Kinesis

Kinesis, February 1978 Feb 1, 1978

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 Vancouver Status of Women  2029 W. 4th Avenue v ^  Vancouver, B.C. V6J1N5 1*9  MARCH 8  UNITED BANK WORKERS  HUMAN RIGHTS  BEWLEY  WOMGN IN RURAL CHINA  ABORTION  WOMEN'S STUDIES  FEMINISM as IDGOLOGY  For Cover Picture Details,  see p.22,  col 1.  V5-  SPECIAt CM.U-CTIOWS  K>  SUBSCRIBE TO KINESIS!  Published by Vancouver Status of Women  2029 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C.  7  KIN€SI5  50 c  FEBRUARY 78  Vol 7 no 3  .^Vvvt-U..,  *, ^2 2 1978  Vancouver Status of Women  Subscriber Only   Member/Subscriber_  AMOUNT ENCLOSED:  Subs are $8/year Individual (or what you can afford), $15/year Institutions.  VSW membership is by donation. Please remember that VSW operates on  inadequate funding — we need member support!  Some members of the   "Iron Girls Team" of Tachai Commune,   China.  MARCH 8 : INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY THIS MAY BE YOUR 2nd TO LAST ISSUE OF "KINESIS"  //* funding Time  & We're Worried  An Urgent Request to our Readers  re:  V.S.W.  Funding  Our core funding from Provincial Secretary expires on March 31, 1978. We  have just completed and sent another  grant application for 1978-79. As you  know, our grant from Provincial Secretary has not increased in the past  three years. The demands for our services is increasing steadily beyond  our ability to deal with them due to  a limited budget and staff.  VSW activities over the past year have  included para-legal information,  skill-sharing programs, research,  information services, representation  to government and community bodies,  production of Kinesis  and much more.  This year we are asking for a total  budget of $154,420.85. An amount  which covers staff salaries and office  maintenance only.  With this amount  our plans for 1978-79 are: to maintain  and expand an effective preventive  ombudservice; to maintain the VSW  office for information, referral,  resources and services; and to maintain VSW as a provincial life-line  responsive to the status of women  issues throughout B.C.  Each year our grant application is by  no means guaranteed.  If the grant is  refused it is an economic probability  that the office will have to CLOSE and  Kinesis  will cease publication!  We urgently need letters of support  from our members if VSW is to continue  services. Please make 3 copies of  your letter and send to:  1. Provincial Secretary  Hon. Grace McCarthy  Legislative Bldgs.  Victoria, B.C.  2. Your MLA  c/o his/her constituency office  or Legislative Bldgs.  Victoria, B.C.  VSW  2029 W. 4th Ave.  Vancouver, B.C.  Tbank you for your interest and  support.  In Sisterhood,  VSW Board of Directors  write today  As you will notice, this issue is  not typeset. For the past few months,  we have enjoyed the generous donation  of access to a typesetting machine,  which two of us have been learning  to use.  However, our donor has been  forced to relinquish control of his  business due to illness.  We really appreciated his exceptional generosity. Needless to add, we  greive mightily about having to  go back to typing...  March 8 is coming ~ G'Ç ̈T IHVOLVED!  MARCH 8 IS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY  The theme of this year's International Women's Day is WOMEN AND WORK. The  topic covers the following areas:  unpaid work in the home, volunteer-  ism, women in unions, female job  ghettos, unorganized women, part-time  work, minority women workers, job  discrimination against lesbians,  childcare, etc.  In particular, emphasis will be given  to the current realities for work for  women in Vancouver in 1978: employment, wage controls, discrimination  against minorities, unavailability  of childcare.  MARCH 8 PARADE  On March 8 this year, we are going to  have a joyful parade. It will be  a mobile parade of floats, vehicles  and bikes as: well as pedestrians and  it will move along a route which has  yet to be finalized.  The parade will illustrate the issues  of women and work, and its purpose  will be to celebrate March 8 as our  own special day, and let the public  know that March 8 is important to us.  INFORMATION DAY  The International Women's Day Committee is also planning an information day. Tentative day is March  4, and proposed locale is Bayview  Community School.  MARCH 8 ORGANIZING  Organizing has already begun for this  year's March 8 celebrations, but more  people are needed.  International  Women's Day (IWD) Committee welcomes  new participants.  Here's how the IWD Committee is working: general meetings of the IWD  Organizing Committee take place every  Wednesday night, 7:30-10:30 at Britannia Community Centre, Room L4  above the library.  Major policy decisions are made at these meetings,  with the smaller work committees  reporting back on what they're doing,  clearing decisions with the central  committee.  Any woman is welcome to  these Wednesday meetings.  If you can't come to these, you are  also welcome to take part in the work  committees.  Each deals with a specific area of responsibility, and much  of the practical work gets done in  them.  Here is a list of the committees,  complete with a contact person for  each:  Information Day...Prabha...254-8082  Media & Publicity...Patricia  ...734-3137  Finance...Janet...872-1940  Parade...Claudia...879-6006  Research...Sara...291-9150 (or  291-3670 for messages)  Miscellaneous...Jill...251-4005 (for  organzing speeches at schools,  finding films and videos, etc.) BIMINI'S  BIMINI STRIKE RALLY:  WORKERS,  SUPPORTERS  BIMINI'S FIRST CONTRACT FINALIZED  Kinesis regulars already know about  the SORWUC victory at Bimini's  neighbourhood pub.  The workers won  their first contract and went back  tc work on January 2, with the  agreement that four outstanding  items, including exact wages, would  be sent to binding arbitration.  On January 13, arbitrator Ed Sims  handed down his decision.  Wages have been set at: Waitress -  $5.03; Bartender - $5.94; Doorperson  - $5.75; Bookkeeper - $5.53.  The  Head Waitress will receive 25c per  hour extra, and the head bartender,  50c per hour extra.  A Health and  Welfare Plan will be supplied by the  employer but the employees must bear  the premiums until August 1, 1978,  after which time the employer will  take on 75% of these premiums.  SUPREME COURT DODGES ISSUE  In a manner only clearly understood by  the "chosen", sections of the union  contract between the Canadian Air Line  Flight Attendants Association (CALFAA)  and PWA have been fought over in  several levels of courts by the Department of Labour, Canada, and PWA.  The  Courts have seen fit to interpret  these sections (relating to maternity  leave) without hearing from the Union.  CALFAA STRUGGLC  The herstory  PWA was charged with two counts of  failure to comply with the Canada  Labour Code:  S.59(4) which provides: "no employer  shall dismiss or lay-off an employee  who has completed twelve consecutive  months of continuous employment by the  employer solely because she is pregnant or has applied for leave in  accordance with this Division. "  PWA was acquitted of these charges on  July 9, 1977. The Crown appealed  first to the County Court, then to the  Court of Appeal and finally to the  Vjftdt Pip mou Me  mtHaf  sui{ wM iHe  Supreme Court of Canada.  The appeals  were dismissed on the grounds that  pregnancy was not the 'sole' reason  for the lay-off.  The collective agreement between PWA  and CALFAA requires a mandatory layoff not later than the fourth month of  pregnancy; the Labour Code entitles  one to a maternity leave not exceeding  eleven weeks before the expected date  of confinement.  The question the Union would like to  have addressed and was carefully  avoided: "Where maternity leave benefits under the Labour Code are different from the maternity leave benefits  under a collective agreement do the  employees have the right to choose the  benefits they prefer?"  "If so, what remedies are available to  an employee whose employer refuses to  grant such a choice?"  The case is of great importance not  only to flight attendants but to all  working women in Canada whose contractual maternity benefits are different  from those in the Code. The Court's  decision settled precisely nothing.  The SORWUC Bimini workers comment:  In terms of non-monetary issues, we  feel we obtained a good first contract.     We were able to negotiate a  modified union shop: recognition of  seniority; comprehensive scheduling  clauses which are related, to dob security for waitresses:  two weeks  guaranteed leave of absence in addition to vacations: up to six months  maternity leave; and discipline and  grievance procedures.     We had to  forego the paid leave at this time  in order to negotiate for higher  wages.  Going back to work was difficult  after the bitterness the strike had  produced.    But we have already noticed the stabilizing force the first  contract has had on our working  conditions.  RATHW€LL DECISION  IF:  On January 19, 1978, the Supreme Court  of Canada ruled that Helen Rathwell  was entitled to one half of her ex-  husband's 1,600 acre property after 23  years of working in her marriage. A  copy of this important decision has  not yet reached VSW, but our 'learned  friends' tell us the following: The  Court 'distinguished' this case from  the earlier Murdoch decision, (i.e.  explained why it was different).  They  'found' a direct economic contribution  on her part.  (In the Murdoch case,  they held that the monies supplied Mr.  Murdoch came from his mother-in-law as  a loan).  However and more importantly, they also  held that the Court had erred in not  taking into account the contributions  made by the wife in the Murdoch Case.  What this all means (maybe) is that  women who have worked for a long time  in their marriages may have a better  chance at receiving economic recognition if the marriage has been perceived to be a joint effort (her  working at home etc.) once the marriage breakdown . . . more next month.  FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS ERODED  What has happened to human rights in  B.C.?  The Minister of Labour, Allan Williams appears unwilling to appoint  Boards of Inquiry into the following  cases:  * A group of female clerks in a Port  Alberni supermarket alledged that the  company will not hire them as checkout  clerks.    Men are hired as general  clerks,  giving them greater access to  promotions and more benefits than  women.  * In Victoria,  several-people are  alledged to have been terminated from  their jobs because a cab company  issued a new policy prohibiting  employees from wearing beards.  * A third case concerns a man who  claims to have been refused employment  because he is blind in one eye.  * A printing company is said to have  refused to print campaign material for  a politician who openly supported gay  1  1  1  1  ■   _____  *___\  i*M  NO  BOARDS OF INQUIRY  A Minister of Labour's failure to  respond to the request of the Human  Rights Board Director to appoint  Boards of Inquiry constitutes, in the  words of the Human Rights Commission,"  the erosion of people's human rights  in B.C.  Citizens are denied the opportunity of arguing legitimate issues  before an independent, public hearing.  If you have a complaint about discrimination in B.C. you can go to the  Human Rights Branch. The Branch appoints an officer to see if the complaint has substance, and to attempt  a settlement.  If the complaint cannot be settled,  the Human Rights Branch Director can  recommend to the Minister of Labour  that he set up a Board of Inquiry.  The Board's decisions can be appealed  to the Supreme Court of B.C.  But if Boards are not appointed, the  complaint moulders away on a desk, and  the Human Rights legislation ceases to  function . . .  Not only is Allan Williams refusing to  appoint Boards of Inquiry, he has not  taken any action to maintain the Human  Rights Commission itself.  The Human Rights Commissioners were  appointed in January of 1974 for a  term of four years.  The function of  the Commission is to promote an understanding of the Human Rights Act, to  develop programmes and activities promoting human rights and fundamental  freedoms, and to combat discriminatory  practices by public education.  NO  COMMISSIONERS  The Human Rights Commission still  exists within the Human Rights Code;  but no Commissioners exist.  Do  something about your human rights  today.  Send a night letter to  HON W.R. BENNETT  PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS  VICTORIA B.C.  Your letter could read:  MINISTER OF LABOUR IS LAX IN ENFORCING  OUR HUMAN RIGHTS CODE STOP CASE OF  HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION VS SUPER VALU  STORES WAS REFERRED TO MINISTER OF  LABOUR FIVE MONTHS AGO FOR BOARD OF  INQUIRY STOP THE WOMEN OF THE PROVINCE  CONSIDER THIS CASE ONE OF MAJOR IMPORTANCE STOP OUR RIGHTS ARE NOT BEING  PROTECTED BY OUR GOVERNMENT WHEN THIS  CASE SITS IGNORED AND NOT SENT TO  TRIBUNAL FOR ADJUDICATION STOP WE URGE  YOU ENFORCE THE CODE AND ESTABLISH  BOARD IMMEDIATELY FOR THIS CASE.  -UNITED BANK WORKERS-  The United Bank Workers (UBW) have  decided to launch a massive, province-  wide drive on all B.C. banks.  B.CDRIVC  This decision emerged from a special  convention of the United Bank Workers,  a section of the Service, Office and  Retain Workers Union of Canada  (SORWUC) on January 29.  Firstly, UBW has significant provincial strength in B.C., with more than  600 members. They have strong union  organizers in most regions of the  province.  Second, a province-wide bargaining  unit would circumvent the current  harassment by bank management. Management now discriminates against  certified branches by witholding system-wide wage increases and improvements in benefits from them which it  grants to unorganized banks. A provincial drive would be more anonymous.  Banks won't know exactly where members  are and therefore won't be able to  discriminate against applicant branches.  Because more than half of the  UBW membership works in branches which  do not yet have a majority signed up,  UBW cannot assert its real strength  within the system of bank-by-bank  bargaining units. Furthermore, the  anonymity of a provincially-based bargaining unit would encourage more workers to come forward and sign up.  Thirdly, with a provincial bargaining  unit, UBW would have the bargaining  power necessary to win a good  contract.  Although UBW is now planning to apply  for a province-wide bargaining unit in  B.C., they emphatically agree with the  Canada Labour Relations Board (CLRB)  decision that a single bank branch  constitutes an appropriate bargaining  unit.  The Royal Bank apparently has plans to  appeal the CLRB decision that single  bank branches constitute appropriate  bargaining units.  UBW will defend the  CLRB decision because they recognize  that it is an important precedent for  other related industries within the  'pink-collar' field.  While the bank  drive is most highly developed in  B.C., making province-wide bargaining  possible, other provinces may have to  apply on a branch-by-branch basis.  You can help the United Bank Workers  in their province-wide organizing  drive.  Contact them at #1114 - 207  West Hastings. Phone 681 2811 or  684 2834.  WE URGENTLY NEED YOUR SUPPORT LETTERS  RE: OUR GRANT APPLICATION TO PROVINCIAL SECRETARY WOMAN FIRED FOR EXPOSING SEXISM  A VSW member has been forced to leave  her job for writing about sex-stereotyping.  Judith Burke was the public relations  officer for the North Shore Credit  Union. Last October, she wrote an  article for the B.C. Central Credit  Union publication, "Enterprise".  It  was a special issue devoted to women  in the credit union movement, and  Judith was asked to write about her  experiences from a personal perspective.  Her article, entitled "Forget Stereotypes", spoke to her experience as the  first woman at management level since  the credit union got underway 35 years  ago.  Since men are unused to working alongside women in management positions,  Burke wrote, communication problems  develop.  Our sexist society sets us  up for these difficulties. Men learn  to present themselves as aggressive,  and to look for a yielding, emotional  quality in women.  What men in management must do, explained Burke, is  •accept the "femaleness" in themselves  and the "maleness" in women. They  have to learn to ignore expectations  based on stereotypes and to deal with  women as individuals.  Previous work experiences had prepared  Burke for some of the difficulties a  woman can experience in male-dominated  business.  However, she found even  more problems than she had anticipated.  "I was confronted with the roles  of bully and brother, among others,"  Burke wrote, "but coping with aggressive sexual advances proved to be the  most uncomfortable experience."  It's this last phrase which brought  down the wrath of the credit union  bosses. North Shore Credit Union  general manager was most upset.  "The manor complaint was that I had  been disloyal and had failed to toe  the party line.    I was supposed to say  that everything was just great.    I had  told the truth in a personal article  and that proved unacceptable."  Burke was given two alternatives: to  be fired without severance or to resign and receive six weeks' severance.  Burke chose the latter after investigating the chances of taking the credit union to court for wrongful dismissal, and discovering that heir legal  chances were poor.  "Middle-management employees have  almost no recourse," commented Burke.  "Legally, they could have turfed me  out without a cent." However, Burke  decided not to make getting rid of her  easy for them. The general manager  attempted to short-change her on  severence and holiday pay by suddenly  insisting that she was only an  "officer" and not a manager, even  though she had been accorded full  management benefits and status up to  this point. Burke challenged him on  this issue, and succeeded in getting  all of the money she felt the credit  union owed her.  "Probably when women read about this,  they will want to withdraw their money  from the North Shore Credit Union, "  added Burke. "I hope that they won 't  do this.     What we need,  instead,  is '  for women to get elected to the board  of directors.    At that level they will  be able to see that this kind of thing  never happens again. "  Burke wants to meet with women who are  interested in becoming involved in the  credit union as directors.  She will  share her knowledge and enthusiasm  about the credit union movement.  If  "you're interested, give her a call at  985 - 3852  NDP WOMENS COMMITTEE CONFERS  The Conference of the B.C. NDP Standing Committee on Women's Rights was  held in Kamloops the weekend of January 14 and 15. Approximately 50 women  attended the first conference of the  Committee to be held on a delegated  basis.  Differing opinions on the role and  structure of the Women's Committee —  whether it was a committee of NDP  women or a NDP women's rights committee — and a discussion of the pros  and cons of delegated conferences  dominated a large portion of the  conference.  A motion that the NDP Women's Committee revert to past practice of having  their conferences open to all NDP  women was passed. Those opposed to  open conferences argued that such  conferences are inevitably dominated  by women from the Lower Mainland or  the conference area. Women supporting  the motion were of the opinion that  open conferences encouraged more women  to participate in what was intended to  be a format for as many NDP women as  possible to meet and exchange ideas  and information. A woman attending as  an observer expressed her anger at  being denied the right to vote at a  women's conference because her constituency executive (on which male members outnumber females) voted to refrain from participation in the conference.       TURN T0 p%21,  col 3...  SCHOOLS, S€XISM  AND  SOCICTY  A student-oriented conference probing  sexism in the schools takes place  February 26 at Sir Charles Tupper High  School, starting at 9 am.  The aims of the conference are to  educate students and teachers about  the nature of sexism and its effects  on individuals in society; to provide  information about the law as it relates to students and women in society; to provide a forum for the discussion of human rights and responsibilities .  Workshops will include Assertiveness  Training, Rape Relief, Dating, Relationships and Marriage, High School  Women's Studies and Women and the Law.  Students have been actively involved  in organizing and structuring this  conference, to which all Lower Mainland students are welcome.  If you  want to come, contact Pearl Roberts of  the BCTF Status of Women Committee,  105-2235 Burrard Street, Vancouver  (731 8121). Or you can get in touch  with the conference contact-person in  your own school.  CDUCATION  CONF€R€NC€  An umbrella organization representing  educators, school trustees, parents,  labour and business was formed in  Vancouver on Wednesday, Jan. 18.  The  group, known as the United Society for  Education Review in B.C., aims to  undertake a thorough investigation of  the B.C. public school system.  The new society is expected to undertake research studies and to hold  public hearings throughout the province in order to get widespread public  input into its discussions.  Attending the January 18 conference  were representatives from the Vancouver Status of Women and the British  Columbia Federation of Women. As a  province-wide organization with a  vital interest in education, VSW is  planning to apply for membership in  this society.  This is a community-based group, not  a governmental body. The Ministry of  Education has been represented at  meetings and will continue to have  observer status, but will not be a  voting member. TH€ B€WL€Y BUSINESS  Why Was It Held?  In response to complaints from the  British Columbia Federation of Women  (BCFW), the Judicial Council of B.C.  decided to hold an investigation into  remarks made by Provincial Court Judge  Les Bewley during the trial of Anthony  Tourangeau in August, 1977.  Subsequent to that investigation, the Council  launched the first-ever public inquiry  into the conduct of a judge.  It is  within the jurisdiction of the Judicial Council to dismiss judges from the  bench as a result of an inquiry.  Official complainants in the case  along with BCFW were the Vancouver  Status of Women (VSW) and the Service,  Office and Retail Workers Union of  Canada (SORWUC). All three groups  objected to the sexist nature of Judge  Bewley's remarks. The Council, by its  own admission, conducts such Inquiries  only when allegations have been made  of serious misconduct.  Are we to infer from this that the  Council viewed sexism with seriousness?  Apparently not.  Did Not Address Sexism  Throughout the day and a half of Inquiry, on January 16 and 17, the  Council refused to address the complaints brought forward by the three  groups. We were left wondering why  they had even bothered to call an Inquiry at all.  Allan MacEachern, counsel for the  Judicial Council, spent most of the  Inquiry's one full day reading the  full transcript of the Tourangeau  trial.  The sections in response to  which the groups had made their complaints were lumped in with all the  rest.  The Judicial Council, chaired by criminal lawyer H.A.D. Oliver, stirred  into life only occasionally, and then  in response to Latinate lawyer jokes.  Mary Southin Q.C. defended Bewley by  undermining herself, quoting from  Kipling to prove the eternal (and  therefore forgiveable?) nature of  misogyny:  "A woman's only a woman;  What Was Gained?  but a good cigar is a smoke." Southin  absolved Bewley by explaining his sexism as an unfortunate hyperbole,  brought on by the stupidity of the  female witnesses.  Besides, he was due  to go on holidays the day after. The  female witnesses, she said were indeed  silly.  "I've never understood why any  woman would put up with it — pressing  charges and then withdrawing it (sic)"  Neither Southin nor MacEachern indicated any knowledge of the reality of  what they insisted was 'domestic'  violence. Both subscribed to the dur-  rent legal attitude which sees "domestic' violence as being something different from and lesser than other  forms of violence.  This attitude is  in itself an important factor in perpetuating 'domestic' violence.  Clearly the Inquiry would have benefitted from the expertise of women's  groups which deal daily with domestic  violence and reactions of precisely  the kind that puzzles Southin.  Refused Standing  The groups did try to be heard.  They  retained lawyer Lynn Smith to represent them. As official complainants  under the Provincial Court Act, argued  Smith, the groups have a right to be  represented, because they can speak  for that segment of the public particularly affected by the issues raised.  No, decided the Judicial Council, the  groups are not 'complainants particularly affected'.  The groups then took  their demand for standing to the Supreme Court of B.C., where they were  also rejected.  Predictable  The Council's decision on February 7  was completely predictable. They did  tap Bewley on the wrist; they did not  address the issue of condonation of  violence and they didn't dismiss him.  What, if anything, has been gained by  the groups from raising the issue of  Bewley's sexism?  Firstly, the public learned that  sexist remarks from the bench occasion  a massive protest from women.  Secondly, judges and justices learned that  they make sexist jokes at their peril  In her defense, Southin commented that  five years ago Bewley's remarks would  have gone unnoticed.  She's right in  one respect:  consciousness of sexism  has grown over the last five years.  The fact that Bewley had to go to the  trouble of excusing himself can only  make it grow further.  WHY DID WOMEN OBJECT TO BEWLEY?  How does Judge Bewley's sexism affect  the rights of women who come before  the justice system?  In co-operation with lawyer Lynn  Smith, the three groups - BCFW, VSW  and SORWUC prepared a submission to  the Judicial Council which they would  have presented, through Lynn Smith,  if they had been granted official  standing. That submission outlined  the reasons why Bewley's remarks  warrant his dismissal.  Here is a brief summary of the major  points made in that submission:  Submission  Judge Bewley's remarks suggest that  he is incapable of impartiality.  His remarks explicitly condone violence against women, indicate prejudice against women as a group and  reveal that speculations about the  sexual morality of the female witnesses entered into his assessment  of their credibility.  CONDONATION OF VIOLENCE  Firstly, they indicate a condonation  of violence.  They indicate that he  does not take violence perpetrated by  men upon women in 'domestic' situations as seriously as other forms of  violence.  He's  (Tourangeau, i.e.) got a macho  personality obviously and he comes  in ...  he had a knife in his hand  and he 's going to show her .   .   .  that's no big deal,  eh?    It isn't as  if he  .   .   .   threatened a policeman  with a knife or something.    He 's  demonstrating his manhood to a little  One of the important causes of  domestic violence is that our society  in many ways condones it.  BEWLEY UPDATE, MORE DETAILS  on p. 7,  col 2...  SEND YOUR SUPPORT LETTERS TODAY — TIME IS SHORT am  MARY ASTAFOROFF, 63 years of age, has  served many years in prison since the  1930's as part of the continuing struggle for religious freedom for her  people — freedom to live according to  her religious beliefs which include  pacifism, no private ownership of  land, and no public school education  for their children.  She has been in  jail almost continuously since Sept.  8/74, date of a late night incident  outside the home of Stefan Sorokin in  Ktrestova, B.C.  Charged "with taking  part in a riot" she was held 4 months  without bail, from early November 1974  until trial Feb. 17-21/75, charged  under Criminal Code Section 65.  On Dec. 20/74 there was a fire in the  women's section at Oakalla. MARY and  her co-accused had been on a hunger  strike since early Nov. 74 until their  trial date.  She was released from  hail in early spring of 1975.  In  March 75 there was a fire at Brilliant Hall.  MARY was not charged with  regard to the fire but at the trial in  June she stripped in protest against  the conviction of others, and was imprisoned to await trial for the December 74 jail fire.  FORCC- F€D  In Nov. 75 she started a hunger strike  which ended May 27/76 when MARY and  six other Freedomite women took part  in this strike. Women from the Brilliant Hall fire and other sisters  joined them as they protested their  conviction on circumstantial evidence  and the unjust sentences received for  the Dec. 74 jail fire. There were  four women charged for that fire. The  case came to trial in Jan 1976 and the  convicted women received sentences of  varying lengths even though their past  criminal records were similar. MARY^  MALAKOFF — 1 yr;  ANUTA K00TNEK0FF  and MARY BRAUN — 2 yrs less a day;  MARY ASTAFOROFF — 3h  yrs.  mary astaforoff  Culhane comments: "I would suggest  that the indignation generated over  the Bewley affair could well be channelled into a vigorous campaign to  save the life of MARY ASTAFOROFF, a  woman fighting for principles which we  all can identify with.  "Would it not be in order for the B.C.  women's groups to come to the staunch  support of their sisters in Kingston  Penitentiary for Women who are demonstrating courage and persistence  unmatched in so many other  circles . . . ?"  The women were force-fed during the  hunger strike.  About every two weeks  they would be removed form the prison,  taken to the Vancouver General Hospital, Fairview Pavilion, and fed  through tubes put through their noses  or mouths and into their stomachs.  The women resisted this force-feeding.  Their children held demonstrations  outside the prison, but still it continued.  The women started eating when  the B.C. government promised to investigate their case. This was never  done.  The women were held in Lower Mainland  Regional Correctional Centre (Oakalla) , Burnaby, B.C. including POLLY  CHERNOFF and MARY ASTAFOROFF, who both  had 'federal time', until the sentences of the other women were completed and they were released in the  spring of 1976. POLLY CHERNOFF and  MARY ASTAFOROFF were then transferred  to Kingston Penitentiary for Women in  Kingston, Ont. and placed directly  into solitary confinement since they  were considered to be "dangerous  arsonists." They immediately began  another hunger strike.  Mary's health was very seriously impaired by the 7 month long hunger  strike in Nov. 1975-May 1976, as was  Polly's, and their husbands and children convinced them to start eating a  little during the summer of 1977.  Their health has been of great concern  to their friends and relatives. Numerous phone calls have been made to  the prison and to the Ombudsman's  Office in Ottawa, with little or no  meaningful response.  Quotes from trial transcripts:  "We do not start fires,  injustice  brings them about. "  "Prisons are not the answer for the  Doukhobors. "  "We are not criminals,  but a deeply  religious people. "  "Fire is not arson,  but a defence  against the injustice and discrimination throughout the years."  INTERIM REPORT OF MARY ASTAFOROFF  (prepared Jan. 25, 1978)  LETTER TO CLAIRE CULHANE, OF THE  PRISONER'S RIGHTS GROUP FROM POLLY  CHERNOFF, BOX 515, KINGSTON, ONT.,  DEC.11/77  Dear Claire,  I hope you could give me some information and hope, as I am very much  concerned about a sister whom I will  have to leave behind in a couple of  months under these unbearable conditions in women's jail in Kingston. We  are two Doukhobor Sons of Freedom  women who try to defend our principles. Mary was in Kingston over a year,  in segregation and I joined her in  April of 77.  We are not only not allowed to exercise, we do not see each other, just  when passing the cell on the way to  take a bath.  I will not go into  unbelievable details of our existing  situation but we were forced into long  fasts, in fact most of the time we are  fasting we get no time to pick up  strength enough to feel normal.  «M*  In protest we set fires in our cells  six times for which were severely  punished. What worries me is our  time is extended and their business is  flourishing and there is no end to it.  No one is interested that you are  protesting injustice and prejudice in  courts, when you should not be here in  the first place. No one cares that  you have suffered more than one person  should suffer in any case, or your  health is gone.  Others are brought here into segregation for punishment and hardly ever  stay the full 30 or 20 days, yet for  us its considered good enough for two  years like for Mary, and even necessary security. As for punishment we  are watered with buckets of water and  fire hoses and left on a slab with not  more in col 1, p.7...  continued from p.6  a stitch of clothes or bedding, with  windows wide open till you do not feel  any more. Then one blanket and every  few days you get additional blanket or  mattress or tooth brush. Not much  more we could keep in the cell.  Then  30 days are added to our terms.  Of  course we are also fined for damages.  We are very cheap to keep. We do not  waste by habit. We eat just the cheapest food, vegetables and fruit. No  meat, no desserts, and baked stuff, no  coffee or sugar, so instead of helping  us get out, they extend our stay.  63.  POOR HCALTH  I am concerned about Mary.  She is 63  years old and in very poor health  which is a big problem with the diet.  There is so much prejudice against us  being vegetarians. Mental cruelty is  endless. Our religion is considered  setting fires and not the other way  around. Our religion is being prosecuted which brings us to be human  sacrifices for our religion.  I would  like to know what fights Mary has,  being locked in her cell till Sept.  day and night is beyond human endurance, with nothing but the walls to  stare at.  In addition to listen to  disturbed girls downstairs slashing  and hanging themselves, swearing and  nerve wracking radios blaring day and  night. Well, I know for an elderly  woman that is too much.  Three thousand miles from family and  friends.  I would appreciate if you  could let me know how I could help  her. With your knowledge of prisons,  I'm sure you could help.  So thank you ever so much in advance.  Admiring your spirit,  Polly Chernoff  BewleyL  .fcifiAiiAl'LM*  A fascinating event in Canadian news  is the recent resignation of Solicitor-  General, Francis Fox. Politicians have  to be above suspicion. Fox was caught  after the fact, having forged a signature. That's not just suspicious,  it's downright illegal. But will that  be what Canadians remember. It's doubtful.  The signature was on a hospital document required for an abortion - for  a woman whom Fox had apparently impregnated. She couldn't tell her  husband, and obviously the hospital  wouldn't do the abortion without the  husband's signature, so Fox did the  CONTINUED FROM P.5  PREJUDICE AGAINST WOMEN  Secondly, certain of Judge Bewley's  remarks openly state prejudicial  attitudes against women as a class.  "You know, women don't get much brains  before they're thirty anyway"  is his  most infamous. He also referred to  the witnesses as "a bunch of clucking  females".  When it was revealed that one of the  women witnesses has been convinced  that the accused would have stabbed  her to death, Bewley commented:  . . . would it have been any loss to  society? I guess it would have been,  yes, go ahead, we 'd have to have the  Coroner's  ASSESSMENT OF CREDIBILITY  Thirdly, it appears that one important  factor in the Judge's consideration of  the evidence of the female witnesses  in this case was his speculative view  of their moral character with specific  reference to sexual conduct. He  called them "young,  free-floating .   .  .  very nubile,  very attractive .   .   .  still impressionable,  still stupid. "  "They 've been around.    They 're no  angels either. "  pernicious  This is not only illogical, but pernicious in that it seems to indicate  that any woman who is young, attractive, and has in the Judge's terms  "been around" will have little credence in court.  The three groups point out that Judge  Bewley's remarks cannot be excused as  inadvertant, humorous, or merely in  'bad taste'. "It is intolerable that  any class of people, whether defined  by race, creed, colour or sex should  be derogated by a Provincial Court  Judge in the execution of his or her  office," the groups commented.  Judicial Council:  Injudicious  The Judicial Council decision, while  exonerating Bewley, did admit:  "Certain of the statements we have  examined and others that appear in  the transcript should never have been  made. They were injudicious. The connotation placed by Judge Bewley on  the expression 'on and off as used  by defence counsel was off colour and  in bad taste. The observation made by  Judge Bewley that even had the accused  stabbed the complainant it would not  have been any loss to society, is improper. We are disappointed at the  inability of as experienced a judge  as Judge Bewley to express himself with  more care. The use of inappropriate,  ill-chosen and offensive language  by one member of the Bench tends to  diminish the respect and public confidence which the entire Bench must  enjoy if the proper administration  of justice is to be ensured."  no awareness  The Inquiry, and the Judicial Council  decision, never once questioned Bewley's view of domestic violence as  being something different from, and  lesser than, other forms of violence.  By limiting itself to a consideration of the trial proceedings  only, the Judicial Council failed  to recognize that the administration  of justice does not take place in a  vacuum. It failed to understand that  Bewley's derogation of women as a  group reinforces harmful societal  stereotypes.  Until the justice system realises  that sexism exists, women who have  been victims of so-called domestic  violence cannot hope for equal treatment.  FOX:  TRAPPED IN HIS OWN LAWS  his demise is jrought  with ironies  noble (?) thing and signed the husband's name.  The situation is full of irony. Fox  is part of the infamous Liberal government which brought us that quest- .  ionable document, The Abortion Law.  No where in that law is a husband's  signature required. The federal government turned a blind eye to the  discrepancies and hypocrisies of the  hospitals that make this and other  stipulations. (The Badgley Report,  tabled in the House of Commons, Feb.  1977 found that interpretations of  the Law by the provinces, and local  hospitals, were still making the ac-  by Maureen Karagianis,  former Chair,  BCFW Health Sub-Committee.  quisition of safe, legal abortions  impossible for many Canadian women.)  Women's groups across the country have  demanded that the law be changed to  prevent this kind of discrimination.  No one in Ottawa was listening.  Will the destruction of one man's  career in Canadian politics be the  trigger that brings about the right  of women to control their own bodies?  A cynical laugh arises out of the  Women's Movement. It just could be -  but don't hold your breath!  IF THE GRANT IS REFUSED  VSW MAY BE FORCED TO CLOSE THE OFFICE .KINESIS  8  women in rurol china  A report on Joan Hinton's comments,  by Lyn Buckle  The Canada'China Friendship Association recently hosted Joan Hinton,  former U.S. nuclear physicist, in the  first of their spring educational  series.  Hinton was on her way back to  China after a 5 month speaking tour of  the U.S.  She and her family have  lived in China since 1950.  She now  lives on the Red Star Commune outside  of Peking.  Her topic for discussion  was "Women in Rural China".  The evening spent with Joan Hinton was  relaxed and informal.  Informal, because she showed us something of  women in rural China through her own  personal experiences and life there  over the past 28-29 years.  Hinton stressed that "for a good perspective of women in China today", it  is necessary to know "where they came  from".  Before liberation, many women in the  southern rural areas escaped foot ,  binding because they were needed to  plant rice.  The north, being the  wheat-growing area of the country, did  not call for women to work the fields.  So they had their feet bound to prevent them from running away from their  marriages — into which they had been  sold for 30 lbs of grain.  During her time spent working on a  farm in inner Mongolia, Hinton saw  that the active involvement of the  Mongolian women was the mainstay of  the economy of these herdspeople, although, as she said, it was still a  patriarchial society.  The northern  Han women, because of their bound  feet, took no part in life outside the  household.  The Mongolians used to say  that if a Mongolian man married a Han  woman, he'd starve!  Hinton's first year on the farm involved an unsuccessful attempt at  making cheese from the directions in  U.S. Dept. of Agriculture bulletins.  She soon gave that up, and let herself  be taught by women who had been doing  it for 2,000 years.  Above: Joan Hinton (R) with Lillian  Martin  (L) of the Canada China Friendship Association.  Below: Woman from the Tachai Model  Commune,   & member of the Iron Girls '  Team.  With liberation came the law declaring  legal equality for women. But this  did not mean there was actual equality. This, as Hinton stated, would  not be completely achieved until a  true state of communism was achieved.  MAJOR CHANGGS  Hinton did, however, cite some important dates when actual changes occurred.  The 1940s saw the end of Chin  Lien, or foot-binding.  With the  Marriage Law of 1950 came the end of  the old matrimonial system of arbitary  or forced marriages, arranged as a  business transaction by parents.  Bigamy and concubinage were forbidden,  as was marriage for people under  eighteen.  (It had been commonplace  for 12 year olds to be sold into mar-  'Sen*  >  ft  riage.) Mutual consent became the  only basis for marriage; the grounds  for divorce were no longer restricted  and divorce could be obtained free of  charge.  Agrarian reform, in destroying the  great estates, dealt a fatal blow to  the old family structures. Land was  redistributed among peasant families  and also among all women living on  their own or wanting to leave their  husbands.  There was a movement against cruelty  against women.  Women publicly denounced violent husbands, knowing for the  first time their criticisms would be  heard and dealt with.  Women came forward in great strength  during the 1958 Great Leap Forward  which in part was an attempt to decentralize industry to rural areas.  The Cultural Revolution of 1968 saw  the formation of co-ops and neighbourhood street factories by women. Women  took a leading role in the transformation of the Taching oilfield from a  pasture field only 10 years before to  a leading model commune for the country. For the first time in history, a  balance was created between agriculture, industry, cultural activities  and nature.  The movement to criticize Lin Piao and  Confucius was a way to put the women's  question back into the centre of the  political arena. Hinton cited an  instance of a woman who cleaned the  lathe after use by a man at the end of  a day's work. This practice was criticized and changed.  The men had to  clean their own lathes. Older, retired men were asked to teach women  carpentry.  From there the women progressed to making crates for boxcars  and eventually set up factories themselves .  WORK POINTS  During this time the issue of work  points was raised.  One woman protested by writing a dazibaos (wall-poster) that upon marriage her work  points dropped by 8 to 7 while men  made 10.  The men claimed that it was  necessary for them to make 10 points  because they did work that was much  too strenuous for women to do, such  as carrying heavy sacks of grain. The  women agreed that the men did indeed  do this extra heavy work and did deserve more work points. However, they  said, carrying these sacks was not an  everyday occurrence and therefore men  should only receive extra points at  the time of the year when they did  this heavy work. This was agreed upon  without argument. However, the woman  who had raised the objection was criticized.  She was told she was selfish  and was asked if she was working for  her own work points or for the development of the commune. There are  women in China, said Hinton, who don't  turn to col 1, p.19 GCRMAN FEMINISTS  AGAINST  SEXIST ADS  Berlin — "You Communists! I'll tear  the tits off you, you piles of shit.  You look like it's already been done!"  These were the kinds of insults we  were subjected to on August 15 when,  at 3pm we painted "Womanhating Advertising" on the sidewalk in front of  the Wertheim department store in  Berlin.  The reason for our action : Wertheim's  sexist window dressing.  In each of 6  windows, a naked woman, clothed in  only an open man's shirt, lay on a  table in a clearly provocative pose.  Around nearby stood 6 men in suits  and waistcoats, looking lecherously  down at her.  That reached us!  On the night of Saturday, August 13,  the window had been spraypainted with  "Womanhating" and many women's symbols.  Result: by 9 the next morning,  even before shoppers could see it,  the paint had been removed. However,  Wertheim was warned by telephone: if  the window displays were not immediately removed, something would  happen.  The caller said, "We shall  return!" And women did return. Not  in the night this time, with stealthy  movements and faint footfalls, but  broad (shopping) daylight.  Six  women distributed leaflets in which a  boycott of the store was called for;  two painted the words on the sidewalk. Of course, since we had forewarned the store, we were not unhindered.  Two provocateurs obviously  hired by Wertheim showered us with  insults, tried to stir up the stan-  dersby against us, and threatened us  with sticks.  We kept painting. Soon  a crowd had gathered to watch and  listen as these thugs assaulted us.  The crowd offered us no help, not to  mention support.  This dismayed us.  When we heard that the police were  coming, the women who had painted  left.  One of the leaflet distributors was arrested on the word of  the provocateurs, who said that  she had done the painting.  She was  released after the police had taken  down her personal data, with the  instructions that a "statement of  accountability according to the press  laws" had to appear on all leaflets.  We had stupidly forgotten this.  Whether the woman will be brought  to trial has not yet been decided.  The thug was used as a witness  against her.  He gave his personal  data to the police in private, which  was farsighted of him.  For, "we  shall return!"  (Off Our Backs,  reprinted from Courage)  Contact: Gewaltgruppe des Frauen-  zentrums Berlin Spendenkto.:PSchKto  BlnWNr: 295196-104, Marion Hopfl,  "Vergewaltigung".  INTGRNATIONAL N€WS  U.S. BATTERED WOMEN WIN  Christina Pratt, sentenced to four  years in prison after pleading guilty  to first-degree manslaughter of a  man who had raped her, is being  considered for pardon by New York's  Governor Carey.  Sentenced in 1975,  when she was 16 years old, Christina  has so far escaped from two of the  facilities in which she was placed.  On being caught and sent back to  prison once again, the judge hearing  her case said that she had committed  an act (the murder of the man who  raped her) "which by every just,  reasonable, and humane standard  would have been classified as excusable or justifiable." That didn't  stop him from sending her back,  however.  Women are fighting back, and fighting for and winning their freedom,  all over the U.S.  Along with Christina Pratt in New York and Francine  Hughes in Lansing, Michigan, there  are:  Wanda Carr, of Redding. California,  was freed in the shooting death of her  husband on the basis of her testimony that he had beaten her and she  feared he would beat her again;  Marlene Roan Eagle, a South Dakota  American Indian, acquitted of the  murder of her husband on the grounds  of self-defense;  Sharon McNearney, of Marquette,  Michigan, acquitted of the murder of  her husband on the grounds of self-  defense;  Evelyn Ware, of Orange County, California, acquitted of the murder of  her husband on the grounds of self-  defense;  che feminist funnies by nkoic hoiiander  Gloria Maldonado, of Chicago, released after killing her husband due  to "insufficient evidence" to warrant her prosecution;  Janice Hornbuckle, of Bellingham,  Washington, acquitted of first-degree  murder of her husband.  Two more cases, yet to be determined,  in which women are pleading self-  defense in the killings of their  husbands are that of Jennifer Patri,  of Waupaca, Wisconsin, who shot her  husband who had beaten and sexually  abused her and molested her daughter;  and Roxanne Gay, who stabbed her  husband, a lineman on the Philadelphia Eagles football team, after  years of beatings by him, often  following the loss of a football  game.  Evidence of brutal and long-term  abuse and very reasonable belief  that severe physical injury was imminent were clear in each of these  cases.  Perhaps more women,#who read about  these successful cases and the  women's support groups to aid the  defense, will fight back; perhaps  husbands and boyfriends will be  frightened into restraining themselves; but also, perhaps the forces  of the law will get around to making  the plea of self-defense a difficult  one to satisfy.  The second "perhaps"  is probably spurious: the death  penalty does not deter murderers.  The third "perhaps" is irrelevant  to the options a woman has.  The  first "perhaps" may be the only way  for many women to put an end to  their being beaten and terrorized.  (Off Our Backs)  RECLAIM THE NIGHT  England — On November 12 women■  marched through the streets of  cities throughout England to  "Reclaim the Night" - the protest  the dangers of rape and attack  that deny women free access to the  streets.  Singing, chanting, bearing torches and banners, and jeering, 500 women marched through  Soho, London, centre of the porn  trade and sexual exploitation. Some  of the male bystanders spat at the  demonstrators, or tried to grab  individuals out of the procession  However, this possibility had been  taken into account in the planning  stages of the march, and these men  were sprayed with red dye.  The  marches were exhilarating events  with women singing songs about their  struggles and plastering stickers on  sexist advertisements and establishments.  (Off Our Backs, info from  Peoples News Service)  WE APPRECIATE YOUR PAST SUPPORT 10  SORWUC faces off with the CIC  Joan woodward  The Service, Office and Retail  Workers Union of Canada is a small  democratically structured, all Canadian union.  The reasons for the  establishment of a constitution  providing for these factors are  many.  But principally, we don't  want tc replace the oppressive burden of the bureaucratic structure  that we find in industry and commerce with an identical such structure in our union.  We have found  that bureaucratic "leadership" is  totally unnecessary, and that cooperation is not only possible, but  highly desirable.  Unfortunately, trade unions need  money to operate.  And as the union  expands we will require more funding  and a more stable basis of funding.  To this end SORWUC contacted the  Canadian Labour Congress early in  July of last year to request special  financial assistance.  (Take note,  however, that SORWUC was already  beginning to receive substantial  donations from the memberships of  a number of other unions in order to  help it along its way.  Some of  these unions x^ere affiliates of the  C.L.C. and some were not.)  The most outstanding expense in  SORWUC's budget at present is a bill  for $20,000 in legal fees. This  bill was incurred as a result of a  battle, in the courts over whether or  not SORWUC would be allowed to organize bank workers branch by branch.  This was a decision with far reaching implications as it gave the possibility to other unions of organizing bank workers as well, but SORWUC  alone was left to foot the bill.  SORWUC saw in the banks a very definite need for the organization of  women workers, who had hitherto been  largely ignored by the trade union  establishment.  The response from  bank workers has been tremendous,  and the reasons for this probably  lie in a) SORWUC's democratic and  consequently decentralized structure  and b) the fact that through the  intermediary of a great number of  volunteers, women workers are being  organized by other women workers.  It is unlikely that the C.L.C. could  motivate such mass volunteerism.  internationals  take over bid  However, shortly after SORWUC contacted the C.L.C. requesting financial assistance, the union heard of  a rival union, a large international,  the O.P.E.I.U., controlled from the  U.S., who had also taken a sudden  interest in organizing the bank workers of British Columbia where SORWUC  is based.  The Office and Professional Employees International, known as  the Office and Technical Employees  Union in B.C., is an affiliate of  the C.L.C. and as such enjoys its  full support.  The Service, Office and Retail Workers Union of Canada had previously  applied to the C.L.C. for affiliation but was told that it would only  be granted an affiliate status if  a) it dissolved the present organization altogether, b) if it merged  with an already existing affiliate  (probably retaining the name only),  or c) if it became a directly chartered local of the C.L.C.  SORWUC  rejected all three of the above  options!  The National Executive  stated that while it would require  a referendum from the membership  to decide whether or not SORWUC  would affiliate to the C.L.C, the  National Executive would be prepared to recommend such affiliation  if SORWUC could join as a national  union with its own constitution and  jurisdiction to organize the unorganized in all industries and occupations where women are a majority.  TELLER  Meanwhile, SORWUC had been heard of  as far away as Saskatchewan, and a  group of volunteers had started to  organize bank workers there.  A representative of the Steelworkers  International was obviously concerned.  With the help of a C.L.C. official in Saskatoon, he attempted to  discourage employees in a large  branch of the Toronto Dominion in  that town who had been meeting with  volunteer organizers for SORWUC,  from joining that union.  An effort  was made to brand SORWUC as incompetent; it was claimed that information given to workers about the  Canada Labour Relations Board was  incorrect; the organization was redbaited; and it was generally denied  that SORWUC was organizing in Saskatchewan.  When we raised our objections the  response was unacceptable to us.  It was stated that the C.L.C. with  the participation of representatives  of Steel intended to actively oppose  SORWUC in organizing, and would use  whatever means necessary to sign up  bank workers into.an affiliate union.  There was refusal to cooperate with  us and stated support for the Steelworkers' actions.  They went on to say that they had  "C.L.C. orders" to sign up bank  workers: that Steel did not intend  to represent the branch in bargaining; and that they were getting involved mainly to prevent SORWUC from  representing bank workers. Also the  Steelworkers indicated that they  would be hiring a full-time bank  organizer for Saskatoon.  SORWUC asks:  Who needs  bureaucrats ?  Once again it appeared that the  C.L.C. or one of its affiliates had  taken a sudden interest in organizing bank workers, and once again in  an area where SORWUC was already  organizing.  The C.L.C. is presently mounting a  drive to organize bank workers.  They tell us that this is because  SORWUC does not have the necessary  "muscle" to do the job.  In a letter  to Joe Morris, president of the  C.L.C, the National Executive point  out that there has been a rapid decline in the number of women union  members and that in British Columbia  a majority of women union members  are in unions not affiliated to the  C.L.C. or the A.F.L.-CI.O.  It would  seem apparent then, that the organization of women workers is in need  of a union like SORWUC:"and the  union has reiterated its interest  in affiliation, stating that:  We do not make independence a principle;  however,  we are determined  to run our own affairs.  Consequently, although SORWUC still  hopes to eventually get financial  assistance from the C.L.C, we  doubt whether any help will be  forthcoming in the near future - a  critical period for us. We are  beginning a campaign to collect  monthly pledges from $10 to $25  per month from concerned individuals, and any donation is appreciated.  If you wish to make a  donation, please contact the Union  office, #1114-207 West Hastings,  Vancouver, or by phone at 681-2811.  AND WE NEED IT ONE MORE TIME abortion  11  When a woman in the Lower Mainland  area of British Columbia needs help  in dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, one of the places she may  call for information is the Vancouver Women 's Health Collective,  a self-help organization focusing  on women's health care.    As well  as providing health information to  the public in the areas of birth  control, preventative health care,  education, and doctor referral,  the Health Collective offers counselling to women who need assistance  in making a decision about their  pregnancy.  DONNA HERBERT of the Vancouver  Status of Women talked with LINDA  GOULD of the Health Collective  about why a woman contacts them  for counselling.  LINDA: Women usually call us because  they're unsure of the law or the  hospital regulations, or they don't  understand the procedure required  to obtain an abortion.  Some women  are unsure of their feelings about  the pregnancy and want to discuss  things with a sympathetic but impartial person who can help them  make an informed decision.  DUNNA: How do women find out about  your organization?  Sometimes word of mouth - the phone  book - a referral from another  women's group or social service  agency.  Often a woman's doctor or  clinic will refer her to us.  At the present time, Section 251 of  the Criminal Code of Canada states  that abortion is illegal except in  certain specific cases.     Could you  clarify what the situation is as far  as it affects women in the Lower  Mainland, area?  The regulations basically say four  things: first, that legal therapeutic abortions must be performed in  an accredited hospital; second,  that all applications for abortions  must be reviewed by a Therapeutic  Abortion Committee consisting of at  least three doctors; third, that the  Committee must state in writing that  "in its opinion the continuation of  the pregnancy would or would be  likely to endanger a woman's life  or health"; and fourth, that the  abortion must be performed by a  doctor other than a member of the  Therapeutic Abortion Committee.  On first hearing these regulations  they sound quite reasonable in  theory.     Can you explain how the  system works in practice?  The system works very unequally, for  several reasons.  In the first place  the law does not require every  hospital to form a Therapeutic Abortion Committee, it simply gives them  the option of so doing.  If the  hospital board has a number of people on it who are anti-choice, they  will block the forming of an abortion committee. Also some rural  areas don't have enough doctors to  form a proper committee.  Another obstruction appears when you  try to define the word "health" as  used in the words of the Criminal  Code.  The World Health Organization  defines "health" as "a complete state  of physical, mental and social well-  being, and not merely the absence of  disease or infirmity." If a woman's  local hospital accepts this definition, her chances of obtaining a  legal abortion is much better than  from a hospital which defines "health"  in more restrictive terms.  What about restrictions involved as  far as individual hospitals ' regu-  latuions are concerned?    Is there  inequality there too?  Yes, there is.  For instance, in  the Lower Mainland area, each of  the hospitals where therapeutic  abortions are performed have their  own regulations, involving residency requirements, consent of  parents, consent of husband, or  requiring two doctors' opinions  before abortion is available. This  can cause some women a lot of needless running around, and also of  course a lot of mental stress can  be caused to her and possible her  close family or friends.  Could you describe the kind of woman who might come to you for help  in dealing with an unplanned pregnane^   We see women of all ages and backgrounds, from teenagers to women  in their 30s and 40s.  Are they always looking for an abortion as a way out of their pregnancies^   Not always - although many women  have of course made up their minds  before they contact us.  Often  what they want is to talk over the  alternatives with a knowledgeable  and sympathetic person in a supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere,  which is what we try to provide.  So you offer alternatives to abortion?  Yes, we do - we can talk about assistance for the single mother, and  make referrals to agencies dealing  with adoption and so on.  We certainly don't attempt to persuade  undecided women into having abortions - we just make them aware  that it's one of several possibilities open to them and that only  the women herself is responsible  for her choice.  What do you feel are the circumstances in which a woman might need  an abortion?  There are many reasons and sometimes  it's a combination of several circumstances that make it advisable  not to carry an unplanned pregnancy  to term - for instance, a very young  woman, still in school, unable to  cope adequately with a pregnancy or  with raising a child and also not  wanting to disrupt her education at  such an important time:, a woman who  already has one or two very young  children, too close together - this  could cause a big physical and financial strain; someone whose marriage or partnership is unstable or  in the process of breaking up; someone whose poor financial situation  could not support another child adequately which might mean going on  welfare; and of course a woman who  has a mentally unstable lifestyle,  uses drugs or alcohol heavily, might  not have the motivation to handle a  pregnancy in a responsible way.  There is also the older woman who  has stopped using birth control  thinking she's safe because of her  age, and who suddenly finds herself  pregnant when she already has a  grownup family.  An important part of abortion counselling is a discussion of birth  control and the way its use fits  into a woman's life.  The process  of contraception is explained and  the use of the various methods of  birth control, together with their  advantages and disadvantages, are  explained, so that each woman can  make the best possible choice.  It is probably surprising to many  people that in 1977 when we have a  choice of contraceptive methods that  abortion should still be needed to  deal with unwanted pregnancies.   Can  you explain why that is?  We certainly do have a variety of  methods available, but unfortunately  none of them are 100% effective, and  not all of them are suitable for  every woman.  This means abortion  is necessary as a "back-up" method  turn the page for more...  f 12  13  ALL YOU COULD CONCCIVABLY NG€D  TO KNOW ABOUT ABORTION IN B.C.  in certain cases, however unpleasant  it may seem. To go into some of the  difficulties - the pill and the IUD  are excellent contraceptives in their  way, but some women cannot use them  due to the severe side-effects they  experience.  The diaphragm is a very  effective method if it is properly  understood and regularly used, and  the same goes for the foam and condom method.  The problems are that  many people think these methods are  uncomfortable and messy because  they've never learned how to properly use them.  A big problem is  that when a woman seeks advice on  contraception, she will usually go  to her doctor first, and since many  doctors have their own biases and  prejudices about birth control, she  might not get the full picture of  what is available, or may end up  with a method that she doesn't fully  understand or which is unsuitable  or even unsafe for her to use.  Why do birth control methods fail?  Usually through human error caused  by inadequate understanding of the  method.  For example, the pill must  be taken every day at the same time  every day - forgetting several pills  in a row means you are unprotected  for the rest of that month.  The IUD  can fail because it moves around  inside the uterus or is expelled by  the body unknown to the woman.  It's  also known that taking antibiotics  for an infection can decrease the  function of the IUD since it suppresses the uterine inflammation  which is the way the IUD prevents  pregnancy.  Doctors don't always  remember to tell patients this when  they fit them, and some doctors  aren't even aware that this can  happen.  As far as the barrier methods go, the condom can break or slip  off and the diaphragm can fail if  it's not properly fitted or if the  woman hasn't been fully taught how  to use it properly.  So you see that  it's quite possible for a woman  using birth control to get pregnant,  usually without understanding what  went wrong.  What do■you see as the answer to  this problem?  A realistic program of birth control  and responsible sexual behaviour  integrated into the school system  would be a good start in making  young people aware of the necessity  for contraception and the risks  they  take in having unprotected  intercourse.  We've been successful  in running some preventative health  care and birth control education  classes at local high school during  the last couple of years and it's  very obvious when we go there that  this information is really necessary  and is welcomed by the students,  both male and female.  You mention responsibility as being  involved with birth control - who  do you see as being primarily responsible,  the woman or the man?  Since the appearance of the pill and  the IUD over the last few years, the  burden of contraception and the risks  that go with it seem to have fallen  more on the woman than the man. There  is a great need to educate men into  taking a more positive role in preventing unwanted pregnancies, instead  of just relying on the woman to take  the initiative, and also foot the  bill for prescription pills, sperm-  icial jelly, and so on!  There is also a very great need for  more funds to be directed towards a  safe, effective means of birth control for both men and women.  Unfortunately, since research funds  are mostly controlled and administered by men, to predominantly male  scientists, this need will probably  be unfulfilled for some time.  It's  been said before, but if men ran the  risk of getting pregnant, we'd have  better birth control and less need  for abortions as a back up method.  When a woman comes to the Health Collective for counselling, her problems  and life situation are discussed with  the counsellor either in a group situation, or if she prefers, in an individual counselling perhaps with her  partner along for support.  She is  given detailed information about the  law, the hospital regulations, and  the doctor's examination.  The hospital admitting procedure and the  actual abortion methods are described and demonstrated with the help of  pictures and models.  What is the purpose of all these  explanations?  For many women the whole situation is  a very scary one, because they don't  understand what's involved.  We feel  that going over the procedure step by  step we can eliminate a lot of needless anxiety and fear and can also  offer a lot of useful advice and  support.  I understand that a first trimester  abortion,   that is,  under 12 weeks of  pregnancy,  is a relatively uncomplicated procedure.    Could you explain  a  little more about what is involved?  Yes, it is usually done on an outpatient basis, meaning a woman would  go into the hospital in the morning  and leave by the afternoon.  The method most used now is the Vacuum Aspiration method, where the cervix is  dilated a few centimeters to allow the  introduction of a vacurette, a small  hollow tube.  The vacurette is attached to a small vacuum suction machine  and the contents of the uterus are  withdrawn by means of suction.  In  some cases the doctor may complete  the procedure by going over the uterus  lining with a small curette to remove  all traces of tissue.  This is called  a D&C, or dilation and curettage. The  whole procedure is usually done under  general anasthetic although some women  who have had problems with the aftereffects of general anasthetic may  elect to have a local pelvic anasthetic and remain conscious during the  procedure.  The whole thing takes  about 15 minutes and the woman is kept  in the hospital for 2-3 hours afterwards until she's fully recovered.  After 12 weeks,   this method is no  longer suitable,  is that correct?  Yes, a more complicated procedure,  either saline or prostaglandin injection has to be used to induce fetal  death and labour.  This of course  involves a higher risk to the woman,  and a hospital stay of several days.  For women outside the Lower Mainland  area,  the abortion situation is not  always straightforward.    Heather  Campbell of the Health Collective  talks about the problem of obtaining  an abortion in less populated areas of  the province.  Many hospitals in rural areas have too  few doctors to form the necessary  m-SAi  ift  _^L  r*a#   **J»   t*M  Women will nor be free unhl Wean  control our means of reproduction  It also involves a considerable amount  of mental stress and physical pain and  is a procedure to be avoided if at all  possible. Unfortunately those women  who don't realize they are pregnant  until after 12 weeks, or who have  hassles finding a sympathetic doctor  or hospital, may end up in this situation needlessly.  committee. There may be a conservative attitude towards abortion by doctors in these areas who may refuse to  refer women to other sources of help.  This results in a delay for the pregnant woman which could mean having to  use the more risky second trimester  method and which of course causes a  lot of stress to the woman.  I understand that some research is  being done on the availability of  abortion services throughout the  vrovince?  Yes, I'm involved now in gathering  information for a B.C. Federation of  Women survey to assess abortion availability in B.C.  What kind of information will be  contained in the survey?  Well, we know now that in B.C, out of  142 hospitals, 54 have abortion committees.  These statistics only show  those hospitals that will consider  a  woman's application for abortion; they  don't show how many applications are  accepted, or indicate the attitude of  the committee towards abortion.  So  the survey will try to asses these two  things, and so reflect the actual availability of abortion in B.C.  It will  include specific information on residency and age requirements, methods  and cost of abortion in each area of  the province, availability of counselling, and other details.  How will this survey ,  The survey will be distributed to  women's centres throughout B.C, to  familiarize women of their local situations.  This should serve two purposes; one, it will be a source of  information, useful as far as helping  women in outlying areas to obtain  abortions more readily, and two, it  will serve as a political tool, motivating women to take action on the  abortion issue.  What are the results  far?  So far they seem to indicate that the  availability of abortion for the individual woman in B.C. depends on her  ability to find a sympathetic doctor  who will present an effective case for  her to the local hospital committee.  The committees appear, for the most  part, to follow the World Health Organization's definition of health in  interpreting the abortion law, and, on  paper at least, most applicants are  accepted IF they can persuade their  doctor of their need for an abortion.  So the power still rests with the  doctor, and as I said earlier, it may  be difficult for women in rural areas  to find a sympathetic doctor.  Residency requirements vary considerably throughout the province — it  seems difficult if not impossible outside of the Lower Mainland for a woman  under 19 to obtain an abortion without  parental consent. Three areas so far  specifically reported anti-abortion  pressure on doctors doing abortion in  the areas, and expressed concern about  the effect of this on future availability.  How is the survey progressing?  I have three quarters of the results  in so far. We hope to have the survey  compiled and distributed soon.  Do you see any prospect of the abortion situation becoming less restrictive and more available to women who  need it?  The situation won't change radically  until abortion is removed from the  Criminal Code, and that will take a  lot of work to change the existing  law.  The most important research done  on the Canada-wide situation is published in the book "Report of the Committee on the Operation of the Abortion Law", otherwise known as the  Badgley Report.  This is a survey carried out across  the country to determine whether the  procedure provided in the Criminal  Code for obtaining therapeutic abortions is operating equitably across  Canada.  The results of this study  have been made public and will be  tabled in the House for debate, although we are not sure when that will  take place.  Does the Badgley Report contain information that show the abortion situation to be inequitable in different  provinces?  Yes, it goes into detailed transcripts  of interviews with doctors, nurses,  and women who had legal and illegal  abortions and shows that the procedure  is not only operating very inequitably  but that the medical profession, hospital staff and so on all have very  different and in some cases very definite opinions of the right of women  to have legalized abortion.  Reading  the transcripts of interviews with  women who have had to go through so  much needless mental suffering, expense and pain due to the attitude of  the people who were supposed to be  helping them is really an eye-opener  and shows very clearly that the system  is not working the way it should.  What do you see as solutions to the  problems?  . Firstly, abortion should be removed  from the Criminal Code and should become a matter between the woman and  her doctor.  The consent of another  person should not be required.  Secondly, the therapeutic abortion committee system should be scrapped as it  is a mere formality in most cases and  causes unnecessary delay in starting  the actual abortion procedure.  It  would also be preferable to have separate clinics specially for abortion,  rather than having to go through the  whole hospital admitting procedure  which can cause more delay while waiting for an available bed.  I would urge all women who are concerned about the right of every woman to  have a safe, legal abortion free from  unnecessary restrictions and by her  own choice as an independent person,  to give her support to a change in the  abortion law by writing to her MLA,  the Minister of Health, and the Minister of Justice, to urge a repeal of  the present abortion law in favour of  a system which is fair and equitable  to all women. KINESIS  14  STAMP OUT  TAMPAX  Some tampon manufacturer , in the  great search for more and more profits, use chemicals, wood fiber,  plastic and even known cancer-producing materials — asbestos, for  example — as ingredients in tampons.  And many women find that the amount of  chaffing in repeated use of tampons  over a week's time is extremely uncomfortable.  An alternative that many women are  using and advocating is the natural  sponge. Natural sponges are grown in  the Aegean Sea and are used in the US  for ceramic purposes.  The sponge  should be a natural sponge, generally  brownish in color, and chosen for a  size that is comfortable, or cut to a  good size, if necessary. Also, feel  the sponge thoroughly to check for any  abrasive pieces that may still remain  in the sponge.  String, such as dental floss, can be  attached to the sponge to make removal  easier, but it isn't necessary.  If  you use string, it should be replaced  before next month's flow.  String can  be tied tightly around one end, or put  through a hole made in the sponge.  USE A  The sponge should be rinsed thoroughly  and moistened before inserting.  It  should only need to be used as often  as tampons are replaced.  Natural  sponges are amazingly absorbent —  nothing like artificial sponges. To  replace, simply rinse, squeeze semi-  dry and reinsert.  It may take awhile  to figure out the right size for you  and how to insert and remove it.  Some  women occasionally rinse the sponge  out in chlorophyll (a natural odor-  cleanser) between uses.  Some women with a very heavy flow  prefer to continue using "super"  tampons during the heavy day, or to  supplement the sponge with a slim pad,  and then totally use the sponge for  the remaining days of the period.  For  use in public restrooms, having a  second sponge to insert and then later  cleaning the first would be  helpful.  When you finish your period, wash the  sponge thoroughly in a non-detergent  mile soap, rinse thoroughly and store  in a clean, dry, airy place such as a  cloth bag. Allowing it to dry thoroughly discourages bacterial growth.  Another alternative is to boil it,  although this shrinks the sponge.  Many women enjoy the way it feels; in  fact, some are very enthusiastic about  the way it comforts. The cost in enjoyable too: a smaller size will run  40 to 60c and 80 to 95c for a larger  one.  Big Mama Rag/From  an article by Bara  Broen in Well Being  U.S. ABORTION  ABORTION RIGHTS BADLY COMPROMISED  BY HOUSE-SENATE ACCORD  New York — The five-month deadlock  Over federal Medicaid funding for  abortions ended December 7 as the  House and Senate agreed on compromise legislation which severely limits the access of poor and third  world women to abortions.  According to most estimates, two-  thirds of the 260,000 Medicaid  abortions that were performed last  year will be prohibited under the  compromise legislation.  The bill  forbids Medicaid abortions except  when the mother's life is endangered or when she would suffer "severe  and long-lasting physical health  damage" if she were allowed to give  birth.  In cases of rape or incest - which  were a strong area of argument in  the Senate-House debate - Medicaid  funds will be allowed for "medical  procedures" such as dilation and  curettage, but only when the rape  or incest has been promptly reported to a law enforcement agency or  public health service.  "It is a brutal treatment of women  with medical needs for abortions,"  said American Civil Liberties Union  director Aryeh Neier, who called  the decision "no compromise" at all.  "This law denies women the right  to control their destiny...it imposes the religious views of some  groups on others; it interferes with  the right to privacy and it penalizes the poor."  (LNS)  OVULATION  WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT OVULATION?  Are you concerned about harmful side  effects of the contraceptive pill?  Does you IUD give you cramps and heavy  bleeding every month? Would you be  interested in learning more about your  body cycles? The ovulation, or mucus  method of fertility awareness may be  what you're looking for.  The method is based on the changes  in women's cervical mucus, resulting  from the changing levels of ovarian  and pituitary hormones during the men  strual cycle. What that really means  is that if you examine the mucus which  appears on your labia (external genitals) every day during your cycle,  you'll notice that its appearance and  texture vary from time to time. Using  the ovulation method involves daily  observation and charting in order to  be able to follow the pattern to find  out your infertile, or 'safe' days,  and fertile, or 'unsafe' days.  Taking the first day of menstruation  as the first day of your cycle, you'll  notice that after the period flow  stops there is usually a feeling of  dryness, that is, no mucus is present.  Dry days are considered infertile as  the type of mucus produced is hostile  to the sperm which cannot survive in  it.  Just prior to ovulation a feeling of  wetness appears at the ovulation time  and is very stretchy, slippery and  elastic like egg-white. After ovulation, the mucus again becomes infertile, which may be indicated by either  dryness or dry, tacky mucus.  The length of each phase of the cycle  and the exact characteristics of each  of the different types of mucus vary  from woman to woman, and the explanation given is not sufficient to use as  an effective method of birth control.  To learn more about how the method  works., we recommend that you read an  excellent book called The Ovulation  Method: Cycles of Fertility by Nealy  Gillette and Denise Guren.  It's  available from the HEALTH COLLECTIVE  for $2.25. After studying the book,  you will be prepared to take one of  the classes run by the Collective  every month.  The class is a 3-hour  intensive study of the method, involving demonstration and discussion  on how to interpret the different  types of mucus.  Call the Health  Collective at 736-6696 to have your  name put on the list for one of the  upcoming classes.  (The Catalyst)  The Vancouver General Hospital annual  meeting anticipated in April, has  been moved to September.  The annual  meeting is where the hospital Board  of Directors is elected.  Each year there is a battle between  pro-choice and anti-abortion people,  each trying to elect a Board sympathetic to their beliefs.  If anti-  abortion nominees are elected,  abortions will no longer be performed at Vancouver General Hospital.  ORGANIZING  for September  It is necessary for pro-choice people  to organize now and not leave it  until the summer when our population  is more transient.  The initial meeting of the pro-choice■  group took place on February 6; further meetings are planned.  You can  make contact with the group by calling Jackie Simpson at 736 6696 or  738 4080. KINESIS  15  WOMGN '5 STUDIES  In my opinion I feel that Women's  Studies is a very worthwhile course.  Last year when we were going course  selection I first heard about the  course.  It sounded really good to me  because for once in all my years of  school I had never learnt anything  about women and now was my chance.  I was not really sure what the course  involved but I wanted to give it a  try.  In September at the outline of  the course we were told that we would  be doing a section on women in History.  To be honest that did not appeal to me at all. Now that I have  just finished doing a group report on  Famous Women in History I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot too.  GOOD  LEARNING  What I feel is very valuable part of  the course is when we have to get up  in front of the class and do either  role plays or skits.  I think it is so  good because we have to get up in  front of all those people and perform.  I like it because it helps us to  overcome our doubts and feelings of  shyness or embarrassement.  These are excerpts from students '  papers about women's studies.  We  are greatly indebted to the students for giving us access to  their comments.   (ed.)  I hope that this course is introduced  to many other schools because it is a  very good learning course and it is  also lots of fun. #  GXPRGSS YOURSGLF  I personally feel that the Women's  Studies course should be introduced to  all schools. From this course I have  gained a lot more knowledge of our  overlooked history. Through this  course I have really began to realize  that women are just as important as  men. This is true for our history and  our present.  This course offers a lot  to both women and men.  It shows you  how to be yourself. By this I mean  this class lets you say what you feel.  A lot of the class is based on your  own opinions, the class shares their  ideas. The students in a sense teach  each other in a lot of things. This  course is a valuable course, for all  young women who are interested in just  where they stand in the world today.  Women's Studies is different from  what I expected it to be like.  I  thought it would be more about specific women and what they were doing.  I  like how we do things to improve  ourselves. (The assertiveness training  and doing skits.)  I don't like doing  things like that book study we did.  There didn't seem much point to it.  One of the best things about this  course is the class discussions.  I  think everybody benefits from them because you get other people's ideas.  I think the things that seem most important to me so far is the women in  history.  I like doing that sort of  thing.  I would like to learn about  women in other countries in the past  and now.  Nothing has happened to me that was  important except what I told you about  the T.V. show. •  I find Women's Studies a very interesting "and rewarding subject.  Women's  Studies has given me a better understanding of myself as a woman and the  importance of women in society.  I  have learned to stay calm in a variety  of situations.  Many of my friends are  curious about Women's Studies, and  want to know if it is a good course,  in my opinion it is.  Since the time I decided to take  Women's Studies, I was really excited.  I'm really glad that I did take it.  Through class discussions we express  our views and share them with others.  By taking part in class discussions  everyone learns something from each  other.  So far the best unit we have covered  is assertiveness training.  I didn't  think I would ever be able to be  assertive, but I find that I had. •  ASSGRTIVGNGS5  WORKS  Being assertive also works and really  bugs other people.  Women in History was also very interesting.  The book entitled 'Never  Done' gave me a better understanding  of women in history.  Before I read  the book, I didn't realize that women  had to fight in order to enter pro-•  fessions, such as- teaching and business.  I also wasn't aware that women  helped in clearing the land. As a  result I feel I have a much better  understanding of women in history.  At first my father wasn't too keen  about me taking Women's Studies.  But  I assured him that it was going to be  continued on p.16 16  a really worthwhile course.  I think  he was a little upset because he  thought it would be all about Women's  Liberation. But now I've been in the  course, I've been telling him all  about it. As a matter of fact he knew  more about women in history than I  did.  So I think my father's views of  Women's Studies are better than before  he knew what was going on.  "WOMGN'S LIB"  As for my brother, he thinks it's just  a Women's Lib course. We get into  discussions about it and I end up  laughing at his statements.  Just  because I'm taking Women's Studies he  thinks I'm all for Women's Lib.  But I  keep telling him that Women's Lib is  not the main theme of the course. He  was looking through the Status of Women in Canada and says that a lot of  the changes have been made. He says  he would change roles with a housewife  any day.  But I reminded him of all  the responsibilities of being a mother  and wife.  Overall I really enjoy Women's Studies.  I would recomend this course to  any student that asks if its worthwhile taking. This year is the first  year of Women's Studies in high school  and I think it should be continued to  be taught.£  When our class of Women's Studies  first began in September, it was  everything I thought it would be and  everything I wanted it to be. We took  the stereotyping etc. section and it  presented many opportunities for interesting discussions from all of us  in the class.  Now we seem to be heading more towards  a Social Studies class centered around  women, with topics such as Women in  History, Women in Economics etc.  But  this isn't bad; some of the material  is quite interesting.  But I would  like to do more field work — like  field trips or going out and talking  to people — rather than sitting in  class writing reports, and taking  notes. However, I realize that there  has to be a certain amount of substantial information, for tests etc., so  maybe we can work the two together.  Everything we've done so far has seemed important to me.  I've found myself  more alert and aware of subtle things  that are happening around me, such as  sexist comments from people make themselves known to me whereas before I  wouldn't have thought twice about. 9  E£  I have learned a lot about women since  I have been in this course. There was  so much going on around me and I had  no idea it was even there, for example how people think.  I never really  thought about what people say about  women.  #  mm  <*x*&  M&r^i  LL^S<-  When I talk to girlfriends about  school, what classes I'm taking, I  mention woman studies, everyone seems  very interested and wants me to explain everything.  When I talk to guys about the course  they all think we're all just a bunch  of women libbers. #  I feel that Women's Studies is one of  my more interesting courses.  I have  learnt a great amount about women of  the past and present, in such a short  amount of time. The reason probably  being that I was never taught about  women in any of my other courses,  although I feel that in some cases the  study of women should have been taught  in many of my other classes.  It is  too bad that the school curiculum does  not realize that women are a part of  this world, an important part at that.  I'm glad that this course has been  set up as it is "very much a part of my  life. Learning about myself is  essential.  #  BGNGFICIAL  This course has been extremely beneficial to my family life. We can sit  as grown people and discuss what is on  our mind, and all be treated fairly.  Previous to this, my father believed a  "women's place was in the home". When  I would get home I would help do dishes, cook dinner, and then the dinner  dishes. A year or so before I was  introduced to this course I participated in some meetings on equal rights  among some university students. Then  with patience and assertiveness, I  have slowly convinced my father that  we are all the same. Now, after I  have had time to think about it, my  father really wasn't all that  shauvinist.  Assertiveness was of the greatest  asset to me, it has brought great  results.  I am willing to learn anything for I know only what I have  been taught so far, and it has proved  profitable, why not in the future.£  Let's Hear It  For  WOMCN'S STUDICS  I am thoroughly enjoying W.S. and it  is a very eye-opening class which  makes you more aware of things that  went on in the past which I never  knew about before. My first expectations about women's studies was that  it was a course which looked at women  in the home environment, and different  women in different walks of life. The  things that I have learned that are  important to me is when we did the  Assertive Training section.  I like  learning about what women have accomplished and are accomplishing today.  I would like to learn about what results and/or failures the women's  movement is having and exactly what  they are accomplishing, because it  seems that results are slow.  People  in this school and many others which  do not go to it are under a misconception, they think just because you're  in this class you are a women's libber. As a result of this class an  ex-boyfriend of mine and I got into a  conversation about marriage and working, he is against marriage, does not  want kids and wants to go to parties  all his life.  I want to work, go  travelling and eventually marry and  have kids, but even if I have kids I  intend to work, but he says if you get  married, the woman should stay in the  home.  In other words he's in favour  of male freedom and not the same for  both people involved.  I am becoming  more aware of the male dominance in  English and business, and am interested in what is being done.  I am more  aware of people's opinions concerning  the roles of men and women. This  course should be in all High Schools  in B.C, it would make people more  aware. #  The one thing that sticks in my mind,  that I would say would be the most  important thing I've learned, is the  discrimination against women. You  really don't realize or see it when  you're at school. When it's pointed  out though, you sit back and say,  "Wow!"  £  SGLF RGSPGCT  One of the most important things that  I have learned in this class is self-  respect for myself and also how to  attain respect from others. The first  step that any woman or women's group  must take is the attaining of respect  from the rest of society.  Before we  can achieve this respect we have to  learn about ourselves. Women's Studies is the first major step in this  direction, a 17  Gayla Reid  "I come here for my survival", commented one parent, and the others  agreed.  I was asking women and men  why they came to Family Place, 2505  Dunbar.  What do they find there? Family Place  is a converted storefront on Dunbar  just off Broadway. There's a large  playroom at the back of the building,  with lots of diversions for children:  trampolines, crayons and paint, a  slide, books, scooters.  And other  children. More toys than you can ever  muster at home; and other children.  The playroom is open for pre-schoolers  three times a day, Monday through  Friday. Any person can bring a child  for one session a day, provided that  they stay within reach at the centre  to be responsible for the child.  Times are 9 am - 10.30 am; 11.00 am -  12.00 am; and 1.30 pm - 3.00 pm.  While your children is amusing her/him  self in the playroom, there's a drop-  in area where you can have coffee and  talk with the other women and men who  bring children along.  There's a volunteer staff of 50 at  Family Place, who rotate shifts.  There's also a full-time, paid staff  of five: two regular staffers and  three Canada Workers. Arlene  Gladstone Gropper, old-time VSW member  and on last year's VSW executive, is  the coordinator at Family Place. We  talked with her, and with Canada Works  staffers Juddy Ritter and Jim Moats.  "Family Place is not just a place for  children"-, Arlene stressed.  "It's a  community place.  Older people are  welcome, childless people are welcome.  We want people to come for whatever  they need to find here." For parents,  that's often a chance to talk, to  catch up on schoolwork, or to simply  sit and stare at the wall for a bit.  For older people, it's a chance to be  round kids. And for the kids, it's a  place to be around each other and to  relate to different adults.  Jim Moats, one of the playroom supervisors, told us that the centre used  to be open for children and adults all  day long.  "But because of the funding  cutbacks, we've had to organize these  Above: Child making good use of the Family Place  playroom.  Below:  Women with children at Family  Place.  three shifts." Family Place receives  slender funding from the Ministry of  Human Resources, and has recently  opened a thrift store, in an effort to  become self-sufficient. The store, at  the front of Family Place, features  children's clothing and toys.  "Family Place was started in 1973 on a  LIP grant, by two women who met each  other at their high school reunion,"  explained Arlene.  "They started exchanging experiences about the isolation  of being at home with young children.  Then and there they decided to do  something about it."  Since then, Family Place has been  through the whole funding hassle and  has had to re-locate to the present  address.  NCW PROGRAMMES  The three Canada Works staff members  have just been hired, which gives Family Place the opportunity to develop  and extend programs.  "We hope to offer a series of programs on practical topics", said Judy  Ritter, "such as nutrition, dental  care and safety for kids, and some  discussions about child development  and child abuse. And we're thinking  of getting some workshope going on  basic carpentry, car maintenance,  self-defense and vegetarian cooking.  We are also experimenting with the  idea of being open some evenings for  childcare."  The centre already has an excellent  library on child development, and extensive resource lists about community  activities.  FRIGNDLY  I found Family Place friendly, informal and not at all clique-ish.  If you  want to take advantage of the services, and contribute your energies to  their growth, call Family Place,  731 2719 or drop in at 2025 Dunbar.  SUPPORT  HEALTH COLLECTIVE  VANCOUVER WOMEN'S HEALTH COLLECTIVE  1520 West 6th Ave  Vancouver, B.C.  IF YOU USE THEIR SERVICES, THEY  NEED YOUR HELP!  Since April, 1977, the Health Collective has been funded primarily  by the Ministry of Health, Provincial Government. On March 31,  1978, this grant will terminate  unless they can prove to the government that their work deserves  further funding for 1978-79.  If you have contacted the Collective for information, referral or  counselling, or if you have participated in a group or study session  organized by the Collective, or if  you've been a patient at the Women's  Self-Help Clinic, PLEASE SUPPORT  THEM BY WRITING A LETTER, however  brief, stating your appreciation of  their services. Letters should be  addressed to:  The Hon. R.H.McCelland  Minister of Health  Parliament Buildings  Victoria B.C.  It must be sent before March 15!  PLEASE HELP THE HEALTH COLLECTIVE  WRITE TODAY! 10  FEMINISM    as    IDEOLOGY  A Response to the Lesbian Caucus  Linda Yanz & David Smith  Capitalism is in crisis.  This is  the context of the renewed debate  in the women's movement over 'where  we go from here'.  We are facing  hard times.  We want to respond  effectively.  We need more and better  analysis so that we can develop  stragegies that will work.  The recent article by the Lesbian Caucus,  "Feminism as Ideology", published in  Kinesis (October) contributed to this  debate but unfortunately added more  confusion than clarification.  There are a lot of disagreements in  the women's movement.  Ideological  struggle is taking place within  groups, over coffee, in study groups  and in the pages of our publications.  The questions are clearer.  The divisions are becoming sharper.  The  questions aren't new and they're  fundamental.  Where do we go from  here? How do we work to best serve  the interests of women - in the short  and long term? How is it that women  are oppressed in this society?  How  can we change it? Who are our enemies and who are our allies in the  struggle for women's emancipation?  It is no accident that these questions are out front again.  In the  last few years we have had successes  and failures.  If we are going to  make progress from here we have to  evaluate our past.  The capitalist  crisis has had a real impact on  women's lives and on our work in the  movement.  We've learned how temporary the gains we've made really  are.  Childcare is available to fewer  women today than three years ago.  Rising unemployment and inflation  means more women need work but there  are fewer and fewer jobs to be found.  It means women are losing the small  inroads they made into the better  paying 'men's jobs'.  And as always,  the crisis means more work for women  in the home.  Where wages buy less  women fill in with more work.  The  crisis has made more and more visible the ways in which capitalism  works against women.  the state  is against us  And we've learned much more concretely  that the state oppresses women.  It  is not on our side.  The state's  repeated attacks on the gains we've  made show us more and more clearly  that the state apparatus is the  instrument of the capitalism class  and is opposed to the liberation of  women.  We now know this applies  whether the particular party in  power is the Liberals, Conservatives  or NDP.  One may be more 'humane' than  the other but they still administer  a capitalist state in the interests  of a capitalist class.  Many of us have paid lip service to  this before, but at the same time  we've depended on the state.  Reforms have often been an end goal.  We've seen the short term gains in  areas like child care as leading in  a simple way to long term changes for  women.  We have thought in terms of  x number of changes in legislation  eventually adding up to women's  emancipation.  Our experience makes  it clear that this is not the way  things work. No reform is secure.  We are involved in a continual struggle to maintain what we've won.  Right now we are losing ground.  The question 'where do we go from  here' can only be given a political  answer.  The Lesbian Caucus suggests  the solutions are to be found by  speculating about what feminism is  and what a feminist Utopia might be.  They try to deduce a political direction from a set of general principles.  Feminism is for them "an analysis of  power relationships" which "embraces  a comprehensive set of values - cooperation, classlessness, demystifi-  cation of knowledge, non-oppressiveness, (and) respect for uniqueness."  It is "concerned with the equalization of power". And finally - it is  based on the principle of "integration" of "these values at all levels  of personal existence/experience and  inter-relating these values on all  levels."  The political ideology that emerges  does not give us a solid starting  point for our work but rather is a  string of abstract terms with little  logical continuity - and more importantly, with little concrete relation to the real political problems  feminists face right now.  The article boils down to a hodge-podge of  wishes for a beautiful future tied  together with a shallow analysis of  capitalist society and its reality  for women.  The article does raise important issues but for the most part they are  lost in the confusion. We've attempted to bring them into focus.  1.  The Lesbian Caucus is right -  capitalism has to go.  Liberation  for all women is not possible under  capitalism.  But we can't just wish  it away with thoughts of decentralization, work in small groups and  cooperation. We need to understand  how capitalism in Canada in 1978 works  and how it works to oppress women.  We need to look concretely at how  developments in capitalism and the  policies of the state over the last  50 years have institutionalized the  dependence of women on men through  the segregation of women in low pay  ing jobs and often by denying them  jobs altogether.  We need to understand the impact this development has  had on relations between women and  men and children in the family. And  we need to understand the class dif-  cerences in women's oppression - not  to deny bourgeois women's oppression  but in order to understand the  real bases of women's oppression  and exploitation. We can't work  to organize a society differently  unless we understand the determinants of women 's oppression in  this kind of society.  2. We agree with the Lesbian Caucus when they say that women's  problems don't end with socialism.  Socialism doesn't offer automatic  solutions for women.  But by suppressing capitalism it does create  qualitatively different conditions  - both economically and politically  - for women's liberation.  It's not easy to see how women in  the women's movement can take up the  struggle for socialism. Our experience and the history of the communist movement gives feminist Marxists  cause for serious concern. All too  often the interests of women get put  aside for a later day.  But it is  important to see that the real problems reflect divisions among potential  allies.  Dorothy Smith's recent Feminism and Marxism is one attempt to  look at these divisions between women  and men in the working class and  revolutionary movement.  It is this  kind of analysis that gives us a  basis for identifying the main enemy  - the capitalist class - and as well  for beginning to understand the divisions that exist among those who  oppose that class. Unity won't just  happen.  Sexism in all classes is a  real practice.  If we are going to  win we have to build the unity of as  many women and men as possible against  the capitalist class and against women's oppression.  vanguard needed  3. When it comes down to proposing  ways of working "Feminism as Ideology" is vague and idealist.  Common  sense tells us we are not going to  overthrow capitalism by working in  'small' 'horizontal' groups. A revolution is not a picnic.  To confront  the bourgeoisie we need to be well  organized and large in number. On  this question the Lesbian Caucus adds  only confusion by opposing vanguard  parties.  The social movement which  overthrows and suppresses capitalism  and builds socialism will need a practical and theoretical leadership.  That is - it will need a vanguard.  Neither women's liberation or socialism are going to be achieved tomorrow  or the next day. To bring these  about'we need to discuss analysis  and strategies openly and concretely  and organize to carry them out.  The  pages of Kinesis are a good place  to begin this discussion. 19  ! China  Continued from page 8  work to increase their own incomes,  but instead to,play a more powerful  collective economic and political role  which, in transforming their own condition, transforms as a result the  lives of everyone else as well.  Such contradictions, Hinton explained,  have resulted in an upsurge of women's  organizing.  WOMCN'S  FCDCRATION  Since 1973, Women's Federation conferences have been held throughout the  country.  During the campaign to criticize Lin  Piao and Confucius, women directed  their grievances with men at the roots  of the Chinese patriarchy, namely,  Confucianism. Women held that responsible for the position they were in  currently.  In efforts to remove some  of these patriarchial attitudes, men  offered to go, upon marriage, to the  villages of their wives, instead of  remaining within the patrilocal system, whereby the man sets up a home in  the house or village of his parents.  BRCAKING  WITH TRADITION  In the early days of New China, women  had always been on revolutionary committees in factories and communes but  had always been forced into positions  for which women were "best suited";  namely, women's work. Women, however,  have recently been breaking with this  binding tradition and have been taking  positions as heads of production in  fields of industry and agriculture.  In closing, Hinton described her disillusionment with her work as a nuclear physicist.  She left the States  knowing what she was against, but not  knowing what she was for; and headed  off to China.  It took her one year before she was  able to get through Kuomintang lines  north to Yenan — birthplace of revolutionary China.  From her vibrant description of her life in China from  that time, she has obviously found  what she was for, and it has clearly  brought her great refreshing hope and  joy.  The evening ended with a discussion  period, during which Hinton made the  following points about the status of  women in rural China:  - There is free abortion on demand  - The pill is in use for contraception.  - There is no difference in educational opportunities for women and men  in rural areas  - Crime, marital problems etc.  are  dealt with at the local,  grass-roots  On the issue of rape,  Hinton said  that she had lived in rural China  for nearly 30 years and has never  heard of a case of rape.    She rides  her bicycle anywhere at any time and  feels very safe.  FCMINISTS HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOUR?  Lorna Boschman  My name is Lorna Boschman . . . I am a  feminist stand-up comedian.  There are not many feminist comics  around; there are even fewer in  Canada. And if any of you are making  a living at it, I'd wish you'd write  me and tell me how you did it . . .  Sometimes I feel like comedy and I are  lovers.  I put a lot into the relationship, but I get so much back emotionally that it's worth the sacrifice  involved.  Through comedy, I have found my voice  politically.  I am one of those women  who is not very good at meetings.  I  am just not the analytical type.  But  you can say as much through a cultural  medium like music, comedy or theatre  as you can in a speech or book. These  are all parts of communication of  ideas that can and do compliment each  other. Besides, there is no rule that  says politics cannot be fun.  I mean,  what politics is all about is having  control of our lives on our terms.  And that better include enjoying life.  Doing it like we want to do it.  For me to be a comedienne is my attempt to control my own life.  I don't  want to dtpend on any man's wages.  I  don't want to toe the line to keep  some job I hate.  I want to be an  independent woman. Which, unfortunately, in this time and place, means  I have to sacrifice some financial  security for emotional stability.  I  don't feel like an outcast, though,  because most women are just getting  by, too. And so, as a comedienne, I  speak from a place they know.  I hope  to be funny for the people who don't  usually like comedians.  We all know why there are so few  famous female painters, writers and  speakers. We stay at home with the  kids and dishes, because we don't have  the money to leave.  Or the money to  live that life on our terms.  If I had had the money these past few  years to work full time on writing and  developing skills performing, who  knows how much better I would be now.  But you do what you can to get by.  In  all modesty, I must admit I am hilarious at times.  I can do wonders for  your emotions, if only for a few  hours.  My material is aimed at women, written  about women's lives and experiences.  I try, as much as is possible, to  perform for audiences dominated by  women: either all women or a reasonably mixed group.  Some men will not  get the jokes unless there's a woman  there to explain something she takes  for granted.  I am not a laughter machine.  I want  to work in situations where there is  some possibility of communication  between all involved.  That is next to  impossible in the middle of a bar room  brawl, for example. Which is not to  say that all bars are hard to work in,  but just that I recognise that there  are times to drink, times to dig the  show and times to do both.  I believe in the importance of my  words and ideas.  The reactions of  others reinforces that belief. The  topics I speak of are varied, ranging  from fat liberation, housework, diets,  jobs, welfare, the Ion Theory, to how  pet stains on your carpets may ruin  your marriage.  I have two characters,  "Mama B.", a daytime T.V. hostess with  hints for the homemaker and "Mary Q.  Normal", whose name says it all.  LORNA BOSCHMAN appears at the FULL  CIRCLE WOMEN'S COFFEE HOUSE, 152 East  8th Ave., February 17 (women only) and  February 22 (women and men). Doors  open 8.30; performance starts 9.30.  'halan county*  is coming  Whatever you do this March, don't  miss Harlan County,  USA.  This incredible movie is coming to  town about March 3, and will be at  either the Varsity or the Dunbar.  Kinesis, July '77 carried a brief  review of Harlan County.  The story is of the striking miners  in Harlan, Kentucky, and of their  struggle to be represented by the  union of their choice.  In the community of Brookside,  the Brookside  Women's Club played a major role  in the strike.  The women's courage  is inspiring, and tremendously  moving.  The movie was directed and produced  by a woman, Barbara Kopple, and the  movie is a testimony to her own  personal strength and political  commitment. 20  GODIVA'S  Doreen Allan  A naked woman, supposedly representing Lady Godiva, was lead on a horse  through the UBC campus in January.  The event celebrated Engineers Week.  Witty engineers accompanied her,  singing "We are/we are/we are the  engineers;/we can/we can/drink forty  beers."  Unfortunately, I was not there to  join the protest, but it was described to me by one of the protesters as being a frightening experience. He said, "It was like the  warriors returning with a prisoner  or the hunters coming home with  their kill." I find this analogy  appropriate, considering the damage  it does to women.  I went up to UBC to speak with  individual engineering students  about their annual events, and to  find out what they are like outside their pack.  They said Lady Godiva is their mascot.  When I asked them, "Why Lady  Godiva?", they didn't have a clue.  One person tried to justify their  parade by comparing Godiva's legendary, unconventional act of charity  to the engineers' "witty" acts of  charity.  (They raise money for some  band-aid causes during Engineers'  Week.)  Godiva was an eleventh century English woman who rode through the  streets naked to urge her husband  to abolish a heavy tax.  Godiva's famous ride has nothing to  do, in fact, with men humiliating  and degrading a woman to prove their  power over her.  4ito ^ «2  HUMOUR  The engineers' paper, Red Rag, appeared on the scene during the festivities.  It contains a plethora of  gross jokes that particularly contribute to the oppression of women.  One cartoon depicted a male character violently raping a female character. Rape is funny? There were  "humourous" titles, such as Ram Her  Inc. and "jokes" comparing the odour  of female genitals to that of a dead  fish. Red Rag is about 90% sexist,  but there are also racist and anti-  gay jokes.  The only things it does  not attack, violate and criticise,  are their almighty penises, which  are clearly depicted as weapons.  The protest against the Lady Godiva  ride came in the wake of an attack,  on the women's office at the UBC  student union building. Women's  Committee posters were stolen and  photographs of nude women taped to  the walls.  Damage is estimated at  $100.  The engineers' annual activities are  just examples of countless attempts  by the state to perpetuate male domination and female oppression. They  are not to be taken lightly.  PROSTITUTION  GOES TO  COURT  Prostitution isn't prohibited under  the Criminal Code in Canada, but  soliciting for the purpose of prostitution is..  What exactly is soliciting? The  word is defined neither in the Criminal Code nor in the Interpretation  Act.  Vancouver lawyers Anne Roundthwaite  and Tony Serka challenged the fuzzy  nature of the word "soliciting" in  the Supreme Court of Canada on November 30. A decision is expected at  any time.  They were appealing the conviction  of a 23-year-old Vancouver woman who  had been charged with soliciting  outside a Vancouver hotel in 1975.  She was acquitted once and convicted  twice.  "SOLICITING" LEGAL?  Roundthwaite and Serka comment that  in the absence of any legal definition, "soliciting" must be understood  as "pressing, persistent conduct",  as this is the dictionary definition  which comes closest to describing  how we normally use the word.  Ontario case law, moreover, supports  that definition.  Hopefully, if the  Supreme Court rules in their favour,  B.C. will have to operate within the  boundaries of that definition, too.  TWO WOMEN REPLACED BY THREE MEN  Two women doctors have won their  fight against discrimination through  the intervention of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.  The two  women were on the staff of a small  Toronto hospital when they were terminated and three male surgeons  hired in their place.  The marital status of the complainants was a contributing factor in  their dismissal.  The hospital considered that it was justified in  letting the women go because they  were not "principal breadwinners".  The women were also subjected to  other forms of petty discrimination  such as being referred to as "the  girls", being denied the opportunity  to examine patients, and having to  share one locker whereas each of  the men had his own.  The Commission commented: "..making  hiring decisions on the basis of the  breadwinner concept...is in violation of human rights." It also  pointed out that the breadwinner  concept always crops up in times of  economic recession. (Women's Bureau  Newsletter, Ontario Ministry of  Labour info) 21  NDP  One For The Album  A loose group of women street theatre  players gave their premier performance  at the Bloedel Conservatory recently.  Their "Mock Marriage" was a spontaneous performance stimulated by the  nauseating procession of wedding part  ies that choose the Conservatory for  their ceremonial photographs.  Some of this group are continuing to  meet to work on street theatre pieces  of March 8, International Women's Day.  Research Team Continues  The Women's Research Team has received a grant of $8,725 from the  Secretary of State to continue its  research project until March 31.  This educational phase of the project will include distribution of  their publication Update on the  Status ot Women m B.C., and workshops with women's groups throughout the province.  The research team will be holding  a number of workshops during March  to share the results of their research. Women's groups anywhere in  the province who are interested in  a workshop presentation should contact the Women's Research Team, c/o  Vancouver Status of Women, 2029 W.  4th Avenue, Vancouver for details.  Queen Charlotte Women  Queen Charlotte City Women's Group has  begun work on Canada Works Project:  Mobilization.  Our proposal outlines  two specific parts of the project.  Part I will be concerned with the  Re-Cycled Fabrics Workshop. This workshop will be initiating a variety of  re-cycling projects that use fabrics  as the major material.  The first big  project will be the design and creation of several tapestries which will  be given to the community of Queen  Charlotte City for the purpose of  decorating our new community hall.  Part I will be involved with many  other types of fabric related crafts  and every Saturday morning we will be  by Nancy McCreary  giving workshops, which will be open  to the public on a wide variety of  topics.  Part II of the proposal outlines the  development and expansion of the Resource Library and files which we  have been assembling during the past  few years.  The staff for Part II will  also be involved in giving workshops  which will be designed to share the  information with the public.  Our address is: Queen Charlotte  Women's Group, PO Box 387, Queen  Charlotte City, B.C. VOT ISO.  Have You Written Your Support Letter Yet?  continued from p.  4  During the course of discussion it was  pointed out that the NDP Standing  Committee on Women's Rights was founded on the premise that women should  organize inside the NDP and have a  responsibility for bringing forward  policy on women's issues.  This was  the basis of its winning recognition  by the party in the early 1970's as an  official standing committee on women's  rights.  Countering a comment that the committee has been ineffective in influencing the party to accept women's  goals, several women pointed to the  comprehensive body of policy on women's rights that has been developed  by the Committee and adopted at  Provincial Conventions.  It was recognized that women's rights are not a  priority with the party leaders. Recently a motion approved in Convention  for full-time women's organizer was  omitted from the party's budget. The  Women's Committee has been repeatedly  refused representation on the Provincial Election Planning Committee.  It was agreed that one of the tasks of  the Women's Committee is to educate  the party leaders and Provincial  Council on women's issues.  women's issues  A discussion paper on the goals and  objectives of the Women's Committee as  expressed in the conference workshops  is being prepared.  A proposal for  restructuring the Steering Committee  of the Women's Committee is also being  prepared for debate.  Guest Speaker Judy Wasylycia-Leis,  Federal Women's Organizer, asked B.C.  women to supply her with the data she  needs to show Broadbent and other NDP  leaders that B.C. women "are suffering  and looking for a political alternative." We must convince them, she  said, that candidates can benefit from  stressing women's issues in their  campaigns.  She reported that the  federal Election Planning Committee  were astounded at statistics showing  how dismally the Party has failed in  attracting women's votes.  The conference passed a resolution  forming a Provincial Women's Election  Planning Committee to gather material  on patterns of women voters, to determine women's issues for campaigns, to  present the information to the Provincial Election Committee, to ensure  that the material is presented to  candidates and election workers. This  information will be shared with Judy  Wasylycia-Leis.  The Women's Committee  also hopes to be able to cooperate  with the B.C. Federation of Labour in  their program of public education on  unemployment, by providing information  on unemployment and cutbacks affecting  women. A Search Committee was set up  to find women candidates for provincial and federal councils.  A telegram was sent to Premier Bennet  protesting Labour Minister Williams  failure to set up Human Rights  inquiries and stressing the support of  the Women's Committee for Kathleen  Ruff and her work.  thanks to Jo Lazenby,  former editor  of Kinesis for this information ! 22  SORWUC  Dear Sisters;  We would like to thank you for all the  time and energy you spent helping us  while we were on strike.  It was your support that made it possible for us to win a first contract.  In fact, your solidarity was an inspiration to all of us as to just how  much strength there is in unity.  For the past three weeks, we have  been writing and mailing letters of  thanks to all those who expressed  their solidarity by walking the line  and/or making financial donations.  We have a lot more to do, but in some  cases, only have a first name and no  phone number or address.  Please  accept this open letter as a personal  thanks from us.  All of you in the  Women's movement supported us because  you recognized that we are trade  unionists and feminists and because  you know how important it is for  working women to stand up together,  for themselves.  If you would like more details of the  contract covering the staff of Bimini,  or other SORWUC information, please  contact us.  We would like to hear  from you.  A very special thanks to the staff of  VSW whose time, incredible energy,  patience, and facilities were invaluable.  This is a good beginning for waitresses and it is only through what we all  experienced during our struggle that  waitresses and other working women can  continue to fight for their rights.  Thank you again, and remember, it's  your victory too.  In solidarity  SORWUC at Bimini  WORKERS ON THIS ISSUE:  Doreen Allen,  Janet. Beebe,  Lyn Buckle,  Judith Burke,  Portland Frank,  Gayla  Reid.  CREDITS: All graphics from Liberation  News Service,  except for p.   20,   22:  Emergency Librarian.  ABOUT THE COVER:  In. 1963,  floods destroyed much of the  crops of the Tachai commune in northern China.  A group of approximately  20 young women,  aged 13 - 17 formed  a shock brigade and set to work to  salvage as much of the crops as possible.  They far exceeded the quota  given out by the Party branch and  thus won the name  "Iron Girls Team  of Tachai. "  CRITICISM  KINESIS:  I read with great interest Holly  Devor's comments on the materials  anonymously sent to her and other  individuals and groups connected  with the so-called women's movement in Vancouver ("What is a  radical?", Kinesis, December 1977).  Although I am in general agreement  that the tactic of anonymous mailings is "disruptive and irresponsible", and that it creates "paranoia and anger" in the receivers,  I take issue with Holly's suggestion  that women (who received the mailings) , "if approached openly, could  be involved in productive discussion".  As someone who does not operate  anonymously and who has approached  many of the women in question openly,  in public meetings, in pursuit of  "productive discussion", only to be  royally abused, attacked, slandered  and threatened, in a word, "trashed",  I can understand why others would  want to avoid a similar fate.  The  hostile treatment of critics and  questioners, as described by Cady  Williams and myself in our leaflet,  "When is the 'women's movement' not  a women's movement?" (November 1977),  results understandably in people  having to take cover when offering  criticisms, unless they are personally strong enough and/or politically  experienced enough to take the abuse  that they are likely to get.  Unless Holly Devor is willing to recognize a possible cause-and-effect  link between this kind of treatment  of critics and the anonymous mailings,  her request for "person(s) responsible to identify themselves and explain their intentions...and to make  themselves available for discussion  both of the issues raised by their  paper and the techniques used to  distribute it", can only be regarded  as hypocritical if not downright dishonest.  It smacks too much of "why  don't you stand up to be counted -  so we can shoot you down", to be regarded as sincere.  As long as the  abusive treatment of critics continues - and as long as no public  self-criticism is forthcoming from  the women who have either partaken  in or approved of such treatment,  either actively or passively - a  number of women who have criticisms  to offer and questions to ask on  any issues related to the building  of a women's movement, are either  silenced or forced to operate with  anonymity.  In either case it is a  loss to all women.  Yours, for open and principled  struggle  Marjaleena Repo  2621 Charles Street, Vancouver  Kinesis  is published monthly by the  Vancouver Status of Women.  It's objectives are to enhance understanding  about the changing position of women  in society and to work actively towards achieving change.  Views expressed in Kinesis  are those  of the writer and DO NOT necessarily  reflect VSW policy. All unsigned  material is the responsibility of  Kinesis  editorial and production crew.  SUBMISSIONS:  VSW welcomes submissions  from the feminist community and in  particular, from VSW members. We do  reserve the right to edit, and submission does not guarantee publication.  Include a SASE if you want your work  returned.  CORRESPONDENCE — Kinesis, Vancouver  Status of Women, 2029 West 4th Avenue,  Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1N3.  You can help our subscription base by  delivering free copies in your community.  Call VSW and we'll send you  some: 736-3746.  Membership to Vancouver Status of  Women is by donation and Kinesis  is  mailed monthly to all members.  Individual subscriptions to Kinesis  are $8.00 per year and we would ask  members to base their donations on  this and their own financial position.  For information on union organizing or the  women's programme of the B.C. Federation of  Labour, please contact:  Director of Women's Programmes  B.C. Federation of Labour  3110 Boundary Road  iurnaby, B.C.  V5M 4A2  • 1    430-1421 23  -j^imrfHwij  WOMAN ALIVE  VSW Weekly TV Show  February programme  Woman Alive is shown every Wednesday  night, 9.30 on Channel 10 in  Vancouver.  Feb 15 — Interview with women from  New LIFE (Living is for  Everyone) Centre — which is  a resource centre for widowed, separated and divorced  women  Feb 22 — "A Sign of Affection" —  This is a video on wife battering made by Peg Campbell  for the United Way Task  Force on Family Violence.  Includes Peg's interview  with Vander Zalm, with him  saying he tries to keep  families together . . .  A special series on Women in the Arts  will begin in March.  SELF ADVOCACY  WOMEN'S SELF-ADVOCACY. VSW now holds  workshops where you can work with  other women who have similar legal  problems to yours. If you want help  about your separation, divorce, or family court problems, give us a call.  Workshop times are Sundays: 1.00 to  3.00 pm; Mondays and Mondays & Tuesdays, 7.30 - 9.00 pm.  Call Mercia  or Carol, at VSW for more details.  ASSERTIVENESS  ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING AND CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING. VSW runs regular sessions in both. Call Susan, 736 3746  for details.  CR FACILITATORS SOUGHT  At VSW, we are looking for facilitators for Consciousness Raising  Groups. If you are interested, call  736 3746 and ask for Susan.  REFERENCE LIBRARY. VSW has an extensive reference library on topics of  relevance to feminists. If you are  a student, and are woking on research  in areas related to the women's movement, drop by the office from 9-5  weekdays. Call Mercia 736 3746 for  more information.  COMMUNITY ACTION. VSW is now organizing feminist groups in Marpole,  South Vancouver and Kitsilano. If  you live in any of these areas and  want to work within your own community on women's issues, call Susan  at 736 3746 for information.  COFFEEHOUSE  FULL CIRCLE COFFEEHOUSE  152 East 8th Avenue, Vancouver (874 7119)  FEBRUARY SCHEDULE  Opens at 8.30 - performance at 9.30  Admission $2.00  WEDNESDAYS (open to women & men)  Feb. 15: EDDIE McKENZIE and  AUDIE O'BEHRA  -both singers and guitarists  from Vancouver  Feb. 22: LORNA BOSCHMAN  -see Feb. 17  FRIDAYS (women only)  Feb. 17: LORNA BOSCHMAN  -feminist comedian from  Toronto  Feb. 24: EDDIE McKENZIE  -local singer and guitarist  SUNDAY NIGHTS — Drop-in for women  only (free)  JAM SESSIONS — 2nd & 4th Thursdays  Feb. 9 & 23  (free)  SPECIAL EVENTS  Monthly social happening: lounge-like  atmosphere.  Saturday Feb. 4th  at 8.30.  $1 Women only  WOMCN'S FILMS  Throughout February, Thursday evenings  at the National Film Board cinemas,  1161 W.Georgia, are devoted to women's  films. WOMEN IN FOCUS has organized  the series.  Feb 16 "The Amazing Equal Pay Show"  (50 mins); "Take Off" (10 mins); "China Moon" (15 mins); "Maxine" (13 mins).  Feb 23 "Some American Feminists, New  York, 1976" (55 mins); "Emancipation  of Women" - Pts 1 & 2; "Lavender" (13  mins).  STRATEGY MEETING  WOMEN'S MOVEMENT  STRATEGY MEETING  SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1978  12 NOON - 5 PM : COME FED  Date:  Time:  Place:  BRITANNIA COMMUNITY CENTRE  1661 Napier Street  Room L2, L3 above library  Refreshments Provided  Suggested Agenda  A Who or what are our enemies?  B Looking for the women's movement  For FREE CHILDCARE, phone 874-2564  before Februrary 8, 1978.  WOMEN'S STUDIES  B.C. WOMEN'S STUDIES ASSOCIATION  SPRING CONFERENCE  Date:   SATURDAY, MARCH 18  Time:   9 AM registration  Place:  UBC, ARTS ONE BUILDING  For registration information, contact Frances Wasserlein, Co-ordinator, B.C.Women's Studies Assoc,  c/o 517 East Broadway, Vancouver.  Telephone: 879 1219  PEOPLE'S  LAW SCHOOL  Feb. 16 — SEPARATION AGREEMENTS  When a married couple separates, they  should set the terms of their separation down on paper. A free seminar  on Thursday, February 16 will explain  how to draft, finalize, and enforce a  separation agreement.  The seminar will run from 7.30 to  9.30 pm at the Britannia Community  Centre Library, 1661 Napier Street.  Separation Agreements  is sponsored by  the Vancouver People's Law School.  It is free and open to the public,  but please pre-register at 734 1126  to ensure that space is available.  i  Full Circle    X  Piano Benefit **  Saturday Feb 18th.  Full Circle  Piano Benefit,  at the Scottish Auditorium,   1605 W.12th Ave.   $4.00 admission,  8.00pm.  Performers:  FERRON,   CAROL STREET,  MAGGIE SAVAGE AND JUDY FOGELQUIST.

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