Kinesis, February 1981 Feb 1, 1981

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 o  *• VSW: We're ten years  old this month, and that's  something to celebrate  ■ ' Nine to Five: It's a  good experiment in  women's fighting humour  © Women and Imperialism: how a local study  group is discovering the  connections and building  solidarity  ■ " Herotica is pleasant,  exuberant and rather pink  7 in El Salvador, women  are fighting in the struggle  for national liberation  2U Vancouver Rape  Relief reports on who  they are and what they do  8 Chretien proposes  changes in the rape laws;  .^Anderson blasts  Axworthy  2 ■ Want to change the  world but can't find a  babysitter?  9 FEATURE: WORKING  IN AN OFFICE IS  DANGEROUS TO YOUR  HEALTH  22 The high cost of  living is theme for this  year's March 8, IWD  COVER:  That's Karen Richardson  with the cigar and Gene Erringt  with the mug,  Glinda Sutherland  on on the phone.  SUBSCRIBE TO KfMCJIS  Published 10 times a year by Vancouver Status of Women  1090 West 7th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6H 1B3  Subscriber  Member/Subscriber  Institution  Sustainer  $10  By donation  $20  $50  Name  jr     Address  Pavment Enclosed  Phone  Please  remember that  VSW operates on  inadequate  funding — we need member support!  *&<*&. u;L..tctrtSI  FEBRUARY 81  KfM£SIS  news about women that's not in the dailies  \\  V  VSW: CELEBRATING  OUR FIRST TEN YEARS Kinesis February'81  VSW: NOW WE ARE TEN  Notes from the first decade  Vancouver Status of Women is ten years old and proud of it  ByGaylaReid  It all starts with the Royal Commission on  the Status of Women. Between 1967 and  1970, the Commission has been holding iti  cross-Canada hearings.  Pat Thorn, Director of Day Time Programs  at the UBC Centre for Continuing Education!  conceives the idea of holding a conference  on the Commission's findings as soon as  the report is completed.  She lines up the Commission's chairperson,  Florence Bird, and the one-day conference  takes place at Hycroft, home of the University Women's Club.  Out of that conference, attended by 300,  comes a resolution "to set up a coordinating committee to press for government action on the Status of Women report."  On February 7 1970, a group of interested  women meet at the Unitarian Church in Van-j  couver to discuss the formation of such a  committee. The group decides to call itself the Status of Women Action and Coordinating Council (SWACC) and defines its  goals as twofold: to coordinate and initiate study of the report, and to coordinate and initiate action for implementation  of the recommendations in the report.  Next meeting is on February 22, again at  Hycroft. About 150 women show up. At this  time action groups are set up around the  following issues: daycare, family planning,  equal employment opportunities, youth, working mothers and single parents, consumer  advertising, self education, and strategy  and action.  And it is announced at this meeting that  Rosemary Brown will be appointed SWACC's  ombudswoman. The Province coverage of the  February 22 events features Brown and carries the headline: "She sees her role as  one of justice."  Joan Wallace, who serves as president of  VSW for the first two years, fills in some  of the details of what was happening in  the first few months of our life:  "A temporary executive was elected, with  directions to set up a permanent organization and hold proper elections as quickly as  possible. The temporary executive met weekly for several months and by June 1971 we  had a speakers' bureau (headed by Anne Marie Sweeney), started a newsletter (edited  by Ann Petrie), launched a public relations  program that involved many of us in radio,  TV and newspaper coverage (Joan Wallace)  and written a constitution (Anne Marie Swe-  \ eney, Rosemary Brown and Dorothy Giles).  In May, our constitution was passed and in  June our first official elections were  held." (Quoted from Kinesis, 1975)  The SWACC newsletter comes out monthly and  carries news of action groups and an ombuds  report. The October 1971 issue comments:  "SWACC is now eight months old and continues  to flourish in numbers if not in finances.  Membership now stands at over 300."  Our first home: 1045 West Broadway  The SWACC newsletter of January 31 1972  has some interesting news:  "The executive met to inspect and approve  for office use the premises at 1045 West  Broadway, and the verdict was that the  central location, coupled with the reasonable rental price of $90 a month made it  an attractive place for our first permanent headquarters."  An appeal follows for everything from filing cabinets and chairs to cups and teakettles. Some of the items donated are  no doubt in use today.  We also learn that the thinking  of changing its name, as the initials  SWACC are- already registered in Victoria  under the Societies Act by some other  group. In following newsletters, the initials SWC, for Status of Women Council,  Ten women from the first deaade. Top row (L to R) : Jo Lazenby, Carol Pfeiffer and  Meroia Stiokney. Middle row: Diana Ellis, Carol Norman, Sue Moore, Rosemary Brown.  Bottom: Johanna den Hertog, Miriam Gropper and Lee Masters.  take over as an abbreviated form of SWACC.  It is not until April 1973 that the group  is finally registred in Victoria under the  name, Vancouver Status of Women.  The ombudswoman reports that the Legislative Committee, an action group, has submitted a brief to the provincial government on the proposed Family Relations Act  — Bill #30. She comments: "Although the  new bill incorporated some of the recommendations outlined in our earlier brief,  it failed to accept the basic concept outlined in Recommendation #107 of the Royal  Commission on the Status of Women, that  of equal partnership in marriage...."  The push for full and immediate community  property, and for the recognition of marriage as a partnership of equals becomes  a central struggle at Vancouver Status of  Women over the next three years.  Members of VSW participate in five working  groups of the Family and Children's Law  Commission — the Berger Commission —  which is struck in December 1973. When,  in April 1975, the Commission's proposals  are formally tabled in the Legislative  Assembly, we are still advocating that  the roles of economic provider and of home-  maker are of equal value in the relationship.  Fighting for equal partnership  This campaign remains a feature of all  VSW's work. When the Family Relations Act  is finally introduced in B.C. and takes  effect in April'1979, it is thoroughly appraised by Jillian Ridington and Ruth Busch,  who then publish;their findings in the July  1980 issue of Kinesis. There they point out  that the concept of equal partnership in  marriage is still not in force.  Throughout 1972 the Status of Women Council  is operating action groups and speaking out  on women's issues.  It is also building a  reference library. The January newsletter  tells us: "Alice James, SWC Resources Coordinator, has available a general reading  list and a growing library of books related  to Status of Women, Women's Liberation and  related topics."  Early in 1972 the group gets a LIP grant.  Status, Anyone?, VSW's first publication,  is researched and published under that  grant.  Described as a mini-commission and modelled on the Royal Commission on the Status  of Women, Status, Anyone? is based on  interviews with Lower Mainland women.  The discrimination is unhappily up-to-date  Many of its findings touch upon discrimination which is all-vtoo-current. For example: 75$ of the women interviewed who  were between the ages of 30 and 50 indicated that they would make use of daycare  facilities if they were available. Two-  thirds of the women questioned felt there  was a need for round-the-clock daycare.  VSW's work arousing public attention to  daycare and other issues is not confined  to the Lower Mainland, however. On February 1973 the Prince George Citizen reports  that Carole Anne Soong (Education Chairperson on the first VSW executive) is in  town decrying the lack of "after school► VSW: NOW WE ARE TEN  daycare, infant centres and 24--hour centres for women employed at shift work."  Liaison with groups across B.C. is another  feature of VSW work. Minutes from 1972  meetings are peppered with references to  women's groups in Kelowna, ^Nelson, Nana-  imo, and so on.  Funding is a theme which runs through  VSW history. In February 1973 we read  in the newsletter that "our request for  a LIP grant to continue our office and  our ombudservice was turned down by the  Vancouver office of Canada Manpower... the  Status of Women Council's financial position is therefore critical...."  Three years later, in May 1976, financial  matters are equally pressing/depressing:  "Funding for all types of services is  very tight (writes VSW president Nancy  Conrod, in Kinesis) ... The general climate seems to be against our maintaining  grants for our operations."  The comment in 1977 is somewhat more blunt:  "We go through this hell every year." In  1978, when VSW is granted only half of its  operating budget by Provincial Secretary  Grace McCarthy, the organization takes to  the streets. Pickets go up outsirde the  local McCarthy offices, and all her phone  lines are tied up for weeks.  Lobbying for a ministry of women's rights  Lobbying for a provincial ministry of women' s rights is a Status of Women Council  concern in '72 and '73. The idea is to  have a ministry of women's rights "to be  headed by a woman...the purpose of such a  ministry would be to look after the needs  of all the women in the province, including Indian women and those belonging to  minority groups." (Newsletter, Dec '72)  Another focus of activities in 1973 is the  Western Conference Opportunties for Women.  Co-sponsored by Daytime Programs of Continuing Education at UBC and Vancouver  Status of Women, the conference examines  "the particular needs of women in the  areas of counselling, education training  and employment." It is, the newsletter  states,"the first attempt anywhere in Canada to attack this problem."  Vancouver Transition House started  Work around the issue of violence against  women is another theme which runs consistently through the first ten years of VSW's  history.  A note from Janice Booth in the Vancouver  Status of Women Newsletter of June 1973  reads: "The original work and project description for the 'Women in Transition'  house was done by a concerned group who applied for a LIP grant in November 1972...."  Their application is turned down.  Booth continues: "The existing group of  people formed after the April General Meeting of the Status of Women Council in the  belief that a Transition House is too important a need to depend on the granting  of LIP monies for its start."  In July 1973, Booth reports that the group  is presenting briefs to Norm Levi, then  Human Resources Minister, and to the city  social services committee.  In September, 1973, we hear from Janice  Booth again: "Vancouver City Council has  accepted our project to provide a Transition House for women in crisis situations."  Equal pay: always a VSW priority issue  Equal pay for equal work is always a VSW  priority. Early in 1973 we learn that  Hanne Jensen and Aileen Cassity have won  their case against Office Assistance Vancouver Ltd. regarding equal pay, and have  returned to work.  They find, however, that  working conditions are impossible, due to  sustained management harassment. VSW points  out that had the Human Rights Commission  acted with their full powers and awarded  the women the retroactive pay they were  entitled to by reason of the discrimination, the situation could have been alleviated. Jensen (VSW vice president in 73-74-),  goes on to work for the Human Rights  Branch in B.C., while the manager of Office  Assistance is the winner of VSW's first MCP  award in the business category.  The major MCP award, handed out at VSW's  February birthday party in '73, goes to the  Premier, Dave Barrett. Barrett had supported women's rights while in opposition but  "after a resolution had been passed by his  own party that a ministry of women's rights  be established, he said this did not have  a high priority in his government."  This cartoon was featured on the cover  of the September 1973 Newsletter.  Below,  another 1972 Newsletter plus the  Kinesis cover from May,   1974.  Daycare is always prominent among VSW concerns. An ombudswoman in 1973, Roberta  Schlosberg, completes a daycare brief which  indicates that "less than 3%  of the 45,000  children of working mothers in Vancouver  alone have access to any kind of group daycare ."  In May 1974 the Western Canadian Women's  News Service is formed and works out of  VSW for two years, bringing the feminist  news to an ever-growing network across  the province.  VSW removes "the longer the better"  Strong action groups in '74 and '75 focus  on Media Action and Letter Lobbying. After  a campaign by the Media Action Group in  May 1974, Benson and Hedges withdraws an  offensive cigarette advertisement depicting  a woman's legs with the caption 'the longer  the better'.  The letter lobby deals with a different  women's issue each month.  September 1975,  for example, targets weaknesses in the  provincial Maternity Protection Act. VSW  calls for a complete prohibition upon firings and lay-offs solely because of pregnancy, a guarantee that a mother can return to the same job at the same pay, and  other provisions.  Action on maternity rights continues as  VSW survives. In September 1977 it launches a fund-raising campaign so that the  Stella Bliss case can go to the Supreme  Court. VSW also undertakes to publicize  the Bliss challenge to sexist Section 46  of the UIC Act, which denies regular UIC  benefits to pregnant women. When, in the  fall of 1978, the Supreme Court rules  against Bliss, claiming that nature, not  UIC, discriminates against women, VSW  protests.  kinesis  Removal of discrimination from the Indian  Act — whereby an Indian woman who marries  a non-Indian loses her status — is something. VSW lobbies for throughout the 1970s.  In 1971, VSW writes to the Prime Minister  in support of Recommendations 92, 93, 97,  106 and 137 of the Royal Commission on  the Status of Women, which call for an end  to the loss of status through marriage.  In 1973, when the ease of Jeannette Laveil  goes to the Supreme Court, VSW lobbies in  her support. And in 1980, when Sandra  Lovelace challenges the Indian Act at the  UN, VSW is once more involved in support  work.  Sexism in education is attacked by VSW at  all levels. When the provincial advisory  committee on sex discrimination in public  education is set up in June 1974, VSW is  represented there. VSV] works closely with  Reva Dexter — a long-time VSW member —  who is special advisor to the minister.  The Education Action Group reviews books  and recommends changes. It also produces  a series of publications to help spread  the word about non-sexist approaches to  school materials. And it undertakes innumerable speaks in schools.   1975, International Women's Year, opens to  some wary comments from VSW ombudswoman  Roberta Schlosberg: "International Women's  Year is like a pomegranate — promising  on the outside but filled with precious  little meat."  By October 1975 Nancy Conrod is writing to  a MLA's : "Vancouver Status of Women is  appalled at provincial inaction on women's  rights legislation, programs and funding  miring International Women's Year...We understand the recommendations of the Berger  Commission on Matrimonial Property are  considered a 'dead issue' by politicians ' labour standands legislation has  not been forthcoming as regards maternity  protection...."  As part of the inadequate IWY programming,  VSW undertakes a community outreach project in the fall of '75, taking to 12 community centres information and resource  materials on daycare, employment, sex-role  stereotyping and more.^ Kinesis February '81  VSW: NOW WE ARE TEN  In other IWY activity, VSW and the YWCA  co-sponsor a study of women and immigration.  One of the finest features of 1975 is the  high level of membership participation in  action groups ranging from verbal self-  defence to federal letter lobbying.  Human rights: an ongoing VSW concern  Human rights become an issue VSW needs to  address time and time again throughout the  decade. In April 1975, Kinesis reports,  the first case of alleged sex discrimination is heard by a board of inquiry under  the new Human Rights Code, enacted October  1974. Noreen Ann Warren told the board  that she felt she had been refused tenancy  of a house because she is a female single  parent.  The state of human rights in B.C. is an  abiding cause for concern. January 1977's  Kinesis points out that "the refusal of  this government to set up boards of inquiry  has made a mockery of human rights in this  province...."  Federal human rights is also an area needing action. Dorothy Holme, the diligent  coordinator of the letter lobby in the  mid-seventies (and later a member of the  Advisory Council on the Status of Women)  urges Kinesis readers in 1975 to write to  Justice Minister Otto Lang demanding that  he move to set up the federal human rights  commission, as recommended by the Royal  Commission on the Status of Women.  Pushing for the inclusion of sexual orientation in the provincial and federal human  rights codes remains a vital issue at VSW.  Cooperation with other movement groups is  an ongoing part of daily life at VSW. In  November 1973 the Newsletter carries an  article entitled "Coming...A Rape Crisis  Centre", written by Johanna den Hertog.  In this article Johanna (who later joins  VSW as an ombudswoman) comments: "It's  going to take energy, people and cooperation, but within a few months we hope to  have the fundings, facilities and staff to  actually open the phone lines and operate  a Rape Crisis Centre."  The abortion issue, in particular, demands  coalition-based struggle. Year after year  in in the early seventies, letters go off  to Justice Minister Otto Lang, demanding  the removal of abortion from the Criminal  Code. Year after year, VSW participates in  pro-choice rallies. One Saturday in August  1975, for example, VSW women are busy attending a rally organized by CARAL to demand the release of Dr Henry Morgentaler.  Through the summer of 1978, VSW members  help to build pro-choice membership in  Vancouver General Hospital; in the spring  of 1980 VSW women are helping to organize  an information day sponsored by Concerned  Citizen for Choice on Abortion.  Liaison with other parts of the feminist  movement is formalized in 1975 when VSW  attends the founding conference of BCFW;  it is consolidated in the late seventies  when, year after year, VSW members serve  on the BCFW Standing Committee.  From September 1973 until March 1979  VSW inhabits spacious offices at 2029  West 4th, other groups are able to make  extensive•use of the VSW space. BCFW  often meets in the basement, and the Lesbian Drop In makes VSW offices its headquarters for several years.  The Socred victory in B.C. at the end of  1975 sends IWY out on a sour note. By the  12th of January, 1976, the office of the  provincial coordinator of the status of  women has been abolished. Also abolished  is the position of special advisor to the  deparment of education, on sex discrimination, in B.C. schools.  Out of the anger generated by these Socred  attacks comes the Women Rally for Action,  March 22, 1976, in Victoria. It is one of  the biggest political actions ever undertaken by the women in B.C. and the VSW office, as one of the organizational headquarters, hums day and night. Excitement  is tremendous: "Vancouver Status of Women"  (we read in Kinesis) "is one of the groups  helping to coordinate the Rally and women  from all over B.C. are involved. This rally is for every woman in B.C.I Take it  up — tell everyone  about the Rally. Explain it! Promote it! Some people don't  know what it is that we want — tell them!  Help other women see that real changes  are possible!"  Women Rally for Action  was the high point of 1976  Excitement is just as irresistible after  the rally. Kinesis comments: "Women's Rally for action is just a beginning! We  have met with our MLAs and (they)...know  we are out here;we are interested, informed, concerned and determined. And we  must continue to reinforce this realization. Women in every riding must be relentless. ..."  VSW coordinates the collection of information from the rally and publishes three  books — Our Story; Members of the Legislative Assembly Tell Stories and The Rally Story — all of which remain excellent  organizing tools.  Women Rally for Action is a highlight for  all of the VSW women who are involved in  it. Leaving the office after a year of  ombudswork, Johanna den Hertog's comments "  are typical. She says that it gave her  "a tremendous gain in political consciousness and organizational experience."  The ombudservice is historically a vital  part of VSW's work. The first pamphlet  produced by the organization in 1972 reads:  "in the first year of operation, the ombudswoman has provided assistance to women facing discrimination in employment  opportunity, equal pay, rental of living  accommodation and obtaining credit."  When Gene Errington leaves the ombudservice  at the end of 1974 (to accept the IWY appointment as provincial coordinator of the  status of women) she is asked how the ombudservice has changed since she started  in September 1973. She says: "Originally  the service was set. up in a way where women phoned in or wrote about a specific  problem.  "Now the ombudservice still provides individual service but through doing this, it  is now able to see patterns — to see  beyond each individual problem and fit them  into the whole picture. We can work as a  lobbying force and get actively involved  and seek out problem areas — for example,  our work with immigrant women in the labour force, with high school women, women  in unions, with family courts. We're acting now, not reacting."  In June of 1975, the year's annual report  indicates that VSW assists approximately  100 women a month with problems in family  law (50*), labour (205), children (15*),  and in immigration, consumer and miscellaneous affairs (15*).  Further analysis: the oppressive patterns  But while this work is going on, VSW  workers are trying to piece together the  links between organizing and service.  In September 1977 Carol Pfeiffer and Susan  Hoeppner announce VSW's self-advocacy service. Pfeiffer says, "Women who come into  our office for one-to-one service have to  define what their problem is. But it's not  just one problem. It's a whole complex of  problems. And women tend to share that  whole complex of problems with other women.  If the problems are collective, then the  solutions can be reached collectively."►  Faces of 1975-6:    Johanna den Hertog at Women Rally for Action,  on the right in the  top right photo.    Top left is a staff meeting with (L to R) Judy Bourne, Miriam  Gropper, Johanna den Hertog,  Violet Johnson,  Kathy Horrocks and Karen Richardson, m.  Bottom left -is Miriam Gropper.  Bottom right (L to R) Nancy Conrod,  Diana Ellis, Jo  Lazenby and Karen Richardson. VSW: NOW WE ARE TEN  In keeping with this philosophy of collectivism (and demanded by funding cuts), VSW  moves from the professional one-to-one  client model of ombudswork to self-help  clinics. These include programs of consciousness raising, assertiveness training  and self-advocacy skill-sharing workshops  in areas, of family law. Together, women  learn how to prepare their own separation  agreements, how to arm themselves for family court and how to do their own divorce.  By the end of 1978, funding constraints  are eating away even at these services,  and VSW turns more and more towards the  tactic of community organizing.  We must organize women  VSW's community development is based on  the premise that, given the opportunity,  people can solve their own problems, and  together effect social change. In 1977 and  1978, community development is taking place  in South Vancouver and Marpole. Women in  their own communities define the issues  they want to take up. In South Vancouver,  the women decide to tackle the issue of  sex role stereotyping in the local schools  which their children attend.  In addition to these changes, VSW, during  the final years of the seventies, continues to maintain a high media profile. In  1977 the public relations worker, Karen  Richardson, writes: "It has taken VSW its  entire six years of existence to establish a credible reputation with the news  media...(which) now seeks our statements  frequently, as issues arise." In view of  this success, VSW decides to shut down its  community television show, "Woman Alive",  which has been running on a weekly basis  since the fall of 1973.  1977 is the year the Equal Employment Opportunities Program is accepted at City  Hall. VSW is pleased about this, as it has  been lobbying steadily for it since 1975.  When the program is wiped out one chilly  day in February, VSW is aghast.  The summer of 1977 is the time chosen by  the Socreds for the axing of the Vancouver  Resources Board. VSW is extremely active  in the work to mobilize women's protests  against this attack.  The position of women in a violent society  is equally a priority with VSW at the close  of the seventies as it is at the beginning.  As mainstream social service institutions  pick up on the issue of wife battering,  VSW members struggle to keep the issue in  feminist perspective. VSW representatives  serve on the United Way Task Force on Family Violence and later t^ke part in the  Battered Women's Support Services. VSW  women attend conferences, presenting many  briefs and speaking out. This is what Jil-  lian Ridington, for example, does in Calgary in June of 1978.  As the decade passes, the hidden violence  against Women receives feminist attention.  Sexual harassment, prostitution, pornography and incest are issues which join  rape and wife-battering in demanding analysis and organizing.  VSW steadily contributes to research, pub-  lie education and community organizing  around each of these issues. The theoretical work of Debra Lewis, Barb Findlay  and Jillian Ridington, published in Kinesis, will remain valuable contributions.  In support of independent women's unions  Support work for the struggles which touch  women's daily lives is a central component  in VSW's relationship with the community.  VSW takes a position in support of independent women's unions such as AUCE and SOR-  WUC.  In 1977 and 1978 VSW members walk the  picket line with workers from Bimini's, a  neighbourhood pub. The Bimini workers are  unionized with SORWUC and on strike for a  first contract.  The late seventies sees heated-up attacks  upon the rights of lesbian women, and VSW  joins the Coalition Against Discrimination  and marches for lesbian rights.  Media sexism is one more ongoing problem.  Above,  right:    An outreach display at Vancouver Public Library during IWY  Below,  right:    A group of high school women meet to discuss feminism,   VSW 1976  Above,   left:      Susan Hoeppner  (L) and Lee Grills  (R) at Save the VRB protest,   1977  Below,   left:      Jillian Ridington at support rally for prison activists Betsy Wood  and Gay Hoon,  February 1979  ■■■«,.—  VSW members spend a good many hours of the  first ten years sitting on boards to monitor sexism, presenting briefs to bodies  such as the CBC and the CRTC, along with  writing outraged letters. The work done  in 1979 and 1980 by VSW's Sylvia Spring on  the CRTC Taskforce on Sexism in the Media  is but one example.  Government cutbacks and attacks on social  services are also stepped up at the close  of the seventies and accordingly become a  focus for VSW organizing. Carrying signs  reading "Welfare Bums? 8700 Kids and Moms"  and "The only Thanksgiving Turkey is Van-  der Zalm", VSW confronts the Human Resources  Minister Vander Zalm in October 1978.  Also in 1978, VSW comes out in support of  a ward system for the city. Due to the  responsibilities of home and children, VSW  points out, women spend the majority of  their time in their own neighbourhoods:  a ward system would provide an accountable  system accessible to women.  Constitution accepted  Work begins in 1978 on producing a new  constitution for VSW to express the organization's commitment to the abolition of  hierarchies.  So in 1979 Sandra Currie becomes the last  VSW president. She does so with the proviso  that VSW spend the next year wiping out the  position. At the 1980 annual general meeting a new constitution is adopted by which  board members serve on an at-large basis.  Outreach to women who have not had previous  contact with the movement is a major priority at VSW throughout the first decade.  In keeping with this goal, VSW spends 1980  involved in numerous consciousness-raising  and assertiveness training groups as well  as speaking as panelists at conferences, to  the media, to school and community groups.  Welfare rights, women in the home  priorities  With a self-help philosophy developed during the decade, VSW works throughout 1980  helping to set up a welfare advocacy group  in east Vancouver.  In 1980 VSW also develops a program for  women in the home, which is offered through  family places and community centres, church  drops-in and other places where women gather.  Information and referral, resource sharing:  work begun in the early seventies simply  goes on.  Where do we go from here?  At the end of March, VSW has to leave its  current offices at 1090 West 7th. Hopefully  the organization will be able to locate a  storefront rental to facilitate drop-in  for women.  And we're celebrating. Ten years of the  struggle for women's rights is a triumph.  When VSW's founding mothers first began to  meet in February 1971, they simply didn't  dream that ten years down the road, VSW  would be alive and kicking. But it is!  We hope you'll all join us on February  21, 1981. •  VSW: OUR FIRST DECADE  Anniversary Celebration  Saturday February 21st   7 -10 pm  at Hycroft    1489 McRae Avenue  Granville at 16th  7:30-8:30 PROGRAM:  Speakers, Music by Carol Street & Film  WINE & CHEESE  Come Celebrate! Kinesis February '81  INTERNATIONAL  Women and Imperialism: discovering connections  By Morgan MacGuigan  The first in a series of educationals about  women and imperialism took place Sunday,  January 18.  It was an exciting evening,  with about 130 people attending.  As one of the women organizing the event,  I was thrilled. After months of meetings,  discussions, reading and learning, we had  come up with a well-organized event filled  with information and thought-provoking  ideas.  As we said in our introductory statement,  we came together because "we wanted to do  some work on how women are particularly  affected by imperialism." At the same  time, we are all feminists, "aware of the  ways our lives and the lives of women  around us are crippled by the conditions  of the society in which we, live." Our  group sees a need to learn about and understand the economic and social structures  that try to control our lives, and we  are attempting to further our understanding through our series, and to share this  understanding with other Vancouver women  and men. We hope that some of participants  in the series will, as a result, take up  further organizing aginst imperialism.  First of all, what is imperialism? Diana  Smith read a collective statement explaining that imperialism "used to be the formal  annexation of another country for the economic gain of the colonizer. Since World  War II, this has been largely replaced by  informal domination of a country's economic  and political life."  Diana Smith went on to explain that this informal control, known as neo-colonialism,  functions through two interrelated avenues:  large business or financial corporations  and the complicity of nation states.  What has all this to do with women? Simply  that women cannot live in the present-day  world without being affected in some way  by the phenomenon of imperialism.  In this series we are trying to focus on  the particular relationship women have to  these transnational corporations.  Women in imperalized countries find their  lives affected by the transnational corporations differently from men.  An example can be found in India, where, in  times of drought, women die first because  they traditionally feed the children and  the men before they feed themselves. This  sounds like the traditional problem .of poverty until you learn that at the same time  as thousands of women were dying, there  was a record harvest. The food had been exported by the large corporations.  Transnationals see women as cheap labour  Women, seen as both a docile and cheap  labour source and as the reproducers of  the next generation, are a crucial factor  in the manipulations of the transnational  corporations.  "Control of our bodies" — access to birth  control, a rallying cry of feminists in  the western nations, assumes startlingly  different 'meaning to women in imperialized  countries.  The Dalkpn,Shield, an intrauterine device,  was banned in the U.S. after it was connected to 17 deaths and over 200,000 serious cases of infection in women. Undeterred, the manufacturer closed a deal  with the U.S. Agency for International  Development (AID) to distribute the device to 41 "under-developed" countries as  part of their population control program.  The company further offered a 48$ discount  on the price to deliver unsterilized devices in packages of 1000 provided with  only 100 inserters and one set of instructions.  The most recent addition to the overseas  birth control "dumps" is Depb-Provera, an  injection which prevents conception for  three to six months.  Banned in North  America because it caused malignant tumours in laboratory tests, it is now being  distributed in over 70 countries.  Another example of the effect these corporations have on women is the advertising  media's use of sexist North American images  ers talking about how they make money. It  is shocking to watch them admit to the  worst of their actions with a happy smile  on their faces. As long as they are able  to make money, they seem to think they  are in the right.They are obsessed with  growth and takeovers. The movie works by  presenting a scene, then adding a fact,  thus making the viewer interpret it completely differently.  In one scene we see  a man who makes $248,000 a year talking  of women to spread an idea of "feminity"  which essentially presents women as sex  objects. Women from many different cultures are propagandized into the belief  that western products are the best.  Bottle-feeding is deadly but profitable  The film, Formula Factor, shown on Sunday  talks about an outrageous example of this  type of media hype — bottle feeding. Women in many third world countries now are  bottle-feeding their babies instead of  breast feeding due to massive propaganda  campaigns by transnational corporations  such as Nestles, selling baby formulas.  There are two problems with bottle feeding. The women do not have the money to  buy sufficient formula and as a result  stretch one week's supply over six weeks.'  They do not have the equipment to sterilize the bottles, nor do they have access  to clean water. Babies become malnourished and develop diseases associated with  malnutrition. By the time many babies  receive medical aid, they have often suffered irreparable brain damage.  Despite much protest at local and international levels,, the transnationals continue to persuade women to bottle-feed.  In the corporation's search for profit,  people do not count.  Corporations have been doing the same thing  to the Inuit people of northern Canada.  The second film shown was Controlling Interests.  It makes the point that transnational corporations have power over people and their communities all over the  world.  If the corporation considers labour costs to be high in one community, it  will move its operations to a city, province or country where labour is cheaper.  And there is nothing the community can do  about it.  The film shows corporate owners and manag-  about the "girls" in the computer electronic factories in Singapore who work for  $30 a month and never protest. Unemployed  women outnumber employed women, the viewer  learns, by four to one.  At the end of the evening we had about 40  minutes for some small group discussion.  One criticism made of the movies was that  neither of them showed any solutions, or  presented ideas of what to do about the  information. r  In fact, one woman mentioned, there was  a very positive ending that could have  been used in the film, Formula Factor.  While the Jamaican government was shown  as being unable to stop the corporatipns,  the government of Mozambique did stop  them. It was ready to defy the transnationals and banned bottle formula from the  stores. Baby bottles are available there  only through a doctor's prescription.  Another important issue we talked about  was that western feminists have tendencies  themselves to be ethnocentric. It is not  hard for us to fall into the trap of saying that we understand the oppression of  women in the third world better than they  do themselves. For instance, enforced  wearing of the veil is just as oppressive  as the mind-twisting done by our media in  convincing us that we must wear make-up,  or mini-skirts, or the most up-to-date  fashions. We need to share our experiences  with respect and caring.  As we said in our introductory statement:  "We want to find the connections between  us and especially support third world women in their struggles for national liberation. The imperialism they are fighting is the same system we are struggling  against here. We want to build solidarity with these women and figure out ways  to work here that contribute to that  fight." 0. Kinesis February '81  INTERNATIONAL  What part are women playing in the Salvadorean struggle ?  By Diana Smith  Margarita Sandborn is Canada's representative for the Revolutionary Democratic Front  (FDR),  the oppositional leadership in El  Salvador currently engaged in armed struggle  against the SO year old military dictatorship.  She is in Canada to inform people of the  situation in El Salvador and to seek international support for non-intervention,  particularly by the U.S.    She met recently  with. feminists and trade union women to  talk about the situation in general, and  particularly about the role of women in  the present struggle.    Following is a  summary of that meeting.  Margarita began by passing on greetings  from the Salvadorean people, particularly  the women, and outlining the present situation. On January 9th the FDR began its  major offensive on a national level against  the government (a 50 year old military  junta representing 14 families ).  There  are battles throughout the entire country  and the popular forces of the FDR are in  control of 5 of the 14 provinces. The  government is becoming more and more isolated with support coming only from the  United States.  There are massive desertions of government  troops to the FDR. The principal means of  communication such as highways or bridges,  are under the control of the FDR, and for  the last two weeks a general strike has  paralyzed 90$ of transportation. Twenty  thousand public employees are supporting  the strike. As Margarita said, morale is  high and victory is near.  U.S. intervention is obstacle to victory  Right now the only obstacle to a quick  victory is intervention by the U.S. Millions  of dollars has gone to the junta (10 million last year) as well as military equipment and advisers. Often these U.S.  military advisers are responsible for  attacks on the Salvadorean people but recently the FDR scored a victory when six of  them were captured.  Margarita explained that because of the  strategic importance of Central America  the U.S. would not easily allow liberation  in El Salvador. The liberation of El Salvador would encourage other countries ruled  by repressive governments, like Guatemala  and Honduras, to follow suit, as well as  giving strength to recently liberated  Nicaragua. The U.S. is ready for direct  intervention.  There are already mercenary troops from  Guatemala and Honduras, plus 500 soldiers  from Sompza's defeated National Guard  present in the country. The U.S. has prepared its offensive on many levels including distorting news and forming a media  blockade of silence, as well as seeking  support from various countries to justify  their intervention. Margarita saw intervention by the U.S. as a direct attack on  the Salvadorean people's right to self-  determination, possibly resulting in  another Vietnam. The FDR is launching a  world-wide political and diplomatic campaign to let people know what's going on  in El Salvador and asking all organizations  to make declarations against intervention.  The FDR plan is to replace the military  dictatorship with an non-aligned democratic  Deportation order ruled invalid  The Federal Court of Canada ruled January  26 that the deportation order issued by  the department of employment and immigration against Daphne Williams is invalid.  But her struggle to stay and to continue  to work in Canada still goes on. Her case  highlights the intolerable situation which  domestic workers face in Canada. Write to  Immigration Minister Lloyd Axworthy demanding that Williams be allowed to stay.  government which would respect religious  beliefs; guarantee political, social and  economic changes; and have an army that is  at the service of the people. But mostly  it would allow the Salvadorean people to  decide what they want for themselves.  Margarita said that besides suffering  specific oppression, women in El Salvador  are also plagued with malnutrition and  illiteracy. She said that in order to  liberate women they need to struggle for  the liberation of the people as a whole  at this time.  They identify the United States as their  principal enemy to whom the present  struggle is directed. She was not denying  \NoMk-No  Warl MS  OUi Of  lEISitoJ*  Support for the people of El Salvador and opposition to the draft  were the themes of a recent rally in Portland, Oregon  oppression by male comrades but first saw  the need to gain national liberation as  the way to tackle this.  Within the struggle women are learning they  can play an important role as well as  demonstrating this to the men.  Women occupy different positions within the  FMLN (the military wing of the opposition),  from leadership to positions in the squads.  Women also play a role in the diplomatic  plan on an international level, as Margarita, herself, demonstrates.  A 60% unemployment rate affects women  In responding to a question about the  percentage of women in the labour force and  their degree of unionization she first  pointed out that there is a 60% unemployment rate which obligated women to stay in  the home or do agricultural work. She described how unemployed women organize themselves in order to make money - selling  . goods in the markets, for instance.  In the last few years some industrialization has come to El Salvador. The United  States, in its search for cheaper labour  costs than at home, has opened up textile  factories which offer women low paying  sewing jobs. Although unionization is  officially permitted, in reality unions  for women are not an option at this time.  Ninety percent of teachers in El Salvador  are women and constitute one of the most  militant sectors of the population. Women  in the public sector are also taking an  important role in the resistance. Housewives, particularly in the barrios, are  forming popular committees and directing  local insurrections.  One woman at the meeting asked about bank  workers in El Salvador. Margarita said  that besides many U.S. banks there were  two Canadian banks in' the country, the  National Bank of Canada and the Bank of  London and Montreal. Bank workers are  mostly women. She said that although  the government tries to make them privileged employees in order to divide the  people, in spite of this, they are on the  side of the people.  Recently a new women's organization has  been formed to represent themselves,  The Salvador Association of Women. It is  not well consolidated yet, since the  country is in a state of war. The reasons  for the creation of this specific organization are to focus on the problems women  have above those of the people in general,  and to contribute to the consciousness-  raising of women.  Margarita was asked about the position of  the bourgeoisie, the conservative and right  wing elements of the population, and  whether the situation was similar to that  in Nicaragua where the business people  joined forces with the people to oust  Somoza. She explained that because of the  control of the 14 families a national  bourgeoisie never really developed in  El Salvador.  The petite bourgeoisie are  part of.the Christian Democratic Forces  which are with the FDR.  This lack of a  developed bourgeoisie makes clearer lines  in the revolutionary struggle which she  sees as being led by workers and peasants.  At the end of the meeting she emphasized  the need for groups in Canada to support  the people of El Salvador by sending telegrams and letters demanding non-intervention by the United States and Canada.  These can be sent to Mark MacGuigan,  Secretary of State for External Affairs,  Parliament Buildings, Ottawa; and the U.S.  Ambassador, U.S. Consulate, 100 Wellington  Street, Ottawa. Copies should also be  sent to Margarita Sandborn, Caisse Postale  507, Succursale Desjardins, Montreal,  Quebec, H5B 1B6.  Women united for powerful  peace action at Pentagon  NEW YORK *-_ Close to 2,000 women gathered  in Washington, D.C. in mid-November "in  protest of the activities of the Pentagon  and in protest of the money that the Pentagon spends," according to Amy Melnick of  the Women''s Pentagon Action Coalition.  The two-day event was seen as an opportunity for women to discuss ideas with one *  another, as well as a time- to show women's  anger over the operations of the Pentagon.  Another organizer Ynestra King said, "We  are making connections between movements  which have not been made before, or which  have not satisfied us, between anti-  militarism and feminism.  The violence on  the streets and neighbourhoods is only an  echo of the massive violence of society.  Therefore we cannot solve the local violence until we destroy militarism."  The first day of the action was filled  discussions and workshops relating to  women's issues, racism, militarism-and  nuclear power. On the second day, approximately 1,600 women marched from Arlington  Cemetery to the Pentagon. In the morning,  tombstones were set in a green area near  the Pentagon, then the women circled  the five sides of the building.. At noontime, some of the protestors moved up the  Pentagon steps in an attempt to block  people from entering the building.  Joan Durand, arrested and later released  on bail, said that many of those who were  moving in and out of the Pentagon showed  hostility to women who tried to speak to  them. "Some of them were absolutely white  with anger," Durand said.  Melnick said that she felt the action was  a success. "The women were very excited  about the action," she said. "We really  surpassed the numbers I had expected." 0_ Kinesis February '81  ACROSS CANADA  Chretien proposes to reclassify sexual offences as sexual assaults  On December 19, Justice Minister Jean Chretien released proposals to amend the Criminal Code in relation to sexual offenses  and the protection of young persons.  A key feature of the legislation is the  proposal to remove rape from its current  classification as a "sexual offense."  Sexual offenses against the person would  be reclassified in assault provisions,  under Chretien's proposals.  Two offenses would be created to deal with  all forms of sexual assault — "sexual  assault", with a maximum sentence of 10  years, and "aggravated sexual assault"  with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.  Spousal immunity — this is the current  provision that a man cannot legally rape  his wife — would be eliminated under the  new proposals.  This is an important step. As Kay MacPher-  son noted in the response of the National  Action Council on the Status of Women (NAC),  "We are pleased to see that the government  at last agrees with us that the institutions of marriage and family are not served  by have the criminal law tolerate one partner's violent attacks upon the other."  Although most women's groups have pressed  for the reclassification of rape and other .  sexual offenses as assault for many years,  the current legislative proposals are provoking criticism.  One omission in the legislation is the  lack of definition of "sexual assault".  Only "assault" is defined in the amendments.  Additional work needs to be done in order  to clarify what constitutes an offense under the new provisions.  __  Other sections of the proposals deal with  current sections of the Criminal Code-outlining offenses based on sexual intercourse  with a person under 14 or between 14 and  16. These sections attempt to deal with  to age, while acknowledging that sexual  relations between young people per se  should not come within the sanctions of the  Criminal Code.  The recommendations also reduce the age  limit from 21 to 18 in the sections dealing  with "gross indecency", "buggery", etc.  The effect of this change is to lower the  age at which a person is considered to be  an adult and therefore exempt from prosecution for sexual relations in private.  It does not, however, eliminate the problems, for example, of lesbians and gay men  More analysis is needed before support is given to Chretien *s proposals  the question of decriminalizing consentual  sexual behaviour between persons who, while  under the legal age limit, are of approximately equal age.  Defenses are provided under these sections  where the persons engaging in sexual behaviour who are less than three years older  than the other participant are exempt from  prosecution.  These changes would appear to account for  the need to protect young people, and especially young women, from sexual exploitation by those in positions of power due  who are under 18. Sexual activity where  one participant is under the legal age  limit of 18 would still be subject to prosecution, even if the other involved is  of roughly the same age.  There can be no doubt that the proposals  include some attempt to respond to the demands made by the women's movement in recent years. However, more analysis of the  implications of the changes needs to be  done before support is given to any specific change. VSW will be doing just that,  and requesting input into the final bill.q  Anderson affair causes ACSW uproar and Operation Butterfly  "A lamentable loss of credibility for the  Canadian Advisory Council on the Status  of Women," said Lynn McDonald, president  of the National Action Committee on the  Status of Women (NAC). She was commenting  on the decision of the Advisory Council  on the Status of Women (ACSW) to postpone  a scheduled national conference on women  and the constitution, slated for Ottawa  February 13 and 14.  The ACSW majority decision in favour of  postponement resulted in the resignation  of its president, Doris Anderson. The high-  profile former editor of Chatelaine accuses  the Minister Responsible for the Status of  Women, Lloyd Axworthy, of interference.  She says that Axworthy leaned on council  members to postpone the conference on women  and the constitution because he thought  that such a gathering at this time might  embarass the government.  Speaking in Vancouver to a NAC-sponsored  forum on women and the constitution on January 24, Anderson blasted her ACSW colleagues, accusing them of falling over themselves in their anxiety to appease Axworthy,  to assure him, "Yes, yes, Mr Minister, we'll  cancel that conference."  She further claimed that ACSW members think  that "by doing what the government wants,  by being 'nice' to them, that further down  the line the government will be 'nice' to  them in return."  While four other ACSW members have followed  Anderson and resigned, 17 voted against  her.  Anderson accused of smear campaign  Norrie Preston, a member of the ACSW from  Victoria, says that Doris Anderson is conducting a smear campaign against the group.  Preston claims that the rift between Anderson and her executive had been simmering  since last spring and was a "showdown over  the way she conducted her chairmanship."  Anderson, says Preston, was unwilling to  operate through consensus, and treated the  ACSW members as if she were the boss and  they were her subordinates.  "She lost the  confidence of her executive not over ministerial interference, but her failure to consult with the council and be responsive to  its consensus."  The ACSW conference on women and the constitution has now been re-scheduled for  May 29 - 30.  But Anderson's highly publicized resignation has engendered a movement for another  conference on women and the constitution,  to take place in Ottawa on February 14 and  15, the very dates the minister is alleged  to have vetoed.  The conference proposal has the backing of  the NDP and the Tories. Tory MP Flora Mac  Donald and NDP MP Pauline Jewett have been  busy booking rooms in Ottawa. Rumour has  it that the conference will take place in  the west wing of the parliament buildings  (the original ACSW locale), that the mayor  has offered Ottawa City Hall for a follow-  up meeting and that Maureen McTeer is preparing Stornoway for an evening gathering.  More rumours have it that the NDP is paying for coffee and that the Liberals have  leapt into the breach with offers of lunch.  The conference will look not only at the  issues of women and the constitution but  also at alternate structures to the ACSW.  The 30-member ACSW was set up in 1973 by  the federal government, in response to demands put forward in the Royal Commission  on the Status of Women. The council is  now accountable to a minister, but the  Royal Commission suggested it should answer to the parliament as whole. This issue  of accountability will no doubt come up  on the conference agenda.  Butterfly goes ahead  Operation Butterfly is a further response  to the Anderson affair. Editor of City Woman, Dawn MacDonald, and former Tory MP  Jean Piggott are taking credit for having  hatched the butterfly concept.  Participants in Operation Butterfly have  agreed to wear a butterfly on February 14  to support the conference.  Butterfly organizers explain: "The butterfly symbol was chosen because of its grace  and femininity (sic), its spiritual significance, its evolution from a "cocoon"  state of suspended activity, and of course,  because of the popular concept that butterflies are free I" O  NAC forum focuses on constitution, Anderson and Axworthy  It was Anderson's resignation that dominated the opening hours of a NAC-sponsored  forum on Women and the Constitution in  Vancouver January 24. The 150 women from  B.C. and the Yukon who attended the conference sent a telegram to Prime Minister  Trudeau demanding the resignation of  Lloyd Axworthy, the Minister Responsible  for the Status of Women.  The forum also addressed major problems  with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,  which the government is hoping to entrench  in the new constitution. Deborah Acheson  of the National Association of Women and  the Law, pointed to specific difficulties.  Section 15, which promises "equality before  and under the law" refers throughout to  "individuals." Acheson commented that we  don't, under Canadian law, know what an  "individual" might be. But we do have a  definition of "person" (remember the Persons Case), and therefore "person" should  replace "individual" in this important section. Acheson also recommends replacing  the word "discrimination" with "distinction." "Discrimination" is inadequate, she  explained, because it has a negative connotation: it conveys the idea that somebody  is being deprived of something.  Audrey Doerr of Simon Fraser University  took a critical look at federal-provincial  wrangles over daycare. Daycare, says Doerr  should be seen as a labour issue, not an  education issue. THis is because lack of  adequate daycare is a major obstacle to  women's entry into the labour force.O  Repeal 251 rally planned for March &-  A rally for the removal of abortion from  the Criminal Code of Canada takes place on  March 8 at 2:00 p.m. on the plaza of the  Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Endorsed by numerous women's, labour and community  groups, the rally is organized by the  Repeal 251 Committee.  Repeal 251 is a group begun by the NDP Women's Rights Committee which is also planning a mass pro-choice lobby February 14.  On St Valentine's Day they will have one  message for the MPs: We don't want roses,  chocolates or booze. What we demand is our  right to choose. O y-S   Kinesis February '81   OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH   Working in an office is dangerous to your health  Traditionally, myth has it, women worked in offices for pin money, or  until Prince Charming came along and protected us from the hazards of  earning a living by marrying us. The office was clean, healthy and safe.  Why, it was just like being at home, with daddy telling us what to do,  when, and how. The boss would take care of us, we didn't need unions.  And anyway, we were transitory workers, too docile to organize, and  lacking in initiative to organize ourselves.  The true story of working in an office is different of course. Today in  Canada, 2/3 of women in the paid workforce go off each morning to jobs  in offices, banks, retail stores, and restaurants. Of the 58 years of a  Canadian woman's adult life, less than 7 are involved with the care of  pre-school children. A married woman with children will spend an  average of 34 years working outside the home. Our average wage is 58%  of what men earn. In 1977, according to Statistics Canada, female  clerical workers earned $3,641 less than male clerical workers. Approximately 30% of clerical workers in B.C. are organized, whereas 50% of all  working men in B.C. are unionized.  As for that clean, healthy and safe workplace! Since World War II, management has attempted to make office work more efficient. Offices  look, feel and even smell like factories because of the increased use of  chemicals, essential to the maintenance of new machines brought into  the work place.  Common hazards of factories—dust, automated equipment, radiation  exposure, chemical fumes, lighting, noise, poor ventilation, and stressful conditions—are now being experienced by women working in offices.  In addition are the hazards of a sedentary occupation, such as backaches, neck strain, leg and foot problems.  Some of this material was originally presented in the Fall of 1980 at a session  on the health hazards of clerical work, part of a series by Women's Action on  Occupational Health. The women involved in the research and preparation of  this information were: Melanie Conn, Deanne Des Roches, Carolyn Jerome,  Gillian Marie, and Marion Pollack.  Belly Medsiter/ Women m Work  Insidious fumes, sealed offices, add up to Pink Collar Lung  More and more buildings are being built  with windows that don't open. These buildings are hermetically sealed in the interest of energy efficiency. However,  studies are finding that many of these  buildings are so well sealed that dangerous  air pollution is trapped inside.  Old buildings tend to have plenty of leaks  (through doors, windows and cracks), which  allow a complete exchange of indoor and  outdoor air approximately every hour.  Modern energy-efficient structures often  allow for only one complete air exchange  every ten hours or more.  Pollutants that get trapped inside offices  can include: by-products of office machines,  office chemicals, cigarette smoke, carpet  and other cleaners, and substances released  from building and furnishing materials.  Formaldehyde and radioactive radon are  common pollutants released from insulation,  wallboard and other construction materials,  curtains, furniture and rugs. Formaldehyde can cause chronic respiratory illness.  Radon combines with dust particles to lodge  in the lungs and can release dangerous  radiation.  In the U.S., the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has suggested  that 10/? of all lung cancers in the United  States are now caused by indoor radon.  There have recently been numerous reports  of "mystery illnesses" where occupants of  a building have become ill and no apparent  cause has been found. Common symptoms  have included nausea, headaches, dizziness,  lethargy, stuffy noses and puffy eyes.  While management has usually been quick to  write off these symptoms as "psychosomatic",  an investigator from the Centre for Disease  Control cautioned that "people's symptoms  shouldn't be dismissed as hysteria, because  it probably isn't." In a large number of  these "mystery illness" investigations,  the ventilation systems have been found to  be inadequate.  There are approximately 2-4,000 chemicals  used in industry today, and approximately  3,000 new ones are introduced yearly.  Standards for allowable exposure exist for  lees than 500 of the toxic chemicals currently in use.  Products sold for industrial use are not  required to be labelled according to their  contents. It is assumed that the workers  have a knowledge about the chemicals that  they work with.  Consumer products are becoming better  labelled. Consumers are becoming more  discriminating about ingredients and they  have the power of the dollar to back up  their demands. Not only do workers not  have the power to choose which products  we will use, but we are still fighting  for the right to know what substances  we are working with.  Everything from headache to death:  office contaminants cause physical  problems  Office workers daily handle substances  that are hazardous and that contaminate  the air we breathe.  For example, COPIERS emit ozone, a highly  toxic gas that can cause serious lung  disease. Eye irritation, cough, nausea  and vomiting are symptoms of exposure to  ozone. Photocopiers should be located in  well-ventilated areas. Ducts can be  attached directly to the machine if necessary.  The toner in Xerox copiers contains ni-  tropyrene, which laboratory studies have  shown to cause cell mutations and chromosome damage leading to cancer. Recently,  Xerox substantially reduced the amount of  nitropyrene in its toner solution, all  the while maintaining that it was not  toxic. Workers should know what chemicals  are in the toner and be sure it does not  contain nitropyrene.  RUBBER CEMENT contains toluene and benzene,  both highly toxic organic solvents which  depress central nervous system functions,  cause liver damage and blood disorders.  CORRECTIVE FLUIDS, such as "White Out",  the clerical worker's friendly aid, contain trichloroethylene. Several open  bottles on nearby desks can raise the level  in the air to hazardous proportions.  Exposure to high levels of the chemical  can cause visual disturbances, mental confusion, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and  even death. There are water-based preparations available which may be safer.  Gestetner fluids and thinners also contain this chemical solution.  If you use  a correcting solution, you can keep the  bottle away from your face and cover it  immediately after use.  METHANOL AND AMMONIA are by-products of  duplicating machines. Exposed workers  have eye, nose and throat irritations.  These machines are also found in schools  where they affect students and teachers  alike. Stencils should be made and reproduced in well-ventilated areas.  CIGARETTE SMOKE from co-workers who smoke  irritates the eyes, nose and throat  tissues of both smokers and non-smokers.  It can cause lung cancer.  Carbon monoxide from cigarettes increases  work-related fatigue in poorly-ventilated  offices. Carbon monoxide stays in the  blood stream of a sedentary worker longer than an outdoor worker and has more  harmful side effects.^ Kinesis February '81  CLERICAL WORKERS  Do we have any legal protection?  Provincial Ministry of Labour: The Occupational Health Branch is involved with  the following: ventilation, heat, light  and sanitation. However, it is not concerned with air contaminants.  Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs:  Its aim is to protect consumers from  faulty or hazardous goods purchased for  the home.     It responds to complaints about  toxic substances and will come out and  investigate complaints in this area. They  have no jurisdiction over offices.  Workers Compensation Board (WCB): The Board  spells out permitted levels for exposure  to what they call harmful substances. For  example, Regulation 12.21 of the Board's  regulations states that "no worker shall  be exposed to or have contact by any route,  respiratory, skin or oral to substances  listed in Appendix A, Table 2" — that is  regulated substances that are known to be  toxic to human beings. (You can easily  obtain a copy of the WCB regulations by  giving them a call. See our Resource section on page 16).  On their list you will find the substances  trichloroethylene and toluene found in  frequently-used office products. There  are two problems with the regulation:  (a) Office products are not labelled  according to their chemical contents.  The  office worker does not have a general knowledge about chemical formulas and compounds.  If a worker is not fully aware of a hazard  she is unable to act to get rid of it.  (b) The limits are set from data that does  not take into account the cumulative effects  of long-term exposure to these chemicals.  Some of these substances can be directly  linked to cancer in larger doses; it is a  fair assumption that they are linked to  cancer with long-term use, even in small  doses. Until the hazard is recognized as  a real hazard, studies are not likely to  be done that will show long term effects.  What about the Workers  Compensation Board?  The WCB is charged with the responsibility  of inspecting places of employment and  subsequently with issuing orders and directions specifying the means for the prevention of injuries and industrial diseases.  In addition, the Board is directed to assist  employers and employees in developing industrial health and safety educational  programs.  So it seems that the Board should be concerned with office workers' problems around  ventilation and toxic substances. To activate that legal concern women workers need  to organize to pressure the Board so that  we can control our working environments.  For example, Regulation 12.19 (2) states  that substances containing more than 1%  by  volume benezene or carbon tetrachloride  cannot be used unless there is a proper  exhaust ventilation system preventing the  inhalation of these vapours. As we know,  most offices nave inadequate ventilation  systems.  Workers can refuse to do unsafe work  The Workers Compensation Act and the regulations that ensue from it, give workers  the right to refuse to do any task where  they have a reasonable belief that if they  performed the task, it would result in injury or would be harmful to their health.  The worker does not have to prove that this  is true before she refuses the work.  This is the only area where the "worK now-  grieve later" rule of collective agreements does not take precedence. Under the  terms of a collective agreement, if a worker does not agree with the directions  given, she can file a grievance. But the  directions have to be followed and then  the grievance filed. In the area of health  and safety, however, the worker can outright refuse to do the work. . This is a  right that workers possess under the Act.  The organized worker can bring a lot of  pressure to bear on her employer by exercising this option.  It is a right that is  held by unorganized labour as well, because  the Act and regulations apply to all  working people.  In this situation, as in all situations,  the individual is unlikely to get satisfactory results if she exercises this right  Working women acting collectively, however,  can wield power and bring changes to their  working lives. 0.  Carolyn Jerome.  Clerical work causes stressed-outwomen  Stress is a difficult topic to discuss as  a work hazard. Unlike the obvious injuries caused by industrial accidents, stress-  related diseases take some time to be  noticed, and it is very easy not to see the  relationship between work and these stress-  caused illnesses.  For two reasons it was not an easy task to  put this material together. Firstly,  there is very little research that has been  done on working women, and even less on  stress and female ghettoed occupations.  Secondly, I myself found it difficult to  take stress seriously as a work hazard.  In part this is because of the lack of  Union Wage  empirical evidence to support the connection between clerical work and stress-  related diseases. But it is also because  the "experts" treated me as if I didn't  know what I was talking about, even though  I suffer through lower back pain and neck  pain when the stress level at work is more  than I can. tolerate.  It has long been recognized that paid  women workers suffer from fatigue.  If perpetuated, fatigue is known to cause stress-  related diseases. It was earlier believed  that women suffered from fatigue because  our bodies were weaker than men's bodies.  This argument has been used to justify  women's lower salaries. (58%  of men's)  It is now recognized that women suffer  from fatigue because they have two jobs —  their job in the work force and their job  at home. The double work load that we are  all familiar with means that women work at  least 80 hours a week — working men average about 50 hours.  Women are highly susceptible to stress-  related diseases, particularly dysfunction  of the cardiovascular system and the digestive system, leading to high blood  pressure, heart disease, ulcers, hypertension, and ulcerative colitis. Kidney  disease, asthma, and allergies are further  stress-related diseases.  Stress triggers a general body response.  The body "reacts so that maximum energy is  available to either stay and fight it out  or to flee the cause of the stress. The  whole body is affected, as increased concentration of cholesterol, sugar, and  fatty acids in the bloodstream stimulate  the metabolism in all the body organs."  (Union Wage,  Nov/Dec '79, p.6)  The result of such speed-up is an increased vulnerability to all diseases.  Stress may not cause such dramatic health  problems as an industrial accident for  instance, but its effects can be as devastating.  Secretaries rate second highest in the  work force as victims of stress-related  illnesses.  I think that it is important  to realize this fact because we associate  stress with professional occupations. In  fact, it is used to justify high salaries  for professionals. As clerical workers we  tend to blame ourselves for the coping  problems that we have on the job. The  physical environment and social sources are  the two main categories of stress in clerical work.  Firstly, the physical environment of the  office:  Noise, lighting and poor ventilation cause  stress. Excessive noise causes loss of  hearing, headaches, nausea, irritation, and  stress. Noise loud enough to be annoying  and to interfere with a person's ability to  communicate, to concentrate, and to work  efficiently, causes stress.  Think, for  example, of telephone work and receptionist  work going on in the same office space —  so that it is difficult to hear and concentrate on a telephone conversation if there  are other people conversing within earshot.  This can be remedied by rearranging the  office. Most offices exceed the recommendations for quiet efficient work, especially  if they have ventilation equipment. S.F.U.  clerical workers, for instance, work in  office buildings with air conditioners  that cause excessive noise levels.  Is office noise driving you crazy?  An additional form of noise is "white  noise." It's found, for example, in the  new provincial government office complex  at Robson Square in Vancouver.  "White noise" is made up of all the audible frequencies of sound playing at once  — it sounds something like a waterfall,  or static. It is constant noise, and it  results from the bid to save money in  construction.  Instead of building real walls, sound  walls are created so that workers absorb  the sound. This can cause headaches,  nausea and stress.  Clerical workers are also exposed to the  noise of office equipment. Typewriters,  for example, are very noisy machines. Now  noise shields can be obtained for newer  machines but it would be of greater advantage if a quiet typewriter was invented.  There is a photo-copier machine that has  been invented which, because it doesn't  work by a heat principle, doesn't have to  be constantly on. As a consequence, a  source of background constant noise can be  eliminated in offices.  There are no laws or regulations that monitor office noise levels. The only noise  that the Workers Compensation Board has  terms of reference for is noise that leads  to deafness, noise above 90 decibels. The  Ministry of Labour Occupational Environment Branch also doesn't have regulations.  I was told by an "expert" at the Workers  Compensation Board that office noise was ► OCCUPATIONAL rHEALTH  Kinesis February '8  insignificant, that people's complaints  about noise causing stress had more to do  with the personality of the person and the  kind of job that they were doing than with  noise levels.  I was told that it was impossible to isolate factors causing stress, that my  sources that made the connection between  noise and stress (Jeanne Stellman's research) were biased in a way that journal  articles are not, and that they were dangerous because they scared people. "People  who complain about noise being stressful  are people who can't hack busy work", I  was informed.  I was left again in the position of  feeling as though I was a person who just  couldn't cope with my job. He, the expert,  certainly wasn't taking my concerns seriously. Unless we do, no one is going to  rectify the problem for us.  Fluorescent lighting and air conditioners  add to background noise, and fluorescent  lighting is a source of eyestrain and headaches .  Healthiest light is natural light  To prevent the worst abuses fluorescent  lighting fixtures should never be placed  immediately in front of a desk but on the  side. Desks should be positioned between  rows of lights rather than directly under  them. Individual sources of light are  easier on the eyes. The best illumination  source is natural light via windows. Yet  clerical workers, who spend much longer  hours in the office than management or  professionals, usually have office space in  the centre of buildings, not near windows.  Some of these physical hazards within an  office can be eliminated or lessened. However, other hazards such as overcrowding  and lack of privacy are more difficult to  rectify. Lack of privacy is a special  problem in modern office buildings built on  an open space plan. The workers alone can  do little to reduce these stress factors.  The education of employers by workers organizing is the only way that these problems can be addressed in the office.  Boring, repetitive work causes stress  The second major source of stress in clerical work is the nature of the job itself  and social sources of stress. Boring,  repetitive work, work requiring a great  deal of attention but which is of little  intrinsic interest is very fatiguing.  Tasks in which the pace is controlled by  a machine, such as those performed by keypunch operators, video-display terminal  '  operators, telephone operators, produce  dissatisfaction on the job, and add to the  stress load.  Time pressures, understaffing, and constant  interruptions, very usual hazards of clerical work, contribute to a stressful working environment.  A clerical worker usually has no control  over her work or environment, her skills  are either ignored or underemployed, she  has no chance of promotion, and insufficient responsibility. Her work has low  status and low pay. It is extremely  stressful to work long hours and still have  insufficient wages to live reasonably well.  The suppression of anger at the injustices  we feel over unfair monetary compensation  for our work takes a lot of energy and is  an additional source of stress. With increased automation, and the use of V.D.T.'s  in offices, clerical workers are constantly  worried about being .fired. This job insecurity — most clerical workers are still  unorganized — adds to the stress load.  Women are over-qualified for their jobs  and poorly compensated. Lack of control,  meaningful control over our workplace, is  an important factor in producing stress.  Most offices are hierarchically organized  with corresponding levels of authority and  pay. As a consequence, clerical workers  have little creative input into their  work tasks. Each employee deals with a  specialized task, or deals only with a  small aspect of a larger task (similar to  assembly line workers) under constant  supervision.  If your job is to type, then  you have no input into reports or letters.  Your skills are never fully utilized.  If  a job has no defined beginning and end, it  is difficult to feel a sense of accomplishment — vital to job satisfaction.  This was true in my own experience of  working as a medical records clerk in  a medical records department of a large  general hospital. My job was to go around  to the wards and paste in labs tests and  reports into the patients' records after  a doctor had seen and signed them. It  was boring, monotonous work, yet I had to  I'M 6/V/A/6   y£M  A  SHOT  OF THE  ROTTEN   A/R  WE   BREATHE.'!  be extremely accurate as the importance of  not confusing individual patient's records  was instilled in me. And if I did make a  mistake I sure heard about it.  It was very stressful working in the actual medical records department. All  patients' records were stored there, and  if any records went astray, it was the  clerks' fault. There were specific doctors who made our lives miserable if any  errors were made.  The hierarchy of the hospital was highly  visible to all of us. Firstly, there was  a dress code, cleaners wore green; clerks  pink, medical staff white. Secondly, the  records department was literally below  THE BOSS ORDERED ME TO CLEAN OFF HIS DESK SO HERE GOES!  ground, in the basement, with no fresh air  and poor lighting. The chief clerk (a  male) had his own office; the rest of us  sat at desks in a large noisy open space.  Thirdly, we were the poorest paid workers  in the hospital.  What is very difficult to cope with is the  fact that the stress of such a job is invisible. Because your work is not seen as  being significant, or skilled or worthwhile,  then the problems you experience on the job  are either considered to be insignificant  or not seen at all. We become categorized  as "people who can't hack busy work."  There are ways of organizing an office so  that traditional status barriers between  work levels are abolished. For example,  where I work at Vancouver Status of Women,  we do all level jobs for ourselves. We  take on a task or a piece of work and complete it right through.  Suppose someone  wants- to do a press release on an issue.  The decision is made to do it collectively.  Then that woman researches it, writes it  up, two or three of us check it and comment  on it. Then she types it and sends it out  or delivers it. Most women's groups operate  in this way.  It isn't only the women's movement that  does this, however.  Offices and places of  work such as the Volvo factory in Sweden  are organized as teams of autonomous workers.  Rather than one employee doing all  the typing, another the filing or the  switchboard, or the ordering of materials,  all workers take turns at these jobs and  learn each other's tasks. Women are therefore no longer working in competition with  each other. Each employee can see herself  as a significant part of a team and some of  the monotony of and alienation from her work  is lessened.  I am not for a moment suggesting this as an  alternative to organizing as a union. This  can be done in addition to a union, to reduce some of the socially-induced stress of  clerical work. For further information  write to the Ontario Quality of Working Life  Centre, Ontario Ministry of Labour (15th  floor, 400 University Avenue, Toronto,  Ontario M7A 1T7)  Stress is a very real problem to women workers. And it has long term debilitating  effects on our mental and physical health.  Most of us take it home with us at the end  of our paid work day and it intrudes on our  personal relationships, making us short  with our children and lovers.  Women have been increasingly turning to  cigarettes, alcohol and drugs to momentarily relieve the stress of their jobs.  Twenty per cent of women in Canada are  over-prescribed with mood changing drugs  according to a study done by the Canadian  Psychiatric Association.  These drugs  numb our emotions, preventing us from directing our justified anger at employers  who exploit us.  Double workload = double stress load  A recent U.S. analysis of women's work and  coronary heart disease found that married  women clerical workers were at higher risk.  The factors that were isolated as possible  causes included suppressed hostility, a  non-supportive boss, lack of job mobility,  and the double load of family responsibilities. Married clerical workers with  children were over twice as likely to  develop coronary heart disease than married non-clerical workers with children.  The stress of the occupation of clerical  work is the significant factor.  (Suzanne  Haynes and Manning Feinlein, "Women, work  and Coronary Heart Disease". Am.  Journal  of Public Medicine, vol. 70, no. 2, Feb.  1980).  Stressful symptoms can be relieved by individual action. Through exercise, meditation, massage, yoga and relaxation, the  stress will be relieved. Assertiveness  Training courses will assist women to be  more assertive with their bosses. But it  is only through organizing in the work  place that the hazards of clerical work  can be addressed. Contract clauses that  deal with working conditions, such as those  in AUCE, and SORWUC Collective Agreements,  are positive steps.  The only way that stress related diseases  will be recognized as compensible diseases  by the Workers Compensation Board will be  through the pressure of women. At this  stage we need both preventative action  and financial compensation for the stress  we suffer on the job in offices.  0_  Gillian Marie Kinesis February '81  CLERICAL WORKERS  OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH  Kinesis February '8  Wrestling with key punch wrist  Typists and key punch operators who must  use repetitive motions of the wrist, can  strain their muscles painfully.  This  muscle strain can lead to physical injuries  such as trigger finger, bursitis and something known as the keypunch's wrist or  tenosynovitis.  If an excessive amount of force is continuously applied with the fingers while the  wrist is flexed, or if the flexing motion  is repeated rapidly over a long period of  time, the resulting friction can produce  inflammation of the tendon sheaths, or  tenosynovitis.  The B.C. Workers Compensation Board recently brought down the newly revised Schedule  B — the Board's list of compensible industrial diseases. Although the list showed  that the Board had taken some of the suggestions and criticisms of various labour  and occupational health organizations into  account.  The Board did not budge on its changes to  the tenosynovitis listing in the schedule.  The conditions under which a worker suffering tenosynovitis would be eligible for  compensation have been narrowed. Changes  in the wording replace the word excessive  with the words unaccustomed and repetitive  so the definition now reads: "where unaccustomed and repetitive use of the  affected arm, hand, leg or foot is required."  A worker who contracts a disease based  under Schedule B and applies for compensation does not have to produce evidence  that the workplace caused the disease.  In  the case of tenosynovitis, many claims  have been turned down during the last  year despite the inclusion of that disease  on the list, on the grounds that the disease was not  caused by the workplace. The  latest changes to Schedule B will make it  even more difficult to win such claims.,  As Cathy Walker of the B.C. Council of  Confederation of Canadians Unions (CCU)  has stated, the revised list shows the  Board's continued concern with cost-cutting.  She said the regressive changes in the  tenosynovitis language reflects the fact  that this disease makes up 25$ of the total  industrial disease claims.  I phoned the Workers Compensation Board  office and Dr. Whitehead in the Medical  Division gave me the figures about the  1979 tenosynovitis cases: there were 887  cases of tenosynovitis out of the 3,789  industrial disease cases, which amounts to  25%.    There are unfortunately no separate  statistics on office workers as they are  incorporated into the total. Dr. Whitehead added: "tenosynovitis is extremely  rare for offvce workers  — about three to  four cases a year due to,   let's say,  an  'unaccustomed and repetitive' activity.  For example, a secretary has to staple 500  copies  — she may develop tenosynovitis.  But not a typist, not even a key punch  operator  — if they would be likely to  develop tenosynovitis it would be at the  beginning of their training  ..."  The Confederation of Canadian Unions (CCU)  does not support this change of wording.  The CCU comments: "we oppose the Board's  proposed change.    We recommend that  Schedule B be amended to read:   'tenosynovitis/tendonitis . .. arising out of and  in the course of employment' (as is the  case in Saskatchewan). The proposed  change is contrary to well-accepted medical information on the etiology of tenosynovitis in that 'unaccustomed' motion  is not required, rather that this is the  result of repetitive motions."  To add to the confusion, a list of ten  tips on preventing tenosynovitis was published in the Jan.-Feb. '79 Workers  Compensation Board News bulletin, which  CCU says are based on an article written  in 1972 by R. Welch called "The Causes of  Tenosynovitis in Industry".  One of the  tips read: "Fast movement of fingers arms  and hands ... require considerable muscle  activity and ... if repeated without adequate rest, may lead to tenosynovitis."  The CCU remarks: "One would think that if  the Board was going to caution workers to  avoid it, that it would be only reasonable  to give a presumption in favour of a worker if tenosynovitis were contracted because the worker was unable to avoid such  activities. "  It is interesting to note that out of the  68 office inspectors hired by the WCB to  inspect on a claim, 66 are male, 2 are  women.  When I phoned Dr. Whitehead at the Workers  Compensation Board I also asked him if  they get arty back complaints from clerical  workers. His answer was, "Yes, but only  accidents: lifting, falling, etc."  He has never heard of an occupational  strain. He said that stenos and secretaries get the best chairs and have no  reasons to complain.  I have heard another similar comment from  an old boss of mine. He said that women  clerical workers don't get back problems  from poorly fitted chairs, as I was suggesting to him, but we get them because of  childbearing and menstruation!  But we all know that if our job involves  long hours -of sitting at a desk, typing,  writing and answering phones, it can be  uncomfortable in the short run and detrimental to our health in the long run, especially if the chair and table are not  properly designed.  Here's the essentials for a comfortable  work chair:  A chair must allow a person to sit with a  minimum amount of pressure on the thighs,  which are soft and easily compressed.  Otherwise blood circulation can be blocked,  resulting in pooling in the lower part of  the body. This pooling causes the veins  to dilate and can lead to, or aggravate,  hemorroids. Blood pooling is also a  complicating factor in varicose veins and  other circulatory problems.  A chair seat that is horizontal or shaky  can cause back muscles to stiffen. Unless  a chair is constructed so that the back  muscles are in an optimum position, the  lower back will gradually stiffen and  possibly begin to ache.  According to Jeanne Stellman, in an  article called "Preventing Back Pain,"  there are four key factors to a well-  designed chair:  The height',  this should be adjustable so  that, when you're seated, your hips and  knees are at right angles and your feet  flat on the floor. If it's too high it  will impede your blood circulation. How  can you tell if it's the right height?  First figure out your "popliteal height":  the distance between the crease behind  your knee and the floor when you stand up.  The highest point of the seat should be two  inches less than your popliteal height.  The backrest:  this should be adjustable  too — to move it backward or forward so  HEALTH HAZARDS OF OFFICE WORK  HAZARD  WHERE FOUND  EFFECT  Stress  Demanding,   repetitive  jobs,   requiring  close attention to detail,  lack of job  satisfaction,      discrimination,      sexual  harassment, the double day.  Anger, frustration, under-mining of self-  worth, fatigue, reduced appetite, chest  pain,   ulcers,   rashes,   headaches,   high  blood pressure, heart disease-  Physical Hazards  Noise  Print   rooms,   open  area  offices,   keypunch rooms.  At high levels can cause noise deafness;  at lower levels, annoyance and interference with work, and stress.  Lighting  Lighting  too  bright,   producing  glare;  too dull; not adjustable.  Eyestrain, sore or swollen eyes, blurring,  headaches, fatigue, stress.  Cathode Ray Terminals  As above,  due to constant strain on  the eyes.  Air Conditioning  Improperly regulated temperatures, stale  or improperly returned air.  Fatigue, colds, dry skin, general discomfort.  Contaminants such as bacteria, and  spores.  Contaminants   may  cause  allergic   reactions or disease.  Non-Ionizing Radiation  Photocopiers, Cathode Ray Terminals.  Temporary eye damage; long term effects  not known although have been linked to  cataracts.  Toxic Substances  Asbestos  Most office buildings of late 1950s and  1960s.  Can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma,  stomach and laryngeal cancer.  Cigarette Smoke  Poorly ventilated offices, second-hand  smoke.  Irritant and can cause cancer.  Ozone  Around   copying   machines,   produced  from oxygen by electrical discharge in  air.  Throat and nose irritation, cough, headache, breathing difficulties, chest pain,  Methanol and Ammonia  Duplicating machines  Irritating to eyes, nose and throat.  Organic Solvents  Benzene, Toluene  and others  Rubber cement and some cleaners, stencil  fluid,  copy  machine toner,   liquid  erasers.  Can cause drunken feeling, drowsiness,  may cause liver damage.  Benzene can cause leukemia, anemia,  other blood disorders and should not be  used.  Ergonomics  Muscle Strain  Writing, typing, sitting or standing for  long periods of time.  "Writer's cramp", tenosynovitis (inflammation of the tendons of the wrist),  low back pain from sitting in poorly  designed chairs.  Excessive Sitting or  Standing  Varicose veins, stress on the circulatory  system, lower back pain.  Safety  Slippery floors, obstructed passages, improperly secured equipment, poorly designed work flow.  Slips, falls, bruises, scrapes, cuts, strains  and sprains.  REFERENCES: Andrea Hricko and Melanie Brunt, Working for Your Life, Labour Occupational Health Program  and Public Citizens'Health Research Group, Berkeley, 1976.  Jeanne Stellman, Women's Work, Women's Health, Pantheon Books, New York, 1977.  that the size of the seat is appropriate  to the sitter.  It should fit snugly into  the small of the back so that it supports  the spine and the lower back.  The seat', this should be slanted backward  just enough to allow you to lean comfortably against backrest.  The material:  this should be porous to  allow body heat to dissipate. Wool and  cotton are best. Not vinyl or plastic.  Polyester clothes, nylon underwear and  panty hose tend to trap body heat and increase perspiration.  The daily building  up of heat and moisture can cause such  medical problems as vaginal and bladder  infections.  Finally, the height of the desk or table  should be adjustable so you can sit back  in your chair, arms at- right angles to  your body as you work. Remember to take  small breaks, to stretch your spine and  even to lie down for a few minutes on  your back in the lounge at coffee break to  relieve the tension. Don't smoke. You can  demand that people around you don't smoke.  Carbon monoxide from cigarettes stays in  the blood stream longer during low physical  activity, having harmful effects.  What if you are a temporary employee and  are given any old chair? What if you are  refused a better chair that will fit you?  Talk to your health and safety committee  if you're unionized. Organize your own  group with your co-workers to draw up a  plan of action and submit it to your management. Demand a steno chair and adjust it!  Get on to the WCB's back  The WCB is little concerned wi oh the problems of back injuries caused by long-  term sedentary occupations. The Office  and Technical Employees Union reported to  the WCB about back injuries. They reported frustration in dealing with the WCB  response to back injuries.  Over 50$ of  all claims handled by union representatives are back-related. However, 65%  or  better of all appeals to the WCB Board  of Review concern back injury claims.  This indicates the failure of the Board  to recognize the prevalence of back  trauma caused by the job.  One of the OTEU demands is: "That the  cumulative effect of trauma on the back  be compensible."    Deanne Des Roches.  VDT's = Very Dangerous Technology  VDT's are word processing machines. The  letters stand for Video Display Terminal.  They are also called CRT's for Cathode Ray  Tubes, which describes their process of  operation. Manufacturers have promoted  the more neutral term, "video display  terminal" to detract from the association  with radiation that the phrase "cathode  ray tube" evokes.  A VDT consists of a keyboard, like a conventional typewriter, but with additional  keys; a video display unit which resembles  a tv screen; a memory to store information;  a microcomputer and a printer.  The image of what is keyboarded into the  memory is displayed on the screen. Corrections, changes, are made by keyboarding them  into the memory. Only when the screen shows  that the memory holds all the information in  its correct form is the text printed on to  the paper.  VDT's are used everywhere: in banks, insurance and travel offices, hospitals, telegraph and telephone operations, on newspapers, for airlines, railways and buses  and many other kinds of offices.  And office workers are everywhere. The US  Labor Department estimates that 22$ of the  total labour force works in an office.  That's a lot of people to be affected by  a new machine!  There are about 50,000 VDT's in use in  Canada today; in the US, an estimated five  million.  Ln April 1980 Industry Minister Herb Gray  announced that the federal government will  make $50 million available over the next  three years to assist electronic firms in  Canada.  Health hazards from low-level  radiation and from poor workplace  design  The health hazards of VDT's fall into two  main areas:  * the effects on operators of low-level,  non-ionizing radiation from the machines;  * what's broadly described as poor workplace design, leading to visual problems.  Many of the symptoms in both areas are similar. Some people are proponents of one  or the other. In general, it has seemed  easier to convince governments and industry  to respond to the poor workplace design  issue; the radiation hazards are moie controversial.  How the radiation works  To understand the hazards of radiation, we  need to know more about the technology.  VDT's operate the same way as a tv. Electrons are beamed from a cathode or electron gun at the tube screen, where the required image is produced.  The machines emit low levels of radiation  from several parts of the electro-magnetic spectrum, including X rays, microwaves  and radio frequency waves.  In theory,  the machine parts that produce radiation  are shielded and radiation is not supposed to escape at levels that endanger  the operators or others nearby.  The major danger from VDT's is the low  levels of radio frequency radiation. This  is a kind of non-ionizing radiation, like  radium.  Non-ionizing radiation does not  change the molecular structure of a substance such as human tissue in the same  way that ionizing'radiation does. (X  rays, for example, are ionizing.)  However, there are a growing"number of  studies, based on experiments with ani-  'mals and on observations of human beings  who work with non-ionizing radiation —  such as radar technicians — that suggest there are serious biological  effects produced by exposure to very  low levels.  We know that low level radiation heats  up tissue (as in microwave ovens) and  interacts with biological systems in  ways that are not completely understood.  Some effects that these studies have  observed and reported are: headaches,  visual deterioration, changes in colour  perception, skin rashes, dulling sensation in the fingertips, nausea, general  fatigue and irritability.  These are all complaints that VDT operators have had.  Other effects include a particular kind  of cataract, leukemia-like blood diseases, interference with reproduction  and fertility, and birth defects in the  children of female and male workers.  No compensation for cataracts  Two young New York Times editors developed  eye cataracts and related their condition!  to working on VDT's. They did not win Kinesis February '8  CLERICAL WORKERS  ^T-  i  ~SAFE^J  BEFOREj  their compensation fight because the radiation level emitted by the machines they  worked on was said to be "too low."  A similar case occurred in Toronto where  four women who worked at the Toronto Star  had babies with birth defects, all within  a three-month period. These women, too,  all worked on VDT's. When their machines  were tested, the radiation leakage was  described as "negligible."  The crux of the problem is that in North  America, the dangers of low-level nonionizing radiation are not acknowledged.  The local B.C. and United States standards  for occupational exposure to microwaves is  ten milliwats per centimetre.  But in the USSR and in other European countries it is much lower — 1000 times lower  for the workplace and 10,000 times lower  for the general population. They are obviously very concerned about the hazard of  leakages that here are called "minimal,  negligible, harmless." Pregnant women  can't work with microwaves in some Eastern  European countries which is a sign of the  hazard of non-ionizing radiation as well  as the hazard of being a female worker.  Here in Vancouver, the WCB assures us that  there is no danger at the established  limit of exposure; in fact the Board was  planning to eliminate compensation for  disease due to exposure to non-ionizing  radiation. Pressure from various groups,  especially the Newspaper Guild, forced  the Board to back down.  Recently on the U.S. east coast, some air  traffic controllers, who work with radar  were compensated for cataracts. And, in  the States, Paul Brodeur (who wrote a  book called the Zapping of America,  an  expose of microwaves and what he describes  as a massive coverup of the problem) said  on a recent visit to Vancouver that the  US will be changing its standard, and  that the microelectronic industry will  have enormous law suits on its hands.  Crucial Ontario ruling coming up  Right now, there is a significant case  before the Ontario Workers Compensation  Board. A 40-year-old woman developed cataracts after a year and a half working on  a VDT. The outcome will affect all other  claims in Canada.  The problem is a big one, to say the least:  getting recognition that low level nonionizing radiation is a hazard to health,  developing technology for testing,  getting machine designs changed, developing  standards for quality control, and maintenance .  In the meantime, machines should be spaced  so operators are not sitting near other  machines, since whatever radiation exposure  there is will be multiplied by the number  of nearby machines. Shields should be  bought and effectively installed. Workers  should have periods of work on and off  the machine. Pregnant women shouldn't  work on them (and they shouldn't be excluded from the workforce).  Workplace design problems have to do with  lighting, equipment layout, work posture,  production pressure. Sometimes, this is  referred to as ergonomics, a word coined  to describe the dynamic relationship of  all- workplace factors.  Workers' complaints are serious  Workers' complaints, all verified by a  recent study conducted in California by  the National Institute of Occupational  Safety and Health include:  * eye soreness, redness, stinging, irritation, general discomfort in eyes  * pain in neck, back and arms  * dull headaches, sometimes above the  eyes  * loss of visual acuity - seeing blurred  WORK1N' WOMEN  or double images; fuzzy coloured fringes  * dizziness, nausea  * problems with eyeglasses, contact  lenses.  Eyestrain  There is reference above to the effects  on eyes of low-level non-ionizing radiation.  Muscle fatigue may also play a part in  eyestrain due to the constant focussing  at close range.  Unions in Sweden and Germany have pushed for  regular breaks. The NIOSH report recommends  that workers have ten minutes off every hour  that the hours on and off should be alternated and that the total times on machines  should be limited. In Sweden, for example,  the limit is four hours a day.  Glare  Glare on the screen is produced by light  from windows, from shiny work surfaces,  from too-bright lighting, or light that is  coming from the wrong direction. This  reflected light makes it hard to see the  characters- on the screen. Glare can cause  neck and back pain as the operator contorts  her body to minimize the glare.  There are non-reflective glass screens  that are always used in airplane cockpits;  they're expensive, of course. Lighting  should be indirect, machines should be  kept away from windows, and windows should  be covered.  Contrast glare  Constrast glare is when the background  lighting is too bright: lights need to be  dimmer to focus on screen than for doing  paper work. Constrast of dark screen and  bright background makes it hard for the  worker to adjust to the screen.  * Don't  wear sunglasses. Eliminate the  source of the glare.  * Try and get dim light, but not so dim  you can't read the copy.  * Paint the background wall darker, and  use a screen that doesn't reflect light.  A black matte plastic grid placed over  the overhead lighting fixtures creates  good lighting for VDT work.  Character size and colour  A dark green screen with light green or  yellow letters is easiest to read. A black  screen with white letters is the second  best. A larger screen which has larger  characters is better,(and more expensive)  than the smaller screens.  Eyeglasses and bifocals  If you already wear corrective lenses you  may need special lenses to work on a VDT.  Wearers of bifocals will tend to lean forward and tilt the head back to be 12 inches  away from the screen. This hurts the back  and the neck and causes headaches. When  you go for your eye exam, you must ask for  the split lamp bi-microscopic  exam to check  for radiation-caused cataracts.  Posture and Stress  The best posture is with the eyes looking  slightly down at a 20% angle.  It's best to have a detachable keyboard so  it can be at the right height, but the  screen can be raised or tilted for comfort,  Stress is increased by the speedup of the  workpace. After all, the machines are  sold on the basis of increased productivity and the capability of the machine,  rather than the person using it. Work requirements are set according to the machine 's capacities, not the worker's.  Some VDT's are programmed to monitor workers: how much she's done; how long it's  taken and how much is left to do.  There are techniques to ameliorate stress:  meditation, self-hypnosis and yoga. But  the technology and its potential for monitoring and controlling the workplace is  inherently stressful.  Some worker control over the pace of production would cut down the level of stress,  for the VDT worker.  Remember: the idea is for the employer  to make the workplace a healthy place,  not for the worker to do all kinds of  makeshift things to adjust.  Chances for changes  The Health and Safety Committee of your  union, or individuals themselves, can document workers' health problems on VDT's.  There are examples of surveys available  ; which could be useful to you in developing your own records.  The Canadian Labour Congress recently conducted a study of the visual hazards associated with VDT's. The results have  not yet been published, but will surely  provide some ammunition for workers to  demand more protection.  There is a VDT Committee at the B.C. Federation of Labour that is working on yet  another study which will pinpoint the conditions more effectively. Contact Keith  Graham at 430 - 1421 for more information.  Contract language  Some contracts include provision for: adequate rest breaks; eye exams at the employer's expense before starting work on  VDT's and at regular intervals thereafter;  improvements in workplace design (such  as lighting to eliminate glare and contrast glare); and union participation in  equipment purchases such as detachable  keyboards and adjustable screens.  Other provisions include some protection  from radiation hazards by spacing of the  machines, testing for leakage, ensuring  regular maintenance and providing shields  for the machines and regular, breaks for  the workers.  The union contract should ensure that if  the worker has to stop working on the  machine for health reasons, she should be  transferred to another job with the same  pay and no loss of seniority or privil-  The VDT research group of Women's Action  On Occupational Health meet regularly to  learn more about the machines and the hazards to workers, and to pass along that  information. Call 736-6696 to find out  more about the group. 0-   Melanie Conn. Kinesis February '81  OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH  How those microchips will chip away at women's jobs  Microchip technology will have a drastic  effect upon the traditional female job  ghetto. In fact, it will eliminate many  jobs presently done by women.  Microchip or micro-electronic technology  is based on the silicon chip, which is  smaller than a fingernail.  It is possible  to put all the circuitry of a modern computer on to one of these chips.  Such a chip is then called a microprocessor. When microprocessors are added to  other electronic gadgets, which endow them  with a memory function, they become "intelligent machines" or microcomputers.  Some examples of these machines include  word processors, electronic toys, calculators, home computers and electronic  mail systems.  Microprocessors are considerably smaller  than previous incarnations of this technology. For example, it has been spec-  culated that if it were possible to reproduce the electronic circuitry of the  human brain, the size of such circuitry  built with vacuum tubes would occupy the  entire city of greater London.  By the 1960s, with the process of miniaturization, this would be reduced to the  size of a concert hall. The late 70s  packaged a box the size of a dressing-  room.  By the late 80s, this package  could be smaller than the human brain.  The primary importance of such miniaturization lies in the continued reduced cost  of this technology. Computers, in fact,  are becoming much, much cheaper to produce  and operate.  This technology is far from neutral  While many people see the development of  this technology as neutral, it cannot be  disputed that its use in the workplace is  far from neutral.  Those who control the manufacture and installation of this technology are using  it to make maximum profits for minimum  costs. Corporations use this technology  to increase productivity and efficiency.  This enables them to cutback on labour  costs.  In the case of women it brings up  the spectres of unemployment and underemployment .  However, this new technology is also of  real and potential benefit to large sections of society. It can free us from  boring, repetitive tasks and provide  a new life for handicapped people.  The introduction of microelectronic technology into the workplace means a huge  alteration in the patterns of women's work.  The scanty information available is frightening. The "Nora-Mine" report, from France,  has forecast that 30% of bank and insurance  workers will be redundant in the next ten  years.  In the general office environment, the International Federation of Commercial, Clerical and Technical Employees claims that by  1990, five million European secretaries will  have their jobs eliminated by automatic typewriters and word-processing systems.  By 1990:40% computerized  A German electronics firm, Siemens, states  that by 1990, 40$ of office work will be  carried out by computerized systems.  These conclusions are substantiated by a  special edition of the Financial Post, entitled "The Office of the Future." It  states that:  There will be no secretaries as we know  them in the progressive office of the  1980s.    Routine typing and clerical  chores now performed by secretaries  will be taken over by the new technology.  An estimated one and a half million cobs  in Canada may eventually disappear or be  upgraded to administrative assistant  functions.     Clerks will begin to be  thinned out as interactive terminals  are used for data entry.    Initially,  specialists will be designated to operate this equipment; however,  even the  need for these individuals will disappear. ...  Harvard sociologist, Daniel Bell, has suggested that 20$ to 30$ of all clerical effort will be eliminated by information  storage devices.  A report by Jenkins and Sherman forecast  25$, or five million unemployed in Britain by 1990 as a result of the introduction of microprocessors into the workplace.  These figures reflect recent experience.  For example, the British gambling syndicate, Vernon's, has halved their staff in  15 years due to the introduction of technological change.  In 1965, there were  approximately 6,000 full time employees.  Now there are fewer than 3,000. 96$ of  these are women and 50% are part-timers.  A  more local experience is that of the  telecommunications industry.  In 1969  Bell Canada employed 13,600 operators in  Quebec and Ontario; by 1979 there were  7,400.  In 1976 the first computerized  switchboard was introduced into Vancouver  by B.C. Tel.  This uses 22% fewer workers.  This means the loss of jobs. For example,  Penticton will loose all its operators  (about 70) and Vernon will lose between  85 — 105 operators.  Woodworkers, construction workers, hospital and retail workers are also potentially  adversely affected by microelectronics.  The newspaper industry has been vastly  changed by the introduction of word processors (alias video display terminals or  VDT's).  The growth of the electronics communication industry, directly related to the  silicon chip, will result in the restructuring of employment in the entire industry.  A study by the West German Postal Workers  Union estimated that during the years 1980  — 1990, approximately 1,920 jobs would be  lost each year in traditional mail services.  This would be offset by the creation of  1,240 jobs per annum in the telecommunications industry.  These studies show that microprocessors  cause widespread job displacement and unemployment.  For women, this had a very  direct impact. Women will be "eased" out  of the workplace.  The jobs that we do now will be drastically  reduced. Since we are concentrated into  such a small section of the labour force,  a cutback in these jobs makes us even more  vulnerable.  As this new technology will transform  offices and banks, many women who work  in those areas will be displaced. Since  large numbers of women entered the labour  force primarily to fill jobs in the  rapidly expanding service sector, it  follows that as this sector is cutback,  so will women's participation in the workforce .  This new technology will also hit women  in these sectors because by and large  they have not been organized into unions.  That will leave us fighting isolated battles, rather than having access to the  collective union fightback.  Microchip technology will also retard  the entry rate of women into the workforce.  There will be fewer jobs in the  fields where we traditionally work, and  those new fields that will open up as a  result of this new technology will probably not be easily accessible to women.  It means that we will have to fight to  get into them.  Many jobs for women will probably become  either part-time or temporary.  Women will  be used at the whim of the employer and  will not have the security of a regular  paycheck.  Microchip technology will also mean that  women will be the victims of a higher unemployment rate.  This rate, already higher for women than for men, will fluctuate  upwards. We will have less opportunity  to be employed, or re-employed, as the  case may be.  To compound this, social,  health and education services are now  being cutback.  To sum up, this new technology means that  women will be forced back into the family.  The advent of microcomputers has major  implications on the structure of our work.  It has been estimated that three VDT's can  replace-ten secretaries. This means that  we will end up working in more isolated,  fragmented offices.  The jobs that are not lost or displaced  will be deskilled.  Rather than having  any control over her working life, the  operator will become merely an extension  of her machine.  Microchip technology also extends management's control over both the workplace and  the worker. Video display terminals are  fully capable of recording the speed  of work and the mistakes made.  Hazards in manufacturing process, too  VDT's present health problems not only for  operators but also for workers, mostly women, involved in the manufacturing process.  Workers making the chips (mainly in Southern California, in an area known as "Silicon Valley") are exposed to numerous, toxic, unlabelled, untested substances. And  in South East Asia, it is estimated that  over 300,000 women are employed in delicate, tedious circuitry work, damaging their  eyes and receiving, in some places, as  little as ten cents an hour for the work.  Despite the litany of problems caused by  microchip technology, the technology is  not of itself bad.  It can make our jobs  more interesting and give us more leisure  time. The issue is not throwing out  the technology, but gaining control of  it.  In this light, there are many things we  have to do. We have to work hard to  organize unorganized women into trade  unions, thereby providing them with a  mechanism to collectively gain control  over this technology.  We have to fight for benefits from this  technology, such as the shorter work week  and better pay.  In regards to' health and safety we have  to demand that the employer take adequate  precautions: shielding the machines, insuring that we don't work on these machines  for long periods of time without a break;  providing proper lighting, and so on.  The main task remains making sure that  this technology benefits us, not our em-  ployers- 2 Marion Pollock. Kinesis February '81  CLERICAL WORKERS  Working for our health and safety: local contract clauses  Here we present some Health and Safety  clauses in existing union contracts.   Very  little has been done about health and safety issues in collective agreements for  clerical workers,  but these are encouraging precedents.  The contract between the Association of  University and College Employees and the  University of British Columbia includes  the following general statement:  "The University agrees to maintain good  working conditions in the employees' work  areas. It is understood that adequate heat  control (including air conditioning where  adequate natural ventilation does not exist)  exist), noise control, washroom facilities,  lighting and space between employees are  necessary to the well-being and health of  employees. The Workers' Compensation Board  regulations shall constitute the minimum  standards for safe working conditions and  it is understood that changes beyond such  minimum standards may be requested."  Responsibility  The agreement between CAIMAW (Canadian  Association of Industrial, Mechanical and  Allied Workers) and Freightliner includes  a clause on responsibility:  "The company agrees that it is its responsibility to make adequate provisions for  the health and safety of its employees."  Working conditions are covered in the contract between the Association of University and College Employees (AUCE) and  the University of British Columbia (UBC)':  "If, in the opinion of the majority of  staff members (i.e. employees and non-bargaining unit staff) in a particular work  area, conditions are believed to be dangerous -to the employees' health or safety,  the employees shall be re-located, reassigned in the same department or granted  time off without loss of pay until such  conditions are corrected. The employees  shall be returned to their original positions.  "If the operations of a department are suspended due to the application of this article, employees may be temporarily reassigned outside the department without loss  of pay, provided no other employee is displaced as a result. The employees shall be  Resources  Local Resources:  WOMEN'S ACTION ON OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH  1501 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. 736-6696  —educational materials on specific subjects & workplaces  —resource information such as books, magazines, articles  —research groups on particular subjects, such as VDT's, health -  workers  —connecting women with similar concerns, jobs.  OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH RESOURCE CENTRE  Simon  Fraser University,  Burnaby,  B.C.  Institute  of  Human  Performance. 291-4589 or 879-8587.  — information and workshops.  WORKING WOMEN UNITE  Box 65563, Station F, Vancouver, B.C.  —member group of B.C. Federation of Women  —presenting a workshop on VDT's on Saturday, April 11th. Call  Susan (253-2120) for information about precise time and place.  SERVICE OFFICE AND RETAIL WORKERS UNION OF CANADA  (SORWUC) #814-402 West Pender St., Vancouver, B.C. 684-2834.  —union organizing, also information and contract clause resources  ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGE EMPLOYEES  (AUCE) Provincial office: #901-207 W. Hastings St., Vancouver,  B.C. 684-2457 a  —information about contract language on occupational health  WORKERS COMPENSATION BOARD  5255 Heather St., Vancouver, B.C. V5X 3L8  —Prevention services: 261-2282   Hearing Services: 273-7711  —the industrial hygiene department of the Preventive section of  the Board has inspectors who are responsible for looking into  conditions where chemicals may be at hazardous levels. They  can write orders that direct employers to correct dangerous  conditions. Complaints to the Board can be made anonymously. Any worker may ask the Board to investigate a workplace.  OCCUPATIONAL ENVIRONMENT BRANCH, B.C. Ministry of Labour  8 locations in B.C.    Burnaby office: #220-4946 Canada Way,  Burnaby, B.C. V5G 4J6  —the OEB administers the Factory Act which includes offices.  Questions about heat, light, sanitation and ventilation are appropriately directed towards inspectors there.  returned to their original positions when  the department resumes operation."  Unsafe conditions: the right to refuse  to work  AUCE Local 2 in its contract with the employer, Simon Fraser University, has the  following clause concerning unsafe condit- .  ions:  "After notifying her/his immediate supervisor and the University Safety Officer,  an employee may refuse, without loss of  pay, to work under conditions she/he considers unsafe, until the University Safety  Officer has checked the condition and reported to the department and the employee  (s) involved. Upon written request, a written confirmation of such oral report shall  be made to the department(s) and the employee^) involved within one working day."  There are few contracts which include the  employees' right to refuse to work if she  considers the workplace to be unsafe. The  following is an example of such a possible  clause. It is taken from Contract Clauses  by Jeffrey Sack and deals with the right  to refuse to work:  "No employee shall be disciplined or discharged for refusal to work on a job in  any work place or to operate any equipment  where she/he has reasonable grounds to believe that it would be unsafe or unhealthy  to do sci, or where it would be contrary to  applicable federal, provincial or municipal  legislation or regulations. Where, in such  circumstances, the employee does not work,  she/he shall not suffer a loss of pay."  The Service, Office and Retail Workers Union of Canada (SORWUC) has a clause in  its agreement with the Electrical Trades  Credit Union which provides for an adequate  first aid kit for employees: "The employer  agrees to provide a proper first aid kit  for employees."  Lighting  AUCE, again in its agreement with UBC, has  provision for workers' health regarding  lighting in the clerical offices:  "Wherever reasonably possible, employees  will be seated in working areas close to  windows at eye level. In this regard,  where it is necessary to rearrange the  work area, there shall be a mutual agreement between the University and the employees affected.  "The degree of light intensity and the qual  ity of lighting in a given area shall first  and foremost be guided by the practical aspects of the work to be done in that area  and not solely by aesthetic/cosmetic considerations .  "With the understanding that 'brightness'  is a subjective phenomenon, any employee  shall be entitled to have a supplementary  light source for her/his work area if she/  he requests."  CAIMAW's agreement with the employer, Freightliner, has a clause concerning the purchase of meters which reads:  "The company agrees to purchase a noise  meter, light meter and air contaminant  meter and allow the Safety Committee to  have access to these devices at regular  times as decided by the Safety Committee.  Consultation  AUCE and UBC have, as part of their agreement, a clause concerned consultation:  "Where new or additional equipment is required, affected employees must be consulted prior to purchase or rental.  "Where renovations (which may affect the  working area of the employees) are planned  for an existing building, employees from  the working areas concerned shall be consulted regarding such renovations, before  renovating may begin.  "Where a permanent change is considered  in the location xif work areas or in working procedures, the employees concerned  must be consulted before any changes may  begin."   Cj  Working Women Unite is presenting a workshop on VDT's on Saturday, April 11. Call  Susan at 253-2120 for details.  Gillian Marie  nrK| &*M a  Jht'5  to a  uyuovi...  Resources in Ontario:  OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY TRAINING CENTRE  15 Gervals Drive, #703, Don Mills, Ontario M3C1Y8.  —Has a bi-monthly newsletter.  CANADIAN    CENTRE    FOR   OCCUPATIONAL   HEALTH    AND  SAFETY.  Health Sciences Centre, 3N25-1200  Main,  Hamilton, Ontario  L8N 3Z5. Call 416-527-6590 (In Toronto) or613-995-1982 (Ottawa).  —Newsletter, information service.  Resources in the U.S.A.:  WOMEN'S OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH RESOURCE CENTRE  60 Haven Ave., B-1, New York, New York 10032.  —Bi-monthly "News".  LABOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAM  Institute of Industrial Relations, University of California, 2521  Charming Way, Berkeley, California94720.  —Bi-monthly "Monitor".  Written Resources:  THE SECRET OPPRESSION: SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WORKING WOMEN. Constance Backhouse and Leah Cohen. Toronto:  Macmillan, 1979.  A description of the problems of sexual harassment, based on  Canadian and U.S. interviews, including suggestions on various  remedies. One of the few sources to include information on  Canadian legal and other options.  FIGHTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT: AN ADVOCACY HANDBOOK.  Backhouse, Brophy, Freedman et al. 1979 (available at Vancouver  Status of Women for $4.00).  U.S. material with U.S. legal solutions. But useful source book,  particularly for organizing and advocacy strategies.  WORKING   FOR   YOUR   LIFE:   A   WOMAN'S   GUIDE   TO   JOB  HEALTH HAZARDS. Andrea Hricko & Melanie Brunt.  A joint publication of Labour Occupational Health Program &  Public Citizens Health Research Group. Available from LOHP,  University of California, 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, California  94720 U.S.A.  An extremely useful manual that gives relevant information about  the female work force, specific hazards that affect reproduction  and hazards on jobs where large numbers of women work. Very  thorough references.  RADIATION ON THE JOB-A MANUAL FOR HEALTH WORKERS  ON IONIZING RADIATION. San Francisco: The Low-level Radiation Project of the Coalition for the Medical Rights of Women,  1980. $2.50.  Concerned particularly with health hazards of low-level  "IONIZING" radiation and researched and written predominantly  by health workers. Also looks at the fact that all hospital workers  are at risk from some form of ionizing radiation.  WOMEN'S WORK, WOMEN'S HEALTH: MYTHS AND REALITIES.  Jeanne M. Stellman. Pantheon Books, 1977. $4.70.  Looks at special points of physical and psychic strain where  women work and focuses on the general health of the woman  worker, as well as on occupational hazards related to reproduction.  WORK IS DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH. Jeanne M. Stellman &  Susan M. Daum. Vintage Books, 1973.  Specific hazards, e.g. stress, chemicals, lighting—including ideas  for compiling records, monitoring workplaces and taking action.  Indexed by occupations and hazardous substances.  UNION WAGE. P.O. Box 40904, San Francisco, California94140.  Subscription is $4.00 per year.  BARGAINING FOR EQUALITY. Women's Labour Project, P.O. Box  6250, San Francisco, California94101. $4.50 plus 50« postage.  Looks at women workers' problems and legal and collective  bargaining solutions. Includes sexual harassment, pregnancy,  etc.  SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE: A DISCUSSION  PAPER. Project of Vancouver Women's Research Centre and  Women's Rights Committee of the B.C. Federation of Labour.  March, 1980.  Interviews with women re: harassment on the job—122 of them  from office clerks. An excellent source for an introduction to the  topic.  WCB INDUSTRIAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS  Outlines the legal requirements which employers in B.C. must  follow to maintain workplace health and safety. This includes  provision of safety equipment and details about heavy machinery  use. Appendix A is the Control Requirements for Airborne Contaminant Substances—this is seven tables which will be useful to  a worker who wants to know the legal maximum concentration  and exposure for a particular substance. Remember, though, that  the current "maximum" may be too high in the light of other  information. But the Regulations are an important starting place. Kinesis February '81  MOVIES  Nine to Five: it's a good experiment in women's fighting humour  By Jan De Grass  Women's issues are no joke. Observe your  friend's face as she reads her latest copy  of Kinesis or while she watchs a feminist  theatre group and you'll see she's not  laughing. It's understandable - I find  it difficult myself to get a good laugh  out of rape or botched abortion. Office  sexual politics, dead-end' jobs and lonely  women on welfare don't exactly make me  howl with glee.  Because the evidence of oppression is so  serious and so vivid it touchs a raw  nerve in each one of us.  Thus we don't go to popular film comedies  expecting to see feminist struggles. (By  popular film, I mean: big budget, name  stars, advertised in downtown theatre  chains. ) Many other struggles are portrayed - usually the struggles for fame,  power, money or sex. That about wraps  it up for the popular movie market.  In over 100 major movies reviewed by the  New York Times at the end of 1978 and  most of 1979 only two of them examined  any topic even loosely interpreted as a  women's issue. Those were Norma Rae and  My Brilliant Career (reviewed by Kinesis).  In both cases the focus on women took  second place to a broader theme.  We do better in print. During that same  period (78/79) My Mother/Myself and The  Women's Room topped the paperback bestseller list. Neither these two films nor  the two books could be called funny, although The Women's Room has a certain  vengeful humour.  The time approached for a new type of film-  a popular film in which women's oppression  is the central theme - not simply the subplot or the something that sends poor Mr.  Kramer to court.  Pink collar consciousness hits Hollywood  Perceiving the need for such a film and  possibly sensing the "pink collar revolt"  as the latest trendy struggle, Jane Fonda  provided some initial impetus for Nine to  Five. It's based on an original story by  Patricia Resnick, a former office worker,  and screenplayed by writer-director Colin  Higgins. Higgins and Fonda met with forty  members of Working Women, a national U.S.  organization for office workers. Fonda's  old friend Karen Nussbaum heads the group.  Much of the screenplay is based on the  taped tales of woe that these women  divulged.  In order to exorcize that old ghost that  feminists have no sense of humour, the  film is a comedy. Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin  and Dolly Parton are co-workers in a large  unorganized corporate office, whieh still  operates on the glorified kindergarten  approach to personnel relations. Staff  are not allowed personal photographs or  flowers on their desks and are chastised  for gossiping in the washroom. A nosy  office manager and a sleazy boss who chases  his secretary around the desk add to the  general antipathy.  The trio form an alliance based on their  grudge against the boss, Franklin M. Hart  and in one hilarious scene they smoke dope  together while fantasizing revenge on him.  The very next day sees Lily Tomlin accidentally poisoning the boss with a Freudian slip of her coffee spoon - unconsciously enacting her fantasyI  But the  old fart survives and threatens blackmail  unless his price is met. His price is—  you guessed it—the virtue of happily-  married Dolly Parton. Undaunted by this  villainy the trio hold him prisoner in his  own mansion for three weeks. (His wife is  conveniently out of town. ) Remarkably no  one at the office notices his absence.  Dolly writes and signs his correspondence  and fields his phone calls. Lily, who  knows his job inside out - after all, she  trained him - churns out memos changing  office policy. Within weeks staff receive  a- fat pay hike, daycare is instituted,  part time and job sharing options are in  force and even the office souse has been  rehabilitated.  Of course, as anyone who has ever tried to  organize a union will be aware, this is  an unrealistic approach to the problems.  What unions may set out to accomplish in  thirty years Dolly & Co have achieved overnight, using guerrila tactics. Here lies  the problem in Nine to Five.  It's a fantasy and makes no other pretensions. The trouble with a fantasy is that  we don't have to believe in it, or take  it seriously, either as an employee or  employer.  .Mr. Boss can excuse himself by saying,  "jeez, I'm not like that guy anyway. No  one can say I: a) chase my secretary  b) listen to the office toadies c) don't  know my job.  Office workers can also watch the film and  excuse themselves "No one can say I'm like  that, I don't: a) think the boss's secretary is sleeping with him b) choose his  wife's gift on my lunch hour c) bring him  coffee. Our office isn't as bad as all  that."  Of course it isn't.  You've laughed your  way out of it.  No one can really take  slapstick seriously yet halfway through  this film it reaches a level of slapstick  that makes Cheech and Chong seem like  melodrama.  We need humour but not the big yuks  We need comedy. Women need to present  women's issues with humour, but humour  tempered with sensitivity. We're just not  ready for the big yuks yet.  Lily Tomlin, a very funny woman, was able '  to tell an interviewer how much she identified with her role as an office worker:  "It's grinding to sit all day, and the  lighting and air are awful. Those sealed  offices would drain my energy. Not to mention the lights over the mirrors in the  ladies rooms. I knew I would get into a  terrible physical and mental state working  there."  Without wishing to state the obvious, what  Tomlin described is simply not funny.  To  those of us who work under such conditions,  it's hard to see how anyone could make a  comedy out of it. That someone is willing  to try is commendable and, perhaps, the  start of a tradition.  In a Ms. magazine article Naomi Weisstein  contrasts feminist humour with Jewish  humour which, she points out, is based on  an understanding of shared oppression -  mainly jokes aimed at the oppressors.  "I know of no comparable tradition in women's humour.  I mean a humour which recognizes a common oppression, notices its  sources and the roles it requires and identifies the agents of oppression.  There  have been extraordinary obstacles to the  development of women's fighting humour.  We must therefore experiment with the public presentation of such a humour."  To give Nine to Five its due, it is a good  experiment in women's fighting humour.o  Interested in women and the  labour movement? In publishing?  Interested in women and the labour movement? In publishing? In the oral history of women?  Press Gang's newest project, a book based  on the oral history of women in the labour  movement in B.C. during the 1920s, 30s and  40s, needs volunteers for transcribing.  In our office we have a box full of tapes  that have to be transcribed. Interviews  with courageous and knowledgeable women  that we can learn a great deal from.  The material is fascinating and if you  have the time, interest and typing skills,  contact us at 603 Powell or phone 253-1224.  Flood and Roses for March 8:  March 8 at 7:30 p.m. the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island presents a staged  reading of Cynthia Flood's play, Roses are  Red. Directed by Kate Weiss, this reading  will be part of the New Play Centre's Sunday showcase program. Also to be read is  Voices, a play by Eileen Gordon about a day  in the life of the very old.  Roses are Red was developed from a short  story of the same name, published in the  Press Gang anthology, Common Ground. Kinesis February '81  BOOKS  Incest: a very personal response to a very personal memoir  By G.Marie  Daddy 's Girl,  A Very Personal Memoir  by  Charlotte Vale Allen. McClelland & Stewart  1980  It is only now as I enter my mid-thirties  that I begin the painful task of liberating myself from the male definitions of  my sexuality. Having grown up in a sexually repressed household, where human  sexuality was invisible and rarely discussed, and living in a patriarchal society  which determined and defined not only my  experience but also my perceptions of  that experience, I have had lots of work  to do.  Charlotte Vale Allen's book Daddy's Girl  is very painful reading. Through its 254  pages, I was forced to confront my own  incestuous experience and come to terms  with some of its consequences in my own  life.  At times the book was too difficult to  read, and I was reluctant to continue, not  wanting to conjure up the past and have to  deal with it.  But each time something  would become clearer to me, each time I  would have a new understanding of how  that experience shaped me, my relationships,  and my self esteem, each time I felt freer  of the constraints of that experience, I  breathed deeply and took up the book again.  When Kate Millett was last in Vancouver to  publicize her book, The Basement,  she  stressed the powerlessness of pre-pubescent  young women. It is when we are this age  that our sexuality is first defined for us  by men. She stressed how we take this on  ourselves in the form of shame and guilt. ■  Incest heightens sexual guilt  I think that if an incestuous relationship  is taking place at this time in our lives,  the sense of guilt that we associate with  the fact of our maturing bodies is  heightened. Mixed up with the sex is love,  and pain, and guilt, and shame. These  feelings remain with us when we are women,  and can form our sexual relationships.  The incest experience shapes us as victims.  We have no outlet for our justified anger  and rage. We turn it upon ourselves, for  there is noone to tell. The consequences  of telling someone in the family are too  great. The consequences of telling someone outside of what is going on in the  private walls of the family are too much  risk. Instead, we take on the shame, the  guilt, and blame ourselves for existing in  our own bodies.  It has taken me years to like my body.  For some years I was slim and sexually  attractive, desired by men for my body.  I  remember feeling so much hatred of myself,  and having the desire to maim myself. The  continuing fantasy was to place a hot iron  against my face so that it would be  scarred. Then people (men) would have to  like me for me, and not my sexuality or  my body.  Reading Allen's book I realized where this  hatred has its roots. She too hated her  body, used to scrub at herself after being  with her father. She blamed herself for  her father's violation of her body and  took it on, seeing herself as ugly, bad, a  troublemaker, underserving of love.  One of the consequences of incestuous  relationships for women is that we learn  that men have all the power. Allen says,  "I believed that men could do just about  anything to women and we'd simply bear  it." (p. 197) It's an immense step from  there to an equal sexual relationship.  Another is to see our own sexual responses  negatively. Allen relates how, when she  reaches puberty, she now has sexual responses to her father's stimulation of her  body. These feelings add to her feelings  of self-loathing, and with determination  she sets out to control her sexual responses, (p. 190)  This control is difficult to unlearn.  When I'm tired, angry or withdrawn, it is  my sexual responses that I first cut off.  Men in my life have reinforced my negative  feelings about my sexuality. Men attempted to control my passion by demanding  penetration. A male gynecologist blamed  a Dalcon Shield induced pelvic inflamatory  disease on my promiscuous "sleeping around"  My husband's sensibilities were so upset  by "my past" that he refused to have  anything to do with my brother, with whom  I had had an incestuous relationship. This  reinforced the view I held of myself  being tainted goods.  Another man in my life once described me  as "a bitch in heat" when I was passionate  with another man. It was through Allen's  book that I was able to fit all of these  pieces together, and with that knowledge,  continue the process of liberating my own  sexuality.  Allen stated in an interview that she wrote  her book "to make a statement for other  women ... I was so angry that there  wasn't anything on the subject." As she  says the only viable way of dealing with  incest is for victims to talk and write  about their experiences, to make the experiences visible, and know that you are  not the only woman that has had the experience. Only in this way can we learn  that we are worthy of being loved, given  to. Only when incest is openly discussed,  as abortion is today, will young women be  freed from its violence, from its fear.  Incest survivors group is meeting  For those of us who are survivors of incest, there is a support group that meets  Wednesday evenings at West End Community  Care Team. Phone Marsha or Lorie at  687-7994 for details.  £  To protect the innocent, please do not  reproduce without the author's permission.  Dorothy Bryant's Prisoners is well worth the read  By Ann C. Schaefer  PRISONERS, by Dorothy Bryant, Ata Books,  1980.  (Available by mail from Ata Books,  1928 Stuart Street, Berkeley, CA 94703.  $5:00 (US) paper; $9:00 (US)  Prisoners is an eloquent, simply-written  novel by the author of the feminist fantasy, The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You.  It is a small book about big issues: the  human tendency to shrink from making  choices, the politics of dependency and  freedom.  Sally is a social activist who, at 50,  is beginning to question the value of the  many causes demanding her time, among them  the campaign to Save the Bay and the free  clinic.  Horrified after reading about prison conditions, she begins a correspondence with  Gary, 25, in jail for violating the terms  of his probation after he participated un  wittingly in a getaway attempt.  The letters between these two, full of  hope and affection, make up the first  part of the book. They reveal Sally's  efforts to achieve Gary's parole. They  hint at Gary's unrealistic expectations  and Sally's satisfaction in the role of  helper.  The potential conflicts embedded in their  developing relationship emerge full-blown  in the second part of the book.  Not only has Sally managed to have Gary  paroled; she has also offered him a room  in her house in which to set up a new  life as a poet and student.  So the poor kid from the Mission district,  descended from the Okies, stumbles into  Sally's comfortable middle-class house ,  high on a hill in Berkeley and collapses  dead-drunk in the middle of a party of  all her friends.  The rest of the story is predictable,' but  never mind, for this is a story of character rather than plot, and Bryant is very  good indeed with her characters. She  swings us back and forth between the inner  dialogues of the two main characters, dizzying us with insights.  Prisoner is not an analysis of prison conditions, but it does reveal a great deal  about the effects of prison on some men.  Doesn't resort to rhetoric  it doesn't resort to rhetoric and thus  probably saves itself from being labelled  small-1 liberal. While aware of class  factors, Bryant demonstrates that individuals respond differently to circumstances, regardless of their status. Unfortunately the psychology of these differences  is left something of a mystery, weakening  what could have been a forceful statement.  We are told that Gary is too sensitive  about what is said to him and expected of  him. He is full of hatred; he expects  others to help him, and, the narrator tells  us, "people can never forgive anyone who  rescues them." A questionable premise.  Bryant's elegant and spare use of language  makes up for this fault in content. She  excels at simply-conveyed, striking images  and characterizations.  Bryant's talent for visual imagery is predisposed towards evoking the beautiful,  a drawback when she deals with Gary's life.  The books tends to be too nice.  Rarely is Gary allowed, by the middle-class  people who suddenly surround him, to verbalize anything to do with brutality in  prison or the sexual lives of prisoners.  This censorship of the offensive indicates,  more than anything else the characters do  or say, their privileged status.  It is  unclear whether this was intentional or  inadvertent on the author's part.  Prisoners is an effective and intelligent  examination of various notions of success.  Bryant exposes not "only the destructive  pipe-dream variety of Gary and his friends,  but also the personal tragedy of Sam, a  man who succeeds in his work and principles  but fails in two marriages.  Bryant validates a feminist vision of success. Sally — a member of that most neglected sub-group, the aging woman — compares her life to knitting, but not without a self-deprecating laugh. A stitch  at a time,   she says, one little thing  after another,  finally making up a big  pattern. Q Kinesis February '8  CULTURAL WORK  Herotica: technically competent, pleasant, fun and rather pink  By Judith Sandiford  HEROTICA — Women's Erotic Art was an exhibition of works by thirty women at the Helen  Pitt Gallery from January 19 to 31.  A-statement accompanying the show explained  that the idea to present women's erotica  came from a workshop on women in the arts  at the 1979 B.C.Federation of Women conference.  "Women from the workshop later discussed the development of a women's erotic  vision within our male-identified culture."  The process by which the women in the group  developed this exhibition, the "ten months  of sharing personal visions and private  visions," the discussions which "confused,  angered and unsettled us, energized and  excited us," — this would be worth tracing and writing about.  The social, psychological and emotional issues at stake are very complex. What to  show — to reveal — and what to hide, and  why?  These questions hover around all the art  work in the exhibit. And, as a viewer who  has no knowledge of those struggling discussions, I leave the exhibit with a sense  that the questions have been only tentatively, hesitatingly dealt with.  The show is technically competent and it  is pleasant, fun, exuberant and rather  pink. Everyone is happy, or if not, then  quietly introspective. There is, happily,  no violence or coercion, no crisis of personality, sexual identity or distress.  (To describe a women's erotic vision by  what it isn't is an evasive tactic.)  What, then, are these thirty women telling  us about their erotic selves?  Missing for me overall in the exhibit is  passion and commitment. All art must tap  the essential sexual energy of life, making links that ignite and amaze. To use  sexual imagery directly in one's art means  to drop defences and camouflages, to risk  pushing deeper (higher) into normally  hidden territory to deal with highly charged material. (Battle language? — I  The community milling about at Herotica  mean the battle with one's self, to release  one's power.)  I think of Emma Goldman's outstretched  arms, outraged posture, in Persimmon Black-  bridge's raku-fired earthenware sculpture  Emma Goldman at the Frick Museum,  a revolutionary defying the moneyed factory owners. Blackbridge's work does have the  commitment I wished for in the show as a  whole. Her earthenware dancers, lovers,  Amazons are sexual, open, centered and  powerful.  I was interested in the surprisingly few  works which dealt with interior states of  mind, with erotic symbols. Nomi Kaplan's  sequence of six photo-collages, Jelly Passions  follows a sparkling jelly thing  (chrysalis/phallus?) through surreal adventures until it — no, not hatches a butterfly — gets sliced up while "They waited  for the first bite."  Josie Cook leaves us notes from a personal  mythology, "Her bones, her flesh of earth,  her earth demon," in a tangled acrylic  and xerox collage.  Nancy Angermeyer, in a personal analysis,  photographs a woman and the dolls that inhabit her fantasies.  Paula Levine's photographs with inscriptions look for sexual rhythms echoed in nature. Her Since I Am Anchored  is a sequence  of five photographs of tide flowing over  rock haunches: "Can it be that I make  waves and ebbings?"  A number of photographic works take an observer's stance with a brushing glance at  sensual objects around us:  Jane Dickson's  vegetable studies, Maggie Shore's Skin,  Pat Feindel's photos of rock crevices,  Holly Devor's photograph of landscape, a  leaf, a rock, buttocks with bath foam. I  note the beauty but remain detached.  The few portraits of people (Coral Arrand's  photos of embracing women, Donna Hagerman's  solo studies of men) were similarly dispassionate and unrevealing.  Some of the showwas just for fun. Bonnie  Campbell's exotic bird-lady masks inn.ted  a party. Jean Kamin's loosely drawn couples frolicked with abandon. Suzan Tarn-  off's penis and vulva butterflies decorated sheets. Colleen 0'Neil's comicbook  plastic figurines spoofed fairytales  saucily.  The questions raised by the idea, the impetus, of the show are answered by cheerful quips, by private murmurs, by tentative hints, and hardly at all by any firm,  clear, daring statements.  HEROTICA — Women's Erotic Art will be remounted at the Student Union Gallery at  UBC during Women's Week, February 23 to  28, hours 11:30 to 5:00, with noonhour  performances on Monday and Friday.Q  Belly dancing: one of our misunderstood A art forms  By Chris De Long  Her Davies Street apartment was filled  with unusually warm light for January and  the air was heavy with the bitter smoke  of her little black cigarettes.  Brilliant red and fluorescent orange tassels lay in an ordered fashion upon the  carpet. At my right hand rested a heap  of silver coins and turquoise stones set  in silver casings. The coins and stones  weight four-and-a-half pounds and cover  her breasts when she dances the belly  dance. Her name is Jasmina Mehidi, and  at the recent Herotica art show she  gave several performances.  A child of parents in the Armed Forces,  Jasmina was born in Southern Ontario. She  studied ballet, jazz and modern dance  from the age of five. In early 1971 she  met a woman who practised belly dancing  and a few months and lessons later was  called upon to replace a colleague. She  carried it off and went on to an apprenticeship, eventually becoming a paid  troupe member. At that time, there were  about ten belly dancers in Canada.  Canadians have, in the past decade, taken  up belly dancing in the same fashion as  we have taken up yoga, health foods and  meditation. Like most Western borrowings  of Eastern traditions, much has been  lost, or is misunderstood.  Because it is a particularly "feminine"  art form, belly dancing has been rejected  by many women who see it as a sexual dance  wherein the dancer plays court to the men  of the audience. This is seen as being  exploitive of the dancer and offensive  to the women who are present.  But belly dancing is a women's dance with  a history to be reclaimed. Belly dancing  allows women to discover — beneath the  Western tarnish — an art form expressive  of women's sensuousness.  The dance purportedly originated in Egypt,  although solid evidence for this does not  exist. Over the centuries, it flourished  in the Islamic world.  According to the ancient tradition, the  belly dancer expresses herself in the  dance: she is looking inward. The audience  is witness to this, and traditionally views  the dance with respectful pleasure.  It is  a stance which most North American audiences find difficult to comprehend.  The belly dance is a structured, formalized dance of at least three parts within  which the dancer improvises, drawing from  a wealth of traditional steps and movements .  The first part is light-hearted, contrived  to allow the dancer to prepare herself  for the work of the dance.  In the second part, the movements change  from circling and turning, twisting and  thrusting to sensuous, undulating, serpentine movements, during which the dancer  withdraws to allow the audience to view  her intimate expression.  The third part is the dancer's return,  bringing with her re-emergence a joyous-  ness of movement and expression.  It is an art of restraint and control,  rather than one of abandon; an arrangement of parts within a compressed area,  as in a mosaic.  Jasmina dances in a personal, interpretive style, making visual the meaning of  the music. "Soul, rather than technique,  makes a good dancer," she says.Q Kinesis February '8  MOVEMENT MATTERS  Vancouver Rape Relief: Who we are and what we do  By Joni Miller, Vancouver Rape Relief Outreach Committee  There are about twenty of us, on a good  ,day; two fulltime paid members, six part-  time paid members and twelve unpaid members. For most of us, it is a full-time  long term commitment. We operate as a  collective and share responsibility for  crisis work, facilitation of the support/  education/action groups, for speaking  engagements, financial decisions and for  membership in a work group.  We have organized our work into three main  areas:  * Taking care of ourselves — this group  is responsible for how we deal with counselling, crisis work, medical and legal  information and internal collective business.  In 1979, 510 women called us in  crisis. In 1980, 480 women have called us.  * Outreach — primary responsibility for  speaking engagements, workshops, political  actions, publicity, media and public relations. In 1979 we did 270 speaking engagements.  In 1980 we did 220 speaking  engagements, approximately 25 TV spots,  40 radio spots and received a fair amount  of newspaper coverage. We are working on  an hour long video, "Tour of the War Zone",  which will be completed in early 1981.  * Allies — responsible for determining  who our allies are and why they are part  of our on-going work. Maintaining and  building alliances with groups outside  Rape Relief: Coalition of B.C. Rape Crisis  Centres, Canadian Association of Sexual  Assault Centres, BCFW member groups, other  active feminist organizations provincially,  International Feminist Network, Vancouver  Men Against Rape, Radical Therapy Collective, Anti-Racist Coalition, Canadian  Farmworkers Union.  In addition to these groups, we have a  Working Class Women's Caucus. They are a  self-defined group of working class women.  Activity to date consists of educating the  collective via the newsletter about the  reality of their lives and the effects of  their double oppression and criticizing  women from middle class backgrounds on  class related behaviour that is divisive  to our movement and by presenting motions  and recommendations the collective on  specific topics.  There is a house finding group, and a job  finding group; which is charged with the  responsibility of investigating jobs that  could be shared collectively. The facilitators of the support/education/action  groups meet regularly to trade progress  reports and discuss tactics.  We currently have three groups a week  happening out of the Rape Relief office and  another group that operates in the Skeena  Terrace housing project. The groups operate on a drop-in basis and regular attendance averages eight to fifteen women per  session. We're pretty pleased with them.  Sometimes we say "goddamn, these groups are  the hottest thing we've got going." We  have seen approximately fifty women become  more actively involved in their own liberation through the groups.  Working with men  It started as a joke. We'd reached agreement within the collective that what we  really needed was a house. The next  question was: how do we fund this thing?  "Too bad we couldn't put a tax on rapists"  somebody said. We laughed.  Later, we got serious. Maybe there was a  way to get men to pay. After all, we  agree that because of society's training  in women hating, every man is a potential  rapist. We racked our collective brains  and lives for men who might be willing to  help. Six names came up. The first step  was a letter asking for a straight out  donation. The second step was another  letter asking them to'.come to a meeting  jfriA^kjKvifc/ltoinwJj.  mitt  "We're now working with men  who... have committed themselves  —out loud— to doing antUsexist  work."  and put up some concrete work.  Men have always been on our funding committees. Dangerous men — powerful men —  government men. Men with the resources to  spy on us and pressure us to conform to  their idea of how a rape crisis centre  should operate. Men who call the shots.  Government money never comes without  strings attached. We've spent hours of  our time negotiating with these men. We've  learned to do a juggling act — balancing  information and control to keep the money  happening. The terms of funding have  been clearly theirs.  Men have always been on our funding committees. What's changed is that now we are  too. Working with men is not new, what is  new is that now we are setting the terms  and deciding which men we choose to work  with. We're now working with men who have  considerably less dangerous to us. They  are men who have committed themselves —  out loud — to doing anti-sexist work.  The two parts of this are examining and  changing their own behaviour, and the behaviour of other men, and doing concrete  work to alleviate the oppression of women.  To quote Jay McLean from REALIFE, a feminist media collective in Halifax, "It's  good to know there are some men who can see  past their own male privilege."  Why a transition house?  Women do two thirds of the world's work,  get one tenth of the world's wages and own  one hundredth of the world's property. Two  thirds of the people on welfare are single  mothers. They live 8.6%  below the established poverty line. Forty nine percent  of women in Canada work outside the home.  While most of them are not unionized, the  possibility exists. Fifty one percent of  Canadian women still work inside the home.  These women are often very isolated and  have little or no access to organizing.  Violence against women is a learned behaviour. It is an effective method of  keeping women firmly in their places.  "If  I hit you, you will do as I say." In this  country, fifty four percent of wives experience some degree of battering from  their male partners. Since the abuse of  women cuts across all economic lines, even  a woman who lives in Shaughnessy may be  only one man away from welfare.  There's a neat little catch about welfare  — to get it you have to have your own  address — to have your own address you  have to have money and if you don't have  your own money then you need welfare which  you can't get without an address of your  own. Around and around it goes.  To escape their oppression — to get away  from the battering, women need concretes.  A roof over their heads — an address to  give MHR, food for the children. This is  where transition houses enter the picture  and provide an essential link.  What we are seeking to create is not just  a safe shelter. There are no safe places  (see: atomic weapons). A temporary retreat may help you to feel better, but it's  not going to change the conditions out  there. And out there is where most of us  have to live.  What we are creating is an organizing  centre for women. Women will be able to  support each other, educate each other  with the stories of their lives, and move  into action. Our office is already beginning to look like a transition house.  On any given day you will find kids, dogs,  telephones ringing, the typewriters  flying and women — all kinds of women.  But it's not enough to just hear stories.  To end our oppression, we need to join together and fight back collectively. All  women need the women's movement. The  women's movement needs all women; therefore, the movement must be accessible —  to all women.  Separatism not an option for most women  Feminist separatism is not a practicable  idea. For most of the women in the world,  it is not even remotely an option. It is  not an option for the women in India, it  is not an option for Native Indian women  on reserves, it is not an option for the  fifty one percent of Canadian women who  work inside the home, and it is not an  option for women on welfare or for women  who choose heterosexuality.  You can't even walk to the corner store  without dealing with men. To imagine that  we can lock ourselves away from them is  foolish. Separatism is only even marginally possible for a privileged group of  white, middle class women. Assuming, of  course, that they either have no male  children or will never bear any. Separatism is only possible if the majority of  women stay right where they are — down*  For some years now, we have been calling  ourselves an anti-rape centre. We define  our objective as the eradication of all  forms of violence against women. This objective rests on the idea that violence is  learned behaviour and can be changed. An  essential part of this process is confronting men directly on their behaviour.  In all the centuries of male domination  and male bonding, men have not, spontaneously, come up with a plan to end the  tyranny. They are not likely to give up  their privilege without hearing loudly  from me, you, and all women. 0  GAY PEOPLE of UBC  AMS WOMEN'S COMMITTEE  PRESENT  Robin Tyler  FRIDAY FEBRUARY 13  8:00 P.M.    IRC Lecture Hall 2  tickets available at C.B-O., A.M.S., Ariel,  Passacagalia, Octopus East or call 228-4638  Dance, February 14,9:00 p.m.  U.B.C Grad Centre Ballroom  Join us after the Holly Near Concert Kinesis February '81  MOVEMENT MATTERS  Want to change the world but can't find a babysitter?  LAFMPAG, the Lesbian and Feminist Mothers  Political Action Group, is looking for  new members, and for people willing to  spend some creative time with our children.  Explaining our name is one way to make  clear the nature of our collective.  We call ourselves an action group because  we are not just a personal support group  for mothers. We are dedicated to improving the position of children and mothers  throughout the feminist community.  We call ourselves a political action group  because we believe that the reason feminists have lost the wide support from  women that made us so effective ten years  ago is that we have failed, as a movement,  to deal adequately with the needs of  mothers (that is, the majority of women)  and children.  It is not enough for feminists to say that  the nuclear family, and the even more inadequate single parent family, oppress  women and children. We must not repeat  oppressive patterns in our own movement.  We must find concrete, practical ways to  take more collective responsibility for  our children. Until we do this, we will  not be able to spark significant change  throughout society.  We call ourselves a mothers' group although  we are not all biological mothers.  In  our society, 'to mother' is synonymous  with 'to nurture'. We need to stop defining female parents as the only real  mothers. We will reclaim women's full  humanity not by rejecting the mothering  role, but by sharing it (with male allies  as well as with other feminist women).  Although it is understandable to us that  it is the women who are currently mothering  children who have first become aware of  the urgency of dealing with the problems  of mothers and children, we hope that  soon more women who are not looking after  children right now will join LAFMPAG.  We choose to be a mixed group  We call ourselves a lesbian as well as a  feminist group although we are not all  lesbians. We chose to be a mixed group  because we believe, that the problems feminist mothers have in common are more fundamental than the extra problems many of  us must face because we are lesbian  mothers.  However, we want it to be clear that the  situation of lesbian mothers and our  children continues to be of special concern  It's not enough to say that the nuclear  family oppresses women and children. We  must not repeat oppressive patterns in our  own movement  to our group, because many of us are  lesbians, because there are many lesbian  mothers in the feminist community, and  because the special difficulties of lesbian mothers and our children have been  little examined.  People tend to assume that all mothers are  heterosexual unless their lesbianism is  specifically mentioned, and so we keep the  word 'lesbian' in our name.  LAFMPAG is involved in several projects.  We have prepared a workshop on mothers and  children in the feminist movement.  Included in it is a slide and tape show dealing  with women's feelings about having or not  having children. We presented part of this  workshop at the 1980 annual conference of  the British Columbia Federation of Women,  and are ready to present the whole thing  to any interested group.  We are currently planning a second workshop, focussing specifically on how to  meet the needs of children at social and  political events.  We soon hope to publish a book on the  place of children in the feminist movement.  We sell bumper stickers and posters announcing I wanted to go out and change the  world,  but I couldn't find a baby sitter,  and one of our members is designing a  mothers' calendar for collective households  We set up displays at various feminist and  gay events, and carry a lesbian mother  banner in demonstrations. We will soon be  sending out a survey on the needs of children, and the resources available to meet  those needs, in the feminist community in  Vancouver.  Feminists must become aware of the  necessity to put energy into children  Our first priority continues to be helping  feminists become aware of the necessity of  putting energy into children's issues, and  encouraging feminist collectives to take  action to make their groups more accessible  to mothers and children.  A second major concern is the need for  greater non-sexist male involvement in our  children's lives, particularly in the lives  of our sons.  We also want to find a way to foster a  movement for children's liberation, primarily by helping children gain access to  the knowledge and skills they need to  struggle effectively against their own  oppression.  If you would like to help, but are a man  (LAFMPAG is an all women's group), or if  you are a woman but don't have time to  join our collective, please consider  sharing some knowledge, a skill, or an activity you enjoy with our children while  one of our meetings is in progress.  We are distressed that all we have to  offer our children at our meetings is competent supervision.  Perhaps you could  sing with them, or take a clock apart, or  teach them about children's (lack of) legal  rights, or show a film, or explain the  work of your collective to them.  Write or phone us if you would like more  information about our group, or if you  have ideas or information to share with us  We meet regularly on the second and fourth  Wednesdays of every month at the East End  Family Place at 924 Commercial Drive,  across from Britannia Community Centre.  Meeting times are from six to nine.  Child  care is provided at all meetings.  Our  mailing address is LAFMPAG, c/o Octopus  Books, 1176 Commercial Drive. Phone contact: Mary, 251-5034. pj  We're setting up a free, self-help counselling centre  The Women's Self-Help Counselling Collective is a group of women who have been  meeting to set up a free, self-help counselling centre for women in the Lower  Mainland.  Our aim is to provide an alternative to  traditional therapy. Traditional therapy  tends to view emotional difficulties in a  personal context, to persuade women to  adjust rather than change the conditions of  their oppression and to lay the blame for  emotional problems on the individual.  In contrast, the Women's Self-Help Counselling Collective views people's problems  in a societal context. We are feminist in  perspective. We take into consideration  that we live in a dehumanizing society  where racism, sexism, poverty, discrimination against gay people and other groups  are constant realities in our daily lives.  We seek to change the power relationships  that are reinforced in traditional therapy.  We want to provide an alternative to individual therapy which is often expensive,  isolating and usually unavailable from a  feminist perspective.  For these reasons, our services will be  free and available to all women, although  we are particularly committed to working  with women from lower socio-economic  backgrounds whose options are usually very  We want to provide an alternative to  individual therapy which is often  expensive, isolating  limited.  It is our goal to create a centre  that will encourage equality and mutual  support where women can grow and make 'Ģ  changes both within themselves and society.  The focus of the centre will be self-help  groups. We plan to have women's problem-  solving groups, peer counselling groups,  and special interest groups (such as lesbian, divorced women, single mothers,  sexuality, women with physical problems,  etc. ) that will provide a support system  within which we, as women, can learn to  take control of our lives.  Some of the groups will have facilitators  provided by the centre and others will  be leaderless, depending on the needs of  the group.  It is our hope that from these  groups there will be women who will participate in our group training program and  become facilitators for other groups.  In  this way we can extend the self-help  network.  The collective is comprised of women from  varying backgrounds.  Some of us have  training and/or experience in counselling;  others do not. Everyone who joins the  collective goes through a training program  and is expected to make at least a six  month committment to working with us.  We are presently opening our collective to  new members. If you are interested please  leave your name and phone number at the  Women's Health Collective 736-6696 and  someone will call you with information. 0_ Kinesis February '8  MOVEMENT MATTERS  Feminists, socialists, developing  strategies for the movement  Strategies for the Women's Movement is a  group of women who define ourselves as both  feminists and socialists. The group developed out of a workshop that was held at the  B.C Federation of Women Conference in November. Since then, two meetings have been  held and a third is scheduled for February  8th at 7:30 p.m. at Britannia.  Although the Strategies for the Women's  Movement group does not have a formal  basis of unity, the women who attend these  meetings share a common commitment to the  liberation of women which, we feel, cannot  take place under the present exploitative  social, economic and political conditions.  Thus, we define ourselves as both feminists  and socialists and we come together to discuss how we can carry out our political  work.  At the meetings we have discussed how the  women's movement can act in an organized  and powerful way in the face of the right  which is increasingly well-organized and  powerful.  The recent victories of the "right to  lifers" around the rights of women to have  access to abortion has been a frightening  loss to the women's movement and women in  the province in general.  A report on the BC Federation of Women was  presented at the January meeting. Discussion focused around the strengths and problems of that organization in terms of its  ability to both provide leadership and to  mobilize broad numbers of women around progressive issues. The problems around involving "new women" were particularly highlighted. Considerable discussion at the  past meetings has been focused around the  question of leadership.  We have asked three women to put forward  their points of view at the February meeting. We are hoping that these three divergent positions on leadership for and by  the women's movement will serve as the  basis for a discussion.  The Strategies for the Women's Movement  group is, at this point, a forum where  women can express our political concerns  and together, begin to work out long-term  strategies. We urge all interested women  to attend the next meeting or subsequent  meetings which will be held on the second  Sunday of every month at Britannia at 7:30  The high cost of living is theme  for this year's March 8  On March 8, 1908, New York garment workers  marched in the streets to demand an end  to sweat shop conditions that had resulted in the deaths of 128 women in a fire  at the New York Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.  At a Copenhagen conference in 1911, 100  women from 17 countries proposed that  March 8 be set aside to commemorate that  event. In 1911, International Women's Day  was celebrated for the first time in Denmark, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.  Over the decade, IWD was increasingly used  by women around the world as a day of celebration and a renewal of our solidarity.  By the 1930s, however, IWD had become nothing more than a glorified mother's day.  In the late 60s and 70s, once again, IWD  was established as a celebration of working women's solidarity.  An IWD organizing committee has been meeting for the past weeks to plan this year's  local IWD events. Due to an already scheduled NDP rally on abortion, the IWD committee has decided to move the IWD activities to March 7.  At this time the committee plans include  a march and rally.on the day of the 7th,  plus a dance with Ad Hoc that evening.  The theme developed for this year's IWD  is The High Cost of Living.  Speakers and participants will focus on  the impact the continuing economic crisis  is having on women in the home and in the  workplace, as well as the special hardships of minority and third world women.  In addition, a member of Vancouver's lesbian community will speak to the particular concerns of lesbian women.  Organizing for IWD 1981 is still in the  preliminary stages. The IWD committee is  urging women's groups and all interested  women to participate in the planning and  organizing of this year's events.  IWD meetings are held each Wednesday at  7:30 p.m. at the CRS Warehouse, 1239 Odium Drive (one block east of Clark). For  further information call 253-1224. 0_  Vancouver Status of Women  Anniversary Celebration  Saturday February 21st   7-10 pm  at Hycroft    1489 McRae Avenue  Granville at 16th  7:30-8:30 PROGRAM:  Speakers, Music by Carol Street & Film  WINE & CHEESE  Come Celebrate!  Funding time again: VSW needs  your support  Funding time again and Vancouver Status of  Women needs your support. We've just received word from Provincial Secretary Evan  Wolfe that our funding has been transferred  to the Attorney General's department. We  don't know what consequences this will  have, and it might be a sinister development.  If you write 'to whom it may concern' and  send the letter to our offices at 1090  West 7th, Vancouver V6H 1B3, we'll make  sure the government hears from you. Remember: we need those support letters.  NDP accused of co-opting  March 8  Dear Kinesis:  It was with great shock and anger that we  learned that the Repeal 251 Committee, a  sub-committee of the-NDP Women's Rights  Committee, has organized a single issue  rally on abortion for March 8.  We can imagine no other women's group in  Vancouver single-handedly deciding to co-  opt March 8 to promote their particular  concerns.  Over the past years, International Women's  Day in Vancouver has been a day when feminist groups have worked together to organize unified actions that reflect the multidimensional oppression of women and our continuing struggle against that oppression.  By arbitrarily co-opting March 8, the NDP  Repeal 251 Committee has capitalized on the  symbolism of IWD; a symbolism which, in Vancouver and elsewhere, the Women's Movement  has re-established, and which has at the  same time successfully connected an entire  range of issues of vital importance to women.  Implicit in this March 8 single issue action is a philosophy that suggests that we  can have some kind of "agenda" for revolutionary change. This year, it's abortion.  Perhaps next year it will be equal pay.  This kind of "one-at-a-time mentality" is  always greeted by the powers-that-be with  relish.  It makes it easy for the oppressor to maintain the status quo and it  makes it easier to them to pick us off one  by one.  This is why it is crucial for feminist  groups that do focus on and act upon one  aspect of women's oppression to also be  committed to developing and building links  between the issues and groups and to present in a clear way a unified front on action/protest days such as IWD. Otherwise  the broad, and ever-broadening, reality  of women's oppression remains hidden.  Since the NDP — like all mainstream political parties — is first and foremost  dedicated to gaining political power within the system, it is not surprising that  it supports single issue tactics.  This is especially exemplified in their  attempts to form a coalition of women's  groups for IWD but a refusal to broaden  the day's focus from a single issue —  abortion.  It is ironic that a perfect example of political expediency lies even within the NDP  stand on abortion. For the record, the NDP  party policy states that it supports a woman's right to choose, but individual members of the federal NDP caucus have the  right to a conscience vote on the abortion  issue. It's good politics to keep your  options open.  Co-optation of March 8 has parallels  Co-option of any revolutionary movement  must be a constant concern to the supporters and activists of that movement. The  NDP Repeal 251 Committee's efforts to co-  opt March 8 is not without parallels in  the history of radical movements.  Many years ago a world-wide radical labour  movement established for itself a day, Mayday, when it would celebrate its victories  and demonstrate its commitment to the  struggle for workers' rights. In Canada,  the government gave workers a day off in  September, Labour Day, thereby effectively  co-opting the political significance of  Mayday by replacing it with another holiday weekend. The power to name and to  create is one that is always denied to  oppressed people.  Actions such as the NDP's Repeal 251 Committee's are carrying on this tradition of  co-option. We believe the Women's Liberation Movement must not allow the erosion  of our newly-won traditions to go unchallenged.  IWD has traditionally been our day for the  "telling" of women's oppression and the  celebrating of our solidarity in the face  of that oppression; a time when we say to  ourselves and each other, this is what we  are facing, this is what we have done and  this is what we will continue to do.  Let's keep it that way.  In sisterhood,  Esther Shannon, Jen Moses.     Q LETTERS  INCAR organized Daphne  Williams campaign  I would like to clarify the fact that the  campaign to stop the deportation of  Daphne Williams, a Jamaican domestic, is  being organized by INCAR (international  Committee Against Racism).  At the time that I wrote an article about  her situation (Kinesis, Dec. 1980), I had  the incorrect understanding that her campaign was being launched by an ad hoc  grouping of individuals and groups of which  INCAR was one of numerous participants.  The struggle of Daphne Williams is important both as a campaign to win justice for  one individual as well as in the long  range struggle to end the racist immigration policy of the Canadian government.  Individuals wishing further information on  this important campaign should contact  Susan at 732-0644 (home) or 325-5213 (work)  Helen Mintz  "Cures" for dysmenorrhea  surrounded by questions  In the December/January issue of Kinesis,  we read that men — who do not experience  menstruation, yet have always taken it  upon themselves to tell us how we should  feel about it — have now finally 'proven  scientifically1 that menstrual pains are  real and not a construction of women's  collective imaginations.  After centuries of denial and phoney explanations of menstrual pains (e.g. signs  of punishment by god, of possession by the  devil, of hysteria, of rejection of self,  of rejection of the world, etc.), this is  comforting news indeed.  Over the years, numerous 'remedies' have  been prescribed for painful periods. These  remedies have two things in common: they  have always been the product of male dominated 'medical science*, and they have all  been accompanied by 'side effects' which  were worse than the 'ill' they were pretending to 'cure'. Thus, in the 18th  Century, medical science prescribed the  placing of leeches in the vagina, burning  it with hot irons, or douching it with  caustic soda.  In the latter half of the 19th Century,  clitoridectomy was, according to.medical  science, the best way to neutralize the  mental (hysterical), sexual and gynecological 'origins' of the 'complaint'. If  the pains were found to persist, medical  science, until the first decade of the  20th Century, prescribed the ultimate  treatment: hysterectomy.  With the advent of Freud, menstrual pains  became scientifically attributed to "the  subconscious, and were 'dealt with' through  oppressive psychoanalytic 'cures' which  left women with both pains and guilt.  Until the latest medical discovery (Prostaglandin Synthetase Inhibitors), the excess  of prostaglandins — again scientifically  identified as the cause of menstrual pains  — was combatted in many cases by means of  hormonal treatments. In addition to inducing permanent hormonal imbalance (consequences of which have yet to be thoroughly studied) the side effects of these  treatments .could be" quite serious, particularly if the.woman treated happened to  become pregnant during the treatment.  Of course, we should be cautious about  making generalizations concerning the  scientific and medical practices towards  dysmenorrhea. However, past experience  indicates that, at the very least, women  should be suspicious of yet another miracle scientific cure ("Naproxen" and other  PGSI's), particularly since the side-  effects of these drugs aren't clear yet.  Women should also question the 'scientific'  approach by means of which the excess of  prostaglandins became identified as the  cause for dysmenorrhea, and the prescription of PGSI's became the remedy. Has  there been any research into the origins  of the increased concentration of prostaglandins among women affected by dysmenorrhea? Does this higher concentration  have biological or other causes?  The fact that "Postan", "Naproxen", and  other similar drugs ("Anaprox" manufactured by Syntex, "Motzin" manufactured by  Upjohn, "Ponstyl" manufactured by Warner-  Lambert ) are already on the market (they  are prescribed against rheumatisms) indicates that thorough research into these  questions is unlikely to be done. After  all, there is no incentive for pharmaceutical companies to delay the exploitation of their new-found goldmine. (It  promises to be a billion dollar industry)  Besides the pharmaceutical industry, another group stands to gain from the  commercialization of PGSI's. It is  estimated that at least 140 million of  work hours yearly are lost to dysmenorrhea  in the United States alone. Once the  drugs are commercialized, will women still  be able to call in sick on the first day  of their period, or will they be forced  by their employers to take these drugs,  whose side effects are not yet known?  Moreover, will employers pay the drugstore  bill? And will they increase women's  salaries by the equivalent of one day's  pay per month?  These, and numerous other questions surrounding Prostaglandin Synthetase Inhibitors need to be answered before their use  becomes generalized.  Michele Pujol  Kinesis February '81  a biography.  The film was directed by a woman, Gillian  Armstrong, produced by a woman, Margaret  Fink, screenplay-adapted by a woman, Eleanor Witcombe, and the superb photography  was by the lone male in this group, Don  McAlpine. It won best film of the year in  Australia.  Compare it to the usual sexist crap turned  out by tinseltown or to the trash films  being churned out in Canada with the help  of the Canadian Film Development Corp. (our  tax money, suckers). There is an interesting review in the Feb. 80 issue of the New  Yorker.  Every woman who comes into our centre and  speaks of this film, does so with delight  in it, sees it more than once and if they  have daughters, want them to see it.  It is  a most interesting response to a film I  consider to be crafted with deep care and  one of the finest I have seen in many  years.  Jean Grove and I attended the opening, and  as a former Australian, one of her first  comments after the film was, "even the bird  song on the soundtrack made me homesick".  Hopefully if your reviewer sees the film  once more she will come away with a different attitude.  Brilliant Career was a stunner  After reading the negative review of the  film, "My Brilliant Career" in the  Sept./Oct. 1980 Kinesis, I am sure the  reviewer and I saw a different picture.  Perhaps the little background information  I was able to obtain about the author and  the principal members of the film making  team will change her mind.  The novel was written by a sixteen year  old woman, Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin.  In quick researching, I found two  dates for publication, 1897 and 1901, and  don't know which one is correct. The  reviewer takes the author to task because  her political theory is not up to today's  expectations. Just what does she expect  from a sixteen year old born in Australia  in the 19th century? The story itself is  a stunner when one considers both the time  and age of the author.  Why criticize the film when it apparently  follows the book faithfully, something  rare in itself in the film industry. The  book is out of print and even at the time  of the first printing, I understand Franklin's family was appalled at the time and  attempted to have it suppressed.  Franklin herself led an interesting life,  living in England and the U.S.; a writer,  a nurse and union activist. What little  I can learn of her life ends sadly, as  for some reason she eventually returned to  Australia, angry, embittered and alienating all her friends. Hopefully, someone  in Australia is researching her life for  In sisterhood,  Looking at both sides now  I have subscribed to Kinesis for a number  of years and consider it to be essential  reading for anyone who wants to be informed about issues and events in the B.C.  women's movement. I have never worked on  producing a women's paper, but I imagine  that it takes a tremendous amount of  effort to turn out such a consistently  good product. There is one area in which  I have a suggestion for change, and it  seems to me to be very important.  Occasionally you print an article or letter expressing the author's opinion about  a local activist group. Sometimes these  writings are inflammatory and quite inaccurate. The most recent is Margo Dunn's  letter about Men Against Rape in the November issue. It contains not one fact  about Men Against Rape. It is mostly  attack by innuendo, making guesses about  the attitudes of the men involved and  what-their anti-rape work consists of.  All her guesses seem to me to be wrong,  from my experience in working cooperatively with this group and reading their written material.  I request that when you print an article  or letter concerning any group which defines itself as doing anti-sexist work,  you check for accuracy and that you allow  space within the same issue  for that  group's response.  Because Kinesis comes out every two months  (sic), inaccurate information and inflammatory rhetoric can fester and generate  gossip and bad feeling. By the time the  group under attack can respond, opinions  have been formed and positions hardened.  If you present both sides of an issue, a  much more informed dialogue can take place.  I am told this request has been made to  you before.  I would like you to print  this letter and, if you don't agree with  my suggestion, tell your readers why this  is so. We need to be as effective as  possible in the work that we do to overthrow the patriarchal system that oppresses us, and it is in this spirit that I  offer this criticism.  Love,  Isobel Kiborn.  Kinesis will make every effort to prepare  for publication any group 's response to  a criticism in time for simultaneous release . Kinesis February '81  BULLETIN BOARD  Events  VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN: Our tenth anniversary celebration takes place  Saturday, February 21, from 7 to 10 p.J  at Hycroft, 1489 McRae Ave (Granville  at 16th). Speakers, music by Carol  Street, film by Sylvia Spring. Wine  and cheese. For everyone I Free!  WOMEN IN FOCUS OPENING CELEBRATION DANCE  in their new location, 456 West Broadway, takes place Saturday, February  21, starting 8:30 p.m. Employed: $4:00;  not waged-working: $3:00. Tickets on  sale at VSW, Ariel Books, Women's Bookstore, Women in Focus (old office at  6 — 45 Kingsway) and Octopus East. No  tickets sold at the door. Women only.  More information phone: 872-2250.  WOMEN'S WEEK AT UBC:  FEB 23: Opening of HER0TICA in SUB Gallery. Times: 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  with noon performances on Feb 23 and  27.  FEB 25: Workshop on Women in Western  Art by Avis Lang Rosenberg, Lassere Bid.  Room 104.  FEB 25: Bev Garden with Cathy Kidd;  5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in SUB 205.  FEB 26: Workshop on Tradional Women's  Crafts as Art Form by Elizabeth Shefrin,  Mildred Brock Lounge, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.  FEB 27: Robin Morgan speaks on Feminism in Art and Literature at 8:00 p.m.  in Woodward IRC no.2 lecture hall.  Tickets: $3:00; $2:00 for students and  the unemployed. Tickets at Ariel, Women's Bookstore, Octopus East. Child-  care provided.  FEB 28: Discussion with Robin Morgan,  time and place TBA. Phone UBC Women's  Centre at 2282163 for the details.  PROGRAMS FOR WOMEN AT DOUGLAS COLLEGE  FEMINIST ISSUES AT NEW WESTMINSTER  February 19  March 12  April 2  April 23  May 14  Times: 7:30  Wife Battering  Fat and Body Image  Family Relations  Sexual Harassment  Play as Re-Creation  9:30 p.m.  WOMEN GETTING IN TOUCH AT WHITE ROCK  Women's Place. This series takes place  on Feb 26, March 5, 12, 21, 22. The  fee is $47,. but assistance is available by calling 521-4851, local 234.  MATH ANXIETY AT SURREY CAMPUS  Saturday, March 21, 10:00 to 3:00  Fee: $12:00  WEN DO FOR BEGINNERS  March 7   : -Intermediate. Fee: $16  Time: 9:30 - 4:30  Beginners. Fee: $28  Times: 7:00 - 9:30  April 28  June 2  The Intermediate Wen Do is available  at the Poco campus; the Beginners is  offered in Surrey.  LEADERSHIP TRAINING COURSES  February 28 : Teaching Assertiveness  March 1     Skills, Coquitlam  April 24  April 6  Leading Women's Groups,  New Westminster  March 27   : How to Plan a Conference,  New Westminster  April 9    : Working with Battered Wo-  April 10    men and their Abusers  FOR FULL DETAILS ABOUT THESE PROGRAMS  CALL 525-2075  A WOMAN'S BODY AND HEALTH is a free, noon  series now in progress at the YWCA, 580  Burrard. On February 16, Jo Anne Bushnel]  leads a discussion, Managing Stress. On  February 23, the Vancouver Women's Health  Collective discusses Menopause.  International Women's Day  INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY meetings are  held every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at  CRS Warehouse, 1239 Odium (one block  east of Clark). Theme of this year's  March 8: The High Cost of Living.  Events are in planning stages but a  rally is planned on March 7. Call  253-1224 for more details.  IWD DANCE on March 7 with Ad Hoc at the  Swedish Hall, Clark and Hastings.  Childcare available. 253-1224 for more  details.  RALLY FOR REPEAL of the abortion laws,  Sunday, March 8 — International Women's Day — at 2:00 p.m. in the plaza  of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Organized by the Women's Rights Committee  of the B.C. NDP and other groups and  individuals.  NEED INFORMATION  on the Child Tax Credit?  WE CAN HELP!  Call for an Appointment  EVENING WORKSHOPS:  to be scheduled soon  CONTACT: Cat  at VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN  736-1313  VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN, 1090 West 7th  Ave, Vancouver V6H 1B3, phone 736-1313  is open 9:00 — 5:00 Monday -Wednesday,  9 to 9 on Thursdays.  KINESIS  KINESIS is published ten times a year by Vancouver Status  of Women. Its objectives are to enhance understanding  about the changing position of women in society and work  actively towards achieving social change.  VIEWS EXPRESSED IN KINESIS are those of the writer and  do not necessarily reflect VSW policy. All unsigned  material is the responsibility of the Kinesis editorial group.  CORRESPONDENCE: Kinesis, Vancouver Status of  Women, 1090 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6H 1B3.  MEMBERSHIP in Vancouver Status of Women is by  donation. Kinesis is mailed monthly to all members. Individual subs to Kinesis are $10.00 per year. We ask members  to base their donations on this, and their own financial  situations.  SUBMISSIONS are welcome. We reserve the right to edit,  and submission does not guarantee publication. Include a  SASE if you want your work returned.  DEADLINE: 15th of each month  WORKERS ON THIS ISSUE: Janet Beebe, Janet Berry,  Melanie Conn, Jan DeGrass, Chris DeLong, Penny Goldsmith, Gillian Marie, Gayla Reid, Cat Wickstrom  Thanks to Ann C. Schaefer for her Kinesis work in December.  Groups  INCEST SURVIVORS support group. Have you  ever been sexually assaulted by your  father, brother, uncle, step-father or  other family member?  If so, and you would like to talk about it in a support group, call Marsha  or Lorie at the West End Community Care  Team, 687-7994. Group meets at the Care  Team offices, 1230 Comox, Wednesdays  from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  VANCOUVER WOMEN'S BOOKSTORE has a new  - home: 322 West Hastings. New hours are  Monday thru Saturday, 12:00 to 5:30  p.m. Thursdays till 9:00. The new  store has space for women artists to  hang their work for sale. Call 684-  0523 for details.  LESBIAN INFORMATION LINE is open for calls  two nights a week, Thursday and Sunday  from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at 734-1016.  Drop in every second Sunday. LIL is accepting new volunteers for a training  course in February. Call Sue between  10:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. at 874-4582,  or call LIL Sunday or Thurs, 7 - 10 p.m.  W0MANSIZE: Coming attraction at the Women  in Focus Gallery's new location at 456  West Broadway. Womansize: Large scale  renderings of women's imagery, comprised of three two-week exhibits:  Fabric Arts/ Soft Sculpture: March 16  to April 4  Two Dimensional/ Multi Media: April 10  to April 25  Word/Metal/Clay/Stone Sculpture: May 1  to May 16.  On the Air  W0MANVISI0N SHOWS:  Feb 16: Highlights of the moonsplash  celebration  Feb 23: News and sports  Womanvision on Co-op Radio, 102.7 FM  Mondays from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.  THE LESBIAN SHOW  Feb 19: Anti-nuclear show. Why is it  essential for lesbians to align with .  the anti-nuclear movement?  Feb 26: Lesbians and music. The focus  will be violence against women.  The Lesbian Show on Co-op radio, 102.7  FM, Thursdays, 7:30 - 8:00 p.m.  Classified  FEMINISM AND SOCIALISM: Accounting for  our experience. A pamphlet which uses  both Marxism and feminism to analyze  women's position in the family and the  labour force. 2nd printing now available from Ariel Books, Spartacus, etc,  and from Vancouver Women's Study Group,  P.O.Box 46534, Station G, Vancouver  B.C. V6R 4G8  CITIZENS, TOO: Research is under way for  a film with the working title, Citizens, Too : Indian Women at the Turning  Point, a study of discrimination against Indian women for the Professional Native Women's Association. Anyone  with relevant resources or information  could contact Peg Campbell or Joy Hall  at 683-2689.  DEMONSTRATION AND FOUNDING CONFERENCE of  the Democratic Women's Union of Canada will be held in Vancouver March 7  and 8. Demonstration: March 7 in honour of IWD and in defence of the rights  of women. Assemble at courthouse at  1:00 p.m. Conference: March 8, 5880  Main Street at 1:00 p.m. r  MEET  TATYANA MAMONOVA  an exiled socialist  feminist from  the  Soviet Union  at  A PUBLIC MEETING  Saturday March 14, I98I  at 7O0 P.M.  at  Britannia  School Auditorium  at  Napier and Commercial  Ghildcare Available  Meet  Tatytma  Manumava  i am a FemimsT aiid  SOCIALIST  In the winter of 1979,  a feminist collective inside the Soviet Union produced Almanach, the first  feminist journal to appear in that country in fifty years. This journal  has recently been translated and published in Britain as Women and  Russia. The women in the Almanach collective represent various  feminist currents. Kamonova describes herself as a feminist  and a socialist. In addition to this public meeting  Mamonova will also speak at SFU and UBC. Her  visit to Vancouver is part of a tour which  includes Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg,  Saskatoon, Regina and Edmonton.  Organized by the Mamonova Tour Committee (Vancouver)  ?or further information call 2 54-8 586 ^STATU*  cy ^S  ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION  Saturday   February 21st     7-10pm  at Hycroft    1489 McRae Avenue  Granville at 16th  760-860  PROGRAM' Speakers  Music by Carol Street  Film (a B.C. Premiere)  WINE & CHEESE  COME CELEBRATE  &  RENEW YOUR AFFILIATION


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