional anguish of a  rape. As most women in Canada know, women have been advised by police and Rape  Crisis Centres not to resist strenuously  if they are attacked.  Women are told to run away if it is possible, they can beg, they can cry, they  can scream,, but if all these fail, society tells women it is better that they  should submit to rape than be murdered...  but that if he is caught, the rapist will  be punished for his crime.  Yet if women accept rape instead of mur  der, this very acquiescence can be used  against them by the rapist's lawyers, who  will ask, "If you really did not want to  be raped, why did you not fight back?"  It is a Catch-22 situation.  Women are murdered if they do fight back,  and they are damned by the Courts if they  do not. It is well known that it has always been extremely difficult for a woman  to prove rape.  Now, with the Pappajohn  decision, it  appears women can lose all legal recourse  altogether. All the rapist need say is  that he honestly believed the woman consented to sex, in spite of having no reasonable grounds for believing so.  Damned if we do and damned if we don't  One may ask, "If a rapist is legally entitled to ignore a woman's screams and  protests, what can a woman do to make it  absolutely clear she objects to being  raped?" The answer to this, since the  Pappajohn  decision, is — nothing. Whatever she says is going to be ignored,  whatever she does is going to be ignored,  whatever she screams is going to be ignored. The honest belief of the rapist  will be considered more important than  all her kicking and screaming.  In what other criminal situation is the  "honest belief" of the criminal taken  into account? Why is this defence being  taken seriously when the victim is a  woman?  Note that in both the Morgan  and Cogan  cases, a husband had invited men to rape  his wife. This apparently was enough to  throw rape charges out of court. As in  previous centuries, a wife is reduced to  the position of chattel, to be loaned out  by her husband in the same way that he  might loan out his car. And it is this  precedent that our own Canadian judges  have accepted as being fair and just.  This dangerous precedent-setting decision  of the Supreme Court has spurred Svend  Robinson, M.P., Burnaby (tel. (604) 434-  4022) to prepare a Private Member's Bill  to amend the Criminal Code, so that accused rapists will not have available to  them the defence of "honest belief in consent, without reasonable grounds for that  belief". The bill will demand that rape  be removed from the classification of  sexual offence, and re-classified as a  crime of violent physical assault.  PETITION  Hon. Svend Robinson, M.P.  House of Commons,  Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6  Dear Mr. Robinson:  We support the Private Member's Bill you are presenting this Fall, in which  you will attempt to have the Criminal Code amended so that accused rapists  will not have available to them the defence of "honest belief without reasonable grounds".  We believe that the establishment of this precedent in the R. v. Pappajohn  case can only encourage would-be rapists, will make it almost impossible to  convict those guilty of rape, and has endangered the safety of all females in  Canada. We demand that the crime of rape be reclassified as a crime of  violent, physical assault.  We call on all Members of Parliament to support your Bill.  Signed,  cc: Hon. Jean Chretien, Minister of Justice, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6  Hon. Uoyd Axworthy, Minister for Status of Women, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario  K1A0A6  Hon. Your Local Member, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6  This is the petition being circulated by the North Shore Women's Centre. As soon as Robinson has  prepared his private member's bill, well ran an appraisal of it hi Kinesis. Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  ACROSS CANADA  Linklater's charges reduced for  the shooting death of husband  Kristine Linklater, the 24-year-old Native  woman from Old Crow, who shot her husband  on September 1, 1978, has been cleared of  the charge of murder. Linklater had been  repeatedly beaten by her husband during  their relationship.  The murder conviction by an all-white jury  in Whitehorse was greeted with a storm of  feminist protest there and across the  country.  Bringing in the lesser charge of manslaughter at the Yukon Court of Appeal on  November 20, Justice W.A. Craig said that  the original jury conviction may have come  from the jury's misunderstanding of the  issues of reasonable doubt, provocation and  drunkenness. Linklater will be sentenced  in Whitehorse on the lesser charge in  December.  Chalk one up for the women's movement.  Equal pay for work of equal  value winning out in Quebec  As picketers on the Kenworth line know,  there is no equal pay for work of equal  value legislation in this province. But  in Quebec there is. And here are the  details of three recent settlements:  The first involves Quebec North Shore  Pulp and Paper at Baie Comeau. The settlement required the company to pay its  female typists, receptionists and IBM  operators the same as its male wood  measurers, draftsmen and inventory  clerks. These three respective job  classes were evaluated to be of the same  work value regardless of the dissimilarity  of the jobs performed.  A second case involved 2,500 female  machinists working at Imperial Tobacco in  Montreal. The Quebec Human Rights Commission recognized that although the women  worked on different machines from the  male machinists, their work was evaluated  to be of the same value as that of the  male employees. As a result, the women's  wages were increased to make them comparable to men's wages.  A third equal value pay case affected  women working at Valcartier Industries.  Female production workers were given  wage parity with male production workers  despite the fact that they had different  job classifications and different job  duties.  Why I'm involved in the  Women Into Rail campaign  By Helen Kirkpatrick  Prior to January of this year, I had always worked in nursing. As a long-time  supporter of women's rights, I had become inspired by the struggle of women  to get into non-traditional jobs, the  Women Back Into Stelco campaign in Hamilton being the most dramatic. Intellectually, I understood that women suffered  from discrimination in the workplace, but  working in a female field like nursing, I  had been protected from the actual impact  of that.  Rather naively, I left nursing in January  to look for "non-traditional" work. My  first target was CN, which I understood to  be an equal-opportunity employer. In the  next four months of pavement pounding, I  learned a lot. With the economic crisis  and the closure of Swift's against me,  along with the fact that I was female, I  had a difficult time. Finally, after persistent follow-up on my application, I was  able to get an interview with CN. From  the beginning, they emphasized that I  didn't weigh enough for the carmen trainee  program.  Carmen repair the railway cars,  and the trainee program was where hiring  was taking place. The fact that they hire  men who weigh less, and that I took weight-  lifting didn't impress them.  They kept  saying I didn't weigh enough (although  there is no weight requirement) and I was  told my weight was the deciding point.  There are NO female carmen or carmen  trainees in Winnipeg.  In April, 1980, I filed a sex discrimination complaint against CN, around the carmen trainee program, along with Helen  Nelson and Cheryl Pruitt. They also filed  suits around being switchers, which has a  height requirement of 5'6", effectively  excluding most but not all women.  Having filed the complaint, CN offered me  a job as car checker, which I have taken  until we win the right for women to get  into the non-traditional areas.  At first I was nervous about taking on such  a powerful organization — it seemed quite  a bit like the Mouse that Roared. After  all, CN is an enormous, thriving Crown  Corporation! It reported a net income of  $37 million for the first quarter of 1980  (an increase of $14.7 million over the  same period last year). We recognized the  need to make our issue public in order to  invite support and thereby increase pressure on CN. And the response we've received from both men and women has done  much to increase my confidence for this  fight and to reinforce my belief that we  will win.  For more information about the campaign  contact Helen Nelson, 3-325 Sherbrooke,  Winnipeg, Man. R3B 2W7. Tel: 783-1416.  Protesting censorship of lesbian  and gay joy  October 25 saw a spirited public demonstration against censorship on the steps  of the Manitoba legislature. It protested the Manitoba attorney general Gerry  Mercier's prohibition of the sale of two  books: The Joy of Lesbian Sex and The  Joy of Gay Sex.  Earlier this year a woman walked into a  Classics bookstore in downtown Winnipeg  with the intention of buying The Joy of  Cooking. Instead, she mistakenly picked  up The Joy of Gay Sex. This woman then  laid a complaint charging that obscene  literature was being sold at the store.  As a result, the department of the attorney general for Manitoba requested under  threat of prosecution that both The Joy  of Lesbian Sex and The Joy of Gay Sex be  removed from the shelves of both Classics  and Coles' bookstore. The heterosexual  Joy went right on being sold.  Both stores  complied.  Other Winnipeg bookstores followed suit.  The Manitoba government has as yet refused  to lift the threat of prosecution.  Ottawa women open credit union  and everybody shows up  Interest in the opening of the Women's  Credit Union on September 23 in Ottawa,  the fourth in Ontario, was so keen that  an almost embarrassing number of top brass  turned out to make speeches.  Monique Begin, Doris Anderson, Lily  Shreyer, Dorothy 0'Connell and others  squeezed on to a tiny awning outside the  swanky new offices on Bank Street.  The initial impetus for an Ottawa Women's  Credit Union came two years ago from the  Ottawa Tenants' Council, many of whose  members are single-parent, female-headed  families who are too poor to get credit  from the established sources.  Membership is limited to women.  This fact  distressed one male member of the Ottawa  press exceedingly. He played it for all  it was worth — which wasn't much, since  there are several credit unions with restricted memberships in Ottawa (such as  the Civil Service Co-op).  And the additional media gave the Women's Credit  Union extra, free coverage.  Northern Woman Journal is  taking time out from publishing  The Northern Woman Journal  has decided to  take time out from publishing to re-evaul-  uate its work. The journal editors comment: "We find ourselves too bogged down  in just getting the paper out on time  and do not have enough time for proper  editing and creative writing which is  both throught-provoking and progressive  ...we see ourselves as a small group of  radical feminists in the middle of northwestern Ontario wondering what the hell  has happened to the revolution."  They are seeking feedback and encouraging information about the collective  process.  Write to them at Northern Woman Journal,   316  Bay Street, Thunder  Bay, Ontario, P7B LSI.  Where's Senator Harry Hays  been hiding out all these years?  Where has Liberal Senator Harry Hays been  for the last ten years?  Hays, who is co-chair of the parliamentary committee on the constitution, heard  of brief from the National Action Committee on the Status of Women in Ottawa on  November 20.  Then the Albertan senator thanked the  girls  for their brief, adding, J was just  wondering why we don't have a section in  here for babies and children.    All of you  girls are going to be out working and  we 're not going to have anybody to look  after them.  Hays later said that it was a facetious  remark which he did not feel warranted  an apology.  Stanley .Knowles,: the* NDB.-MP for Winnipeg -  North Centre, urged the House of Commons  to replace Senator Hays with someone who  understands and appreciates the rightful  place of women in all areas of Canadian  society. His motion, seconded by Margaret Mitchell, NDP for Vancouver East, did  not gain the required unaminous consent  of the House.  After closing their operations, the women of  UPSTREAM have made a tremendously generous  donation to KINESIS. Thank you, women! Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  INTERNATIONAL  Feminism decked out in false clothing .-packaging for success  Nationally and locally we have recently  witnessed the rise of "networking" and  "dressing for success" programs aimed at  teaching women  "how to make it in the  It is absolutely crucial that feminists  clarify — to ourselves and others —  what "success" means,   the terms by which  we might reach it, and what that means  for other sisters.  That's why we're taking the space in our  international section this month to reprint the following article from the US  journal,  Working Papers.  Although writer  Suzanne Gordon concentrates on her own  experiences in the States,   the issues  she addresses are entirely relevant here  in Canada.  By Suzanne Gordon  Earlier this year there was an unusual  advertisement in the New York Times.  The  five-column, full-length fashion ad promoting this spring's selection from Macy's  was unlike any I had ever seen before.  Macy's wasn't only offering apparel and  accessories. To go along with the clothes  that make the woman — in this case the  business woman — it was sponsoring a seminar entitled, "Women Mean Business."  At the seminar, female corporate executives who had known "what it's like to be  'low man on the totem pole'" in the business world were scheduled to give pointers to other women who hoped to climb to  the top in their new Macy's wardrobes.  This striking ad was followed by another  surprise.  In my mail recently was an  announcement for a "brand new concept in  clothing stores" called Streets and Co.  This new Manhattan boutique even outdoes  Macy's — all its clothes are specially  designed for the working woman and it  claims to "represent the first major commitment in New York to answer the special  clothing and service needs of today's business and professional woman."  Clearly something new is happening. Working women — not secretaries or factory  workers, but women with money to spend  and ambitions to nourish — are becoming  a big new market.  And clothing store owners aren't the only  people trying to exploit it. Several feminist writers and editors have started a  magazine called Savvy, for the executive  woman. The magazine offers tips on everything from dealing with male chauvinism on  the job to organizing your bedroom closet.  Glamour and Mademoiselle are filled with  articles on the problems of business and  professional women. Mademoiselle's recent  issue tells women how to "turn jobs into  careers," while Glamour presents a new series of "success exercises" for the career-  minded. Readers who master all eight steps  of these exercises are assured of advancement. Physical exercises and special dieting are also recommended.  Learning how to get grabby  What women fail to learn about making it  from seminars at Macy's or articles in  Glamour can be gleaned from the latest  offering of the New School for Social Research in New York. Like many other courses of the same stripe, taught by women  in positions of power, "Political Power  and Women" replaces the courses that applied assertiveness training to personal  interchange or political organizing.  In this course, New York City Council President Carol Bellamy and New York State  Public Service Commissioner Karen Burstein,  among others, teach women lawyers and accountants about power.  Women are advised to shed their hang-ups  about playing power games and to enter  the fray with enthusiasm. A woman should  thus be able to vie for first place in  line with any male executive in any corporation. Women should "smarten up" as one  young lawyer says, and "become more calculating in ways men are about their careers, and get less ambivalent about power."  Something is wrong with this picture. Feminism, after all, used to condemn male  power games; now it's becoming the rationale for emulating them. Worse, feminism  itself is becoming the basis for a new  marketing trend — the marketing of the  business and professional woman.  Merchandisers of material goods and psychological services have finally caught on  to the fact that millions of middle class  women now consider work an ongoing part  of their lives.  These women have either benefitted from  the options the feminist movement"has made  available to them, or they have recognized  some hard economic verities. Although  some women may still view work as a prelude to marriage, they are increasingly  unlikely to abandon their careers once  they're wed.  They know that in today's  as the three-piece suited woman climbs towards her goal.  And that goal is a success defined exactly  as it has been for the past two hundred  years.  Success, writes Richard M.Huber in his  lengthy study, The American Idea of Success, has always been "a reward for performance on the job.... It recorded change  in rank, the upgrading of a person in relation to others by the unequal  distribution of money, and power, prestige, and  fame" (my italics).  The myth of success implies to the lowly  that these finer things are available to  anyone, and are gotten by dint of effort.  The formulation is designed to mask the  very substantial inequalities which no  amount of applied will power can erase.  The implication that there's enough money  and power for everyone is contradicted  by the very definition of success as a  scarce commodity. The reward ethic spurs  those at the bottom to perform their  tasks willingly in the hope of advance-  economy it often takes a working man and  a working woman to support a family. They  also kno~ that marriages don't always  last and that they may have to support  themselves and their children after a divorce. The stage is therefore set for  the merchandising of apparel and attitudes.  Advertisers, of course, have always latched on to any gimmick that will encourage  people to consume. What is disturbing and  striking is that this new trend both packages the working woman in a particular  outfit and directs her to a very specific  goal.  The title of Macy's seminar, "Women Mean  Business" is coyly ambiguous. It says,  Women are finally serious about their  work and are a force to contend with. It  also says, Women are a lucrative new market to be exploited. And it says, Women,  a formerly dissatisfied and potentially  dangerous group that challenged America's  economic and political priorities, can  now become participants in the business of  America, which is still business.  Business, that is, as usual, with all its  overtones of human and environmental devastation. So beyond the trivia the marketers spew forth, this marketing trend  had serious repercussions both for feminism and for progressive political change.  The merchandisers do not merely feed women  silly slogans and brand-new outfits. They  are peddling a version of the traditional  success ethic, now reissued in a special  female edition, complete with tales of  virtue and stick-to-it-iveness rewarded,  Casserine Toussainl  ment, while those at the top assure themselves that where there's a will there's  a way. Which means that if there is no  way, there must be no will; which in turn  means people get what they deserve. Thus  does capitalism justify its economic hierarchy and motivate its workforce.  The contemporary female success ethic is  a faithful hieress to its male predecessor. First and foremost, success is still  defined as more money, more power and  more prestige.  We've only to glance at the models we're  supposed to admire out there. There's  nothing revolutionary about the bank  officers, middle-level corporate managers,  federal and municipal bureaucrats, public  relations consultants, publishing executives or film stars that we're offered.  The message is quite clear: sisterhood is  powerful, but something else is more so  — rank, wealth and fame.  Female, like male, success is still defined  in individual terms and individual victory  is supposed to imply victory for all. Seen  in this light, a variety of otherwise astonishing statements make sense. When  Susan Sontag, a self-described feminist,  described her concept of feminism's victory, she explained that women will have  "won" when they take their places as congressmen, presidents of large corporations,  and generals, as well as muggers.  This meant, according to Sontag, that "Margaret Thatcher's election as prime minister  of England would be a victory for the women Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  INTERNATIONAL  of England." This definition explains as  well the self-congratulatory tone of many  "feminist" success publications and articles. We've all won, they imply, because  some of us have won.  This means that the obstacles are out of  the way; any woman who fails to achieve  has only herself to blame. And any woman  who looks toward a different sort of achievement is, well, out of fashion.  Although the vast majority of women are  still in dead-end, low-paying jobs such  as stenographer, operator, and dime-store  clerk (and that trend is unrelenting), it  still makes marketing sense to bombard  them with success exercises, courses in  assertiveness training, and lessons on  how to play power games — in the outfield  of course.  If they demand some immediate gratification, what better than to give them the  opportunity to purchase the paraphernalia  of success, which, they are told, will  lead to the real thing?  How are we to respond to this? Some of us,  in years past, contended that because women as a class were oppressed, any woman's  achievement was a victory for all women.  Perhaps naively, we declared that femininity was almost genetic protection against  the temptation to misuse power. Even today Doris Lessing in an interview in the  New York Times Book Review said, "Whenever women make imaginary female kingdoms  (sic) in literature, they are always very  permissive... and easy and generous and  self-indulgent... This is the female way  of going along when there are no men about  ... whereas the natural male way of going  about things is this pompous discipline  and lack of subtlety in relations."  In other words, "female power" is inherently benevolent, while male power is inherently malevolent.  The reality behind this idealization of  the female temperament was our job history  as a gender. We have traditionally cared  for the young, the sick, the old. We have  supported and comforted, and when we had  to we worked at tedious and low-paid jobs.  And we did it all in the name of love.  Our values could revolutionize the system  So  feminism, along with its obvious goals  as a movement to advance women, seemed to  represent a unique opportunity for the hu-  manization of social and workplace institutions. Feminism shared with radical politics a scorn for ruthless competition,  power games and elitism. Our values, our  concerns for individual life, could revolutionize "the system."  Now women are inside the system, some of  them on the way to the top. And the system is accomodating us in the only way it  knows — by turning our difficulties into  marketing strategies. "Build networks,"  our magazines tell us, "that will support  you and help you fend off male chauvinism."  But if you're going to organize, organize  your closet, not your fellow workers.  Of course, not all of these stated goals  are pernicious.  It is essential to build  workplace networks, to fight sexism, to  ask for what you're worth, to be assertive, to seek fulfillment. The trouble is,  though, that this new assertiveness and  fulfillment is directed towards a kind of  success which compromises all of the  goals that motivated the women's movement.  The denial of economic reality that underlies the belief in individual success, the  idolization of the powerful that the success ethic assumes, assure that the distribution of wealth and power remains unequal .  The deterioration of commitment into costumes marks a debasement of feminism, and  with it the destruction of an opportunity  for even broader social change.  Certainly it's not our fault that American  capitalism is so good at coopting social  movements, but we must shoulder some of  the blame for the success of the marketing  strategy.  The moment we embrace these old definitions  of success, the moment we allow ourselves  to be marketed and market in return, we  limit our options and power as a movement.  Individual success is not collective victory  Women in positions of power can recognize  that their success is exactly what it  seems — invididual success, not collective victory, and that change involves  not only doing formerly male jobs, but  challenging the priorities of our economic system.  Women in subordinate positions can arm  themselves against the seductions of the  market with the knowledge that things have  not changed much for them and won't change  at all if all they do is dabble in self-  help and consumption.  If we want to improve ourselves, we might  consider improvements in wages and working  conditions. These will only come about  when women engage in unionization drives  and campaigns for equal pay and for greater control of their working lives.  The feminist movement is, after all, part  of a larger movement for social change.  To return to our radical roots, we must  recognize our vulnerability to being marketed, to admit that it's the system, not  the sex, that determines the uses and  abuses of power.  As women as individuals succeed in a system motivated by profit, they will have  difficulty remaining faithful to their  political principles.  A woman may try to treat her "subordinates"  as equals, but when there is an efficiency  drive, she will have no choice but to push  them. If we let our "special needs" be  defined as "clothing and services" we will  never get the equal pay, adequate daycare,  or the working hours that are necessary  for women — and men — whose values extend beyond the success ethic.     0_  Reprinted with permission of Working Papers for a New Society,  May/June 1980.  Copyright Trustee Institute 1980.  ILLITERACY RATES  Nearly two people out of every three illiterate in the world  today are women. Resistance by Third World women to BQ 25%  other opportunities of raising their quality of life is very  closely associated with illiteracy.  30%  I'  ASIA AFRICA  A WOMAN'S WORK IS NEVER DONE  A day in the life of a typical  Women in Armagh jail protest  for political rights  In Northern Ireland there are at present  over 30 women Republican prisoners in  Armagh women's jail. They are protesting  for recognition as political prisoners.  For the past four years, they and the  almost 400 men in the infamous H Blocks  of Long Kesh have been struggling for  political status.  Earlier this year, the wing of Armagh Jail  holding the protesting prisoners was raided by over 40 male warders, and many of  the prisoners were brutally assaulted.  Since then they have been on 23 hour lockup, and are not able to wash or use the  toilets. The windows of the cells have  been boarded up. Since the women are not  allowed to empty their chamber pots outside the cells, they have (as have the H  Block male prisoners for two years now)  had to live in conditions unfit for animals  — in cells covered with their own excreta.  The women have to eat, sleep and carry out  any other functions in this filth 23 hours  a day.  Patricia McGarry was arrested when she was 17  years old. She grew up in  the ghetto of Ardoyne.  Now she's in Armagh jail.  There is no fruit, almost no milk, and  no fresh vegetables in their diet. Combined with the lack of fresh air and exercise it is impossible for the women to  maintain good health.  In recent months there has' been a serious  step-up of physical harassment. Male  wardens are frequently used on the wing,  and on several occasions the women have  suffered beatings and have been subject  to much verbal abuse.  At the crux of the protest is the demand  for political status, and the British  government's determination to portray  the Republican prisoners as common criminals. They are fighting a political policy of the British government intended to  isolate these prisoners from the Irish  people by portraying them as "terrorists"  and "criminals."  The political motivation of the British  policy is obvious when one considers that  political status was granted in 1972 after  a hunger strike by prisoners, then taken  away in 1976.  Whether or not one agrees with the aims and  methods of the Republican movement, it must  be understood that these prisoners are political prisoners. They are there as a direct result of the present situation in the  Six Counties (Northern Ireland).  Approximately 80%  of them have been sentenced entirely on the basis of their own  statements. The weight of the evidence  given in the Amnesty International Report,  the Bennett Report, the Strasbourg rulings  and even the testimony of police doctors  themselves must raise serious doubts as  to whether any of these statements were  in fact voluntary, or whether they were  obtained by coercion.  After being processed through the interrogation centres, the prisoners are tried  in special courts, which deny them the  right to jury trial.  For more information about this Armagh  Prisoners Solidarity Committee, write  to them at 30 Mountjoy Square, Dublin I. Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  CULTURAL WORK  Robin Barnett's sculptures explore possibilities of female erotica  By Chris deLong  Woman's Body scapes,  an exhibition of hand-  built sculpture by Robin Barnett, was on  display at the Women in Focus Art Gallery  throughout November. It was a memorable  show.  Robin was a working class kid who spent  her adolescence reading in her room. Her  desire to go to art school was stifled by  parental pressure to go to college. While  at college, she took art history classes,  but it wasn't until 1975 when a friend  insisted she try working at a wheel that  Robin "got art".  The wheel and the throwing of plates and  bowls is still Robin's most comfortable  medium. She has found it challenging to  move from two dimensional work (plates,  bowls) to three dimensional sculpture.  She was assisted in this progress by a  local feminist sculptor, Persimmon  Blackbridge.  The show consists of four distinct forms  and several large sculptures. Each form  or "concept" is explored in several  pieces. Vaginal sculptures hang on the  walls done in shades of pink and delicate  violet inlaid with mirrors (with which  one has the disquieting experience of  looking into a woman's centre and seeing  one's self) while others are inlaid with  velvet the colours of menses or tiny white  shells.  A collection of vaginal sculptures, titled  "Boxes" (a reclamation from that derogatory colloquialism?) rest upon a small  table top. Each fits in the palm of the  hand, a most comfortable size.  Robin's most overtly political piece is  the sculpture, "Torso". Breasts, a map  of Africa and the word "RAPE" dripped  across the form in blood letters speak  for itself.  Robin's masks — actual casts of the  artist's face — are hung the length of  one wall. Symbols old and new are mixed.  The simplest and perhaps most evocative  of these is the white face of a sleeping  woman, her features resting in a cluster  of delicate shells, titled "Dream Image  Number One." (Centre, below). The mask  is quiet, meditative. It asks us to look  at ourselves, to see ourselves within it.  The sculpture in a handbuilt plexiglass  case is the belly and lilies piece titled  "Erotica" which was inspired by her work  with other women around an erotic art  show up and coming in 1981.  For Robin, it is an image she worked with  beginning in the symbolic and finishing  in the realistic portrayal of the lilies.  The work involved in putting together  this exhibit taught Robin more than can  be seen in this exhibit.  Robin was available at the gallery for  discussion throughout the time of her exhibition.  Watch for new shows at the Women in Focus  Art Galley in the coming year. The hours  of the gallery are from 10 to 5 Monday  through Friday, and from 1 to 5 on Saturday. Q  The Erotic Art Show is coming: we look at the process  Chris deLong and Sharon Macklin  Historically, feminism has rejected sexuality in its negative manifestations of  rape, harassment and pornography. Therefore, it was with a great deal of excitement that women at a 1979 workshop of the  B.C. Federation of Women's annual convention decided to move away from the traditional men's images of erotic to a new,  woman's view.  However, when more women gathered for the  initial planning, disagreements revealed  the need for a process which would pool  our own ideas and experiences of the erotic. From there, we went on to formal criticism of our work.  We discussed the real versus the ideal —  the politics of presenting women's eroticism as we experience it, or, as it  should be.  We also discussed the difference between  sexuality and sensuality, our feelings  about explicit sex in art and about depicting violence. In an attempt to aid  group functioning, a workshop os constructive criticism was held.  All women who attended at least half of  the process meetings were entitled to submit work for the show and to jury the art  submitted. A three-quarter majority was  required to approve a piece of work. Later,  other women were invited to submit work  which was also juried in this manner.  We did not arrive at a policy statement  as a group. But those of us who have participated in the process feel that we have  HEROTICA  Women's Erotic Art Show  January 19-31  Helen Pitt Gallery, 163 West Pender St.  Performances  • January 19 —Opening  • January 23—Women Only  • January 31 — Closing  Performances include belly-dancing and  poetry reading.  come to understand one another better and  have consequently grown closer in our views.  Some women who felt they were disdained for  their lack of politics and who themselves  disdained their political sisters for lack  of passion, have come to see the inextricable mix of passion and politics in every  woman's erotic thoughts and acts.  Some women, who were disturbed by what they  considered the violence that excited others,  have found that the distinction between  sensual joy in physical energy, strength,  and play, and violence, is not as clear-  cut as they once thought.  As a result of these discussions, the show  contains works which are powerful, delicate,  mystical, explicit, natural, fantastic,  whimsical and serious.  We even shared erotic tendencies which we  see in ourselves but do not necessarily  admire, and consequently, we are now shar  ing some of these with the public viewing  the show.  In the experience of shaping this show,  each of us has grown in our understanding  of ourselves and of the others. And we  think that those who see this show will  find some new territory never explored in  spreading the pages of Playboy  (or Play-  girl'. ).  We've all learned that there's more to the  erotic than meets the eye — or lip, or  hand. 0.  Lille d'Easum, Hattie Ferguson:  two fine women activists  have died  Feminists were saddened to learn recently  of the deaths of two leading women activists.  Lille d'Easum died at the age of 81, after  a short illness. Lille became active in  the anti-nuclear and peace movements in  the 60s, after she had retired from teaching.  Last year she told Kinesis, everything in the world works in cycles.    We  should keep always within those cycles.  What right has anybody to destroy the  earth?    I don't believe that the earth  belongs to us.     We belong to the earth.  Hattie Ferguson was 72 when she died. A  founding member of Vancouver Status of  Women, Ferguson had been active for many  years in the movement for Indian rights. Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81       9  DOMESTIC WORKERS  r-Jamaican fighting deportation, support committee formed  By Helen Mini/  This life in Canada is the only life I've  known for seven years.    Jamaica is no  place where I would want to be.    There is  no place there that I can call home.    At  my age,  I don't know what kind of job I  could get in Jamaica because unemployment  is so high.    I need to stay here so I  could support myself and my kids and my  parents.  Daphne Williams is presently facing a  deportation order.  The Canadian government maintains that she  must return to Jamaica because, they say,  she has worked illegally in Canada for  three of the seven years she has been here.  Ms. Williams is awaiting an appeal which  will take place sometime after Christmas.  In the meantime, she is not permitted to  work; she qualifies for neither unemployment insurance nor welfare.  After answering an advertisement for a  domestic that she read in a Jamaican paper,  Daphne Williams came to Canada where she  has worked for seven years. Initially she  worked for private families as a live-in  maid. Most recently she worked at Vancouver General Hospital, doing domestic  work.  During August the police arrested her  without warning at the hospital where she  was working. After searching her apartment and seizing her passport, they took  her to jail where she was kept for four  days. She was then tried for overstaying  her time in Canada and for working illegally. Her passport expired while it was  in the hands of the authorities.  Like many foreign workers in Canada, Ms.  Williams was admitted on a work visa.  This visa tied her to a particular employer, obliging her to renew her visa each  year or in the event that she changed  employers. Under the work visa system,  Ms. Williams was entitled to no benefits;  the rights of a landed immigrant were  not available to her.  Daphne Williams was never informed of the  fact that she had been admitted to Canada  on a work visa.  The conditions and limitations on her stay in Canada were never  explained to her.  Initial arragements for obtaining her  If she's good enough to work here,  she's good enough to live here  right to work in Canada were carried on  between her first employer and the Canadian government. This employer retained her documents, passing them on to the  next family for whom she worked.  Both of these employers applied for the  renewal of her work visa each year without informing her. Thus, when Ms. Williams  ceased working as a live-in domestic, she  was unaware of the fact that she was obliged to report immediately to the Department of Immigration.  Ms. Williams has lived and worked in Canada for these seven years. This is now  her home.  Her five children and her elderly parents depend on the support she  sends back to Jamaica. While in Canada,  Daphne Williams has done work that is  both difficult and — because of the  attitudes of others — frequently demanding. She has done work which few Canadians would do. And she has done this  work in situations where she has had few,  if any, rights.  An ad hoc committee has been formed to  support Daphne Williams in her attempt  to remain and work in Canada. The committee is opposed to an immigrantion policy  which brings individuals to Canada, puts  them to work under difficult and exploitive conditions, and then throws them out  so that they cannot establish a life for  themselves here.  If Canada is to profit from the work done  by individuals like Daphne, then the government must grant them the rights of  any other worker.  If Daphne Williams is  good enough to work in Canada, she is  good enough to live here.  During the last two years a struggle was  successfully waged to prevent the government from deporting seven Jamaican women.  These women were being deported ostensibly for violating the terms of their admission to Canada.  Like Ms. Williams,  they had never been informed of the conditions of their stay. The campaign to  stop the deportation of these women was  successful because of the widespread  support it received, particularly from  union, ethnic, and community groups.  Williams needs your support, now  Daphne Williams needs all the support  she can get. Both Margaret Mitchell (MP  for Vancouver East, NDP) and Pat Carney  (MP for Vancouver Centre, PC) have written letters of support of her case to  the Minister of Immigration, Lloyd Ax -  worthy.  Send your own letters of support to the  minister (Lloyd Ax worthy, Minister of  Immigration, House of Commons, Ottawa,  Ontario — no stamp needed).  Propose resolutions in your union and  community groups. Should you like more  information or wish to participate in  the committee, contact Nancy at 879-9036. Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  DOMESTIC WORKERS  I thought there was no more slavery in Canada!  By Rachael Epstein  "The employer I worked for when I first came here  treated me as if I was a slave. I'm not speaking for  myself alone as a matter of fact, it goes to all the  women who come here on a work permit from the  Caribbean. Some of them talk about the treatment  they get, and some just suck it in, you know what I  mean? Well, last August I noticed things were  getting too heavy for me to handle, lots of work and  less pay, so I just packed my things and left the job,  but I had to check with the Immigration Department  and they gave me two weeks to find another job. I  did, this one is a little better than the first. So, I am  just trying to stick around a little longer, because  when I leave Vancouver I am not sure I'll get to come  back, because I made myself a promise. I am not  going to leave my country on a work permit to go to  another country, not ever again."  This is the statement of a West Indian  woman working in Canada since 1975 as a  live-in domestic worker in a private home.  She is here on a temporary employment  visa and will eventually have to return  to her own country. She has four children in the West Indies whom she is trying to support and keep in school. When  she first came to Canada she was earning  $200 a month plus room and board and had  one day off per week. Currently she is  earning $300 a month and has two days  (but no evenings) off. She is just one of  many women in similar situations.  Substandard working conditions and low  status has meant that workers are imported to do domestic work.  Immigrant labour  has been recruited for these jobs, particularly since the early part of this  century when industrialization meant women were entering occupations other than  service.  In 1903-4, 3,504 domestics immigrated to Canada; the number rose annually until 1913-14 when more than 21,000  entered .the country.  Until the early 1970s women continued to  come into the country as immigrants to  do domestic work. But they continued a  traditional pattern of leaving the job  as soon as they could find a better one.  To remedy the situation the government  created the employment visa — or work  permit — system. In 1978, 12,843 visas  were issued for domestic workers., many to  women from the West Indies. Employment  visa holders enter the country for a specified job, for a specified time. They  must leave'when the visa expires.  Occasionally visa renewal is possible.  If  any of the conditions of employment  change, the visa becomes invalid.  The total number of employment visas for  all occupations issued in 1978 was greater than the number of.landed immigrants  admitted.  This is a reversal of the situation in 1974, when the number of landed immigrants admitted was two and a half  times greater than the number of visas  issued. The government is increasingly  relying on the employment visa system to  fill the least desirable jobs with people  unable to make demands around wages or  working conditions.  The result is to  further reinforce the low wages and poor  working conditions in these jobs and to  severely jeopardize attempts to organize  in these areas.  Most of the women who come to Canada on  employment visas do so to escape the hardship and poverty of the West Indies.  Often they were unemployed at home or working for extremely low wages as domestics  or. in factories. Most have several children who are being looked after by a relative- or friend back home. They come to  Canada expecting a place where they can  earn enough money to feed, clothe, house  and educate their children.  These expectations are rarely met.  Yvonne Indart / Every woman's A Imanac  In St.  Vincent it could be really rough,  because as I said,   there is not much job  down there to do.    And the few people  that are there they pay nothing,  you know,  they don't pay no good salary and most of  them do their housework themselves.     That's  domestic work.    There is other jobs,  it's  the kind of job that you have to sleep  with the supervisor and then you might get  a job.  People come to Canada hoping to be able  to save money to send back home to their  families. But often they must borrow to  get here. So when they arrive they must  first pay this money back.  I've been trying to pay back the money I  borrowed to come here and now I've finished paying it back.    I've been starting  to save.    I had $500 in the bank and my  mother she was very sick so I had to take  out the money and send for her to go to  the doctor because the cost of living and  Yvonne Indart /Everywc  doctor down there is very expensive.    And  then my daughter want some books and I  just take the money out and I send it to  her.  The law is ignored  Complaints and publicity about the exploitation of visa workers forced the Canada  Employment and Immigration Commission  (formerly Canada Manpower) to set some  minimum standards for visa jobs. The  domestic workers must be paid at least  $350 per month plus room and board; she  must not work more than eight hours a day,  five days a week; and she should have at  least two days off each week. When she receives her visa the domestic should also  be given a copy of the job offer form that  the employer filled out and filed with  Canada Manpower as well as a letter from  The domestic is usually responsible  for running the entire household.  Wages vary from $100 to $400 a  month and in almost every case the  women work in excess of a 40-hour  week. Some work regular 15-16 hour  days and are virtually on-call 24 hours  a day.  the immigration department outlining the  conditions of work. The letter also  states:  "In the event that your employer  does not adhere to the above-mentioned  salary and working conditions you should  contact the Canada Immigration Centre.  The immigration officer may  then refer  you to Employment Canada who may  assist  you in finding other employment as a  domestic (emphasis added)".  In many, many cases employers are not adhering to the salaries and working conditions they set out on the job offer forms.  A domestic who does go into the immigration department to complain often finds  herself grilled by an immigration officer  who tells her that before anything can be  done the employer must be contacted, and  his/her side of the story heard. Usually  this results in the domestic being fired.  After all, who wants their domestic complaining to the government!  Most of the women who come  to Canada on employment visas  do so to escape the hardship  and poverty of the West Indies.  Often they were unemployed at  home or working for extremely  low wages as domestics or in  factories. Most have several  children who are being looked  after by a relative or friend back  home.  What follows is totally up to the discretion of the immigration officer. Technically he/she can send the domestic out of  the country as her visa is no longer valid.  This does not always happen, however.  Sometimes the domestic is issued a new  visa with a new employer, especially if  she already has another job lined up. If  not, she may be given time to look for  other work.  It is not uncommon for immigration officers  to harass and intimidate women who complain, to imply they are lying, to side  with the employer or to treat the woman as  if she were trying to get away with something illegal. Time granted to look for  a new job is often limited to a week or  two.  Oh,  my Jesus Christ,  I don't know how I am THE  RADICAL REVIEWER  $1.00  * Radical: getting to the root/origin of.  VOLUME ONE NUMBER TWO  The Radical Reviewer is an expression of our  work on, and our love for women's literature and  feminist theory. We grew out of the Vancouver  Lesbian Literary Collective and are now a  separate entity. We plan to emerge from a literary  supplement into a lesbian feminist literary journal.  The Radical Reviewer applies a feminist perspective to the lives and works of women writers.  * Reviewer: in the sense of re/searching  and re/membering.  WINTER 80/81  Digging into Common Ground—  an interview  Common Ground, Stories by Women  was released by Press Gang Publishers in September, 1980. Barbara Herringer interviewed  Penny Goldsmith, one of the five editors  involved in producing the anthology.  BH:  Where did the concept of Common Ground  originate?  PG: Another woman and I from Press Gang  were interested in doing a short story anthology. We'd been receiving fiction manuscripts from time to time and didn't  really have a forum for them.  There's not  much in the way of short fiction around  and I know a number of women who are writing. So, we presented the idea to Press  Gang and they liked it. That was two  years ago.  Did you solicit the stories through a contest?  No. We put the idea to Press Gang and  came up with the suggestion of advertising  the fact that we were preparing an anthology. We put ads in women's publications  across the country and let it be known we  were looking for short stories.  People  tended to look on it as a contest though.  Were the editors of  Common Ground associated with Press Gang or was the book an  independent project?  Jai Zara and I were members of the publishing collective when the project began.  She left Vancouver and I left the collective, so the short story group became more  or less independent of the press. We  started working on the book seriously about  a year and a half ago.  When did you finally have all your material  together and how many manuscripts did you  receive?  Over a period of two years, 130 stories  were submitted and from those we chose  twelve. It was really nice, we were surprised. It was a long process. Because  the short story group had a strong commitment to the way we dealt with each manuscript, we didn't just send out form rejection letters. We did a lot of talking  about each of the stories. All of them  were circulated among the five of us and  we each wrote comments on them and then  discussed the story. One of us would take  the responsibility of writing a rejection  letter, if that was necessary, and all the  comments would go into that letter. It was  an important process for us.  There's a comment in the editor's note in  which you state: "We learned a great deal  from the discussions and decisions involved in making the final selection of  stories ..." You've mentioned a bit about  the process, could you tell me more about  it?  As I said, we read and circulated the  stories among the group. When v/e originally went to Press Gang, we decided to  have a theme. The publishing collective  came up with several suggestions but when  it finally came down to writing an advertisement to solicit stories we realized  how hard it was to say, "We want stories  about..." We definitely did not want  stories that were all from women's personal journals. We wanted as much variety  as possible ... stories from both the city  and the country, from native women, lesbians and so on. We didn't get nearly as  much as we wanted in terms of that diversity, but what started to happen when the  manuscripts came in was that we couldn't  narrow them down to a particular theme.  That's been a criticism of the book  actually — no consistent theme.  until we came to the twelve we finally  chose.  Did you do much editing of the stories  Barbara Herringer and Penny Goldsmith discuss Common  Ground.  What we finally decided, as we began to  select the stories, was to choose those  that expressed various experiences of  women and that's as far as it went. We  narrowed down our selection process and  rejected some stories right away and kept  others for a longer time. That was difficult. Because our selection process took  so long, authors had to wait quite awhile.  We had form letters we sent out to let them  know we were still in existence and to  keep them informed of what was happening.  But, at the same time, we wanted to make  our decisions carefully so we had short  lists and narrowed them and narrowed them  No. We rented a room at Britannia, took  twenty stories with us and had a twelve-  hour marathon. The five of us read and  talked about them until we found the ones  we wanted. We still had more than twelve  stories at that point and Press Gang  offered suggestions and revisions.  From  those suggestions, we chose the twelve.  We didn't do much editing after that ...  some stories more than others. We felt  that we weren't interested in the kind of  editing that would make the stories consistent ... they're all very different ...  some shakier than others. But one of the  things we were looking for was different  writing styles.  Of course we discussed  any revisions with the authors.  You chose some authors who have been published and others who haven't.     How was  that decided?  We wanted original material, and initially  in their contracts, we asked authors to  not publish their stories elsewhere for a  set period of time.  But we couldn't  really do that, and so the contracts were  changed. We wanted to provide a forum for  women who hadn't published before.  I was  really excited by the number of stories  we received; they were incredibly diverse.  Providing a selection of stories that  included women like Helen Potrebenko, Anne  ■Cameron and Frances Duncan, who have published before, as well as women who have  never been published, was one of the most  exciting things about the project.  How has  Common Ground been received?  Most of the feedback I've been getting has  been from individuals and it's been generally positive. There's been some criticism about the quality of writing as  well as the content. One person I talked  with thought the literary style was weak,  which makes sense, considering we didn't  do a lot of editing. Women are excited  about the stories. The situations in them  are familiar and we don't see that very  often.  The short story group wants reaction to the book. We put so much time and  energy, philosophically, into it, that we  want to know whether or not it worked.  The Globe and Mail  review (Jane Rule) was  really good. I felt terribly guilty  walking around with my head fifteen sizes  Continued on page 2  This issue is dedicated to the Vancouver Women's Bookstore  (May Phoenix rise from the ashes) RADICAL REVIEWER  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  INTERVIEW, Continued from page 1  larger because of a review in a big paper  by an established author, but I couldn't  help it! There have been other newspaper  reviews and some on radio here in Vancouver.  The world didn't drop dead with excitement  when the book came out ... except for us!  Have you received much criticism from  women who expected to see more lesbian  stories included?  Yes. But we only received four or five  lesbian short stories, which surprised me.  One story we did get was really well  written and provided some new controversy  and discussion in the group.It was excellent,but really romantic and perpetuated  the whole idea of this one relationship  superceding everything else that was important in the character's life. We just  didn't want that. A couple of stories  played on the myth of Lesbian women falling  in love with straight women.I felt that  it was too much of a stereotype because  that's one of the things people immediately think about — straight women assuming that lesbians are after them. We  didn't want them in this anthology — they  can go into a collection of lesbian short  stories- with a variety of themes. But  when you're talking about only being able  to include one or two stories about lesbian  relationships, we just didn't feel that  those particular stories should be in the  book.  As the stories came in, was it a rush for  you to see what was happening in Canadian  women's fiction?  Yes, absolutely, and that's why I'm interested in doing another anthology. Maybe  one with longer stories.'. There are so many  possibilities.  But is there room for the stories "out  there"? Publishing seems to be slowing  down everywhere.  Canadian fiction is going to continue to  be published and we've got to be in there.  We've got to have those stories out, even  if they don't sell in huge numbers. People  seem excited by Common Ground.     I know  several stores have sold out of them a  couple of times, and people have been ordering them in large quantities. I think  there's a market for more. And people  like short stories — you can read one  before you go to sleep, you don't have to  read the entire book. People tend to  group poetry and short stories together as  not being very marketable and I don't  think that's entirely true.  Most of the women in the short story group  hold down other jobs or are studying.  Economically,  is it possible to sustain  that kind of energy?    Women's publishing  doesn 't have the money but we 've got  plenty of energy.    How long can we keep  going?  I don't know. For me, publishing and  books are obviously much more than a hobby,  even if I have to leave them for evenings  and weekends. I think that there are  other women who feel the same way and  women's publishing is .constantly going to  need women who do have energy. I think  that if there are a few of us who are constantly committed to doing it, then we'll  continue. But it's a problem. The other  work I'm involved in is really important  to me too, and I don't know whether or  not I'd be able to justify working eight  hours a day publishing women's fiction.  That's not in any way putting it down, but  I wouldn't be able to do it as a full-time  job. There are too many other things that  I'm involved in politically that also need  my time.  Do you think that  Common Ground is going  to make way for more women's fiction? Our  literature is often under a blanket of silence, not particularly accessible,  and  it's expensive.    I was surprised your book  is so inexpensive.  As far as the expense, the trouble with  trying to cost books is that the prices  change so quickly.  This book has taken a  long time to produce and in the meantime,  paper prices have really gone up. We're  committed to paying the authors and illustrator a set fee. Press Gang isn't going  to make a fortune, that's for sure.  I think people reading this book will be  more inclined towards another book of  short stories by women. It's a fact that  women writers in Canada have the highest  profile and because of that, I think it's  important that these books keep coming out.  We don't have to establish ourselves as  being able to write.  Women and Publishing—  a Future?  Do you, personally,  envision staying with  women's presses,  or have you thought of  taking future manuscripts to more traditional houses?  I think women's presses are really important. I worked at Women's Press (Toronto)  when it first started and was involved  mostly with children's books, and later,  fiction and poetry. There weren't many  of us interested at that time in non-  fiction, so a few of us kept pushing for  it. That's how The True Story of Ida  Johnson  and Conversations with Bibi  came  out. I don't know, I'm really torn on  that one. On the one hand I think the  books should be out no matter how; on the  other, the only real commitment to getting  those books out, is going to be through  women's presses. Another house may pick  up a book of stories by women, but it's  not their primary concern unless someone  is there to push it. It's a lot easier  and makes a lot more sense to have books  coming out of publishing houses where  people expect them to come. In that sense,  women's presses are extremely important,  and we've got the distribution networks  now.  I did sales for Women's Press four or five  years ago across Canada. I'd hop off the  train with my books and was interviewed  on CBC morning shows and so on.  The kinds  of questions I was getting then were quite  hostile and baiting — how we were destroying children's fantasies by creating  non-sexist children's books. I got the  same reaction in bookstores.  It's just  assumed now, that pretty well all stores  sell the Everywoman's Almanac.    When I  was selling it five years ago, that wasn't  assumed at all. They said "the public"  wouldn't buy it. I think the market is  there now.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Page One Digging into Common Ground  Page Three Standing on Common Ground  Page Four Lesbianism: Social Revolution or Sickness?  Page Five Open Letter to May Sarton  Page Six From a Whisper to a Roar:  Exploring Our Silences  Page Eight Vancouver Women Writers  Share Their Struggles  Page Ten Among Women: Our Hidden World  of Relationships  Page Twelve       A Little Night Reading  Kittatinny: A Fantasy  Barbara Herringer  Barbara Herringer  Helen Maier  Cy-Thea Sand  Cy-Thea Sand  Barbara Herringer  Cy-Thea Sand  Galila Melissa Svendsen  Do we have the money to keep on going  though?    The printed word seems the  strongest format for women,  given we don't  have easy access to radio or tv.  I don't know. Canadian publishing, in  general, has that problem.  It's subsidized to the hilt. We got a grant from  Canada Council for some of the production  costs for this book — which was great.  We tend to keep doing it. We tend to keep  getting them out, and it's certainly back-  breaking work at every level. I don't  know how we'11 keep affording it but it's  important that we do and that women keep  buying them.  It's the only way we can  generate money to put out another one.  Canadian publishing is such a total risk  because of the other media, but people  trust books in some way or another and we  should have our books out there with  everyone else's.  Back to  Common Ground for a moment ...  there's always discussion about women's  writing and what is  "correct." How  was that for the short story group?    Do  you have diverse feminist perspectives?  We all consider ourselves feminists. We'  work in various areas — not all directly  with groups in town. We've had a fair  amount of experience all over the place.  Some of us have been involved in publishing and editing,others joined us because of their interest in literature. As  I said before, we were all pretty sure of  what we didn't want in terms of rhetorical  writing.  Our various tastes in literature  led us to choose stories with different  styles, not necessarily because they were  totally successful, but because they were  interesting.  How did you choose the title?    Did the  short story group design the book?  The usual "title discussion" went on for  days and finally came from Carmen Metcalfe  at Press Gang. We asked Colette French  to do the cover drawing for us. I'm a  typesetter and Linda Field, who works at  Pulp Press, does layout, and together we  came up with the initial design.  I'm  really pleased with it. I have a real  interest in making books look beautiful.  I think it comes from my background in  typesetting and book design. I know about  type faces, how they work and what they  look like. I don't think a book should  have to look messy in order to be "politically correct". It's not more expensive,  it's just a question of certain skills  being utilized. People tend to expect  that books that are beautiful are going to  be elitist — my concern is to break that  concept down, and I think the way to do  that is to make our books look nice.  There's nothing wrong with that.  Is Press Gang pleased with the book's reception?  They were very definitely taking a risk  because of the reputation short story anthologies seem to have, and I think they've  been pleasantly surprised.  Js the short story group still together?  Well, we keep talking about getting together for dinner. What I'd like to do is  gather some reviews together so we can sit  and gloat over them! No, we're friends  and we see each other, but not as a formal  group.  How long do we have to wait for another  anthology?  It's not imminent, but it will happen. Q  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  Editors: B. Herringer, C.T. Sand  Typing: Feedback: P. Goldsmith  Layout: B. Herringer, C.T. Sand Janet Beebe  Consultation: Gayla Reid  Our thanks to Kinesis and Vancouver Status of  Women for their support, materials, and facilities.  The Radical Reviewer  1090 W. 7th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6H 1B3 RADICAL REVIEWER  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  Review:  by Barbara Herringer  Common Ground,  Stories by Women,  edited  by Marilyn Berge, Linda Field, Cynthia  Flood, Penny Goldsmith, Lark, Press Gang  Publishers, Vancouver, 1980. $5.95  We are women — daughters, lovers, mothers  wives, friends. We need to see our lives,  there, outside of us, to write or tell  our stories, our real lives and struggles,  who we are day to day.  The editors of Common Ground have presented us with an anthology of twelve short  stories by women — Press Gang's first  leap (I hope not last), into fiction. The  editors say that this collection reflects  their love for literature, and grew from  an interest in the stories that women have  to tell.  Out of our own experiences, we knew  that women are now living and being  in ways that do not often find reflection in print and we wanted to remedy  that lack.  Remedied it they have, by including a diversity of experiences by both established  writers and those new to their craft.  "Skin Deep" tells of a woman who describes  herself as not exactly a'"thing of beauty  and a joy forever". It is related in such  an off-hand manner, that the deep bitterness of her life doesn't make itself  apparent until mid-way through the story.  The woman's only bargaining power is her  father's status in a once thriving small  town and as the years go by, that leveler  is slowly and painfully eroded. Author  Joan Lyngseth, has combined vivid characterizations and dialogue to unravel the  horror of this plain woman's powerlessness  in her own life. When I read it, this  first-person account had me laughing, at  first.  The laughter became more and more  uncomfortable as the woman grew older and  her situation became more obviously hopeless.  Two of the most powerful stories are "When  Winter Came", by Helen Potrebenko and  Anne Cameron's "Nobody's Women". Both  women write with clarity and anger.  Potrebenko's description of a waitress's  deepening depression and lack of validation while maintaining her commitment to a  picket line through a long strike, will  hit many Vancouver women right between the  eyes. It is a familiar rage played out  during a miserable west coast winter. A  stark and lonely story.  In the first issue of The Radical Reviewer  Connie Smith wrote of an actress's losing  battle for her sanity against cruel mental  hospital authorities. It was not fiction.  In "Nobody's Women", nobody wins, again.  But in this account, Anne Cameron takes  us inside the institution through the  eyes of an energetic and innocent student  nurse. This fast-paced story traces the  dissolution of the young woman's idealism  as she wakens to the monotony and violence  of life of the wards ... "things are  happening too fast, god what's going on,  it's all coming apart, none of this was in  the textbooks, none of this was in the  first six weeks of classes, none of this  was in Mental Health and Cerebral Surgery..." Cameron's collage of growing  numbness and daily frustration against  the power of the institution, is horrifying and real.  When I started to read Frances Duncan's  "Squirrel", I groaned ... not another  lyrical "woman in touch with nature" story!  And I almost put it aside. Then I was  curious, and on some level, hooked. Surrounded by the realism in most of the  other stories in the collection, "Squirrel"  seems misplaced as a surreal piece. It  is strange, uneasy and violent. But I  found it distracting and thought it could  have used a bit more editing. Although  Standing on Common Ground  repetition can be forceful in places, it  was disconcerting to find the word "commanding", for example, used so often within the space of one or two pages. The  squirrel becomes a lonely woman's only  emotional outlet for one year until this  bizarre, obsessive love object nearly destroys her.  Lack of communication between an ignored,  married, now-Canadian daughter and her  mother, a prim, closed southern-american,  sets the stage for "Cadillac at Atonement  Creek" — ah, a good country and western  saga? No.  ..."we are, mother and  daughter, estranged." Kathryn Woodward's  story begins with promise ... flashbacks  to earlier conflicts, a history of bitter  silence ... "When she wrote offering this  visit I allowed myself to hope for a quick  clean reconciliation. Wishful thinking  I see now, like much of what characterizes my relationship to my mother. I once  lived on "If onlys..." I do like Woodward 's comfortable style and although the  older woman offers a tender revelation to  her daughter, the incident at Atonement  Creek seems to make for a somewhat tenuous  reconciliation, or beginning of one. The  conclusion left me dangling.  Women and children victimized by institutions staffed by "all-knowing" authorities,  is the pivot for Mary Schendlinger's  "School". It's simple. Her small daughter must take a series of psychological  tests at school, but no one will tell the  mother why or offer her any explanation.  As the tests progress, mother becomes  increasingly more paranoid. Is her child  less developed, poorly co-ordinated, slow  ... "Oh, they're just so we can get to  know Minna better ..." is the hollow and  unsatisfactory reply. Schendlinger writes  with authority and strength.  "Evening at Home" by Frances Rooney disturbed me — not Rooney's style, but the  focus of despair she describes seems  scattered. A typical evening at home —  mother has taken to the couch once again,  father mumbles from behind his paper. In  order to escape their persistent harping  at her, daughter goes for evening walks,  fills her face with sweets at the local  drugstore and returns home to further  criticism. Who is more pitiable, mother  or daughter? Somehow father does not  really exist. Perhaps despair is_ scattered, but this story left me too much so.  "Pink Lady" by L.L. Field is hard, raunchy  and accurate. Many of us have been this  route and would prefer to forget we  have ... we like to think of where we will  be. A young woman's marriage is disintegrating and the man she is with is content  to eat steak and "fuck", in movies, in  the murphy bed, any time and anywhere.  She is broke, finds comfort in booze. Ee  turns her on and makes her sick at the  same time and he won't let her go.  Familiar? A bizarre conclusion.  A communal house occupied by "politically  correct" women, one man, almost correct,  and a child ... next door, extreme marital  violence ... Maureen Paxton's "Wolf at  the Door" sets the stage for interaction  between the two households. How does a  self-defence class prepare you for the  psychic abuse and terrifying living conditions of the woman and child in the  next house when the man and women in your  own house cannot validate what's going on?  I found the story tedious but Paxton's  characters mouthed many real arguments  regarding violence against women.  It's  everywhere.  Yes, there is a lesbian short story in  Common Ground.     "I-Grec is Y: Autonomie"  is Gay Bell's first published story — a  beautiful and poetic piece set in Montreal.  It focusses on a day of love then a soiree  at a gay bar.The politics and tension  in the bar are too much for Y; Autonomie,  her lover seems non-plussed in the atmosphere. Y's fury explodes during the drag  show:  If a man wants to say ok I want to   -  dress up like a woman then I'd say  fine dress up in something like jeans  and a cotton shirt or an ordinary  dress or skirt.    Act like a woman for  a while and see how you are turned out  of places,   spoken patronizingly to,  ignored . ..  See if it's so dramatic  and exciting  ... Men are so fucked  up and I still can't get along with  my own lover,  a woman, finally,  after  all  these years.  It was difficult to follow in places. A  French/English dictionary would be handy  for total immersion in the story.  Oh, it felt good to read Cynthia Flood's  "Roses are Red".  It was incredibly satisfying to watch as an insensitive twit  is led into such a tender trap by the  women he has constantly humiliated throughout a series of pre-natal classes. Giving birth has never been like this. It's  one of the most well-constructed stories  in the anthology.  "Six Weeks" by Marlene Wildeman tells the  story of Anna, a farm wife. "She was  fifty. Wore no make-up. Never had." I  like Wildeman's style, her way with  characters and dialogue. Her sentences  are as crisp as the winter they describe.  Anna is a silent, separate woman in a  marriage which is almost non-existent.  She begins to change when a hired man  arrives to help while her husband is hospitalized for six weeks during a bitter  winter. The emotional and sexual encounter shows her tender and scared. The farm  is her life — the husband will return.  If the personal is political, then Common  Ground  is political art.  ... these are stories,  not tracts  or theories or analyses',   living  fiction which makes its point with  vigour and vividness"  (Introduction)  The quality of writing varies from story  to story — some authors are more confident in their expression than others;  some speak with authority and confidence,  others hesitate. The anthology does not  present us with happy endings or inevitable conclusions. The stories do not  offer us visions of a perfect world, but  before we speak our visions, it's sometimes necessary to know, first of all, who  we are and where we stand. Common Ground  is bitter, discordant, humourous, chaotic  and terrifying and is out for us to enjoy,  despite its inconsistencies. Q RADICAL REVIEWER  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  Review:  Lesbianism: Social Revolution  or Sickness?  Lesbians,  Women and Society.     E.M. Ettore.  Houtledge & Kegan Paul. London 1980.  208 pp. Bibliography and index.  I have never written a book review for  publication before and I find it a little  hard. Being a fan of the New York Review  of Books increases my expectations of  myself. Nevertheless, I think that this  book, Lesbians,  Women and Society  is worth  reading, and I want other women to read it  and this seems like the most reasonable  vehicle to promote that readership.  I found this book by accident on the  shelves of the Vancouver Public Library.  I was looking for a book called Sunday 's  Women  (of which more another time), and  stumbled upon this one. E.M. Ettore  undertakes to provide a political analysis  of lesbianism, based on her sociological  data. I think she is to a large degree  successful.  Ettore is a sociologist and a lesbian.  She makes clear at the beginning that she  has biases and that she works from a particular intellectual basis. She is interested in attending to what really goes on  in social relations between people and in  developing her theoretical understanding  from that particular information. The  usual academic practice is to sit in one's  office and dream up an "interesting  theory", then to find a way to fit your  theory to the experience you have of the  world, cleverly disregarding the places  where it doesn't fit, and I think, making  yourself quite crazy in the process.  This latter method of intellectual work  usually results in a theory which is  applied, in the case of lesbianism, in  such a mechanical way that those who try  to understand the theory cannot discover  what or who a lesbian is, and those lesbians who try to learn from the theory  cannot see their own experience. This  happens because the usual theoretical  point of view is, quite literally, up in  the air.  There is no ground, no place to  stand: the subject is lost in the objectivity of it all. Ettore is successful  in not falling into these errors.  Her study is limited, as she states, by  its urban location (London) the difficulty  in reaching closeted women, and the fact  that she does not address what are seen  to be mainstream feminist issues, and  because she does not present an analysis  of lesbianism in relation to social class  (page 2).  Society's Power Challenged by  Lesbians  The interview and data for Ettore's study  were gathered in the years from 1973 to  I 1979. These were years in which the  women's movement and"the gay civil rights  movement grew up. These were, as well,  the years of the rise/demise of parts  of the "New Left."  The thesis of Ettore's book is that lesbianism, and particularly what she defines  as "social lesbianism" is a challenge to  the power structure of this society.  She says that lesbianism has social implications, that it is not simply a question of the sexual practices of individual  women. In her discussion of social  lesbianism in particular, Ettore reminds  us of the necessity to be historical in  our understandings.  She points out that the practice of  lesbianism is changing. Not only is the  practice changing,but the consciousness  of those women who are lesbians is different now than it was. And indeed,  society's awareness of lesbianism is  different and will keep changing.  Because homosexuality is seen as personal,  private and individual there isn't an  awareness of "group" or of numbers. This  results in there being no sense of homosexuality as social. It makes homosexuals  not see their oppression, and "negates  their potential for social criticism"(p.5).  Social critics who are not homosexual see  what they want to see. Because lesbianism  is threatening to their perceptions of  this society and its domination by men,  they will discount or disguise those areas  of sexual practice which are too threatening.  Lesbianism is seen then as a sexual prac-r  tice only. Sexual questions are relegated  to discussions of biology by those critics  if they are discussed at all. There is  also the problem that questions discussed  under "biology" are quite often limited  only to the family. Most lesbians are  outside of this sphere in practice. The  concentration of social critics on the  family, with what they see as static and  unchanging relationships within the  family, makes it impossible to really see  the oppression of women within the  family.  The discussion ends up being about the  "sexual division of labour in the family",  that is, about the unchanging fact that  men produce and women reproduce. These  things are not questioned, just discussed.  It'is a major contention of this book  that lesbianism not only presents a  challenge to the position of women in  society but also questions the structure of power relations.    If critically  analyzed,  it exposes contradictions  which exist between beliefs about  biology and culture,  the sexual and  the ideological,  women and femininity  and production and reproduction.    Lesbianism emerges from a dominant male  heterosexual society,   the basis for the  cultural production of ideas  .... A  social theory of lesbianism should discuss the structure of society  — patriarchy and capitalism  — power relations  vis a vis    this structure,   the social  control of production and reproduction,  the dominant groups such as heterosexuals and men who struggle to maintain  this power,   the social relations which  result from this system of domination,  the mechanisms by which this domination  is ensured,  and women's subordination  within the social labour process ...  This book does not pretend to be a far-  reaching historical treatise on the  subject  .... It does,  however,  initiate  two novel discussions.    First,  sexuality  and related issues are discussed in new  arenas outside the traditional family  context.    Second,   lesbianism is thrust  out into the open and emphasized more as  a social phenomenon and less as a  sexual preference or problem  (p.  9)  With this basis, Ettore sets out her  theory of social lesbianism. Her perspective, to which I am very sympathetic,  is that lesbianism is an historical  phenomenon like everything else. Because  of this historical perspective she sees  lesbianism as a "changing social phenomenon" . She identifies social lesbianism (or the development of a group identity) as the historical phase of lesbianism of the present.  Lesbianism as Sickness  The "traditional" view of lesbianism sees  this practice as illness, as pathology.  The upholders of social power say to the  traditional lesbian that she is a sick  individual, that she could be "cured" if  she wanted to be. Lesbianism is privatized  and apolitical at this stage.  The "social" view of lesbianism, arises  (in both individuals and time) as a pre-  political form. Women find out that there  are others like them. The nineteenth and  twentieth century rise of feminism provided a context in which to be seen and to  recognize others who are alike. In this  epoch, society recognizes the "social  problem" of lesbianism, but successfully  separates it from the mainstream by keeping it in the area of deviance, it is an  unacceptable social phenomenon. Lesbianism remains privatized, and is pre-politi-  cal.  Lesbianism as Ideology  The "ideological" view of lesbianism is  more and more present to us now, Ettore  maintains.  It is that period in which  lesbianism becomes a way to understand  everything. It is not only a practice but  a way of analyzing the world. This phase  leads to lesbian separatism as a political  tactic, and possibly to lesbian vanguard-  ism as a theoretical basis.  Numbers of women come out of the closet in  this phase. The slogan "we are everywhere"  comes to the fore. Lesbianism is recognized as a social force, and one which must  be reckoned with. In this phase, society  attempts to eradicate lesbianism as too  threatening.  There are also clear differences in how  lesbians cope with their relation to the  dominant sexual practice and ideas. Some  lesbians see themselves as living their  sexual preferences, and some see themselves as practicing lesbianism because  of their total commitment to women, I.e.,  a political, emotional and physical commitment to women.  In her discussion, Ettore uses frequent  quotations from her interviews with lesbians. She also discusses the connections  between the current wave of feminism and  the greater degree of "outness" of lesbians  today. Her discussion is lucid and informative. It provides some of the basis for  the last section of the book,.."Afterword  — The Lesbian Struggle: Sex vs. Class or  Nature vs. Labour." ► RADICAL REVIEWER  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  LESBIANISM, Continued from  page 4  The "Afterword" is, for me the most exciting part of this book. It seems likely  that this is the chapter Ettore's committee  at the London School of Economics would  not let her include in her doctoral dissertation (which was the basis of most of  the work in this book). My preference,  and usually my practice, is to produce work  which is thoroughly grounded. I rarely  allow myself the pleasure of full-blown  abstract theorizing.  The last chapter of Lesbians,  Women and  Society  is a clear indulgence in the misty  land of abstraction.  It is also exciting''  and provocative. Ettore says she expects  it would take a whole book's worth of work  to really figure this all out — but she  does admirably at the presentation of an  outline.  In reading abstract theory of this kind it  is always important to remember the usefulness of this type of work. It is useful  to a limited degree to be sure, but these  writings can sometimes push our understanding to new limits, and can prod us to  look in some new places for the solutions  to the questions we are examining.  What is most exciting to me about this  work, as a lesbian, a feminist and what I  guess I can only call a Marxist, is the  connection Ettore manages to make between  reproduction and production through her  dialectical analysis of power, which is  she says, the organizational basis of  society.  Ettore builds several models to", describe  her analysis of the dialectics of society.  It took me several close readings of this  section to make any sense of it at all, and  I hope to be able to communicate some of  this to you. It is a very dense seventeen  Sex vs. Class; Nature vs. Labour  First of all, we must see that capitalism  and patriarchy are in conflict with one  another, Ettore says, not simply mutually  supportive. The nature of this opposition  can be found in the sexual division of  labour:  Taken separately each element of power  is closely intertwined,  yet each  opposes the other.     Together,  both  elements produce a sexual division of  power as well as reflect the dialectics of power.    The dialectics of  power exposes conflicts between the  power to reproduce  — human reproductive power  — and the power to produce  — human productive power; reproduction  and production',   the ability to make  babies and the ability to make things;  'natural power' and labour power and,  ultimately,nature and society. (p.161)  Ettore goes on to say that there has been  too much focus from feminists on the "male-  oriented Marxist approach", or the "female  oriented separatist approach". The battle  for the correct feminist theory goes on.  Yet, this struggle exposes conflicts between too much emphasis on either the  dialectics of sex through radical feminism  or the dialectics of nature through  Marxist feminism." (page 161) It is the  dialectics of sex (the power to reproduce)  and the dialectics of nature (the power to  produce) that are in opposition to each  other and form the dialectics of power.  This is a new analysis of capitalism/patriarchy which makes an analysis "...capable  of linking up all forms of human oppression, human struggle and human division.  It not only opens wide a discussion of sex,  class, nature, labour and power but also  exposes how each area of human life opposes  each other as well as itself." (p. 162)  Lesbianism not Revolutionary  In this context lesbianism is not seen as  revolutionary, but it is seen as capable of  pointing out the contradictions within  these dialectics.  Lesbians are structural females, however  they are very often engaged in "male"  work, productive work, and often don't  reproduce. Lesbians are women, society  believes that we should then be female, we  appear to society to be more male, while in  fact we are female-oriented. Lesbians  reject, by their practices, the concepts  of "natural" behaviour, and the ideas that  women are "naturally" submissive, and men  are "naturally" dominant, and lesbians  reject the very notions of female and male.  Lesbians reject the idea that women are  sexual only insofar as they are capable of  having babies; lesbians reject hetero-  sexuality, the family and monogamy as being  "natural"; and lesbians reject the ideas  that 'female'/women's work is less important than men's/male work. These are the  ways that lesbianism is a challenge to  society's structures of power.  I think that this is an important piece of  work for lesbians, for feminists, and for  Marxist feminists. It does seem to me  that Ettore has successfully evaded the  snares of lesbian vanguardism by clearly  setting out that lesbianism is not a revolutionary force by itself, but that lesbianism can point the ways to understanding  social relations more clearly.  I want to read more of this kind of work,  and I hope that this discussion of it  leads you to the library or the bookstore,  and then we can all talk about it more  directly.  Q  Open Letter to May Sarton  by Cy-Thea Sand  I read Journal of a Solitude(l973)  when I  was emerging from a personal hell. Its  honesty about emotional pain and the process of growth helped me to make sense of  some of my experience. The focus of my .  disintegration had been a keen, stinging  sense of failure, in Journal of a Solitude  you write: "Suffering often feels  like failure, but it is actually the door  into growth, and growth does not cease to  be painful at any age." This insight,  so simple yet infused with the power of  truth, is one expression of the overall  simplicity and beauty which informs your  work. You give a unique creative expression to Virginia Woolfs idea that by  putting experience into words, it loses  its power to hurt. I found solace in  Journal,  and adventure. As I was just  beginning to take my own writing seriously,  I found it inspiring to listen to you  describe the processes involved in sitting  down to work at your desk. What a treat  to hear you describe writing as the joy  and the agony it is ... honestly ...  without self-indulgence. What a joy to be  allowed to share the mind of a writer who  does it so well. And then the pleasure  in reading of someone who, like myself,  savours solitude like a delicious meal,  who loves her aloneness as much as her  people-time; who balances precariously  between the two states of being. You  write: "That is what is strange -- that  friends, even passionate love, are not my  real life unless there is some time alone  in which to explore and to discover what  is happening or has happened." To read  of such an accomplished writer as yourself struggling with the lives and needs  of others is to discover the distinction  and to be fully human is to address the  silences specific to women who dare to  create art. I celebrated my discovery of  a literary foremother. As a Lesbian I  celebrated your female Muse.  I was Disappointed by your  Lesbian Silence  I must admit, however, I was somewhat  annoyed at your hesitancy to call yourself a Lesbian in Journal of a Solitude.  You discuss homophobia without naming it  as such. My notes at the time read:  "Sarton refers quietly to her bisexuality  with a restraint that the gay 70's may  find annoying." I didn't like your Lesbian silence but I respected your position  But there was one point you made in  Journal  which I found both confusing and  disconcerting. In referring to Hilary  Stevens' lesbianism in your novel Mrs.  Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing,  you  say that you faced "the truth that such a  life is rarely happy, a life where art  must become the primary motivation, for  love is never going to fulfill in the  usual sense." I don't understand what you  mean by the 'usual sense'. If by that you  mean the having and rearing of children  then lesbian mothers have the best of both  worlds. But then what about heterosexual  women who chose not to have children?  Surely if lesbians are as unhappy as you  surmise, the reason lies in societal disapproval of our lifestyle. Anyway, I let  these words rest for the time being and  eagerly anticipated my reading of The  House by the Sea,  a Journal  (1977) and  Recovering,  A Journal  (1980). I was dis-  apponted in. The House by the Sea  as it  didn't have the intellectual fecundity I  had come to expect. You do speak about  your deference to men and wonder why this  is so. You also question the direction of  feminist literature. You understand it to  be encouraging women's growth away from  men, that it is essentially against men.  You then truncate your discussion of this  complex issue by saying that you never  really had to work this out; that your  major conflicts have had to do with your  work and not to your relations with men.  This assertion-concerns me as no woman can  honestly say, in our misogynistic culture,  that she has never really had to work out  or deal with her relationship with men.  We have been defined and acted upon as the  Other. We had no choice, as a colonized  gender, but to deal with the fathers whether in the flesh or in our scarred psyches.  A Reckoning called a Lesbian  Novel in Disguise  I started Recovering, A Journal  knowing it  was concerned in part with your reaction  to criticism of your latest novel, A  Reckoning  (1978). I read and loved this  Continued on page 12 RADICAL REVIEWER  RADICAL REVIEWER  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  From a Whisper to a Roar: Exploring Our Silences  by Cy-Thea Sand  I have been reading women's literature for  about eight years. As I write this I can  visualize myself scanning short story and  essay anthologies looking for women's  names. I can hear myself rave on to  friends about a woman writer I had "discovered". I would devour all I could  find on each "new" author. My idea of joy  was (and still is) to find an out-of-print  book by one of my discoveries. Then I  began to feel isolated in all this research. I began to realize that very few  women I knew had ever heard of these  writers. I started to remember the reading lists of my university days and how  few female names were on them. More and  more books I wanted to read were out-of-  print. My dismay was assuaged a bit by  the publication of many feminist literary  histories and analyses, such as Ellen  Moers' Literary Women  (1977), Patricia  Meyer Spack's The Female Imagination  (1972)  and Elaine Showalter's A Literature of  Their Own(1977).But I was to wait until  Tillie Olsen completed and published her  Silences  to begin to make deeper connections, to begin to understand the nature  and cause of that sense of isolation. This  pioneering work has also been a catalyst  for me in exploring the silence around my  own writing. It also helped me to bring  into sharper focus the specific problems  facing the Lesbian writer. So I hereby  celebrate Olsen's latest work as an inspiration and major achievement.  A Tapestry of Literary History  Tillie Olsen is the author of two contemporary american classics — a collection  of short stories entitled Tell Me a Riddle  (i960) and a novel of the thirties called  Yonnondio  (1974). In Silences  (1978), her  first work of non-fiction, Olsen weaves  a tapestry of literary history. She discusses the factors in, the circumstances  behind and the reasons for the many types  of literary silences. Olsen's writing  career was interrupted for over twenty  years by the demands of paid labour, child-  rearing and house-keeping. She is passionately aware of her subject. Olsen  attempts to assuage her own frustrations  by exposing the varied and pernicious  silences of writers. She is particularly  concerned with what keeps women from their  desks. Part One of this work is an edited  version of a talk Olsen gave at the Rad-  cliffe Institute in 1962. Her feminist  awareness anticipates the second wave of  feminism:  But women are traditionally trained  to place others' needs first,  to feel  these needs as their own  (the "infinite capacity");  their sphere,   their  satisfaction to be in making it possible for others to use their abilities.  Olsen speaks of unnatural silences, of the  poem half-written,the novel never begun:  "the unnatural thwarting of what struggles  to come into being but cannot." Olsen  discusses such silencers as political and  religious repression and censorship, class  oppression and the economic necessity,  for many writers, of full time work.  One Out of Twelve: Women Who  Are Writers in Our Century  (A Talk to College Teachers ol Literature. 1971)  The second talk reprinted here is entitled  "One Out Of Twelve: Writers Who Are Women  In Our Century." The title refers to the  informal survey which Olsen took as to the  ratio of women to men writers in required  reading lists, textbooks, quality anthologies, etc. "By the most generous estimate, simply the percentage of fiction of  all manner and kind published, men are  three-quarters of the writing race; in the  more selective and indicative estimates,  they are 88$ to 98$." A sampling of the  evidence listed below, indicates that we  have been successfully silenced as women  writers, or at best, reduced to a mere  whisper in contemporary culture.  A Sampling of the Ratio of Women Writers to Men Writers  in Anthologies and Textbooks*  •Most ol these titles listed in Poets and Writers Directory.  Literature for Our Time, Waite. Atkinson, eds. 5 out of 107  How We Uve, Contemporary Ufa in Co  Modern Age Literature, Lief and Light,  i.Oates, ed.  The Single Voice: An Anthology of Contemporary Fiction, Charyn, ed.  Southern Writing in the Sixties: Fiction, Corrington and Williams, eds.  Statements: New Fiction from the Fiction Collective, Horowitz et a!., eds.  e Their Own Best Story,  Short Story Masterpieces, Warren and Erskine. eds.  Great English Short Stories, Isherwood, ed.  New Directions in Prose and Poetry, Laughlin, ed.  Twelve From the Sixties, Kostelanetz, ed.  Innovative Fiction, Stories for the Seventies, Klinkowitz and Somer, eds.  Stories of Modern America, Gold and Stevenson, eds.  The World of Short Fiction, Albrecht, ed.  Statements: New Fiction from the Fiction Collective, Horovitz, ed.  The Realm of Fiction, Hall, ed.  Ten Modern Masters, Davis, ed.  Fifty Best American Stories, 0. Henry Prize Awards, 1915-1965.  Abrahams, ed.  Fifty Years of the American Short Story, Foley, ed.  This talk was delivered in x¥?l  at the  " Modern Language Association Forum on Women  Writers in the Twentieth Century. Olsen's  analysis of this ratio includes not only  the phenomena such as the lack of critical  attention afforded women but also the  "vicarious living, infantilization, triv-  ialization, parasitism, individualism,  madness..." which haunt women's lives.  Lforeover, she emphasizes throughout her  text, the overwhelmingly draining demands  of motherhood and family life. Olsen refers to Virginia Woolf's symbol of the  Angel in the House — a symbol which embodies- all the negative effects, on creative women, of our socialization to please  others before ourselves, to flatter, to  sympathize.  The last section of Part One is dedicated  to Rebecca Harding Davis (1831-1910). She  is the author of the first american novel  which dramatizes the. effects of industrialization on the working class. Life in  the Iron Mills; or The Korl Woman    was  serialized in the Atlantic Monthly magazine in 1861. Davis' classic fell into  obscurity until it was reprinted by the  Feminist Press 111 years after its  original appearance! The Davis story is  beautifully and intensely recounted by  Olsen, fashioned by her love of literature  and anger at its desolators. Olsen tells  us how and why Davis' creative potential  was truncated simply by the reality of her  gender. Excerpts from the novel are included at the end of Silences.  Famous, Established Writers  Share their Silences  Part Two of Silences  begins with quotations  from accomplished writers on their individual struggles against silence. Such  writers as Thomas Hardy, Gerald Manley  Hopkins, Herman Melville, Willa Cather,  William Blake and Jane Austen are included.  Each section and quotation corresponds to  thoughts expressed in Part One. In other  words, Part Two is an exposition of all  the ideas noted in the two talks "Silence  in Literature 1962" and "One Out Of Twelve:  Writers Who Are Women In Our Century" of  Part One. For example, the silences of  the marginal — the writer of a class, sex,  colour still marginal in literature — are  referred to on page nine of Part One, then  expounded upon in Part Two. In this particular section, statistics on the works  of black writers are presented.  Willa Cather's Vision Reduced  to Insignificance  The most shocking revelation for me in  this section concerns Willa Cather (1876-  1947). Cather is one of my favourite  authors — her style is simple and powerful and she is noted for her many portrayals of strong independent women. (My  Antonia,  My Mortal Enemy,   The Song of the  Lark  are three of my favourites of her  works.) Olsen tells us that in 1906  Cather's first book of fiction, The Troll  Garden,  was published. As Cather had been  writing for years, the silence which  followed the publication was unexpected.  The reason for it enraged me! Cather sent  the novel to Henry James for his critical  appraisal (he being the writer she most  admired at the time). On receipt of the  novel, James replied:  ... T find it the hardest thing in  the world to read almost any new  novel.    Any is hard enough,  but the  hardest from the innocent hands of  young females, young American females  perhaps above all ...  I've only time  now to say that I will then ...  do my  best for you Miss Cather  — so as not  to be shamed by your so doing yours.  The condescending master never did respond  as promised. Imagine Cather's excited  anticipation, her nervousness, her fear  ... and then the shock of recognition ...  that the reality of her being female reduced her vision to insignificance. As  Cather was writing against the literary  grain of her time — her vision involved  the country not the drawing room — she  desperately needed validation for her  sense of reality. She became so ashamed  of The Troll Garden  that she tried to deny  its existence. However, a woman saved  the day! Sara Orne Jewett (1849-1909),  herself a fine writer, encouraged Cather  during the years of silence which followed  the publication of The Troll Garden.    The  support she received from Jewett helped  Cather to create 0 Pioneers  in 1911.  Cather says of it: "Since I wrote 0 Pioneers  for myself, I ignored all the situations and accents that were then thought  to be necessary." Thank the Muses and  the friendships between women!  Olsen Neglects to Mention the  Great Lesbian Silence  The five year interruption of Willa  Cather's literary career is an example of  what Olsen calls hidden silences. She  highlights several more — premature silences, silences when lives never come to  writing, silences which follow harsh criticism or no criticism at all. But there  is one crippler which Olsen does not explore in this work — the fear of exposure,  ridicule and contempt when the writer is  also a Lesbian. The Lesbian writer must  wrestle with all the impediments society  hurls' at women who dare to write. But in  addition to this, she must write ever conscious of society's fear and hatred of  same sex relations. This cultural homophobia, may limit her in her choice of  themes. In her Journal of a Solitude  (1973), May Sarton speaks of the courage  it took for her to write Mrs.   "tevens  Hears the Mermaids Singing  (1965) — a  novel depicting the life of an aging Lesbian. She says that she could not have  written it if her parents had still been  alive or if she had had a regular job at  the time. Moreover, she wrote several  novels concerned with marriage and family  life before daring to write Mrs.  Stevens.  May Sarton also expresses the concern that  if one is an identified Lesbian writer  that one's work is read "from a distorting  angle of vision." May Sarton also tells  us that Willa Cather was so concerned  about protecting her private life that she  forbade the publication of any of her  letters after her death. So homophobia  robs us of at least one volume of Willa  Cather's letters.  Beverly Lynch gives us  another aspect of Cather's silence.  In  her article, "A Distinctive Pioneer: Willa  Cather", in the book Lesbian Lives,  Lynch  laments the fact that Willa was so male-  identified. Lynch understands this condition as being inevitable for an intellectually energetic woman who craved independence . But'Lynch bemoans the subsequent  loss to literature as tragic:  Willa Cather had to think of herself  as a man,  had to imitate men because  she had no other behaviour model to  follow.    The women she could have  created in her literature had she  been allowed to envision them!    She  could have written a prototype for  Isobel Miller's  A Place for Us  (published as  Patience and Sarah,).  ...when we remember that Jim Burden  in My Antonia is Willa Cather and we  follow his reverence for Antonia,  his  long and respectful love for her, we  can see Willa Cather thinking and  feeling, a Lesbian expressing her  distinctive Lesbian 'l-ove.  This need for literary gymnastics is  slowly being eradicated as writers feel  freer to write openly and honestly about  love between women.  Lesbians are Punished in  Popular Fiction  However, many contemporary novels reflect  another disquieting effect of the Lesbian  Silence. Maureen Brady and Judith McDaniel  have pointed out that there is an overriding theme of punishment for Lesbian  characters in novels accepted by mainstream  commercial presses. In their article,  "Lesbians in the Mainstream: Images of  Lesbians in Recent Commercial Fiction"  {Conditions Six  1980), Brady and McDaniel  deplore the disempowerment of Lesbian  characters. They analyze seventeen novels  with Lesbian characters and/or themes  published by mainstream commercial presses  between 1974 and 1979.* They express  grave concern at the dearth of powerful,  creative portrayals of lesbian lives:  "From The Well of Loneliness  through the  pulp lesbian fiction of the fifties to the  present, few lesbian characters escape a  dire fate." McDaniel and Brady are concerned that the positive, revolutionary  aspects of a Lesbian Feminist lifestyle  are being subverted in this publishing  trend. They expose a distinct form of  patriarchal silencing — the publication  of numerous works which distort Lesbian  So long as you write what you wish to write,  that is all that matters; and whether it  matters for ages or only for hours, nobody  can say. But to sacrifice a hair of the head  of your vision, a shade of its colour, in  deference to some headmaster with a  silver pot in his hand or to some professor  with a measuring-rod up his sleeve, is the  most abject treachery. ..  Room of One's Own—Virginia Woolf  (from one of our bibles)  lives. Their analysis of Kinflicks by  Lisa Alther is particularly shocking and  sets the tone for an angry and perceptive  review. Homophobia is an integral factor  in such publishing trends as surely as it  motivates Cather's ambiguity. Overall,  homophobia stands indicted for the follow  ing literary crimes:  * the unavailability of Jeanette Foster's  classic study of the Lesbian in Literature,  Sex Variant Women in Literature  (1956).  Foster published it herself when it was  rejected by a University Press because of  its taboo subject matter. Diana Press reprinted this invaluable study in 1975 but  it is again out of print!  * the altering of the sex and number of  pronouns and the omission of certain lines  in the poetry of Emily Dickinson  * the popularity of the reactionary  lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness  and  the obscurity of Hall's feminist novel,  The Unlit Lamp  (1924) (The Unlit Lamp  is  to be published in February 1981 by The  Dial Press as part of their Virago Modern  Classics Series)  * the repudiation by Paula Christian of  her Lesbian novels This Side of Love( 1963)  Another Kind of Love  (1961), Edge of Twilight  (1959), Love is Where You Find It  (1965) and The Other Side of Desire  * the claim by hack writer Paul Little  that he wrote 500 sensational heterosexist  Lesbian novels under the name of Sylvia  Sharon  * the suppression of Gertrude Stein's  overtly Lesbian work Q.E.D.  until many  years after her death  * the refusal of Alma Routsong's novel  A Place for Us although she was already  established as a professional writer. She  had the book printed herself in 1969 under  the name Isobel Miller. (A commercial  press finally accepted it and published it  under the title Patience and Sarah)  * the hostility Jane Rule receives now  from the Canadian literary establishment  (after it ignored her earlier work)  * the emphasis on the heterosexuality  of women artists and the ignoring of the  Lesbian artistic experience in In Her Own  Image: Women Working In the Arts  by Elaine  Hedges and Ingrid Wendt, The Feminist  Press, 1980  The list could go on ... and on ... and  on ... The number of literary works, personal letters, journals and biographies  which have been sacrificed at the altar of  heterosexist convention is unknown. It is  up to the LITERATURE LOVIN' LESBIAN to  unearth, research and retell!  Olsen has begun an Extensive  Journey  Many of the ideas in Olsen's critique are  preludes to book-length studies. "re need  to explore further the ways in which individual women writers have been and are  being silenced. We need to know more about  how the task of mothering affects a woman's  creativity. We must learn more about how  Third World women are silenced — their  particular problems and struggles. We  need to probe the psychological scars from  our years of self-debasement, of being  told our words and our ideas were inconsequential. Tillie Olsen has created an  admirable beginning for this journey.  The  reading of Silences  has made me much more  sensitive to the needs of women writers,  to my own needs and how they are so often  denied. Since reading Olsen's expose, I  have read an interview with the novelist  Lois Gould (Writer's Digest, Sept. 1980)  in which this prolific, successful novelist  . says in speaking of her husband and two  sons: "I've never had any respect from  anyone as to my time." She goes on to say  that she used to work at the dining room  table but now works in bed as she has no  study of her own. This in September 1980!  The interviewer, a woman, does not explore  Gould's statement nor inquire why she  doesn't have her own space. However, the  answer lies in the comments Gould makes  about having been discouraged in her tap-  dancing ambitions as a young girl, her  feelings of inferiority when she contemplated drawing and her admission that she  is still looking for an A from an imaginary English teacher! (Guess of what sex!)-  Shortly after this, I read the afterword  to Maureen Brady's impressive first novel  Give Me Your Good Ear  (1979). Written by  her friend Jacqueline St. Jonn, it chronicles Brady's arduous task of trying to  get this novel accepted for publication.  St. John describes the negative effects  this failure had on Brady — she wac discouraged having spent five years on the  work and stopped writing on a regular  basis.  What,   then,  is the effect on feminist  writers of receiving rejections of  their work?    It produces anger,  or,  if  turned inward,  depression, passivity,  stagnation.    Writers submit  (a telling  word)  their work to publishers.     Then  they wait.    As women,  we know the  strain of waiting, and the resulting  sense of powerlessness and anxiety.  The history of women is full of examples  of novelists like Maureen Brady.     The  tragedy for all of us is that the works  of those women have  — as a direct  consequence  — been lost.    And for  many women,  rejection of their work  has meant the end of working itself.  But Maureen Brady's story ends happily.  She channelled her anger and love of literature into the creation, along with  Judith McDaniel, of the feminist publishing  house, Spinsters Ink.  Women Must Speak Up  In her section on Rebecca Harding Davis,  Olsen tells us of her discovery of Davis'  classic Life in the Iron Mills.     Its  effects on Tillie were significant:  ... this work which meant increasingly  more to me over the years,  saying, with  a few other books,   "Literature can be  made out of the lives of despised  people," and "You,   too, must write."  Women are despised people. We must write  about how and why we know that. V/e must  tell the truth, the truth about how it  feels to be molded as an empty shell designed for patriarchy's master plan. We  must fight upstream, fighting the forces  Let the woman learn in silence with all  subjection. But I suffer not a woman  to teach, nor to usurp authority over  a man, but to be in silence.  I Timothy 2:11 and 12 (from their bible)  Continued on page 8 RADICAL REVIEWER  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  Vancouver Women Writers  Share Their Struggles  While reading Olsen's Silences,  I became  more and more curious about the struggles  of Vancouver women writers.    I circulated  a letter asking women to share some of  "their concerns for this issue of The  Radical Reviewer.    I want to express my  appreciation to the contributors who are  making public what is often a private  hell.—Cy-Thea Sand  Searched Duthie's (what a left selection)  then the library for two hours after  lunch, philosophy section ... browsing,  but seeking some point, some crystal to  drop in my super-saturated mind that would  allow its matter to precipitate ... and  rather than one book I found the cumulative, precipitative effect surprising. I  gradually realize I do not have time to  read old men's instructions on how to be,  or discussions of how things are. I have  a much clearer idea of both those questions than was evident in any of the books  I looked through. The men are all addressing questions that do not move me (what  is truth? is nationalism superior to internationalism?) — because I have a definite working system of answers that fit  my situation and I either do not resonate  with their suggestions or their suggestions seem blatant/obvious, so why should  I wade through 1000s of pages about them?  I realize too that the activity that led  Exploring Silences, Continued  from page 7  who want to shut us up. We must have the  courage to name the forces which we have  internalized ... the forces which stop  our pens even when we have found the time,  money, support and energy to write.  The  Angel in the House was created by and for  Papa, Virginia, and his master's voice  must be drowned out.  As we go to press I learn of a new book  entitled The Writer on Her Work  edited by  Janet Sternburg (Norton, 1980; $14.95 U.S.!  This collection of essays and diaries  chronicles the experiences of women writing  in america today. Pat Harrison, who reviewed it for Sojourner  October 1980 (The  New England Women's Journal of News,  Opinions, and the Arts), says that any  woman who writes or who wants to write  should read it! Women all over the world  are fighting to smash their silences.  Tillie Olsen has helped us to become more  aware of their numerous and deadly forms.  Slowly but surely our whisper will become  a deafening roar! Q  * 1974  Ann Shockley, Loving Her,  3obbs-Merrill  1975  Lisa Alther, Kinflicks,  Alfred A. Knopf  1976  Gail Pass, Zoe's Book,  Houghton Mifflin  Susan Yankowitz, Silent Witness,  Alfred A.  Knopf  Lois Gould, A Sea Change,  Simon & Schuster  Rosa Guy, Ruby,  Viking Press  1977  Blanche Boyd, Mourning the Death of Magic,  MacMillan and Co.  Erica Jong, How to Save Your Own Life,Holt  Rhinehart and Winston  Marilyn French, The Women's Room,  Simon &  Schuster  1978  Mary Gordon, Final Payments,  Random House  Alix Kates Shulman, Burning Questions,  Alfred A. Knopf  Jane DeLynn, Some Do,  MacMillan & Co.  Rita Mae Brown, Six of One,  Harper & Row  May Sarton, A Reckoning,  Norton  Marge Piercy, The High Cost of Living,  Harper & Row  1979  Kate Stimpson, Class Notes,   NY Times Books  Doris Grumbach, Chamber Music,  E.P. Dutton  to the writing of these tomes derives its  sense, its coherence, its justification  emphatically and exclusively from the class  and sex privilege of these full time, paid  "or independently wealthy intellectuals.  How can I hope to share the values and  analysis/assumptions their works are based  on? Even B. Russell is one of the idle  rich, the intellgentsia. I cannot find  my life's reality mirrored or made articulate or given insight by their writing  — their experience is too removed, they  are strangers to my society, ''hat do  they know of a life begun at 6 a.m. with  a bike ride to work through pouring rain, .  four hours of tedium and self-repression,  watching what you say, what you give vent  to of your thought/feeling. What relation  do they have to an intellect factored by  rape, condescension, hostility, economic  and emotional privation? They had books  and the discussion of equals and I hear  daily the pain and despair of the people  I live and work with. I have no cushioning distance. No money for a retreat, or  travelling and writing; in order to write  I work part time, and hope this cheap  machine will never break down.  The Insidious Echoes  of Self-Debasement  And the writing itself;which one of those  genteel men knows the struggle of trying  to speak over echoes of "stupid", "selfish"  "do what you're told" (weren't they told  to write and be brilliant? Wasn't I told  to shut up and look after the kids — my  mother had eight of them, and no servants)  These men speak sedate in their tones of  authority; some days I tear up everything  I write, because I find that stink has  crept in.  ... it struck me as I left the place ...  ... maybe I have something to offer. I  am looking for the books I have to write,  we have to write. Maybe I have, with my  particular experience and direction, some-  Photo & Poem by B. Herringer  Words grow again,  tentative  in the accumulation of days  aimless through this house abandoned  (in your dread of dreams).  I learn speech and gesture  an infant groping for the familiar cup  Recognize each object again,  and again name and touch  print the new alphabet.  I learn to leave the light on  hope that spirits do not trap me  drive me from this space  Notebook is here  and as I practise they will scatter  (I must believe)  will become bored  with the madwoman and her own  not quite speechless,  voice.  thing to share that is not just re-howling  old ground.  Journal Entry, August 1980  the first time I ever so certainly thought  what I write can be of use, one source of  my silences  and I would add, in a grocery list of  ingredients for silence-making  working out -relationships (looking for  love)  lack of an interested audience  more ongoing struggle with father's orders  to shut up and keep my noise to myself  a need to be taking direct action, not  just writing about things — so energy and  time into personally getting the word out,  meetings, organizing  terror of financial insecurity that leads  me to take on projects designed to settle  that (I'm getting more used to that fact-  it is never settled)  more ongoing struggle to take time for myself, say no people, ask for support,  demand quiet space for work  marriage (now discarded)  loving men (quietly being dropped out the  window too)  more ongoing struggle to allow myself the  reflective reprocessing time; learning to  value the assimilation; learning to respect  the infiltrative power of word and image Q  by Annette Arnott  Journal Entry, September 1980  Yesterday I read an article on May Sarton's  Mrs.  Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing.  In it, the author discusses Sarton's concern with the issue of art versus life as  expressed in this novel in particular.  She talks about the conflicts inherent in  the minds of women artists. May Sarton  thinks of women artists as monsters as  they defy their natural (according to  Sarton) vocation as socializers — that is,  mainly concerned with love and human relationships.  In reading this familiar  insight, I made a new connection for myself. In the letter about silences which  I addressed to Vancouver women writers for  this issue of the Radical Reviewer, I  mentioned that I often pace around my  study, feeling vaguely guilty and ill at  ease. My thoughts often wandered to  friends and acquaintances and I felt that  I should be making contact with them. I  didn't really want to see anyone but somehow I felt empty, lonely and anxious,  alone in this room, my study. Now I understand that my psyche was reacting to a  programmed expectation that I be involved  directly with the world of feelings, of  human relationships. And that I not be  comfortable in this solitude, contemplating  them in abstractions. Moreover, the act  of taking my interest in writing seriously  was scary, actually terrifying (for reasons  still not altogether clear to me).  I have been a voracious reader for years  but in this past while I was spending  more and more time writing (in my journal,  articles for The Radical Reviewer, a  short story). I was moving. And my tired  old psyche was shredding a skin. I was  on the edge, determined to break through  this cage of silence. I say "was" as  that feeling of discomfort has rapidly  dissipated. I now enjoy times of alone-  ness,of solitude,unparalleled in my  life for their creativity and contentment.  Perhaps a woman's thirty-third year is  indeed a magical time! C;  by Cy-Thea Sand THE RADICAL REVIEWER  Silence in Writing  The life of a writer (part-time, little-  published) is fraught with ambiguity.  "The will, the measureless store of belief in oneself" as Olsen puts it  (Silences,  p. 27) is the conviction that  allows one the audacity to WRITE. That  will to write must be replenished. If  writing is to nourish, through challenge  and change, it must be nourished in turn,  not merely by experiences, for everyone  has those; nor by instinct and recognition only, however rare these may.be. One  must be validated, in order to give.  There are still so many things that need  to be said,ideas that need to be followed with words,called for by the urgency  and the awareness of our time. How much  courage is needed to go on verbalizing  them, again and again. Sticking to  reality: that's where it is too easy to  get stuck, mired down, questioning everything .  Sometimes it is necessary to falter, reevaluate. Writing, like lovemaking, is  more than the physical act. There must be  a point to all this. Is it all worth the  effort? Is anybody out there listening?  Does any of it have any effect other than  to bring the wrath of opposition down on  my head? I have been burned for my  writing. Dare I open myself? When I do:  I want the truth to come out.  The Unspeakable must be  Articulated  I am tired of lies and polite fiction.  Good writing is more than the groping for  suitable words. To move, the writer must  simultaneously mirror reality, open new  territory, articulate the unutterable.  With each piece of writing we must raise  new ground. There is degradation in  writing what is only banal. The printed  word is denigrated by lies, false promises; tainted by the regulated impulse to  manipulate and distract, to seduce and  sell. To make "a living" by writing is  a precarious thing. For a woman, a feminist and a mother alone with responsibilities, how can writing be first? And  how can a writer submit to silencing?  Expose. I am a writer whose secret is  poetry, who aspired to write "existential  fiction", who refused to learn to type  for fear of becoming a secretary.Virginia Woolf! How you inspired me,standing  over your writing table, dedicated to  the point when the words drove you out of  your mind. Long after reading The Waves  the feeling lingered, that nothing more  could be said that could match or add to  that insight, that portrait of mingled  lives lived essentially in isolation of  consciousness. Any fiction writer since  then will have to live up to that level.  Mediocrity is prolific. If I can't do  better than that, why write fiction.  That would be profane, after Virginia.  Feeling Crazy, I was Told: Keep  Writing  Fear of madness. How are these words  taking form? It was before Virginia that  voluntarily I consult Psychiatry. I must  be insane, I reasoned, look at the stuff  I am writing. What can I do with this?  "Keep writing" said the psychiatrist, a  wise and benevolent man. (Could the fact  that he is black have keyed him to recognize that you don't have to be crazy to  recognize oppression, to long for Utopia,  to try to get it all down. Yet he never  mentioned his wife, a politician and feminist).   It was four more years before  I was to discover Greer, Firestone, Atkinson, Atkinson, Rule, Lessing, Daly and  Rich; only in the last few years Suyin,  Lourde, Hong-Kingston, Sarton, Olsen,  Dworkin, Angelou, Davis ... the list  blessedly grows. Is there a space there  photo by Connie Smith  metaphysics  or as the man said,  'that which is above the physical,  over it, the guiding light  by which all shadows are cast.'  so I have been wondering  what this is, the dis-ease  I have been feeling,  don't know which way to go.  no way seemingly viable.  this ailment of modern times  no way to turn  and no revolution in sight,  every movement paralyzed  in a great web of red tape  and stupidity, a lack of  the humane, so that to even  pound your head against 'their' walls  brings only blood and sweaty silence.  'their' in the informed sense of  possession.  'they' who own the walls  built them up around  some idiot's ideation  of the material.  the status quo  protecting their own asses  turn a deaf ear and those  who will not shut their mouths  are co-opted into  the web. or sucked dry of  their imagination or  their feelings or  told that no one believes  in such a thing  as spirit, someone  pointing me in the direction of  scissors, said; 'that which is  above the phsyical and needs be  cut through to.' byK.O.Kane  for my contribution? What can I add to  the struggle?  Four years of extricating myself from a  marriage, building the confidence that had  always been thwarted in me by domineering  figures in a lifetime of subordinated  passion. The passion escaped in my writing. Where for a stage I had feared  that my writing was a sign of insanity,  now I wrote to keep sane, to keep the edge  on even when I had the lid off. I started  calling myself a writer and working on it  every day. As Writing struggled with  Motherhood for Significance, I began to  declare myself out loud. For how long had  this been going on?  An Original Closet Case  Since I could hold a pencil, writing for  me used to be like feeding, secondary only  to reading, necessary at irregular intervals. Poems, stories, dreams, reflections:  they would occur to me and it was up to  me to write them down. Which I did in a  rather compulsive and undisciplined manner.  Even when a stubborn phrase eluded me for  weeks, working and reworking a particular  theme, mostly it was free flow and exhil-  irating, always secret. An original closet  •se, that was where I wrote, after lights  out which was early in our home. Pleading fear of the dark, I was allowed to  keep the closet light on and there I hid  and let it all come out.  When did the quality of the process  change? The need and the ease of articulation stayed with me throughout the disciplinary influence of school, learning  to write seated at a desk, privacy still  essential: hoarded, treasured. Married  before attaining the refuge of a university, at least there was nobody there  whose identity I required; struggling to  come to terms with my own.  The essays that were obliged of me demanded knowledge and clarity. Style and  content, dictated by academic expectations  fired by perceived contradictions, developed even bolder and wilder within  the precise limits imposed. Focused,  with ardour I could and did attack The  Bounds of Reason, Order and Necessity,  Ethics and Control.  I could try (and  did) to analyze Shakespeare or Lady Macbeth, to explore The Various Conceptions  of Supreme Being Throughout History, The  Process of Becoming Deviant, and denounce  Stereotypical Labelling, The Injustice  of Capitalism, the treatment of women and  the insane. Everything provoked me.  Oppression stimulated response. Passion  was all that was necessary and interest  generated passion.  Often, working fever-,  ishly over a paper due yesterday, this  feeling would spill over, overwhelming  me in the cloister of the library, disrupting my orderly attempts and flinging  me out into the weather. During frequent  escapes, pacing down to the beach, or  even rushing back to it all (home, school,  the daycare centre: the perimeters of my  life) — on these flights poems would  evolve entirely. Chanting them to myself,  my greatest frustration at that time, was  the poems lost. Being without paper or  pen was a catastrophe when a poem hit.  The greatest problem still was getting it  all down.  The essays from that time that I have  saved attest remarkably well to something  of which I was once capable. They, along  with the journals, the collection of  stories and poems that have survived, compose for me now a vivid record of my  emotional, political, social, sexual,  spiritual and intellectual development.  All this before conscious identification  as a feminist.  It's a Struggle to Sit Down  "Keep writing!" At crucial points I have  been rejuvenated by someone who cared  enough to encourage me. I once loved  writing, now it is always a struggle to  sit myself down.  To be effective: to  have a heart and live too. Writing has  been all things for me. A refuge when I  am in need, the opportunity to clarify my  perspective, the chance to communicate, to  be understood. Having survived childhood, motherhood, middleclassism, racism,  sexism, poverty, love and despair, why  give up now when I'm almost free and there  is still a world that needs articulating.  By now I know what I think and it doesn't  come easy. What finally stifled me at  university was the "Creative" Writing  Department with their mold and "You can't  write that that way." What kills me about  the women's movement is precisely the  same thing.  Women's Movement as  Silencer  What kills me about the women's movement  is how we ravage each other, and with  what lack of remorse. Speak out, get shot  down. We are prepared for the betrayal  of the enemy, immobilized by the factionalism amongst ourselves.  In the web of it I feel so alone.  You're reading this, aren't you?  I have dusted off my typewriter..Cj  by Emma Lazarus RADICAL REVIEWER  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  Review:  Among Women: Our Hidden  World of Relationships  by Barbara Herringer  Among Women by Louise Bernikow, Harmony  Books, Mew York, 1980. $12.95, hard cover'  Two women are alone in a room.  What is possible between them and  who will record it?  Louise Bernikow, Among Women  This is a personal, beautiful and often  frustrating book concerning relationships  among women — our hidden world of friendship, support, love, and even, betrayal.  The author makes a valiant, yet somewhat  flawed attempt to give us a sense of ourselves through literature, biography, history and politics, and is most successful  They are at work in the house of the man  her friend lives with:  Together, we spoke a language that was,  in tone and content, structure and  style, different from the way either  of us spoke with men or the ways men,  we thought, spoke with each oilier,  different in ways that went beyond  the length of our friendship.    The  talk was intimate and non-linear,  moving from books to people,  literature to life, mixing domestic with  vhilosophic quickly,with few  bridges.There was an interplay of  mothering behaviour  — Do you need  more of this or that?   Is it going  Wtm  The great  silence results,  in part, from  female silence,  certainly female  silence in art or  the suppression  of female artistic  voices, so that  we perceive  silence, where,  in fact, there is a  muffler.  while intertwining her very personal  voice throughout the analysis.  Bernikow's thesis stems from her own frustration at finding so little evidence  about women's relationships even in our  own writing. A sense of our necessary  past is missing because even our mothers  and grandmothers have been lead to deny  their own lives.  We have grown up with a strong sense of  men's relationships among one another —  King Arthur and the Knights of the Round  Table, Lone Ranger and Tonto, Batman and  Robin, Othello and Iago, et al. — where,  she asks, are our reflections in life or  art?  Neither literature or biography  offers with any substance,  or until  our time, a record that includes a  woman in a house on a cloudy day  talking with her friend or a meeting  with two major women writers . ..  Many of our conversations are told  by narrators who have no part in the  conversation.  Women's purpose in literature has been  used to describe conflict. To engage or  disengage a man, we are used against one  another to his benefit. She speaks of a  day spent with her close woman friend.  well for you today?  — a certain solicitude, and a hint of reassurance.  }'e were personal.    And physical  — one  commented on a shirt the other said  something about a hairstyle  ...  Female  physical talk like that is often,  sub  rosa,  about survival.    Much female  conversation is,  in fact,  about survival  — but in code.  The man Sharon lives with entered  the room and the tone changed.    We  spoke of other things.    Another  language shaped in each throat.    We  were then three friends together, but  the light was different.     Then each  went back to work.  Bernikow describes herself as a cartographer, mapping the worldjof women. And  as an archeaologist, digging deep to get  past the silences and fragments, descending past the male connections into layers  of female intimacy in literature, myth  and poetry. Women like Virginia Woolf  helped clear her path:  The terrain is complicated.    It has,  as other writers have shown, and our  experience has told us, rivers of  violence and plains of ambivalence  ...  it is unknown territory, banked by  silence but approachable by the maps  of our own lives and the faint clues  of the written word ...  I had on my  table some of the evidence: new biographies, republished novels,  Woolf s  diaries and letters,  the result of a  wave of intellectual change that has  swept us, making women's lives serious  subjects in the eyes of men and women.  I live at a turning point.    There are  more books now than ever before in  which women tell the truth.    My life  has changed;  the lives of women around  me have changed.    We are not mesmerized by father, brother,  lover.    There  are women in our lives.  And so, Bernikow the cartographer, divides  her map into sections to describe our  lives and relationships. The first chapter discusses Cinderella, familiar territory for those of us who have read Andrea  Dworkin's rage in Woman Hating  and yet, a  necessary sign post on the road to slashing myths. The book then explores chapter by chapter, the major relationships  among women drawing on conversation,  journals, letters, literature — mothers  and daughters, sisters, friends, lovers,  conflicts and a final chapter entitled  "The Light and the Dark", that examines  myths about dark and white women.  By far, one of the most powerful and  brilliant chapters concerns mothers and  daughters.  It is subtitled, "Blood, Blood  and Love" — very appropriate. There is  invisibility and silence about mothers  and daughters in our literature and in our  history. We know much of mothers and  sons or fathers and daughters.  If we turn to the mothers to tell us  stories about themselves and their  daughters,  we are confounded by  silence.    Not a sentence in their  mouths.    For so many centuries,  not a  syllable.    The great silence results,  in part, from female silence,  certainly female silence in art or the  suppression of female artistic voices,  so that we perceive silence where,  in fact,   there is a muffler.    Beyond  that is the specific denigration of  female experience by women themselves,  the cultural taboos against speaking  of childbirth,  or mothering  — along  with several other subjects  — in  truthful,  nonsentimental ways,  in  ways that disturb patriarchal myths.  ...   there is that subliterature of  female sentimentality,  all the sweet  and loving mothers, all the dutiful  daughters, a literature that exults  the passive, pastoral world of  mothers and daughters that comes  packaged in. a peculiar vagueness that  we have had yet to penetrate.  The mothers have not on the whole  left us a literary legacy because  they were the ones trained for  marriage and domestic life, not for  the solitude of pen on paper or  brush on canvas.  Inherent in the mother's is the voice of  guilt, as evidenced in Tillie Olsen's  "I Stand Here Ironing" which is a mother's,  monologue about how her life, and the  choices she was forced to make, have  deeply affected her daughter. Linking  this with her own relationship to her  mother, Bernikow says:  My mother says that the eyes in the  photograph on the jacket of my first  published book haunt her.    They follow her around the room.    She has  turned the photograph to the wall ...  what does she dream about me?    The  daughter comes to tell the story.  Continued on page 11 RADICAL REVIEWER  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  Among Women, Continued  from page 10  She talks of her own mother and grandmother, still struggling ... "This is  our bond. This is the way we understand  each other and, more horrible still,  love each other."  As she writes of Mary Lamb (1796) who  killed her mother, Bernikow flashes to  violence with her own mother. Her mother,  the protector, says adolescent Louise  cannot go to Cornell for the weekend with  her boyfriend:  The mother says you cannot go and  the daughter says why not and the  mother falls back to parent language  to say because I said so and the  daughter presses and the mother says  because and the daughter,  more agitated,  more provocative,  insists  why and the mother says things about  "nice girls don't" and the daughter  wants to be nice because her mother  will love her if she is nice but  wants to see Cornell and be with  Robert and tell her friends she has  been on a college weekend...  She sees the knives gleaming above the  sink while her mother washes dishes:  There is blood swirling between  them.     The daughter goes blind and  out of her senses.    Her hand is  tight around the handle of the knife  and her arm is raised — all very  quickly  — over her mother's bent  head and shoulders.    She grazes the  bone at the top of her mother's  spine.  She talks of Aurelia Plath and her daughter Sylvia, about Colette, Virginia  Woolf, how it is easier to write about  anger than love and easier still, to  write about love than need. We know why  it has been unsafe to write the truth between women, why we have needed myth  rather than reality. There is such ambivalence in the mother/daughter relationship and its presentation throughout our  history. Not all is violence, but certainly misread connections of a mother's  support, anger, love or silence.  "Sisters" was a strange chapter for me  because I am the eldest in a family with  four brothers and often envied my friends  who did have sisters to share secrets  with (I imagined). Bernikow focusses on  three sets of sisters: Charlotte, Anne and  Emily Bronte, Virginia Woolf and Vanessa  Bell, and Angelina and Sarah Grimke.  Fear of father,  Daddy King,   the State,  the Rector,   the General,  runs through  the literature of the daughters.    In  this,  sometimes,   the daughters are  bound.  Through their letters and from biographers,  Bernikow charts the conflicts, and love,  between these women whose art (Bronte and  Woolf) was both a bond and a wedge in  their intense relationship.  The chapter, "Friends: Perpendicularity",  was extremely moving. Bernikow's women  friends are, naturally enough, involved in  the arts, attempting to provide a support  system away from the family ties.  The anchor lifts, for family is at  the same time security,  rootedness,  belonging; and one begins to move in  a world of friends with greater-  risk,   less assurance.  She moves through ideas of friendship that  flourished in ancient civilizations where  women are not citizens, where men as  friends would stand up against the enemy,  always looking out, shoulder to shoulder  against the enemy. As women moved away  from.the narrowness of "the hearth", in  some cases, into educational atmospheres,  friendships among women took on new meaning.  The bulk of the chapter concerns the tangled friendship of two major writers —  Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf.  They were 29 and 35 years of age respectively, from different backgrounds and  sensibilities. In literary circles,  where the opinions of men about one's  writing were the mainstay and where convention often thwarted the value of women  together, this friendship was doomed.  Sisters and friends—what do we say to one another?  Women must belong to themselves  before they can be friends to one  another; culture conspires against  it.  Bernikow pinpoints, through the example of  Mansfield and Woolf, the isolation faced  by women writers during that time. Mansfield writes Woolf, "We have the same job,  Virginia." Here is their connection, but  there is artistic jealousy, illness, male  opinion that conspires against them. After  Mansfield's death from tuberculosis at  age 34, Woolf wrote in her journal, "When  I began to write, there seemed no point.  Katherine wouldn't read it." Says Bernikow, "The failure of female friendship is  easily possible, for it lives in a minefield." Her remarks cut to the heart of  the matter:  Women friends help each other to  remain perpendicular in the face of  cultures that attempt to knock them  over with -.the hurricane force of ideology about what a woman should be or  pull the ground from under them by  denying the validity of their experience,  denigrating their frame of  reference,  reinforcing female masochism,  self-doubt, passivity and  suicide.    In friendship, women do for  each other what culture expects them  to do for men and in that wa  friendships are subversive.  Love between Women  The same logic carries over into the chapter on "Lovers: Paris in the Twenties" —  the silence about lesbianism, how difficult it has been to love one another, much  less write truthfully about it. If friendship is a minefield, then lesbianism is a  nuclear holocaust.  Women kiss in a restaurant and walk  through the snow with their arms  around one another.    Strangers lock  eyes in a room and. it begins.    But  the air grows dank.    Just when the  window ought to open wider,   the air  becomes fresher,  it closes.    Love  between women is not permissdble.  Men grow resentful of exclusion,  women become frightened.    A clamp  shuts the window.  Woolf figures predominently in this discussion as well ... so do Natalie Barney,  Colette, Gertrude Stein, H.D., and other  high-profile women artists of the time.  In the geography of lesbianism, temporality is a major consideration.  They say love is eternal,  but looking  over the record,  it does .not first  appear to be so.     Oddly enough,   love  between women seems confined to certain moments in time,  certain periods  of history  ... At some points in  history,   the social conditions are  such that love can thrive,   that the  window can be thrown wide open.  Although the conclusions drawn throughout  the book provided new insight in some instances, it is Bernikow's writing that  impressed me most — it is poetic, flows  from thought to thought, image to image,  is raging and vigourous. I came away  exhilirated by her style, perceptions,  literary knowledge and the intimate,  journal-like threads of her own experience  weaving back and forth throughout the  book. But, I wanted more ...  We Clash...  Many of the bonds and/or conflicts among  the women she uncovers for us, lead us past  familiar places. We read the names we  know — Virginia Woolf, Colette, Susan  Anthony, Elizabeth Stanton.  Black women  writers, certainly not as well-known but,  indeed, recognizable, include Toni  Morrison and Zora Neale Thurston. Where  are the women we know little about, from  different classes and backgrounds? Obviously, there is much territory still to  chart. I was frustrated by the fact that  this writer would say, on the one hand:  We are interpreted to each other by  men.    We read about each other in the  books of men,   look at one another  through masculine eyes.    And we have  taken it in,   thinking of ourselves  and each other in the language of  this white masculine tradition.  and yet, would describe primarily white,  female literature and tradition — a  tradition that grew from the luxury to  write.  It is only in the final chapter,  "The Light and the Dark", that Bernikow  breaks away from that traditional part  of her "literary" heritage and explores  the"* tensions created in her own life as a  "dark" Jewish woman — how "dark" and  "light" women have been set against one  another in both literature and life.  Yes, "We clash, coming to each other with  our own mythologies and the different  meanings of our actual experience", but  these glaring differences would have had,  I believe, more impact had they been integral to her explorations and connections  throughout the book.  Whether self and other are perceived  racially,  ethnically or in terms of  class difference,   the white man's  descriptions offer me no mirror for  understanding the ways in which  "otherness" manifests itself,  what  tensions it creates,  what perceptions  it encourages, what it lends to our  fantasies and fear about one another.  Despite its shortcomings, this is a valuable addition to our literary history.  Bernikow is right — there are many  stories to be told, and much to be understood. There is_ more to be mapped out  and unearthed in this complicated world  of relationships among women. Q  Comments and Feedback  WE WELCOME AND INDEED LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR  COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS.THE ONES WE RECEIVED AFTER THE PUBLICATION OF OUR FIRST  ISSUE INSPIRED US.  SO PLEASE,,UN/SILENCE  YOURSELVES AND WRITE TO:  The Radical Reviewer  c/o 1Q90 West 7th  Vancouver,  B.C.  V6H 1B3 THE RADICAL REVIEWER  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  A Little Night Reading  Miss Giardino.     Dorothy Bryant (Ata Books,  1978)  A beautifull, well-knit story of an aging  teacher contemplating her forty years of  pedagogical struggle with inner city  students in San Francisco. Anna Giardino  (Jardino meaning garden) falls, injures  her head and loses her memory. The novel  is a series of flashbacks on her life as  she slowly regains her memory of the present by delving into her past. I was reminded of Charlotte Bronte's Villette  while reading this interesting work.  Give Me Your Good Ear.    Maureen Brady  (Spinsters, INK 1979)  This impressive first novel concerns a  woman's coming to terms with herself by  making the connections between violence  against women and her lack of self-esteem.  As Mary Daly writes for the back cover:  "Llaureen Brady describes with exquisite  precision the chain of mind bindings and  blindings imposed upon mothers and  daughters in patriarchy."  Mother,  Sister,  Daughter,  Lover.     Jan  Clausen (The Crossing Press, 1980)  The focus of this collection of short  stories is the struggle of lesbian mothers.  Other themes are explored as well; compe-  tiveness between women, the incestuous  nature of lesbian communities and the  oppression of children. The themes are  relevant and interesting to feminists,  but Clausen's style is often ineffectual.  ,.    .;      ■       *^|£  The High Cost of Living.    Marge Piercy  (Fawcett Crest, 1978)  The superficiality of this third novel by  Marge Piercy reminds me somewhat of  Francoise Sagan's work. The story concerns the friendship between a Lesbian,  a younger woman and a young gay boy.  Quite bizarre and forgettable.  Seed of a Woman.    Ruth Geller. (Imp Press,  1979)  A rather loosely knit novel of the emergence of the american women's movement  from out of the New Left. The character  development is uneven but one character,  Justine, is powerfully drawn. In the  genre of Small Changes  by Marge Piercy  and Some Do  by Janet de Lynn.  A Reckoning.    '/lay Sarton (Norton & Co.,  1978)  This exquisite work deals sensitively and  wisely with the subject of death. With  clarity and beauty, May Sarton describes  the process of Laura Spelman's letting go.  She learns that she has a terminal illness and in coming to accept the inevitable  Laura resolves the emotional conflicts  which have informed her life.  Open Letter, Continued from  page 5  work. (The novel concerns Laura Spelman,  a middle-aged woman coming to terms with  her relationships with women as she nears  her death. ) I was nonplussed to read that  your major concern was that the reviewer  for the New York Times Book Review had  "misguidedly called (A Reckoning)  a Lesbian  novel in disguise." The reviewer cited  an earlier poem of yours to support her  argument.  (As if such an accusation better  be well substantiated!) You explain how  ridiculous the reviewer was to cite this  particular poem as you intended rather the  opposite message: a plea for women to give  back their greatness to men.  I sympathize  with your abhorrence of the mean-spiritness  pf the review but I don't understand why  you do not consider the accusation as an  honour. You are concerned about critics  reducing your works to the one theme of  lesbianism although I would argue that a  women-identified vision transcends thematic limitations.  In Lesbian Images  Jane  Rule reacts to your concern about being  placed in a sexual context:  Every writer is placed in a sexual  context. The distortion May Sarton  fears is a social judgment. It is  hard enough to be diminished as an  artist because she is a woman. To  be a lesbian as well is to be written  off entirely.  3ut you must realize that a writer of your  calibre who dares to acknowledge her love  pf women will not receive sensitive appraisal from the patriarchal press or their  agents.  (The reviewer referred to is a  woman). This unjust and cruel reaction  .lappens regardless of whether you write of  friendships between women and family life  'Kinds of Love ),  or of your love for animals (The Fu.r Person),  or of your brilliant  insights into the process of dying (A  Reckoning).    I% read on and am horrified to  find segments of a letter you wrote to a  young woman in which you imply that lesbian  relations can function as a prerequisite  for a good heterosexual relationship:  So that it's much easier,  I think,  to  love your own sex.    It doesn't ask  such a great giving and taking in of  the stranger and therefore you don't  grow as much.    Often homosexual relations don't last for this reason.  It's all happened,  you know,  and then  it gets thrown away because there's  not enough room for growth in it.  It's too narcissistic.  This is both an insult and a disservice  to lesbians everywhere. You perpetuate  Freudian assumptions rather than question  them.  I have the opposite experience to  the one that you describe. Moreover,  many of my friends and numerous women writers have expressed the turbulence which  often accompanies their love of women.  Loving another woman makes a deep, almost  primal demand on a lesbian.  Our struggles  as women to find a balance between autonomy and nurturance may well explain the  brevity and intensity of some of our relations . Your notion of the stranger also  needs to be reexamined from a feminist  perspective. To take in a particular  stranger (male) who represents the more  general male supremist ideology can be  seen as a most dangerous thing a woman can  do. Your concern about lack of growth in  lesbian relations ignores the tremendous  creativity and activity of our lesbian  heritage and our contemporary lesbian culture.  It seems to me that you accept too readily  the assumptions and the values of a society, so fearful of women loving women,  that it ignores one of its finest writers  — you.  SUPPORT THE RADICAL REVIEWER  Issue Number Three of The Radical Reviewer will be published Spring 1981.  We will be publishing independently of Kinesis and wish to thank them for  helping us get on our way. We have all the enthusiasm needed to continue  publishing, but we need your financial support. This issue was made possible  by donations from individual women, the Growing Room Collective and the  Vancouver Status of Women. Help us establish ourselves by filling in the  subscription form below:  THE RADICAL REVIEWER, published three times a year.  NAME  Subscriber    $5.00  ADDRESS*"' Institution   $10.00  Sustainer    $50.00  Mail to: The Radical Reviewer, c/o 1090 W. 7th, Vancouver V6H IB3  Lesbians were and are Still  Being Silenced  Your ambivalence about receiving and answering mail is expressed in the three  journals I have read. Your tremendous  generosity in corresponding with so many  people threatens to undermine your writing  time. Despite my concern in adding to  your workload, I somehow felt an open  letter to you would give me the personalized medium I needed. I am sincerely  impressed by your work, but also deeply  worried about how lesbians were and are  being silenced.  To leave unchallenged the  numerous assumptions which undermine and  diminish the lesbian experience is to  maintain the sexual status quo.  To expect  fully perceptive reviews from other than  feminist critics is to court frustration  and bitterness which may well damage or  suppress your vision. V/e need your words  and your experience. We need your voice.0_  Kittatinny: A Fantasy  by Galila Melissa Svendsen  Kittatinny  by Joanna Russ. Daughters,  1978.  J6.00  Kittatinny is a good book for people of  all ages.  For young children, it has an interesting  plot, while for older children and adults,  it can be read as an allegory.  A scaley dragon, powerful but kind, a  woman warrior,her niece and their supportive family,a mermaid who is killed-by  her inability to speak up, a princess  who is never allowed to be free and taught  to be afraid of everything and therefore  turns into a dragon, and a male faun who  turns out to be female, are all part of a  young girl's day dreams.  The book looks at the fact that all women  are part of the triple goddess and therefore must help each other.  It is a good book for girls and women who  are new to this aspect of the goddess.  Galila Svendsen,  age eleven,  is a budding  writer and a staunch and outspoken feminist.    She is a student at Windsor House  Alternative School in North Vancouver. Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  DOMESTIC WORKERS  to  live in this place because I'm so  poor and I need money for my kids.    I just  went through a set of problems with one  employer.    I don't know if it is right for  me to go in again to the Immigration and  tell them the situation that I am in,   they  might get tired with me,   they might get  fed up with me.  A domestic who is fired is technically in  the country illegally, and must report immediately to the Immigration Department  and put her life in their hands.  One woman I knew was visiting friends on a  Saturday night and did not return home until early Sunday morning, her day off.  Her employers locked her out of the house  and in the morning told her to pack her  things and leave. When I went with her to  Immigration the following Monday the officer took her statement but implied he was  skeptical. He closely questioned her about  how she had obtained her visa and repeated  that work visas are temporary and she  would eventually have to leave the country.  He implied she would try to illegally overstay her visa, that she was in the wrong in  the situation with her employer, that he  would have to check her story out with them.  When we returned to his office the next  day the domestic was forced to relate the  entire story again and answer a series of  questions completely unrelated to the situation. Finally she got two weeks to look  for a new job with no promises that Manpower would hlep her find one.  This woman was lucky. Another woman was  fired for returning home late from church  on Easter Sunday. She reported to Manpower  the next day. The officer who took down  the details told her to look for another  job and then come back. The following day  two immigration officers arrived at her  door and told her she was in Canada illegally, that she had violated her visa by  not reporting to Immigration. She'd reported to Manpower by mistake. It cost her  her visa; she was forced to leave the  country.  Well,   let's say it's kind of difficult,  it's  kind of rough, right.    Once you're here on  a work permit,  OK,  it's like everyone just  try to push you around and stuff like that.  And you don 't have any choice, right?  A domestic's work is never done  I was doing the ironing,  the laundrying,  the washing,   the cooking,   the cleaning out,  the household,  right.    The house belong to  me.    She went away for two weeks and then  she came back and then went away for two  weeks and I did everything.    The kids  would just rely on me, I had to make  breakfast in the morning,  I got to make  their lunch.  Until very recently domestic workers  were excluded from all provincial labour  standards legislation, i.e. the Minimum  Wage Act, Hours of Work Act, Payment of  Wages Act, Annual and General Holidays  Act, Maternity Protection Act, etc.  While this situation was to some extent  remedied in July 1980 with the passing of  a new Employment Standards Act, the regulations of this Act have yet to be seen  and the provincial government has explicitly stated that live-in domestics will  be exempt from hours of work and overtime provisions. This, combined with the  anticipated lack of government interest  in enforcing the legislation will leave  domestics once again primarily dependent  oh the good will of their employers to  provide decent working conditions.  Who are the employers? For the most part  they are upper-middle class professionals  — doctors, lawyers, university professors — and business people. Regardless  of the type of employer, the domestic is  usually responsible for running the entire household.  Presently wages vary from $100-$400 a  month and in almost every case the women ,  work in excess of a 40-hour week. Some  work regular 15-16 hour days and are vir  tually on-call 24 hours a day.  Some employers give their domestic statutory holidays off. But holidays are often the time when the domestic's services are most in demand and many women  have to work on those days. Some women  report not getting enough to eat, especially if the employer is trying to lose  weight. Many people complain of a lack  of privacy in the homes they must both  work and-live in. Some women are denied  phone privileges, and others are afraid  to speak on the phone because their employers listen on the extension. One woman discovered that her mail was being  read, and some letters were not even getting to her.  When the domestic is employed by a single  man it is not uncommon for him to expect  her to agree to sexual activity as well  as her regular housekeeping duties.  They wouldn't treat a white person...  Easily distinguishable by appearance and  accents, these women are frequently the  victims of overt racism. One woman was  told not to visit her friends because she  returned home smelling of curry. Several  women say they are asked regularly if  they have showered that day, because they  stink. Another woman had her employer's  child spit in her face and call her "a  dirty Negro." Many feel that the reason  they are treated poorly, paid poorly and  worked so hard is because they are Black.  It is a lonely and frightening experience  to arrive in an unknown country, separated from your family, to be placed in a  home where you are" expected to work long  hours every day, and denied contact with  the outside world. Many women say they  feel very depressed and cry alone in their  rooms for weeks after they arrive. As  well, their employers' home are often located in outlying areas of the city, increasing their isolation.  It took me three months before I got out  from up in the British Properties because  there wasn't any bus running up that way.  In fact,  it wasn't until eight months  after I started to work that the, bus  started going up that way.    So I would  have to walk to the bus and walk back  again, and that's a couple of miles,  right."  Quite often the only people these women  have contact with, besides their employers,  are the women from home also working as  domestics.  But usually they are not allowed or don't feel comfortable having  friends visiting at the homes of their  employers, so must find other places to  meet (some social contact occurs in  church).  In nice weather they can visit  parks and other outdoor places; but when  the weather is bad, there is not much  available.  Sometimes all they can do is buy a Sunday  pass for the buses, and ride around the  city talking to each other.  The livelihood of these women depends on  their being healthy and able to do hard  work. If they become sick and cannot  work for any length of time they are likely to be fired and have no compensation  or sick leave available to them.  I'm lying there and thinking that I have  to go and push a vacuum tomorrow and my  chest is hurting me,  it's really hurting  me.    I have a bad cold,   tomorrow I have  to go and stick my head into the fridge  and put my hand into some water or do the  washing or go and iron,  because I've got  to iron everyday,  wash everyday,  I've  got to stand up and iron.    And I can't  make it,  just can't take that on.-  People arrive here with high hopes of  earning money and providing for their families back home; when their visas expire  most find themselves no further ahead and  they have often suffered miserably during  their time in Canada.  I have three sons and my mom,  so I send  them money. My sons are sixteen,  fourteen and the last will be twelve.    I'm  able to help them much better here in Canada.  I wouldn't advise someone else to come to  Canada on a work permit.    I'll just tell  them about the experience I had,  right,  and if they want to come and see for themselves,  well O.K.    But I'll just explain  everything what the situation is and stuff  like that and the treatment you get.    And  if they still decide, well,  O.K.  I want  to try it for myself,   they can.  If I knew this was the real situation then  I don't think I would ever leave my country and come up on a work permit.    But  you never know until you try,  right?  Many employment visa workers want to become landed immigrants and settle permanently in Canada. To apply for landed immigrant status they must have a job offer  from a Canadian employer, another reason  why a domestic will hestitate to complain  about her situation.  The landed immigrant application must be  filed in her own country.  Few women ever  have the necessary number of points to  immigrate and many, if they return at all,  come back on another work permit.  Becoming union maids  The invididual domestic is limited in what  she can do to improve her situation. However, more militant methods of dealing  with problems do exist.  Some women have started to take legal action against employers who abuse them.  In  a recent Vancouver case a domestic who  was paid $150 a month laid a formal complaint with immigration. She got a  new job and was issued a new visa. She  then sued her former employer for back  wages. After a time-consuming and emotionally exhausting process, she reached  an out-of-court settlement and was awarded  $500. There have been similar cases elsewhere .  I've thought about a union for us.    I don't  know if it could happen.    If you was in a  union now,  you would'have rights.    Like if  you were in a union and you didn't work  because you were too sick...   like last  week I was so sick,  they knew how sick I  was, but still they didn't pay me.    If  there was a union for us,  I could have got  on the phone and tell her,   'Look,  I'm  coughing too much,  my chest is hurting me,  I can't come to work tomorrow'.    But I  can't do it now,  there's no one backing me  up.  Domestic workers are employed in a variety  of different situations: in private house- 12       Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  DOMESTIC WORKERS  holds for private individuals, through  large employment agencies, directly or indirectly by the government. It is in this  latter area that most gains have been made  in union organizing.  Recently a group of 'homemakers' in Powell  River B.C., employed indirectly by the  government through a non-profit society,  was granted certification with the Service,  Office and Retail Workers Union of Canada  (SORWUC). In their first contract they won  a wage increase and standard union clauses  for grievances, discipline and discharge  procedures. In addition, they negotiated  three weeks vacation after two years service, paid sick leave and double time for  worked holidays, maternity and adoption  leave, workers' compensation and other benefits.  These represent a significant advance for homemakers who have never before  been organized.  Domestic workers in private households face  many obstacles in attempting to organize.  First, there is the problem of locating  each other, since each woman works for a  different employer.  Then there is the fear  of losing one's job and risking livelihood  as well as permission to stay in the country  for visa workers. As well, because domestic  work has been so devalued and afforded so  little respect in our society, many domestics do not see themselves as 'real' workers  with the right to demand a reasonable working situation.  Despite all these problems, however, private  domestics are coming together to improve  their living and working conditions.  In the  U.S. there are several organizations of and  for domestic workers — the California Home-  maker's Association, the Household Technicians of America, the National Committee on  Household Employment, the New York State  Coalition of Household Workers, to name a  few.  In Canada, the Household Worker's Association (HWA) in Montreal has been organizing  since 1976. Labour Rights for Domestic Servants (LRDS) began organizing in 1978 and  the British Columbia Domestic's Association  (BCDA) was formed in Vancouver in April,  1980.  Shortly after its formation, BCDA joined  with the Labour Advocacy and Research Association (LARA) — an advocacy organization  for domestic and farm workers — and SORWUC  to lobby the provincial government for  labour standards coverage for domestics.  The campaign was partially successful in  that legislation was passed. However, all  the organizations involved expect that  this legislation will be extremely limited  in actually improving conditions for domestics.  It is definitely a step forward, nonetheless, for domestic workers to have achieved official recognition as workers — a  struggle which has been going on since  1913 when the Home and Domestic Employees  Union demanded a nine hour day and a minimum wage.  Since July, when this legislation was  passed, BCDA has continued to organize  Domestic work is generally not seen  as real work. It has been systematically  devalued and ignored and, subsequently, the conditions of work have  remained very poor. But domestic  workers in Canada are beginning to  demand their right to a living wage  and a decent working situation.  but has faced many problems due to the  temporary nature of employment visas, and  the vulnerability plus resulting fear the  visa workers face.  Workers on visas, particularly those from  the Third World, are in Canada because of  economic need and fear doing anything that  will risk their position. As well, they  are here temporarily and hestitate to get  involved in an organization.  Of course,  this is exactly the situation the employ  ment visa system is designed to create.  It seems that in order for an organization  of private household domestic workers to  be successful it must have some members  who are landed immigrants or citizens,  and who are thus less vulnerable.  The HWA in Montreal is a good example of  how visa workers can benefit from being  part of a larger organization that includes  domestics who are landed immigrants or  citizens. In HWA visa workers have people  who become their advocates, they have  access to information and social contact  with other domestics. They benefit from  any successful drive to include domestic  workers under labour standards legislation  and can make use of the work contract  designed by HWA and the job referral centre.  There is one inherent contradiction in  such an organization however: citizens  and landed immigrants are better off without the visa system since it serves to  undercut their position by providing cheap,  competitive labour.  Visa people, on the other hand, could not  be sure of being admitted as landed immigrants without the work permit system. The  best resolution would be for both groups  to support the twin demands of abolition  of the visa system and landed immigrant  status for those already here.  Domestic work is generally not seen as  real  work. It has been systemically devalued and ignored and, subsequently, the  conditions of work have remained very poor.  But domestic workers in Canada are beginning to demand their right to a living  wage and a decent working situation.  They  are recognizing, and demanding that others  recognize, that domestic work is a legitimate occupation.  They are starting to  press for the very basic rights that other  workers have long taken for granted. Workers in other areas struggled long and hard  for union protection, the Minimum Wage,  and the eight-hour day.  Domestic workers  are just beginning this struggle.  But it  is growing daily.  The B.C. Domestic's Association can be  contacted through LARA, 2520 Triumph St.,  Vancouver V5K 1S8.  LARA has available a two-part colour slide-  tape show, curriculum guides, and background material on farm and domestic workers in B.C.  A longer version of this article appeared  in Canadian Women's Studies,   Vol.2,  #1,  1980.  What do you do at Vancouver Status of Women?  What happens on a day-to-day basis at Vancouver Status of Women? Over the past  twelve months, VSW staff, executive, members and volunteers have, among other  things:  — assisted in setting up a welfare advocacy group in the east side of Vancouver,  based on the self-help model. Next year,  we plan to set up a similar group in the  Kits area;  — done outreach to moms and tots groups,  family places, community centres where  women gather. Through our Women in the  Home group (a program of ten discussion  topics presented from a feminist perspective), we've reached women who have not  been previously exposed to the women's  movement;  — set up a new referral list of feminist  lawyers who accept legal aid clients;  — developed and offered a spring program  to assist low income women fill out tax  forms and child credit allowance forms;  — facilitated numerous consciousness-  raising groups and assertiveness training  sessions;  — assisted women to take human rights  complaints to the human rights branch  and acted as advocates for women on welfare dealing with the courts or with the  ministry;  — provided panelists for a variety of  workshops and conference.Topics include:  sexual harassment, violence against women,  pornography, sex-role stereotyping, the  hazards of clerical work.  — responded to the media on women's  . issues.  They've asked us about equal pay  for work of equal value., occupational  health issues, domestic violence, rape,  prostitution, pornography, our city hall  grant and much, much more...  — assisted in organizing the spring conference of the Concerned Citizens for  Choice on Abortion;  — supported recent strikes of OTEU and  CAIMAW at Kenworth;  — spoken to community groups, schools  and university classes on battered women,  rape, sex-role stereotyping, prostitution,  women's history and teenage pregnancy;  — provided information on women's issues  on a daily basis. For example, we've  dealt with 590 phone calls dealing with  welfare hassles, advocacy and counselling;  — taken part in other groups within the  women's movement: the Battered Women's  Support Services, the Women's Building  Committee, Women's Action on Occupational  Health, Women's Studies Association, IWD,  BCFW   — maintained a clipping file plus resource  library on women's issues;  — updated the Guide to the B.C. Women's  Movement;  — produced ten issues of Kinesis, including a feature on the Family Relations  Act;  — facilitated the launching of The Radical Reviewer as a sister publication;  — presented a variety of briefs, such as  ones this month to the NDP Task Force on  Older Women and to Education Minister  Brian Smith;  — and on December 12, to send the old  year out on a fine note, we're hosting the  benefit for the Women's Bookstore.    Q Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  ANTI-NUCLEAR  Holly Near: "Take anti-nuke work with you wherever you go."  Sponsored by Women Against Nuclear Technology, Holly Near is coming to Vancouver  on February 14. She will be appearing at  the auditorium of John Oliver Secondary  School, 530 East 41st Ave.  When Holly Near was in town last summer  for the folk festival, Gay Hawly made a  video interview with her. Here's some  extracts from that video.  There is a real process in your music.  First it was coming from a leftist,  antiwar organizing place,  and then more into  feminist music,   then more into lesbian  feminist music,  and then into a lot of  anti-nuclear stuff.  How do you put together that process?  I probably started with the nuke stuff  actually.  I was a Ban the Bomb baby. I  was born in '49 and there was a peace movement then that was just horrified at the  dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima and  Nagasaki.  There was no need, militarily,  for that bomb to be dropped. They had  experimented on the Japanese people.  It  was partly an experiment. For years there  had to be this p.r. campaign to convince  everybody that nuclear technology could  be used for the good of everybody.  In order to allow the continual growth of  nuclear warheads you had to have a public  relations firm to keep it going, so that  the military work could continue. And  along came nuclear power. V/e really were  sold a bill of goods about that.  It's incredibly dangerous.  It's harmful  to workers' health; it's frightening to  live in the vicinity of a plant.  I have  no desire to take the risk that all will  go well.  I don't think we think enough in the long  term. We're just a tiny part in time.  We're only on this planet for a very short  time and we don't own it, you know. So  here we are tearing the earth apart and if  we do that life, as we know it, will not  exist. I feel that we have to start  acting in a responsible fashion and take  a lot of personal concern for putting the  planet back in order. Nuclear power and  nuclear weapons are just the most advanced technological version of an oppression, of a mentality, that has gone  on for a long time. Whether it's the  British abuse of the Irish people or the  racism in South Africa or the junta in  Chile or the treatment of black people in  Miami or uranium mining in Canada, it's all  an attitude, or mentality, which says that  the elite have the privilege to go ahead  and abuse everything and everybody. They  exploit everything, no matter to what degree, to gratify personal profit. Nuclear  technology is the most advanced version  of that.  Now, not only do they abuse people and  animals and plants, they abuse the whole  of mother earth.  There's going to be interesting coalitions  I think there's going to be a lot more  coalitions between people who inherently  understand their responsibility in the  preservation of life. You know, it's going  to be an interesting coalition because  that may be the only thing that they  agree on.  I think it's very important for us to listen to the Native American people and the  Indian people in Latin America, and the  aboriginal people of Australia — listen  to the people who have the most long-  lasting connection with their part of the  world.  It's important to listen to workers — people who are forced into the dangerous jobs.  Listen to the women — because we are the ones responsible for  childbirth and procreation as well as  education and health.  I think those three groups of people could  have a profound effect on changing things  and effecting some kind of integration between political understanding, our personal  lives, and spiritualism, finally coming  together in a way that we become centered  and clear and directed. And we don't  waste any energy flailing about. We just  go to town and do what we need to do in a  very humble, patient, clean way. Real  carefully directed anger and love in some  kind of unified way.  Why do you see the nuke issue as a feminist issue?  Bernice Reagon has a great line in one of  her songs: "Racism, sexism, classism/They  all need to fall". If we don't realize we  have this common cause, why bother to have  good childcare if they're all going to die  from one kind of nuclear poisoning or another? I don't feel that as feminists we  should drop all the work we are doing. I  mean we must continue in the struggle  against racism and class discrimination,  and the work for lesbian rights; we must  develop health care...and our educational  system is just in total chaos and if we  don't have education we don't have anything... so all of that work has to continue and we have to integrate an anti-nuke  philosophy into that. Rather than leave  those jobs to go do anti-nuclear work,  it's much easier to just take the anti-  nuke work with you where you're going to  go.  There are also going to be people who will  focus very specifically on anti-nuke work  and that's just fine, too. We need to  have people who specialize but the struggle against nuclear power and nuclear war  is one that can't be left to anybody.  It's  going to be only some kind of universal  collective response that's going to get us  out of this one.  The problem is so big.    There are a lot of  people who don't want to hear about it,  because it's just too big.    How do you  tackle that?    Where do you start?  Part of that is that we have been taught  to think small.  That's to the benefit of  the system, that wants to have control  over people. You keep people's brains  real small and that gives us a sense of  powerlessness. And if you feel powerless  you don't act, and if you don't act then  you give them a ticket to let them do  whatever they're going to do.  We've been moulded into a small mentality  I think it's important to be sensitive to  the fact that not all human beings are  idiots. We have been carefully moulded  into a small mentality. Here's what happens when someone thinks like that: Take  the students who joined the anti-war  movement. They were against it for the  four years they were in college. And when  the war was over they went off and became corporate lawyers.  I don't think we  think enough in the long term because we  have been denied all of the history that  has come before us....  We have no sense  of looking backwards and forwards and  seeing that we are both someone's child  as well as someone's parent, as well as  someone's ancestor and as well as someone's leader. You know, if we saw it in  that constant context we wouldn't be so  terrified of failure because we would  have goals that allowed for success.  You see, if you have a goal that says, "We  have to stop nuclear power in the next  three months," you set yourself up for  § failure. Right off the bat you're a  S loser. And you give up and you decide,  f,    well, why bother. And you go out and  ■§ drink and disco and boogie it all away  « because it's almost over.  [if'  There is rich ancestry of dedicated activists  Simultaneously with those people being  cynical and giving up and going out and  not caring has been this rich  ancestry of  people who have known that regardless of  win or lose the issue was living a life  that was dedicated and committed and creating lives for people that could be lived  in dignity.  Lives that we could live  with beauty and which we could live with  respect, and of which we could be proud.  It's the process of going towards these  goals that is exciting. When you're  committed to that, then you actually get  to see results because you've been part  of a process that's allowed you to be  humble enough to see victory. You know if  you're real egotistical and goal oriented  you don't get to see the victories....  Love Canals are all over the world. We may  not be able to solve the problem, and  that's reality.  But you can either take that situation and  say, "I can't deal with that...see you  around" or you can go down fighting. And  the fact is that maybe for ten years after you've been fighting, some group of  people will discover a solution to our  problem. I feel that we need to be in a  holding pattern. We need to keep things  moving along to create an environment  where some groups of people have an opportunity to create solutions.  What do you see as the connection between nuclear technology and other forms  of violence against women?    It seems  such an extreme form of violence.  I think it is an extreme form of violence. A lot of symbolic references  have been made between the earth being  our mother because she is a producer, she  feeds, and clothes, and shelters. And  that has been the role of women in society—and not a bad role, except that it  has been treated with such disrespect.  The same mentality that thinks it's OK to  take a chemical waste and bury it in the  Love Canal and then set a school on it...  the same mentality feels that because  they are a husband they therefore own  their wife and have a right to beat her,  because she is their property. Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  WOMEN AND MUSIC  Garthwaite, Hawkins and Sorrels: they're dynamite performers  By Lynn Calvert  I knew I was at the right place when I  saw the words, WAITE & CO., on the sign in  front of the Soft Rock Cafe. And there  were the words, TERRY GARTH-, at the top  of the sign.  I had arrived nearly two hours early to  get a good seat for the Wednesday,  October 29 performance. Several other  people had come early and there was only  one front-row table left. I sat down and  waited while more people arrived. As I  watched the room fill, I realized that I  wasn't the only one who had experienced  serendipity at this summer's Vancouver  Folk Festival; it seemed that many others  had also "discovered" these three women,  and were anxious to hear them again.  So it was a very receptive audience that  greeted Terry Garthwaite, Bobbie Louise  Hawkins and Rosalie Sorrels when they  started their show. Unfortunately, there  were some distractions: the noise of  coffee-brewers and -drinkers in the cafe  section, and especially a recurring electrical short in the house sound-system.  Otherwise, the concert went well.  The women performed in a round-robin format; each artist took her turn while the  other two listened.  It's a somewhat unconventional show format, but it was very  successful because it was almost completely ad lib.  Each woman would relate her material to  what had gone before, giving the concert  both unity and diversity.  The overall  effect was of relaxed spontaneity.  Terry Garthwaite explained that they  really weren't "Waite & Co.", but were  three individual artists, two musicians  and one writer, who had come together to  share their music and experience with  each other, as well as with the audience.  Terry started with an original song that  could well express her basic philosophy,  "Everybody's a Rock 'n' Roller at Heart".  Bobbie followed with an anecdote about •  the vagaries of life and love in her native Texas, and Rosalie sang a Hank Williams song. As the evening progressed,  each woman revealed something about herself while introducing her song or story.  Each listed the artists who had influenced her, and the audience responded  when their own'favourites were mentioned.  Rosalie named influences from her country/  folk background:  Patsy Montana, Kitty  Wells, "who's so wholesome, she wears  apple-pie perfume," and especially Patsy  Cline, Utah Phillips, and Malvina  Reynolds.  Most of the songs Rosalie sang were  country-oriented, from "Cadillac Blue" by  Bunky Skinner, to "One Day at a Time" by  Willie Nelson (Rosalie described it as a  "Zen Buddhist country song" ). One of my  favourites was a traditional Irish song,  "Her Mantle So Green," which she sang  a cappella. With a voice as smooth as  well-aged whiskey, she kept her audience  enthralled until the last note  Like all good story tellers, Bobbie Louise  Hawkins talked to us, not at us  Bobbie read selections from her own writings, most of which were wry anecdotes...  She described the ridiculous irony of a  "macho man" who accidentally shot himself  in the leg — twice, and told of Sarah  Bernhardt's more successful gun-handling  while shooting an alligator. A favourite  with the audience was the story of a woman who stood up to her abusive husband,  "I owe you one." Like all good storytellers, Bobbie talked to  us, rather than  at  us. She looked up frequently, and  seemed to share our reactions.  Terry listed a number of "musical heroes  and heras," mostly jazz- and blues-oriented, who had influenced her.  She included  Odetta, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday ("Who's he?" a young male drummer had  asked Terry, on an earlier tour). During  the second of two sets, Terry encouraged  audience participation on two songs from  her "Hand in Glove" album, as well as an  Alberta Hunter song, "You've Got to Reap  What You Sow," and "Hoy, Hoy, Hoy!"  a la Ella.  Terry combined the vocal style of a jazz-  singer with her rock 'n roll roots to  create a sound that was both melodic and  rhythmic. During her scat solos, her  voice seemed to dance from note to note in  jazz/blues-based scales, while she experimented with different sounds and rhythms.  On guitar, she played everything, from  syncopated rock to straight-ahead swing,  by musicians like Terry and Rosalie.  She feels that women who are writers and  painters are more readily accepted than  women who are "travelling ladies" or  electric-guitar players. (Women writers  she especially admires include: Colette,  Edith Piaf, Sarah Bernhardt, Lillian  Hellman, and Maxine Hong Kingston, author  of Woman Warrior.)  Bobbie feels that she got a late start  in her career because she took time out  to raise a family. She advises women  who plan to be artists to "spend their  early years developing their skill, instead of getting married and having  children."  However "late" her start, Bobbie Louise  Hawkins has proven herself to be a writ-  Bobbie Louise Hawkins reading at the Soft Rock performance  with the same ease and dexterity. Her  guitar and voice combined in a supportive  counterpoint that became a musical ges-  talt.  In fact, the entire concert was a gestalt  in which each of the three women combined  her own individual art to create a unified whole.  When three such talented women join forces, it's not surprising that audiences  stand up to applaud and call for an encore . That's what the people at the  Wednesday night concert did; they weren't  disappointed. 0  Hawkins is a first-generation  Texas Baptist emigrant  By Lynn Calvert  Bobbie Louise Hawkins is, by her own definition, "a first-generation, personal  emigrant" from a Texas Baptist background. She began writing and painting  years ago (she's had several shows of her  paintings), but didn't "go public" with  her work until 1970.  Her writing is anecdotal ("I'm a great  talker"), and is written in a natural,  uninhibited style.  Two of her books are  currently being reprinted by Coachhouse  Press (Toronto): a book of poems,  Frenchie and Cuban Pete  and a book of  stories, based on her early experiences  and titled, appropriately, Back to Texas.  She"is currently working on a new novel,  for which she received a U.S. government  grant. Titled In the Colony,   it is set  in British Honduras in 1950-52.  Bobbie's schedule has become increasingly busy. Besides her engagements with  Terry Garthwaite and Rosalie Sorrels,  she tours the "poetry circuit" and lectures at the University of California at  San Diego.  Last year, she wrote a play,  Talk,  that was commissioned and aired by  the Public Broadcasting System.  As a woman, Bobbie Hawkins hasn't had to  deal with the sort of sexism experienced  er worth reading (and hearing), as well  as a reasonably successful painter. On  stage, she has the warmth and responsiveness of a good storyteller, and holds  her audience spellbound as she weaves  together the images that create a shared  experience. Q  Sharing the joy of music with  Terry Garthwaite  By Lynn Calvert  When I arrived to interview Terry Garthwaite,  I was met at the door by her young  son,  Sacha.    After a valiant,  and at  least partially successful,  attempt to  pry open the rain-swollen door,  he escorted me into the kitchen and then retired  for a timely nap.  Terry herself was relaxed and very patient  with this amateur interviewer.     Noticing  my disorganized state,  she volunteered to  keep an eye on the  tape recorder and  thereafter pushed all the right buttons  at the right times.    She made a good recording.    This is what was on it:  LYNN CALVERT:" Let's  talk about music.  You've said that you consider voice to be  your main instrument.    Have you ever taken  formal voice lessons?  TERRY GARTHWAITE: While I was in college,  I had about six lessons from an opera  teacher, which was interesting and useful. But, while there are valuable lessons to be learned from a teacher, the  best way to learn to sing rock 'n roll is  to just do it.  I didn't set out to be a rock singer, but  what happened to my voice in the course of  playing without monitors.... There's no  way to teach that; you just do it and what  happens, happens.  I've been teaching some vocal classes myself, but they're stylistically oriented;  I'm not a technician. But I am familiar  with a lot of singers and stylistic ideas,  so the classes are usually geared toward  turning people on to different styles. Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  WOMEN AND MUSIC  We also experiment with different harmonies and do some scatting and some lead-  singing — the experience of singing solo  in a group context and working with fear,  which is an enormous factor.  How do you work with fear?  Just by being supportive and doing it.  Doing it always seems to be the best way  to learn something.  Your  Hand in Glove album is very well done.  Did you use a lot of over dubbing?  Most tracks were live, I think.  I always  go for it live because the feeling is much  more exciting. The song, "Chicago" for  example, would be impossible to overdub  because there isn't any particular structure to it; a lot of it is improvised and  depends on visual cues.  J would have chosen that one to be over-  dubbed because of the complex sound.  Somebody in a review called it "almost  over-overdubbed." In fact, there was  nothing on it that was overdubbed.  Are you working on an album now?  No.  Rosalie, Bobbie and I performed last  year at the Great American Music Hall in  San Francisco and made a tape of it.  It's  our intent to get it made into an album,  if we can find somebody who has the money  to do it.  I also made a demo tape of just  me and my guitar; I figure if someone  knows who I am and wants to sign me, fine.  If not, I'll do something else.  I may do an album for Olivia Records with  Barbara Borden (drummer with ALIVE! ) and  Tuckie Bailey (sax-player), who's been  working with me a lot.  In April, Tuckie  and I are going on the road for two or  three weeks with ALIVE!  Will you be coming up  this way?  Maybe. We'll be going back east, but maybe we could do a swing up here, too.  Do your record sales go up when you tour?  I don't think my albums are available. The  major labels aren't interested'in selling  them.  Perhaps you should form your own reccrd  company.  Yes, I'd love to do that. But it requires  an initial financial outlay for recording, manufacturing, and distribution  costs. At least I'd see some profit.  Rosalie feels the same way; she's made  many more albums and seen very little financial return.  If you were unable to support yourself  with your music,  would you be willing to  play whatever style music was commercially feasible?  No. If I couldn't play the music I like,  I'd teach or do something else. Luckily,  I like a broad range of music.  Your guitar-playing is an integral part of  your music.    How did you start?  My mother and grandmother both played  acoustic guitar, so it was sort of a  family tradition.  Why did you switch to electric?  When I played with the Joy of Cooking, I  had an acoustic with an electric pick-up,  but it wasn't possible to get the volume  I needed without feeding back. So I  switched to electric guitar.  You play a semi-acoustic now.  Yes, a short-scale Gibson. I like it because it has a nice brittle sound, but  I'd still like to plug in and get more  depth.  Why don't you play through a guitar amp?  Do you think it would detract from the  acoustically-oriented show?  No, it's just that much more difficult to  set up. I'm not sure how to resolve that  problem.  I noticed that guitar licks got lost when  you played into a microphone.  Yes, I think it would be better if I had  accommodation of some sort.  Jvhen you first switched to electric guitar, were there any other women playing  electric?  I remember one woman who played electric  guitar in a Berkeley band called Ace of  Cups.  I suppose you got all the common remarks?  Yeah.  "Is that thing really plugged in?"  Have things changed?  Yes, I never get harangued like that from  the audience anymore. I think it's obvious that "out there" there's still a certain amount of reservation about women  playing traditionally "male" instruments;  that it won't be up to par, so mix it down  or have somebody else to cover, just in  case.  I think that viewpoint is out there and  doesn't really get talked about.  I've  .felt this a couple of times in making albums, mostly when it came down to the mix.  partly because I feel that those festivals need a gamut of women's music. That  gets into a semantic problem: what is  "women's music?"  My own definition of women's music involves music that comes from women who  have established independence in their  lives, as strong women who can cope for  themselves. I don't think it has to be  strictly made by women or for women, because I think it's also important for music made by women to get out into the  world.  I really think it's important that we don't  continue the assumption that music by women is somehow not on a par with music  that is out there in the world and is  largely made by men.  I know women who  play for a lot of women-only audiences,  who are good musicians. They need to carry their music beyond that context, and  not be owned just by the women who come to  their concerts.  Let the world hear their music!  Let men  hear their music and say, "God damn! These  Terry Garthwaite, Bobbie Louise  the questions asked by interviewers  Yes, but it depends on where you go.  There are more women interviewers now who  are interested in knowing what my experience is, as a woman, playing music. In  the past, more male interviewers were interested because it was such a novelty,  rather than from the experience viewpoint.  You know, "What's it like to be a freak?"  And also, they would always ask, "How  come there are so many women in your  audience?"  I'm glad attitudes are changing. Some  years ago I read an article in a major  music magazine, about "why women can't  play electric guitar. " One reason given  was that their breasts get in the way,  and a second reason was that their "weak  little hands" can't play barre chords.  Aw, c'mon. You just stick your tit on  top of the guitar. I played when I was  pregnant, I just played sorta side-saddle.  As for "weak little fingers", that's just  one of those myths they use to try to keep  us from doing it. I don't have weak  hands, c'mon. I can even hammer a nail!  So pregnancy didn't really interfere with  your music.    Since then,  has there been  a problem balancing child and career?  Yeah, it's problematic. Kids change your  life, turn it upside down, and trying to  find time for yourself is a challenge. I  think I probably do less, professionally,  than I otherwise would, but I don't let  it interfere with the schedule Rosalie  and Bobbie and I come up with.  Do you see yourself as a role-model for  other women?  Yes, I do, as a musician. I've participated in some women's music festivals,  Hawkins and Rosalie Sorrels  women are playing music,  male or female  has nothing to do with it; they're playing good music I" As musicians, that's the  primary thing we're involved in doing, and  we want to share our music.  I've known women to come down on artists  for performing outside the women 's community or for "going commercial".  That ownership  is one of the very things  that women are trying to get away from  in their private lives. Let's own ourselves,  but not each other! That gets  real scary! Tell me, what is women's music to you?  What is women's music?  to be asking the  it's music writ-  No fair'. I'm  questions! Un  ten by women.  See? Immediately problems come up. Supposing it's instrumental music, listeners  won't know who wrote it or why. All  they'll know is the sound. They probably  won't even know whether a woman or a man  is playing it until they're told. So how  do you feel about women's music when it's  instrumental, if you don't know it's  women's music?  As soon as it's vocal, as soon as it has  words, then you can have opinions about  what it's saying, or what it should and  shouldn't say. But because of those ambiguities, defining women's music becomes a  real problem.  Consider someone like Carla Bley, who is  a composer and arranger but who has men  in her band; is the music she plays women's music? Or is it not women's music?  And if it's not, then what is it? Because it's her music; she writes the arrangements, she tells the musicians what Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  WOMEN AND MUSIC  to play. And Toshiko Akiyoshi...wonderfully creative!  So, if you find a woman musician, Gwen  Avery for example, who sings a song written by a man, does that mean she's not  singing women's music? Even though the  message coming from her sounds like it's  coming from a woman? The definition of  "women's music" gets real ambiguous  around the edges.  I've enjoyed the music of, and the example set by,   the women you mentioned.    And  I see your point about the semantic problems and limitations of the term "women's  music".     On the other hand,  I, as a woman,  enjoy albums that are written,  sung,  played, mixed and produced by women only.  I think it provides a balance in a male-  dominated industry.  That's why I feel that women's music  needs to be a very vast category. There  are strong women who, in fact, are not  strong musicians, who are giving a message that is by and for women only — that  is one facet of women's music.  On the other hand, there are a lot of women who are very strong musical models  who need to be presented to women so they  can say, "Here is a wonderful woman musician, " and see it from a musical standpoint, as well as, "Here's a woman who  has dedicated herself to her art." For  instance, Mary Lou Williams is one of the  innovators in jazz; I feel that women  like that are really important to us as  women and as musicians. Q  Rosalie Sorrels: talking with a  travelling lady  By Lynn Calvert  Rosalie Sorrels invited me to come and  talk with her on any convenient morning.  I immediately assumed that she was a  "morning-person"',  and my opposite.     But  when I arrived,  bleary-eyed, and heard  her talk about her schedule, I revised my  opinion to  "all-day-and-half-the-night-  person".    Besides her tours with Bobbie  Louise Hawkins and Terry Garthwaite,  she  gives concerts on her own and is always  on the road,  from Anchorage to New York.  On her last cross-country tour,  she had  only three days off — a very busy  "travelling lady".  Temporarily  "at home" in Vancouver,  she  sat on the couch,  relaxed and alert,  and  talked freely about her life and music.  Her sentences were frequently punctuated  by uninhibited laughter.    She observed  society 's and her own foibles with optimistic -,'  LYNN CALVERT: How did you and Terry and  Bobbie get together?  ROSALIE SORRELS: Bobbie and I both lived  in the same area, met, and became friends.  I'd been aware of and had admired Terry's  work for a long time, and became friends  with her because I wanted to — I marched  up and insisted on it.  I like to do concerts that are dialogues;  we sit and have an exchange on stage as a  part of our program. I like the idea of  words and music being connected, as well.  J was surprised at how well your program  did mesh.   Do you have any sort of set list?  No. We usually have an idea of what we're  going to do on the first pass-through, but  we don't plan what we'll do and it's usually different every time.  Where are you going next — after Victoria  — back home?  Well, I'm not going back home because I  don't live anywhere; I'm always on the  road. Bobbie and Terry will go back to  California after we play Seattle. But I'm  going on my own to Portland, Spokane,  Wasco, down through Idaho, and then on to  California. I'll be in Southern California  at the beginning of the year. I don't  like winter. The advantage of not living  anywhere is that you can decide what season you like and go find it, wherever it  is.  How long have you been working like this?  Well, I've been at it a long time. I've  been recording for 25 years. But I was  married until 1966, at which point I had  to make a living and I didn't know how to  do anything except sing or take care of  children.  Singing was a lot more appealing to me  than any of the other options. Of course,  I didn't make a lot of money, I just managed. I'm stubborn.  Malvina Reynolds was a friend of yours.  How did you meet her?  When I left my husband, I took four of my  children with me to San Francisco.  I got  a job singing for handicapped kids. I had  done this type of job before in Idaho,  and was very good at it, but all these  kids were black ghetto kids and they didn't want to hear songs about cowboys and  farmers; they didn't understand what I  was talking about.  One of Malvina's songs was about different coloured hands that work together to  make a city grow. I sang that and the  kids liked it a lot, so I went and asked  her if she had any more songs like that.  She showed me a lot of songs that worked  real well, and I began to go visit her.  We became good friends.  Wednesday night at the Soft Rock,  you didn't do any of your own songs.    Why?  I like to respond differently each night.  On Thursday night, I did several of my  own songs. But if I didn't use different  songs, the show would lose spontaneity.  So I try to pick another song to respond  with. I know a lot of songs; I could sing  all day and all night.  A good song is a good song?  Yeah. When I sing a song, it becomes my  song as far as I'm concerned. The fact  that someone else wrote it has nothing to  do with how it comes out of me.    My own  songs, because they're subjective, would  limit the flow of the group 1 For instance,  my love songs tend to be very brokenhearted. There we would be, the three of  us getting more and more depressed. It  would get boring.  "The Broken-hearted  Middle-aged Ladies Show!" I'd rather inject someone else's positive experience.  Speaking of middle age, are you ever  criticized for not  "acting your age" in  the culturally-biased sense?  I feel blessed that I did not become a  professional until I was 33, because I  didn't have to accept the American hardsell that says that if you don't make it  before you "lose your looks", then you  won't make it. I knew that what was at  tractive about me was my presence, my will,  my intelligence, and my compassion and  ability to touch people. These things increase with age, so I don't mind getting  older, at all; I feel more powerful.  Have you noticed a change in people 's attitudes toward you, perhaps affected by  the feminist movement?  I don't know how to answer that — my  life has changed. When I was trying to  support my children by "running around  having a good time singing in nightclubs"  I was not accepted by the community. It  was incredibly difficult.  I don't see how it would be any different  if I started out now. When you have children, you have to live near a community  school, and however the feminists have  tried to change things, attitudes in  those communities are still the same.  In fact, feminists often act as disapproving toward mothers as anyone. There's a  sense that having children is a foolish  thing to have done in the first place. I'm  generalizing, of course. That's not true  of all feminists. It's mostly the younger  ones who leave out the fact of children  in their horizon.  You've done a woman's songbook?  Yes. It's a book of songs and poems,  with beautiful graphics, all done by women.  It shows all different points of view about  being a woman. The title is from a poem  by Denise Levertov:  "There is no savour  more sweet, more salt,/Than to be glad to  be/What, woman/And who, myself,/I am,/A  shadow drawn out on a thread of wonder..."  ("What, Woman and Who, Myself, I Am")  Would you feel too limited,  working with  all women musicians?  I would never allow anyone to make that  restriction. I can't make music like  that.  It's like making love, you do it  because of the chemistry. Well, that's  how I feel about music: you make music  with people you can relate to and understand, so that the whole thing comes together . •  Rosalie Sorrels has a solid sense of who  she is and where she is going. She's a  travelling lady who's more concerned  with the quality of day-to-day living than  with fortune and fame. Her philosophy is  expressed in her favourite Emily Dickinson  quote: If fame belonged to me,  I could  not escape her.    If she did not,  the longest day would overtake me on the chase,  and I would lose the approbation of my  dog.    My barefoot rank is better.  March on, Travelling Lady! We follow in  your footsteps. Q  Lynn Calvert is a local musician who plays  bass in her own band,   "Moon Shadow."  Now we are ten...  Jo Nesbitt / Spare Rib  we're going to celebrate  Vancouver Status of Women was founded in January 1971. So in the coming months, we'll  be celebrating our tenth birthday. Watch for our birthday feature in the next Kinesis! Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  WOMEN AND HEALTH  Meg Christian: "I am a recovering alcoholic."  When Meg Christian performed last year in  Bellingham, she spoke at some length about  her struggle with alcoholism.  This interview deals with that issue. Bonnie Ramsey spoke with Meg Christian. Susan Hewitt transcribed the tape.  BONNIE RAMSEY: I heard you speak about  your alcoholism at the concert in Bellingham.    Would you like to comment on it?  MEG CHRISTIAN: I am a recovering alcoholic. I've been sober for a little over  three years. I like to talk about it because a lot of women I know have had alcohol affect their lives in a really deep  way: either they've had a drinking problem  themselves, or they've had lovers or parents who did.  You know I've heard statistics which are  really pretty scary (if you're into statistics). They say, for example, that in  the US eight out of every ten Americans  are alcoholics. But in the gay community  — and I would certainly expand that to  the women's community, too — the statistics can be as high as one in every three  or four of us.  For the past three years, the whole recovery process has been a maj"or element in  my life. I drank for 14 years and it was  absolutely just a part of life; I drank  because I loved to drink; I loved to get  drunk; I thought it was a cruel, terrible  world, and how could anyone be expected  to go through it sober? Considering all  the atrocities perpetrated on women's  lives all the time — particularly on  lesbians' — we had every reason in the  world to stay drunk. That was my attitude,  a lot. You know, the world was too hard.  And it was ironic because I was killing  myself. I was reacting to forces in society that were trying to kill me by going  home and helping them out. Which, I finally realized, was a little ridiculous.  I had spent so many years actively fighting oppression and yet I was killing myself faster than anybody else was doing.  And I realized that I couldn't be around  to fight for change if I was dead.  I came close to killing myself in a lot of  ways. There are a lot of ways you can  kill yourself with alcohol. Finally, I  just sort of burned out and hit bottom.  That's how we put it in the various recovery programs I've been involved in. I  realized I needed help. I had denied it  for a long time because alcoholism is not  seen by most of us as a disease, which is  what it is. It's a metabolic disease in  which for some of us, our bodies just don't  process alcohol — just like for some people their bodies don't process sugar and  they're diabetics.  But I always saw it as this moral thing  that meant I was a bad person because I  couldn't hold my liquor. Well you don't  tell a diabetic that they are lazy and  immature if they can't hold their sugar  and it's the same thing.  Alcoholism is, particularly for women, just  so stigmatized in our society. And that's  what kept me in a state of denial about it  for a long time. When I finally reached  out for help I was absolutely astonished  to learn the things that I know about it  now: which are that it's a progressive,  fatal disease and that if I hadn't stopped  drinking I would have died.  I mean, it's very simple. And there are  so many women who are recovering alcoholics. We've all had the same experiences  and feelings. Turning to others who have  had my experiences, other recovering alcoholics, has been what has saved my life.  Literally. And has also enabled me to  change my life.  Seeking help for my alcoholism was probably the most important thing I've ever  done.  What was the turning point for you?  I think for me it was just a realization  of what a state of despair I was living  in, that I was tired of living and scared  of dying, that there was no joy in my life,  that I was essentially dead inside. And  this is coming from someone who had a tremendous amount of support — from other  women, from the women that I worked with  and from audiences.  Finally, you know, that didn't matter, because I was dead inside. The external  things couldn't change me. That was my  point of realization.  For some women it is the last awful drinking bout that makes them realize. For  some others, it's being thrown into jails  or hospitals. I've heard incredible horror  stories and I'm just grateful that I didn't  have to experience all those things before  I hit my bottom.  You wrote some songs for a video documentary on women and alcohol.     Will you be  recording any of those songs?  The documentary is still in process, because it's suffering from lack of funds, as  are most women's projects. But there is  essentially one song and one piece of instrumental music.  The song is one I wrote about my experience  at the recovery centre in Los Angeles, the  Alcoholism Centre for Women (which is the  only federally-funded alcoholism program  with special outreach to lesbians in the  US). And I wrote that song about my experiences before I went there for help,  and what the place was like and how it  changed my life.I'm going to be recording  my third solo album for Olivia in the  spring (if we can make the money for it  first) and certainly that song will be  on it. 0_  Are you one of those women who suffer from painful periods?  By Chris deLong  Are you one of those women who suffer from  painful periods?  The symptoms of dysmenorrhea include a  dull aching in the lower abdomen, bloated-  ness or swelling in the tissues of the  breasts, genitals or extremities (a condition known as edema), headaches, backaches,  nausea, constipation or diarrhea, joint  pains, feelings of depression and fatigue,  tension and irritability.  The symptoms constitute an altogether too-  familiar menstrual experience for about  80* of all women. Pain may begin with the  onset of menstruation — the menarche —  or it may develop in later years.  It may continue until menopause or it may  be relieved by pregnancy or childbirth,  due to degeneration of uterine sympathetic  transmitters (a fancy phrase for nerves)  which never return to their former chemical functioning, thus lessening the pain  associated with menstruation.  In 1965 a medical researcher called V.R.  Pickles discovered that women who had  painful periods had an increased concentration of something called PGF/2a, a  variety of prostaglandin, in the lining  of the uterus.  This discovery meant that the medical profession could no longer dismiss women's  period pain as something hysterical and  neurotic — something for which we could  be packed off to a psychiatrist.  The production of prostaglandins ("pg's"  for short) is an essential part of the menstrual process. They cause the contractions essential to the sloughing off of  the uterine wall.  Almost all cell types have the fatty acids  that are essential for producing these  prostaglandins. During the chemical conversion from the fatty acids into "pg's",  compounds are formed which induce blood  vessel contractions and therefore the contractions of the uterine muscles. "Ischemic"  pain is the result. "Ischemia" is familiar  to anyone who has experienced the cramping  of overworked (oxygen-deprived) muscles  elsewhere in the body. Ischemic pain may  be one of the most severe we can experience .  Women who have easy periods (eumenorrheic  women, for the word freaks out there) do  not experience any increase in the prostaglandin known as PGF/2a.  While not all women with  elevated "pg" levels and  is and release of "pg's"  explain period pain, the  Synthetase Inhibitors —  PGSI's — which prevent '  by blocking the enzyme —  of examination:  In a study of 532 women in England and  Scotland using the PGSI called "Naproxen",  dysmenorrhea have  while the synthes-  does not fully  Prostaglandin  they call them  'pg" production  • remain worthy  between 6456 and 100!? experienced relief  from the pain. But there were some side  effects: possible headaches, dizziness  and stomach upsets.  The November 80 issue of Homemakers cited  "Ponstan" as a Canadian equivalent to  "Naproxen."  It is not known how  the prostaglandins  cause dysmenorrhea, and the drugs being  produced are still in their infancy.  If you're interested in finding out  more about this issue, contact the Vancouver Women's Health Collective. Dr.  Lorena Kanke is one Vancouver doctor  who is familiar with the research. You  could contact her at 873-4113.  For our researcht we read: Acta Obstetrica  et Gynecologica Scandanavic, Supplement 87.  WARNING: frequent tampon  changes could be harmful, too  The Vancouver Women's Health Collective  has pointed out that the threat of TSS  — toxic shock syndrome — cannot be  avoided by changing your tampon every  two to four hours. Frequent tampon  changes could lead to abrasions, which  would allow the staph aureus bacteria  into the blood stream. The result would  be blood poisoning. For more TSS updates,  visit the Health Collective at 1501  West Broadway, phone 736 - 6696. Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  LETTERS  We've too many enemies to  dismiss our allies  By Claire Culhane  Dear Kinesis:  Determined to resist any "male interference in the women's movement", Margo Dunn  writes that she was bothered when she  learned about "a group called Men Against  Rape." She was bothered even more to  discover that this local group "was considered a feminist ally." (Kinesis, November, 1980)  The definition of feminism is: the theory  of the political, economic and social  equality of the sexes; organized activity  on behalf of women's rights and interests.  Nowhere have I ever found a definition  which says that a feminist can only be a  woman.  There are no definitions which explain that a humanist fighting sexism,  racism or capitalism has to belong to any  specific sex, race, or political party.  I am old enough to recall reading tirades  by George Bernard Shaw and Karl Liebnecht  against sexism long before the advent of  the women's movement as we now know it.  Taken within the context of an alliance  against evil, not only is a feminist anyone  who resists sexism, but women — as  one component of that struggle — should  recognize an ally for what s/he is: a person or state united with another in an  alliance. And what's wrong with that?  Have we not enough enemies that we can  afford to reject allies?  To carry this reasoning another step: are  male trade unionists who now demand adequate daycare for their membership to be  jeered at simply because it has, admittedly, taken the organized and often strident  voice of their sister unionists to spearhead that battle? (Today there happen to  be many male single parents who are also  learning the hard way the need to build  a caring community to meet the needs of  us all. )  As Margo Dunn points out, the Vietnamese  did indeed win a courageous war against  imperialism. But they didn't win it by  dividing their forces. They won it by  practising a most meaningful solidarity.  I recall at the B.C. Federation of Women  conference in Vernon in 1976 a woman, in  a lesbian workshop, who ended her talk  with an emphatic: "I wouldn't trust any  man, anywhere, any time."  At that point I held up my Ho Chi Minn  sandal (made from rubber tires and so  named after the most desperate arena of  that war, the Ho Chi Minn Trail which cut  through Laos in order to transport men  and equipment to the South).  This was the only war area where Vietnamese women soldiers did not participate.  Not because of any male chauvinism,'but  because of a military decision based on  the 90 - 95$ mortality rate of the Trail.  At the BCFW workshop, I asked the speaker  whether the Vietnamese women should have  felt they couldn't entrust their lives  to men who chose to accept the most dangerous area for themselves.  Turning to the prison scene, I have difficulty in sorting out the connection between Margo's approval of a possible group,  "Men Against Violence in Institutions",  with the mistreatment of lesbians in  women's prisons (in the paragraph which  ends with the question, "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?"). It would appear  to me to be a contradiction of her opening rejection of the possibility of anything positive coming from the Men Against  Rape group.  If we can accept that any violence against  any section of the population — be it  child, woman or man — will end only when  there is a well organized resistance to it  (and well organized resistance can only  take place when sufficient members of a  community get together well enough and  long enough to win some victories) then,  must we not also reject any fragmentation  of such a resistance?  How much longer must we tolerate all the  misery this rotten system hands out simply  because we have yet to grasp that most  fundamental, that most simple rule in the  book: IN UNITY THERE IS STRENGTH.  It would also be relevant in this discussion to refer to another recently-formed  group called POSRIP — People Organized to  Stop Rape of Imprisoned Persons (St Louis,  Missouri), and its definition: Rape is,  in itself, not so much aggression borne  of the need for sexual relief as it is the  conquering of one individual by another,  physically stronger individual, as an  No More Cages  alleviation of the frustration in a technological society, with the conquering  being epitomized in the manifestation of  sexual power.  Still another group is Men Against Sexism  (MAS), originally organized by prisoners  in Walla Walla Penitentiary, Washington,  for self-defence. It has nothing to apologize for to any women's group. In my  view, it cannot be accused of "belittling  women's organizations" any more than Men  Against Rape need be.  Those of us involved in the abolition of  the prison system.altogether are constantly confronted by those ignorant people  who lust after vengeance and want to "hang  'em all." Since vengeance is not a solution, they have to be told so. They have  to be exposed as being even more dangerous  than the so-called criminal they can't  wait to hang.  In the same way, women, who in their  righteous desire to correct the centuries-  old wrongs against their sisters, display  hatred and vengeance against men must see  themselves as anti-human and counter-productive .  We fight labels, don't we? Isn't that  what fighting sexism and racism is all  about? How then do we tolerate labelling  "men" as if they were one homogenous group  and all evil, though in the same breath  we have to admit that every woman isn't  our sister-in-struggle?  This manner of reasoning should bother  Margo far more than the fact that "there  is a group in town called Men Against  Rape."  Let's have done with finding new ways to  separate us from allies, and let's concentrate our energies instead in well organized struggle. 0_  Men Against Rape say they're not  part of the women's movement  Kinesis:  Your November 1980 issue includes a letter  from Margo Dunn, headlined, "Is there  a place for men in the women's movement?"  Since the letter features a number of  questions about the existence of our collective, Vancouver Men Against Rape, we  would like to present some answers.  First, it is our view that the headline  asks the wrong question. There is no  place in the women's movement for men;  nor does our collective seek one.  We do believe, and are demonstrating, that  alliances are possible between groups that  agree in substantial areas of political  work and thinking.  Margo's letter refers to "feminist men"  and to "unequivocal" alliances. We cannot  agree with either idea.  As our basis of unity statement makes  clear, we define our political intentions  and identify as working to be anti-sexist  anti-racist and anti-capitalist organizers,  not as mythical "feminist" men.  "Unequivocal" alliances are impossible;  a principled political alliance depends  on regular criticism/self-criticism and  re-examination of work done and positions  taken by the allied groups.  This critical process is the basis for our  alliance with Vancouver Rape Relief.  We meet quarterly as collectives, report  to each other and exchange criticisms,  self-criticisms and discuss policy and  theory issues.  We are submitting this letter and basis  of unity statement in hopes that they  will answer some of the questions raised  in Margo's letter. We would welcome further questions, suggestions, and informed  criticisms from your readers.  Tom Sandborn  for Vancouver Men Against Rape.  Due to space limitations,  we are unable  to present the entire position paper -  basis of unity statement by Vancouver Men  Against Rape.  Instead, we have reprinted  some brief excerpts.  You can obtain copies  of the position paper from Michael Line-  han,  Box 6 5 SO 6, Station F,   Vancouver B.C.  Telephone 604-876-0600.. Kinesis ed.  Some statements from Vancouver Men Against  Rape's position paper:  As men we are socialized (more or less  successfully) to embody, accept, collude  in and enact a whole continuum of sexist  ideology and practice against women and  against each other. Our attempts at  anti-sexist politics must take this unpalatable fact in account. We want to develop a practice that unifies concrete  work in the public sphere with criticism/  self-criticism regarding our own sexism,  both from women comrades and from other  anti-sexist men.  The women's movement has been fighting the  battle against sexism and sexist violence  for a long time. As men engaged in anti-  sexist politics we want to learn from,  respect.and support this ongoing work. Feminism, the theory and practice developed  by these women, is crucial to our understanding and our work.  Misogyny, the fear and hatred of women,  energizes, informs and encourages the continuum of sexist behaviour. The economic  oppression and double exploitation of women workers, sexual harassment, child abuse, rape and murder are parts of this  continuum. In this culture all men are  taught to fear and hate women and so to  carry out this violence and domination.  However, misogyny is not innate or biologically based — it is ideological  (i.e. LETTERS  it is a socially determined set of ideas,  emotional habits and images). Therefore  misogyny both can be and must be worked  against and ended.  We think it is essential for men to do  anti-sexist (especially anti-rape) political work for these reasons:  * Given the ever-present reality of sexist  violence in this culture, and the real  ways it benefits all men, inaction on this  issue represents collusion.  It is not  enough, we think, simply to change our own  individual attitudes and practice; we must  work collectively for large scale social/  political change — sexism is central to  the present, harmful social order.  * Sexist ideas, feeling habits and actions  deny us access to our adult humanity and  leave us desolately isolated, dangerously  powerful; dangerous to the extent of torture, murder, and planetwide destruction.  * Our unions and class-conscious political  work are crippled by the pervasive power  differences between women and men, between  gay and straight.  * Although all men benefit from male privilege and the existence of sexist violence,  for most of us (working men, gay men, unsuccessfully masculinized men — taken together, a large majority) the costs outweigh the benefits.  There is work currently being done by our  collective that stems from this shared  analysis:  * the facilitation of Radical Therapy  workshops for men;  * criticism/self-criticism with men who  have raped or battered, and with other  men wishing to change their sexist ideas  and practice;  * discussion groups with men on rape, sexism and anti-sexist childrearing;  * childcare for feminist events;  * organizing men into active anti-sexist  work;  * planning for future education and organ-  ing in schools, unions, with male rape  victims;  * ongoing pledge of money and organizational support for the Canadian Farmworkers  Union;  * a commitment to work on the fundraising  committee for the Rape Relief house.  Who's to blame: the tenants, the  cats, the landlords and ladies ?  Dear Kinesis:  Although the topic was not cheery I felt  that the article about Doris Driver was  valuable.  As a feminist woman I am striving not only  for a society free of sexism but also for  a society that cares for the quality and  dignity of life regardless of age.  The present society really does dump older  people, and anyone else who can't keep up,  on the scrap heap.  Not only is childcare important but so is  the care given to those who have lived  long, useful lives and wish to continue  living lives of value.  If an older woman, like Doris Driver, has  cats that are important to her, it dis-  stresses me that our society will dismiss  that.  What's going to happen to all of us cat  lovers in our older years?  Janet Berry.  Dear Kinesis:  As a woman and a former landlady, I found  it impossible to generate any sympathy  for Doris Driver and her cats. (See page  22 of your November issue.)  Have you ever tried to clean an apartment  after a tenant has had one  pet? I have.  It's nearly impossible to get of the foul  odour; carpets have to be replaced, and  if the animal had been allowed in the  hallways, they would reek also.  If a woman is 76 and has a difficult time  caring for herself it is certain that the  cats are allowed to defecate wherever they  roam. Would you like to be her neighbour?  Why are rents high? Why are pets not allowed? Use some common sense. It costs  a fortune to make these apartments livable  after such a tenant.  In your own home you do'have rights, if  you are responsible for the costs, and if  you are not infringing on the rights of  other people. You do not have the right  if you are renting an apartment and expect  the landlord to foot the bill.  Landlords and landladies! have rights, too.  And one of them is to make a decent profit and to choose responsible tenants who  will treat the property with the same respect they would their own.  Putting out the cats is not putting out  the tenants unless the tenant chooses to  put her cats before herself.  Samantha Grace  6286 - 226 Street  Langley B.C.  To the women of Kinesis:  I think you are great'.  I am in the middle of reading the current  issue of Kinesis, which arrived in my  mail today. I have to stop in the middle  Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  to tell you T think you are great'.  I am a senior citizen and have "had a lifetime experience in the put-down of women.  It is wonderful to see something being  done about it, and to observe the intelligence you are applying to the problem of  changing things.  It is particularly warming to see the inclusion of women from all parts of the  world.  More power to you.  Very sincerely,  Ruth Meechan  8 — 2431 Vine St  Vancouver B.C.  Other recent comments include:  I usually find your publication quite informative, and it presents a viable feminist point of view. But your August  issue read like a SORWUC rag and smacked  of nothing but union press releases?  What happened? Didn't your regulars meet  the deadline? Let's not insult your readers with this totally biased point of view  but return to your normal investigative  reporting.  A women's paper should present a wide  range of views representing as many women  as possible. More and more Kinesis seems  to be taking a narrow view. Just as women  must be offered choice on abortion, so  they should be offered choice on political  and social viewpoints.  MOVEMENT REPORTS  In Nicaragua it's been the Year of Literacy. Here a w  is learning to read and write.  Series will discuss women's lives under imperialism  In the works for 1981 are a series of ed-  ucationals on women and imperialism.  Planned and organized by a small group of  local feminists, the series will begin on  Sunday, January 18, with an introduction  and overview on imperialism, its effects  on women, and how it relates to us in  Canada.  Starting at 7:00 p.m. at Britannia Community Centre (Commerieal Drive at Napier),  the evening will include a film and discussion.  The additional five events planned for the  series will continue once a month until  June. They will focus on women in Latin  America, the Middle East, Africa, South  East Asia, and will finish with an educational on the effects of imperialism in  Canada on the everyday lives of women,  especially Native and immigrant women.  We are attempting to include a fund-raising event in conjunction with each of the  seminars. The money collected with go  to appropriate campaigns fighting imperialism in Third World countries.  Even though the focus of the series will  be on women and imperialism, we have decided to make the introductory evening  on January 18 open to both women and men,  although one of the discussion groups  will be for women only. We will evaluate  the evening to decide if further events  will be for a mixed group or for women  only.  Childcare will be available for each event.  Pre-registration at least a week in advance  is required. Phone Karen or Diana at 253-  5654. Anyone who wants to be kept inform-■  ed of the series can call the above number  pr write to: Women Against Imperialism,  1346 Lakewood Drive, Vancouver B.C. Q Kinesis Dec 80-Jan 81  BULLETIN BOARD  Events  BCFW LOWER MAINLAND REGIONAL MEETING is  scheduled for December 10, 7:30 p.m.  in Room LI (over the library) of  Britannia Community Centre, 1661 Napier Street, Vancouver. Child care  is available: call 872-8212.  VSW BENEFIT FOR THE BOOKSTORE is on Friday, December 12 at the Legion Hall,  Fraser and 49th, 8:00 p.m. — 1:00  a.m. Ah Hoc will be playing; tickets  are $5:00 employed, $3:00 unemployed  available at Ariel, VSW, Rape Relief,  Press Gang, Octopus East. It's a mixed benefit. Pre-register for child  care by calling VSW at 736-1313.  On the air  WOMANVTSION SHOWS FOR DECEMBER:  December 8: Art Show, featuring  Carol Street.  December 15: Evening with that tremendous trio —Bobbie Louise Hawkins,  Rosalie Sorrels and Terry Garthwaite.  December 22: Munch along with woman-  vision food for solstice.  Womanvision on Co-Op Radio, 102.7  FM, Mondays from 7:00 — 8:00 p.m.  COMING UP IN DECEMBER at the WOMEN IN FOCUS ART GALLERY is a group retrospec.  ive of Women's Gallery artists. All  work is for sale, with artists adding  new work on a biweekly basis. Hours  at the gallery will be extended for  December: Monday to Saturday, 10:00  a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  THE LESBIAN SHOW:  December 11: No theme show.  December 18: Lesbians and music.  December 25: Tis the season.  The Lesbian Show on Co-Op Radio, 102.7  FM, Thursdays from 7:30 to 8:00 p.m.  HOLLY NEAR and ADRIENNE T0RF, pianist  will appear in concert, February 14,  8:00 p.m. at John Oliver Secondary  School, 530 East 41st. Interpreted  for the deaf. Childcare information  at 873-0687. Tickets at Ariel and  Octopus East. Sponsored by Women  Against Nuclear Technology (WANT).  WANT is also planning an educational  day, February 15. TBA.  WOMEN AND IMPERIALISM. First of a series organized by local feminists  Sunday, January 18 at Britannia Community Centre, 1661 Napier at 7:00  p.m.  HER0TICA: WOMEN'S EROTIC ART SHOW, January 19-31, Helen Pitt Gallery, 163  Ylest Pender. Performances: January  19 — Opening; January 23  — Women  Only; January 31 — Closing. Performances include belly-dancing and  poetry reading.  SORWUC ANNUAL GENERAL CONVENTION Sunday, February 15, 1981. Please accept this as an open invitation to  come and observe. For location of  convention, call SORWUC at 681-  2811 or 684 - 2834.  Classified  WOMEN'S STUDIES at Vancouver Community  College begins spring courses week  of January 8. Take Women's Studies  Tuesday evenings, 6 - 9 at the Downtown Education Centre, 549 Howe St.,  or  Wednesdays, 7 - 10 at Langara Campus, 100 West 49th. These are interdisciplinary, transfer credit courses.  Call Margo at 736-0851.  %  A*  oni   Started * ««joy  j«,t   kei«3 MS..J.  Marian Lydbrooke  VSW  WOMEN'S EVENTS AT LANGARA campus of VCC  include courses in the following and  more: Single Parenting; Women and  Money; Women in Trades: how to be one;  Wen-do; Writing for Yourself: journal  writing for women; Alcohol/drug problems in your family?; Women with  physical problems: a self-help discussion group; A Place in the Garden: a  sexuality workshop for women. Most  courses begin the week of January 12.  Call 324-5323 for details.  WANTED: A GRAPHIC ARTIST. The B.C. Student Federation needs an artist to design a poster for their child care campaign. Province-wide fame and a small  honorarium can be yours. Contact the  federation offices at 291-4677.  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.  VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN, 1090 West 7th  Ave, Vancouver V6H 1B3, phone 736-1313  is open 9:00 — 5:00 Mon-Thurs. The  office will be closed December 19 - Jan-  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.  NO ISSUE OF KINESIS will be produced during the  month of December—to avoid doing paste-up on  Christmas Day! Our next deadline: Jam ary 15,1981.  Groups  GROUP FOR WOMEN OVER 50, organized by VSW  begins in January. Please call us at  736 - 1313 and state your preferred  meeting time: either 2:00 — 4:30 p.m.  or 7:00 -- 9:30 p.m.  THE WOMEN'S SELF HELP COUNSELLING centre -  will be opening in January to provide  counselling with a feminist, anti-capitalist perspective. We are presently  opening our collective to new members.  Everyone who joins goes through a  training program and is expected to  make at least a six-month commitment.  If you are interested in joining, call  the Health Collective at 736-6693 and  someone will call you.  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.  ATTENTION WOMEN ARTISTS: We are planning  an art show in conjunction with the  National Lesbian Conference in Vancouver in May 1981. The show will be  called Woman to Woman: a Celebration  of Lesbian Lives.    We don't want the  show to be limited to sexual images.  We want to show our dreams, our work,  our families, our struggles, our anger,  our art. Everything! The theme of  the show is the lives of lesbians,  but all the artists involved will not  necessarily be lesbians. If you're  interested in submitting work, if  you want more information, or if you  want to help organize the show, call  Diana at 253-5654, Persimmon at 253-  7809 or Robin at 255-5363 or write to  Box 33904, Station D, Vancouver.  Just Out  WOMEN'S RUNNING - Coming of Age in Canada  by Ellen Agger. Agger's second booklet traces the development of women's  running in Canada up to the 80's. She  examines why running has become popular, discusses the traditional barriers to women's participation and  looks at time improvements women have  made in the burgeoning racing scene.  Available for 75 cents (or 10 for $6)  from the Fitness Workshop, 348 College  Street, Toronto, Ontario M6G 1L5  WOMEN AND MENTAL HEALTH is the theme of  the June 1980 issue of Canada's Mental  Health. Published by Health and Welfare Canada, VSW has free copies. If  you want to obtain a copy, send us the  23 cents for postage.  FROM THE NEWFOUNDLAND STATUS OF WOMEN  comes their most recent publication:  Working for our Future: Opportunties  for Women in Resource Development.  Photo essays on women in non-traditional jobs connected with primary  resources. Available from the Newfoundland Status of Women Council,  P.O. Box 6072, St John's, Newfoundland, A1C 5X8.  STRIPTEASE, a 24-minute colour video directed by Kay Armatage, is an examination of the world of the stripper as a  human being and as a worker. Details  from Kathleen Shea, Cinema Concepts,  93 Scollard Street, Toronto M5R 1G4.  "Choosing a Birth Control Method"  A group discussion for women, meeting on a  Saturday afternoon at the Vancouver Women's  Health Collective, 1501 W. Broadway (at  Granville).  Come to share your questions and your experience.  December 6 at 2:30 p.m.  Call the Health Collective for more Information:  736-6696 MATRON I  ??  Get into the WOMANSPIRIT by MATRONIZING women this  holiday season....  From December 4th through December 20th there will be  a sale of Women's Artwork: Ceramic and Clay Sculpture,  Fabric Art, Jewelry, Prints, and much much more.  MATRONIZE will take place at:  WOMEN IN FOCUS  #6-45 Kingsway,  Vancouver  10am - 5pm MONDAY through SATURDAY  If you are going to be shopping around in the next  couple of weeks, and want to save yourself time and  trouble ~ Don't miss this unique collection of  artwork by and for women.  $?$?

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