Kinesis, November 1981 Nov 1, 1981

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 VMJiDE  2 "Single moms grow  stronger" especially when  they go to the Single  Mothers Symposium. Our  roving reporters attended  three workshops  7 South Africa: an over  due tribute to a prolonged  struggle. Black women  under apartheid endure  triple oppression  9 The women of Northern  Ireland are not new to  struggle or hardship.  Nonetheless, Armagh  Prison is taking its toll.  10 Pensions: something  we ignore until it's too  late. Reform is happening  now and women should  be a part of it  11 Childbearing becomes  a social responsibility  with the victory of CUPW  workers. What are the implications? How did it  happen?  14 From coffeehouse  poets to circus sculpture,  we focus on Women in  Focus — the gallery where  women's culture is  celebrated  16 Media Watch is down  on the tube. . .the television  tube, that is.   Don't just  tear out your hair, fill in  the form and let the network know how you feel  18 Music and culture are  explored at the West Coast  Women's Festival. And so  are racism and classism.  Two views remind us of  the diversity in our movement  21 Circles and cycles:  a how-to page on some  little known skills  24 "Daughters of Copper  Woman", the new book  from Press Gang, pays  respect to the native  Society of Women.  COVER: Strong woman in "Circus", an exhibition of clay  sculpture by Persimmon Blackbridge.  SUBSCRIBE TO KJMEJJS  Published 10 times a year  by Vancouver Status of Women  400A West 5th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1J7  Subscriber  Member/Subscriber  Institution  Sustainer  $10  By donation  $20  $50  _ Payment Enclosed  Please   remember  that   VSW  operates  on   inadequate  funding — we need member support!  j^a* omAScm***  NOVEMBER '81  KiM£SM  news about women that's not in the dailies  CIRCUS  by  Persimmon Blackbridge 2   Kinesis   November 1981  CONFERENCES  Single mothers share strength and renewal  by Diane Morrison & Evelyn Hollander  In 1981 there were over 30,000 single  parent mothers in Metro Vancouver. More  than half of these single parent women  live below the poverty line; nearly 40%  are on welfare.  This was just some of the information  presented at the Third Annual Single  Mothers Symposium, held October 16-18 at  the Vancouver YWCA.  Its theme was "single  moms are growing stronger".  Nearly 100 women, capacity for this yearly  event, met to exchange and develop rer  sources, express needs, gain suport and  friendship, and renew feelings of dignity  and self-respect.  More than fifteen workshops were held  during the three days of the symposium.  This article will feature three: Alternative Lifestyles, Sex and the Single  Mother, and Dealing with Human Resources  and Welfare.  Shared parenting can work  Housing being what it is in Vancouver,  much of the discussion in the Alternate  Lifestyles workshop was about shared  housing.  It seems to be one of the only  ways single mothers can afford adequate  accomodation.  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, 400A West  5th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1J8.  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.  WORKERS ON THIS ISSUE: Janet Beebe,  Janet Berry, Jan DeGrass, Cole Dudley, Penny Goldsmith, Evelyn Hollander, Nicky Hood,  Darlyne Jewett, Diane Morrison, Jeanne  Taylor, Julie Wheelwright, Michele  Wollstonecroft.  DEADLINE FOR NEXT ISSUE: November 15  for November 30 publication.  VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN  offices are now located at 400A West  5th Avenue, Vancouver V5Y 1J7. Office hours are Monday to Thursday, 9  to 5:30 (drop in till 9 p.m. Thursday).  Our new phone number is 873-1427.  Large houses suitable for co-ops, or  existing co-ops with available space, are  hard to find.  Some local organizations  to check with are Central Mortgage and  Housing Corporation, Columbia Housing, the  Community Alternatives Society, and Inner  City Housing.  The YWCA is also looking  into co-op housing for single parents.  Women interested in co-op living ar^  advised to get themselves on as many coop waiting lists as possible.  Women present at the workshop thought that  if the right dynamics exist in a co-operative living arrangement, the system is  a good one. Sharing the care of children,  and receiving support from other single  parents who have similar experiences and  understanding, can be rewarding, and it  provides more.opportunity for a mother  to nurture her "single" self.  It's not all roses, of course. Resentment  and jealousy sometime develop among children of different families over not wanting to share mom, or comparing parental  attention.  To what extent single mothers should  expect a love partner -to share in parenting support is less clear. Shared  parenting can put a lot of strain on a  relationship.  Most women felt it was important for  children to have men to relate to. For  a long time men have had the privilege  of leisure time to play with kids, and  single mothers don't need to be hasty in  giving away to men "special times" with  their children.  But with societal roles  changing so much, it's good for kids to  see men involved in "non-traditional"  situations. Men can provide a different  and important point of view for children.  Nancy Jackson, facilitator of this workshop (along with Mary Schendlinger),  commented that never before have women  been expected to work, raise children,  and create a healthy home atmosphere on  so few resources.   Jackson sees the  trend to childrearing in "extended family"  situations, with women creatively exploring alternate lifestyles, as a very good  thing.  But what about men?  The workshop on Sex and the Single Mother  was led by Pearl Denny, a family skills  counsellor for pregnant teenagers. Denny  asked mothers to examine their pasts for  messages and attitudes which had been  communicated to them about unmarried women.  She urged them to shed the negative attitudes with which they had been indoctrinated, and to accept themselves and their  sexuality in a positive way.  "That's  easy to say," replied one mother, "but  how can I be liberated when I have to deal  with unliberated men?"  Women brought up stumbling blocks they had  encountered in their efforts to achieve  good relationships, sexually and otherwise: men's frequent incapacity to show  simple affection, feelings on the part of  some that a woman cannot be sexual if she  is also a mother, interference and jealousy of children. Suggestions which  emerged from the discussion ranged from  not involving the children in a relationship until it has become more solid to  organizing co-op babysitting.  Control of our lives—in spite of GAIN  With the recent cutbacks and reclassifications of women on welfare, Dealing with  Human Resources and Welfare was a hot  issue at the symposium. Marilyn Callahan  and Marjorie Martin led this workshop, as  well as Saturday afternoon forum (attended  by more than 35 women) on the same topic.  The real goal for women who are on welfare,  according to Callahan and Martin, is for  them to come out of isolation and find out  what options there are and how to access  them. Then, armed with information, they  are more able to take an active role in  decision-making and financial independence.  One tool provided to women at this symposium, was a booklet co-authored by Martin  and Callahan called Welfare Rights and  GAIN.     The booklet, which is distributed  by Vancouver People's Law School, is a  good, step-by-step summary of welfare law  and how to apply for assistance.  In familiarizing women with the book,  Callahan and Martin emphasized that welfare regulations and policy' are not simply  decided at the whim of the government,  they are law, as embodied in the provincial GAIN (Guaranteed Available Income  for Need) Act. "An ironic title," says  Callahan, "given that welfare seems to be  neither guaranteed, available, nor sufficient to meet needs."  Martin and Callahan, in the workshop,  described a recent program of the Ministry  of Human Resources called the Individual  Opportunity Plan (I0P).  This program is  supposed to help people evaluate career  goals, personal skills, re-training options  and job hunting techniques, leading eventually to a paying job. However, Martin .  stressed that that goal doesn't have to  be met quickly. A two year, or even a five  year plan might be eminently reasonable.  For one of the realities expressed often  by single mothers is the need to re-enter  the work force slowly because of the very  real workload that mothering already imposes on them, and because children's  needs also have to be taken into account.  Day care subsidies are possible, though  not necessarily automatic, under this  program.  Getting on the plan may help some women  retain the higher welfare rate, but Martin  advised that mothers consider the I0P  only if outside employment is a feasi.ble  and desired goal. Other means, such as  appeal of re-classification, may be the  best .route for mothers who decide it is  best to stay home with their children.  There are twenty-three groups for single  parents in the Greater Vancouver area, and  a number of single.mothers attending the  symposium represented these groups, some  newly formed. Organizing and collective  action is rife in this heretofore powerless sector, and from what we saw at the  Single Mothers Symposium, we can only echo  Marilyn Callahan, who said, "Power to the  people ... power to women!" Q November 1981    Kinesis   3  ACROSS B.C.  Welfare Coalition seeks support  The Welfare Rights Coalition is seeking  support in its efforts to stop welfare  cutbacks.  The Coalition is composed of people on  welfare, including seniors, single parents, handicapped people, the unemployed  and the underemployed, and their supporters.  They say that cutbacks in social assistance will cause great hardship.  Shelter  allowances are minimal at a time when  housing is costly. Support allowances  are likewise minimal: $295/month for a  single parent with one child, and up to  $205 for a single parent. Monthly payments to adults who are reclassified as  "employable" would be reduced by $55 under  the new regime.  The Minister of Human Resources, Grace  McCarthy, is insisting that "employables"  find work at a time when Manpower training  programs have been drastically cut back,  and with a day care system which cannot  possibly absorb the children of parents  forced off welfare.  The Coalition's strategy for the immediate  future is to broaden its base, as well as  encouraging and providing support for  welfare recipients to officially appeal  cutbacks.  People on assistance cannot be cut back  during the process of appeal, and the  Coalition hopes that large numbers of  appeals will convince both the government  and the general public that these cutbacks  will have a devastating effect on recipients.  Their next meeting is Nov. 4 at 1 pm, at  South Vancouver Family Place, 4932 Victoria.  Help say no to welfare cutbacks!  Q_  Campuses define harassment  Post-secondary institutes in B.C. held a  week-long campaign highlighting the problem of sexual harassment on campuses  October 5-9.  Campuses distributed to students a two-  page survey, prepared by the B.C. Students  Federation. The survey defines sexual  harassment as "unwanted or unreciprocated  sexual advance in the forms of comment,  looks, suggestions, or physical contact  possibly sexual proposition or sexual  assault which can cause mental or physical  anguish."  Because of statistical problems, the survey will be used for information purposes  only. (The Gohard,  Sept 24/81)    Q  Contract breakthrough  for VDT workers  Employees at the Open Learning Institute  in Richmond have achieved a breakthrough  clause in their new contract.  OLI workers  are members of the B.C. Government Employees Union (BCGEU).  The clause, covering video display terminals (VDTs), gives pregnant workers the  option of being transferred away from the  terminals, and provides 10-minute rest  breaks each hour for workers who are regularly exposed to VDTs.  It also stipulates that the employer pay  for eye examinations for workers using  VDTs, and for any protective eyewear that  may be required to work on these machines.  This is the first contract the BCGEU has  negotiated which acknowledges the potential dangers of VDTs. (Van Sun,  Sept/81)Q  Give Eaton's "Fashion Miss" a miss  Irwin's Crayon fashion make  just like the big girls.  For your little fashion miss  Boys get ready for challenge.  Match wits with Parker's Merlin  a most remarkable computerl  Following swiftly on the bat wings of  Hallowe'en comes the big push for Christmas shopping.  And part of Eaton's campaign this year  are full-page newspaper ads for children's  gifts...stereotypical as ever.  For the "little fashion miss" we have  Irwins fashion make-up ("just like the  big girls"). The kit includes "a complete  set of fashion make-up for hours of fun  ...choose from two shades of lipstick,  nail polish, eye shadow, lipgloss and  blush" (each $3.59).  Boys, meanwhile, "get ready for challenge"  and "match wits" with a remarkable intelligent computer" that "tests "strategy,  memory, logic and skill" ($32.99).  Also advertised are dolls ($7.99 through  $27.99), bake shops ($27.9?) and stitch  kits ($9.99) for girls, and building sets  ($32.99), work benches ($12.99) and robots  ($23.99) for boys.  If you have some suggestions for Eaton's  and their advertising directors, call or  write Ms. Bewley at Eaton's, 712 Robson  Street, Vancouver.  NDP women move on childcare,  rights of older women  B.C. NDP's provincial convention last  month passed a number of resolutions  which, when acted upon, will add to the  momentum that feminists have created  around a number of important issues,  among them rights of older women, child  care, and technological change. At the  convention, the Women's Rights Committee  proposed, and received approval on, the  following resolutions:  • that the Women's Rights Committee take  responsibility for the development and  implementation of policy designed to meet  the needs and concerns of older women,  with top priority to be given to concrete  proposals for action in the areas of finances, employment, housing and .health  in the years 1981-82  • that the BC NDP reaffirm (its) 1973  policy of community-controlled childcare  which is free, universally accessible,  and available at any time of the day or  night  • that childcare be the responsibility of  a single Ministry, the Ministry of Education, and that a special (childcare)  division be created within that Ministry  • that specific responsibility for childcare be removed from the jurisdiction of  the Women's Rights Committee (of the NDP)  and given to the Education policy committee  • that an NDP government (if elected)  would set an example for other employers  by implementing the concept of equal pay  for work of equal value in government  funded jobs  • that the Women's Rights Committee of  the NDP establish a working group to  undertake an in depth study of the social,  political and economic implications of  technological change, in particular as it  relates to the present and future situation of women in the workforce, and report  to the 1982 convention with proposals for  political actions to resolve these  problems.  The Women's Rights Committee put forward  a number of other resolutions which they  hope will be dealt with during the coming  year by the provincial executive.  For more information about specific resolutions proposed by the Women's Rights  Committee, or for a free copy of. the  Report of the NDP Task Force on Older  women, contact the NDP Provincial Office,  517 East Broadway, Vancouver. Q  Cartoons, graphics wanted  A collective in Nelson, making a  list of artists interested in contributing  to social change.  Here's the idea: if you draw cartoons and  illustrations on current social issues,  and mail them to the co-ordinator, Anne  Orcas, she will mail them out to newsletters and papers in the province.  A mailing list is being developed of  interested groups and papers. For more  details, write Anne Orcas, #1-723 Hendryx  Street, Nelson, B.C. V1L 2B1.  0.  Law should protect women,  children  A Burnaby woman has appeared before Burnaby municipal council asking for their support in pressuring for changes in rape and  murder laws, to prevent a re-occurrence  of the series of violent murders which hit  the Lower Mainland this summer. She has  also written to member of the United  Nations asking for their support.  Barbara Gudmundson thinks that lifetime  incarceration of people convicted of violent rape and murder, and changes to the  trial system to increase the rate of conviction, will serve to better protect  women and children.  Gudmundson is asking for support for her  campaign. Write: 3. Gudinundsnn, c/o Ted  McNabb, Internal Relations Officers, SFU  Student Society, Burnaby, B.C. 4    Kinesis    November 1  ACROSS CANADA  Geologist proves wrongful  dismissal  A female geologist, dismissed in 1978 by  Eldorado Nuclear from a summer geological  survey camp in Northern Quebec, has been  awarded $9,500 by an independent human  rights tribunal.  The tribunal found that Marthe Archambault 's dismissal had been motivated  partially or totally by her sex, and was  therefore discriminatory according to  section 7 of the Canadian Human Rights  Act.  Archambault and another student, Isabelle  Cadieux, were the only two women in a  party of 15 based 180 miles northwest of  Schefferville, Quebec.  Both were dismissed  ostensibly because their tent was used for  informal parties which disturbed some  employees. None of the male participants  were.cautioned or disciplined.  The tribunal observed that the real motive  for Archambault's dismissal was that,  having dismissed Cadieux for disciplinary  rer.sons, the camp director felt that the  presence of only one woman could cause  quarrels among the men. '(Woman Today)  Garment workers strike for  contract  An 18-day strike of garment workers in  Winnipeg's Notre Dame Tan Jay plant ended  in victory August 18.  The 120 strikers,  of whom 105 are immigrant women, are members of the International Ladies Garment  Workers Union.  Their new contract includes wage increases,  increased maternity benefits, enforcement  of the existing overtime clause, notification of impending layoffs, and a "bridging of service" clause guaranteeing seniority gains to Tan Jay workers (there are  three Tan Jay factories in Winnipeg) who  need to take a leave of absence from  work.  Management refused, however, to agree to  a sexual harassment clause, which organizers see as essential in the garment industry, with its preponderance of immigrant workers. Unskilled and semi-skilled  immigrant women form fourteen percent of  garment workers nationally, and the percentage is even higher in Manitoba.  Immigrant workers are vulnerable to exploitation at the workplace for many  reasons.  But one big threat is the 1978  Immigration Act, under which immigrant  workers who dare to protest and organize  for better wages and working conditions,  can be harassed and even deported from  the country.  Tan Jay also forced the union to back down  on a previously won right to organize in  any plant a former shareholder might establish.  The new clause stipulates only  that this particular plant will remain  unionized if the plant should relocate.  The plant's previous contract expired  March 31, 1981. Workers went without a  contract for over two months while union  representatives bargained with Peter  Nygard, Tan Jay's owner.  On June 7, the  company finally agreed to the union's  demands.  However, Nygard then proceeded to sit on  the contract for seven weeks, refusing to  talk to the union. When he did, it was to  try to make changes to the already agreed  upon contract — among other things, insisting that the union seniority clause  go, and that any increases in minimum  wage would be counted as part of negotiated wage increases.  In August, the workers went on strike to  force the company to sign the contract.  For eighteen days they maintained solidarity in the face of intimidation and  threats, until the company was forced to  concede defeat,  (info from Herizons,  September 15/81)  Midwifery supporters petition  festival  A petition lobbying for the recognition of  midwives was signed by more than 30 women  at this year's Northwest Women's Festival.  The petition, organized by the Maternal  Health Society, supports the legislation  and recognition of midwifery "as an important complement to the existing obstetrical  services, and to provide safe alternatives  for our birthing population."  In B.C. a number of groups are lobbying  for change in the law, including several  childbirth associations who believe that  midwifery is "an essential service that  provides equality of choice."  Over 200 women attended the 2nd Northwest  Women's Festival held in Kispiox, B.C.  As well as the midwifery workshop, women  attended other events and seminars such  as: the safe use of chain saws, native  women, the collective process, medicinal  plants,and self-worth. (Northern Times)  : ^a  "I had previous experience — climbing walls!"  Women students caucus  for support  OTTAWA (CUP) — Sexism is alive and well,  and present in post-secondary institutions across the country, agree 50 women  representatives from student councils.  This was the consensus at a women's  caucus, held at the opening of the founding conference of the Canadian Federation  of Students October 14.  The closed caucus served an educative  role and was a personal forum for the  women participants. "Having a women's  caucus gives me encouragement to face  the struggle, meeting people who are  going through the same issues I am,"  said Catherine Glen, of the Carleton  University Women's Centre.  "As we develop, we do it alone, there's  not a type of networking," said Glen.  "We don't have a role model and that  type of thing (struggling alone) gets  discouraging."  Lorraine Mitchell, executive officer of  the Federation of Alberta Students (FAS)  suggested that women begin "to examine  their own level of leadership." This'  would include determining the political  structures of a student administration,  where women fit in, who makes the important decisions, and who does the actual  work.  Of the fifty women present (more than 75  per cent of the total female delegates)  only four were presidents of their councils. Many were external vice-presidents.  Esther Tailfeathers, of the Alberta Native  Students Association, described the  Indian society in which she lived as based  on remnants of the old culture.  She said  those who have power, the middle-aged  population, were reaped in a sexist  society.  "This is where women have a  certain role and men have a dominant  role."  "I just hate it because I'm not taken  seriously. I think the worst thing is  the attitude," said Tailfeathers.  Delegates expressed their frustration in  dealing with means of combating sexism.  "You can't legislate attitudes,' said  Paula Sypnowich, of the MeGill Women's  Union.  The participants agreed a process of  education was a primary goal.  Citing heterosexism as a problem of  lesbians and gays, Kerry Burke, an  Ontario Federation of Students field-  worker, said one of the tools culture  uses against women forming in groups is  the whole phenomenon of rape and violence  against women. Another tool is abuse  hurled at women for participating in  women's affairs, for example, men assuming  that they are all 'dykes'.  Not only were men's attitudes criticized,  but also those of some women.  "Sometimes oar straight sisters turn against  us because they are afraid to be  labelled dykes," said Burke.  "Women who gather in groups really scare  society, which benefits a certain part of  the male population,." said one delegate.  Janet Mrenica, external vice-president  of the Concordia students' association,  said the caucus "provided one of the  best forums for personal scenario.  It  was a reflection of what most women face  in the university, college and CEGEP  set-up." 0_  Alberta programs push trades  skill trading  Jack Bredin Community Institute is a private, non-profit organization which provides  an opportunity for women to acquire skills  in traditionally "feminine", as well as  non-traditional, occupations.  The Pre-  Employment Carpentry Program, funded by  the federal government and operated by the  Institute, caters to the special needs of  women.  Lasting six months, it teaches  women how to identify and use carpentry  tools effectively in order to attain a more  competitive position in the labour force.  Courses function in the same manner as in  the work place, in both hours and instruction.  For more information contact:  Jack Bredin Community Institute, 12604-126  Street, Edmonton, Alberta. T5L 1C8.  Also in Alberta, the Agriculture department  in co-operation with Alberta Advanced  Education and Manpower, has created the  Green Certificate Program. The program  aims to train individuals to fill key  positions in the agricultural industry,  such as general farm operators, farm  herders, and owner-operators. Past experience has shown the program rewarding  for both women and farmers.  The Canada Employment Centre will sponsor  women in this course.     (Alberta Women) November 1981    Kinesis   5  ACROSS CANADA  Daycare coalitions spark action across the country  It's called Action Day Care in Toronto,  Action Child Care in Saskatoon, and Action  Coalition here in B.C.  But by whatever  name, in the past year these organizations  have tried to deliver what they promise:  some action on the present crisis in good  day care.  In Saskatchewan supporters held a public  dialogue on the need for day care and  rallied outside the site of the NDP convention In November 1980.  They initiated  the rally to demonstrate support for  stable, high-quality day care, one which  they say should not be dependent on parent  volunteer labour or charity.  They point to the underlying problem evident in government's attitude towards  child care:  " assumption that day care is an  individual family responsibility instead  of a social responsibility  — parents must  pay all the operating costs of their  children's da.y care  .... We in Saskatchewan don't think one's income should determine one's health care.     Why does our  government insist on treating child care  this way?"  They also challenge the tendency to consider day care as a makeshift temporary  need. "The idea of quickly renovating  church basements and hence establishing  cheap centres is totally out of kilter  with reality  — the need for day care is  widespread and long-lasting. "  In Toronto, day care activists held their  rally on October 16 of this year.  The  group plans to present a brief to Metro  Council, and to sponsor a Phone Drea Today campaign.  (Frank Drea is the Minister  of Community and Social Services in  Ontario).  Their campaign centres on the Direct Grant  demand: that government provide direct  grants to non-profit day care centres  proportionate to every child enrolled,  regardless of whether that child receives  a subsidy or not.  The Toronto group uses the example of a  parent who presently pays $12 a day for a  pre-schooler.  The government could contribute an extra $5 a day to the daycare  to be put toward increasing day care workers ' salaries and reducing parents' fees.  They say that fees in Ontario now range  from $2,600 to $6,400 a year — still not  an affordable figure for most working  parents.  A very similar proposal is the focus of  the B.C. Daycare Action Coalition.  This newly-formed group believes that  women have a right to work outside of the  home and therefore daycare is a necessary  service.  They want to see high quality  daycare available to every child and  family in B.C. who wants it.  "Every child should enter the daycare on  an equal basis," says Rita Chudnovsky of  the Action Coalition, "not some subsidized  some not." After all, as she points out,  it's similar to balance billing. Right  now, even subsidized parents are forced to  pay some of the expense out- of pocket.  When we were billed for our health care in  the same way, we protested loudly.  Some other concerns of this group are that  child care be available on a 24-hour basis  and that we see an increase in the present  pitiful salaries of day care staff.  If you would like to get involved with the  B.C. Daycare Action Coalition, plan to  attend their meetings on the first Thursday of every month (held at different locations).  The next meeting will be at  Douglas College, Room 706, at 7:30 on  November 5th.  Contact Rita Chudnovsky at  521-4851 for information.  £  RCMP implicated in   QQQ  Quebec firing of      ^      l /\  'Pratt Three' JL  The Pratt Three Defense Committee is asking  for financial help in its campaign to have  three Quebec women who were fired for political reasons re-instated in their jobs.  Pratt and Whitney of Longueuil, Quebec is a  multinational corporation, part of the  conglomerate United Technologies. (Alexander  Haig, currently Secretary of State in the  Reagan administration, is a past president  of United Technologies. )  The women fired - Katy LaRougetel, Wendy  Stevenson and Suzanne Chabot - were production workers at Pratt and Whitney. Pioneers  in the fight of women to work in non-traditional jobs, all three are active unionists,  feminists and socialists. They were fired on  November 16, 1979.  The firings are a clear example of political  discrimination, according to Quebec Human  Rights investigators, and did not result  from "personnel surplus" as Pratt has  claimed. Visits by an RCMP officers to the  company apparently played a decisive role  in Pratt's decision to fire the workers.  On April 11, 1980, the three women were  "coincidentally" fired a second time from  new jobs: Chabot and Stevenson from Canad-  air (a Crown corporation) and LeRougetel  from Canadian Marconi. The Quebec Human  Rights Commission is currently investigating this second round of firings.  In their campaign to be rehired by Pratt,  the women have spoken to and won important  moral and financial support from civil  rights, women's and labour organizations.  However, the next months will see a big  increase in expenses as the case comes  again before the courts. The women have  also applied to both the Canadian government (under the Freedom of Information Act)  and the U.S. government for copies of any  government files existing on them. They  hope these may shed light on the firings,  and RCMP involvement.  Pratt and Whitney, for its part, has spent  many thousands of dollars and used a host  of top lawyers to delay court proceedings.  A victory in this case is important for  civil liberties and labour and political  rights. Financial contributions are urgently needed, and could be a decisive factor  in the outcome of this case.  The Pratt Three Defense Committee can be  contacted locally at #3-2095 Stainsbury,  Vancouver (874-0985).  Farmworkers still  suffer despite media   \  attention  The Canadian Farmworkers Union is asking  for moral and financial support in its  struggle to organize the 12,000 people  who do farm labour in B.C.  The plight of these workers has received  much media attention in the past year,  yet farmworkers still have few legal rights.  They are not protected by minimum wage,  workers' compensation or safety regulation  laws.  As a result, they earn as little as $1.50  an hour for backbreaking labour, are victimized by unscrupulous labour contractors  and are faced with housing conditions on  farms which are often squalid and unsafe,  and usually excessively expensive.  "It is a disgrace that farmworkers today  live and work under such conditions,"  comments Raj Chouhan, president of the CFU  "Over 90% of farmworkers are new immigrants  - primarily East Indian and Chinese. This  exploitation of their labour fuels the fire  of racism in this province."  The Canadian Farmworkers Union has launched  a campaign to end legislative discrimination against farmworkers. Send letters of  support and donations to CFU, 4730 Imperial  Street, Burnaby, B.C. V5J 1C2.  Three B.C. bands cease  discrimination  Three Indian bands, the Massett band in  B.C. and the Carcross and Carmacks bands  in the Yukon, have been granted exemption  from that section of the Indian Act which  removes status from Indian women who marry  non-Indian men.  This brings to twenty-seven the-number of  bands who have passed resolutions requesting the waiver. Fourteen of the bands are  in B.C., two are in the Yukon, one is in  the N.W.T., two are in Manitoba, six are  in Ontario, one is in Quebec, and one is  in Nova Scotia.  Indian Affairs Minister John Munro announced two years ago that he would exercise  his statutory authority to waive section  12(l)(b) of the Indian Act where band councils passed resolutions requesting waiver  of this discriminatory clause.  The exemption, however, does not apply to  those Indian women who have already lost  their status because marriage to non-  Indians. Retroactivity has been a major  objective of Indian Rights for Indian  Women, the group which has been leading  this battle with government and band  councils. — FAPG News,   Cat/Nov   '81    Q 6   Kinesis    November 1981  INTERNATIONAL  Feminist zap action  ends in fines  Washington DC — The six members of the  Women's Liberation Zap Action Brigade were  convicted September 29 and each fined $100  for "disruption of Congress" during Senator  John East's (R-N.C.) hearings in April on  a bill that would make abortion murder.  The maximum sentence is six months in jail  and/or a $500 fine.  During the April hearings, the women held  signs and shouted slogans saying "What a-  bout the lives of women?" , "A woman's  life is a human life", and "This bill  would put 1.5 million in jails, in hospitals, in fear." (Approximately 1.5 million  women have abortions every year. )  The bill, S. 158 or the "Human Life Statute"  would put into law for the first time that  human life begins at fertilization, permitting states to pass laws making abortion,  IUD's, some pills and amniocentesis crimes  of murder.  Nationwide reports of the Women's Liberation Zap Action Brigade's action played a  role in arousing massive opposition to the  bill, leading to its being temporarily  shelved after passage by East's Senate  Judiciary subcommittee on Separation of  Powers in early July. The hearing process  itself became controversial because Senator East refused to allow pro-choice or  pro-abortion groups such as the National  Abortion Rights Action League, Planned  Parenthood, American Civil Liberties Union,  Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights,  and Reproductive Rights National Network  to testify, insisting that his hearings  were only on the question of "when does  life begin?" and that abortion could not  be mentioned.  International meet on Women  and Health  Over 500 women, including two from Winnipeg,  from over 40 countries attended the Third  International Meeting on Women and Health  in Geneva this past June.  The conference was sponsored by ISIS, an  international feminist information network,  resource and documentation centre located  in Geneva and Rome and by the Dispensaire  des Femmes, a women's health centre in  Geneva. It brought together women involved  in the direct delivery of a wide range of  women's health services; those doing research, organizing women's health programs,  and the politics of health care systems.  Workshop topics reflected the broad involvements of the participants. Included were:  health, poverty and racism; population control and imperialism; women and madness;  sexuality; contraception, pregnancy and  childbirth; breastfeeding and nutrition;  abortion; lesbian health, menopause; and  research done by women on natural medicine.  The meeting was particularly significant  because of the strong presence of women  from Third World countries and the opportunities it offered women from Western Europe,  North America and the Third World to exchange ideas, experiences and stategies.  There were many examples of such exchanges.  Women from Mauritius and the Philippines  told women from Canada, England and India  about the Free Trade Zones in their countries and exchanged information on health  hazards to women working textile and  electronic plants.  Third World women documented how contraceptives and pharmaceuticals banned in North  America - such as the three month inject  able contraceptive Depo-Provera - were promoted aggressively in their countries by  drug companies, international development  agencies, and governments - and Italian  women noted that tampons recently taken off  the market in the U.S. have been dumped in  Italy. Delegates from Brazil, Belgium and  others working to legalize abortion in  their countries strategized with Italian  women who had recently won a major victory  in their abortion legislation.  Women involved in campaigns against compulsory sterilization in Costa Rica and Puerto -  Rico could confer with women from India  who have long and hard experiences with  the U.S.-sponsored family planning programs.  Midwives from the Ivory Coast and other  health workers from Zimbabwe, Kenya and  Bangladesh discussed the training of paramedics and the development and delivery  of good preventive health programs with  women involved in European and North  American self-help groups.  In the workshop on menopause, women discussed how this stage in a women's life  was seen as a natural and positive phenomenon! in Third World countries where maturity and aging were valued, but an illness  in western countries where aging for women  indicates a decline in productivity and  sexual attractiveness.  For more information about the conference  and ISIS and its excellent publications,  contact Sari Tudiver or Lois Kunkel c/o  Herizons, Box 551, Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3C 2J3 (Herizons,   Oct.   17/81)  SCURAtcyLtfS^  * Ripper' now in print  Cambridge, England—Women Against Violence  Against Women have protested to the distributors of a magazine called The Yorkshire Ripper.     The firm, Cemas, agreed that  this publication - said to tell 'the complete, gruesome, grisly story' of Sutcliffe  is making them a lot of money.  But what if it encourages other attacks on  women, glorifying, as it does, this mass  murderer? It's not breaking any laws,  say Cemas...    (Spare Rib)  Charwomen unite  Women cleaners are among the most exploited, badly paid and poorly unionized group  in the community.  Last May the first woman cleaner's co-operative, called the "Grime Squad", began in  Glasgow, Scotland. The women range in age  from early twenties to late sixties. They  say: "Cleaning is the only way that we  could earn any money. We know that we have  been exploited in the past but this is one  way of fighting back. More cleaners should  form co-operatives. Take heart and do  what we did."   (Herizons)  DES daughter wins suit,  sets precedent  New York State's highest court has struck  a major blow to Eli Lilly Co., maker of  the drug DES.  Lilly was sued by 28-year-old Joyce Bichler  a cancer victim who charged the company  with marketing an ineffective and unsafe  hormone drug, which her mother took while  pregnant.  Bichler had to have extensive  surgery to her reproductive tract as a result of the cancer.  In deciding the case, the New York Court of  Appeal unanimously dismissed Lilly Co's  appeal.  "Joyce Bichler was awarded  $500,000. in a jury trial and is still today the only DES daughter in the nation to ■  have won a lawsuit," said Alfred S. Julien,  her attorney.  DES families have formed a national support  group called DES-Action, which helps DES-  exposed individuals to get vital health  care services. . The National Women's Health  Network estimates there may be as many as  three million DES daughters in the U.S.  who need specialized medical care. DES  sons also have reproductive abnormalities  including infertility and cancer in rare  cases. — from New Directions for Women,  Sept/Oct   '81    §  Depo-Provera study attacked  Depo-Provera (DMPA), the injectable contraceptive, is rapidly becoming the drug-  of-choice of family planning programs  around the world, especially in Third  World countries.  (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has  refused to approve DMPA for domestic use  because of findings that it causes malignant breast nodules in dogs, and cancer  of the uterine lining in monkeys.)  The findings of a study done on a few  women in the Thailand province of Chiang  Mai, where more than half the female population have used Depo-Provera, have been  used to promote widespread and long-term  use of the drug.  But Stephen Minkin, in a recent issue of  Mother Jones,   says the report was unscientific, studying only a carefully selected  fraction of the 60 diagnosed cases of  endometrial cancer in Thailand.  Only nine of the 60 cases were studied,  and none of these had used Depo-Provera,  throwing into question the study's relevance to the Depo-Provera controversy.  Yet Indonesia, Thailand and other Third  World nations have stepped up their Depo  programs since publication of the report.  A confidential report from the World  Health Organization, released after the  Depo study, says "there has been a marked  increase in admissions for cancer of the  cervix and breast in Chiang Mai. The report doesn't say how many of the cancer  victims were users of Depo-Provera.  The study, carried out by the International Fertility Research Program, was funded  in part by U.S. AID (Agency for International Development), which is devoted to  "shortening the time between the development of new fertility-control technology  and its use in family planning."  Depo-Provera is produced by the Upjohn  Company of Michigan, but because of the  ban imposed by the FDA in the United  States, the drug is manufactured by Upjohn  in Canada and Belgium,  (info from Mother  Jones,   November 1981) November 1981    Kinesis  INTERNATIONAL  South Africa: tribute to a prolonged struggle  "When women become massively political  the revolution has moved to a new  stage."  Vietnamese Women's Day 1970  by Mary Morris  I hope in this article to pay tribute to  my sisters in South Africa suffering  under the burden of apartheid, to many  thousands who are spending time in jail  and for those who heroically defy the system in the everyday struggle for a new  and democratic society.  Under apartheid, black women suffer a  triple oppression. First there are the  general apartheid laws which affect the  lives of all blacks: where they may live,  what employment they may seek, where they  can travel, who can attend school, who can  own property, whom they can marry and  even where they may be buried.  Women carry the extra burden of sex discrimination. For example, under what is  now termed African Customary law, unless  an African woman has been 'emancipated',  she is deemed a perpetual minor, always  under the guardianship of a man (firstly  her father and when she marries, her  husband).  Only unmarried women, widows or divorcees  can apply for 'emancipation' to a Native  Commissioner's Court, which takes into  account the woman's 'character', education,  other abilities and whether she owns  immovable property.  If granted emancipation, the woman becomes  free of her guardian's control. As it  stands, however, women cannot own property  in their own right, claim inheritance, or  act as guardians of their children. They  cannot enter into contracts, sue or be  sued, without the aid of their male guardians.  The system is designed to ensure a largely  docile, subservient reserve army of cheap  labour to be brought into capitalist  production when it is needed, discarded  when not.  'Homelands' are desolate reserves  The South African government recognizes  four main racial groups:  • 4 million whites  • 2 million coloured, i.e. people of  mixed descent  • Africans, who number 20 million  • 2 million Asians  All of these groups are segregated into  separate areas across the country and all  are prohibited by law from living outside  their classified group areas.  Although Africans make up 70$ of the population, only 13$ of the land has been  designated as black 'homelands'.  Individual Africans cannot own land in these  reserves.  The reserves contain few industries and no important source of  employment.  The land is badly eroded in  most parts and completely desert in others.  People are unable to eke out a living, so  most young men must leave in search of  work to the so called 'white areas' as  migrant labourers.  Women are forbidden to leave in search of  work and are therefore separated from sons,  husbands and lovers for many months out  of the year. A woman, when she says  goodbye to a son or husband, might never  see him again, for many never return.  Many are killed in mining accidents, or  put into farm prisons.  Often these  women are not notified of accidents or  imprisonment.  Malnutrition kills 50% of all children  before the age of five in the 'homelands'  and of course women wait eagerly for money  to be sent. Many women have defied government law and moved to the outskirts of the  'white cities' to be near their husbands.  This action carries with it a prison  sentence. They have erected squatter  camps, but on many occasions government  bulldozers move in and destroy the  settlements, and sometimes have opened  fire on residents, killing and wounding  many. Women have set up committees to  organize against these attacks.  In urban areas blacks live in so-called  'townships'. Under apartheid, blacks in  these townships have no permanent rights  of residency.  They are., by law, considered foreigners.  The townships are surrounded by barbed  wire fences and armed guards.  The  residents are subjected to police raids  on their homes at all hours of the day and  night. Many women are raped during these  night time raids.  At the age of sixteen every black must by  law carry a pass book giving full particulars of life history. This pass book  dictates where you may live and work.  Thousands of pass law arrests occur daily.  Many times both wife and husband are  arrested, leaving the children to the  kindness of the neighbours.  In many instances women and men living in  the townships live in single sex hostels;  they are not allowed to have their families in their rooms with them. Women have  been locked up in punishment cells for  having their children in their room with  them.  These hostels are also surrounded by  barbed wire fences and search lights  glare down on them at night. Windows and  doors can be electronically-sealed off in  times of unrest.  If a woman is lucky enough to share a  house with her husband in the township,  she must remain married, because as soon  as the marriage ends, her 'right' to remain there ceases.  If her husband dies  she is given 72 hours in which to leave  the township and make her own way back to  the 'homelands', even though she may have  been born and lived all her life in that  township.  Many women are now being employed in the  industrial sector of the economy, mainly  in food processing and canning, textile  and garment manufacturing and laundering,  with a smaller number entering teaching  and nursing.  However, the majority of  women are still employed in either domestic service or farm labour — the traditional concept of a 'woman's role'.  Domestics are paid an average wage of $20  a month.  They live in the back yard  rooms of their white employer, with no  running water and in most cases no electricity.  They are not allowed to have  their families on the premises, and  only see their children on brief vacations  'You have touched a woman'  Women have for many years played a militant role in the forefront of the struggle  against this crime against humanity.  In  the 1950's women organized massive protests against the government's extension  of pass laws to include women. Thousands  of women in every part of the country  burned their passes. When men saw this  they too joined the women in burning  their passes.  On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women marched on  parliament to present their demand to the  government.  They sang songs such as:  "You have touched a woman. You have  struck a rock. You have unleashed a  boulder. You will be crushed."  This wonderful show of strength is today  remembered as South African Women's Day.  But despite their actions, women were  issued passes.  Women have also organized together with  men against government increase in public  transportation costs. During 1957 thousands of women and men could be seen  walking from the township 15 miles to  their place of employment in the 'white  city'. This.action was known as the  defiance campaign, which lasted three  months. Continued on page 22 ► Kinesis    November 1981  INTERNATIONAL  Filipino revolutionaries add feminism to agenda  Speech delivered in a "Women Against  Imperialism" forum by a member of the  International Association of Filipino  Patriots.  The growing Philippine labour movement has  made it starkly clear that Filipino workers nationwide face acute exploitation and  instability.  But women workers in the Philippines face  exploitation on two fronts. As labourers,  they must deal with the same depressed  wages, oppressive working conditions and  job insecurity as their male counterparts,  while as women they face sexual exploitation by their superiors.  Blatant discrimination against Filipino  women in the workplace is made possible by  deeply ingrained male supremacist cultural  norms.  These norms are derived from the  continued existence of feudal social relations, the particular influence of Hispanic Catholicism, and the pervasive role of  American cultures.  Not only does US imperialism bring Hollywood cultural norms, it has also harnessed  the feudal sexism of the Philippines and  reinforced it with capitalism. With capitalism, women have become more systematically exploited — exploited in whichever  way is more efficient and profitable, so  that degradation affects all women.  The dual exploitation of women is very  evident in the Bataan Export Processing  Zone (BEPZ) in Mariveles, where 80%  to  90$ of the workforce is female.  Cheap, docile labour is what export processing zones are all about. An integral  part of the Marcos regime's 'export-led  growth' policy, these zones, offer multinational corporations tax exemptions, a  fully developed infrastructure and, most  importantly, a cheap labour force held in  check by the dictatorial regime.  If the oppressive conditions under which  the young women of this processing zone  work make them susceptible to any offer of  escape, society-wide concepts of a woman's  role make them easy targets for sexual  exploitation. The hybrid feminine ideal  of woman as passive sex objects is deliberately reinforced by the multinationals  in the interests of perpetuating a passive,  docile workforce.  Mattel, manufacturer of that personification of beauty, the Barbie doll, and other  companies regularly sponsor beauty contests  among workers. Well-advertised in the  companies' free publications, these events  encourage the women who spend their days  assembling Barbies to look at themselves  as living, breathing Barbie dolls.  'Lay down or lay off  Another familiar sight are women seeking  additional cash beyond their below-subsis-  tance wages — working as waitresses, or  'hostesses' in nearby beerhouses.  But most  women are confronted with the unwritten  code of most zone factories: "Lay down or  lay off."  Workers testify that they are often  approached by their superiors asking if  they have any financial problems which  might be resolved in exchange for sex.  Behind the offer lurks the threat, spoken  or unspoken, of losing an already tenuous  job if she refuses.  Workers themselves say that at least 50%  of the women are willing to have sex with  their superiors for economic reasons.  But  for the woman forced to sell her body to  escape from oppression, the oppression, in  fact, intensifies.  Exploitation of women does not stop in the  work areas. Aside from the export-oriented  industries, tourism is another industry  under the Marcos dictatorship that is almost wholly based on the economic and  social exploitation of women.  In this crisis-ridden, US-dominated economy, women are forced to take whatever  work the ailing system offers. It often  offers nothing — the Marcos regime has  made prostitution a tempting alternative.  Although the regime denies that it encourages prostitution, the tourist industry  is in fact dependent on the thinly-veiled  sexual come-on promoted by the regime.  Accredited tourist agencies employ 'hospitality girls' as part of their package  tours.  In the standard Japanese 'sex tour'  men are taken by bus to a club to choose  partners for the evening.  There, numbered  women are displayed behind glass panels.  The prostitute receives little of the  standard $50 fee: $14 goes to the local  travel agent, $16 to the hotel, $10 to the  Japanese tour guide, and only $10 to her.  If she is not picked, she receives nothing.  Women get little or no protection under  this system. The customer is protected  from the prostitute should she attempt to  'make trouble'. Prostitutes must leave  cards issued to them by the government's  Office of Social Hygiene with their pimps  and/or bar managers.  Prostitution is present not only in the  country's tourist belts, but also in areas  where US military bases are situated.  Subic Naval Base is located in Olongapo  City; Clark Air Force Base in Angeles City.  In Manila and other large cities, prostitutes look at their work in purely monetary terms.  Only in Olongapo and Angeles  do US servicemen, with one or two year  tours of duty, offer the possibility of  marriage, escape from poverty, and the  realization of the 'American dream' —  being able to emigrate to the US.  The 'success' stories are common enough  to continue the flow of women into the  trade.  For most of the approximately  30,000 prostitutes at Subic and Clark,  however, marriage to a serviceman remains  a dream.  Many of these women die before they grow  old because of drugs.  Other women are  reduced to performing lewd acts in clubs  after they lose their sexual desirability.  At best, women face a life of constant  insecurity made particularly tragic by the  children they bear and cannot support.  The streets of Olongapo and Angeles are  full of children whose looks would place  them comfortably in any American suburb  but whose heritage is one of abandonment  and suffering.  If the past decade of Marcos' rule has intensified the exploitation of women, the  same decade has also seen the increasing  involvement of women in the resistance.  More than at any other time in Philippine  history, women are participating in  the struggle for national liberation not  as passive followers, or with specified  women's roles, but as active participants  in a process where their liberation from  sexual oppression is part and parcel of  national liberation.  Women have always participated in people's  struggles far into the Philippine past, in  the hundreds of peasant rebellions that  marked Philippine revolution of 1896, and  in the workers' struggles of the American  period.  But it is only recently that the  liberation of women has been explicitly  and conscientiously integrated into  broader liberation struggles.  The formation of the Malayang Kilusan ng  Bagong Kababaihan (Makibaka, Free Movement  of the New Filipina) in 1970 was a historic step in this process. Although Makibaka was declared illegal and abolished  together with other national democratic,  mass organizations soon after the declaration of martial law in 1972, its goal of  introducing women's liberation as a vital ;  dimension in the national democratic  struggle is now being served by other mass  organizations.  Cultivating principled relations  One measure of the seriousness with which  this goal is being served is the struggle  to purge sexism within revolutionary  ranks.  The struggle against sexual opportunism,  a vestige of the feudal 'double-standard',  for example, is an ongoing process in  national democratic collectives.  The  Communist Party of the Philippines, the  leading organization in the National Democratic Front, has produced a "Guide to  Relations Between the Sexes" which has  become the standard for principled relationships among party and national  democratic cadres.  The rooting out of sexist attitudes within  revolutionary ranks is by no means over.  While they are in principle equal to men  in the assignment of tasks (in fact, more  women are rising to leading ranks) there  is still a tendency to not assign them to  so-called dangerous tasks traditionally  performed by men.  As one national democratic activist put  it: "This can and should be corrected.  The underestimation of women's capacities,  especially by males, should be criticised."  Filipino women revolutionaries have  grasped that women cannot be liberated  from exploitation and oppression if all  the Filipino people in the country are  not themselves freed from exploitation  and oppression.  At the same time, they have learned that  by struggling against male supremacist  attitudes in the revolutionary ranks, they  are laying the political and social conditions for the equality of the sexes in the  new Philippine society which will arise  from the ashes of the old.  Q November 1981    Kinesis   9  INTERNATIONAL  Irish prisoners struggle for freedom and recognition  by Maeve Moran  The first invasion of Ireland by England  occurred in 1169, but it wasn't until the  seventeenth century that England finally  conquered that_country. Cromwell, sent  to auell the rebellion of the native Irish  Catholics-, initiated a campaign of extermination and extensive confiscation, and  Irish land was settled by imported Scottish Protestant farmers.  Because the rebellion in the north-east  corner of Ireland was more successful,  it was here that the British concentrated  their greatest energy.  It was here that  the greatest numbers of settlers were  sent and it was this part of Ireland, by  the early twentieth century, which contained 3/4 of Irish industry.  Thus when Britain was finally being forced  to leave Ireland it was from the Protestant capitalist class in the north-east  that the greatest opposition was heard.  They saw it as more advantageous to their  position to belong to the British Empire.  In 1921 Ireland was divided and the six  north-eastern counties were called Northern Ireland. This new state contained  the main Irish industries, a two-to-one  Protestant majority and a police force  with sweeping powers of search, arrest  and detention of the native, nationalist  population.  Brought up on hardship and struggle  Even before its inception as an artificial  state, the women of Northern Ireland were  the main breadwinners of their families.  Given that much of Northern Irish industry  has been centered around linen mills,  (traditional ghettos of female employment)  the men of that state have long carried  the scars of unemployment.  Their mothers, sisters and wives have  worked double days — a gruelling day on  the factory floor and a second shift in  their homes doing all of the household  chores and having and caring for large  families.  The women of Northern Ireland  are not new to struggle or hardship.  When the Civil Rights Movement started in  1968, women took to the streets in large  numbers, just as the men did.  The majority were working class women who had few  options in their lives and wanted a less  bleak future for their children.  They  knew that this future could not be won  within the sectarian state of Northern  Ireland, where housing and jobs were  allocated along religious lines.  The internal conflicts of Northern  Ireland, instituted and encouraged by  British imperialism, have been successful  in dividing the working class. When  Scottish settlers were given tracts of  Irish land they were used to keep the displaced native Irish in line.  The animosity thus created has succeeded  in making very clear demarcations in  Northern Ireland by dividing people according to their religious background. So  instead of working class people uniting  to fight the common oppressor, Westminster  has encouraged them to see each other as  the enemy.  When the Nationalist population of Northern Ireland was forced into a position of  arming itself against the 'peace-keeping'  tactics of the British army, it was  mainly the men who joined the IRA and  other para-military organizations.  The women, already used to their roles- of  breadwinner, mother, and housekeeper, were  now the ones sheltering the many men on  the run, trying to keep their children  off the dangerous streets, organizing  demonstrations, and visiting their menfolk in Long Kesh Prison.  Thirteen years of war plus lack of constructive planning in Northern Ireland  have made jobs even more difficult to  find.  In 1979 unemployment .was 11.5% and  Northern Ireland had the lowest individual  earnings in the U.K., the highest rate of  emigration, double the U.K. prison population per thousand people, the poorest  a commemorative ceremony for their dead  brother.  During the ceremony, they wore  the quasi-military black skirt uniform of  Cumann na mBan (women's wing of the IRA).  A week later, while the prisoners were  lined up for their midday meal, they were  surrounded by some 60 male and female  warders.  Panic broke out. Women were  kicked and punched until order was restored.  They were locked up while their  cells were searched, ostensibly for the  black skirts.  They were returned to their  cells after individual searches and were  Don't let them die!  r   strike as a critical part of our four year   protest for political status. We  have  reached this decision after suffering years of cruel and inhuman  treatment and after having exhausted all other means of protest.  was able to say that he was 'cautiously optimistic' about a breakthrough, but,  alas, his many efforts came to nothinc  British government.  The full  Our demands are: the right not to do prison work; the right to organise  educational and recreational facilities, and the right to one weekly visit; parcel  and letter; the right to association with other political prisoners; and  restoration of remission lost as a result of the protest. We also fully support  the demand of our H-Block comrades: the right not to wear prison uniform!  We call upon the Irish people to support us in our stand, and we especially  call upon.our sisters in  Ireland and throughout the world to stand and be  and H-Block situation lies with      counted with us in the grave days ahead,  lave treated the issue with the We are prepared to fast to the death, if nec<  Part of a broadsheet promoting the stand of hunger strikers.  housing standards, the highest rate of  infant mortality, and the lowest life  expectancy.  Irish women have also been involved,  right from the beginning, in the armed  struggle. Until 1976, political prisoners in Northern Ireland had political  status, but since March of that year  special category status has been denied.  Although these prisoners have been tried  in no-jury courts and are kept in special  prisons, they are treated as criminals.  There are at any given time, 30 women  political prisoners in Armagh Jail.  The women in Armagh, although denied  political status, are not compelled to  wear prison uniform. Most of these  women are in their teens or early twenties, and have been in jail for an average of four years. They have grown up in  a war environment and have been on demonstrations, erecting barricades to protect  their homes and seeing their family members being killed in cold blood for almost  all their lives.  Because the war has torn apart families  and communities, many of these young women  have already had children and have  struggled while on the outside to bring  them up on welfare stipends with little  support.  Until February 1980 the female prisoners  were restrained (from outside the prison)  from joining the 'dirty' protest of their  male comrades for political status.  Then the three Delaney sisters, all serving sentences in Armagh, decided to hold  beaten by guards in riot gear. The toilets  were locked and the prisoners were confined  to their cells for twenty-four hours.  In the words of one prisoner, Anne-Marie  Quinn, giving an account of that day's  events:  "I turned to lift my dinner and turned  back to see two male officers trail Shirley  Devlin into a doorway, so I ran towards  them.  Before I got near them a male officer put his arms around my head and throat  and started manhandling me. He tripped me  judo style and landed me on my back with  full force."  Inevitably during a 24 hour lockup, the  women's pots filled up with urine and  excrement and the women poured the contents out the spy holes of their cells.  The spyholes were nailed shut and they  then started throwing the contents out of  their cell windows.  These windows were  subsequently boarded up.  By February 12th  a full scale 'dirty' protest was in  operation.  'No wash' protest dangerous for women  A year and a half later, most of these  same women are living in the same horrific  conditions.  This type of protest, when  carried out by women, has very far-reacing  effects in terms of the easy spread of  infection.  There are never enough sanitary napkins  given out. Each woman receives the same  Continued on page 22 ► 10   Kinesis   November 1981  PENSIONS  The Great Pension Debate: stand up and be counted  by Joan Wallace  The Great Canadian Pension Debate has been  raging for several years, yet women's  voices have been noticeably absent, according to a new study entitled Pension Reform  with Women in Mind, recently published by  the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women.  The 96-page report, the first ever published in Canada on women and pensions, is  a stinging indictment of the treatment of  women not only by the private pension industry but by the Canada Pension Plan as  well.  It emphasizes that unless women intervene  very soon to defend their interests, the  appalling poverty in which most elderly  women live will get worse rather than  better.  Women suffer most from inadequacies  The report points out that major reforms  to the pension system come only once every  15 to 20 years and urges women to get organized now to insure that their input is  heard before changes are made. (Refer to  end of article for a list of pension conferences planned for B.C. )  Prepared by Louise Delude, legal consultant and researcher who has written many  earlier CACSW studies, Pension Reform with  Women in Mind  examines:  * what is wrong with the present pension  system  • * what women need from a pension system  * proposals for reform that will provide  fair and adequate pensions to all women,  not just those who spend full time in  the workforce.  The CACSW report gives a women's perspective to a debate that has so far concentrated on improving the benefits of male  earners while completely ignoring the  needs of women. To quote from the report:  "Every report on pensions issued in the  last few years - and there have been many  - starts off by declaring that women are  the prime victims of the inadequacies of  the present system. Having said this,  nearly all of them go on to recommend  'reforms' that would mainly benefit typical male workers and ignore women's needs  almost entirely.  "This male-centred view flows from the  traditional notion that the world is composed of two all-inclusive categories:  full-time participants in the labour market and the people they support. If you  provide adequate pensions to the first  ' group, it is widely believed, the second  one will automatically be taken care of.  "Unfortunately for women, the benefits of  such a system produces for them are usually inadequate and almost always unfair."  CPP ignores women's realities  The Canada Pension Plan, which was set up  in 1965, did not deliberately set out to  create the present imbalance between the  first to be established in Canada and many  people still consider them to be the primary source of income for retired Canadians. In reality, the CACSW report says  that they account for less than 10$ of  the overall income of senior citizens.  The prime target of private pension plans  is upper-middle-income males who worked  non-stop for the same organization all  their working lives, rising steadily  through the ranks as they got older. As  one businessman pointed out to me, the  main objective of these plans was to keep  top-level executives from moving to other  companies, not to provide adequate pension  incomes for all employees.  Pension reform comes in waves. From the shape of Canada's  pension system today, it is obvious that in every wave of the  past women were unrepresented and forgotten. But this time,  things will be different. . .  i of elderly men and women, but because the plan was based on the stereotyped  view of women prevalent at that time, it  has reinforced the fact that far more elderly women-than men are living in poverty  today.  The CPP failed to meet the needs of women  because it:  * ignored women's work in the home  * reduced benefits for mothers who spend  most of their lives in the labour market  but stop for a few years to work in the  home without pay  * adopted a benefit formula that mirrors  the low wages women get in the workforce  * failed to provide for the fact that  marriage breakdown deprives thousands  of divorced women of survivor's benefits  which they would otherwise have received  on their husband's death  Private pension plans are worse  Private pension plans have an even worse  record in their treatment of women. Employer-sponsored pension plans were the  r  Canadian  Advisory Council  on the Status  of Women  F^[l      Conseil consultatif  ^B         canadien                                                         j  L^^J      de la situation  _ _      de la femme  Publications  PENSION REFORM  WITH WOMEN IN MIND  Describes the Canadian pension  system and emphasizes women's  needs with suggestions for concrete  and realistic reforms that will provide  fair and adequate pensions to all  women.  By Louise Dulude,                    i  111 pages  Write for your free copy to:  LES FEMMES ET LA REFORME DES  REGIMES DE PENSIONS  Une analyse de la situation des  femmes face au systeme canadien de  pensions et des reformes concretes et  realistes qui s'imposent pour accorder  aux femmes les pensions qui leur  reviennent.  Par Louise Dulude,  128 pages  Obtenez-en gratuitement un exemplaire  en ecrivant a:  CACSW PUBLICATIONS  Room 1005  151 Sparks Street  Ottawa, Ontario  I                K1P5R5  w- -m                     PUBLICATIONS CCCSF  rA^                    Piece 1005  l^Fl                    151, rue Sparks  Ottawa (Ontario)  ■ ■                     K1P5R5  These pension plans almost always exclude  part-time workers and seldom provide benefits •to surviving spouses. Many plans in  the past charged women more for pensions  than men and set tougher entrance requirements for women employees.  CACSW proposals  The CACSW report makes several proposals  which they believe would help to provide  fair and adequate pensions to women as  well as to men. They suggest:  * an increase in the size of pension benefits of female earners by a) giving the  CPP a benefit formula that would provide  proportionately higher benefits to low-  income workers, and b) reducing the penalties now suffered by women who leave  the labour force temporarily because of  family reponsibility.  * the integration of homemaker's work in  the CPP by requiring the husband, who is  the main beneficiary of the homemaker's  unpaid work, to pay her CPP contributions  * an equal sharing of pension credits earned by the spouses during their life together, which could be accomplished by  dividing the CPP credits of the spouses  on the day the younger of them reaches  the age of 65.  These proposals, and many others, will be  debated at women's pension conferences now  being planned across Canada. Your  participation is vital. Plan now to attend.  November 28, National Action Committee,  Status of Women, Calgary Inn, Calgary.  Transportation costs provided for one  delegate from each member organization.  Contact Jillian Ridington, 738-0395.  January 30, 1982, B.C. Women's Liberal  Commission, Vancouver, place TBA. Open  to all, fee $20 including lunch. Contact Renate Bublick, 263-8448.  January or February 1982, Women's Resource  Centre, 1144 Robson, noon hour lectures,  date and place TBA. Contact Anne Ironside, 685-3934.  March 6, 1982, "Pensions - Focus on Women",  an educational forum sponsored by a  coalition of B.C. women's organizations,  Hycroft, 1489 McRae, Vancouver. Contact  Edith Nee, 732-0834- November 1981    Kinesis    11  LABOUR  Paid maternity leave major victory for postal union  by Micki McCune & Marion Pollack  Working women in Canada have won a major  victory in the signing of the August 1981  collective agreement between the Canadian  Union of Postal Workers and the Treasury  Board.  The "summer of '81" strike won  women postal workers the right to 17 weeks  paid maternity leave at 93% of salary, and  leads the way for other organized women  workers in the public and private sectors.  Since this demand was' won, the Clerical  and Regulatory Component of the Public  Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), who  went on strike for the first time in October 1980, has announced that they will  fight for maternity leave in their next  negotiations.  The B.C. Government Employees Union (BCGEU) has also stated that in  their next round of bargaining, paid maternity leave will be a major demand.  The provisions in the new CUPW contract  are identical to those gained by 200,000  public sector workers in Quebec, as well  as those that AUCE members in B.C. have  enjoyed for five years. These victories  laid a solid groundwork for the CUPW  campaign.  Childbearing a shared responsibility  The CUPW gain goes a long way toward  ending the last major form of wage discrimination against women workers in the  post office.  Under the previous agreement,  a woman who went on maternity leave lost  over $4,000 in wages, and also lost  vacation and sick leave credits (which  means that she was entitled to less paid  vacation and sick time).  This victory has other dimensions.  Primary is the validation of the social  needs and responsibilities of working  women. After years of denial, women's  childbearing responsibilities are finally  being recognized as more than hers alone.  Women can learn from this experience that  we don't have to keep silent about our  choices to be childbearers and rearers,  and the effect that a job has on that  function.  Our social experience is real,  valid and important.  It deserves to be  struggled over in the workplace as are  other Issues that relate to the liberation  of women in the world.  When CUPW embarked on this strike on June  30, the prospects looked bleak.  The chief  negotiator for the employer, Treasury  Ltoard president Donald Johnston, had refused to accept the recommendations of  the Conciliation Board. He said no to a  ban on closed circuit tv (CCTV), no to  any improvements in health and safety, and  no to better vacations. He refused to  discuss paid maternity leave, saying that  it should be 'studied'.  Six weeks later, Johnston was forced to  sign a contract meeting these demands. The  new contract- bans the further use of investigative CCTV, and establishes the  right to refuse dangerous work, the right  to first aid attendants, the right to  monitored noise, dust and temperature  levels, and finally, the right to fully  paid maternity leave.  Maternity leave has roots in the 40s  The right to paid maternity leave has been  a long time coming in the federal public  serviqe.  During World War II, an influx  of women entered public service jobs.  Maternity leave was available; however,  the restrictions that employers placed  on the leave meant that virtually none was  taken.  A woman could retain her right to reemployment, but she had to produce a medical certificate saying that her child no  longer needed her care.  In the family  oriented '40s this was extremely difficult.  By 1958, maternity leave theoretically  became more accessible to women.  The  granting of leave, however, was totally  dependant on the discretion of the deputy  head of the department.  In 1962, maternity leave became an automatic right on  paper, though not in reality. Women still  reported working until two, or three hours  prior to the birth of their child, and  *  returning from unpaid leave just two  weeks later.  It was during the 1960's that the conflict  between the stated philosophy of the  government and its practice began to  crystallize. In 1962, the Glassco Commission, a Royal Commission on Government  Organization, stated that "the government  in employing women, is not precluded from  pioneering new standards in the community."  Yet almost twenty years later, Treasury  Board Donald Johnston would say, "CUPW  should drop its demand for paid maternity  leave, as it could set a precedent for  the private sector."  Economy needs women—as workers  and as producers of workers  The government reacted against the maternity leave clause not because of the  actual cost - 2</.  per hour per member of  the'CUPW bargaining unit - but because  our economy is based on the exploitation  of women.  The economy needs women as workers, and  as producers of workers, but neither  function is socially recognized or economically validated.  Employers need a constant supply of workers, yet do not find it in their economic  interest to pay for the work required to  produce and raise future labourers.  Employers maintain and profit from the  ideology that women feed on the economy  and make it more unstable by having and  caring for children. They also benefit  from perpetuating the belief that they  have no social or economic interest in the  future generation; that childbearing is  an individual responsibility.  Employers have historically used women as  reserve pool of labour. When the economy  is changing or booming, women are encouraged to go out to work, but when the  economy slows down, women are forced.back  into their homes to take care of the  children. Using this tactic, employers  have attempted to keep women's wages lower  than men's.  CUPW membership shows strength  In spite of all this, CUPW has won paid  maternity leave. How was the government  made to back down from its original adamant opposition?  First, the strength of. the CUPW membership was unsurpassed in this strike.  Most locals reported solid picket lines.  This in and of itself was a major achievement since both government and the media  had attempted to divide the membership  by publicly distorting the issues of  wages and maternity leave.  CUPW had also  embarked on a national program of secondary picketing of companies that were  delivering, distributing, or storing  mail.  Second, the labour movement came out in  full support of CUPW.  In 1978, lack of  support from the Canadian Labour Congress  (CLC) proved decisive in the government's  decision to unleash a brutal arsenal  against the union.  In that year, CUPW  members were ordered back to work under  an imposed collective agreement, four  regional offices of CUPW were raided, and  Parrot was jailed for advising workers to  defy the back to work order.  In 1981 rank and file pressure caused  Dennis McDermott, president of the CLC, to  pledge its full assistance to our struggle  The Confederation of Canadian Unions (CCU)  a long-time friend of CUPW, continued  this tradition. Unions such as AUCE, CUPE  Canadian Farmworkers, and the National  Union of Provincial Government Employees,  all passed messages in support of CUPW's  demands and struggle.  CUPW also implemented programs to get  support from the women's movement by  mailing information about the maternity  leave demand to women's groups across the  country.  Locally, Rape Relief and the Vancouver  Women's Health Collective were among the  first to pass motions in support of CUPW,  and attended all the rallies.  The NDP  Women's Committee gave CUPW a very strong  message of support, both in word and deed.  Bread and Roses, a Vancouver socialist-  feminist group, showed their support for  the struggle by organizing a very successful solidarity meeting and support  picket.  Continued on page 23 * 12   Kinesis   November 1981  HEALTH  Contraceptives conference marred by contradictions  by Vancouver Women's Health Collective  On.the weekend of September 12 and 13,  Planned Parenthood of B.C. presented the  second of its annual update conferences on  contraception.  According to their brochure, the weekend  was to be packed with lectures revealing  important information to doctors and family planning personnel about the latest  developments in birth control.  One of the  main focuses of our work at the Health  Collective is contraception, and we are  always interested in new developments, so  we planned to attend.  What disturbed us about this conference,  however, was that a good deal of the money  that made it possible (we learned this  from the brochure) came from several large  drug companies, all of whom manufacture  and sell birth control products.  Our suspicions were aroused. How could information presented in this context be comprehensive? Would the entire time be spent  quoting statistics from medical research,  or would the feelings and experiences of  women who use birth control be taken into  account and discussed?  In the last ten years we at the Health  Collective have spoken to many women about  their experiences with contraception. Our  conversations with these women, together  with our research and personal experience,  have led us to our present position on  birth control: that the risks of methods  such as the pill and the IUD far outweigh  the convenience they offer us by not having  to directly associate birth control with  intercourse.  The pill and the IUD are profitable and  easy to administer.  The serve the interests of drug companies that make them and*  professionals that give them out far  better than they serve the interests of  women who use them.  Ironically, these are the methods we have  come to think of as the only ones available  to us. Safer methods that women can control more, such as the diaphragm, cervical  cap, foam and condoms, and fertility  awareness, are not researched or advertised  nearly as much.  Contraception: a world-wide business  Over the past twenty years, contraception  has become a $3 billion world-wide business. Out of the $4000 per doctor per  year that drug companies spend on advertising, a great proportion is spent to  promote contraceptives. We were concerned  that the Planned Parenthood conference  would provide drug companies with vet,  another forum to promote their most profitable products and would not be in the  interests of women who use birth control.  Planned Parenthood's reassurance that they  had planned the conference and chosen the  speakers themselves failed to allay our  fears for two reasons:  • doctors get most of their information  on birth control directly or indirectly  from the pharmaceutical companies  • we believe that, when an organization  depends upon corporations to provide large  sums of money for their conferences, that  dependency will, in the long run, affect  the kind of information that is offered.  We wrote to Planned Parenthood with our  concerns and our questions. We went to  the conference and distributed our letter  to the participants in hopes that our  opinions would be of interest to them. We  are writing this article in order to communicate our views to the general public  — women who were not represented at this  conference.  We found ourselves faced with a dilemma.  On the one hand, we agree with Planned  Parenthood's position that birth control  information should be readily available  and that access to abortion should be a  woman's right. On the other hand, we disagree that information about contraception  should be monopolized by drug companies  and professionals.  Our dilemma has its roots in the early  history of the birth control movement.  Margaret Sanger and other leaders of that  or not the Pill should be discontinued  for women undergoing surgery was raised.  Doctors present agreed in theory that  they should be stopped (in order to prevent possible fatal blood clots), but in  practice none of them do so. One man  chuckled, "So, if we're all doing it and  no risks are obvious, then it seems we're  getting away with it."  "Reassuring the patient" was a commonly  heard phrase.  If a woman complains that  her periods have stopped since she started using the Pill (and switching her  prescription doesn't help), then "reassure her." If she continues to complain, prescribe Provera to bring her  periods on.  The pill and the IUD are profitable and  easy to administer. They serve the  interests of drug company and  doctors far better than  they serve the interests of women.  movemement, from 1910 on, were both  feminists and socialists.  They wanted to  change the lives of working class women.  Accordingly, they opened the first birth  control clinics in poor, working class districts, where women toiled long hours each  day in the factories and returned to  over-crowded, miserable housing to tend  to the needs of their large families.  Women who operated the clinics were persecuted through the legal system. Simply  handing out literature about birth control  was a crime under the obscenity laws, in  most places. Many women went to jail in  order to obtain the legal right to reproductive control for all women.  In an attempt to obtain legal status for  birth control clinics, some of the women  involved with them began to lobby for  changes in legislation.  There were  differences of opinion among them as to  what was the most effective way to obtain  legal status.  Mary Ware Dennett and her colleagues in  the Voluntary Parenthood League fought for  changes which would remove discussion of  contraceptives from all restrictions for  anyone.  Margaret Sanger and the American Birth  Control League set themselves a more  limited goal: that of changing existing  legislation to strike out all restrictions  on doctors '  rights to prescribe contraception, giving doctors unlimited discretion.  This latter view predominated, and  the birth control movement passed out of  the hands of women and into the hands of  male professionals.  Women's health not a priority  The consequences of Sanger's decision to  ally with the medical establishment were  well illustrated at the Planned Parenthood conference.  Doctors made it clear that what they know  (or think) about issues concerning health  is often different from what they tell us.  During one'workshop, the issue of whether  If she says she is depressed on the Pill  (and vitamin B6 doesn't work), then prescribe anti-depressants.  If she complains that her new IUD is causing her a  lot of pain, "'reassure her" and prescribe  some pain killers.or anti-prostaglandins.  Managing women with drugs and reassurance  does not seem to us to be the best way to  deal with the discomforting or harmful  effects of pills or IUD's.  Women's health was clearly not a priority  for these doctors. We were annoyed at  how often "risks" referred to legal risks  for doctors rather than risks to women's  health. We were shocked by the amount of  questionable or obviously false information given to us by these "experts".  Promiscuity and PID: false link  One guest speaker declared that IUD's do  not cause PID (pelvic inflammatory  disease) — promiscuity does (!) and that  the loss of fertility from use of the IUD  is minimal.  A local doctor stated that he has found  no link between the use of the Pill and  yeast infections ("personal hygiene" being  the problem).  In yet another instance,  we were told that there are no long term  side effects associated with tubal  ligation.  These claims are not only disproven by  the medical literature, but more importantly, by our own experience as women  and that of the women we meet daily in  our work at the Health Collective.  There were two lectures and one workshop  that deserve mention in a more positive  light.  Charlene Berger, a psychologist from  Montreal General Hospital, spoke on  research she had done on women having  "repeat" abortions. She admitted starting  with a bias, expecting to find these  women very different, ie with a less  responsible attitude, from a lower socioeconomic background, and having more  sexual partners.  Continued on page 13 ► November 1981    Kinesis   13  HEALTH  Continued from page 12  Instead, even though these women were  studied from 75 different variables, the  only differences between the women having  "initial" abortions and the "repeaters"  were that the latter tended to be older,  more educated, and possibly in a more  involved relationship with a man.  The  results changed her thinking considerably,  especially about stereotyping women who  have had several abortions.  Although she faced male doctors, Berger  criticized both men's lack of responsibility for birth control and doctors' lack  of attention to it with their male patients. She discussed society's attitude  toward women and sexuality, and the unreasonable expectation that young women  will seek out and use contraception effectively when they have been taught primarily  about taboos and virginity.  Berger rejects "better medical and surgical technology" as the answer, saying that  without changes in sex role behaviour and  social attitudes towards young people,  effective birth control use will not  increase.  In a lecture on "natural family planning"  presented by the Serena organization, a  married couple spoke from their personal  experience, providing useful information  on methods of fertility awareness. This  was the one instance in the conference of  lay people promoting a safe method of  birth control.  What we didn't like about their presentation was the inclusion of slides showing  fetal development that seemed designed  primarily to promote Serena's anti-abortion  stance.  Their message was clear: "natural"  family planning is meant for "natural"  married couples (who won't "destroy" human  life).  Finally, a Sunday workshop given by women  counsellors attempted to deal with real  adolescent counselling situations. In an  amusing exercise, participants were blindfolded (to represent darkness) and asked  to simulate the use of foam and condoms in  the back seat of a car.  The difficulty of this excercise demonstrated well the problems teenagers face  using birth control.  But once again,  anxiety about teenage pregnancy tended to  encourage birth control pills as a solution to the unpreparedness and awkwardness  of teenage sexual encounters.  (Earlier  in the conference, the IUD was strongly  recommended for young women by a doctor  who considered them to be of "minimal  intelligence". )  Overall, the conference seemed very much  thwarted by contradictions:  • Planned Parenthood, an organization intent on providing options for women and.  active in the pro-choice-on-abo*rtion  movement, invited speakers from an anti-  abortion group to talk about natural birth  control  • Although their stated interest is in the  health of women, Planned Parenthood advocates the use of hazardous contraceptive  methods with the rationale that abortion  is more dangerous than the Pill  • Although their intention is to provide  accurate contraceptive information so that  women can make informed choices, they  refuse to see the subtle yet pervasive  effect that drug company money and involvement has had on our health care.  0_  Depo-Provera survey underway  Have you, or has anyone you know, ever received an injection for birth control? If  so, you may have been given DEPO PROVERA.  Depo Provera is a hormone that circulates  through the bloodstream and prevents pregnancy for three to six months. Although  Depo Provera has been given to women all  over the world, it has not been proven  safe as a contraceptive.  Some effects of Depo Provera include the  following:  • it has been shown to cause breast cancer  and uterine cancer in animals  • it may make it difficult or even impossible for a woman to get pregnant in the  future  • it may cause women to have longer  periods, irregular periods, or no periods  at all  • it passes through the breast milk to the  infants of nursing women who receive this  drug  • it is associated with birth defects  • it inhibits bone growth  • it is associated with headaches, dizziness and weight gain.  The long term effects of this drug are not  known.  In 1978, the American FDA rejected Upjohn'e  application to approve Depo Provera as a  contraceptive on the grounds that, in experiments, it showed increased incidence  of breast cancer in beagle dogs. In the  FDA's opinion, the benefits of this drug  did not outweigh the risks.  In spite of this decision' in the States,  it Is estimated that 3-5 million women  worldwide are given the drug for contraception.  This situation represents  another massive experiment like those with  the Pill, DES, and Thalidomide, which  caused severe and unnecessary damage to  thousands of women and some of their children, as well.  Recently, the Upjohn Company has appealed  to the FDA to seek approval of Depo Provera  for use as a contraceptive.  If this  happens, no doubt Canada will be close  behind in approving the drug for contraception. Again, as in the case of the  Pill, controlling fertility will be a  priority over safety and women will be the  victims on whom Depo Provera is experimented .  The Vancouver Women's Health Collective is  gathering information about the use of  Depo Provera in Canada.  If you have been  given this drug, or know anyone else who  has, please write them at 1501 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W6, or phone  (604)736-6696. Q  Vancouver Status of Women Programs  Having problems with your landlord? Want  to know about your rights if you leave  your husband? Need to appeal a cutback in  your welfare cheque? Want a divorce after  a three-year separation?  A WOMEN'S LEGAL ADVICE CLINIC is now being  offered at Vancouver Status of Women  Wednesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 p.m. to  assist people with problems like those  above.  The Women's Clinic is one of  several clinics run by the Law Students  Legal Advice Program throughout the Lower  Mainland.  The clinic is free, and is  intended for those who cannot afford a  lawyer. (Who can?)  Helen Roberts, the Clinic head, organizes  the staffing of the clinic by women law  students, who are supervised by lawyers  from VSW's list of feminist lawyers.  The  clinic is run on a first-come first-serve  basis.  If, after talking to a client, the student  needs to research an area of law, or is  going to write letters on behalf of the  client, she will take the file to UBC to  work on.  The client will be asked to come  back when the work has been done.  The law students will spend as much time  as necessary with clients to enable them  to understand what the law is in the area  of their problem and what their options  are.  If someone has a problem that the student  can't deal with — for instance a court  appearance — then the student will explain what is going on, and what to expect  from a lawyer, and refer the individual to  a lawyer.  VSW's list of feminist lawyers was compiled from a survey of women lawyers.  VSW had to get an exemption from the Law  Society's rule against lawyers' advertising before those lawyers were entitled to  bill themselves as feminist lawyers.  Women who are referred by VSW to lawyers  are asked to report back to VSW if they  have any problems with the lawyer so that  the service can be monitored.  Q  ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING GROUPS begin soon  at Vancouver Status of Women.  In AT, we talk about our rights as women,  why it's difficult to say what we think  and feel, and learn specific assertiveness  techniques. For more information on the  groups, contact Patty Moore at VSW (phone  873-1427).  WOMEN WORKERS IN THE HOME is an organization of women concerned about the status  of women in the home, and the lack of  support and money available to us.  We have put together a speakers package  to share our experience and skills, and  we want this package to be used by existing  women's groups, family places, community  centres and church groups.  Speakers topics include: legal rights,  assertiveness techniques, health issues,  welfare rights, wages for housework, day  care, immigrant women, shared parenting,  lesbian motherhood, housework and your  health.  If you or your group is interested in arranging for any speakers on these topics,  or for more information, call Patty Moore  at VSW (873-1427).  MANPOWER TRAINING  PROGRAM CUTS  PUBLIC HEARING  ROBSON SQUARE MEDIA CENTRE  NOV. 13    7 p.m.  Moderator: Mayor Harcourt 14   Kinesis   November 1981  November 1981    Kinesis    15  CELEBRATING OUR CULTURE  Women in Focus  Support  needed for  Gallery  Women in Focus has been active as a  feminist arts and media centre since 1974.  In January 1974 we added an art gallery  to exhibit the works of women visual  artists in addition to our activities of  video and film production, distribution  and screenings.  Our recent move to 456 West Broadway has  been especially beneficial to-.the gallery,  providing a better location and a large,  beautiful exhibition space. Our exhibits  have met with great interest from women  artists, the feminist community and the  general public.  The gallery provides a cultural space for  women, where we can exchange ideas and  gain validation for our images and ideas  in a world that oppresses women and other  groups. It directly supports the important work of building a women's culture.  In this alternative space we exhibit  images made by women which reflect women's  lives and experiences. These images and  self-concepts challenge male defined  portrayals of women in both subtle and  overt ways.  Unfortunately the gallery program of exhibiting visual art may have to end. We  are running out of steam in our efforts  to raise funds for the gallery and are  exhausted from attempting to organize  art shows and events with no money.  Our efforts to generate operational  funding for the gallery have not yet been  successful. Although project funds are  possible, they require continual applications and only contribute towards  occasional short term exhibits and events.  Alternatives to government funding such  as dances, benefits, auctions and other  fund-raising activities are possible but  require more energy and time than we are  presently able to give.  We have many ideas for gallery programming  and have been approached by numerous  women artists who wish to have gallery  exhibits here.  But publicity, rental of  space, and material costs mean that some  kind of ongoing budget is essential. Any  kind of gallery programming also necessitates a great deal of organizational work  including staffing the gallery and dealing  with the public.  Unless we receive operational funding or  raise money through women's energy in  the community, the gallery program of  Women in Focus will be suspended as of  January 1, 1982.  If you value having a feminist gallery  that exhibits and encourages work by women  artists and can give organizational energy  and commitment to it, we need your help.  Please come to a special meeting on  November 18th,   7:30 p.m.     if you can  contribute to the work of fundraising,  organizing gallery programs, staffing the  gallery or any other aspect of Women in  Focus.  If you can't make the meeting but  are still interested, call us at  872-2250.  Q  Through November and December, Women in  Focus will present a unique series of  five concerts of music composed and performed by women.  The series will combine a diversity of  musical styles and genres offering the  audience an opportunity to explore an  exciting range of our contemporary musical world.  Jazz and contemporary improvisation on traditional instruments will  be juxtaposed with elements of world  music such as performance on Japanese  koto and Indian sitar.  The individual activities of the musicians  participating in the concerts illustrate  further the musical range of the series.  Beverly Dobrinksy and Haneefa Karriem  improvise with non-traditional instruments  and percussion, explore the potential of  the human voice, and involve children in  their music-making. Hildegard Westerkamp  is well-known as a composer of electro-  acoustic music, and for her concern with  the sounds of the environment and sound  pollution.  Karen Oliver, violinist, and Kira Van  Deusen, cellist, both perform in the contemporary string quartet with backgrounds  in free improvisation and jazz. And  harpsichordist Doreen Oke, who is active  in the Vancouver Society for Early Music,  peforms frequently in Vancouver.  For the first time in the Vancouver area,  women involved in diverse aspects of contemporary music have come together to share  their work.  This series is a celebration  of the active and creative presence of  women in contemporary music. Q  women in focus  Strings and Motion  Sun., November 1  The SoundScape in Concert Sun., November 8  Sound Feelings Sun., November 29  percussion: Featuring the Banana Band Children's Ensemble. Visuals  Chamber Music  Sun., December 6  Honouring local talent  by Nicky Hood  Not since the Full Circle Coffeehouse  ceased to exist a couple of years ago have  there been so many local women presenting  their words and songs to appreciative  audiences.  The women who attended the Lesbian Conference were treated to two excellent  evenings of music, poetry and dance. And,  in the past two months there has been a  varied selection of readings by feminist  writers.  Two of these evenings have featured  readings by young, unknown writers.  "Women's Words" is an ongoing series of  readings organized by Laura Foster, herself a poet.  The original concept of  Women's Words was to have informal readings in women's homes. This gradually  evolved into a more structured concept  and took form as a series of coffeehouses  at the Women in Focus Gallery.  Most of the women reading at Women's  Words are new to the experience of sharing  their work.  Laura has succeeded in  creating an atmosphere that is not intimidating to a woman reading for the first  time.  This is largely accomplished through the  bill being shared by five or six women  with no one woman expected to carry the  show.  Even with the presence each  evening of one somewhat more experienced  poet, the strength and quality of the  evenings has come from the combined performances and works of all the women.  As the producer, Laura hopes that eventually the readings will be successful  enough that writers will be paid for their  performances.  She would also like to see  a discussion group for writers form.  Other events have featured authors who  are more widely known.  The women from  the Common Ground  anthology of short  stories provided an evening of readings  from unpublished materials and works still  in progress.  The Lesbian Show's "Poetry  Show" was the same <  Press Gang celebrated the long-awaited  release of Anne Cameron's book Daughters  of Copper Woman  in October.  This coming month has two events scheduled which will feature both poetry and  song.  The Festival '82 coffeehouse,  cancelled in October, has been rescheduled  for late November. And "New Weave, A  Tapestry" will have the music and song of  Chantale LaPlante, Luna and Eileen Brown  along with the poetry of Cyndia Cole.  Scheduled for mid-November, the performers  intend this evening to be a sharing and  celebration of women's voices.  It is exciting to have attended and noted  these events. Our lives are mirrored in  the work that is being produced.  Our ■  love for one another, our sorrows, our  triumphs, our strength and unity are all  reflected.  Women's culture is as vital to our lives  as any other segment of the feminist  movement. Woman-centered healing, art  and spirituality must surround us to  affirm and protect us in our political  work.  Thus we should support and cherish  women performers and the art they produce.  There is ample opportunity these days to  hear and enjoy local arists. Don't pass  it by.  Q  Circus celebrates womanhood, mythology  by Michele Wollstonecroft  Women in Focus Gallery hosted a slide presentation October 17 entitled "Women, Art  and Politics". The slide show was co-ordinated by Persimmon Blackbridge and Claire  Kujundzic.  Twenty-six Vancouver women artists were  represented in the show. Each woman had  submitted five slides of her work and a  statement about the political nature of  her work.  The meaning of "political art" varies considerably among artists. Some think that  art represents our life and struggle, regardless of content or style (ie. abstract  or figurative). Others think content should  make a direct political statement, in  order to "put in our word" and counteract  the messages of mainstream media like TV,  advertising, and billboards.  A common problem experienced by most artists who are also political people is that  they do not make an adequate income from  the thing that they do best—be it ceramics, film, painting, printmaking or a combination of these.  Work that does not support the status quo  is usually unpaid. Galleries are not interested in artwork that is different from  the type of work that the "art world" has  decided is the "creative expression that  represents us all."  Consequently, most of this work has been  made in these artists' spare time. Their  knowledge and skill in marketing their  work is undeveloped.  Many of these artists do not want to sell  their work through the galleries either.  They have too little time to do their artwork, much less research relationships  with galleries, become familiar with grants  or put together a good documentation of  their work. As a result, some very beautiful artwork in the slide presentation was  not documented as well as it could have  been.  Many of the works documented represented a  strong sense of woman images. Marsha Arbour, for instance, showed body prints, in  which the image was created by inking her  body and taking an impression on paper.  Portland Frank submitted examples of her  "anti-psychiatry" work, black and white  block prints that she used to illustrate  her anti-psychiatry bibliography.  Colette French showed paintings of women.  One especially beautiful work was a piece  on black women singers, which played with  patterns of colour/shapes across the canvas.  Sarah Diamond submitted slides documenting  her portrayal of her relationship with her  mother (from her video "The Influences of  My Mother"). The slides included Sarah  holding a photograph of her mother at  Sarah's age. Other slides were of Sarah's  mother wearing a particular hairstyle and  expression, followed by slides of Sarah  wearing a similar hairstyle and expression.  Her work celebrated the concept that "our  mothers are our sisters."  Kiku Hawke's colour photographs of belly  dancers depicted the fluidity and power of  the dancer's body. The areas of stress,  volume, tension and strength of form were  transformed by Kiku's sense of composition  into beautiful abstractions.  The slide show took place amid Persimmon  Blackbridge's Circus,  which are presently  on show at Women in Focus. Circus  is more  than a circus. It is a celebration of  womanhood, mythology, working women, carnival time, kinetics, and superstars. Not  to mention Persimmon's talents as an artist  Persimmon has included 26 pieces in this  show that, despite their small size, are  not small pieces. On the contrary, even  the Young Trapeze Flyer (approx. 4" tall)  demands a large space for her performance.  The performances take place as one moves  around the room. We turn from a woman diving into a shallow pool, just in time to  see an acrobat standing on one hand. The  Audience characters are fascinated by the  Human Cannonball as she flies through the  air, her hair streaming in the wind. One  member of the Audience, however, is absorbed in her popcorn, forever seeking  that buttery morsel.  The circus animals join in the fun with  brilliant plumage, toothy grins and mischievous gestures. A group of clowns merrily dance together in one corner while  two more clowns caricature sadness in another ring.  There is a Balloon Seller and a Popcorn  Vendor. Spectators, male and female, are  scattered among the acts. A woman riding a  beautiful coloured bird is followed by  After The Animal Act, a woman shoveling a  conspicuously feathery animal dropping.  The movement, gesture and command of space  are created by the clay forms. But the joy  and exaltation is the result of the delight  ful use of colour and pattern that is repeated over and over, and yet varies with  each piece. The walls of the gallery are  covered with streamers and balloons, which  add to the movement and festival environment.  The performers' costumes are carefully  painted in colourful patterns of circles,  diamonds, squares, triangler-, and stripes.  The details on the figures are beautifully  complete with buttons, buttonholes, shoes,  shoelaces, toes, fingers, eyes. Each performer has her own circus ring, painted  with patterns that either emulate or contrast her figure and add to the merriment.  Many of the performers' costumes are decorated with designs that illustrate their  act. Fish Woman wears a little fish, on her  tunic, Fire Eater is decorated in flames,  and Popcorn Seller wears a popcorn patterned shirt. Human Cannonball has little tri-.  angles on her costume that add speed to  her movement. As we glance around the room  bright stars, moons, polka dots and squares  of colour meet our eye.  The circus animals are unlike any creatures  we know. The wolf in Wolf Woman has a patterned coat. The bird in Bird Woman wears  brightly coloured scales that give her a  fish-like appearance. Black birds scavenge  popcorn and accompany acts in many of the  pieces.  One becomes so involved in the circus atmosphere that the technical elements are  forgotten. But we must eventually remember  that the Circus  pieces are clay and admire  Persimmon's accomplishments with the medium  The Balloon Seller's ware, despite the  appearance of floating, is clay. The Dancers, with arms spread, moving around each  other on one foot, are clay. The Trapeze  Flyer, her body tensed as she moves through  the air, is clay.  Persimmon has taken a product of mother  earth and created circus women, daughters  of clay; has manifested for us a new creation myth. 16   Kinesis   November 1981  MEDIA  Sexist advertising—watch out!  by Sylvia Spring  Tired of kicking the 'Boob Tube' (pun  intended) every time you see another  'dumb slob' housewife ad? lost all your  hair from pulling it out every time you  hear the likes of Pat Burns patronizing  women (or worse)?  Well, Media Watch has a more positive and  less painful solution to dealing with  sexism in the media.  It's called  COMPLAIN!! We've made up a handy-dandy  complaint form so that your voices will be  heard and dealt with ... or else!  For years women have been complaining individually and collectively about the  insulting, inaccurate and stereotypical  treatment and portrayals of women on  radio, television and in print.  Finally the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission)  set up a special Task Force on Sex-Role  Stereotyping in the Electronic Media.  That was in October of 1979. Two years  later the guidelines to curb sexist  content have still not been agreed upon.  I am a public member of that Task Force  and have written several times in KINESIS  about the incredible hassles we've gone  through over those two years.  It took  one whole year to convince the advertisers  and broadcasters that there was in fact a  problem and the second year has been a  tug-of-war over how far they would go  'voluntarily' towards cleaning up their  acts.  The CBC, CAAB (Canadian Advertising  Advisory Board) and CAB (Canadian Association of Broadcasters) have all come up  with what they call 'self regulatory  guidelines', which they have two years to  prove effective (see below for CBC and  CAAB guidelines. CAB policy is still  being fought out.)  But their big line now is that since  they're not receiving any complaints re  sexism, there mustn't be much left on  radio, TV or in print.  Get it? See why we need a Media Watch and  lots of complaints being sent to the boys  in the East? We have to keep up the pressure, keep on their backs and never let  them forget that their female audience is  the majority of viewers and not a 'silent'  one.  Will it make any difference?  So many women have told me about shows or  ads that infuriate them.  But when I ask  if they have tried to complain, most say  no, because it's too complicated. Who  would they complain to? Would it make  any difference?  Well, Media Watch's four-ply complaint  form can make a difference. All the  relevant addresses are indicated clearly  on the form.  One copy goes to the guilty  organization's head office, one copy to  the CRTC and one copy to Media Watch, so  that we can keep track of how many complaints in fact are being made.  Even if the boys don't clean up their act  totally within two years (pie in the sky),  we'll at least have good evidence that  lots of women complained and that 'self  regulation' hasn't worked. Then it will  be time to bring out the big guns.  Media Watch is a sub-committee of the  National Action Committee on the Status  of Women (NAC) chaired by Alesia Lawrence  of Vernon, who is also B.C.'s rep to NAC.  Continued on page 17 ►  DATE: TIME: (if relevant)..  OFEENSIVE AD OR PROGRAM:   STATION, CHANNEL OR PUBLICATION:   (CANADIAN ONLY)  Send copies to the following:  1. CBC & Radio Canada (TV and radio, programs and ads)  c/o Louise Imbeault — Coordinator - Portrayal of Women  1500 Bronson Ave., Ottawa, Ontario K1G 3J5       or  For all Advertisements (private radio & TV, and print)  (CAAB) Canadian Advertising Advisory Board       or  1240 Bay Street, Suite 305, Toronto, Ontario  M5R 2A7  Programming for all private Radio and TV Stations  (CAB) Canadian Association of Broadcasters  P.O. Box 627, Station B, Ottawa, Ontario  KIP 5S2  2. C.R.T.C.  c/o Secretary General's Office  Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0N2  3. MEDIA WATCH  Box 46699 - Station G  Vancouver, B.C.  V6R 4K8  4. One copy for your own records.  CBC Guidelines  Programming should:  1. avoid the use of demeaning sexual  stereotypes and sexist language;  2. reflect women and their interests in  the reporting and discussion of current  events;  3. recognize the full participation of  women in Canadian society;  4. seek women's opinions on the full  range of public issues.  CAAB Guidelines  1. Advertising should recognize the  changing roles of men and women in today's  society and reflect the broad range of  occupations for all.  2. Advertising should reflect the contemporary family structure showing men, women  and children as equally supportive participants in home management and household  tasks, and as equal beneficiaries of the  positive attributes of family life.  3. Advertising, in keeping with the  nature of the market and the product,  should reflect the wide spectrum of Canadian life portraying men and women of  various ages, backgrounds and appearances  actively pursuing a wide range of interests, sports, hobbies and business, as  well as home-centered activities.  4. Advertising should reflect the realities' of life in terms of intellectual and  emotional quality of the sexes by showing  men and women as comparably capable, resourceful, self-confident, intelligent,  imaginative and independent.  5. Advertising should emphasize positive  personal benefits derived from products or  services and should avoid portraying any  excessive dependence on/or excessive need  for them.  6. Advertising should not exploit women  or men purely for attention-getting purposes. Their presence should be relevant  to the advertised product.  7. Advertising should reflect the contemporary usage of non-sexist language,  e.g. hours or working hours, rather than  man hours; synthetic rather than man-made;  business executive rather than business  men or business women.  8. Advertising should portray men and  women as users, buyers and decisionmakers, both for the "big ticket" items  and major services, as well as small items.  9. Advertising should reflect a realistic  balance in the use of women, both as  voice-overs and as experts and authorities. November 1981    Kinesis    17  PORNOGRAPHY  by Julie Wheelwright  The image of a young woman flashes on the  screen.  She is naked except for her  sparkling spiked heels,  sweating under  the hot, pink lights of the cabaret. She  gyrates, thrusts her belly forward, close,  too close to the leering men in their  respectable three-piece suits, who watch  with moist eyes.  Her body is my body, reviled, made an  object of desire but shame.  Discomfort  fills me.  But this is Not a Love Story.  This film is about pornography.  The National Film Board's recent documentary about pornography is as difficult to  assess as it is to watch.  The film and  its makers are to be both lauded and  criticized.  The film was shown October 20 at a private  screening by the Women's Research Centre  and the NFB, with executive producer  Kathleen Shannon in attendance.  Shannon explained that director Bonnie  Sherr Klein and other members of Studio D  (an NFB forum for women filmmakers and  their concerns) began with Klein's eight  year old daughter first discovering  pornography.  In a sense the film is like a journey into  the unknown for the audience. Sherr Klein  and Montreal stripper Linda Lee Tracey  set out to explore porno through interviews  ■ with the men who run the peep shows, the  •porno publishers, photographers and the  women who work in live sex shows and clubs.  The images are horrifying and one cannot  easily forget them. The camera records  an interview with a peep show manager who  willingly shows Tracey one of his films.  It is entitled, "ieat the Bitch".  A crudely made black and white film flickers on. A man, encased in leather, forces  a woman onto a table and begins to chew  at her nipples and pull brutally at her  pubic hair. "What does that do for you,"  asks the manager. "That hurts, that really  hurts," says Tracey.  Another shot of a woman in a booth, behind  glass, talking into a phone to a customer.  She spreads her legs, working the straps  of her dress down and urging her customer  to "take it out".  She explains to Sherr  Klein afterwords how many women grow to  hate men because of their jobs.  Then a shot of a young girl, sitting on  a medical table. A man approaches with a  huge erection and the child reaches out  to stroke it.  An interview with a couple who perform a  MEDIA WATCH continued from page 16   Our committee wants to encourage Canadian  women not only to complain about sexism in  the media, but to play feminist watchdogs  in all aspects of the media.  For instance, every radio and TV station  in Canada must have its licence renewed  every four or five years by the CRTC. At  licence renewal hearings, public groups or  individuals are asked to speak up if they  think there is a reason why that licence  should not be renewed, i.e. their programming is sexist.  If a person in Nelson, for instance, knew  that a local radio station's licence was  coming up for renewal within six months,  she (with a little help from her friends)  could monitor it for a week to get a  sampling of its content. (Media Watch can  help set up monitoring criteria. )  Then, based on her findings, she could  present an intervention proving sexist  content.  Media Watch intends to warn women's organizations across Canada whenever CRTC  hearings will be held in their areas so  live sex show on New York's Forty-Second  Street. The woman explains that this is  better than turning tricks on the streets:  "At least I can be with the man I love."  They are paid $25 twelve times a night to  make love under a spotlight.  An interview with a Canadian porno publisher: "The biggest turn on for a man is  to have a woman kneeling at his feet performing fellatio."  Says David Wells, editor/publisher of  Hustler and Elite magazines, "I would say  that the standards are a little rougher.  The magazines (now) are more explicit,  possibly because of women's liberation.  Men have started to fantasize about women.  They prefer to dominate these women."  In an interview with Suze Randall, a Playboy and Penthouse photographer, the same  theme emerges.  "This is all play-play,  it's fantasy.  It's not anything serious."  The film succeeds in disturbing. The filmmakers make the important link between  pornography and violence — men fantasizing about dominating women.  But the  problem is that we are left disturbed. No  connection Is made to our own lives.  There is one shot of an advertisement, a  Calvin Klein jeans ad, which makes that  connection.  The pornography on Forty-  second Street can be seen in watered down  version everywhere and the principle is  the same; women are treated as commodities.  Between the scenes of horror are interviews with feminists who have researched  the problem of pornography. Says author  Kathleen Barry, "It may be just simply  how you treat your secretary four weeks  from now.  It may be what you decide you  want your wife to do because she isn't  as interesting as what you see in the  films.  But somehow it (pornography) gets  translated back. And that's why all of  us remain as potential, if not real,  victims of what goes on in those theatres.'  The film also tends to get side tracked  into the personal.  The story is not how  Linda Lee Tracey realized that porno is  wrong by making the film and giving up  her eleven year career, but about violence  against women. But at times the film  dwells at this personal level.  At the film's end, Tracey and Klein are  sitting on a beach and Tracey reads a  poem she wrote in response to posing as  a model for Suze Randall.  The poetry is good poetry and its sentiment valid.  But it weakens the film.  Pornography is a problem we must all face  and deal with. To reduce it to one woman's  realization is to downplay the film's  message.  Another irritating scene is a shot of  Klein's daughter, who precipitated the  project, as she walks into a corner  grocery store and sees a man perusing a  copy of Penthouse.  The voice over  explains that Klein's daughter being  curious, wanted to know about the pictures. Voice over alone would have been  sufficient.  At times the technical quality of the  film is lacking. There are one or two  scene changes which are interrupted by  a series of black frames. The film also  stopped once; however, perhaps this was  simply the NFB projector.  The firm is a valid attempt to present  the problem of pornography to women.  • Whether it will, or should, reach the  general public is another question.  According to NFB regional distribution  manager Bruce Pilgrim, there is no plan  to show the film publicly in B.C.,  although it will be available to women's  groups beginning next month.  0_  that local stations will be made to  account for themselves.  Another area that Media Watch wants to  address is the 'invisibility' of women on  public and private TV and radio. Watching  TV  news and public affairs shows, one  might think that the vast majority of  people on this planet were male.  It  seems that when we're not being misrepresented, we're not there at all.  To change this, we will continue to push  for better and more coverage of women's  issues, and the seeking out of women experts and women's opinions on all subjects.  We intend to speak to any issues that  arise within the media world that we feel  will affect women's lives in negative  ways.  For instance, I have just presented  & brief on pay TV to the CRTC Hearings.  Pay TV will bring subscribers a 'bonanza'  of Hollywood blockbusters, first run  movies, 'adult films' (i.e. porno and  violence) and children's films. I expressed our concern for the way women are  portrayed in most of these films, and  called for the CRTC to draw up licencing  regulations that would eliminate sexist,  exploitive use of women.  In December, the CRTC is holding an enquiry into the granting of broadcasting  licenses to 'religious organizations'.  We intend to be there and speak up for  the interests of women.  In other words, we Intend to stay on their  backs until they get off ours.  If you're interested in taking part in  this media blitz, do contact us. There's  lots to do.  If you can't get actively  involved, drop us a line and we'll send  you a pile of complaint forms.  Put them next to your TV and radio, .and  next time 'they' get you roaring mad,  don't hit the ceiling, hit those forms.  Get it out and off your chest, constructively. Spread the word about Media  Watch.  Our mailing address is: P.O. Box  46699, Station G, Vancouver B.C. V6R 4K8.  Or call Jillian at 738-0395 (Vancouver).  Sylvia 539-5478 (Galiano) or Alesia at  542-4525 (Vernon).  9 Kinesis   November 1981  CULTURE  California festival raises questions of race and class  by Cy-Thea Sand  I was drawn to this festival by the writers scheduled to speak — Kate Millet,  Valerie Taylor, Charlotte Bunch, Audre  Lorde.  I wanted a "fix" of radical  feminist thought; I wanted to learn from  women writing, to browse around booktables,  to listen to writers old and new.  I was only partially satisfied. Audre  Lorde was not present, to my great disappointment.  I did  find a copy of her  latest book of poetry though {The Black  Unicorn).    There wasn't much of a literary  scene at this festival. Music and politics competed for women's attention, and I  was reminded of the profound complexity  of our movement.  I shared four days with 4,000 women with  all their love, rage, dignity and power.  I was elated at times, depressed and fed  up at others.  I was both disgruntled at  the dust and dirt, and thrilled by my  sisters' brilliance.  It was a week-end  in the life of herstory and it was  exciting.  Connecting with our lesbian roots  As I am currently working on an analysis  of our lesbian literary tradition, I was  interested in Valerie Taylor's workshop:  "Our Lesbian Roots". Valerie Taylor is  a lesbian grandmother, feminist and antiwar activist who has published ten books.  She honoured the aircontrollers' strike in  the United States by busing to the festival from her home in Tucson, Arizona.  Morever, she was a personal friend for  over twenty years of Jeannette Foster, to  whom this festival was dedicated.  Jeannette Foster, author of the unprecedented Sex Variant Women in Literature,  died in July 1981 at the age of eighty-  seven. A librarian by profession, Foster  is considered to be the greatest authority  on lesbians in literature.  Valerie Taylor established a Sisterhood  Fund for Jeannette's nursing care expenses  in her final years.  It was sustained by  feminists, gay men and writers.' Just  hearing Valerie tell her story about  Jeannette Foster brought me closer to what  one could call my lesbian roots.  Essentially, Valerie attempted to fill In  the literary gaps between Sapphors poetry,  Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness  (1928) and Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit  Jungle  (1973) ... in just one hour. Unfortunately the process was reduced to  title and author calling. She did manage,  however, to impress upon the small crowd  in attendance, the need for a louder and  louder lesbian voice in literature.  Taylor is concerned that when her generation dies off, there will not be enough  young lesbian writers to take their place.  At one point, a woman from the audience  introduced her friend, Jane Futcher, as  the author of Crush  (Little, Brown 1981),  a young adult lesbian novel. This woman  turned out to be Elza Gidlow's editor as  well.  Elza Gidlow is an eighty-three year old  lesbian who has been writing poetry since  her early youth. Her poem "For the Goddess  too well known", written in 1917, is the  first poem in the anthology Lesbian  Poetry  (Persephone Press, 1981).  I had  hoped that Elza would be at the festival  as she lives just outside San Francisco,  but, alas, she dislikes travelling.  When Valerie Taylor's workshop ended,  Second Annual West Coast Women's Music  and Cultural Festival,   Yosemite National  Park,   California,  September 10-lZth,   1981  Robin Tyler urged the cheering audience to  honour our lesbian elders, to respect  their lives of courage and resistance.  Kate Millet spoke at the first evening  concert on the political significance of  this "City of Women". She spoke with an  almost mystic reverence for the potential  of the women's movement.  I found her language to be beautiful and  deeply moving as she expressed her belief  that this festival of 4,000 women was in  and of itself a metaphor for what women  are capable of.  She extolled the creation of such an event, and said that it  represented a new level of achievement in  the women's movement.  Kate spoke' of the festival as an empowering reality — a reality that can become  political fact.  She explored the amorphous term "community", asking questi6ns  about its nature, process and definition.  She spoke of the need for women to have  the time and space to share ideas, concerns and dreams. Millet then briefly  referred to the artists' and writers'  colony/community she has established in  New York State.  Kate then changed the focus of her address  to speak of Sita's suicide.  (Sita was  the subject of Kate Millet's 1976 autobiographical work entitled Sita).    As she  spoke of the death of her lover and  friend, the audience was forced to change  its celebratory mood into one of solemnity.  This shift was jarring and confusing; her discussion of community was  thereby tabled, and many women were  irked.  Despite this, most of us were deeply  affected by Kate's reading of her poem  to Sita — a work Kate herself described  as "possibly the first lesbian elegy."  Perhaps Kate's intent in shifting the  focus was to juxtapose the despair of a  creative woman with the joy of the festival.  She may also have been underscoring  the need for emotional support services  in feminist inspired communities.  I  don't know.  Early the next morning in her scheduled  workshop, "The Community", Kate Millet  continued her discussion of the political  significance of the festival.  Continued on page 19 ►  by Diana Smith  I'm still not sure why I went to the  West Coast Women's Music and Cultural  Festival September 10-13 at Yosemite  National Park in California.  "Wimmin's"  music often seems a bit wimpy to me and  lesbian culture (because although it was  called a Women's Festival, I-think this is  another example of something called  'women's' when actually 'lesbian' would  be more accurate) — anyway, lesbian  culture never feels quite like my cup of  tea.  But I went, prejudices and all. I am.  still wondering if peeling and chopping  garlic for 4,000 women was my punishment  for my unfriendly ideas. However, where  the garlic failed to change my ideas, one  song from Sweet Honey was enough to put a  little sugar in my tea. But that was at  the end of the weekend.  Cy-thea's (accompanying) article gives a  friendlier, realistic account of the Festival as a whole, but I think a series of  incidents to do with race and class which  happened during the festival are worth  expanding upon. I got a better sense of  where lesbian-feminists are at in California and I learned some things being in  this artificial community of 4,000 women-  cum-lesbians-cum-feminists for four days.  The first I heard of discontent was a  brief announcement at the concert Friday  night about a meeting, the next day, to  discuss racism and classism at the festival. The meeting was instigated by about  twenty Latina women who had not been  allowed to read a short statement outlining their concerns, at the concert  Friday night.  White, middle-class culture predominant  About 150 women showed up for the meeting.  The Latina women detailed the experiences  that had angered them prior to, and at  the festival.  Things like a Spanish-  speaking woman phoning the main office in  San Francisco before the festival and no-  one being able to understand her and  getting an impatient response when she  tried to speak English.  Or a $65 flat  fee for the concert regardless of the wide  range of women's economic situations.  Or  no Spanish-speaking women in child care  for the children whose main language is  Spanish.  Things like no attempts to  organize car pools or buses to Yosemite  , (3i hour drive from San Francisco) for  women who didn't own cars.  But the main criticisms centered around  the predominance of white, middle-class  culture presented at a festival that  should have represented the different  cultures of the women present.  Friday had been declared a day of solidarity with Latin America but there was  a feeling of tokenism about it — there  had been no announcements made about it  the day before, the line up of speakers  and musicians were situated at a side  stage amid frisbee playing, swimming and  craft booths.  (Apparently at the Michigan Women's Music Festival the political  workshop are in a special tent where  those who are interested can pay attention to what's going on.)  These, and other criticisms, became exacerbated, and the resulting eruption by  third world women and their supporters  happened because the festival organizers  Continued on page 19 ► November 1981    Kinesis    19  CULTURE  Continued from page 18  She compared the concept- of solidarity to  the idea of community.  Solidarity implies  a specific goal while the notion of community is larger in purpose and in vision.  It is concerned with morality and ethics,  social codes and the dynamics between individuals and sub-groups within the  community at large.  Moreover, it presupposes living as one  chooses rather than, as with solidarity,  the need to fight for one's rights.  The  fact of community, as dramatized by  4,000 women in the woods, is an enacting  of freedom rather than the demanding of it.  But even as we try to transcend patriarchy  at such a gathering, Kate advised, we  must be ever aware of facing Monday  mornings. She said that the United States  has become one long Monday morning with  the resurgence and respectability of the  Klu Klux Klan, Jerry Falwell's Moral  Majority, and the' other "innumerable  tinsel tunes of patriarchy".  Kate urged the crowd to risk all, to take  the courage to act away with them from  the festival. We must all do this, she  said, even though "the dragons of the  past" have surfaced again, clothed in  respectability; even though the right-  wing is silencing people with economic  threats; even though the women's movement  is but a tiny swell in a sea of repression.  Charlotte Bunch,'s workshop, entitled  "Feminism in the Eighties", underlined  Kate Millet's point that bold imaginative  steps must be taken by women to counterattack right-wing forces.  Charlotte Bunch is considered to be tte  major feminist political theorist in'tne  U.S. She is a founder of Quest magazine  and the Furies and writes for MS magazine and other feminist papers and journals.  Bunch contends that the right-wing ambience of America bids us to move from our  consciousness-raising successes, from the  creation of a woman's culture and community to greater and greater political  power.  She urges us to infuse all political issues with a feminist perspective,  to encourage feminism to become international in scope, embracing all women and  all issues.  and trashing so prevalent in the women's  movement.  The Latina women and their  supporters were insulted by the reduc-  tionism of her speech and met during the  Saturday evening concert to strategize  around the grievances.  A committee was formed at this meeting and  a constructive criticism session planned  for October in San Francisco.  The "dragons of the past" have surfaced again, clothed in  respectability. We must risk all to stop them from silencing us.  Bunch feels that feminists must develop a  perspective on world politics and that it  must move from its special interest constituency of women to include men. Women  have given birth to feminism, she argued,  but men must now share the responsibility  of integrating feminist philosophy and  awareness into a politically viable world  view.  Charlotte Bunch demands, in short, that  feminists cultivate a powerful public  presence. She echoed one of the themes  of this festival when she cautioned that  the women's movement is under serious  attack by reactionary forces. She added  that we do not have the luxury of time to  waste on divisiveness and infighting.  There were both at this four day festival.  A group representing Latina women initiated unscheduled meetings on the issues of  racism and classism at the festival. They  compiled a list of twenty-one grievances  against Robin Tyler and Torrie Osborn,  the festival co-producers.  Robin Tyler, in turn, delivered an impassioned speech against the divisiveness  As a result, interspersed with the music  of Holly Near, Meg Christian, Carol  MacDonald (great rock and roll), Maiden  Voyage, the Teresa Trull Band and Ferron,  was much tension, lobbying, anxiety and  despair.  But, on Sunday morning, Bernice Johnson  Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock, spoke  to us in that powerfully soothing voice  of hers, easing the crowd into a calm,  contemplative evaluation of the weekend.  Her workshop, entitled "Coalition Politics  and Turning the Century", could not have  been better timed.  In it she addressed  the political strategy of coalition —  the uniting of disparate groups to defeat  a more dangerously powerful force.  She spoke of the women's movement (and its  social/cultural events) as a place for  coalition, no longer the safe, supportive  centre for like-minded women. She advised  us to nurture another refuge for ourselves  away from the activities of the movement.  She admonished women who expected women-  only events to be conflict-free. She  Continued on page 24 ►  Continued from page 18  — two women, Robin Tyler and Tory  Osborne — were unreceptive to hearing  about them.  "Fill in your evaluation sheet after the  festival, we want peace and harmony here  and we will deal with racism and classism  later." I learned, or relearned, several  things at the festival — one was if you  don't deal with things they often get  worse. They don't go away. At Camp  Mathers, in the forests and mountains of  Yosemite, we didn't go away.  After the meeting the group broke into  two: women of colour and white women.  Both groups wrote separate statements  (which later turned out to be virtually  identical) that were to be read at the  Saturday night concert.  Another thing I learned during all this  was the value and role of inspiring  leadership. While the 150 or. so (the  number was growing) white women were debating one or two points of their statement and agreement looked like it would be  a long time coming, a Puerto Rican woman,  Rosa Maria (by this time the women of  colour group had joined the white group),  who had been doing political organizing  for seventeen years in the Bronx, spoke  and stressed the need for unity.  I trusted this woman and liked what she  said. Apparently other women did too.  When she finished speaking everyone got  up, cheering and clapping, and went to the  concert site.  By this time tension was mounting.  In  this mini-uprising I saw some of the elements that would be present in a more  dangerous setting. Here none of us had  jobs or commitments to distract us from  following through with our action.  be times when the situation would demand  our attention, irrespective of our commitments. Strong feelings and opinions  among large numbers can feel, and be  chaotic, and it was amid this atmosphere,  where spontaneity and unity were necessary,  that direction by women who inspired  trust and whose suggestions made sense  was useful.  as the three women who went backstage  discovered.  During Robin's tirade, the contingent of  women of colour and their supporters left  disgusted, and, at the basketball court  near the kitchen, had an alternative cultural and music festival.  With a flashlight for a spotlight and  With a flashlight for a spotlight and silence for a  sound system, women spoke, danced, sang and drummed.  In :  more 'wordly' setting, there would  Also, although those of us at these  meetings knew what was going on, the  vast majority of women at the festival  didn't and were confused by what was  happening.  It is easy for that confusion  to turn to hostility unless attempts are  made to really let everyone know what is  happening.  At the concert three women went backstage  to negotiate fifteen minutes on stage to  read the statements. Robin Tyler, the  main festival organizer and the individual  to whom most personal criticisms were directed, was scared that this would cause  division and conflict (even though this  was already happening) so the women agreed  to tone down their statements.  After they had spoken, Robin Tyler came  on stage and delivered a defensive tirade  (that was not toned down nor did it enhance unity and peace). She said the  criticisms were extreme and unjustified,  that it was not an issue of racism and  that as a working class Jewish woman who  knew about oppression she could not be  guilty of discrimination.  Another lesson  — 'leaders' can be co-opted and mislead,  silence for a sound system women spoke,  danced, sang and drummed. A group of  black women taught a chant:  This is what we do when there 's  trouble in our home  This is what we do in our home  We gather our mothers  (daughters,  sisters,  etc.) around us  When there's trouble in our home  This is how we do it in our home.  Latina women led Spanish songs, and Jewish  women sang a song that women had sung  crossing a desert and a Native American  woman said a prayer. The unity that can  come during times of conflict can be  something special.  At Bernice Reagon's workshop the next  morning her words took on added meaning  (see Cy-Thea's article) when she talked  about coalition politics and not to come  to events like the festival expecting  things to be easy and harmonious.  At another meeting that day, again on the  basketball courts, plans were made to  Continued on page 24 ► 20   Kinesis    November 1981  INTERNATIONAL  AFRICAN WOMEN, continued from page 7  An estimated 70,000 workers boycotted the  buses. Women could be seen walking these  miles with babies on their backs and  bundles of washing on their heads.  This was a long and bitter struggle, but  Africans were determined to show the  government that they could not impose  additional financial burdens on black  workers.  Then again in 1961, nurses working at a  tuberculosis hospital in Durban staged a  heroic strike.  Their list of grievances  was extensive. African nurses were forced  to eat apart from Coloured and Indian  nurses and were fed lower quality meals  for which they had to supply their own  eating utensils.  They were also forced  to pay more for board and lodging.  Their  demands also included free uniforms and a  minimum'wage of $4.00 per day.  One of the most crucial demands was the  extension of maternity leave to unmarried  pregnant women. The nurses had seen too  many of their friends buried after having  'backyard abortions' in order to preserve  their jobs.  The nurses also organized a boycott of  hospital food and set up an alternate  food system.  In the end they did receive  some improvements as a result of the  strike.  In 1976, when thousands of black school  children in Soweto staged a peaceful protest against the inferior Bantu education  system (designed to humiliate and degrade  the intelligence of black youth), police  in armed cars moved into the township.  They opened fire on the students, killing  and wounding many. When mothers and  fathers came home they found their children dead in the streets and their houses  on fire.  The next day students again demonstrated  in the street, only this time they were  calling for the overthrow of the apartheid  government.  Parents joined the students  in their demands and all over the country  protests spread.  Over a half million  workers staged a successful 3-day stay  away from work.      j  \JSm   .- %». ••■•_  f  /w  ■ it ■••-      ^f^m,  ^muji.^s   .^  Since 1976 workers and students have continued their actions against the' government, through strikes, school boycotts,  and consumer boycotts. Women continue to  play a leading role in the fight for a  new and democratic South Africa.  Unfortunately space does not permit me to  list all the militant actions carried on  by women and men over the years, but only  some of the highlights of this struggle.  Be a part of the solution  .We in Canada can also take steps to help  achieve this aim. We must:  • publicly condemn South Africa's continued suppression of fundamental human rights  and democratic liberties  • campaign for the recognition of African  trade unions, with full rights to collective bargaining and to strike, the right  to organize, and freedom of expression  association  • campaign for an immediate and unconditional release of all trade union and  political prisoners  • campaign for an end to the notorious  system of migrant labour  • boycott all South African products  ' • put pressure on the Canadian government  to end all diplomatic, cultural, economic,  military and sporting ties with the racist  government of South Africa  • insist that Canadian companies immediately withdraw from South Africa  • stop putting money into Canadian banks  that continue to finance the apartheid  government.  A special thanks to Brenda Wall who wrote,  together with Ken Luckhardt,   Organize or  Starve — a History of the South African  Congress of Trade Unions.  Q  IRISH WOMEN, continued from page 9  number. If your period began on the first  of the month when you first entered Armagh,  they you are given sanitary napkins on the  first of the month, however irregular your  cycle.  In a letter written by Mairead Farrel, six  weeks after the commencement of the protest, she says:  "Since six weeks have passed, we have all  gone through our menstrual cycle on the  no-wash protest.  It is a dangerous time,  the risk of infection being very high. The  sanitary napkins are thrown in to us  without wrapping, we are not permitted  paper bags or such like, so they lie in  the dirt until used. We have nowhere to  dispose of them when used."  The women change their clothes (including  underwear) and their bed linen only once  every three months.  The hallways and cells  are full of slops, excrement and used  sanitary napkins.  The smell is indescribable.  The lights are on all day as there  is no natural light.  Irish feminists join the struggle  Many of the women in Armagh are unable to  go on this extreme form of protest. Women  on protest lose all right to remission and  food parcels, and their visits are curtailed to one per month.  In 1973, the Price sisters, Marian and  Dolores, .went on hunger strike in a London jail demanding transfer to an Irish  jail and were force-fed for 202 days.  They won transfers to Armagh and both have  since been released suffering from anorexia  nervosa.  Another prisoner, Pauline McLaughlin,  suffers from a nervous disease, the result  being that she cannot keep food down and  was persuaded by her comrades to come off  the protest when her weight reached 90  pounds. At 24, her hair is completely gray  and nearly all her teeth have fallen out.  Until 1979 the struggle in Northern Ireland was largely ignored by the main body  of Irish feminists.  It was thought necessary to feminize republicans before a  feminist movement could support its sisters. Happily, this coming together of  republican and feminist women is finally  happening.  On International Women's Day 1979, Women  Against Imperialism (organized from  Belfast and Dublin) staged a picket outside Armagh Jail.  Eleven women were arrested, and when they refused to pay their  fines, two of the eleven women, Margueretta  Darcy and Liz Lagrua, served sentences in  Armagh.  Since then Irish feminists have  been allying with their sisters in the  struggle against British Imperialism.  In their statement at the beginning of the  hunger strike on December 1st 1980, Mary  j  Doyle, Mairead Farrell and Mairead Nugent  called upon "the Irish people to support  us in our stand and we especially call  upon our sisters in Ireland and throughout  the world to stand and"be counted with us  in the grave days ahead. We are prepared .  to fast to death if necessary, but our  love for justice and our country will live  forever."  Women's resistance honoured at last  These women later came off their hunger  strike after the British promised to grant-  political status. Westminster reneged on .  this promise and the struggle continues.  The women's struggle has been largely  overshadowed by that of their male comrades.  This lack of recognition has not  gone unchallenged by Irish women and the  world is at last getting a glimpse of the  courage, bravery and determination of  the women of Northern Ireland — those  behind the walls of Armagh Jail and their  sisters in the ghettos of.Belfast and  Derry.  The Irish Prisoner of War Committee  (I.P.O.W.) has since March 1931 taken up  the issue of the Northern Irish struggle  in Vancouver.  This struggle of late has •  been largely centered around prison  resistance, which has, since May 1981,  taken the lives of ten hunger strikers.  The function of the I.P.O.W. is to build  Canadian solidarity with Northern Irish  female and male prisoners in their demand  for political status.  In the long term  the I.P.O.W. supports the total withdrawal  of British troops from Ireland and the  right of self-determination for the Irish  people.  For further information, contact the  I.P.O.W. at P.O. Box 86545, North Vancouver, B.C. V7L 4L1.  Q November 1981    Kinesis   21  ALTERNATIVES  Energy circles: channelling our power  by Cyndia Cole  Just as the energy of sun, wind and tides  is infinitely available, so is the energy  moving through our body/mind unlimited.  We are finding alternate methods of  transforming and directing this inexhaustible energy that is within us and all  around us. We can use it working together  to accomplish our purposes, in healing  ourselves and the earth and in building  the world we deserve to live in.  Energy  circles are one form of doing this.  An energy circle is formed when two or  more women sit or stand in a circle and  hold hands.  It's that simple.  This form  of contact allows energy to circulate and  in so doing to increase in power and focus.  One way of channelling this flow of energy  is by having a guide to direct everyone's  awareness.  A woman acts as a guide by  speaking in a slow and relaxed manner.  Here is an example of what she might say:  "We close our eyes ... get comfortable ...  focus on our breathing ... allow our  breathing to deepen and relax us ... we  become aware of any heaviness or tensions  we are holding in our bodies ... imagine  letting these drop into the earth ...  pulled downward by the natural force of  gravity ... . now we imagine drawing up the  energy of the earth into our bodies as if  through long roots ... the earth supports  us ... earth energy sustains and nourishes  us ... fills our bodies and grounds us ...  now we breathe in the energy of the sky...  of sun and moon, wind and weather ... sky  energy fills us with expansiveness ...  allows us to be clearer and lighter ...  now we each focus on our centre point ...  the core of our being ...where we feel  strong and powerful ... where we know who  we are ... where we know what we want and  need ... energy radiates outward from our  centre points until we become aware of our  connection ... the energy moving around  the circle ... through our hands and our  bodies as we touch ... this is powerful  collective energy which we create and  channel by working together ... which we  can direct for our purposes today ... now  we gradually return to awareness of the  room around us feeling relaxed, centred  and powerful ... ready to proceed with  the work at hand ... opening our eyes."  The exercise of connecting with the earth  reminds us that the support we need is  always there for us, reminds us that we  change and grow as naturally as trees do,  helps us stay on firm ground in our political work.  Connecting with the sky helps us remember  the broad scope of our movement.-  Getting  in touch with our centres allows us to  sense our own power and respect each  others.  Feeling our collective energy  builds unity and good intentions.  The  circle relaxes us so we can proceed with  calm assurance.  In all ways energy circles  smooth and speed up the collective process.  Most often I practice energy circles as an  opening when working with other women.  The Song Spinsters began each evening of  singing by forming an unguided energy  circle and chanting.  The energy of the  sound moving through us developed our  Voices and brought us into spontaneous  harmony. We then moved on to discuss  group concerns or to work on specific  songs,  I have used energy circles as a beginning  to support groups, workshops, meditations  and clearing sessions; before performances;  during conferences and collective meetings.  Energy circles help us contact the energy  we need to fuel the women's movement.  After circles we are more efficient in  doing group business. We less often feel  drained. Our use of energy circles in a  problem solving group drastically reduced  the number of held resentments and paranoid fantasies.  Focusing on our collective energy before  we talk builds trust and clears away  minor irritableness. When we do need to  expose differences and work through disagreements, we feel safer because of our  circle connection and clearer for having  focused on our personal power.  Using energy circles in my one-to-one  therapeutic work has helped equalize our  power relations and focus our energy towards creating the change the woman  wants.  We can also do energy circles by themselves as a way of re-sourcing ourselves.  This can be especially important for  women in the city in healing our separation from the forces of the natural world.  We can use energy circles for celebration,  in creating holidays and rituals that we  endow with meaning and.significance.  I learned to guide energy circles from  Margo Adair in Applied Meditation workshops.  I describe energy circles here in  hopes that more women working in feminist  contexts will adapt and use them. Diane  Mariechild gives suggestions for energy  circles in Mother Wit: A Feminist Guide  to Psychic Development  as does Starhawk  in The Spiral Dance.  You can obtain these books from Ariel and  the Women's Bookstore. And you can use  your inherent creativity to invent circles  to suit yourself.  Q  Bloodrags: reclaiming an ancient method  by Eileen Brown  I like to feel the warm womb blood oozing  out of my body, soaking into a soft cotton  rag. Other methods of dealing with menstrual blood have appealed to me at other  times, but I have come back to rags for  various reasons.  I don't like having a tampon or sponge inside of me.  I find it drying and irritating to my vaginal walls. And the recent  toxic shock scare only reinforces that  feeling.  Disposable napkins are bulky and cumbersome, and also use up many trees.  For  those of you looking for alternatives, you  might want to try the rag method.  Does the word "rag" turn you off? Not  surprising, as it has been used so often  in a negative way ("She's got the rag on'',  etc.) However, I think that this word is  important for wemoon, the weavers and  washers of centuries.  Rags are multipurpose bits of cloth, far  more durable than cellulose fibres, usually  obtained from clothes and towels that have  been used and loved for years.  In the  light of its ancient significance, it's  time to reclaim the word rag.  Here are some suggestions from my experience that may help you find the most comfortable way of wearing rags.  If you wear underpants, the easiest way is  to fold up a bit of old towelling or other  absorbent cotton. I use pieces of towel,  10-15 cm. x 20-25 cm., rolling them four  or five layers thick, ending up 5-6 cm. x  10-15 cm.  Then just wear the rag inside  your underpants, pinning it to the pants  if it doesn't stay in place.  a*.bs  Tie a soft cord (flatter, braided cords  stay put better than round, twisted ones)  around your hips, loosely.  Then tie or  pin the ends of the rag to the cord, front  and back, fairly snugly. Experiment with  the knots 'til you get a fit perfect for  your body.  (£)  whw  w.^e^j3<»"^.+5  c) A  If you don't wear underpants, you'll need  a parger cloth the size of a bandana or  large handkerchief, into which you roll  up the smaller absorbent piece. Fold it  up diagonally, so that the corners become  the ends of the rag.  Continued on page 23 ► 22   Kinesis   November 1981  REVIEWS  Dorothy Parker play rates faint praise  by Jan DeGrass  The wit of Dorothy Parker was already  legendary in New York's Algonquin Hotel  during the thirties. Writer, poet, critic  and lunchtime drinking partner of actors,  producers and comedy writers, she often  stretched the bounds of friendship with  her sarcasm and critical reviews.  She is author of such famous one liners  as: "boys don't make passes at girls who  wear glasses" (used and re-used by Ann  Landers and Readers Digest), "one more  drink and I'll be under the host", and,  when speaking of Katherine Hepburn, "she  ran the gamut of emotions from A to B."  I've seen Dorothy Parker through many  eyes now. She pops up in biographies of  the Marx Brothers, in the works of comedy  writer S.J. Perelman and in Lillian  Hellman's stories. My impression has  always been that she was a pretty tough  nut, a hard case New Yorker, maybe even a  strong woman.  Abby Hagyard's performance at the Waterfront Theatre gives me a different impression, and not one that I can agree with.  This one-woman play called "Dorothy Parker:  Praising With Faint Damns" is written and  performed by Hagyard, who admits to a long  time fascination with Parker.  But the Dorothy Parker on stage is not the  hard-boiled egg I was expecting.  Instead  Hagyard portrays her as simpering and  demure — far, far too cute.  In one funny scene, Parker is at a party,  wondering why no one has asked her to  dance. Finally, a gentleman persuades her  to the dance floor. Although mentally  Dotty describes him as a "walking disaster  area," her public voice is coy and sweet,  praising the cute little step that he  worked up himself  (even though the cute  OPENING EVENT  Ariel Books  MARY MEIGS will autograph  her new book "Lily Briscoe:  i self-portrait" (Talon Books, 1981)  Wednesday, November 18  5 - 7 p.m.  Sale and refreshments from 3 p.m.  Ariel • 2766 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver • 733-3511  little step is about twice the tempo of  the waltz playing on the piano). Dotty's  inner voice drips poison, but her outer  voice continues to stroke the poor simpleton's ego until we almost begin to see  his gleaming face in front of us.  Perhaps we are supposed to understand  something of Dorothy's personality from  her sarcastic back biting in this scene.  But I was left with many questions.  The sharp tongue that others respect  surely doesn't have to mouth sweet nothings and resort to the childish trick of  talking behind her partner's back.  If  anyone can get rid of the "excuse me,  thank you" syndrome that most women fall  prey to, surely Dorothy Parker should be  one of those women.  During the performance we heard selections  from Parker's works, her verse, her  writings and critical reviews.  In these  she was straightforward, if not brutal.  But her outward demeanour remained as  sweet as saccharine.  This is where the  Hagyyard play falls flat.  If no other  reason is presented for Parker's venom,  I can only assume it stems from nastiness  and small-mindedness — and why write a  play about that? Surely there was some  intelligence behind the wit.  In all, Parker epitomizes a time when  writers like Ernest Hemingway and Lillian  Hellman took up political causes, like the  Spanish Civil War or socialism, only to  drown their convictions in drunken literary evenings and a whirlwind round of  parties and travel*  Dorothy fills us in on the level of her  commitment:  "I'm a convenience crusader.  I gave a  public speech in support of the striking  waiters at the Waldorf Astoria.  But right  afterwords, I crossed the picket line at  the 21 Club to get to the bar. Well, I  needed a drink..."  Parker's short stories are not remembered  as well as her one-liners or her lovers.  Too bad, because one of the high points  of the play was Hagyards interpretation  of the main character from her story "Big  Blonde", a very poignant and realistic  sketch of a woman's life. Big Blonde is  always a good sport, and she goes on being  a good sport for "about a thousand years".  Eventually she becomes sick of it, but  nobody notices.  Lillian Hellman interprets Parker's short  stories as her imaginative projections  of what she knew or feared for herself.  If this is the case, I'm inspired to read  more Dorothy Parker prose, in search of  some sincerity and wisdom behind the  sugar coating.  Q  'Raggedy ManV' message is survival  by Cy-Thea Sand  From the moment we see two scruffy, mean  looking men harass her youngest son, we  know Nita (Sissy Spacek) is in trouble.  The scene is a small town in Texas, the  year 194-1. Nita is a divorced woman with  two young sons who ekes out a $55 a month  existence as the town's telephone operator.  Thus alone, but independent and dignified,  Nita has incensed these two losers. They  tease her boys and make plans to "share"  Nita.  Sissy Spacek treats us in this film to an  intellectual portrayal of a woman alone,  worried but never frantic. At one point  Nita has a three-day affair with a sensitive sailor who gets along well with her  children. She enjoys these few days of  romance without losing her self or sense  of purpose.  Her emotional integrity and autonomy in  this scene reminded me of the women of  Newfoundland, whose years of hardship and  trouble taught them to be wary of romantic  notions and impractical flights of fancy.  Nita's dissatisfaction with her job builds,  and one day she confronts her boss. When  she learns that he has lied to her about  wartime wages being "frozen", she walks  angrily to the town's bus depot, buys  three tickets to a bigger, better, town  and heads home with her boys to pack.  An abortive attack on Nita leads this taut  story to its denouement (abortive thanks  to a tall, scar-faced, wretched looking  soul - Raggedy Man - whose intermittent  presence in the film offers a touch of  protectiveness to an otherwise tense ambience .  Nita does leave town as planned at the  end of the film. But I discover that I  feel rage at her story, for Nita has had  to survive even more than this physical  attack.  Her husband has been more interested in  other women than in providing for their  children. Her boss has exploited her  economic dependency by using the war to  justify her low salary and lack of opportunity. Even the sheriff has answered her  concern about strange noises outside her  home with moral indignation at her  divorced status and supposed "loose"  morality.  Nita is a woman alone confronting a multi-  layered male supremacist culture. And  while I know that only a mass movement  can hope to alter human consciousness, her  gutsy presence emotes for me this film's  message: survival. 0_ November 1981    Kinesis   23  CULTURE  Come Alive! to the rhythms of women  ALIVE!, a contemporary jazz quintet from  the San Francisco area, will make their  first Canadian appearance Sunday, November  8th, 7:30 and 10:00 at the Arts Club, 1181  Seymour.  The extraordinarily inventive and flexible  lead vocalist rhiannon is joined by  pianist Janet Small and a competent rhythm  section composed of Carolyn Brandy on all  manner of percussive instruments, Barbara  Borden on.drums and Suzanne Vincenza on  bass.  Musically, the collective talents in ALIVE!  create an exciting blend of blues, be-bop  and Afro-Latin sounds.  Their second album,  "ALIVE! Live" has just been released on  Redwood Records.  They are warmly received by their ever-  expanding audience, and are definitely  adding a new and powerful dimension to  the role of women in jazz today.  ALIVE! is being produced by an ad hoc group  of several local women called "Siren Productions". At present, this production  is its focus, but it may expand in the  future to include both women performers,  and performers on the North West Circuit.  The circuit is one result of a North West  .Women's Production Conference held in  June, 1981.  Its aim is to increase the  availability of reasonably priced women's  music in the region by sharing costs of  publicity and transportation.  Ticket prices for the performances are  $6.50 advance, $7.50 at the door. As the  budget has been estimated to break even,  there remains the possibility of a deficit.  Therefore, the producers are asking for  contributions of working capital (suggested  amount $25. — ticket price included).  The surplus, if any, will be used to make  future productions possible.  Kathy Sloane  Tickets are available from Octopus Books  East, Passacaglia, Ernie's Hot Wax, Black  Swan Records and the Arts Club Theatre.  For further information, call 254-3458.  Look for an interview with ALIVE! in the  next issue of KINESIS.  MATERNITY LEAVE, continued from page 11  Across Canada this was also true. In  Ottawa, over 400 women and men attended  a rally in favour of paid maternity leave.  It was organized by the Women's Committee  of the Ottawa and District Labour Council  in conjunction with other women's groups.  In the Atlantic region, women's groups  joined CUPW on the picket lines for one  day. Women in Kingston participated in a  support rally.  The International Women's Day Committee of  Toronto passed and circulated a strongly  worded solidarity motion.  Organized  Working Women of Ontario spoke at some of  the CUPW rallies. And women's groups in  Toronto were in the process of organizing  a mass picket when the strike was settled.  Individual women trade unionists also  expressed their wholehearted support for  the issues in the struggle.  For women who are active in the women's  movement, this strike was an historic  moment.  It was a strike that not only  addressed issues of concern to women in  the labour movement, but inspired and  activated them. And it was a time when  the concerns of women inside and outside  the union movement intersected. We  learned that not only can we work together,  but we must work together.  The success of the strike was in part due  to that intersection and knowledge. If we  can continue to find ways to work together  we will become stronger and stronger.  The strike also mirrored the incredible  growth in working women's consciousness.  In many ways the strike was made possible  by the Fleck women, the picketers at Blue  Cross, the Radio Shack activists, the  clerical workers who are members of PSAC,  the occupiers of B.C. Tel, and the CUPE/  VMREU strikers.  Five years ago the PSAC clerical workers  in the post office would neither have  dreamed of nor dared to honour a CUPW  picket line. However, in October 1980,  they embarked on a nationwide strike,  and this time when CUPW hit the bricks,  a number of PSAC women adamantly refused  to cross. This increase in support was  tremendous.  When CUPW members picketed B.C. Tel (for  sorting and distributing telephone bills)  the vast majority of workers (mainly  women) respected the line and wished us  good luck.  The employer tried a number of ploys to  break the strike. They used the media  to spread distortion, they refused to  bargain in good faith, and they used taxpayers' money to run scab mail services.  Because of the solidarity of the membership and the support of others, CUPW  achieved a partial victory. To those who  gave solidarity, we thank you. To those  of you struggling to have women's work  recognized, we salute you.  Mieki McCune and Marion Pollack are activists and shop stewards in the Vancouver  local of CUPW.     Q  BLOODRAGS, continued from page 21  When you take it off, it's best to soak it  immediately in cool water.  It is then  quite easy to rinse, hang dry and wear  again.  If you have a lot of rags, you can  wear a fresh one every day, throwing the  dirty ones (after soaking preferably) into  a washer and dryer at the end of the  bleeding days.  I find that one rag usually lasts the  whole day, but on heavier days I'll carry  clean ones with me, putting the used ones  in a plastic bag in my purse until I get  home and can put it to soak.  It may seem like a lot of work, but once  you find your rhythm it really takes very  little time.  It's much easier for us than  for our grandmothers, who had no washing  machines.  Our bloodrags can be very beautiful as  well as functional, helping us to celebrate the monthly bleeding as a cleansing  time rather than a curse. Some of my  favourite towels and scarves have eventually become bloodrags.  The cord can be as plain or as decorative  as you want. A friend of mine uses an  elaborate macrame cord in lavender and  pink satin, with beads on the ends.  One thing I like about this method is  that there is no standardized product.  Each of us must assemble for herself the  rags she will bleed into.  This process gives me much satisfaction —  I hope it can be a satisfying alternative  for other wemoon as well.  If you already use rags and have some  ideas to share, or if you have further  questions about rags, please write to me  c/o Kinesis.  Q 24   Kinesis   November 1981  REVIEWS  Daughters of Copper Woman: re-telling the ancient tales  by Julie Wheelwright  Beyond the grey cement walls of the city,  deep within the small towns throughout  our province, the magic and mystery of the  Society of Women is passed on as it has  been since time began.  Daughters of Copper Woman  by Anne Cameron  Press Gang Publishers, $7.95  Anne Cameron, author of the recently published Daughters of Copper Woman,   has  captured the magic, the legends and the  power of these women in her book. Cameron  explains in her preface that these are  stories from native people of Vancouver  Island which have been preserved for generations through an oral history.  Cameron successfully weaves together stories about the beginnings of the society  and tales told through the old women  currently living on the island in communities like Tofino, Cowichan and Tahsis.  The stories reflect the ideals of a people  whose women were respected, and controlled  their own bodies and minds.  The book is also ironic. In "Qolus the  Changeable" the daughter of Copper Woman,  Mowita, becomes the old woman and prepares  her daughter to carry on the truth and  protect it.  Though this all happened long ago, Cameron  tells us, "When the Time came for the next  change and the black robed_ men moved to  destroy the Society of Women, the women  Endured. Not fighting, not disputing,  clinging to their knowledge, they Endured,  and now it is almost Time again, and much  magic is preparing, and soon the sign will  be known."  The message is clear. The time has come  for women to take back their power and the  time has come again for native women to  rejoice in their rich and beautiful heritage.  The myths reflect a pride of womanhood.  When they menstruated, the women believed  it was their sacred time and they celebrated. It was the society of women who taught  their daughters to take pride in their  bodies, that they were a source of their  power.      \  "People were living almost as they were  intended to live. Almost. And the Society  of Women was strong. It was inter-tribal,  open to all women, regardless of age,  social status, political status or wealth.  "No woman could buy her way into the society. No woman could inherit a position  in the society. Each member of the society  had been chosen by the society itself, and  invited to join and become one of the  sisters."  They taught the girls with jokes, legends  and examples how to care for their bodies  and respect them. When the strange white  men arrive in dugouts "infested with  sharp-faced bright-eyed creatures," the  whole world turns upside down.  "Instead of being raised and educated by  women who told the truth about their bod^  ies, the girls were taken from the village  and put in schools where they were taught  to keep their breasts bound, to hide their  .arms and legs, to never look a brother in  the eye but to look down at the ground as  if ashamed of something."  Instead of teaching women that once a  month they would become sacred, they were  taught to become ashamed of their blood.  No longer did they go to the waiting house,  but they were taught to act as if they  were sick.  DAUGHTERS OF  COPPER WOMAN  Anne Cameron  PRESS GANG PUBLISHERS  When the girls returned to the villages  after this terrible twisted education, they  were no longer eligible for candidacy in  the society.  But, according to myth, everything goes in  cycles and the time for taking power will  come again soon. The stories of these  strong, powerful women of the society, now  preserved also in Cameron's words, will  survive to teach women their strength.  And the stories are not without humour. In  the time when Copper Woman, the mother of  all humanity, was living alone on the coast,  her loneliness was great. She wept for a  long time and a huge cluster of mucous  fell from her mouth and nose. Remembering  her instructions from her magic sisters  who brought her to the coast, she saved  the liquid.  The mucous grows into her first companion  and she dubs him Snot Boy. But the boy  never grows into a fully formed person.  "Incomplete, he could catch fish,, but it  was Copper Woman, and later, Mowita, who  knew how to smoke and cure."  Here the old order is turned around.  Women are not put down because they cannot hunt and fish, but are respected  because they have the knowledge to cure  and smoke. Snot Boy remains a boy but  Copper Woman's daughters and sons are  taught her secrets and "more than Snot  Boy would ever know."  Cameron writes beautifully and in her stories told through the old island women, she  has captured their voices with an exacting  ear. The story telling is set in houses  with the old women remembering their history as they weave a basket or in the woods  where Granny admonishes her grand children  to get on with the berry picking.  Cameron pulls up a chair for you and lets*  you smell the fresh baked cookies as the  wind whistles outside. Then slowly the  story begins and you are enthralled.  It is also a pleasure to hear stories about  areas we know so well. Chesterman Beach  is an example, where Ki-Ki's Granny remembers the story of how her people fought  back against the Spanish Keestadores who  came to Tofino before the English. These  stories have almost been lost and are  never recorded by white historians from a  native perspective anyway.  The stories are invaluable, for they help  preserve a culture that was almost wiped  out by the European settlers and their  descendants. It is also worth noting that  the book is a soft cover at a reasonable  price rather than a hard cover which invariably would have been available only to  the wealthy.  WOMEN'S FESTIVAL, continued from page 19  (Cy-Thea Sand)  asserted that it foolhardy to expect a  gathering of four thousand women to be  free of the racism and classism which'  inform the dominant culture.  Bernice wove the threads of our many-  layered oppression into an articulate  demand for coalition.  She said that if  we have felt strain, and discomfort over  the past four days, then maybe, just  maybe some good work had been done. (Her  audience cheered with relief at this  point).  She reminded us that as feminists we are  carrying out the political work begun with  the civil rights movement.  She expressed  a concern for the short sightedness of  feminism — that a long range view must be  taken, that revolutionaries like herself  who have maintained their political principles throughout the '60s and '70s must  be listened to and honoured.  In short, I think Bernice Reagon was  insisting on the political wisdom and  astuteness necessary for our survival.  By Sunday afternoon I was glad to be  heading home. As I washed the dust and  grime off my body, my mind mused on the  many festival voices.  I tried to feel  cheered by the songs of love and struggle,  but I could not shake a sense of doom.  We are working so hard in the women's  movement to cleanse ourselves of all the  isms, while President Reagan transforms  his power base in six short months. As we  expand the limits and potential of human  consciousness, Reagan prepares for war.  I wonder what Audre Lorde would have said.  My thanks to Sarah Shamai for helping me  remember specific details of workshops.  (Diana Smith)  form a group to make sure that the various  mistakes at this festival would not be  repeated next year — having an organizing  committee with minority groups represented,  fee schedules to reflect different levels  of income, more representation of cultures  other than white in music, food and  workshops, getting access-to books to see  how money is spent, etc.  Towards the end of the final concert,  Robin Tyler did come on stage and admit  that she had heard the criticisms and  that changes would be made next year. And  then it was left to Sweet Honey and the  Rock to bring us all together, which they  did, to perfection.  There is now a network of women continuing  to meet in the Bay area who are reviewing,  clarifying and taking action on the issues  raised at the Festival. Next year's event,  quite apart from the music, should be  quite interesting.  Q November 1981    Kinesis   25  MOVEMENT MATTERS  Isadora's will provide a welcome alternative  by Val Embree  Music and mousse, politics and pumpkin  pie — haven't women always known that the  kitchen table is where a lot gets accomplished?  On the drawing board right now is a community-based co-operative restaurant big  enough for meetings and parties, benefits  and political cabaret, welcoming to kids  and families both in environment and  price, creating at least thirty jobs in a  democratic management model and establishing a community development fund to assist  other co-operative, community-based  undertakings.  The site for Isadore's is already located;  it's a large building next to the water  adventure playground on the south side of  Granville Island (near Waterfront Theatre).  An office is operating at the site.  In it,  a collective of people primarily from the  two initiating organizations, Total Education Society (who run Theodora's  Restaurant at 4th and Burrard) and Community Alternatives Society have been working  to develop the concept, work out a nonprofit organizational structure and undertake fundraising for the renovations  required.  The collective is open to anyone willing to put in considerable time  in the project.  Most restaurants don't make an effort to  accommodate children, mostly because they  don't make money on their meals unless  they operate like McDonald's.  Isadora's  will have room for children: there will be  a quiet play corner with various table  toys, crayons and paper, headphones for  music and stories.  In fair weather, kids  can play outside in the green space and  water playground which are within sight of  adults in the restaurant.  Fresh, local in-season produce will be  menu highlights, cooked with nutritional  value in mind.  These menu policies will  mean less expensive food and an investment in our own B.C. food industry.  Seafoods, nuts, fruits and vegetables  grown in this bio-region represent a more  economical and nutritious food consumption  pattern.  Vegetarian and non-vegetarian selections  will be available, as well as special  desserts, wine, beer, coffees, teas and  juices.  The 120-seat restaurant will be open 14-16  hours a day, six days a week and will employ a staff of 30-35. Wages are projected at $6. per hour plus one third of the  surplus divided among staff.  Day to day  operations and short and medium term  planning will be in the hands of the  collective; job rotation will be encouraged  and education and training will be specifically built into the restaurant's activities after things are up and running.  .*.*  The restaurant business is known for its  high turnover of staff, tendency to discriminate on the basis of age, sex,  sexual orientation, parental status, color,  pregnancy — you name it — as well as  thriving on competition among workers for  tips, good tables, hours.  Isadora's is  actively opposed to all these practices.  Tipping, for example, is a supplement to  an inadequate wage and permits an employer to avoid responsibility for the  workers' standard of living.  If a patron  feels very strongly about leaving a tip,  in spite of the "no "tipping" policy, it  will be indicated that any funds from  tipping will go towards a specific project.  The Vancouver Folk Festival is involved in  planning and a stage and dance floor are  part of the renovations.  Late night en  tertainment will feature favourite  performers from the folk festival, local  musicians and a locally produced political  cabaret.  Children's theatre and music  are also priorities, and the space can be  used for benefits for local causes. An  annual members party will be held at the  restaurant too.  Isadora's is also establishing a fund  which will provide seed money and financial assistance to existing or proposed  community based businesses and services.  One third of the restaurant surplus will  go into this fund.  Slowly we will generate significant amounts of money and  increasingly liberate our projects from  the tread mill of government grants.  Become a co-operative shareholder  Three hundred thousand dollars are needed  if Isadora's is to open its doors. This  money is for renovations to the large  empty frame building on Granville Island.  The way to get involved is through shares  or-loans: individual shares are $100 each,  (any number can be purchased); organizational shares are $1,000.  For each $100 share purchased, the member  receives $25 in food purchases at the  restaurant (on weekdays) each year, as  long as the share money remains in the  co-op.  Loans are for a six year term at 15$  interest. A trust account holds 80$ of  the share money until enough is raised to  undertake the renovations ($200,000.); if  sufficient funds are not raised to carry  out the project, at least 80%  of each  person's share money will be returned.  But given the positive response to the  project so far, there is every expectation  that the project will get the support it  needs.  Isadora's hopes to have the money  in by January 1 and begin renovations early  in the new year: opening of the restaurant  is set for early May.  For more information, to become a member,  or join the planning group, phone, visit  or write'the site office: Isadora's Cooperative Restaurant, 1540 Old Bridge  Street, Vancouver, 681-3748.  VSW Christmas Party & Raffle  — join us December 4  A raffle is being sponsored by the B.C.Nicaragua Women's Support Group. Their aim  (aside from giving away some wonderful  prizes) is to raise $2000.  The money will go to AMNLAE (Association  of Nicaraguan Women Luisa Amanda Espinoza)  as a general discretionary fund which can  be used to support their newspaper, the  Women's Health Brigade, and other projects  they are involved with.  Tickets are $2 each (more if you can). For  raffle books, phone 525-8136. Larger  donations should be mailed to the Nicaragua Women's Support Group, 1526 - 7th Ave.  New Westminster, B.C. V3M 2K3.  The raffle prizes are:  * a sculpture by Persimmon Blackbridge  * dinner for 2 at the Mark James restaurant  * Nicaragua,   a book of photographs by  Susan Meiselas (1979)  * a Guatamalan embroidered blouse  * Boag Foundation 1982 calendar  * "Song to the Revolutionary Homeland",  a new album by the Salvadorean band  Yolocamba Ita  The draw will be made on December 4, 1981  at the Vancouver Status of Women Christmas  Party. Note that the date has been changed;  disregard the date shown on the raffle  tickets.  Join us Friday, December 4 at 8:00 p.m. at  727A East 49th Ave. (upstairs).  Tickets are $5 employed and $4 unemployed,  and are available after Nov. 15 at VS'fi,  Ariel Books, the Women's Bookstore, and  Octopus Books East.  **DANCING**  *G00D TIMES**  Bring your kids along, or make your own  childcare arrangements and VSW will pay.  If you would like to volunteer for bar  duty, set-up, clean-up or tickets (we'd  love you for it), please contact Cat at  873-1427.  And speaking of Good Times...  VSW needs volunteers to help with Kinesis  mailout, our resource library, and general  office tasks. Come and meet people at VSW  - fun and satisfaction guaranteed! 26   Kinesis    November 1981  MOVEMENT MATTERS  B.C.F.W. convention  B.C. Federation of Women will hold its  8th annual convention in Vancouver on Nov.  6, 7 and 8.  It is to be a working convention for delegates to reassess the structure, intent and use of B.C.F.W.  B.C.F.W. was initially organized as a  non-hierarchal, democratic entity. However, over the past eight years, this  structure has proved unwieldy, and as a  result has been seen by many as hierarchal.  Last year's convention implemented an interim experimental structure aimed at  improving B.C.F.W.'s effectiveness, and  this convention will evaluate this and  other kinds of structure.  The work load at this year's convention  vail be heavy.  Because funds are scarce,  most of the work of providing childcare,  food, billeting, and transportation will  have to be done by the women attending the  conference.  Friday night's registration will take place  at the Women in Focus Gallery. Registrants  and other interested women are invited to  gather informally for wine and cheese, and  enjoy Persimmon Blackbridge's "Circus"  exhibition, held over until November 6 for  convention participants.  The convention itself will be held at  Britannia Community Centre. Saturday mor-  to evaluate structure  ning will be devoted to understanding  structural proposals, while the afternoon  will allow for participation in workshops  or further discussion of contentious structure issues.  Workshops being offered include Children  and the Women's Movement, Reproductive  Rights, Classism/Racism and Native Women  of B.C.  Saturday night a dance is  scheduled.  On Sunday, a plenary will  decide the structure of B.C.F.W. for the  coming year.  The B.C.F.W. convention is open to registered participants only. Non-members can  register and take part in all aspects of  the convention except voting.  Childcare is available by pre-registration  throughout the convention, and the Friday  night social and Saturday dance are open  to any woman who wishes to attend.  For more information concerning registration, contact Makara at 253-8931.  For  other convention information, call Sue  Moore at 462-7710 or Sherry McCarnan at  872-5847.  Dance tickets are available at the Women's  Bookstore, Ariel Books, Octopus East and  Vancouver Status of Women.  Tickets are  $5 ($4 for unemployed), proceeds to help  defray delegates' expenses.  Q ■  Lesbian Mothers Defense Fund forms  by Mary Wallace  At the Lesbian Conference last May, several Vancouver women -met with members of  the Toronto and Seattle Lesbian Mothers'  Defence Funds. Some of us knew lesbians  who needed legal, emotional or financial  support in their struggle to keep custody  of their children and have felt frustrated  at not being able to offer more than our  sympathy. So with the help and encouragement of these existing groups, we formed  the Vancouver Lesbian Mothers' Defence  Fund.  To date we have received information from  the Seattle defence fund. Materials include transcripts from successful custody  cases involving lesbian mothers, and  papers by recognized authorities in the  social sciences that document healthy and  loving environments for children of lesbian mothers.  We have also obtained a list of lawyers  locally who we intend to interview concerning their interest in working for the  rights of lesbian mothers and their children. And we are compiling a list of  sympathetic social workers and psychologists who may be willing to serve as  'expert witnesses' in court.  Our present goals are:  • to establish and maintain a list of  sympathetic lawyers and expert witnesses,  to whom we could refer lesbians fighting  for custody  • to provide emotional support to these  women and their children  • to obtain and distribute information,  documents and papers for use by lawyers  in custody cases  • to help subsidize the costs of expert  witnesses, and lawyers, if needed  • to educate ourselves with respect to  pertinent B.C. and Canadian laws and  successful custody cases, and  • to educate others through workshops,  newspaper articles and interviews.  Lesbian mothers are always urged to settle  out of court and, all too often, in so  doing they give up their rights to family  property, child support and/or alimony  payments.  Until such time as going to court means  that custody is awarded to a lesbian  mother on her parenting abilities and the  child's choice of homes, she will not be  able to take advantage of the recent recognition given to women's rights to  family property at the time of separation.  Raising our children must be taken out of  the realm of heterosexual privilege.  To accomplish our goals we need money,  information, and contacts. Funds will be  used to reproduce and distribute printed  material, to canvass lawyers and professionals, and to reach out to women who  need our help.  A women's arts and crafts show will be  held on Sunday, November 29th at Vancouver  Status of Women, 400A West 5th Ave., from  10 a.m. to 7 p.m. All proceeds from this  benefit will go to the Vancouver Lesbian  Mothers' Defence Fund.  For more information write: VLMDF, P.O.  Box 65563, Stn. F, Vancouver, or call  Mary at 251-5034.   0.  Theatre study will evaluate  status of women playwrights,  directors  Status of Women Canada is undertaking a  national study to assess the current status  of women in Canadian theatre. The study  will pay particular attention to women  playwrights, directors and artistic directors .  The organization is asking for personal  views, experiences and suggestions to assist them in evaluating opportunities as  well as obstacles for women in Canadian  theatre.  *lf you are a Canadian playwright, director  or artistic director or work in the theatre  in any other capacity  *If you are, or have been involved in a  feminist theatre, women's theatre or alternate theatre company in this country  *If you have concerns as an audience member  about the characterization of women in the  plays produced in this country  *If you are aware of any obstacles to the  full involvement of women in Canadian  theatre and/or can suggest programs, legislation or other action  *If you would like to meet to discuss this  subject or suggest other individuals and  groups for them to contact-  then write to: Rina Fraticelli, 96A Belle-  vue Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T 3N9.  Meetings will be arranged in several cities across Canada this winter. If you  would like to attend one, indicate this  in your letter, and you will receive a  schedule as soon as one is available. November 1981    Kinesis   27  LETTERS  Working side by side  for change  Dear Kinesis:  I read the article by Jan DeGrass in  Sept/Oct KINESIS with great enthusiasm. It  is a really welcome step to see cooperatives recognized as a sister to the  women's movement.  Years ago I turned in my Lesbian Sweater  and stopped being a part of the actively  overinvolved women who make up the mainstream of the Vancouver women's movement.  Later, I became involved in the food cooperative movement.  Certainly, one of the major attractions for  me then was that I could get paid for  working collectively in the kind of job I'd  always been attracted to. As we all know,  jobs in the women's movement are few and  far between, and there were simply more  career chances in the co-op movement.  A much more important reason for my switch  was the politics of co-operativism.  It  seemed to me that co-operating was not just  a means to an end, but like working collectively, it was an end in itself.  Just as  I felt strongly about feminism and lesbian-  Ism as principles which guided my life, so  co-operativism became another life  principle.  The organized co-op movement attracts  people of all political beliefs, just a  feminism has attracted and moved women  ranging from conservative to anarchist,  and sometimes it is difficult to work  together in either movement. Some co-oper;  are neither feminist or lesbian aware.  In general though, I feel confident about  combining the three basic principles in my  life.  People with whom I come into contact  usually return to their co-ops after a week  of warehouse work knowing more about feminism, lesbianism and co-operativism.  I  don't have to take the education on alone  as I work with other feminists.  There is one thing that has nagged me since  I started to work in the co-op movement.  It seems that I have lost touch with the  mainstream women's movement. Sometimes I  have even felt that the women I once  worked with see me as a used-to-be feminist.  It's really important for us to see how we  are working side by side according to  similar principles for similar goals.  I hope that the article "Co-ops: Tools for  Social Change?" will mark the beginning of  an understanding of our similarities. Both  movements can be used as a tool for changing the order of the world.  As feminists, we should be aware of the  women managed co-ops in our area and use  them. As co-opers we should always be  aware of how close we are to the feminist  movement.  In this way we can build a  broad based movement which can more effectively defend against the New Right.  In sisterhood,  R. Elaine Young  Are we "not ready yet"?  Dear Kinesis:  Tom Sandborn, for Men Against Rape, says  that this group is anti-sexist, anti-  racist and anti-capitalist.  The latter is  of basic importance, as I think that this  economically unequal and unjust system ,  produces a sick society that creates and  promotes such things as sexism, racism,  etc.  Tom refers to "basis for unity" and it  has seemed to me for many years that men  and women working together, holding meetings and conferences and discussions  together, would lead to a better understanding between them, of their common  exploitation by those who own control our  lives.  During the pre-war Depression I was active  in the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth  Federation) and at that time I emphasized  the importance of the sexes taking active  and vocal part in all conferences, conventions, etc. and not having separate women's  auxiliaries.  Some of the women said that the men were  "not ready yet" for listening to women.  The women were reluctant (not all — I was  never noticeably reluctant!) to speak out  in front of their husbands.  I maintained  that they must learn to do so. How else  could men learn to listen to them? And  hear what they had to say?  quickly, we cannot survive without donations to get the heat turned on!  The Building has never received much in  the way of funding from the government  other than short term summer employment  grants.  Our only other source of income  has been rentals for office space.  At present, the building houses Wen-Do,  People on Welfare, a free clothing depot,  Women in Trades, a women's theatre group,  a women's graphic company, and the WWCEC.  The rents received are minimal as all the  groups are poor, and ability to pay is  the building policy.  The Building was purchased in November  1979, and opened, with much fanfare nationally and internationally. Since that  time, it has been a sheer struggle just to  stay afloat. As far as we know, we are  the only women owned and operated building  in Canada, though we believe some are in  the formation stages.  Recently, two of my young friends have  been to see me and both are women's  libbers or feminists or some such.  I hate  to put a name on people!  Anyway, both subscribe to the idea that  women must meet alone, because "they are  not ready yet" for meeting with men, in  discussion groups, or conferences.  When will they be? When will men. and  women learn to get together and talk over  their problems? When will they start?  Fifty years from now will they be saying  "we are not ready yet"?  Baudelaire said that women were slaves of  slaves.  As long as men are slaves to a boss, women  will be slaves and there will be "second  class citizens" of all races.  Freeing all people is the only way to  enable the sexes to be free.  Winnipeg Women's Building  ■ Dear women:  Recently, the Rape Crisis Centres held  their annual regional representatives conference in Winnipeg.  These women experienced first hand that the Winnipeg  Women's Building is in crisis.  We are facing winter (already our fingers  are freezing to the keys from the cold)  with no heat, as our gas has been cut off  for non-payment.  Surviving the summer  wasn't bad, but with winter approaching  4o!ii&©8i UIS  The women running the Building are tired,  but determined and stubborn, so they plug  on. Many poor women from the area frequent the clothing depot, and rely on the  clothes they receive for themselves and  their children. Many of these women are  on welfare.  Each day, the Building grows a little  colder (prairie winters are something  else). We have a small wood supply that  we expect will hold us for a week or two,  but we can only heat one room by this  method.  We believe this building is necessary and  herstorical, for a women owned and operated space offers encouragement and support  to women of all walks of life. Recently,  a lesbian drop-in has formed, and if  successful, it will enable many more women  to 'come out'.  Although we know all women's groups are  poor, Debbie Parent of the Toronto Rape  Crisis Centre suggested this letter, when  she saw the women here in such need.  So, as you have guessed we are in desperate need of money.  Our heat bill is  $6,000.00. We've held all kinds of fund  raising events, but we can't seem to  gather sufficient funds. We've also had  eight break-ins in the last two years.  We're asking for donations of what you can  afford (we now have a tax deduction  number). Any assistance will be greatly  appreciated.  In sisterhood and struggle,  Yvette Parr ('for Women's Building)  730 Alexander Avenue  Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3E 1H9  0_ 28   Kinesis   November 1981  BULLETIN BOARD  GROUPS  ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING GROUPS are starting  at Vancouver Status of Women soon. See  page 13 this issue for more details.  LESBIAN FEMINIST PROBLEM SOLVING GROUP is  seeking new members. Self-help group  using variety of methods, no facilitator.  Free. Meets Monday nignts at CRS meeting  room (Charles & Odium). Call 873-1190 or  254-3458.  THE RADICAL REVIEWER is soliciting copy  for its special Spring '82 issue on  Canadian Women Writing.   Book reviews,  articles, interviews and poetry welcome.  Deadline: March 15/82. Send SASE to The  Radical Reviewer, P.O. Box 24953, Stn. C,  Vancouver, B.C.  WOMEN'S SELF-HELP COUNSELLING COLLECTIVE  can be contacted at 872-3122, from 7-9pm  on Tuesdays or from l-4pm Saturdays. One  to one counselling is available and  several groups are beginning soon. The  Counselling Collective's aim is to provide an alternative to traditional  therapy. It is a free service.  PENDER-GUY SHOW (Co-op Radio) is looking  for Asian-Canadian women to participate  in public affairs journalism, creative  writing and historical research for its  weekly program. Orientation and technical training provided. Broadcast language  is English. Contact the Program Coordinator at Co-op Radio, 337 Carrall St.,  Vancouver (phone 684-8494).  RADICAL FEMINIST ORGANIZING COMMITTEE is  developing a network of radical feminists, to facilitate discussion among  women who believe that radical feminism  is a political movement whose main  goal  is to end male domination. Write RFOC,  109 Ellerbee Street, Durham, N.C. 27704-  Enclose a small donation to stay on  the mailing list.  ON THE AIR  WOMANVISION on Co-op Radio, 102.7 FM from  7:00-8:00pm each Monday:  Nov.  2 - Alive! and Terry Garthwaite  Nov.  'ñ† - Janie and Joy of Minimal Music  playing music of Black women  Nov. 16 - Reproductive Rights, locally  and in England  Nov. 23 - Selections from "Voices of the  Civil Rights Movement, Black  American Freedom Songs, 1960-  1966"; and Meg Christian  Nov. 30 - Bernice Reagon at the West  Coast Women's Festival, 1981.  A report on the anti-racism  organizing at this festival.  RUBYMUSIC on Co-op Radio, 102 7 FM from  7:00-7:30pm each Friday:  Nov. 6 - Love and Romance, a cynical  approach; interview with Marian  Lydbrooke of Moral Lepers  Nov. 13 - Gwen Avery, Bette Midler, The  Mercy, Laura Lee, Carly Si,.ion  Nov. 20 - Gospel, Part One. With gospel  organist and singer Carolyn  Hudnall  Nov. 27 - Gospel recollections, Part Two.  More music and conversation  with Carolyn Hudnall  THE LESBIAN SHOW on Co-op Radio, 102.7 FM,  7:30-8:30pm each Thursday:  Nov. 5 - Remembrance Day Show  Nov. 12 - No Theme Show  Nov. 19 - Co-Parenting  Nov. 26 - Heather Bishop Music Show  JUST OUT  1982 EVERYWOMAN'S ALMANAC from The Women's  Press is available at women's bookstores  now at $5.95. Theme this year is women  and health.-  SPIRALE, a Woman's Art and Culture Quarterly presents in its first issue a feminist perspective on the art and culture  of Canadian women. Subs: $8/yr individuals, $12/yr institutions. Write 359  Dundas St, London, Ont. N6B 1V5.  Polly Faminow/MAKARA  TWO YEARS ON THE MUCKAMUCK LINE by Helen  Potrebenko, a poem written for the 2nd  anniversary of the Muckamuck strike.  Available at the women's bookstores.  Proceeds to go to SORWUC.  WOMEN AND TRADE UNIONS, an excellent and  comprehensive resource issue from Resources for Feminist Research, Dept. of  Sociology, 0ISE, 252 Bloor St. W.,  Toronto, Ont. M5S 1V6.  Individual copies  of this issue $5 each (Vol.X, no 2,  July 1981).  ANNA MAE - BRAVE HEARTED WOMAN, a film-in-  progress about Anna Mae Aquash, a Crln.  Native woman who participated in AIM.  She was found dead in 1976; no official  investigation was ever held. Funds are  badly needed to complete this film. Send  donations to: Film Fund Inc., 308 11th  St., San Francisco, CA.  WHO'S MINDING THE CHILDREN, an essential  guide to daycare in Vancouver, Victoria  and the Lower Mainland, by Erica Hill.  Includes a section on how to choose good  daycare, and extensive listings organized by area and type of care. $3-50.  CONNEXIONS, Canada's grassroots information  sharing newsletter, is preparing a special issue on Children. Inform them of  projects and publications related to  this issue, esp. those where children  initiate and give leadership. Write  427 Bloor St. W., Toronto, Ont. M5S 1X7.  Subs: $12/yr individual, $20 institution.  NEED A FEMINIST FILM OR VIDEOTAPE? Women  in Focus has just added 25 new tapes and  films to its library, on topics such as  feminist art and culture, health concerns, low-income mothers, the women's  movement, women and nuclear energy and  many more. They are available for rental  now. A new catalogue is in production  and will be available soon. Call 872-  2250 for details.  EVENTS  WILMAR EIGHT, a film account of women bank  workers on strike in Ohio, 8pm, Robson  Square Media Centre, Wed. Nov. 4. For  info, call 253-5730.  B0ESMAN AND LENA, a play by Athol Fugard  condemning apartheid, and examining  racism, sexism and poverty. Begins Nov.  6 at Carnegie Centre, 401 Main Street,  Vancouver. Contact Niki Brodie,. 255-0673  for more, info.  BENEFIT DANCE FOR ISADORA'S November 13 at  Oddfellows Hall, Graveley St, 8:30pm.  Tickets are $1.50 members, $3.50 unemployed non-member, $5.50 non-member.  Childcare is available; RSVP by Nov. 10  to 681-3748.  SEXUALITY WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN (A Place in  the Garden), Nov. 6-8 at White Rock  Women's Place. Leader: Anne Davies MA.  Fee: $50. Enrolment limited. Call  536-9611 for more information.  ASSERTIVENESS WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN Nov. 21  at White Rock Women's Centre (Part 2).  Leader: Michaela Johnson MA. Fee: $10.  Pre-registration required. Call 536-9611  for information.  BRUNCH AT THE WOMEN'S HEALTH COLLECTIVE.  Meet the women from the Los Angeles  Women's Health Center who have just published a new book entitled How to Stay  Out of the Gynecologist's Office.  Sunday, November 22.  11a.m.-2p.m.  1501 W. Broadway.  NEW WEAVE: A Tapestry of Women's Music  and Poetry, with Cyndia Cole (poet),  Eileen Brown (singer), Luna (singer),  and Chantale LaPlante (pianist). Nov.  13 at 8:00pm at Women in Focus.  $3.50/$5.50. Childcare available with  notice by Nov. 10. Wheelchair accessible. All wemoon and children welcome.  WOMEN ORGANIZE ALBERTA 1981 Conference,  Nov. 13-15 in Edmonton. For more info,  contact Alice de Wolff, 52 Sundance,  100 Ave/87 St, Edmonton, Alberta (phone  403-462-5550 days).  DANCE YOUR HEART OUT Nov. 22 at the West  End Community Centre, 870 Denman, 8-12pm.  Alcohol-free environment, munchies  available. Open to all women. Childcare  provided at the Centre. Tickets $3.00 at  the door or the usual outlets. Sponsored  by the Lesbian Drop-In.  FESTIVAL '82, A Celebration of Women in  the Arts invites you to an evening of  poetry and music Nov. 27, 8pm at Women  in Focus, 456 W. Broadway. Tickets at  the usual outlets, $3.75 at the door.  FIVE CONCERTS at Women in Focus Sundays  through November and December. See page  14 this issue for more details.  MEG CHRISTIAN and DIANE LINDSAY in concert  at the Queen Elizabeth Playhouse, Dec. 6.  Tickets $8/$9 with reserved seating,  available at Ariel, Women's Bookstore,  Black Swan Records, Octopus Books East,  and Folk Music Festival office. 8:00pm.  VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN CHRISTMAS PARTY  and RAFFLE in support of Nicaraguan  women. December 4, 8:00pm at 727A E. 49  Ave. (upstairs). See page 25 for more  details.  THE FEMALE CONNECTION, a national gathering on women in the church, in Canada  and in the global community. Planned for  June 7-11/82, at Lakehead University,  Thunder Bay, Ontario. Open to all women.  For more info, write Shirley Davy, WICC,  77 Charles St. W., Toronto, Ont. M5S 1K5  CLASSIFIED  WOMAN LOOKING FOR 1  under $300/month.  -BR OR STUDIO apartment,  Phone Verity, 987-6355.  FOR SALE. Gerhard Heinzman upright piano.  Built circa 1920.  Excellent condition.  $1,800.  Phone 872-0712 (days) or  434-6767 (evenings). Ask for Elaine.


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