Kinesis Dec 1, 1982

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 VMjioe  3The B.C. Federation of  Women just held it's 9th annual  convention. Pat Feindel  analyzes the current state of the  organization and where it's  headed.  5 The fight for free standing  abortion clinics is well underway in Toronto. In anticipation  of the first clinic opening in the  new year, more than 1000 supporters jammed a recent public  meeting to prepare for the inevitable showdown.  7 Debra Lewis looks at the  loopholes in B.C.'s Human  Rights Legislation and the failings of the Code to deal with  certain specific areas of concern to women.  11 Women in Nicaragua are  taking up the challenges of  building the economic, social  and political life of their country.  13 Women in Northern B.C. are  without many of the facilities  they need to develop healthier  and more creative methods of  birthing. A recent conference  examined the options.  15 Our earliest ancestors  believed God was a woman.  History has all but wiped out the  original accounts of Goddess  worship. Why?  21 Cy-thea Sand reviews Anne  Cameron's latest' novel  "Journey'!. This time, Cameron  shares her cowgirl fantasy in a  modern, easy to read western.  22 Women are taking the rock  world by storm. Joy Thompson  looks at the politics and the  message in women's agit-rock.  COVER: from Merlin Stone's 'Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood',  published by New Sibylline Books, New York.  SUBSCRIBE TO KIMMJIJ  Published 10 times a year  by Vancouver Status of Women  400A West 5th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1J8  □ VSW membership - includes Kinesis subscription -  $20 (or what you can afford)  □ Kinesis subscription only - $13  □ Institutions - $40  □ Sustainers - $75  Name ,   Address_  _Amount Enclosed_  Please remember that VSW operates on inadequate  funding — we need member support!  * Special Collections Serial  December/January '83  KlMSiS  HI,  $£  / / / —KtMWJM   J[   What may have appeared to be a slump early in  The year in review  If you read the pages of the  daily press, 1982 was certainly no year for celebration.  We see reports of a stagnant  economy, more and more visible  images of violence against  women, and the continued  attempts hy the right to turn  back the clock on several  fronts. On the surface, times  appear to be ripe for a long  hibernation from political  resistance, or a retreat into  preserving our own individual  survival tactics.  Beneath the surface, however,  nothing could be further from  the truth. While there can be  no denial of less than optimistic developments in all of  these areas, it is also true  that 1982 has seen a variety  of significant responses on  the part of women to stop  what appears to be an unavoidable backlash. We are fighting  back, and we are winning some  victories.  What may have seemed to be a  slump in January, in fact was  a turning point as women  began to take a clear offensive on many issues. Here are  just a few of the highlights  of this resurgence.  On Abortion:  Despite the onslaught of the so-called  "pro-lifers" and the decreasing availability of abortion  in a number of communities,  we continued to organize and  fight for our right to choice.  This summer, Planned Parenthood  in Newfoundland took  courageous action in tackling  the Right to Life head on in  a lawsuit.  In Toronto, plans continue for  the establishment of the  first "illegal" abortion  clinic in the province. Closer  to home, Concerned Citizens  for Choice on Abortion  continued to forge links with  other groups, and in February  hundreds of people marched  and rallied at the Hotel Vancouver in defense of our right  to choose.  On Technology:  Across the  country, working women have  recognized that the development of new technologies in  the workplace is a women's  issue. In June, more than ,  600 women attended a national  conference on Women and Micro-  technology. The conference  formed a networking coalition  to exchange information,  Women's Mythology  This issue Kinesis looks at the early Goddess religions and  their accompanying female mythology. Given the extent to  which we are surrounded by Christian symbol and myth during  the Christmas season, we thought it appropriate to explore  some of the female mythology that forms the basis of our collective woman-centred heritage and history.  lobby for action, and identify  women's needs in the industry  as they arise.  On Pornography:  Porn is  undoubtedly the issue which  has generated the greatest  response in the the broadest  range of women. The distribution of the NFB film Not a  Love Story  through women's  groups and community organizations, gave us a clearer  view of what the industry has  to offer. Increasing examples  of pornography in our daily  lives has also spurred many  individuals and groups to  action.  In Vancouver, community response forced The Vancouver  East Cinema  to cancel their  proposed midnight porn movies.  Reactions to the rapid growth  of Red Hot Video  has been  unprecedented, and will clearly grow stronger as we move  into the new year.  Throughout the past year we  have seen obvious examples  of our growth and strength as  a movement. The ever prominent  feminist presence in the peace  and anti-nuke movements; the  continued forging of connections between ourselves and  the women of the third world;  the entrenchment of equal pay  as a major issue for working  women both inside and outside  the trade union movement—all  of these developments are  cause for optimism. Women are  well aware of the issues on  the agenda for 1983 and are  taking the experiences of the  past year into the challenges  that confront us in the New  Year.  The Kinesis  collective and  the staff and Board of the  Vancouver Status of Women  wish you all the best of the  season and thank you for your  support throughout the year.  Anti-porn picket  A  province-wide picket, aimed  at protesting the pornographic  video-tapes distributed  through Red Hot Video,   is  being organized for December  11. Women and men are encouraged to go to the Red Hot  Video outlet in their area  between 2 and 3 o'clock that  afternoon to form a solid  picket line.  The Port Coquitlam Women's  Centre has contacted all provincial women's groups with a  Red Hot Video store in their  community and expects there  will be a high turn-out. Red  Hot Video recently cancelled  its operation in Port Coquitlam after a three month trial  run. Paulette Johnson, member  of the Port Coquitlam Women's  Centre calls it a victory.  She says the outlet did not  receive the amount of suppor u  from the community it bad  probably expected.  The Port Coquitlam women are  one of several groups who  have been actively protesting  the video chain since last  summer. 2    Kinesis    Dec/Jan 83  MOVEMENT MATTERS  Sisters restaurant  Sisters Restaurant,   at 612 Davie Street,  offers a unique space for women to dine  and socialize Tuesday through Saturday  evenings and at Sunday brunches.  The overall purpose of the restaurant is  to provide "a space in the evenings and  Sundays which is run by women, for women".  The restaurant is intended for women to  meet and enjoy meals, drinks, coffees and  snacks at reasonable prices in an environment featuring women's art and crafts with  both live and tape women's music.  The restaurant will also provide catering  services to women for benefits, meetings,  parties, celebrations, and workshops.  During the day, the restaurant provides a  business person's lunch. Women and their  friends are most welcome.  To ensure that Sisters  can continue to  offer a space for women, they are encouraging the purchase of full memberships at  $50.00 each. This will entitle members to  special and reduced rates throughout the  year. As well, if women want to make a  donation to Sisters  in such areas as music,  art work, handywomen skills, or money it  would be greatly appreciated.  Sisters  thanks Vancouver women for the  widespread support it has received to date.  Because of their restaurant status and  licensing restrictions, the summer format,  Sisters: A Summer Celebration,  has been  changed. Sisters  is anxious to hear women's suggestions, comments and ideas.  VSW is looking for a member interested in  acting as a representative to the B.C.  Health Coalition. This group is actively  lobbying provincial and federal representatives on the quality and availability of  health care in this province. If you are  interested in sitting in on this group on  behalf of VSW please contact Hilarie Mc-  Murrary at 873-1-427.  KMMSM  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 $20/year (or what you  can afford). This includes a subscription to Kinesis. Individual subscriptions to Kinesis are $13/year.  ISUBMISSIONS are welcome. We  reserve the right to edit, and submission does not guarantee publication.  WORKERS THIS ISSUE: Jean Bennett, Janet  Berry, Jan De Grass, Janet Duckworth, Cole  Dudley, Pat Feindel, Patty Gibson, Mary  Howard, Debra Lewis, Hilarie Mackie, Janet  Morgan, Elizabeth Shackleford, Esther  Shannon. Anne Rayvals, Rachel Rocco,  Rosemane F  and thanks t  DEADLINE FOR NEXT ISSUE: January 15 for  February 1 publication. All copy must be  double-spaced, typewritten.  Anne Rayvals, Rachel Rocco,  Rupps, Michelle Wollstonecroft,  to Dorothy and Robin at Makara.  Military sales  pushed and protested  Hard to believe, but true. On November 22  the B.C. Ministry of Industry and Small  Business Development and the U.S. Department of Defense teamed up to sponsor a  discussion of which B.C.products the U.S.  Defense Department would be prepared to  buy.The seminar attracted 20 Pentagon  officials, and local business representatives and more than 200 protesters.  Universities Minister Pat McGeer said the  seminar was designed "to create opportunities for B.C. businessmen to sell their  products." Topics for discussion included  marine technology, electric power, and  defence electronics. Nonetheless, McGeer  denied its obvious connection to the arms  race.  Protestors heard from several groups attending the rally including Aldersperson  Bruce Yorke who said City Council would  have nothing to do with the seminar and  pledged council would support the views  expressed by the 35,000 people who marched  against the arms race last spring.  Lesbian Conference  Organizing has started for the first ever  1983 B.C. Regional Lesbian Conference—an  extravaganza of lesbian music, art, sports,  workshops, politics, steambaths, pool  tournaments, dances, dinners, and much  MORE...Mark the May long weekend May 20-  23, 1983 on your calendars now and watch  Kinesis  for monthly updates and pre-  conference spectacular fundraising events.  Or get involved by contacting one of the  Conference Committees: Fundraising,  Cultural Events, Childcare, Food, Billeting, Agenda and Workshops, also Publicity  and Outreach.  Childcare will be available at the conference from Friday night to Monday afternoon. Our objective is to provide top  quality childcare. The organizing committee  has chosen childcare to be a priority  issue in this year's conference. We are  encouraging non-mothering lesbian involvement with this priority issue. We hope  that weekend will be as memorable for the  children as for us. Some activity ideas  are field trips, workshops, sports and  crafts. A separate sleeping space will be  available. We welcome more ideas.  Workers will be paid hourly and expected  to be of a responsible nature with experience and/or first aid being an asset. Also  women to lead workshops for children are  needed. If interested, please contact  Rachel at 876-3269 or Avril and Ami at  525-4837.  A billeting committe has been formed to  house visiting women for the weekend. We  are hoping and expecting a very large  number of women to this event and many of  them will be from outlying areas of the  province. Therefore plenty of housing will  be needed for the weekend of May 20-23,  1983. If you have any information or offers  of available space please contact Nadine  at 987-8983 or Ami at 525-4837.  Our first Fundraising Event will be the  Lavender Elephant Bazaar  on December 11,  1982 at the Britannia Community Centre,  between 1 and 4:30 pm. Any donations will  be appreciated preferably by December 9.  Clothes, housewares, toys, books, trinkets, etc. Any craftwomen wishing to sell  goods at the bazaar please contact us  about table rental. For more information  or pickup of goods call: 873-5086, 254-  8761, 525-4837, or 738-8285.  We are looking for submissions for a  conference poster. Women interested in  working with the conference can contact  Peg (Fundraising and Outreach)738-8285;  or Nym (Agenda and Workshops) 876-4541,  251-4601j or Anne (Cultural Events) 873-  5086. Come on out and show your support.  For more information regarding: memberships; music and entertainment, displays  and art work; booking for parties, workshops and celebrations; and how to donate  service or money please call us at:  681-6400 and ask for Cedar or Marion.  Update on Lucy's  In October's issue of Kinesis,   there is an  interview with one of the owners of Lucy's,  (formerly the Quadra Club) which I had  done in early September. Since then, so  many changes have taken place at Lucy's  that I thought Kinesis  readers might appreciate an update, just in case you were  debating whether or not to go there.  There are no longer exotic dancers. Top  Man Leather does not have an outlet at  Lucy's any longer.  An unusual event took place at Lucy's in  September. It was a vote among patrons  as to whether Lucy's would remain a mixed  club or revert back to what it was before,  a women's only club with Mondays and Wednesdays being the only exception. (Lucy's  is now closed on Mondays.) The overwhelming majority voted for the latter. Now,  to the best of my knowledge, Lucy's is  back to being a women's only bar except  on Wednesdays.  However, during certain special events,  such as the nights when the new wave band  M0EV performed live at Lucy's and when  Rose Rowell won the Ms. Gay Vancouver  title, men were also admitted.  So what does all this mean? "You pays  your money, you takes your chances." This  is true of Lucy's. If you're really not  into sharing your night out at a club with  men, ask the door person first before you  pay your cover charge (Fridays and Saturdays ).  Midwifery Conference planned  The Midwives Association of British Columbi;  is holding a conference on midwifery  February 18 to February 20, 1983.  Midwifery 1983: 2nd Labour of Love Conferenc  has invited several guest speakers, including Doris Haire (author of Cultural Warping  of Childbirth) and Elizabeth Davis (author  of Heart and Hands: A Guide to Midwifery.  The conference will be held at the Hotel  Vancouver at a cost of $150 per delegates  More information can be obtained by contacting the Association at 1053 Douglas Cres.,  Vancouver, or calling 261-9471. Dec/Jan 83    Kinesis    3  ACROSS B.C.  BCFW:  meeting our needs . . .  or just so much navel gazing?  by Pat Feindel  B.C. Federation of Women held its 9th  annual convention at Naramata in mid-  November. An extremely tight agenda included two time slots for educational  workshops, four plenary sessions, no less  than three workshops devoted to examining  various aspects of BCFW structure and  process, regional and committee meetings,  various ad hoc meetings, and three social  evenings for anyone who had energy to  spare.  Perhaps the most significant feature of  this year's convention was its record low-  turnout. Of the 35 (more or less up-to-  date) member groups, fewer than 20 were  represented by 36 registered delegates.  (Three years ago, membership stood at  approximately 50 groups.)  Participants in a workshop on BCFW membership speculated on the causes of the  clearly dwindling interest and"participation in BCFW, although with very little  feedback from the groups who have left.  The workshop listed several of the  organization's successes and problems  and certainly the successes were impressive. Why then, are groups leaving? Some  possible or partial explanations included  the failure of BCFW to do effective outreach, dwindling finances, and philosophical differences among member groups as to  what BCFW's role should be in the women's  movement.  Considerable time was devoted to clarifying what this philosophical difference  amounted to. Two positions emerged: the  desire to have a loosely-based coalition  with a broad basis of unity for communication, information exchange, education  and support for actions; in contrast to  a desire to have BCFW become a more  closely-knit "working group" of members  who share a tighter basis of unity and  more extensive commitment to specific  actions. This led to some discussion of  how tightly members were expected to  adhere to policy, membership requirements,  and the role of BCFW as an organization  Introducing women to the women's movement.  The question of which goals are appropriate for BCFW, was of course, not  answered and the discussion was not resolved. Plans are afoot to organize  continuing discussions by region.  Certainly, basic philsophical differences  lay at the root of several internal  issues that ended up taking a disproportionate amount of time at this year's  convention: whether to have plenary  sessions open or closed to non-delegates;  whether or not to accept individual  members to BCFW and on what basis; voting  structure of the co-ordinating collective;  and even whether one woman at the convention would be permitted to attend plenary  sessions.   While all this internal examination takes  place, alternative networks for communication have sprung up. In northern B.C.,  a northern women's network is publishing  a newsletter Aspen.   In the lower mainland  recent events around Red Hot Video have  spawned an ad hoc coalition of groups  working against pornography (only half of  which are BCFW members).  One begins to wonder at what point all  this internal examination and restructuring becomes just so much navel-gazing.  Has the extensive amount of time devoted  to this examination, even at the convention, really moved the women's movement  forward? If so much examination and reexamination is required, are we flogging  a dead horse?  Are we keeping BCFW alive simply because  it is there or because it is meeting our  needs as a movement? And, finally, has  BCFW become so unwieldy as a bureaucratic  structure that it can no longer meet our  needs?  Legal aid cuts  strand women  "I froze. My mind went blank. I had to  cross-examine my husband. I couldn't  think of any of the things I wanted to  bring out. All I knew was that I wanted  custody of my children and that I wanted  a legal document saying that." That was  the experience of a Victoria woman who  was forced to represent herself in a  custody dispute in Family Court.  Women are now in the position of having  to go to Family Court, to fight for  custody of their children and support  from their husbands, without any legal  help and without knowing how a court  operates, or what they are supposed to do.  This is the result of the Attorney-  General 's funding cuts. The Attorney-  General used to provide lawyers for applicants in Family Court most of whom  were women. The Legal Services Society,  also funded by the A.G., provided lawyers  for those respondents (generally men) who  could not afford lawyers. In April, The  Attorney-General cut out virtually all  lawyers for applicants. And in July the  Attorney-General cut back funding to the  Legal Services Society, which was then  obliged to cut back services to respondents.  Lawyers are theoretically still available  through the A.G. for those situations in  which the applicant actually has custody  of the children and there is violence involved. (What about the situation in which  the husband beats his wife and snatches  the kids? ) But the appointment of a lawyer  now requires prior approval, and workers  in the field report that in practice it  is very difficult for a woman to get a  lawyer.  Legal Services Society, because of its own  cuts, will not provide a lawyer for women  in Family Court either, unless their  children are apprehended by MHR, or they  are going to jail for failure to pay main=  tenance (unlikely').  Women now may have to face a lawyer, hired  by their husbands without their own legal  help. This means that women will stop  using Family Court because it is just too  difficult. The result—many women will  lose their rights to custody and maintenance by default.  According to a report recently sent to the  Attorney-General by Catherine Scambler,  Director of the Victoria Law Centre, the  total maintenance and support being collected per month through Family Court (in  Victoria) has declined by about 10% since  the end of June. Men are beginning to  realize that they will not be forced to  pay maintenance orders.  The A.G.'s legal aid cuts show a flagrant  lack of commitment to ensuring, access to  justice. And there is certainly some  doubt as to how they will be cost-  effective they will be. Court cases take  longer without lawyers, and court time is  expensive.  More than two hundred groups and individuals including the Provincial Council of  the B.C. Bar Association (the provincial  lawyers' organization), the B.C. Association of Social Workers, Transition Houses,  and other women's groups have written to  the A.G. demanding the funding be restored  The Golden Women's Resource Centre  recently circulated a letter to all women's groups in B.C., suggesting that they  write to Allan Williams,. Grace McCarthy  and their local politicians.  Organizing for human rights in B. C.  Close to 200 delegates and individuals met  in Kelowna on November 19-21 to found the  B.C. Human Rights Coalition. Although some  issues were discussed, the primary focus  of the conference was to develop a structure that brings together on a provincial  level all groups that work around the  broad area of human rights in British  Columbia.  The exciting part of this conference was  the grass roots nature of the groups represented there. Mentally-handicapped  groups, physically-handicapped groups,  anti-racist groups, women's groups and  many others gathered together to make a  commitment to "the cross-education of  groups and individuals on shared human  rights related Issues and concerns".  The coalition will be represented by 11  regions. Each region will elect two delegates to a Provincial body which will mee"  four times a year. The Coalition will be  open to individuals and organizations,  each having equal voice.  One of the first goals of the Coalition  will be to assist in the implementation  of the Recommendations for Change to the  Human Rights Code of British Columbia.  The lower mainland was represented by  about 40 delegates. This region elected  John Gates and Sally Cavatini as its  regional delegates. The first meeting of  the lower mainland region will be on  Saturday, January 8, at Britannia Centre.  It will be an all-day "bring your own  lunch" meeting, and everyone who is  interested is welcome. Childcare will be  available on a pre-registered basis. 4 r Kihte&13    Dec/Jan 83  LABOUR  &J*s>w7yte^  Organizing the unemployed  On November 6, Vancouver Status of Women was one  of more than 150 delegates representing trade  unions and community groups who have unanimously  supported the formation of an organization for the  unemployed.  In a day-long workshop at Fishermen's Hall delegates debated the nature of the economic crisis,  and its impact on labour. The meeting had been  convened by the unemployment committee of the  Vancouver and District Labour Council. Delegates  agreed it is crucial to organize the unemployed  both to defend existing contract conditions and  to provide support for presently unemployed  workers.  Co-ordinated by Kim Zander, and chaired by George  Hewison of the Fishermen's Union, the conference  was effectively organized to develop a focus and  direction from a wide diversity of people. Workshops were held in the morning and afternoon and  were aimed at developing strategies for action.  Sandra Nicol, from the Organization of Unemployed  Workers in Campbell River, was one of the three  scheduled guest speakers. She spoke of a town that  is torn apart by unemployment, where to be working  is becoming unusual. She stressed the importance  of unemployed people being able to organize themselves with assistance from the labour movement  and community groups. She also spoke about what  has already been done with very little resources—  soup kitchens, UIC and Welfare advocacy, clothing  exchanges, as well as "well-organized political  action". Delegates at the conference became convinced that the need for such an organization in  Vancouver is crucial.  A surprise speaker at the Conference was Noel  Benson, vice-president of the Grenada Trade Union  Council, and President of the General Workers  Union. A compelling speaker, Benson said that  previous to 1979, unemployment amongst women was  75%, and amongst youth was 70%. Following the  overthrow of the Gairy dictatorship, unemployment  had been reduced to 18%, with the belief that it  will be totally eradicated in five years time.  Cap faculty reach settlement  In a 2 to 1 vote, the Capilano Faculty Association  voted to go out on strike October 28. Negotiations  had broken down and management had left the  bargaining table. The Faculty Association then  held a one-day strike November 9 in order to show  intent to strike and force management back to the  table.  By November 14 a tentative agreement was submitted  to both the Executive and Strike Committee one  day before the strike was scheduled to begin.  The primary issue in dispute was the hiring of  three new administrators at a time when faculty  are being laid off. The future intent is to  increase this number to ten. The agreement settled  upon stated that "the college shall not hire any  new Directors for the period ending March 31,1984'.'  Other important issues covered in the tentative  agreement included:  Sexual Harassment:  a) a new article providing for  a definition, a complaint mechanism, an internal  Special Committee and the protection of the  grievance procedure.  b) an article with an undertaking by the College  entitling employees to work in an environment free  from sexual harassment.  Vocational Instructors:  One of the controversial  isses of these negotiations was the gradual  erosion of the rights of vocational instructors.  In a letter of understanding, the Union was able  to gain, a) Retention of current rights of  vocation funded curriculum in Business Management,  Adult Basic Education, Health, Office Administration and Media Resources.      ,  _  by Susan Hoeppner  SEWKOffK*181  The Service Office and Retail Workers Union of Canada (SORWUC)  has started a poster and leafletting campaign in an attempt to  organize non-union employees in the food service industry. The  union is concentrating on fast-food outlets and bars, which  are the least organized industries in the province, in particular the small units with rapid turnover and highly exploitative conditions.  Carpenter's Union supports  women entering trades  The fortieth annual convention  of the B.C. Provincial Council  of Carpenters, held in late  October, resolved to "give  the fullest possible support  to achieving equal rights for  women" and urged all locals  to "initate an active campaign  to encourage women entering  the trades and to support  women already in the trades".  The convention also adopted a  resolution calling on other  unions and labour councils to  provide the same support and  encouragement to their sister  members as has the Carpenter's  Union. Delegates voted to call  the International Carpenter's  Union to revise its oath of  office to eliminate the term  "man" and replace it with the  more all-encompassing term  "trade unionist".  Kate Braid, a fourth-year  apprentice and member of Local  452, addressed the convention  on the subject of women in  the trades. Although there  are only 32 tradeswomen in  the Carpenter's Union in B.C.,  it is a situation the union  •is attempting to change. This  means more women could be  dispatched to work with crews  that have never worked with  women before.  Braid attempted to dispell  some of the erroneous ideas  men have about women who work  in the trades. She stressed  that most women in non-  traditional jobs tend to work  very hard, "because they are  constantly having to prove  that they can do the job".  Braid referred to the Second  World War when women "virtually ran the heavy industry of  this country".  "At Burrard Shipyards in  Vancouver in 1942 there were  1500 women working as welders,  burners, riveters and so on,"  she said. After the war they  were pushed out of the industry and back into the kitchen.  Union members were also told  that the so-called 'women's  issues' such as child care,  harassment on the job, health  and safety, "are not women's  issues. They are people's  issues."  In closing her speech, Braid  quoted from Peggy Seeger's  song Maintenance Engineer:  Till the sisters join the  struggle  Married,  single, white or  black  You're fighting with a blindfold  And one arm behind your back.  The message must get over  You must realize at last  That power to the sisters  Means power to the class.  During the four days the  convention worked its way  through about 180 resolutions  covering a wide range of  issues including health and  safety, apprenticeship, health  and welfare, international  affairs, women's rights,  disarmament and education.  Given that almost 50% of the  union's members are currently  unemployed, with little relief  in sight, the convention was  • convened at a most crucial  point intthe union's history.  (On The Level)  Paramedics organize  Paramedics at Toronto General  Hospital say poor working  conditions are jeopardizing  health care and cite the example of radiology technologists who work nine days in a  row including three 12-hour  shifts. The demanding shifts  and the paramedics' personal  liability for equipment-  related patient injuries  sparked an organizing drive  that began last March.  Management obstacles have  delayed the certification  vote-(the paramedics approached the Ontario Public Service  Employee's Union)-but staff  is still in full support of  the idea and the drive continues. (Toronto Clarion) Deo/Jan 8&n Kinesis.n 5 >  ACROSS CANADA  Public meeting shows  support for Free  Standing Clinics  More than 1,000 people jammed a recent  public meeting held in Toronto to promote  support for free-standing abortion clinics.  The November 18th meeting was sponsored  by the Coalition to Establish Freestanding Clinics, formed last fall to  lobby the government on loopholes in  Canada's current abortion legislation.  A major problem with the legislation as  it now stands is the full decision-making  powers given provincial health ministers,  which essentially allows one man to decide  whether or not a medical facility can be  legally approved.  In preparation for the opening of Canada's  first free-standing abortion clinic outside of Quebec, the Coalition is lobbying  the Attorney-General not to prosecute the  Toronto clinic which intends to operate  'within the letter of the law'. This  clinic is prepared to use therapeutic  abortion committees, as is the practice  in those hospitals legally providing  abortions.  Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who announced his  plan to open clinics across the country  when he spoke in Vancouver October 23,  believes that no jury in a major urban  centre will prosecute a doctor who is  providing safe, legal abortions where they  are needed. The pressure to open freestanding clinics comes from those people  concerned that Canada does not have the  facilities to provide prompt and safe  abortions.  The opening of the clinic, scheduled for  November 2, was postponed when the owner  of the premises withdrew his agreement to  rent out of concern that the clinic would  be considered an illegal operation. The  Coalition is confident, however, that new  premises will be found and the clinic will  open in the new year.  In B.C., Concerned Citizens for Choice on  Abortion,(CCCA) hope such a clinic will be  established in B.C., preferably in a major  centre. CCCA spokesperson Marva Blackmore  emphasized that what is needed here is a  doctor willing to risk prosecution in  order to set up the clinic, as well as a  large, united and vocal pro-choice lobby  willing to support the clinic both financially and politically.  If you are interested in working on the  pro-choice question, the next meeting of  the CCCA will be held on December 7 at  7:30 pm at 517 East Broadway. For more  information call, 876-9920.  Authorities continue to be  unresponsive to porn complaints  Once again, the Canadian legal system has  demonstrated its unwillingness to protect  women and children from the violence in  pornography. On November 25, 13 B.C. women's groups lodged a complaint to the  police against the videotape Filthy Rich,  purchased from downtown Vancouver's  latest pornography distributor, Tricolor  Video. The women claim the tape clearly  contravenes the Criminal Code's section  159 on obscenity with its depiction of  the rape of a female domestic worker.  The tape was referred to New Westminster  Crown Counsel Barry Sullivan, who announced December 2 that no charges would be  laid against Tricolor. Rather, he claimed,  he prefers to investigate the over-all  distribution and sale of tapes throughout the province. "It's not just the  tapes, we're looking at the whole distribution," he said.  Women's groups have been hearing similar  responses to complaints since May of this  year. So far, no charges have been laid  and the porn business is booming.  In a statement following Sullivan's announcement, the women's groups said they  want charges laid on this and past complaints, they want all the distributors  investigated, and they want the stores  shut down.  The Feminist Coalition Against Pornography  in Montreal has sent a message of solidarity  with all women across the country fighting  pornography to all Canada's major dailies.  "We, the Coalition, are the last to underestimate the importance of freedom of  speech. But in order for this right to have  any meaning, it must be conditioned by respect for others... by its systematic distortion of female sexuality and insult to  our intelligence, pornography denies all  women the right to speak. For this reason  we wish to extend our solidarity to all  women actively opposing the commoditization  of our bodies, as if we existed only to be  bought, sold and abused by men."  "Police have publicly admitted that the  videotape sector of the porn industry is  both the hardest to control and the most  rapidly expanding." The letter questions  how effective legal, channels will be when  the porn industry is dependent on legal  loopholes and manipulation of the laws.  The letter asks: "Where was the media when  legal means were being used?"  Defense insurance  for sexual harrassment  Canadian businesses will now be able to  take out defence insurance for charges of  sexual harassment. In fact, for a higher  premium, they can insure against a range  of charges under an "all-discrimination"  policy covering discrimination based on  age, race, sex, religion, sexual preference,  ancestry or national origin.  The coverage is offered by a U.S. company,  Complete Equity Markets, Inc. of Illinois.  Assistant to the president, Gracine Huff-  nagle, said in an interview she doesn't  think the policy will legitimize or encourage discrimination. "Even enlightened companies have to be safe from those on their  staff who may discriminate, albeit contrary to company policy," she said.  Canada prohibits  violent video game  A video game called Custer's Revenge  will  be prohibited from entry into Canada by  provisions in the customs law, Canada's  Revenue Minister Pierre Bussieres announced  in the Commons following a question by MP  Bud Cullen. The players of Custer's Revenge  score points by coupling a video image of  General Custer, wearing only boots and a  hat, with the image of a captured Indian  woman.  Manufactured by American Multiple Industries in the U.S., the game has sparked  angry complaints from both native and  women's groups.       *  Bussieres did not comment on whether any  action would be taken against the games  that have already entered the country.  PEI women meet on  wage discrimination  At a recent conference on Women In the Island economy, PEI Department of Labour  Analyist Carol Mayne talked about the results of a 1981 Employer's Survey, conducted by the provincial Department of Labour.  Approximately 1200 firms participated,representing more than 11,000 employees, 4500  of whom were women. The survey shows that  seventeen percent of the males were in  managerial positions, while only eight percent of the females were in similar positions. In 1971, 70 percent of those working  in clerical occupations were females and  the 1981 survey estimates that figure has  increased to 72 percent.  Mayne said one of the more distrurbing  trends in wage rate analysis is the difference between male and female wage rates  for what is considered to be similar work.  Women will make at least 40 cents less  per hour as a sales clerk and take up the  bulk of the part-time labour force.  (Common Ground)  Illegitimate child  denied Indian status  The six-year-old illegitimate child of  Audrey Kathleen Cook of the Six Nations  Indian band was denied Indian status recently by an Ontario County Court. Judge  Edward Fanjoy said he "reluctantly" upheld  the federal registrar's decision because,  although the concept of illegitimacy no  longer applies to non-Indians under provincial law, the Indian Act does distinguish  between legitimate and illegitimate children.  The Indian Act extends status to illegitimate children of status Indians, but in  this case the woman's band challenged the  child's status on grounds the father was  known and is considered a non-Indian._ (He  is a member of the Seneca Nation in New  York, and was born outside of Canada.)  Ann Beauregard of the Department of Indian  Affairs said in an interview that Indian  bands are split over whether or not to  challenge status in the case of illegitimate children where it is known that the  father is not a status Indian.  Where the mother marries a non-Indian, both  she and her children lose their status.  Status Indians are eligible for several  government assistance programs and also can  claim rights to band property. \> ftsett ssaiisfg,  RAPE LEGISLATION  Bodily Harm: defining the crime  (This is- the third in a series of  articles examining existing rape laws  and the pending rape legislation -  Bill  - C127)     -  by Joanne Ranson  Under the new Sexual Assault laws, it is  clear that the seriousness of the -offence  committed will be defined differently  than it was under the former Criminal  Code Offences of Rape  and Indecent  Assault.   Unfortunately, these new definitions may well fall short of the results  desired by those women who have urged  changes in these laws.  In the early days of the debate on legal  reform in this area, there was an apparent  conflict between *those who wished to retain the offence of Rape and those in  favour of new offences of Sexual Assault.  In reality, their concerns were similar.  They both wanted the law to recognize  that forced sexual acts were inherently  violent. The conflict was really one of  method and strategy. The question to be  asked now that the law has been changed  is whether or not the existence of three  offences of sexual assault differing by  the level of seriousness will recognize  this concern.  Under the previous provisions of the  Criminal Code there was a clear distinction between the two offences of Rape and  Indecent Assault, as well as the level  of seriousness of each. To be convicted  of rape a man just have forced a woman  (who was not his wife) to vaginal intercourse, and if convicted was liable to a  maximum sentence of life imprisonment.  Any other forced sexual act would most  likely lead to a charge of Indecent  Assault which carried a maximum sentence  of five years imprisonment. Certainly  there were many problems with this kind  of divison because there are many forced  sexual acts which may be even more in-  -jurious and damaging than forced vaginal  intercourse.  The new legislation brought by Bill C-127  creates three offences of sexual assault.  The first level is sexual assault which  is similar in seriousness to the offence  of common assault. Although the offence  can be charged by way of indictment carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years, it  can also be charged as a summary offence  (as is common assault) carrying a maximum  sentence of a fine of $500 and/or  imprisonment-of six months. The second  level is sexual assault where either a  weapon, or the threat of a weapon, is involved; where bodily harm of the victim  results; or where there is more than one  person involved in committing the offence.  This is an indietible offence carrying a  maximum sentence of fourteen years imprisonment. The third level is called  aggravated sexual assault and can be used  where the victim is wounded, maimed or  disfigured or where her life is endangered. This is also an indictible offence and  carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.  These offences are basically worded in the  same language as the three offences of  assault (without the 'sexual' element)  and the deciding factor in choosing which  offence to charge will be the degree of  physical injury caused to the victim.  Both the legislation and the case law  provide some definitions of what kind of  physical injury will be required for the  more serious offences to be charged.  The definition of bodily harm is provided  in the legislation (section 245.1 (2))  which states that it is "any hurt or  injury to the complainant that interferes  with his or her health or comfort and  that is more than merely transient or  trifling in nature". This definition has  been codified from an often quoted case  called Regina v. Maloney (which was a  case of assault occurring during a hockey  game). The case law has, decided that  wounding means a puncture or break of the  .skin,- such as stabbing and that maiming  and disfiguring mean injuries which result in some permanent disability, such  as scarring, or loss of function of a  part of the body. Following are some  example of the types of injuries required  to result in a conviction for the different levels of assault offences:  1. In the case of Regina v. McNamara the  accused was convicted of common assault  and sentenced to three months imprisonment where he had assaulted his young  step-child by 'vigorously' slapping the  child on the buttocks and on the face  causing bruising of. both areas. The court  rejected the charge of assault causing  bodily harm because the child "presented  no cuts or lacerations and X-rays disclosed no broken bones or personal injuries".  2. In the case of Regina v. Landry the  accused was convicted of assault causing  bodily harm with a sentence of seven months  imprisonment where he had beaten a woman  in her home with her child present, for  the better part of an afternoon. "As a  result of the assault, Mrs. Durling sustained facial bruising, her right eye was  swollen shut, her forehead was black and  blue, her nose was plugged up and swollen  to twice its normal size, her cheeks were  discoloured and her lips were puffed. She  suffered dizziness for several days  <rf^H MY HWAMP 0eATS  f mp   I'M   eerTBROFf CALLIIV/^  cAxxm -me cofS- £He'5 not  - -.mwes my sroey  \ANv COWcS o\fc£.    1  3- The cases of wounding, maiming or disfiguring are easier to determine. If a  person has been stabbed, shot or injured  in such a way that surgery is required to  repair bones or organs (and there is some  permanent disability) then a conviction  under the most serious of assault offences  would be likely.  What the legislators have done, then, is  to have the same criteria which has been  used for 'regular' assault matters apply  to 'sexual' assault matters, i.e. the more  serious the resulting physical injuries,  the more serious the charge that is laid.  There are two major problems in applying  these criteria to the area of Sexual  assaults.  The first is that some acts of forced  sexual conduct such as forced vaginal  intercourse and forced fellatio, where no  extensive bruising or broken bones result,  will be treated as relatively minor offences and will be dealt with under the  lowest level of''Sexual assault. In these  instances therlegislation does not recognize jthe, seriousness of these acts, or the  seriousness of the effects upon the victim.  One might suggest that if a pregnancy results that the courts would see this as a  bodily harm. However, because pregnancy  is seen as a natural and desired state  generally in our society, it seems unlikely  that it will be seen as a bodily harm.  However, if a venereal disease resulted it  might be considered to be bodily harm.  Note here that the victim would have to  prove that the disease was caused by the  offender—certainly opening her past sexual  history to questioning.  In considering how seriously certain types  of forced sexual acts will be treated we  might look at the facts in the Pappajohn  case. There, the victim was confined, bound  and raped. By binding his victim, Pappajohn  did not have to beat her and in fact there  were no serious bodily injuries such as  the ones described earlier. Had the present  law been in effect at the time of that .  offence, it is entirely possible that only  the lowest level of sexual assault would  have been charged.  It must be remembered here that the lowest  level of the sexual assault offences may  be charged either by way of indictiment  carrying a maximum penalty of five years  imprisonment or in a summary manner with  the lesser penalty of a $500. fine and/or  a maximum of six months imprisonment. It  is to be hoped (and we must urge this in  whatever way possible) that the Provincial  Attorney-Generals will provide directions  that cases such as those mentioned above  (vaginal and anal rape, and situations such  as the Pappajohn case) and indeed all but  the most minor of offences (e.g. bum-  pinching) are to be charged by way of  indictment and therefore subject to the  greater penalty.  The second major problem is that from our  experience we have good reason to suspect  that the law will not treat offences  committed by a man known to the victim (as  is the case in many instances of sexual  assault) as seriously as it treats assaults  committed by a stranger assailant. To see  this we may compare cases of wife battering with assaults committed by a stranger.  For example, where a wife has suffered  severe bruising at the hands of her husband it is likely that the police will  treat the case as one of common assault—  leaving the onus of laying the charge with  the woman.  On the other hand if the same injuries  were inflicted on one man by another man  (strangers) it is more likely that the  police will treat the case as one of  assault causing bodily harm and lay the  charges themselves, (for documentation  see A Study of Protection for Battered  Women  by the Women's Research Centre,  January 1982). It is quite possible then,  that a woman who has been sexually  assaulted by her husband or boyfriend,  (in the absence of a weapon) will have to  be very seriously Injured indeed before  her attacker will be charged with the  more serious levels of the sexual assault  offences.  Another factor which may, inadvertently,  result in treating injuries received  during sexual assaults less seriously  than injuries received during non-sexual  assaults is that the sentencing provisions  under non-sexual assaults are different  than those provided for in the sexual  assault sections. While the three levels  of assault have maximum sentences of five  years (if charged by indictment), ten .^■/f-sff man? $  HUMAN RIGHTS  Human Rights  Code: too  many loopholes  by Debra Lewis  The history of human rights legislation  and practice in British Columbia has been,  to say the least, spotty. One can remember  the vicious attacks against former Director  Kathleen Ruff; or comments of former Commission members such as Joseph Katz (who,  in response to a recommendation concerning  increased representation of women to the  Commission, responded, "I would like to  say we (commissioners) are all married.");  or the lengthy periods between reappointment of Commissioners whose terms had  expired.  Considering the record, it is certainly  possible to question the commitment of  the current government to human rights. At  the present time, the Commission is composed of only four members, a paltry number  considering the range of issues they have  under their mandate.  Nevertheless, there may be opportunity in  the near future to pressure for changes  in the current B.C. Human Rights Code. In  June 1981, the previous Commission published its Recommendations for Change  to  the Human Rights Code of B.C. Indications  are that a variety of affected groups are  gearing up for a spring offensive to implement these changes.  Clearly there are limitations to what can  be accomplished through legislative change  alone. However, the record of the human  rights legislation in both B.C. and across  the country indicates that some important  rights can be promoted through the Human  Rights Code. As women, we are one of the  primary (and certainly the largest) group  concerned. Our response to both the content  of the Code and the procedures through  which it is enforced may well make the  difference between achieving necessary  changes or continuing with the current  loopholes.  The existing Code came into effect in 1974.  It prohibits discrimination in such areas  as employment, access to public facilities,  tenancy, and purchase of property on the  basis of group characteristics (race,  religion, sex, colour, place of origin,  etc.). It also broadly prohibits any discrimination in employment or access to  public facilities "without reasonable  cause".  Let's consider, however, some not-so-  hypothetical cases—examples of everyday  discrimination that are not dealt with by  the current Code.  A young,  separated mother of two children  attempts, to rent a reasonably priced town-  house.  She has both a good credit rating  and references from previous landlords.  She is refused the rental because she is  on welfare.  Under the present provisions  designed to protect people from discrimination in tenancy,  the landlord's denial is  legal.  A woman is employed by a major corporation  as an executive secretary.  She has extensive responsibilities including speaking  publicly on behalf of the corporation,  making decisions in regard to her department's budget,  and supervising five other  staff members.  She receives a salary of  $1400 per month.   The man who cleans the  corporation's offices receives $1900 a  month for supervising one person with whom  he does general evening cleaning duties.  Under the current wording of the Code,  no  recourse is available,  since a person can  only complain about wage discrimination  if the jobs performed are similar.  A gay man is a highly valued,   long-term  employee of a business.   He is employed as  a sales person,  and has a consistently  high sales record.   The company is bought  out by a larger one with an agreement that  all staff of the smaller company will be  retained.   The new owners learn that the  star salesperson is gay and fire him,  saying they believe their customers would not  like dealing with a homosexual and that  their company image would suffer.   While  the Human Rights Branch could currently  accept and investigate such a complaint  under the  "no discrimination without reasonable cause" provision,   there is no  guarantee that he would ever receive  justice.   If the Branch is unable to resolve  his complaint,  it is up to the discretion  of the Minister of Labour to call for a  Board of Inquiry.  Although all of the recommendations of the  commission are worth our support, as feminists, there are a number of specific  areas that are of critical concern to women:  1. Equal pay for work of equal value:  As  noted in the above example, the current  Code provides equal pay protection for  'similar' work only. Since most women are  segregated into female job ghettos, that  provision does little to protect the  continued from page 6  years and fourteen years imprisonment respectively, the three levels of sexual  assault carry maximum sentences of ten  years (if by way of indictment) fourteen  years and life imprisonment respectively.  We might guess that this was done to reflect the increased seriousness of  assaults which have the added element of  "sexual" means of attack. However, this  difference in sentencing could have just  the opposite effect.  Historically prosecutors have considered  the type of sentencing attached to offences to assist them in determining which  offence to use. Often, the higher the  sentence provided under the law the more  reluctant the prosecutor may be to lay  charges unless it seems very certain that  the charge will be proved and a conviction  obtained. This is also a factor considered  (although not spoken) when a judge or  jury is deciding whether or not to convict. History has shown that a jury is  more reluctant to convict where they know  that the sentence for an offence is very  high.  Defining sexual assault  In any event, it is likely that because  the sexual assault sections have higher  sentences than the assault sections, that  a greater degree of injury will be required to result in charges or convictions  of the more serious levels of sexual  assault offences than that required to  result in charges or convictions of the  more serious levels of assault between  strangers.  The overall result of changing the criteria of seriousness of sexual assault  offences is that the legislation has not  understood nor recognized entirely our  concern that the law remove its focus  from the morality of sexual behaviour of  the victim and place it on the violence  inherent in forced sexual acts.  We must be fully aware that the structure  and definition of the new sexual assault  offences may in fact have the effect of  making acts such as rape minimized to the  point of invisibility in the search for  bruises and broken bones.  majority of women workers.  Precedent does exist for equal value legislation in Section 11 ,of the Canadian  Human Rights Act (1977). It states in part  that "It is a discriminatory practice for  an employer to establish or maintain differences in wages between male and female  employees employed in the same establishment who are performing work of equal  value", and that value should be determined by the composite of the "skill,  effort and responsibility" required to  perform the job.  Although only a limited number of cases  have been brought forward to date, there  have been some successes. For example, at  its February 1980 meeting, the Canadian  Commission decided the clause applied to  the unequal pay situation between female  nurses and male technicians working in  federal penitentiaries in the Atlantic  region. The settlement reached included  back pay of $1000-$2000, as well as salary  increases amounting to an average of $1000  annually.  2. Sexual Harassment:  In 1981, the B.C.  Human Rights Branch received 57 complaints  of sexual harassment. Although such complaints have been accepted for investigation, at present the Code does not  specifically include sexual harassment.  Since none of the complaints have yet to  reach a Board of Inquiry or the courts, it  remains to be ,seen whether the acceptance  of such complaints adheres to the letter  of the existing law.  Including sexual harassment as a specific  category of discrimination would close  this potential loophole. Since studies  indicate that as many as 90% of working  women experience sexual harassment at some  point, it is obviously a crucial criteria  for inclusion. Further, protection from  sexual harassment must also extend to  other situations such as tenancy or access  to public services.  The Commission has recommended that sexual  harassment be defined as "intimidation,  coercion or threats to suspend, impose a  penalty on, or discriminate against any  person because of that person's refusal to  engage in sexually related interaction  while applying for work, during work, or  after work, -or in commencing with or obtaining services or tenancy."  continued on page 10 8    Kinesis     Dec/Jan 83  INTERNATIONAL  Women in Bangladesh  In some of the struggles of the  poorest and most oppressed  against those richer and more  powerful, such as an incidence  of land seizing by a moneylender, the men sometimes  have tired of the fight before  the women. It has been the  women who have shown the  most endurance and fortitude.  'We do it ourselves'  by Janet Duckworth  Recently two women from Bangla Desh,  Shareen Huq and Khushi Kabir,  were in  Vancouver under the  sponsorship of INTER  PARES,   a Canadian international development organization.   Shareen is doing research on the implications for rural  women in Bangla Desh of some of the broader socio-economic changes that have taken  place in the last two decades.  She is  focusing particularly on on the implications of increasing landlessness for  female labour.   Khushi is a project  director of Nijera Kori,   a Bangla Deshi  non-governmental organization which works  especially with rural women.   They were  interviewed for KINESIS in late October  by Janet Duckworth.   The following article  is taken from that conversation:  Bangla Desh, once known as East Pakistan,  is situated on the north of the Bay of  Bengal. It is drained by three mighty  rivers, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and  the Magnha and remains one of the poorest  countries in the world. It has a population of 85 million in a land area of  142,766 square kilometres, giving it a  population density of 559 per sq. km.:  the highest of any non-industrialized  country in the world.  The average per capita share of G.D.P. is  less than $100 per year, and the illiteracy rate is 78%.  Eighty percent of the  population is Moslem. The country gained  its independence from East Pakistan in  December 1971 after a bloody struggle and  its economic existence has been precarious  ever since.  The vast majority of Bangla Desh's population is rural and depends either directly  or indirectly on agriculture for its  livelihood. Since the 1960's the percentage of peasants who are landless has  increased from 20% to 50% of the rural  population. Several factors have been  responsible for this increasing landlessness. There has been a general impoverishment of the rural economy, increasing  demographic pressure on the landholdings,  the inheritance pattern is such that the  land becomes increasingly fragmented, and  chronic indebtedness.  Increasing landlessness has had dire  effects on the peasants. More and more  households are moving from peasant  production to depending entirely on sale  of labour. The rural labour market is undeveloped and inadequate. Agriculture has  not intensified enough to absorb the  surplus labour. There are few opportunities in other sectors and migration to  urban areas is small. Hence, job opportunities are few and erratic and income  is subsequently insecure. Until recently,  the only work to be had was on the holdings of richer families. This was usually  at planting, transplanting and harvesting  and was obviously inadequate to provide  a steady income.  In recent years Bangla Deshi agriculture  has become increasingly mechanised and  consequently more cash intensive. The  soil in Bangla Desh is very rich alluvial  soil (deposits from the three rivers) and  with irrigation can yield three to four  crops a year. Foreign aid has encouraged  investment in irrigation equipment, tube-  wells and power pumps, and in milling  equipment. In order to take full advantage  of the benefits of irrigation, it has  also been necessary to invest in fertilizer, pesticide and high-yielding varie  ties of grain.  Women's long unrecognized role in agriculture has been to do all the work on the  crops once they leave the fields and enter  the household compound. This includes  threshing, husking, milling, par-boiling,  preparing and storing the seeds for the  next season. Most of this was done as  family labour and was therefore unpaid.  Some women would work for richer households. They were paid either in cash or  in a share of the grain processed. With  the increasing impoverishment of the  rural economy and increasing landlessness  which augments the supply of casual  labour over the demand for it, there has  been a change from pay in grain or cash  to payment in food on the worksite. In  other words, you work for us, we feed you.  This, however, does not feed your family.  The effects of increasing landlessness  and mechanisation are worse for women than  for men. Landlessness means that more  people are dependent on the sale of  labour, and the labour market is hostile  to the entry of female labour. On one  level this is because of the underdeveloped nature of the labour market,  and on another level because of the  cultural tradition of seclusion ("Purdah")  for women.  Mechanisation, particularly in milling,  has meant that some work traditionally  done by women is now done by machines.  The control of these machines is given to  men, thus increasing the knowledge gap  between men and women. However, both of  the women I spoke to were very anxious to  stress that it is an ill wind that blows  Photo: Nick Fogden, Oxfa  from the New Internationalist Dec/Jan 83    Kinesis    9  INTERNATIONAL  Five o'clock in the morning. It's winter in Bangladesh, and she's up when there's dew on the grass and mist in the air, children  shivering at her side. There's water to collect from one of the six hand pumps in the village. Fresh water. Perhaps she doesn't  think of it this way, but she's drawing up the first form of preventative medicine in a country where two thirds of all diseases  are water- borne.  no one any good. Yes, mechanisation has  taken away some work from women, but when  it is considered that this work for the  most part was back-breaking, leg-breaking  low-paid drudgery, its abolition can only  be seen as positive. Shareen said "It  takes 2-3 women 4-5 hours on the daeki  to process a mound of paddy. They are paid  6 takas for processing this paddy, which  is less than the price of a kilo of rice.  They need to eat more than that to have  enough strength to do the work. Even very  poor people will take their paddy to the  mill."  In spite of the constraints of seclusion,  many of the very poorest women, the  widowed and the divorced have been forced  by extreme poverty to take work in the  mills. This work is more regular and  therefore provides a steadier income than  working for other households. It also  has the advantage that it removes women  from the purely domestic sphere, although  for the individual women concerned this  may involve great personal difficulty.  Seclusion, as Shareen pointed out, is a  functional as well as a spatial concept.  After puberty women are not supposed to  mix with men from outside the family  grouping. This tends to confine them to  the household compound and to encourage  early marriage. However, women are also  restricted in the areas of life in which  they can participate. They are banned  from the religious, ritual and higher  political sphere. This leaves them pretty  much confined to the domestic sphere. The  extreme poverty, coupled in some cases  with an inner strength and rebelliousness  which has forced some women to work in  the mills along side of strange men, has  thus had some progressive effects in that  it has removed them from the restrictions  of a purely domestic life and has provided them with a more secure livelihood.  Although breaking with religious and  cultural traditions, the women who work  in the mills do not suffer social ostracism. The village tends to turn a blind  eye because it knows that if they did not  work to support themselves, the other  villagers would be forced to provide for  them and this they cannot afford to do.  Along with extreme poverty and insecurity  one of the major problems the rural poor  face is a feeling of powerlessness and  lack of control over their own lives.  Society is highly stratified and to a  large extent the rural elite controls  what happens in an area. They are in  charge of law-making, and of making decisions which affect the economic lives  of all. Women in this situation are doubly  oppressed, as a sex and as a class.  Some of the problems which face Khushi  Kabir and the organization she works for  Nijera Kori,   can be surmised from the  foregoing description. Nijera Kori  is an  organization whose name describes its aims  and methods. The name in Bengali means  "we do it ourselves". It was founded in  1974 and has been working with the rural  poor since then.  Khushi said it was discovered early on in  working with landless poor, that band-aid,  welfare type programs have little lasting  effect on the lives of the peasants. They  only increase the sense of helplessness.  People see themselves as 'done to', they  need to 'do'. Khushi says "What our group  is trying to do is to organize people to  have control over their own lives, through  organization and united effort."  Because women are the most oppressed and  exploited group, Nijera Kori  works primarily with women. However, they feel that  it is "important to include and educate  both women and men, making them come  forward jointly to supplement each other's  efforts and to attain greater unity.  Society and its contradictions should be  judged from a social point of view and it  ought to be realized that the socio-  cultural elements that exist in an exploitative social situation." Khushi feels that  if the status of women is really to change  then men have to recognize that they too  are exploiters of women, that women do  face a different set of problems from men  and do make a valuable contribution to  rural life.  Most of their successes, Khushi said, have  been on a ^limited level because society  as a whole is too rigid and oppressive to  make changes on the national governmental  level...yet. However, some of the results  they have had are significant and encouraging. Because they are now organizing  themselves in groups, women are beginning  to realize that they have strength in  numbers and they are not alone in the difficulties they face. As a result of this  growing unity women have been able to  bring about some reduction in the incidence  of violence against women, both inside  and outside the home.  The victim is now able to discuss the  situation with her group, thus reducing  her sense of isolation and guilt and the  women en masse will go to the assailant  to show their solidarity with the woman  and to discuss the matter with the man.  The male workers in Nijera Kori  have organized men's groups which do educational  and preventative work with men. The result of these efforts has been reduced  harassment of women generally and less  domestic violence.  In a culturally restrictive society the  blame in cases of pre and extra marital  sex or of prostitution is usually laid on  the woman. In one. incident Khushi talked  about, the men's and women's group in the  area achieved a remarkable victory. A  village woman had been having an affair  with a man who was locally very powerful,  a lecturer at a near-by college. She became pregnant. Normally, in such a situation, the woman suffers social ostracism  and is often asked to leave the district.  The consequences of this are obviously  extremely serious for her. However, in this  situation the local men's group went to  the lecturer and made him issue a public  statement to the effect that he was responsible for her plight.  Through organization women's groups have  started to have considerable input into  village and district councils. These  councils take a lot of the decisions that  affect the lives of the residents in that  area. The women have been able to ask for,  and get, employment projects specifically  designed for women as well as educational  programs tailored to women's needs. They  have gained recognition of the significant  contribution women make to agriculture and  to village life in general. In order for  any program in rural areas to succeed it  is absolutely necessary for those most  directly involved to have input into the  inception, organization and implementation,*  of these projects. By working on such  projects, women are becoming increasingly  aware of their own strengths and abilities  Men have also come to realize how important!  it is to work with women and give them  their support. In some of the struggles of  the poorest and most oppressed against  those richer and more powerful, such as an  incidence of land seizing by a money  lender, the men sometimes have tired of  the fight before the women. It has been  women who have shown the most endurance  and fortitude- The men now realize that  in struggle's with the elite they need the  support and co-operation of women.  Although the tasks facing them are immense,  Shareen,Kushi and all the women (and men)  they work with have started to make inroads]  into the problems. We wish them success. 10   Kinesis   Dec/Jan 83  INTERNATIONAL  Who  South  revo  RutH  African  lutio  nary  first'  by Prabha Khosla and Steve Gelb  On August 17th Ruth First,  a lifelong  South African revolutionary activist and  a prolific Writer on Africa and member of  the African National Congress,  was murdered by a letter bomb mailed to her office  in Maputo, Mozambique.  At the time of her  death,  First was research director for the  Centre for African Studies at Eduardo  Mondlane University in Maputo.  Despite  rote denials from Pretoria,   there can be  little doubt that the South African government is implicated.   The SA secret service  is known to have used the same modus  operandi in the past,  and it was behind  the car-bomb deaths of ANC representatives  in Zimbabwe and Swaziland during the past  -Loopholes in the Human Rights Code -  3. Sexual Orientation:  To date, the Code  has offered limited protection for gays  and lesbians under the "without reasonable  cause" provisions. No protection at all,  however, is provided against discrimination  in the purchase or leasing of property,  wages, advertising of employment, or requesting information on applications of  job interviews.  The attitudes of the legal system in interpreting ambiguous legislation with respect  to gays and lesbians is clear from the  Supreme Court decision—Gay Alliance Toward  Equality (GATE) vs. the Vancouver Sun.  GATE had attempted to place a classified  advertisement in the paper and had been  turned down. The court ruled that the  Sun 's  "freedom of the press" essentially  overrides the right of access to the  paper's advertising facilities.  Another point of concern is that lesbians  are virtually invisible in current human  rights complaints. No complaints with respect to sexual orientation were made by  women in 1981. While one can speculate on  the reasons for this (additional pressure  for anonymity, on lesbians who may be  worried about child custody, for example),  it seems clear that this invisibility will  continue as long as protection for lesbians  is not,made specific both in human rights  legislation and in other areas.  4. Family Composition and Source of Income:  Any woman who is a single parent, and  especially one on welfare, is likely to  have faced discrimination in housing.  Women often face problems in finding a  place to live (the belief, for example,  that a woman is unable to "keep the place  up"), but at least some protection is  provided by the Code. No such protection  is afforded to children (whether of one-  or two-parent families), or to those whose  income comes from social assistance. The  Commission has recommended that both  criteria be included in the Code.  5. "Without reasonable cause":  The B.C.  code has, to this point, been unique in  its inclusion of the "no discrimination  without reasonable cause" clause with  respect to public services and employment.  It has meant, for example, that groups not  explicitly included in the Code (as is  currently the condition of the disabled,  for example) have been able to obtain some  measure of protection. It is essential  that this clause be retained in future  revisions, and that its application be  extended to include tenancy.  Groups for whom this clause is likely to  be crucial (and who are unlikely to be  included in the next set of revisions) are  pregnant and nursing mothers. We know from  experience that legal interpretations on  these issues will not be considered to be  discrimination on the basis of sex. For  example,  in the 1978 Stella Bliss case,  the. Supreme Court of Canada upheld that  discrimination against "pregnant persons"  by the Unemployment Insurance Commission  was not on the basis of "sex" but of  "nature".  6. The Structure of Enforcement:  Even for  those groups currently included in the  Code, enforcement of the legislation is  by no means assured. B.C. is the only  province in which the ultimate decision  on enforcement rests not with the Commission itself, but with the Minister of  Labour. It is the Minister to whom reports  of unresolved cases must go, and it is the  Minister who decides whether a Board of  Inquiry will be held. Depending on the  whim of the Minister, an unresolved case  can languish on his desk for months, and  may never reach a Board at all.  A mechanism must be legislated to take  the power of decision away from an individual member of the government and provide some measure of accountability for  those decisions. An alternative is to make  the Commission itself responsible for the  final decision concerning unresolved  cases. At the very least, they should be  required to publicly provide reasons for  not calling a Board in any case which has  not been resolved through negotiations.  Ruth First was born in Johannesburg in  1925 into a family of Jewish socialists.  While a student in Johannesburg in the  early 1940's she joined the SA Communist  Party, the start of four decades of continuous political activity. After the  1946 African mineworkers strike, which  ushered in the era of mass politics in  South Africa, she abandoned academics for  full-time journalism, taking the position  of Johannesburg editor of the country's  major radical newspaper—The Guardian.  Her writings comprised exposes of African  farm labour, the horrors of compound life  and labour control.  First was extensively involved .in organizing the mass campaigns against apartheid  laws. In 1956 she, and her husband Joe  Slovo, were among the 156 political and  trade union leaders charged in the infamous Treason Trial.  During the massive state crackdown of the  early 1960's which also resulted in the  banning of the African National Congress  and the Pan African Congress First was  arrested and held without trial. It was  out of this detention that her famous  book 117 Days  came.  Ruth First eventually left South Africa  in 1964. From there she moved to Kenya,  was deported again and went into exile in  Britain. Her commitment to the struggle  in South Africa continued in Britain with  her writing and teaching at Durham University.  First is internationally-known for her  extensive writings on Africa. These cover  a wide range of subjects from The Barrel  of a Gun,a  study of military coups in  Africa, to a critical analysis of Gadafi  and the 'elusive revolution' in Libya,  through two studies of Namibia, work on  Kenya and a biography of Olive Schreiner,  an early South African novelist and  socialist-feminist (written with British  feminist Ann Scott). In The South African  Connection:  Western Investment in Apartheid,   she and co-authors Jonathan Steele  and Christabel Gurney provided one of the  first popular analyses on the mutually  profitable relation between imperialism  and racism in South Africa. The book remains, a decade later, a basic source of  theory and evidence to counter the corporate liberal argument that foreign investment is a liberalising and modernising  force against apartheid.  With the independence of Mozambique, First  and Slovo returned to Southern Africa in  1976. The last 4 years of her life were  devoted to the Centre for African Studies.  The Centre works with other scholars and  is involved in the ongoing Mozambican  transition. Its research concerns broad  strategic questions such as the nature of  the socialist transition, class structure  and political alliances within Mozambique,  and the appropriateness of particular  socialist models.  Ruth First spent her entire life in the  struggle for the liberation of her country  and Africa. She was well aware of the  terror practised by the South African  government, but never allowed this danger  to discourage her from her political commitment. She is spoken of with warmth and  compassion by those who knew her and will  be sorely missed by all in the struggle  for the liberation of South Africa.  South Africa Belongs To Us,  available  from IDERA Films,  shows how six women  cope with living in South Africa today.  Through interviews we see how the government 's apartheid policy reaches into  the private life of every South African  black woman and turns her most simple  acts into political ones.  This film  also includes interviews with Winnie  Mandela of the African National Con- Dec/Jan 83   Kinesis   11  INTERNATIONAL  iifiteanos  Nicaraguan women:  rebuilding their country  under threat of intervention  by Beth Abbott  "Mujer que no se organiza, mujer que no se  libera." (Women who do not organize themselves are women who do not liberate themselves. )  The role of Nicaraguan women in the  struggle for liberation against the Somoza  regime has a long history. Prior to 1979,  women were active in combat, emergency  relief, first aid, civil defense and  neighbourhood organizations. A national  women's organization, AMPRONAC, was formed  in 1977 to organize and coordinate women's  activities in the insurrection. With the  victory of July 1979, AMPRONAC changed  its name to AMNLAE in memory of Luisa  Amandes Espinosa, the first woman member  of the Frente Sandinista (FSLN) to fall  in combat.  AMNLAE's principle goal is to integrate  women into all aspects of the economic,  social and political life of the country.  It works toward.this goal by providing  educational programs for women in urban  and rural areas and by increasing the involvement of women in the productive and  economic life of Nicaragua.  The National Literacy Crusade of 1980  provided basic literacy training for the  high percentage of illiterate Nicaraguans.  The following year, Health Brigades were  organized under the supervision of AMNLAE.  Small groups of women participated in intensive courses in first aid, nutrition,  health education, sanitation and hygiene.  On returning to their respective rural  communities, they organized and trained  Voluntary Health Brigades.  Women's involvement in Nicaragua's economy  is facilitated through professional training programs which give women the necessary knowledge for skilled jobs. Also,  social services such as day-care centres,  schools, community kitchens and laundries  are expanding in an attempt to free women  from these traditional duties.  For example, maternity benefits are now  provided for women workers in many of the  larger co-operatives and state-run production units. Benefits include temporary  reassignment to less active jobs at the  same wage, and twelve weeks of paid leave.  On site childcare begins at six weeks  after birth if the mother returns to work  at that time. The parents pay a percentage  of their wages to leave their children in  care, and often work close enough to  spend time with the kids during their  lunch break. The facilities we visited  for children of tobacco and coffee plantation workers were well-staffed and  reasonably well-equipped. Twenty-eight of  these "Child Development Centres" have  been opened in the past three years; ten  are located in the—capital city of Managua.  The creation of more childcare centres,  particularly in rural areasj is a priority  of AMNLAE at this time.  Through their representation on the Council of State AMNLAE has successfully  pushed for new family law legislation  which recognizes the existence of equal  rights for women and men. In 1981, fathers  were made legally and financially responsible for their children (regardless of  whether the parents are married). The new  legislation eliminated the past situation  where women had responsibility for the  care of the children, but men had custody  rights if they so desired. Custody disputes  are now settled by the Child Welfare  Department, in which AMNLAE participates.  An indication of how women's work has begun to change since the victory is the  growth of co-operatives throughout the  country. In Managua, we visited an AMNLAE  sewing co-operative which employs twelve  women. The collective started with the  efforts of four women who wanted to provide their community with well-made clothing at reasonable prices. The initial  funds were raised by selling food in their  neighbourhood. Courses in co-operative  management were provided by the National  Reconstruction Bank, enabling the women to  control their own finances.  The co-op is now able to pay the workers'  salaries from their profit while selling  their clothing at half the price charged  by commercial outlets. The women are using  some of their profits to build a small  community library at the co-operative.  The collective structure of their workplace allows time for interested women  to participate in adult education programs  during the afternoon. All the women working at this particular co-op are members  of both AMNLAE and the voluntary militia.  Efforts to unionize women working in  traditional jobs have met with mixed success. The large number of Nicaraguan  women working as maids have recently  unionized, and new legislation has been  introduced to protect their rights. Minimum wage laws and specified working hours  implemented by the government, however,  are subject to violation by some employers. The isolated workplace of most domestic workers makes enforcement difficult,  but with supportive legislation and  AMNLAE's efforts, progress is being made.  Market vendors (many of whom are women)  have also organized into a recognized  union, and are addressing problems such  as consignment contracts, daycare and  working conditions.  The-task of reconstructing Nicaragua is  difficult for all Nicaragua. Major  problems facing the country include a  threat of American military intervention  through Honduras, an economic boycott by  the United States, a news blockade by  various governments including Canada, and  a lack of resources and trained personnel.  Nicaraguans are confronting these difficulties with determination.  At this point in history, women in Nicaragua are involved in reconstructing their  country and combatting intervention  through collective action. Many Nicaraguan  women believe their involvement in production and defence is essential to maintain and transform their new society.  Furthermore, according to the Nicaraguan  women we met, their liberation will result from their collective action.  Nicaraguan aid  leaves from Vancouver  British Columbians managed to load a French  boat,  headed for Nicaragua,  with more than  $100,000 worth of goods donated from people  all over the province.   When the Monimbo,  the only ocean-going vessel belonging to  Nicaragua was unable to dock for mid-  November,- organizers of the Coalition  for Aid to Nicaragua project, purchased  alternative transportation.  The Coalition is an umbrella organization  representing trade unions,  churchs,  nongovernmental organizations, community  groups and a number of individuals working on Central Mercian solidarity projects.  The list of goods collected included  medical supplies,  toys and musical instruments, office supplies, audio-visual  equipment,  sports equipment,  sewing  machines and photographic supplies.  The  recipients of the goods will be Nicaragua's  mass organizations such as AMNLAE,  the  nation's women's organization.  More information can be obtained from the  Coalition for Aid to Nicaragua.   Contact  Beth Abbot,   732-1496, 12   Kinesis   Dec/Jan 83  HEALTH  Facing the stress and  changes of menopause  by Brig Anderson  "Basically, I'm a shy person, but I really  enjoyed the workshop and it has helped me  a lot," says Michelle, one of five women  attending the Vancouver Women's Health  Collective workshop on Women and Menopause.  We had met on five Tuesday afternoons,  and discussed medical, nutritional, political and social implications of women  moving from maturity to middle age.  Michelle believes her lack of confidence  and shyness were largely responsible for  her allowing an excruciating back pain  which often immobilized her,to continue  without seeking help. Talking to us in  the group gave her enough support to discuss her problem in the context of her  life, link it with menopausal symptoms and  a lack of calcium in her diet. She is now  more active, exercising, walking, and  taking megadoes of vitamins. She knows  she must, if she is to become healthy,  consider her whole life situation.  "I was married twice. My first marriage  produced one child, at twenty-eight I was  single for two years, and then got pregnant again. My second marriage lasted only  six months because he beat me up all the  time. Guess I was scared of being a single  parent, scared of being thirty and not  married." Ironically, Michelle has been  a single mother for the past 15 years.  Her boys still share her two bedroom  apartment with her; the older is recovering from an accident, the younger is still  going to school.  "The boys are no trouble, they do their  share of work, but I do wish I could have  my bedroom back sometimes," she says. We  discussed methods of survival as single  older women: "Talking helps," Michelle  said, "I'm bitter about getting old. I  .don't deserve going through constant pain.  At work Michelle has formed a group of  women wanting to quit smoking, has cut  her consumption in half and attends the  BC Lung Association's "Kick the Smoking  Habit" lectures. "I felt really bad one  Friday night," she said, referring to  withdrawal symptoms. "Even smoking didn't  help. I finally went for a walk and felt  better."  She finds she is cutting down her consumption of alcohol and sugar, as well as  salt. "I hope more workshops will be  given that advise older women how to improve their health," Michelle said.  "Research into menopause should be done  much more intensively; I wouldn't mind  doing it myself, with others." If younger  women would only understand how hormonal  changes and worry make concentration  difficult, she thinks, they would want to  be more informed before they arrive at  menopause. "It is horrible to suddenly  feel old without understanding why," she  said.  Fortunately, Michelle has free medicare  and access to cheap drugs through a friend  who works in a drugstore. "Finances often  make me anxious and frustrated," she said.  "My monthly rent, by a stroke of luck, is  only $300, because I managed to find a  cheap apartment. I go to movies about  twice a month, and out to dinner with  people at work about once a month. "Of  course we don't go anywhere expensive."  "My friends are all younger," Michelle  said. "After work when I'm tired and sore,  a woman will phone and ask me to go out.  Three or four years ago I didn't care that  I was the oldest in the group, but now I  don't like myself. I don't like the frown  in my forehead, the deep wrinkles around  my mouth. I used to feel confident about  my appearance, but now I notice my jeans  are tight and uncomfortable."  Menopause means a tremendous change in a  woman's life. "It isn't fair that we are  kept so ignorant. We must find out more,  try to have, more fun, meet more women who  are also going through social and personal  change. We must know that menopause can  go on for years, that it doesn't just mean  no longer having periods."  Strenuous exericse on a daily basis, a  healthy diet and habits of living, and  supportive family and friends, a/rev some  ways to counteract the symptoms of menopause. Politically, we want to educate  younger and older women as to the necessity of developing positive attitudes  about ageing, as well as publishing research on medical aspects so we are better  informed about illness and often unnecessary surgery. Changing ourselves will help  change society, too. Dec/Jan 83   Kinesis   13  HEALTH  Exploring the options  Birth in a Small Town  by Candy Kerman  co-sponsored by the Maternal Health  Society and the Terrace CEA.  co-organized by Margaret Dediluke and  Marianne Brorup-Weston  More than 150 people from various northern  areas attended the mid-October Northern  Childbirth Conference  held in Terrace,B.C.  Nurses, physicians, labour support persons  and concerned citizens were present to  explore and discuss different birthing  options. People who live in the North have  less access to large modern health care  facilities like Vancouver's Grace Hospital.  Our needs are similar, but our isolation  allows for fewer options.  Dr. James King (Director of Labour and  Delivery, Grace Hospital) spoke on "Priorities in Perinatal Care", stressing that  our present services for women immediately  before and after birth need to be challenged. Although Canada ranks high in  perinatal care and death is rare, the involvement of families is lacking. He said  families need to know, and should demand,  their priorities in birthing. Because  there are no midwives allowed to practise  in Canada, there is no bumper between  parent's views on childbirth and those of  physicians and nurses.  The birth, which should be a family affair,  has been taken away by strict hospital  policies. In order to make changes, confidence must be restored to childbearing  women. Families must unite and challenge  current hospital and practising physicians'  policies.  The birth rate in Canada is increasing as  more women between the ages of 30-34  choose to have children. Survival during  birth is expected today at all costs. The  problem here, is that physicians have come  to see birth not as a natural process, but  as a life threatening situation requiring  much unnecessary medical intervention.  Our maternal mortality rate is decreasing  (1978 0.6-10,000) but, our cesarean rate  is escalating (25% in Canada). Our morbidity rate is decreasing, but our handicapped children are increasing. How do we  challenge these statistics which only  provoke our caretakers' apprehensions?  According to King, preparation and knowledge are keys.  King also talked about "Vaginal Birth  After Previous Cesarean" and Laurie Brant  (Labour Support Person, Burnaby) held a  workshop on this subject. The reasons  given for C-sections include:  30? Dystocia (pelvic disproportion, failure to progress, feto pelvic disproportion,  fetal position (transverse lie), obstructive labour);  30% Repeat C-Section (95% sections done in  Canada are repeat "Once a cesarean always  a cesarean.");  15% Breech Presentation; and  15% Fetal Distress.  The necessity of repeat C-sections is  "open to question". Most are performed  because uterine rupture is unpredictable  (they are very rare 0.1-1%), however, the  risk of maternal death through infection  is twice that of trial of labour.  Although not all women are allowed trial  of labour, approximately 60% are eligible.  What these statistics mean is that out of  447 elective cesareans, 267 vaginal births  without complications would result if  trial of labour were allowed. Our resources and facilities in the North right  now do not offer trial of labour as an  option although we are hopeful of a change  here, and in the rest of Canada, as C-  sections become the exception rather than  the rule.  Dr. Sid Effer (Deputy Head of Obstetrics,  Grace Hospital) talked about "Family-  Centred Cesarean Birth". Although progress  is being made to allow husbands to be  present for a C-section delivery, many  hospitals still stand firmly against this.  In Terrace a father is allowed in only if  the C-section is an elective one, meaning  one scheduled prior to the due date, before labour begins. Many obstetricians  feel this practice of "taking" the baby is  not a wise one.  There are two terms used to describe C-  section priorities: Urgent and Emergency.  An urgent C-section is one required when  a woman has either fully or partially  dilated but fails to progress. The term  Emergency is used for: prolapse cord (cord  enters birth canal before baby; sudden  bleed (hemorrhage) and; fetal distress.  The first is a life and death situation  ■ which must be dealt with immediately. No  advantage or necessity has been seen in  not allowing fathers to be present for any  of the above reasons with the exception  of the first. If a woman is under general  anesthesia, as a rule, fathers are not permitted. Many women feel their husbands'  presence is needed to have immediate contact with the baby and to explain what  happened during the operation.  Effer also spoke about our technological  advances: ultra-sound, fetal monitoring,  and amniocentesis. Although these advances  are significant their safety is still unknown. If unskilled persons use them the  results can be disastrous. B.C., to date,  has the highest rate of stillborn twins  in Canada because of improper diagnosis.  A simple tape measure, if used regularly,  can pick up 80% of these as early as  twenty weeks into pregnancy.  Simkin also discussed the importance of a  "Birth Plan"—something new to many of us.  A Birth Plan is a list of options parents  would prefer for their birth. This list  "should be made well in advance and signed  by your family physician before entering  hospital. It must be a flexible plan with  options for a difficult labour, i.e.,  Cesarean section, or sick or premature  baby. A copy of such a Birth Plan is  available by writing to: The Pennypress,  1100-23rd Ave. East, Seattle, Washington,  U.S.A. 98111 (50^ each), or contact Maternal Health Society, Box 46563, Station G,  Vancouver, B.C.  Penny Simkin (Childbirth Education,Seattle)  discussed epsiotomy. Statistics show that  while the Netherlands boast an 8% epsiotomy rate Canada has an 80% rate—quite  a difference. Women are not required to  give consent for an epsiotomy; it is a  routine procedure. The infection rate is  low, 0.5-3%, however, one third of these  infections end in maternal death.  How does one go about avoiding an epsiotomy? Perineal massage used at least two  "months before delivery appears helpful.  Squatting started as soon as pregnancy is  known, not only employs gravity, but can  actually open the pelvic floor l-2i cm.  It must be practised faithfully and is a  great asset during second stage labour.  Hot compress on the perinium relieves the  burning sensation averting a tear. Prolonged Val-Salva breath holding and  straining, is not only unnecessary but  dangerous to the fetus (causing fetal  Hypoxia). Above all, women must be encouraged to "let their baby out", by relaxing their pelvic floor.  If birth is to return to its true role of  a wondrous experience women must prepare  for it. We must remember that we  are delivering our own baby, not our caretaker.  Read everything you can. Prepare your mind  as well as your body. Birth is a natural  progression and the pain of labour is  part of that. Don't be afraid of it; prepare for it. Seek out a competent midwife  or labour support person. Attend prenatal  classes. Find out your hospital policies  ahead of time. Prepare a Birth Plan. Choose]  your doctor wisely. And then when you've  done all this, look at this checklist to  help insure a healthy fetus: 1. Don't  smoke. 2. Don't drink (alcohol). 3.  Agree  to breastfeed. 4. Decide on no circumsion.  5. Agree to 'rooming-in'.  For women wanting more information on  birthing or trial of labour please contact  Maternal Health Society or call Laurie  Brant (Burnaby) or Rosemary Gander (Vancouver). To all of you I wish good health  and good birthing. 14^  Kinesis^ DfiplJa,ti8Z(1  COMMUNITY WOMEN  Maud Vant: Working for peace  by Patricia Maika  Writers of history have not given us many  women heroes. When they have, the heroism  has usually been underplayed in favour of  the feminine qualities with which men feel  more comfortable.  Mrs. Pankhurst was artistocratic and good-  looking; Florence Nightingale soothed  fevered brows in the intervals between  her soft-footed lamp-lit walks through  hospital wards; Claire Culhane, the prison  activist is a grandmother.  Of course  these women were and are fighters for  truth and freedom, and iconoclasts who  have endured abuse and misunderstanding in  the process cf destroying the mythic image  of the gentle, compliant woman, into  which history, like a deforming Victorian  corset, tries to make them fit.  Solidly in the tradition of fighting  women is Maud Vant. Maud teaches social  studies at Britannia High School in  Vancouver's east end. She has a soft voice  with traces of a cockney accent and is  superficially, a sweet friendly woman who  would not understand the meaning of subversion, or put more vulgarly, shit-  disturbing. However, the twinkle in this  woman's eyes gives only a hint of the  fiery energy which propelled her from a  childhood of hardship and tragedy in the  slums of London to her present, more  comfortable middle age—she is just 50  years old—as a teacher in the least  affluent section of this city.  "My students are my life," she states  without any sentimentality. For Maud Vant  has a vision; a vision idealistic yet  unarguably the only possible reality. She  is a pacifist who campaigns actively for  the anti-nuclear and anti-war movements  in Canada.  In the paradoxical way of women, she has  fought all her life against violence,  destruction and death. Her struggle takes  on meaning when she speaks of her success  in getting the Vancouver School Board to  change the focus of Remembrance Day, 1982  from those who dropped the bombs to those  who received them—specifically the children. She is an influential teacher whose  bias balances the views of others who  glorify war, and the nationalistic spirit  that leads to war. Maud Vant believes her  students will continue the fight for peace:  "If you help them to see all sides, you  can leave it to them in the end."  Maud's political consciousness stems, in  part, from the influence of her father,  George Munday, the self-educated British  labour leader who, in the 1930s, organized  what was to become the Transport and  General Worker's Union. Blacklisted for  his Marxist sympathies, (yet he rejected  Stalin and all he stood for), and forced  to stay on "the dole" until he died of  cancer, he was buried, in 1940, in a  communal grave with five other paupers.  Nine year-old Maud was,by then, a veteran  of many political gatherings, and retains  her admittedly idolized father's passionate belief in the right of everyone to  freedom and dignity, and his determination  to make the world fit for children.  She describes her own childhood, from 1939  to 1949 in The Year Begins With Winter,  a fictionalized autobiography of the ten  years during which, in addition to the  loss of her father, her mother and baby  sister were blown to pieces in an air  attack, a brother received permanent brain  damage, and another was hideously disfigured by phosphorous, a chemical which  is impossible to eliminate from the body,  and which never ceases its creeping destruction of bone and tissue.  Maud Vant came to a  peaceful country to  continue her work for a  peaceful world.  After the bombing Maud spent a year in  hospital in a body cast. She and her six  orphaned and injured brothers and sisters  were distributed among various jobs, homes  and orphanages in England and Wales. An  ironic consequence of Maud's injuries was  the loss, in 1953, of her own baby damaged  at birth by the wire holding his mother's  pelvic bones together.  Despite the fact that a Vancouver publisher has refused to take her book on the  grounds that it is not of any great  interest to Canadians, she has sold nearly  5000 copies—a best seller in Canada—  since publishing and distributing it herself earlier this year. The book itself  is a gothic, horror story of institutional  and family violence, and cruelty in the  name of Christianity, too improbable to  have been invented. The tone is that of  the child heroine: immediate, literal,  and yet effusive and too emotional for  realistic fiction.  The writer is not and may never be sufficiently distanced from what she call the  winter of her life to describe it in the  economical language 20th century fiction  seems to require. Yet the book speaks to  the experience of too many people not to  be good literature. Dickensian characters  like the 92 year-old grandmother and her  simple-minded son "old Alf" are recalled  with faithful detail. Religious bigots  abound. The account of the midday machine-  gunning of children in a school playground shocks but has less impact than  the pathetic tale of the insensitive (or  desensitized) mother who made her child a  birthday cake filled with cockroaches  instead of raisins: "Was that what it was  like to be nine?"  Maud Vant is not seeking revenge for her  childhood. She seeks instead,, a way to  help "all people of the earth to unite to  save the earth". Bertrand Russell was her  mentor for 15 years. She stuffed envelopes  and licked stamps for the peace movement,  supporting herself by machining blouses  in a London factory and waiting on tables  "in the posh places. The tips were better'.'  Married at 17, divorced at 22, she came  to Hamilton, Ontario in 1961 with her ten  year-old daughter. Canadians struck her  then as complacent, concerned only with  the daily round of getting and spending.  Many people came to Canada to forget war;  Maud Vant ame to a peaceful country to  continue her work for a peaceful world.  Her schooling had been at best sporadic,  at worst non-existent. She began to supplement her sophisticated political knowledge with high school courses, working  meanwhile in the Hamilton School Board  office. She joined the Voice of Women,  and a small group protesting the dangers  of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. In  1964 she moved to Vancouver and enrolled  as a student teacher at UBC. Eventually  she finished a first class degree in  Latin and Medieval history, winning a  Canada-wide Latin scholarship as well.  She has taught Latin and social studies  in Vancouver high schools since 1969.  Maud Vant is no slouch in languages both  old and new; as well as Latin and Greek  she understands ancient Anglo-Saxon and  Aramaic, and communicates in Spanish, German, French and Italian.  Whatever the language, she never stops  protesting. She was the first woman staff  council chairperson at John Oliver High  school, and served for three years on the  executive of the Vancouver Secondary  Teachers Association'. She helped to form  Teachers for Peace Action, a burgeoning  group which hopes to amalgamate worldwide  with other professional and labour organizations.  Sponsored by the Voice of Women she has  spoken in cities across the country, encouraging the formation of Students for  Peace Action groups. She is in close touch  with peace groups in Tokyo, Helsinki a-nd  Moscow. Her message to those who want to  seize power from the dealers of death, is  a simple one: "You can't do nothing. You  have in some way to turn evil to good.  So organize! Then we can present a real  front." She is a cautious optimist: "We  lost the first round in the fight against  importing the Cruise Missile. But we'll  win the war. Canadians don't want to import death." One cannot imagine this woman  doing nothing.  Who says Canada has no heroes;  look for them in the wrong places. Women  know history is going to be written differently at Britannia High. If we organize  for peace, we can make certain that we  leave something to write about. The Myth of Pandora  l  i\  Pandora is the maiden form of the Earth-goddess. In a matriarchal mythology she was  I originally a great figure bringing mortals an abundance of gifts. Later patriarchal myth h  her bringing only disease, misery and death. Presented here is the original story of  I Pandora. It is taken from Charlene Spretnak's book 'The Lost Goddesses of Early Greece'  Earth-Mother had given the mortals life. This puzzled them greatly. They  would stare curiously at one another, then turn away to forage for food.  Slowly they found that hunger has many forms.  One morning the humans followed an unusually plump bear cub to a  hillside covered with bushes that hung heavy with red berries. They began |  | to feast at once, hardly aware of the tremors beginning beneath their feet.  As the quaking increased, a chasm gaped at the crest of the hill. From it  arose Pandora with Her earthen pithos. The mortals were paralyzed with  fear but the Goddess drew them into Her aura.  / am Pandora, Giver of all gifts. She lifted the lid from the large jar. From  it She took a pomegranate, which became an apple, which became a  lemon, which became a pear. / bring you flowering trees that bear fruit,  gnarled trees hung with olives and, this, the grapevine that will sustain  you. She reached into the jar for a handful of seeds and sprinkled them  over the hillside. / bring you plants for hunger and illness, for weaving and I  dyeing. Hidden beneath My surface you will find minerals, ore, and clay of I  endless form. She took from the jar two flat stones. Attend with care My  plainest gift: I bring you flint.  Then Pandora turned the jar on its side, inundating the hillside with Her  I flowing grace. The mortals were bathed in the changing colors of Her aura. I  / bring you wonder, curiosity, memory. I bring you wisdom. I bring you  courage, strength, endurance. I bring you loving kindness for all beings. I  bring you the seeds of peace. Dec/Jan 83   Kinesis   17  Reclaiming  our lost heritage  by Pat Gibson  mong all the Goddesses of the  ancient world, Pandora is the  most striking example of how  positive mythical images of womanhood have been written out  of human history. But Pandora is far from  the only goddess figure transformed by the  first Barbarian invaders entering Greece.  As Charlene Spretnak explains in the introduction to her recently republished  Lost Goddesses of Early Greece,   deities  known in Greece (as elsewhere throughout  the world) were women. The pre-patriarchial  Goddesses of eary Greece were powerful and  compassionate, yet those whom the Greeks  incorporated into the new religious order  were transformed severely.  "The great Hera was made into a disagreeable, jealous wife; Athena was made into  a cold, masculine daughter; Aphrodite was  made into a frivolous sexual creature;  Artemis was made into the quite forgettable sister of Apollo; and Pandora was  made into the troublesome, treacherous  source of human woes."  Female goddesses in their original state  were deeply intertwined with day-to-day  life. Their power was essentially transformative,  not transcendent, and the  accompanying religion was this-worldly  not otherworldly. In this respect, the  image of the female was revered as sacred  and her body was seen as the symbol and  essence of life-giving powers. The primarily social bond was mother/child, not  husband and wife, and religion was firmly  rooted in the physical and material life  of the culture. Together, the female and  the natural world were ascendent principles around which the people organized  their interaction with the world and  themselves.  Spretnak is one of many scholars who has  been busy picking through the scattered  threads and fragments of women's mythology, uncovering much of our buried past.  Robert Graves, Jane Harrison, Mary Daly,  and Merlin Stone (to name but a few) have  all written about new information dealing  with the "lost" cultural history of the  world's first conquered peoples. For at  least the first 16,000 years, human civilization worshipped a female goddess* and  people explained their interaction with  the physical world through positive life-  affirming characteristics embodied by the  female principle. In the last few years,  the accepted history and philosophy of  male-centred' religions in the modern  world have been dealt a heavy blow.  Historical theologian Rosemary Ruether  explains that patriarchial religions  instituted doctrines based on anti-woman  and anti-nature principles. "The fact is  that every religion in antiquity—Babylonian, Canaanite, Persian, Greek and Jewish,  passed from a naturalistic to an otherworldly religious hope in the period from  approximately the sixth to the second  centuries B.C. Egyptian religion made  this transition even earlier, as it  changed from the life-affirming religion  of the Early Kingdom to the death-centred  religion of the imperial New Kingdom."  As Judaism lost its national autonomy and  "passed under the yoke of the Persian,  Greek and Roman empires" it also changed  "from a naturalistic religion of this-  worldly hope to one of apocalyptic despair." She goes on to explain how it was  that ancient religions of the Earth Mother  moved from naturalistic celebrations of  the renewal of bodily fecundity to the  salvation of the body in the hereafter.  Christianity, she says, "drew together  all the streams of religious consciousness  from antiquity, Greek, Jewish and Oriental,  but precisely in their alienated, anti-  cosmic stage of development."  An increasing amount of evidence now  exists to substantiate the existence of  Goddess Reverence before it was crushed  in the seven centuries prior to the birth  of Christianity. Information on the early  religions had been recorded on tablets  and papyri and written prayers, descriptions of rituals, titles and epithets,  have all been excavated from their "long  hidden burial places". So just how did  the earliest oral traditions and written  documents of our ancestors get "lost" in  the first place? Who exactly lost them?  Spretak explains that the so-called 'lost'  religions of our earliest ancestors were,  in many cases, brutally suppressed. In  Greece, for example, three waves of  Barbarian invaders (ionians, Archaens and  Dorians) swept into the land between 2500  and 1000 B.C. They were confronted,with  a deeply-rooted religion of Goddess worship that conflicted with the new social  order. Symbols were co-opted or wiped out  entirely, new myth twisted the stories of  old, and the sacred images of woman enshrined in the Mother Goddess were almost  erased from memory. "The pre-Hellenic  myths are the religion of a conquered  people," says Spretnak. "They were co-  opted and replaced for political reasons."  When we search back into the farthest  reaches of human history, what we find is  the almost forgotten stories of those  cultures first defeated by superior technological weaponry. In order to effectively entrench a new social order it was  essential that a conquering culture establish new gods with new characteristics and  either eliminate or incorporate the old.  With the rise of patriarchial cultures  all over the world, the original female  deities and the essence of religion itself  were drastically altered.  Merlin Stone, who has researched an impressive two volume account entitled:  Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood: Our Goddess  and Heroine Heritage,   to follow her first  book When God Was a Woman  has delved into  the history of the Mother Goddess as she  appeared in all first major cultures. She  believes we need to know more about the  once widespread veneration of the Mother  Goddess in order "to cut through the many  oppressive and falsely founded patriarchial images, stereotypes, customs and  laws developed as direct reactions to  Goddess worship by the leaders of the  later male-worshipping religions." For  feminists, there is a real concern that  the selfsame images, stereotypes and laws  enshrined in male doctrine and myth are  now the fountainhead of current day misogyny and female degradation.  The apparent all-out attempt to annihilate  the records of female-centred religions  and social orders spanned thousands of  years. The last temple to Artemis (probably the most well-known and widespread  Goddess figure of the ancient world) was  forcibly closed as late as 500'A.D.  Eradicating the goddess from cultural  reality and cultural memory was not an  easy task. It is interesting that even in  the writings of the new testament (which  seems to have kept the existence of female  goddess out of its "sacred" pages) can be  found a reference to the struggles of an  early people to retain their cultural  identity in their worship of Artemis. In  the Acts of the Apostles we find an account of St. Paul's visit to the Ephesians  who rioted for a day against him in the  name of their Goddess Artemis by gathering in her temple and chanting her name.  The incident literally drove him out of  the area.  Women scholars attempting to discover the  historical links to much of our buried  history point to a number of bloody attempts to wipe out the knowledge and  traditions of the Mother Goddess. Chief  among them is the burning of the library  at Alexandria in 300 A.D. when Christian  monks managed to destroy much of the information about the early presence of the  Mother Goddess and the first woman-centred  religions. Certainly the burning of more  than nine million witches throughout  "pagan" Europe in the Middle Ages has been  seen as yet another example of a ruthless  attempt to crush female-centred religion  and symbol systems.  When American feminist Elizabeth Cady  Stanton, who had spent the better part of  her life challenging the discriminatory  laws and practices of American institutions in the nineteenth century reached  the final stages of her long life, she  targeted the Bible as the ultimate authority relegating women to an inferior status.  So outraged was she by the so-called  "sacred words" contained in both the old  and new testaments of Christian religion  that she pulled together a council of women to rewrite the Bible. Twenty-five  women scholars from around the world took  the most offensive and questionable passages from the Bible and either discredited  or rewrote them. What they published was a  book called "The Woman's Bible".  "The selfish policy of the state," said  Stanton, "has been baptized by the church  in the name of religion." She insisted  that people view the Bible as an historical  document that had evolved through time.  "I do not believe that God inspired the  Mosaic codes, or told the historians what  they say he did about woman, for all the  religions on the face of the earth degrade  her, and so long as woman accepts the  position that they assign her, emancipation is impossible."  Wk  tanton was probably not familiar with the history of the  | mother Goddess, but she was  determined to attack the re-    ligious authority upholding  the western social order.  What is most striking about male-oriented  religions, however, and which flies in the  face of all that is known about early  Goddess worship, is the control of female  sexuality by a host of disciplines and  codes coming out of patriarchial religious  doctrine. It is obvious that woman's  status in the sacred or spiritual sphere  was radically reduced (women are virtually  banned from the powerful roles in all male  religious ritual). What isn't obvious is  the curtailment, restriction and perversion of women's sexual  power. The Mother  Goddess and all her derivatives were sexually free and their sexual power was  sacred. The demonic figure of womanhood  first appears in patriarchial religion.  The original goddesses reproduced partheno-  genetically. Their sexual power was connected to the life-giving force and their  rituals and mythology were essentially  life-affirming. Central to the representation of sacred beliefs was the woman's  body, her physical self, which was seen as  strong, beautiful, and creative in its  essence. It is assumed that early peoples  were in awe of the female body for it was  able to reproduce both men and woman as  well as feed the offspring. Cross-  culturally, there existed trinities of  goddesses who represented the single life  process of the woman—maiden, mother and  crone. The crone was not demonic, her  powers were not evil. The crone-figure,  like the witch and the hag, was seen as   the final stage in a life process. The old  woman represented wisdom and healing  power. She was the Memory who spun and  wove together the symbols of cultural  knowledge.  The original female trinity has been replaced by the dualistic figure of the  virgin and the whore: the good and evil  woman. Of course, what defines woman as  'good' or 'bad' is the autonomous use of  her sexual power. In modern religions,  sin is very closely connected to the female. Woman's once sacred body is potentially a temple of lust unless it is preserved for the use of the man in order to  carry on the male lineage. Sexual freedom  for the female is equated with wantoness.  In the image of the Virgin Mary.  Christian doctrine captures itsl  ideas of womanhood. Stripped ofj  her sexual powers, Mary is a   | passive and powerless recreation of the orginal goddess figure. She has  no role in conception or birth. Whereas  the Goddess once did everything, says  author Mary Daly in Gyn/Ecology,   the virgin does nothing. Through the image of the  Virgin Mary the woman is made into little  more than a hollow egg shell and a deliberate effort is made to remove creativity  from the female sphere in order to reestablish it in the realm of male dominance and control.  Perhaps the major thing that connects the  Virgin Mary to the early Goddesses is the  immaculate conception. Like the Goddesses  who precede here, she reproduces partheno-  genetically. In comparison to them however.  Daly says she is little more than "a pale  derivative figure disguising the conquered  Goddess."  If the Virgin is a twisted-symbol of the  old religion, however, so is the whore.  Both appear to be creations of male  fantasy intended to satisfy men's needs—  clear lines of paternal parentage on one  hand, and pornographic playmate on the  other. Moreover, not only is the whore  punished for the apparently free use of  her sexuality, she is also a convenient  scapegoat for male "sin". Both Lilith and  Even in Christian tradition play the role  of temptress as well.  But neither the virgin nor the whore is  free. Neither are in control of their own  lives or their own sexuality. Among  feminist theologians it is becoming increasingly important to do away with this  split between woman's body and woman's  spirit. In both, women find the disturbing  image of themselves bound and gagged,  silenced by the prevailing ideas men  harbour in regard to female sexuality.  In the past few years women have begun to  use the lost mythical images from our  collective past to validate the feminist  ideas we have about ourselves and our  possibilities as women. Modern day women  artists, in all mediums, are reclaiming  historical images and using them in their  work. In this respect, Judy Chicago's  Dinner Party  stands out a a major artistic  achievement that successfully recreates  and communicates the symbols and stories  burled in the dust heap of male history.  But there are others who are busy throwing.  out the patriarchial forms and symbols  transmitted through male art and replacing  them with our own.  Of course, there is one of two ways women  can go with the emerging information we  have about female myth and matriarchial  elans. There is always the danger that we  will fall prey to the very real temptation  of creating Utopian enclaves within  current patriarchial structures. But there  is also the option of using information  from our past in a forward-looking light .  As Spretnak says about her own research:  "The goal of such work is not the reinstatement of pre-historic cultural structures, but rather the transmission of  possibilities." 18   Kinesis   Dec/Jan 83  BOOK  Feminist folk-tales  by Rosemarie Rupps  My conflict between trying to be a good  auntie and a clear-conscienced feminist is  no doubt not unique. Although I would like  to share with children, in particular my  niece, the traditional rhymes of Mother  Goose, or the fairy tales we were all  brought up with, for the most part they  are unacceptable to my feminist sensibilities. Ethel Johnston Phelps' collection  The Maid of the North  solves the problem.  This book allows me to share with my niece  a delightful fantasy world without compromising my feminist principles.  Traditional fairy tales are populated with  female figures who are evil and manipulative, or good and obedient,"with a  meekness that repels," as Phelps describes  THE MAID OF THE NORTH.   Feminist Folk  Tales from Around the World,  by Ethel  Johnston Phelps. Illustrated by Lloyd  Bloom. Holt, Rinehart & Winston,  New York, 1982. 176 pages $8.95  in her introduction. As an alternative,  she culled this collection of 21 stories  from sources published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The  tales themselves are from a much older,  oral tradition, which have been changed  and adapted with each generation according  to the values of the time.  The stories represent 17 different ethnic  cultures, originating from Asia, Africa,  North America and Europe. The tales themselves demonstrate an enormous variety of  plot and character material as the diversity of  their origin may suggest. Some of  the heroines possess magic powers used to  rescue heroes. Others draw on their human  intelligence and resourcefulness to solve  a problem. Some of the stories centre on  clever animals who are assigned a female  gender. All these females protagonists  show courage, are active rather than  passive, and are ready to take on any adventure .  In keeping with the oral storyteller's  privilege, Phelps has admitted in her  introduction to, "shaping each tale, sometimes adding or omitting details, to reflect my sense of what makes it a satisfying tale." She has occasionally taken  bits from a longer story to make a complete shorter tale from a subplot. She has  taken incidents from two or more stories  and combined them into one. Although  acknowledging the importance of the story  outline in earliest available sources,  and remaining faithful to them where possible, she argues that stories have been  changed so much through the telling and  retelling that she is only continuing the  tradition.  One favourite story, Gawain and the  Lady Ragnell,  is a twist on the better  known fables of King Arthur. Lady Ragnell  naa been cursed by an evil and powerful  step-brother who changed her into a  monstrous creature. Why? "He thought me  bold and unwomanly because I defied him.  I refused his commands both for my property and my person." The curse can only  be broken if a great knight willingly  chooses to marry her in her hideious form.  Gawain, Arthur's greatest knight, unwittingly plays this role when he tries to  save Arthur's life, threatened by the same  wicked step-brother. Arthur must answer  the question, "What is it that women desire, above all else?"  All the answers collected throughout the  kingdom are wrong. Gawain offers to marry  Lady Ragnell in gratitude when she supplies Arthur with the right answer.  "What a woman desires above all else is  the power of sovereignty—the right to  exercise her own will." Arthur is saved,  Gawain-marries Lady Ragnell, and her  curse is partially broken. After the marriage the curse is fully lifted, and she  completely loses her grotesque appearance  when Gawain says she can live her life as  she chooses, with the true power of free  will.  The illustrations in the book, finely-  detailed drawings by Lloyd Bloom are  lovely and convey the mood of the stories  well, from sinister evil to light-hearted  fantasy.  I confess I had a bit of a problem with  Phelps' technique of altering and modifying some of the stories. There are many  heroines forgotten in our folk tale past.  This is her second collection—Tatterhood  and Other Tales  was published in 1968.  While recognizing that she is attempting  to reclaim some of our stories hidden or  camouflaged in the past, this is a very  difficult task and I am a little uneasy  about the accuracy of her interpretations.  I tried out some of the stories on my  niece when I last saw her. I think she  agreed that they made wonderful reading.  Phelps must be applauded for giving us  heroines to celebrate, and stories to add  to our feminist tradition, old tales to  supplement contemporary non-sexist books.  From * Woman Hating' to androgyny  by Hilarie Mackie  Woman Hating,  by Andrea Dworkin,was  published in 1974. It is included in this  issue because it remains an important work  in the analysis of sexism, and the origins  of woman-hating.  Dworkin's purpose in this analysis is not  academic, but revolutionary and she asks  us to examine the abrasive, outrageous  quality of the book, in the light of her  committment, as a writer, to truth and tbe  community. "When we women find the courage  to defend ourselves, to take a stand  agains-t brutality and abuse, we are violating every notion of womanhood we have  been taught".  In any fairytale, there are only two types  of women. The 'good women' characterized  by beauty, innocence, passivity, are  victims by definition. They never think,  act or challenge, and are moved from  their childhood home to the house of the  prince, without choice or involvement.  This is the heroic model available to  women. The other women are greedy, wicked  and aggressive; are called mother, stepmother or witch, and must be punished or  destroyed.  From fairy tale, Dworkin moves on to examine pornography as the cultural scenario  of male/female, master/slave, where woman's role as victim is adult and explicit.  She asserts that the worship of virginity  is a cruel and insidious form of sexual  perversion. The dualism of good and evil,  virgin and whore, spirit and nature, inherent in Cristianity finds its logical  expression in rituals of sado-masochism,  documented, and recreated in pornography.  Footbinding in China was a cruel cultural  perversion used to create the difference  between men and women, and perpetuated for  a thousand years in the name of morality.  It cemented women to the sphere of sexual  objects and breeders. The marriage of  politics and morality produced the oppression of women based on totalitarian standards of beauty, and sexual fascism.  In our culture no part of a woman's face  or body is left untouched, unmodified.  This is an ongoing process, crucial to  the economy and the most basic part of  male/female role differentiation. Dworkin  points out that the fact that it is unfair  that women are judged by these standards  of beauty whereas men are not, is a  shallow examination of the problem. The  real  point is that these standards describe the relationship a woman has to her  body, and the dimensions of her physical  freedom. Pain is an integral part of this  grooming process, and teaches that no  price is too great for the woman who would  be beautiful. The first step in the process of liberation of women from this  oppression, and men from their learned  fetishism, is for women to stop mutilating  their bodies and to start living in them.  It is in the presentation of this herstory  and present cultural aberrations that  Dworkin is strongest as a writer and  political thinker. Having described these  truths, she moves into the area of  androgyny, her solution to the problem.  She examines Jungian psychology and Chinese ontology of Yin and Yang, as further  sources for the polarization of male and  female, and fuel for the male-dominated  cultures. She feels we must look back  further in time, to the androgynous,  multi-sexual myths, for our guide in  creating a new community and a new sexuality. She seeks to show that biological  differences between men and women are not  as great as we imagine. The point she  makes is that heterosexuality, which is  ritualized behaviour built on polar role  definition, and the institutions related  to it is not the only possible, valid  form of sexual expression.  "If human beings are multisexed then all  forms of sexual interaction...must be part  of the fabric of human life...". She  states that androgynous sex requires the  destruction of all conventional role-  playing, since an exclusive committment  to one sexual role, whether homosexual or  heterosexual, generally means a commitment to one role. Only by developing our  multisexuality to its limits and breaking  with all sexual taboos, asserts Dworkin,  can we destroy our culture to build a non-  sexist community.  While Dworkin's solutions for the future  are debatable, and raise crucial questions for the feminist community, the  strength of her work lies in the firm  footing she gives to the historical and  cultural context of female oppression. Dec/Jan 83   Kinesis   19  REVIEWS  Anne Cameron  Sharing the  cowgirl fantasy  by Cy-thea Sand  When one is reinventing the world one  cannot be concerned with minor details,  and when one has become convinced,   over a  number of years,   that the privileged  patriarchal perspective is sick,   one  looks  for alternatives. ,. n ,  {Anne Cameron)  Remember your girlhood fantasies of being  a rugged individualist in the Wild West?  The fact that white girls usually dragged  their feet along the dust in frilly  dresses and Indian women were seldom seen  and less often heard, did not discourage  those of us who longed to be home on the  range, fast with a gun and resourceful on  a horse.  At last the racist and sexist mythology  we imbued with our Kellogg's corn flakes  has been turned on its head. Anne Cameron  has written a fast-paced, beautiful story  which Is accessible, multi-layered and  original. A feminist western in sensibil-  THE JOUENEY  by Anne Cameron  307 pages.   New York:  Avon Books,   $5.95  U.S.   1982  ity and genre, The Journey  is an inspiring  often brutally violent tale of women  travelling the Canadian frontier in the  mid-eighteen hundreds.  Anne Cameron shares the fantasy for those  of us raised on the television shows,  books and comics which celebrate the shoot  'em up legends of the Great Frontiers. As  girls we were more often than not 'tied to  trees', absorbing awful truths into our  young, eager minds. Cameron writes in her  introduction to The Journey:  "The boys could identify with the heroes.  We had Dale Evans.   She was the one with  no guns,   the one on a slower horse,  who  rode behind Roy just in time to catch the  mud flying from his gallant steed's hooves.  Not much of a role model.  And so,   because I had long hair,  worn in  pigtails,  and the stereotype did not allow  me a six-gun,   a rifle,   or a knife,   I spent  many hours tied to trees,   the captive Indian.   Perhaps that was the beginning of  this story. "  In an interview with K.O. Kane in the  Spring 82 issue of The Radical Reviewer,  Claudia MacDonald and Cy-thea Sand, both active  members in the Vancouver women's community, share  their own cowgirl fantasy in Christmas of 1957.  Anne Cameron speaks of her love for  dusters and in particular the work of  Louis L'Amour. For The Journey,  Anne "took  most of the elements of a standard Louis  L'Amour duster and just altered them  somewhat." Anne talks about the myths of  the homeless child and the fallen woman  and her appropriation of them—with a  lesbian/feminist twist—for her work. She  underlines the need for positive role  models for children:  "People keep telling me,"Women don't do  this,  women don't do that'.' And I keep  seeing women who are doing just that.  Their grandmothers did it too!..So why  can't I invent a totally fictional person  who can set sortie kind of example for my  kids?"  The suspense and drama of The Journey  begin on a dusty farm in Saskatchewan where  fourteen year-old Anne has been orphaned.  She flees her abusive uncle to head west,  meeting up with Sarah along the way. Sarah  is half-dead, having been tarred and  feathered by a fanatical sheriff (Jerry  Falwell of the Canadian frontier?), who  is bound to clean up sin and corruption  with his "army of the righteous". Sarah  and Anne adventure together settling in  one town until Uncle Andrew catches up  with them. They move on. In their travels  they meet Metis people, Chinese immigrant  men doing slave labour laying railroad  tracks and a family of destitute children.  Sarah and Anne cross open plains and the  Cariboo gold fields on their way to the  Pacific Ocean. The novel is action-packed,  rich in characterization and humour. It  is one of the most shocking dramatizations  of violence against women and children I  have read, yet its power lies in the  strength and determination of its women  characters.  Anne Cameron's work is informed by her  belief that women must reinvent mythology,  must write images of strong, independent  women into accessible, cultural forms.  There is a dearth of radical images in  contemporary women's fiction, despite the  welcomed exceptions from the feminist  presses. Much of current fiction reinvents  the heterosexist wheel or characterizes  women as victims.  Critics such as Carolyn Heilbrun bemoan  the failure of women novelists to create,  to imc.gine autonomous women characters.  In popular culture, Harlequin Romances  outsell the works of radical writers by  ten to one at a rough guess. We need to  get more and more feminist ideas into main  stream culture. Imagine a weary traveller  searching for a duster to read on the  last stretch of a long trip home, who  picks up The Journey  and becomes engrossed  in a story about a fourteen year-old who  hunts, kills and cooks her own food, a  twelve year-old girl who blows away a  rapist and a former sexual worker ("whore"  in popular vernacular), who becomes more  and more self-reliant as she grows into  dignity and self-respect!  Another important aspect of Anne Cameron's  work is her love for West Coast Indian  culture. In both her latest work—Daughters of Copper Woman—and in The Journey,  native mythology is dramatized as integral  to the creation of a new women's mythos.  In The Journey  Indian people bring orphaned black children to Anne and Sarah, who  have settled in the cabin built by the  ehildrens' parents before their untimely  deaths. The little boy teaches Anne and  Sarah about native legends and translates  the Indian language to ease conversation  between the women and their Indian neighbours. When Sarah suffers an horrific  attack and rape, the native women arrive  to offer a ceremonious healing. Cameron  is at her best recreating the severity of  male intrusion on women's lives and the  healing power of women:  "Her mind whirled with fear and confusion  but her body allowed the women to do what  they felt necessary.   They heaped wood on  the coals in the fireplace and blew out  the feeble and ineffectual  lamp.   Then they  stripped her clothes from her and washed  her with warm water into which they had  dumped a powder made of dried seaweed.  She saw one of the women carry a sleepily  smiling Jennifer from the cabin,  and before she could formulate the question,  she knew the answer.   The child would sleep  with and be cared for by the men who had  been chosen to bring the old woman,   the  priestess,   the earthly embodiment of Old  Woman herself,  and her disciplines,  through the storm to the soul that had  been crying its need. "  "We had Dale Evans. She was  the one with no guns, the one on  a slower horse, who rode behind  Roy just in time to catch the  mud flying from his gallant  steed's  hooves. "   This segment of the novel reminded me of  TJie Salt Eaters  by Toni Cade Bambara, in  which a healing of one black woman by  another gives the work its narrative  structure and its emotional power. A  radical mythology for women will incorporate legends from different cultures and  races, and writers like Cameron and Bambara are leading the way.  I like what Cameron does with lesbian  mythology in The Journey  as well. Anne is  a runaway adolescent when she meets Sarah,  tarred and feathered from having worked  the saloons. Their love develops as  naturally as the baby Sarah conceives  along the way. The Journey  is a lesbian  love story without awkwardness and superficiality. Cameron writes as if eroticism  between women is always a welcomed possibility and not an aberrant expression of  fashion, bourgeois decadence, isolation  from men or political separatism.  By assuming the potential of eroticism between  women, the culturally ingrained heterosexual imperative is challenged—an important evolutionary step for lesbians and  heterosexuals.  The Journey  is, quite simply, a great read.  Buy it for a best friend, a favourite  niece or for your mother. Relax and enjoy  another gem from one of the best word-  slingers in the west. 26.' KttosisX DecWtta«j:  CULTURE  Alice Munro talks about her work, her life  by Cy-Thea Sand  Alice Munro was in Vancouver recently helping to promote her latest collection of  short stories The Moons of Jupiter.   I met  with Alice in her Denman Inn Hotel room an  hour before she was to catch a plane to  Victoria. She was warm, amiable, and in  the short time we had together, expressed  a keen sense of humour.  Cy-Thea Sand: I appreciate your work partly for its class consciousness,  for its  sensitivity to the perceptions of small  town,  poor and working class men and women.  In my own critical work I want to explore  the issue of class in Canadian literature.  What do you think of this idea?  Alice Munro: As a fiction writer, not a  critic, that is a difficult question to  answer. Any angle you take on literature  can be interesting - I'd say go ahead.  I'm trying to think of how my fiction would  fit in.  CTS: I think of Rose bringing her rich boyfriend home to Hanratty in  Who Do You  Think You Are?  AM: Oh yes, and they have that awful dinner! Well, there are a lot of things that  interest me about class sensibilities although I'm not sure if my interpretation  of class is the same as yours. When I try  to define my own background I never know  what to say. We were certainly poorer than  the working class because most working  class people were earning wages and my  father was always self-employed. He was  in fact, not working class, not working for  a boss, and yet we did not have what most  working class people had—we didn't have  an indoor toilet for example. We were  rural people. We were not peasant class  because we owned our own home. I think  the class system as it is classically set  forth by Marxists tends to break down in  North America. There are classes that just  don't fit. And we didn't fit. While we  were poorer than people who worked in  factories, we had obvious pretensions and  ambitions beyond them.  In good times people who are working want  to do with their money what middle class  people want to do. They have two cars,  boats and colour televisions. If we define  our aspirations in terms of possessions,  the line between middle and working class  in North America is hard to find. I just  don't think it's there. You always have  poor people. There is an underclass in  Canada which is made up of various disadvantaged people, who don't aspire to the  things the working class aspire to. But  in bad times like we are experiencing now,  this may all break down. But a teacher can  live beside a factory worker in a suburb  and their standards of living would be  roughly similar. There might be some interesting differences in the way they  thought about themselves. But I would  question even that. The working class family would probably be as apt to send their  children to university.  But in Australia, where a strong, vocal  working class and a free university education system exist, only a minority of  working class people go to university.  Perhaps because the class lines are so  clearly drawn. But they are not so clear  in my background.  CTS: You have said that you felt like an  outsider as a child.   You described it as  being the artist watching and recording  her reality.  I wonder if that feeling  comes from being poor as well?  AM: No. I grew up in the depression. I  started school at the end of the depression and many, many people were poorer  than I was. Later on in high school I was  poorer than many of the girls. At university I was conscious, for the first time  really, that I didn't have behind me what  most of the students had. As the girl in  my story The Beggar Maid (Who Do You Think  You Are?)  I wished I had the clothes that  the other girls had. It certainly did not  make me feel that it would be more difficult to be a writer. I would think if anything that not coming from a very privileged middle class background, or an  upper class background, made it much easier. My parent's expectations were much  At university I was conscious,  for the first time really, that I  didn't have behind me what  most of the student had. Like  the girl in 'Beggar Maid' I  wished I had the clothes other  girls had.   more relaxed about what I should do. I  would meet girls from wealthy families in  New York and the pressure would be on  them to be popular and make a good marriage. As a feminist I resent the pressure  I was under to marry, but it wouldn't  have mattered to my parents if my husband  worked in the foundry, as long as I had  acquired a husband. There was no pressure  to rise socially.  CTS: So you wouldn't agree with Tillie  Olsen 's idea that first generation writers  often lack self-confidence,   that somehow  they feel that the writing world is not  where they belong.  AM: I respect Tillie Olsen so much and I  think her book Silences  is a marvellous  work that needed to be written. But perhaps my perspective is different from  hers on this point because in Canada we  did not have a cultured middle class. We  had a middle class and they were genteel  and they had possessions. But they had  little interest in literature and the  arts, in fact, would consider them a  waste of time. And while they would probably allow a girl to. dabble in the arts,  they wouldn't allow a son to go near them.  There is a definite anti-artistic, anti-  intellectual strain in Canadian life even  at the high bourgeois level. When you're  from a poor family and your parents are  busy just trying to make ends meet, all  they want is for you to earn a living and  stay out of trouble. They don't care what  you do. I could have been a waitress and  been no disgrace to my family...or a  writer.  I know what Tillie Olsen means but I  think that is because she would meet  people from a much more cultivated background than I would ever encounter. I  just wasn't affected by this. She was  deep in the working class, in the union  movement—perhaps her writing would be  set aside for other, more pressing labour work.  CTS:  In  Lives of Girls and Women, Del  Jordan,  after doing poorly on her final  high school exams,  says that she was  sabotaged by  love.   I wanted so much for  her to finish those exams'.   Is that all  that sabotaged her.  AM: Del was sabotaged by love—all women  are, no matter what class they are from.  But I don't think for Del the exams were  all that important. At eighteen she had  to decide what she was to do with life,  not necessarily a bad thing to have to  face.  CTS: You describe yourself a non-  political writer.   What do you mean by  this ?  AM: I don't try to make political points  in my fiction. I do consider that one can  be a political person. I know there are  two schools of thought on this—one being  that if you are a feminist your whole  life should serve it and any writing you  do should serve it. I don't agree with  that. If you write truthfully you'll probably serve whatever cause is just. But I  don't set out to make any points.  What I like in Tillie Olsen are her ideas  about how housework alters women's productivity. I had always gone around saying:  "Well, no, you can do it, you can be a  writer and a housewife, your work isn't  aborted by having this other work to do."  Because I had done it. But then I stopped  to wonder how  I had done it. I had three  children who were never sick, none of whom  had any serious problems. I did it because  my husband made enough money—I had an  automatic washing machine. You tend never  to think of the advantages you've had. If  I had had five children and had to do wash  by hand, I wouldn't have been a writer. It  was that close. It is always that close.  I must never again minimize the work that  women have done.  CTS: Have you always been confident about  being a writer?  AM: I've had terrible doubts about whether  I could do it well...terrific problems as  an artist. But I have never had doubts because I was a woman. In fact in my family  it was much easier for a girl to decide to  become a writer than for a boy. A boy from  my background would be expected to do  masculine things, not sissy things. If a  boy from my background announced that he  was going to be a poet or violinist or a  ballet dancer or an actor it would have  wiped everyone out! But nobody cared much  what a girl said she was going to be. Somehow the underlying thought was-Well, when  she has her babies she'll forget all about  that. I guess the confidence comes from a  strong excitement. I was an ambitious girl,  the kind who gets A's although the writing  wasn't the same business as trying to get  A's. Which is why I said earlier that Del  Jordans's exams weren't that important.  Actually I did get a scholarship for two  years in university, although I don't know  what they expect you to do after two years.  There was no way as a girl that I could  get a job that would pay well enough to be Dec/Jan 83   KinesisJ 2V.  CULTURE  the only womanshehads,pokeT^o',,,who had  not had trouble. I doubt that. I felt  that she was pushing me to say what she  wanted. I want to isolate the places  where there are problems. For example, if  a woman is not hired because of her age  I would say that is a sexist judgment.  CTS: Were you surprised at the negative  reaction to the creation of a feminist  caucus in the League of Canadian poets?  AM: Someone was telling me that Susan  Musgrave resigned over it. I would probably agree with Susan. If women are being  prevented from publishing—if that kind  of thing is happening as Sharon claims it  is—my answer would be to set up our own  presses. But the very opposite has been  my experience.  CTS: So you're not saying that what Sharon  Nelson has reported is wrong?  AM: I'm saying that what she reported  about me was wrong because she did quote  me, but out of context. The one thing I  wanted to talk about was the lack of women instructors in creative writing  classes in universities. Women students  need female instructors. I think that is  one of the things we have to zero in on.  CTS: I admire the work of the American  novelist Willa Cather,  and in your latest  work  The Moons of Jupiter you evoke her  in the  story  Dulse.  AM: Yes, and many lesbians felt that the  story was a putdown because I said,  through a character having trouble with  men, that relationships between women are  easier. The character takes an artistic,  heterosexual woman's point of view that  homosexual relationships are easy when  compared to heterosexual- ones. Many gay  people have felt this to be a putdown—  after all, why should their relationships  be any easier?  CTS:  I read the story very differently.  So many of the stories in  The Moons of  Jupiter are concerned with the trouble  women have with men.   I read your image of  Willa Cather and Edith Lewis together as  a positive alternative to heterosexuality.  These women did live together in a relationship that lasted well over thirty years  and Willa Cather did her creative work  from within this relationship.  AM: I believe that lesbian relationships  are  easier for"a creative woman. I don't,  mean that to be patronizing. Since I only  have experience in heterosexual relationships, what do I know about it? I have  observed a few lesbian 'marriages' in  which one woman is creative and the other  supportive, but not self-negating. They  just seem to work.  CTS:  Human beings are so complex that no  formula explains them completely.  Lesbian  relationships,   like all relationships,  can  be fraught with dangers,   simply because  we are human.   We can all be sabotaged by  love.  AM: Yes, it must make lesbians angry to  have someone.say: "Oh well, you're a lesbian,- you have it easy." I'm sure that  when you're in love with a woman you have  the same power problems. It's just that to  people like me it is not as apparent. The  lesbian relationships we get invited to  look at are all very stable, very long-  lasting.  CTS:  It is not as safe for lesbians to  have their relationships scrutinized—  whereas heterosexual relationships can be  brutally examined by writers.  AM: I agree and this can be done because  heterosexuality will not be banned or go  out of style. I would think that many  homosexual writers must feel the need to  be protective of their relationships...  *Sharon Nelson's report on the status of  Canadian women writers is available free  of charge from Status of Women Canada.  able to finish the degree. I was living so  tight. I just didn't have enough'money to  survive so that when anything disappeared  I had to quit. I got married then. That  was the real pressure—to get married.  From the time I was about fourteen I worried that I wouldn't marry because I was  showing signs of being odd. The pressure  was coming from female relatives—it was  always female pressure. "She's too brainy,  she's not learning household tasks." My  culture was very traditional.  CTS: So many of your fictional mothers are  sick women or failures as mothers.  Do you  use this at all as a metaphor for the more  general failure of mothers to nurture  daughters in patriarchy.   Your own aunts,  by worrying so much about whether or not  you'd marry,  failed you in a sense.  AM: But how could they not? They came out  of an agricultural society. My people were  farm labourers for hundreds of years in  Scotland and Ireland. Then they came to  Canada and did the same work. On a farm  men and women have separate spheres of  work but they are equal. The man's work  is not more important than the woman's.  Think of a housewife married to an architect or a physicist. Their work is so far  apart. She's mending socks and he's doing  intellectual work. On a farm a man is  ploughing and cleaning out a stable. The  woman is cleaning up the house and making  cheese. Both kinds of work are absolutely  essential to the survival of the family.  My female relatives knew only a world in  which women were useful, where they knew  how to darn socks. A man learned to do  mechanical things; he didn't go off to  university either.  CTS:  Your short story  The Office in  Dance  of the Happy Shades., in which a landlord  frustrates a woman writer's attempt at  solitude,  fascinated me as a statement of  how men sap women's creative energy in  AM: That story really happened. I remember  feeling at the time that the landlord  would not be bothering me if I wasn't a  young attractive woman. Although I certainly know women who are great intruders  on one's time. The reason I needed an  office was because the neighbourhood life  was so suffocating!  I think that it's important in the women's  movement to concentrate on the real grievances. For example, when I was interviewed by Sharon Nelson as part of her  research into discrimination against  Canadian women writers* I felt that she  would not listen when I said that I had  not been discriminated against as a women writer in Canada. I have always had  help, from men. She kept saying that I was 22   Kinesis   Dec/Jan 83  WOMEN AND ROCK  WOMEN'S  AGIT-ROCK  by Joy Thompson  Youth culture and its predominant forms of  expression—music, style, and language—  are the stepping-off points for young  women to defy the status quo. Younger women in Canada, the United States, and  England have grouped together to establish  their own style and heroines, creating a  direct threat to the 'Establishment'.  These women are not only digging their  heels in and saying 'No' to society's  demands on them as women, but also to the  male-dominated industry, form and content  of sexist rock.  For older feminists, the 60's bought a  counter culture that kept women in the  "victim-in-the-long-skirt-sitting-on-a-  kitchen stool crying" role. If these women became prominent in the medium of  music, they all too often were playing  acoustic guitars through their long hair  and tears. They wore no shoes like Sandie  Shaw, or were the girl-next-door types,  like Carol King or Joni Mitchell.  So where have the styles and expression  of subcults taken us in the 80's? For most  younger women the restrictions and lack  of choices are similar to those faced by  older women—only more so. They are subjugated by parents, guardians, teachers,  in fact, the parent culture. There are  also older feminists reacting to our style,  clothes, and music. That the women's movement has developed a cultural style of  its own is undeniable, with feminist-  identified acoustic musicians taking a  leading role.  Why is this not enough for younger women?  It could be that this form of music does  not speak to the condition of younger  women and in particular, does not express  an urban experience. The urgency, aggression and demanding (often discordant)  sound of rough-edged punk and post-punk  is an inherent component necessary to  express ourselves. Millions of us listen  to rock music daily,..whether at home, or  for the braver ones, at live concerts.  For many, being without loud music is  almost unbearable. Walkmans have become  a familiar sight.  What does "Agit-Rock" give us? It provides  control over our immediate environment.  It surrounds us with a power source, the  power to hear what we want. It creates  space at a time when it seems there is  none.  The last twenty-five years of electronic  music have been dominated by smug, self-  satisfied men, with their own exclusive  profession. That there has been no place  for women in this lions den, needs little  mention. The image of the cute, coy,  brainless backing vocalists or the decorative sexpot role of the lead singer is  familiar. They have sung about us, used  us as appendages, labeled us and systematically excluded us from the invisible  structures of the industry. We've gone  from,the 50's victim, "he hit me and it  felt like a kiss"; through the 60's. girlie  groups, The Chiffons,  The Shirelles,  Patti  and the Pattettes,  and on to the 70's with  the Go,Go,  Girls.  And as if this were not  enough, there's the age-old trap 'The  Groupie'. We have only rarely had an opportunity to add a female perspective as  D.J.'s, producers, promoters, and, the  last bastion of male control, rock critics.  New Musical Express,  a weekly music rag  that has made a commitment to anti-racism,  has not done the same for sexism. It has  15 men and only 2 women. The Rolling Stone  is no better. It scores in at 51 men and  11 women as regular contributors.  So far the picture is bleak, except for a  few strong individual women like Janis  Joplin, Grace Slick and Aretha Franklin.  In 1976, something happened that took the  public by surprise and more significantly,  shook the foundations of the Rock World:  The Punk Explosion!  This sudden accessibility of electronic  music enabled women for the first time to  pick up an electric guitar. Hundreds of  bands began to learn to play in pubs,  basements and garages. The intention of  this explosion was not only to demystify  this form of music, but also to boycott  the co-opted industry. Independent record  labels and more live music at an affordable price were part of this movement.  For women, it was the first rock and roll  phase that did not insist that women  should be picturesque topics and targets  of song. Simultaneously many of these new  musicians joined the ranks of performers  who believed life could not be separated  from politics.  So women took to the stage in a new form.  Early punk cannot be seen only as a way  to add fervour to the same old misogyny,  with the added ammunition of agression,  rudeness and nihilist intent. Johnny  Rotten  and the Stranglers  did this for  sure. At the same time, Poly Sterene,  The  Slits,  Patti Smith,  The Au Pairs,  The  Raincoats,  Carol Pope,  Joan Jett,  Xenene,  Poison Girls,  Delta 5,  Siouxsie Sioux,  and a whole roster of women rockers were  This was not the first song or performer  who tried to express the desperation of  a generation who were anti-sexist, anti-  consumerist, anti-racist and anti-  authority.  Do you see yourself on a TV screen?  Do you see yourself in a magazine?  When you see yourself does it make you  scream?  Y'know I'm artificial  But don't put the blame on me  I was reared with appliances in a consume!  society  When I put on my make-up  My pretty mask is not me  It's just the way a girl should be  In a consumer society.  Poly Sterene  Simultaneously Siouxsie Sioux was to sing  a searing, wailing lament for the rape of  the land and of women in "Arabian Knights"  I heard a rumour,  what have you done to  her  Veiled behind screens,  kept as your baby  machine  Whilst you conquer more orifices of boys,  goats and things.  "Typical Girls" by The Slits,   a four woman  band, cynically identifies with male expectations :  Typical girls are emotional  Typical girls fall under a spell.  They later made a cover version of Marvin  Gaye's old romantic lament of lost love.  The Slits '  version was angry and demanding:  You could have told me yourself  That you loved someone else.  Their material comes from their experiences as London youths with songs like  "Shop Lifting, Social Servant" and "Number  One Enemy" capturing the feeling of industrial decay and life on the edge of it.  Ari Up,the fifteen year-old leader of The  Slits  in 1976 met Viv, Palmolive and Tessa  at a Patti Smith concert. They say of  forming the band, "It was great, there  taking this opportunity at last, to sing  and perform as women controlling their  own medium and writing lyrics about themselves.  Poly Sterene,  the 16 year-old half West  Indian, half Caucasian leader of X Ray  Specs  was small, wore a brace on her  teeth, and could write and sing. She understood the role she was being forced to  take. In 1977, she said, "You don't have  to be black or a girl to hate fascism,  but it helps." The release of her single  that year: "Oh Bondage Up Yours" was to  spark off a barrage of Feminist Punk.  Bind me,  tie me,  chain me to the wall  I wanna be a slave to you all  Oh bondage! Up Yours! Oh bondage! No more!  Oh bondage! Up Yours!  were people you knew, people you'd been  to school with, people your own age on  stage."  They didn't have to sing "Number One  Enemy" to receive a somewhat stinging  backlash for the obvious threat they had  posed along with Siouxie Sioux,  and Poly  Sterene:  You sit up there deciding my future  What the fuck do you think you are  Changing buses  Raising taxes  Changing things as you please.  You want me to take part in it  Like all the people did  You want to swallow me  But you might get ingested.  I'm going to be your Number One Enemy.  The Slits Dec/Jan 83   Kinesis   23  WOMEN AND ROCK  u want to be a rock and roll star  listen now to what I say  Just get an electric guitar  And teach yourself and learn how to play  The immediate response of the establishment, the BBC, the male rock critics and  promoters was to become only one more  thing to ridicule. The BBC banned "Oh  Bondage! Up Yours!" and misconstrued it  to be a celebration of S & M. Siouxie  Sioux was nick-named the S.S. girl. Social  Security, better known as welfare here,  was her intent. (You can imagine how S.S.  was interpreted.) The Slits*  first album  sported a sneakily-taken photograph of  them playing naked in mud on a beach. How  much control did they have over this  promotion?  Patti Smith identified the most threatening concept. She sang this to women:  If you want to be a rock and roll star  Then listen now to what I say  Just get an electric guitar  And teach youself and learn how to play.  Some other individual female band leaders  have taken a less didactic form. Nina  Hagen, and to some extent,Carol Pope of  Rought Trade  and Xenene of X  are role  models in that they are strong independent  leaders of male bands who are very androgynous. The swirling images, evoked by  both Nina and Xenene, are a combination of  anti-establishment and anti-catholicism,  turning blasphemy on its head. What of  the anti-romance songs of Eve Libertine  and the Crass,the Au Pairs,  or Poison  Girls? Jean Jett's  "Bad Reputation"  questions the double moral standards,"I  don't give a damn about my bad reputation"  whilst Delta-5's  "Mind Your Own Business,  Listen to the distance between us" is a  response we've all made hundreds of times  to eome-ons in bars. They express the distaste and anger felt when we are imposed  upon.  The Au Pairs  are possibly the most far  reaching band for exposing games people  play, reminding us all that the "personal  is political". Lesley Woods, the 2-4 year-  old lesbian, lyricist and lead singer with  The Au Pairs  sings "Come Again", a song  about women faking orgasms to save their  boyfriend's ego. Both Lesley Woods and  Jane Munroe the drummer, and their roadie  Julie, have begun to open up their context  to mainstream politics with their most  recent album this year "Sense and Sensibility" .  Eve Libertine and the Crass,   along with  Young Marble Giants  took control one step  further. In 1978 they put out their recorded material on an independent label,  doing all the promotion, recording and  printing themselves. Eve Libertine  and  Joy De Vivre  show tremendous insight with  "Smother Love":  The true romance is the ideal repression  That you seek that you dream of  That you look for in the streets,  whilst their sisters in the Fatal Microbes  talk of violence with "Violence Grows", a  scary story of the reality of rape and the  dangers for women who cannot afford  private transportation.  City life is commonplace. Most westerners  live in cities. Punk addresses this fact.  Women rockers took the  opportunity to sing and  perform as women controlling  their own medium and writing  lyrics about themselves.   The Passions, also a mixed band where the  women write the lyrics, sing "Hunted Woman  in the City":  Survival is hard in the city  Find me a place where no people go  Feel like I'm a hunted woman in the city  Feel like everyones trying to get me.'-  Of course English cities are very different to Canadian or American ones. The west  coast, as laid back as it seems in contrast, has produced four all women contemporary bands: The Contractions,  Willma,  Vancouver's own Moral Lepers  and the Persisters.   Willma's  "He's a fast fascist":  He's a fast fascist'  Got a christian smile  Got a funny haircut  Got your name an file  He's a fast fascist  Got a secret plan ^...  to turn America into  MacDonald1 s Land.  The Contractions  "Rules' and Regulations"  has a more pop feel to it. The message is  not weak: "I don't need your rules and  regulations/Put yourself on probation".  So personal politics are here to stay in  rock, but what about commitment to political world change. The two bands that  spring to mind are both unusual, in that  the lyrical content of their material is  an example of the impact the one woman in  each have had, (The Gang of Four's  Sara  Lee on the drums and Poison Girl's  Vi  Subversa). The Gang of Four's  most recent  album "Songs of the Free" tackles England's  invasion of the Falklands with "Love a  Man in Uniform" an antiwar song from a  woman's perspective, "Oh no, you must be  joking, You really must be joking." And  for the Moral Right they sing "Muscles  for Brains":  Don't help me,  I can save myself  If I'm incomplete don't fill the gaps  Save me from the people who would save  me from my sin  They've got muscles for brains.  Vi Subversa is the lone woman in Poison  Girls.  Why lone it when there are women's  bands around? Her reason gives us hope  that the generation gap need not inhibit  social change. The band is comprised of  her son and his mates. Lots of their live  audiences are young men, half her age. She  has political and musical leverage in a  place that most women would prefer not to  deal with. She screams, "This is a song  about impotence", and sings, "Take the  Toys from the Boys":  They make a bomb out of cotton  Take the toys from the boys  Take their hands off the guns  They made a bomb out of coffee  Take the toys from the boys  They made a bomb out of sugar  Get their fingers off the triggers.  She sings (as well as plays lead guitar)  of abortion, housework, mental illness,  sex and war. Her most recent album has a  warning to those younger boys who may get  her message wrong. This should'put them  right, "I'm not your Fucking Mother":  I'm not your fucking mother  I'm not your fucking whore  I'm not your baby sitter  or the girl next door.  I'm not a pretty package  to titillate your prick  Stuff your revolution  Your insults make me sick  You've had a final warning  We've all runout of time  Better get a lead-lined jock strap  of the very best design.  Vi Subversa is in a position to understand  weil the need to take dominant culture by  its horns and intervene with the strength,  defiance and anger that will be necessary  for women to take their deserved place in  the world and in rock. Having a punk for  a son has kept her informed and on top of  an otherwise quite contradictory movement.  If you listen to rock tongue-in-cheek, but  regardless, like its energy and exciting  form, you can now enjoy, appreciate and  support the content of this New Wave of  Women's expression. 24   Kinesis   Dec/Jan 83  REVIEWS  by Jan DeGrass  Still ain't satisfied is what you say when  only two out of three hospital boards have  elected pro-choice candidates or when  your union's equal pay clause gets referred to a committee. Still Ain't Satisfied  is the name of a book that anthologizes the past decade of the Canadian  women's movement, or as it properly states  "the movement of Canadian women". This  book is about movement and activism, it  chronicles as well as analyzes. There are  27 articles, all but three of them  STILL AIN'T SATISFIED:  Canadian Feminism  Today.   Eds. Maureen Fitzgerald, Connie  Guberman, Margie Wolfe. The Women's  Press, 1982.  original material representing opinion  from at least six provinces.  "We wanted a resource book for active  feminists but we also wanted a reader for  women only recently interested in feminism who wanted to learn what it was all  about", said Margie Wolfe, one of the  co-editors (with M. Fitzgerald, C. Guberman) who put two and a half years of work  into this volume.  Together they solicited articles, worked  with the authors, edited, and produced an  account of our journey through the seventies. Not coincidentally we arrive in  1982 just in time to celebrate the tenth  anniversary of the Women's Press. Our rite  of passage has included awareness of our  sexuality, anger at pornography and sexual  harassment, organization into working  women's unions, and our links with women  of other classes and colours. It is  readable and stimulating. The occasional  article which lingers on some obscure  point can be forgiven.  Having said that I enjoyed the entire  book, I can now cruelly divide the articles in two sections: those which are  place-savers and those which are inspirational. By place-savers I mean those  articles which preserve that particular  issue for posterity, the article without  which no survey of a decade would be  complete. Thus articles on daycare: "Minding the Children" and "A Message of  Solidarity" from immigrant women are  place-savers. Even the Myrna Kostash  article "Whose Body? Whose Self?: Beyond  Pornography" while fascinating and tightly-  written is also a place-saver, in the  sense that it does not add to the debate.  ' In the inspirational category my vote for  the author you'd-most-like-to-talk-to-til-  3-am is Kathleen McDonnell for her "Claim  No Easy Victories: The Fight for Reproductive Rights". McDonnell examines the  diminishing struggle for abortion rights  in Canada. In the 1970's the fight for  choice on abortion was the single unifying  topic for feminists since votes for women  had emerged decades earlier.  "In some ways", she writes,"the liberalization of the law in 1969 helped to  knock the wind out of the sails of the  movement. It left us with a half-measure,  which does not safeguard our rights to  abortion, but which makes abortion just  accessible enough to neutralize pressure  for outright repeal and to thwart efforts  to mobilize women in any numbers."  But the lawmakers aren't handed the whole  bag. Our own ambivalence, says McDonnell,  is responsible for the wane of pro-choice  organizing, and this is the part that  made me squirm. "Thus many women cannot  march into the streets demanding abortion  rights with any degree of confidence  because...they are not convinced in their  guts that abortion is 'right'—often despite the fact that they've had abortions  themselves."  anger: "I fight more with the man I love,  precisely because he's the safest one to  fight with,...He has demonstrated his rare  and precious willingness to listen to my  fury, and his reward for that is to get a  lot of it." The 'gift' of our feminist  anger freely given to non-sexist men is a  dubious gift and one that could be interpreted in novel ways by a trained psychologist. Is this the ultimate, in punishment  for the patriarchy or are we just mixed  up?  This theme of hetero/homosexuality is  taken up again in "Mothers, Sisters,  Lovers, Listen" by Amy Gottlieb. "Do lesbians condemn all heterosexual relationships?" she asks. Although she evades  answering her own question, the overall  effect of having one article further the  theme of another article is good and gives  the anthology continuity.  Similarly an article on trade union organizing "Getting Organized in the CCU" is  followed by an article on "Getting Organized in the CLC" which is followed by an  article about the independent unions:  SORWUC and AUCE. Clearly all sides are  represented in an effort to record exactly  how we got to where we are.  I asked Margie Wolfe how the editor's  selection process had worked. They did  not simply call for manuscripts; they  delineated categories and searched dili-  Editors Maureen FitzGerald, Mai  If this sounds like a statement calculated  to play into the hands of the pro-lifers  be assured that McDonnell is only too  aware of that fact. She continues the  article with an examination of the Right  to Life movement which "much to our discomfort, is itself a 'women's movement'",  and concludes with a discussion of the  many complex forces that control our  reproductive capacities: birth control,  choice in child-bearing, sterilization  abuse—in short, all aspects of our  fertility.  McDonnell's article should spark a lot of  debate in women's discussion groups everywhere. Another article that should spark  debate at least in our bedrooms is "Once  More with Feeling: Heterosexuality and  Feminist Consciousness". In the category  of couldn't-have-said-it-better-myself my  vote goes to its author Joanne Kates, for  her personal/political analysis of the  contradictions that face feminists who  are heterosexuals.  "There has been a subtle message in the  women's movement that the only real feminists are lesbian feminists and that if  we poor, misguided hets would only bite  the bullet and give up the privileges we  get by sucking up to Big Daddy, we'd find  our true lesbian selves," writes Kates.  But Kates' article is not a denunciation  of other sexual choices or a victor's cry  for heteros. On the contrary, her realization is painful, her love also inspires  gie Wolfe and Connie Guberman  gently for the best author to fill that  role. "We didn't want it to be all  Toronto", said Margie. "We read a lot of  material from out of town."  In one case they were referred to an  existing article "Is Your Job Hazardous  To Your Health?" by Marianne Langton (reprinted from Healthsharing)  as being the  best example to date on the subject. So  It is, too, that we have Vancouver's own  Pat Davitt documenting the VMREU strike  for equal pay and Kate Braid describing  the formation of the B.C. group Women in  Trades.   This attempt to pinpoint women  'specialists' writing original material  around their own struggles, generally  works well, although leaves the anthology  open to some noticeable omissions, for  example, Quebecois women, microtechnology,  etc.  As a long-time Kinesis  worker it was refreshing, to see many references to these  pages in Still Ain't Satisfied by women  from all parts of the country. It allowed  me to distance myself from the magazine  known as Kinesis  and view it as a research  and education tool—a monthly documentation of our movement. But I'm not suggesting that the book's value could be usurped  by bronzing our back issues of Kinesis  for future generations. This book is  important in that it distills our experiences in a specific and organized way.  It should be a keystone in our feminist  libraries. Dec/Jan 83    Kinesis   25  THEATRE  * White Boys' fails to expose macho attitudes  by Elizabeth Shackleford  The Vancouver Playhouse production of Tom  Walmsley's play White Boys  doesn't start  off like most comedies. A woman gets out  of a near-stranger's bed in a remarkably  seedy East side apartment. Traffic sounds  cold. Her companion comes around slowly,  apparently suffering from a massive hangover. He finds it difficult to remember  the woman's name. Indeed, he forgets most  of what happened during his alcoholic  haze the night before.  Despite its beginning, however, White Boys  is a comedy. The aforementioned Randy  Wells kicks his roommate, Randy Wake, in  the shoe, propelling the latter into  meaningless grovellings around the stage  floor; the use of all fours presumably  for balance. As the laughter caused by  this scene dies down, the cold, the traffic noises, and the hangovers seem to  dissipate into thin air and audience  laughter during the remainder of the evening becomes as predictable as that of a  laugh track during a situation comedy.  The four characters Walmsley. has created  are enough to provide much of the play's  comic value. Wells and Wake are both  thirtyish, divorced and verging on chronic  alcoholism. They do odd jobs, such as  collating stacks of paper to keep themselves in liquor, whilst paying scant  attention to rent, 'friendly' debts and  utility bills. But the financial hardships  have not affected their wits which are  constantly in use producing wisecracks,  nor has it stopped them from having  spontaneous bursts of joy.  The other two characters, Robertson and  Susan, are rather transparent, perhaps  because they represent the kind of people  Walmsley himself would have little to do  with. Susan is a twenty-seven year-old  woman who became an outlaw after she  wounded her husband with his revolver  several months earlier. The husband had  bragged publicly about his sexual prowess,  yet Susan had found this aspect of their  relationship completely unsatisfactory.  Antagonism also grew from the fact that  he hadn't allowed her to work. Throughout  the play, Susan's words and actions are  almost too strongly defined as a reaction  to this marriage. She looks everywhere  for sexual prospects and expresses frank  disappointments when the experiences fail.  She's looking for a job, but will refuse  to do any typing. In summary, she is exerting her freedom strongly, sometimes with  rather brazen willfulness.  Robertson, who', is considered 'the boss' by  the two roommates comes dangerously close  to being caricature"-father than character.  He is. basically used as a dumping ground  for everything' obnoxious about' capitalists  and the middle classes. Walmsley marks  himself a working class writer with this  creation.  The mixing together of four such characters leads to some rather colourful situations. Walmsley has dubbed White Boys  "a contemporary comedy of manners" which  may seem hard to swallow because three of  the characters are so manifestly ill-  mannered. Although he does it rather  subtly, Walmsley reveals that there is a  good dose of hypocrisy, chauvinism and  concealed motivation in even the simplest  of relationships.  Walmsley had intended this play to be  "about all the things that go around sex".  He was also hoping to depict "an effective  man-woman relationship" because his previous efforts had been criticized for  exploiting women. The "effective man-  woman relationship" still eludes him, although he has managed to put his finger  on many of the attitudes which bedevil it.  One interesting subplot of the play concerns the ownership of Susan. Menacingly  accused of flirting with the woman Wells  has brought home, Wake defends himself by  saying in effect: "Don't worry, I know  she's yours". But after Susan has aggravated Wells by repeatedly referring to his  impotence, he generously says to Wake:  "You can have her". Apparently, Wells  considered her his to give. Unfortunately,  poor Wake is jilted and left to bemoan his  "terrible loss" when Susan finally leaves  with Robinson.  Women are considered edible by the duo.  Wake calls the derrier 'meat' and the  breasts 'potatoes'. Sugar and sweetie are  their terms of affection for her.  The thought that men are more interested  in the challenge of getting a woman into  bed than in what to do once she's there  is voiced by Susan herself. The play gives  further support to her statement. Not only  are the men easily cowed by her sexual  candidness, but they lose all interest in  sex once the challenge is removed.  Wells and Wake have distinct double standards regarding sexual behaviour. According  to their code for men there is only one  taboo regarding the selection of a partner  She mustn't be ugly. Wake confesses that  he doesn't just sleep with people he likes  because that would be too limiting. In  the sentimental final scene, both agree  is what's-her-name. Their code for women  insists on extreme selectivity and caution.  A woman earns no respect for herself by  picking up a man. When Susan leaves with  Robinson, they call her a pincushion and  laugh uproariously at the idea that she  might give him herpes.  Walmsley skilfully depicts how men consider women to be an intrusion into their  world. The chumminess between the roommates during scenes when Susan was absent  was remarkable and based to a large extent  on things which they would never have permitted her to hear. Her entrances were  marked by instant assumptions of the  manners she inspired and a striking loss  of intimacy between the men.  If the discomforts the characters were  feeling at the start of the play seemed  to end perfunctorily, the discomforts  they felt at the end of the play began  that way. Suddenly the two roommates were  under the influence oi the alcohol they'd  been swilling all day. Suddenly, the'began  to alternate between fits of coughing and  remorse about their way of life. Suddenly  there were traffic noises and, believe it  or not, the rain was falling.  Unfortunately, this scene represents a  trivial attempt to debunk "the myth of the  rough and ready guy" which was one of  Walmsley's stated aims. It's odd that he  expresses a deep concern about theatregoers emulating "guys who don't shave or  wash and drink too much" while simultaneously making such characters extremely  likeable. Perhaps he doesn't realize that  if you've made someone a wise-cracking  comic for an hour and a half, you can't  expect to turn him into a figure of  tragedy in three minutes flat.  I think it would be a fair assumption to  say that most theatre-goers who see White  Boys  may miss the subtler points of character and relationships. They are kept too  busy laughing. In this respect, Walmsley  has exploited the comic value of the  characters and their situations to such  an extent that he doesn't challenge the  audience to take a more serious look at  its attitudes and values. Foibles and  failings are given a comic sugar-coating  for palatability and provoke laughter  where it might be wiser to provoke thought.  R(KB   ^jou TnTEA£Sf£0  IN  LOAiTlHC-i  ^0(k   KIMB5IS ?  It iaKci aiot off people Sopot  out a paper, flight nouO u>C  need Jomen u)Ao arc Interested  in CGntribating.  • HBu)S  • ft ewe us  • PHOTDCMPtiy'  In -the netf year &'*?£&£ /$  plaantna a series oP uJritina  art layout uJorfaAop*.  ifi yoo 're interested in  uoOrkina *>ith. tAe paper 2$ Klrfe&flj^ DSbWtfrtSSJ  FILM  Feminist experiments in film  by Georgette Robitaille  It is by now a truism to say that -cinema  as a medium is a powerful tool for maintaining the status quo. Not only does it  allow for a quick transmission of any  sort of propaganda, but it also, by its  availability reaches a large audience.  Its great popularity is owed to the powerful Identification that the viewer feels  towards what's happening on the screen.  In short, for little money, one can sit  comfortably and watch a nice story unfold. However, all of the above doesn't  hold for the avant-garde genre.  The avant-garde cinema doesn't tell a nice  entertaining story—most of the time it  doesn't tell a story at all (at any rate,  what is considered to be a story within  the accepted ideas of narration)—and as  opposed to mainstream cinema, it has very  little popularity. In fact, the avant-  garde is famous for its lack of popularity.  The best way to lose a friend is to take  her to a Marguerite Duras (French writer  and avant-garde film director) film.  Baldly stated, for most people this cinematic genre is boring.  Such a reaction from the general public,  and the not-so-general intellectual elite,  is, of course, understandable in view of  the idiosyncratic obscurity of these  films. Because of the very private language of the avant-garde artist and her  non-narrative text, the content of the  film is not readily accessible. The  audience, not used to a text that is not  framed from a cause-effect relationship  between events, is left puzzled by what  seems at first to be a nonsensical hodgepodge. (Try to view Yvonne Rainer, Lives  of Performers,  and Film About a Woman Who,  or Sally Potter's Thriller.)  The unexpected, the lack of cause and effect in the  "story" line is unsettling for the viewer.  It is somewhat an affront to one's well-  instilled rationality.  If the avant-garde cinema is so inaccessible, why bother watching its films then?  Because it can be a useful tool in creating a new feminist culture and language—  a feminist culture based on a non-  hierarchical distribution of power. Film  is a medium increasingly used by women in  this exploration of cultural alternatives  and this is where the avant-garde cinema  seems the most promising. By breaking with  the deterministic narrative form (i.e.  a conflict is presented, developed and  resolved) it opens doors to new attitudes,  to new possibilities. Indeed, the extent  of one's oppression is reinforced by a  sense of inevitability in one's position,  which is re-created continuously by the  classic narrative.   Feminist avant-garde filmmakers believe  that one's liberation can be reached, in  part, by destroying the rigid linearity  of the traditional narrative model. Avant-  garde cinema uses a non-linear mode to  organize the experiences in our lives and  as such destroys the deterministic ways  of being and seeing defined by the classic  narrative. This approach to film, triggers  reactions which can make you, the viewer,  challenge your position within the dominant culture.  Women, while fighting their oppression,  are at the same time trying to create new  models of interactions that are less competitive, hierarchical, exploitive,  authoritarian and aggressive. So far the  level of our oppression, its understanding  of it, seems to have been achieved through  locating our position within power structures—whether they be the structures of  the Capitalist system, or many male-  dominated 'progressive' organizations. It  seems that the misuse of power and its  mystifying quality, has got very little to  do with the creed you belong to. The way  power is used seems to be issued from a  far more personal vision, which is,  obviously, organized within a larger framework. "The personal is political after  all".  The feminist avant-garde represented by  Marguerite Duras, Bette Gordon, Laura  Mulvey, Ulrike Ottinger, Sally Potter,  Yvonne Rainer, and Joyce Wieland (to name  the ones I'm more familiar with) does far  more than denounce the "locations" of our  oppressions. It involves us, in a deeply  personal questioning of the origins of  our oppressions and the ways we have  internalized them. In view of this, the  task of the viewer becomes necessarily  quite "involved"—a hard digging within  our own personal lives sometimes can  require considerable work. However, because the feminist avant-garde addresses  fundamental questions concerning our  culture/nature condition as women, this  genre can be quite useful for the feminist  movement at large.  Take it or leave it.  Network to screen British Thriller  by Jean Bennett  Thriller,   a film by British artist Sally  Potter, is an investigation of how women  function as tools for male self-discovery .  in traditional art forms. Interspersing  the film with clips from an actual production of the opera La Boheme,   Potter  uses as her main character Mimi, the female protagonist in the opera. Mimi  becomes the detective investigating her  own death in La Boheme,   and by analogy  the absence/death of all women in patriarchal culture.  Ensuring that her critique expands to  include all of the ways women's lives are  structured by patriarchy, Potter uses a  black woman to play Mimi in the film.  Potter explores how male discourse of any  sort requires a splitting of the female  image, a defining of women in oppositional terms. Thus the black Mimi is in a  constant'interchange of roles with the  white female character who initially  appears as Musetta, "the bad girl", the  one who didn't die. Throughout the film  the relationship between both of the Mimi/  Musetta characters is mediated by some  external force. They look at each other  in mirrors, one casts the shadow of the  other, or one performs while the other is  submerged in reading male texts, but they  are not able to see each other except  through the filters of patriarchal language.  The black Mimi/Musetta continues her  search through male texts for an understanding of her own death, ultimately  realizing that her death is necessary to  the maintenance of the myth of male heroism. Through his love for poor, innocent  Mimi, and the heroic dimension of his  grief at her own death, Rudolpho is able  to create himself as a powerful and  dramatic figure. If Mimi had lived, the  reality of her existence (of all womens'  existence)—childbirth, hard work, aging-  would have contradicted the idealized  image upon which Rudolpho's heroism  depended. Mimi comments: "I had to be  young, single and vulnerable."  In the last scene of the film, the two  women finally connect, looking directly  at each other and hugging each other  while two men exit through the rear window. But Potter is not trying to create  a female Utopia which exists separate  from patriarchal culture, instead she  envisions women directly engaged in a  struggle to decipher how patriarchy controls women through using the intellectual tools that men have appropriated to  themselves.  If you do tune in to watch Thriller  on  the Knowledge Network (Channel 18) on  January 7 or 9 (see Bulletin Board for  times) watch for Potter's use of sound,  shadow and reflection to create the  suspenseful atmosphere. The visual texture  of Potter's film produces as much meaning  as the actual language.  Kaplan's feminist fantasy creates magical heroine  Many women probably missed the  Vancouver East Cinema's mid-  October screening of the French  film, NEA.   Based on Emmanuel  Arsan's novel A Young Emmanuel  and shot in French-Switzerland  in 1975, NEA  is a feminist fantasy about a heroine who emerges  victorious in an oppressive  environment.  Kaplan's originality lies in  her use of psychoanalysis, erotic content and narrative  invention. She uses a combination of French New Wave and  Hollywood conventions to bring  about role reversals and surprising plot twists.  Nea is a 16-year-old rebellious  schoolgirl who defies her  father by skipping school and  shoplifting books. When caught  she assures the manager she will  write a much better book herself someday and later, makes  a secret pact with him and signs  a contract which gives her 30  percent of the profits from her  anonymous erotic novel.  After sleeping with him so that  she can write about the experience the book meets with great  success; whereupon he pretends  he wrote the book and ignores  her part in his sudden wealth  and fame. From here the plot  winds through a frightening  witch-like rape scene and a  confrontation between the two  which leads to his imprisonment. The last scene shows them  leaving together in a foggy  setting by canoe with the money  she saved from the sale of the  books.  Kaplan prefers a mythical to a  realistic treatment of women in  cinema, and is one of the few  female directors to use techniques  bordering on surrealism and the  fantastic. The heroine Nea is  not liberated in the sense of  becoming self-sufficient, but she  does become free of her father  and seizes the opportunity to  create a new relationship based  on equality.  Nea is not the archetypal female,  happily in love; she is a magical  creation, a witch with magic powers and the ability to take her  destiny into her own hands.  Like Kaplan's previous films's  NEA is weighted with comic elements •   Using a wonderful sense  of humour, bizarre comedy and  biting satire, Kaplan has created  a fairy-tale in NEA where the  heroine is not sinned against -  if anything, she does the sinning.  by Brig Anderson Ofifc/Uanafc; Kinesis* 2JS  POETRY  Chronicles I the flowering and decline of an affair  by Barb Herringer  A poetry broadsheet is to a book of poems  what a "single" is to a record album. And,  if I was announcing a poetry "top ten",  I'd say that Leslie Hall Pinder and  Lazara Publications have a hit with 35  Stones.   The broadsheet is beautifully designed and typeset by Penny Goldsmith and  illustrated by Claire Kujundzic and Pinder 's prose-poems are exquisite hard-  edged crystals refracting the chaos and  pain of a relationship's end into thirty-  five shades of light and insight.  35 STONES.  By Leslie Hall Pinder  Lazara Publications, Vancouver.  Folded broadsheet $2.00  35 Stones  chronicles the flowering and dissolution of an affair and does so in language that is at the same time both lush,  in terms of imagery and stark, in terms of  detail. Each "stone" follows the cycle of  the relationship and the entire' piece  seems written at the relationship's conclusions, from a place where there is  35 STONES  still not much distance, where there is ■  still pain and the clarity of "the end":  'And now when I think of you there is a  sense of chalk and pain.   Your phrasings,  your comings and goings, are scored in me.  It 's almost as though you don 't need to  exist anymore.- I carry what you produce  inside me,   like markings- in a cave. '  The details of the poet's encounter with  her lover are sketchy. Two women. One an  artist who is also in another relationship.  Does the relationship continue for weeks,  seasons, years? The reader is never sure.  What intrigues me about the poem(s) is  precisely this sketchiness and lack of  detail. There are images of seasons, of  particular days and the reader is led from  stone to stone and must fill in the blanks,  link up the clues:  "There is something I want which the words  only veil. And all the possible words are  like stones,  stepping stones in a creek;  some don't lead to the other side. '  After a time the details of time or place  or sequence don't really matter. What  Pinder does provide is power and emotion—  clues to an intensity that gathers momentum throughout each of the thirty-five  stones.  'You came and got me where I sat,  all  downturned and quiet.   You were both in  front and behind.  And all the lamps were  lit by you.  Between us then,  it was as  private as a midnight walk, in spite of  all the people.   The music was pear-shaped,  and we were like an elk,   like a noble  thing. '  To say that the poem lacks detail is not  to say that it is vague in any way. Many  of the pieces have a haunting quality  about them, others are jarring and immediately recognizable to any woman who has  gone through what Pinder describes:  'We never do get finished talking about  anything. It would take one to be big-  hearted, truthful rather than careful. We  emerge from opposite caves, on hands and  knees, holding small lights. We negotiate  the darkness, the spatial comfort of our  face-off. '  The poems move from warmth and sensuous-  ness to images of shards of glass, fog,  rotting orchids, paths grown over with  weeds...What could have been a maudlin  narrative is an angry and truthful portrayal of an ending.  'It is the waiting which kills us.  Today  you are most like a lake overcome by fog.  I look out and see nothing, and it is only  blind faith that makes me know you are a  lake overcome by fog. '  Several of the "stones" seem like dream  .fragments written in the middle of the  night in darkness, or like scattered journal entries from a time too painful to be  recorded in detail:  .'..There isn't a chronology, only lists,  the way you wake from a dream and write  it down single file,  the marbles of a  dream: glass goblets,  cracked goblets,  wailing sounds,  day and night halved together. '  35 Stones  is a strong piece of writing.  It offers no solutions, no visions except  through its powerful imagery and use of  rhythmic sentences. It portrays very  truthfully the cycle of many relationships  and the possible emotional dangers of non-  monogamy when one woman seems to hold  more power than her lover. Despite this,  it is a hopeful sequence. The conclusion  allows in the light:  'And sometimes still,   lying on my back on  the grass and looking up through the  leaves the way the light looks down,  I  think that there is no reason I do not  fly-'  Brownwen  upstaged by  Kirsten Emmott  by Nicky Hood  The Industrial Writer's Union is sponsoring a series of readings called "Work To  Write". The first of these occurred November 18 at Kingsgate Mall Public Library.  The featured poet was Bronwen Wallace from  Kingston.  Kirsten Emmott read four poems to open the  evening. Kirsten is a doctor as well as a.  writer and her work reflects this. Her  first poem, which was delightfully humourous is a take-off on the way doctors endlessly query patients about their pain,  its location, duration and intensity in  order to arrive at a diagnosis. She then  applies this practice to relationships.  How long have you had him?, she wants to  know. Does he come often? Do you feel  better when he goes away?  Two others offered polar perspectives on  a doctor's reality, revealing the emotional  payload that either works to sustain or  sends one into a decline. The first dealt  with the satisfaction and joy felt after  spending a sleepless night on the maternity ward. The other, the anger and fatigue  at being asked to be an accomplice in a  junkie's self-destructive pursuit. Both  poems were moving—one gentle, one abrupt..  I must admit to its quality. Her poems are  descriptive, her reading infused with  emotion, yet I was left unmoved for most  of the evening.  I did like her "Cancer Poems", and, although I do not have any distinct images  from them, they did touch me with their  sharp emotional edges. These poems are  filled with the tensions of one living in  fear of death while loathing a life filled  with chemotherapy and drugs. The first  poem in this series is Diagnosis:  Later she would remember the day  as white snowdrifts piled by the roadside  drifting across her windshield  and the doctor's crisp white paper  words piled on his desk  lymph nodes    white blood cells  I like this woman's writing. I want to  hear more. Her style is clean and crisp.  The sentences are short, the images are  succinct and clear. She leaves room for us  to colour between her lines, drawing on  experiences and emotions from our past.  She prods us into a sharp refocused view  of our lives.  Brownwen Wallace, on the other hand,  leaves me drifting in her sea of words.  One of her poems describes a place in the  country where words get lost once they are  spoken. This is the landscape that much  of her writing creates for me. The words  flow past in pleasing rhythms but nothing  remains. There are few after images, few  lingering emotions.  That I don't care for her work is more an  expression of my taste than a critical  analysis of her writing. Most everyone  else at the reading enjoyed her. And, upon  reading her work a couple of days later,  and drifting.  A brighter note in the reading was struck  with a description of an Italian neighbour  growing vegetables in a front yard no  bigger than a bathroom. He gestures to  show zucchini he grew last summer, as big  as fire hydrants, spilling over in his  garden. He tells her she can grow anything  with enough manure.  Bronwen has been published in a number of  periodicals and has one book Marrying into  the Family.   I like what she does in this  book. She takes us to "the beds and tables  of women she is not related to except by  marriage, except by the using of the things  they used". She explores connections with  her family most often through old photographs. She also uses family traditions  and family treasures.  If you see the book, you ought to pick it  up. You might even catch a reading the next  time she's in town. | 28   Kinesis    Dec/Jan83  OPINION  CRS workers' co-op gives flak back  We are some of the women who work at CRS  Workers' Co-op who would like to present  our own views of CRS and what we see as the  value of a workers' co-op. We take a different view than those expressed in the  November issue of Kinesis.   Our ideas reflect our personal perspectives and do not  necessarily reflect those of other members  of the co-op.  Firstly, we question whether there is a  common conception of a workers' co-op, or  common assumption of its role. To work in  a politically-oriented workers' co-op is  to be working with continual flux and  change. Conceptions of the co-op aren't  static. Our model has changed continually  over the six years of our existence. One  basic thing a workers' co-op is, however,  is an enterprise owned and operated by the  people who work in it. In our case, management is also done directly by the workers  themselves, although, in other models such  as the large enterprises in Yugoslavia,  management structures are more traditional.  We think that a prerequisite for any goal  CRS sets for ourselves, is that our business be reasonably successful. It needs to  pay liveable wages and provide good benefits and working conditions. Just being  successful is not a means of making society  aware of a model of economic democracy,  but it is essential if we want to inspire  people to consider working in, or setting  up, a workers' co-op. A common conservative  reaction to worker control is that the  workers would not be capable/responsible  of running an enterprise, thus ensuring  that it, and their own jobs, continue to  exist. We feel, however, that worker control is both possible and desireable as a  means of improving work satisfaction and  economic control, whether it occurs within  the context of capitalism, within a more  humanely-structured society, or as an  attempt to. move from the former to the  latter.  One of our co-op objectives states: "we  encourage the replacement of capitalism  and private enterprise with collective  ownership and control". Another objective  is to: "operate enterprises according to  the principles of worker ownership and  worker management". There is, however, no  final authority on how a worker co-op  should be structured. We,ourselves, have  had to struggle with the dichotomy of being  both worker and manager. Most of us have  been thoroughly conditioned to perceive  those functions as inherently at odds. The  notion of us "losing our identity as  workers" is, we feel, cliched. Most of us  don't come from particularly working class  backgrounds, and our aim is to occupy both  roles in our co-op. We want to reduce the  alienation that being a "worker" produces  through the worker's lack of power over  her situation. At the same time, we want  the function of management—the organization of efficient use of the enterprise's  resources—to be performed in such a  manner as to maximize the benefits that  working in the enterprise gives us.  At our current size of 23 members, it is  possible to have a highly-participatory  management structure, both on a co-op and  industry level (bakery, wholesaler and  bookkeepers). In the midst of whatever  management task we are performing, it is  difficult to forget the 800 loaves of  bread we will be making that night, and  vice versa. Many of us have worked in  tradtional female job ghettos, at traditional low wages, and the five of us certainly feel very positive about the women  here successfully performing non-  traditional work roles: baking, warehousing, trucking, accounting and management.  At this point, we are a somewhat successful, living-breathing workers' co-op and  are in a position to offer our resources  to the community and to work toward our  external aims of fostering an alternative  to traditional work and ownership structures. We believe in this form of economic  democracy, as it offers a vast improvement over the working conditions of most  people, and want to see it exist on a  larger scale in society. How best to foster the development and existence of  workers' co-ops is an ongoing debate on  priorities for action and resources. We  welcome suggestions from people interested  in the work we do. CRS is available to  help groups wanting to set up an industry  or convert" a business to worker ownership.  CRS continues to support a wide range of  community and political groups. We think  the co-op has  supported workers' struggles,  by honouring picket lines and boycotts, as  well as giving donations, (in the example  cited in Kinesis  of the Canadian Farmworkers Union strike against Country Farms:  we reject the assumption that losing business was the reason that CRS finally voted  to stop boycotting the Naam restaurant.  Many members felt that our boycotting the  Naam after the CFS was no longer picketing  would not be of any use to the union. ) Up  to this time we have not seen what role  CRS could play in the labour movement, but  we feel our goals are fundamentally the  same.  CRS has held, at times, divergent views  regarding our direction, although we do  strive to maintain unity over larger aims.  In order to work on our goals, all the  members should at least share them. Because a minority of people failed to convince their co-workers of their views  (views we perceived as denying the  validity of the co-op movement) we don't  accept that we should be condemned by  them for failing to support social change.  While we provide a workplace, we also ask  of our members that they agree and support our co-op's efforts to help more  co-ops to exist. Therefore our criteria  for job/membership are more exhaustive  than those encountered in a traditional  enterprise—one which wants only the  worker's labour, and not their energy to  work towards the organization's goals.  Building better workplaces  Co-ops don't change the system totally,  nor confront it totally. But, what group  does? We do, however, confront aspects of  the system. Housing and food co-ops provide some basic needs; worker co-ops provide jobs, useful products, and also  community services. We feel CRS is working  within a sphere we know and can make a  contribution to, just as women's groups,  trade unions, and community groups do.  Trade unions improve workplaces and conditions by confronting an antagonistic  management/ownership group in that workplace . We are set up to construct  better  workplaces which are controlled by the  workers themselves. These workers can  either perform or control the performance  of management, because the workers are also  owners.  On the issue of part-time workers who were  not members, we are critical of our actions  as a co-op. Our difficulty facing up to the  contradictions of being employers which we  had never intended to be, may have caused  us to be worse employers, in some ways,  than private business. CRS, like any other  business, has had to find ways of filling  temporary labour needs and irregular  shifts, and like other workers' co-ops  around the world with whom we've had con  tact, have found it a difficult issue.  Most workers' co-ops have not successfully  resolved the contradictions of having  workers who, because of their impermanence,  have not been granted much say in the running of the enterprise. CRS now has a  policy of allowing a certain number of  members who work part-time but continues  to have a number of casual shifts on an  irregular basis, and temporary positions.  Many of these positions fluctuate and overlap and so cannot just be spread out over  another member position. It was bad to set  out policy after over a year of giving  work hour's to regular nonmember workers.  Making part-time work and membership coincide meant deciding whether we really  wanted the individuals involved as members,  who must manage and work towards the goals  of the co-op. Given how long we had already  been providing work to them, maybe we  shouldn't have made the decision which  seemed right for the long run; although,  when hired, they were not given'any promise of permanent employment or membership.  While not actually fired, the nonmember  workers could not be guaranteed the minimum number of hours which they had said  were necessary for their work with us. We  now would only be requesting 'casual' work,  i.e. irregular, sick-replacement, etc.,  from people outside the co-op.  We think that most co-op members recognize  the real and valid need of many people for  less-than-fulltime work. We assume people  work part-time for the same reasons people  work fulltime and overtime: survival and,  if possible, some creative satisfaction  from the work they do. We feel, however,  that it's okay for us to structure our  membership and positions with primarily  fulltime workweeks (we do allow three less  than-fulltime positions). Many people  seek part time work in the economy, and  many need full time; we are not able to  be all things to all people.  How related are the controversies over  co-op direction and part time workers to  feminist issues? We don't feel that being  women particularly affected the outcome of  the problems. Sexism comes up as an issue  within the co-op, and will continue,  (e.g. power differences, work roles, work  styles) but we think it's incorrect to  portray the former workers' grievances  with the co-op as discrimination towards  women.  There is no doubt in our minds that workers' co-ops face many contradictions.  Having a democratic internal structure,  although positive, does not guarantee that  all our actions as a group will be beyond  reproach. We expect and encourage criticism  (though it certainly has been painful),  still in the knowledge that we cannot  satisfy all our critics. Different interest  groups and individuals with different  political priorities, always exist in a  co-op. Racism and sexism won't disappear  just because of our structure—though we  have more power to work on them than in a  traditional job. Our interests as worker/  owners are often at odds with our consumers who buy from us, mostly on the issue  of prices. In spite of inevitable controversies, we don't think the social value  of a workers' co-op is negated.  Finally, we see our activity in CRS as  being quite consistent with our feminism.  Our goal is for more people to have more  control over basic aspects of their lives,  namely work and wages; and workers' co-ops  can be a vehicle to achieve these ends.  Roberta McGinn  Ann Mackay  Maureen Collier  Ros Breckner  Anita Pollard D«r/Jjm83   Kinesis   29  LETTERS  Alix Dobkin provides  joy and support  Kinesis:  I have never responded to a review before  but feel Maura's review of Alix Dobkin in  the November Kinesis to be so opposite to  my own feelings that another view must be  presented.  I perceived a pre-formed personal (political) bias of the reviewer in this article.  I was surprised by the negative attitude  displayed in her review. The following are  a few of my own thoughts regarding Alix  Dobkin's October 2 concert and visit to  Vancouver.  Myself, I find Alix's "repetitious" use of  such positive words as "women" and "lesbian" most welcome in portraying our pride  and satisfaction. Her unique style of song  enhances her wide range of vocal skills.  It is such a relief to hear a woman sing  clearly and strongly such lyrics consisting of both political and emotional truths  •which affect all lesbian lives. Her insight and honesty are the next step for  many of us to graduate to and feel comfortable with after exposure to other less  lesbian defined artists. Her statements  are real and relative to us all in our  struggles and growths.  The October 2 concert brought new bonds  and strengths to our community, both in  political announcement and the offering of  "women only" space, the latter being something I expect to see a lot more of in Vancouver.  The brunch/workshop on the day following  the concert was evidence of the needs for  recognizing and bridging our differences  and opening lines of support for each other  to aid in our advancement. A very emotional  warm and extraordinary experience which I  doubt would have occurred without Alix  Dobkin's and Denslow Brown's participation.  For over three years, I've found Alix  Dobkin's input to be extremely supportive  in difficult times and very joyful in the  celebration of lesbianism. I feel enriched  by Denny and Alix's visit and wish to thank  the women of Ample Parking Productions for  organizing this wondrous occasion.  Ami Moore  Gibson grey on  'pro-life' stand  Kinesis:  Re: "Dead Animals, Dead Art, Dead^ Issue"  in the October/82 issue of Kinesis.  Rick Gibson sounds like a nice guy who  doesn't want to make any black and white  statements. Since when does a work of art  — or for that matter, a political statement — offer a solution? Let's face it,  most men feel like they could easily fit  in with the "Right to Life Society" in  their own confused conceptual way which  to me is what the "Right to Life Society"  is — people who do not have the whole  picture as to what the abortion issue is  about. Women having control of their own  bodies is the issue and abortion is only  one of its aspects, albeit a major one.  Also, I feel strongly about Gibson's statement: "But if everyone stops eating meat  and we go to vegetarianism, then maybe the  people who are 'pro-lifers' will have a  stronger leg to stand on." In my opinion,  if everyone stopped eating meat it could  only mean that things have gotten to a  much better stage of humanity, in that  people's consciousness may have finally  and practically realized where we are and  what we are doing on this earth, in this  life and with  this life. I'd say it's a  sure bet that at that time there would not  be one hungry and uncared for person (or  animal) in the world.  If that were the case today, I (and I'm  sure many, many women) would not have had  my abortion when I did as I was very reluctant to bear a child in a world where  the norm is to consider life as "I" instead  of "we". How ideal a world it would be if  we were all pro-lifers in the real sense  of the word.  Name Withheld Upon Request.  Volunteering adds to  life experiences  Kinesis:  The article In November Kinesis  "Are Volunteers Cheating the Unemployed?" does not  accomplish the writer's objective of casting doubt on women's organizations and  volunteerism in general. In fact the  writer builds a very positive case for  female volunteer organizations, the work  they have done and the skills they have  acquired through volunteer service.  At the Vancouver Volunteer Centre we see  volunteer work as one of the alternatives  open to people who are employed or unemployed. Volunteering can be part of a reentry to the workplace plan, it can help  with vocational decision making, for those  who choose to be at home it can offer  variety and new contacts or it can be an  alternative to the type of work an indi-  testing the distribution of pornographic  videotapes.  Who are the women's organizations that she  is casting doubt on? The women's organizations that I am familiar with are becoming  more creative in resourcing women who are  unemployed or on income assistance. They  are providing women with training and skills  that will assist them in their career or  job search, as well as giving them confidence, and new directions.  Is Brig Anderson not aware that any voluntary women's organization that has any  clout is attracting a new kind of volun- .  teer... women who are interested in initiating change? These volunteers' motives  certainly do not center on "Doing Good".  In most part they are active feminists  working for social, economic and political  changes that affect women and women's  issues. Who does she think are the workers  behind some of the lead stories in November's Kinesis? "Women Step Up Anti-porn  Action", "Single Moms Are Growing Strong",  "VSW Demands Protection for Growing Part-  Time Work Force". Women involved in work  behind these headlines are volunteers and  represent strong women's organizations in  the lower mainland.  In tough times new volunteer jobs are created. In the community in which I work, a  self-help group has just been created by  a social service agency to assist the unemployed financially and psychologically.  This drop-in centre will be run by volun-  vidual does in their employment. An important point to also consider is that  volunteers pioneer paid positions. They  demonstrate, either through direct service  volunteer work or advocating for social  change, when services are needed and then  work to establish them.  In 1978, the Vancouver Volunteer Centre  Board passed the following recommendation:  "The Vancouver Volunteer Centre will work  to promote the utilization of volunteers  in a co-operative, non-competitive partnership with paid staff, in order to improve  or create new services and to discourage  the replacement of staff with volunteers."  The chances of getting a job through volunteer work are as elusive as knowing the  right person or being in the right spot at  the right time. What volunteering will do  for you is contribute to your knowledge  and experience and give you another dimension to your life. A dimension that, by  the way, helps build better communications.  Jacquie Coinner, Executive Director  Vancouver Volunteer Centre  Volunteers needed in  women's movement  Kinesis:  The story by Brig Anderson in November's  Kinesis, "Are Volunteers Cheating the  Unemployed?" fails to address the critical  issue that the women's movement is volunteer in nature.  Her blinds show when she makes no mention  of the women behind the organizing of rape  crisis centres, shelters for battered  women or the women who are currently pro-  teers and will provide a most crucial networking system for the unemployed. That  project is not taking jobs away from staff.  It is providing a service that was not possible by any level of government.  Open your eyes Brig Anderson and pay a  visit to some of the volunteer organizations in this city that are helping women  gain new skills, develop networking systems, test career options, and initiate  and advocate for social, economic and political change. Show me any paid jobs that  have been replaced by volunteer jobs —  an issue that the labour movement is keeping a watchful eye on. Above all, let's  not forget that the women's movement was  founded and rests its laurel on volunteers.  Susan Witter  Jews should fight  racist Zionism  Kinesis:  We are writing in response to the letter in  the November issue of Kinesis accusing  anti-Zionists of anti-semitism. The letter  sees Zionism as intrinsic to Judaism and  maintains that the only Jews who have opposed Zionism are self-haters who identify  with their oppressors.  In fact, Zionism is a secular political  ideology which arose in the late 19th century in Europe. At the time, Zionism was  one amongst numerous political trends within the Jewish community and was bitterly  opposed by the Jewish social reformers who  argued that Jews should fight for full  rights and against anti-semitism in the  countries in which they were living. Accord- 30   Kinesis    Dec/Jan 83  LETTERS  ing to historians of the period, these  social reformers had more influence amongst  Eastern European Jews than did the Zionists.  The Bund,  which represented large numbers  of Jewish workers, repeatedly spoke of the  resident population in Palestine, pointing  out that a Jewish state could not be established in territory which was already populated by Arabs. Are we to assume then, as  the signers of the November letter would  have us do, that the majority of Jews in  Eastern Europe were self-hating anti-semites  while only the Zionists, who were a minority, were true Jews? We think not. This is  only one example of widespread opposition  to Zionism amongst Jews. Since the inception of the Zionists project, Jews in large  numbers have opposed Zionism.  We feel that there has been considerable  confusion about exactly what we mean when  we say that we are anti-Zionist. We are  opposed to the existence of special laws  and policies which grant rights and privileges to one religious or racial group at  the expense of another. And this is precisely the nature of the Israeli state  which maintains an arsenal of discriminatory laws through which they oppress and  intimidate the Palestinian people. According to the Law of Return,  any Jew from  anywhere in the world can immigrate to  Israel while two million Palestinians live  in exile, many of them in refugee camps.  Of those Palestinians who have lived under  Israeli rule since 1948, 20$ are still  denied citizenship,as are their children.  The policies of the Begin government,  which led to the mass slaughter of tens of  thousands of Palestinians and other Arabs  in Lebanon, are entirely consistent with  the historical policies of the Zionist  state of Israel. Why, we might ask, were  there so many Palestinians living in exile  in Lebanon in the first place? This situation was not a result of the policies of  the Begin government, but of the Labour  GAFEd RAESb  560 Davie Street, Vancouver. B.C.  Babe's Calendar Events  Every Friday night from 7:00 pm to 9:00  pm a Pot Luck Table for women between  the age of 18-39.  Every Saturday night from 7:00 pm to 9:00  pm a Meet and Greet Table for women  between the age of 40-70.  There will be two tables for each night  seating 6 persons and will be reserved for  those   women   who  wish   to   meet   in  a   comfortable   atmosphere   for   light  conversation and whatever.  For women interested in either of the  above nights please call and reserve your  seat  as  there  will   only  be  12  seats  available.  Don't forget Christmas, Babe is planning  a Sunday evening special Dec. 19/82. Old  tyme Christmas music, muld wine and  Christmas sweets. Between 6:00 pm &  10:00 pm.  New Year's Eve yes Babe is planning a  special dinner commencing at 9:00 pm till  2:00 am.  Couple — $36.00  Single — $20.00  Champagne, Hors d'oeuvres, dinner and  glass   of   wine   with   dessert   plus  champagne at midnight.  Reservations requested in advance  NEW HOURS starting December 6, 1982.  Mon. to Thurs. 9:30 am till 10:00 pm  Friday 9:30 am till 3:00 am  Saturday 5:00 pm till 3:00 am  government which has ruled Israel from  1948 until recently.  As anti-Zionists, we support the demand  put forward by the Palestinian Liberation  Organization for a secular state in the  region which grants full and equal rights  to all people who choose to live there, be  they Jewish or Arab.  In their zeal to point the accusing finger  of anti-semite, the signers of the November  letter accuse Rosa Luxembourg, a Jewish  communist, of refusing "to consider the  Jewish issue even as the Nazis planned  the extermination of European Jews..."  Although millions of communists and communist supporters died fighting the Nazis,  Rosa Luxembourg was unable to participate  as she had already been murdered in 1919,  long before the Nazi rise to power. Surely  it's a little unreasonable to criticize  Rosa for not rising up from the dead.  We, along with many other Jews historically and in the present, in the face of the  real problem of anti-semitism, reject  Zionism as a solution. We particularly object to lumping anti-Zionist Jews in with  the Klan, claiming that both represent  anti-semitic points of view. We are fighting for the rights of Jews, and peoples  of all minority groups to live in those  countries where we choose to make our  homes. This includes both Jews and Arabs  in whatever part of the world we may choose  to live. We see anti-Zionist work as one  aspect of the anti-racist work which many  of us have been involved in for many years  Ruth Herman  Claire Culhane Honey Maser  Dara Culhane Marnie Maser  Rosheen Culhane       Chava Helen Mintz  Rachel Epstein        Nina Rabinovitch  Sharon Goldberg       Sarah Shamai  Linda Grant Eva Sharell  Zionism obstructs  Jewish justice  Kinesis:  The issues of anti-Zionism and anti-semitism are usually discussed separately (and  by separate people). Major feminist newspapers have contained many articles and  letters on these issues for many months  now. Last month's Kinesis contained a letter claiming that anti-Zionism is equivalent to anti-semitism.  This is an insult to the increasing numbers of Jews (in Israel and elsewhere in  the world) who are beginning to question  Zionist orthodoxy; it denies Jews the right  to a spectrum of political views. Zionism  has always been just one view in the Jewish community.  The struggle against Jewish oppression and  against Zionism are both progressive. An  Israeli feminist writing in Outwrite,   an  English feminist newspaper, says that "to  be anti-Zionist is to reject the state of  Israel as an exclusively Jewish state, and  is to understand the necessity of fighting  for the rights of the Palestinians to live  in their land with whoever is there and  chooses to live there".  It is misleading to pose the issue as one  concerning a homeland for the Jews. The  PLO does not deny the people of Israel the  right to remain on that land. They question  the exclusive Jewish nature of the state  and its nationalist and expansionist policies. The Palestinians were born in that  land and want the right  to return to and  live on that land—not some parcel of land  decided upon by the U.S. or Israel. Many  Zionists now speak of the possibility of  a Palestinian state on the West Bank of  Jordan. What is left unspoken is that Israel has the best land, the ports, and in  the interests of western imperialism, has  underdeveloped Palestinian and Arab territory.  What I see here is racism. Jews deserve  the right to live without oppression, but  they claim the best land and the Palestinians get the worst. There is an incredible  hatred of Palestinians (and all Arab  peoples) in the western media. Many Jews  subscribe to these distorted views of  Arabs as less educated, less cultured,  dirty terrorists. How does this differ  from anti-Jewish prejudice? And what about  the racism of Israelis of European descent  against Oriental Jews (those Jews from  Africa, Asia and southern Europe who have  the lowest education, worst jobs and housing in Israel—except for the Palestinians )? We cannot just hear talk about a  homeland without questioning its proponents  about what kind of land they are talking  about. Anti-Zionists are looking for great  changes in the fabric of Israeli society.  To live with Palestinians means confronting  racism and capitalism.  Those concerned with anti-semitism must  surely look at the role of the United  States in Israel. The U.S. military aid to  Israel is second only to that given Vietnam. The U.S. has tremendous economic interests to protect in the Middle East.  Israel is its foothold there. It was the  U.S. government which funded the invasion  of Lebanon and gives it international support. The PLO blames the U.S. more than  Israel for certain recent actions. Yet the  horror at the slaughter in Lebanon and the  persistence of certain Zionists and anti-  Zionists to focus on the issue as one for  a Jewish homeland feeds into those anti-  semites waiting for a reason to blame Jews  for being horrible people. Israel is a pawn  of the U.S. in the Middle East. Many Israelis realize this—especially in light  of the U.S.'s aggressive pro-nuclear  actions.  The Middle East, like Europe, is one of  the staging areas for a U.S. inspired  nuclear war. The U.S. does not arm Israel  to fight anti-semitism, but to maintain its  base in the Middle East. Israel could be  blitzed and two and a half million Jews  would be dead. Remember that it was two  Jews, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg who were  framed as Soviet spies, accused of passing  "atomic secrets", and killed by the U.S.  in the 1950's in its cold war with the  Soviet Union.  It is a valid criticism that in recent  years, progressive Jews have seldom spoken  out against anti-Jewish prejudice, including that in the left and in the women's  movement. In fact, we have seldom allowed  ourselves to realize how deeply rooted  anti-Jewish prejudice is in our culture.  And so we have done little to challenge  the idea that we can support either Arab'  interests on the one hand, or Jewish interests on the other.  The kind of feminism I'm interested in  building, sees a world in which neither  women nor anyone else will be exploited and  oppressed. Jewish oppression and the Palestinian situation must be analyzed in relation to other forms of oppression and in  terms of how capitalism fosters sexism,  racism, and class divisions to maintain itself. Part of the program to fight anti-  semitism must include the call to oppose  Zionism. This is pro-Jewish in the best  tradition of Jewish justice and Jewish progressive history.  In sisterhood,  Robin Barnett Dec/Jan 83   Kinesis   31  BULLETIN BOARD  EVENTS  ENTERTAINMENT AT CARNEGIE COFFEE HOUSE,  presents Nadine Davenport at Carnegie  Hall, at Carnegie Centre on Dec. 7th  at 8 pm. Open Mike Time: 7-8. Original  music and womyn's music. Admission:free.  VANCOUVER STATUS OF WOMEN ANNUAL DECEMBER  BENEFIT will be held at the Oddfellows  Hall, Graveley St. at Commercial, on  Friday, December 10th at 8 pm.  Tickets in advance: $3 unemployed and  $5 employed. Tickets available at:  VSW, Ariel Books, and Octopus East  Bookstores.  Preregister for childcare. Contact Cat  at 873-1427. Anyone wanting to help out  on the night of the dance please phone  Cat or Susan at 873-1427.  A YULE PARTY FOR YOU-ALL! Co-op Radio and  Vancouver Folk Music Festival will hold  a Christmas party dance, on December 11,  at 9 pm at the Ukrainian Hall, 805 E.  Pender St. Advance tickets only, $4. are  available at Co-op Radio, Folk Festival  office, Black Swan Records, Octopus  Books East. Holy and the Harmonics, a  fantastic swing band from Bellingham  will be playing. Food and refreshment.  PICKETING OF ALL RED HOT VIDEO STORES on  December 11, 2-3 pm. Contact: the Port  Coquitlam Women's Centre: 941-6311.  JUDY CHICAGO'S DINNER PARTY in Calgary  from December 3, 1982 to February 27,  1983 at the Glenbow Museum, 9th Ave and  1st St. S.E. General Information, call:  (403) 264-JUDY. Group tickets and  information: (403) 264-8300 ext. 279.  WOMEN'S EYE VIEW on the Knowledge Network.  Fridays-12:30 pm or Sundays-7 pm.  December 10 & 12 "Breaking Through" A  look at pre-trades and technology training programs.  December 17 & 19 "Just for Me" Three  working women who decide it is time for  a change in their lives.  December 24 & 26 "Women in Sport" Traces  the story of women in sport from the  ancient Amazons to historic and current  champions.  December 31 & January 2 "Right Out of  History" Judy Chicago: The Making of the  Dinner Party.  January'7 & 9 "Thriller" Feminist  experimental film. See preview in this  month's Kinesis.  "THE ABORTION CONTROVERSY" a course exploring the moral, philosophical, biological and legal issues. Held at Vancouver Community College-King Edward  Campus Mon. Jan. 10th, 8-10 pm for 8  weeks. Taught by Beverley Scott, M.A.  Cost: $36. Register week of Jan. 3rd at  Admissions, King Edward. Mon-Thurs. 8-  7 pm, Fri. til 3 pm. Info call:731-4614.  LAVENDER ELEPHANT BAZAAR. Support this  fundraising event for the 1983 Regional  Lesbian Conference. Saturday, Dec. 11,  1982 at Britannia Community Centre, 1-  4:30 pm. For pick-ups of donations call  873-5086, 525-4838, or 254-8761 before  December 9.  JANUARY PUB NIGHT of the North Shore  Women's Centre on Thursday, Jan! 6 at  7:30 pm in the North Building-Delbrook  Centre, 600 West Queens Road.  Info call: 988-7115, Local 338,339.  WORK TO WRITE poetry series presents a  poetry reading by Gwen Hauser. Thursday,  January 20th at 7:30 pm at Mt. Pleasant  Library (in Kingsgate Mall at Broadway  and Kingsway). A powerful writer,  particularly on women's themes I Free  admission. Sponsored by Vancouver  Industrial Writers' Union.  UP AND COMING  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  7/8 is out with a review of the lesbian issue of Fireweed,  two new features—Rubymusic  by Connie  Smith and Childrens ' Literature in Review  by Jenifer Svendsen, an excerpt from Elsa  Gidlow's autobiography in progress,  feminist literary criticism examined and  much much more. A reminder that there is  still time to submit work for our winter  issue 83 to guest editor, Deb Thomas,  c/o RR #2, Beford Road, Nelson, B.C.  VIL 5P5. We welcome clear, well-written  writing on works by Canadian women, lesbians, working class writers and women of  colour. We want to provide Canadian women  with a forum for their critical and  creative work and invite submissions of  film, book and theatre reviews, critical  articles, interviews, journal excerpts,  short fiction and poetry.  WATCH FOR Ms. Beaver Goes West, by Rosemary Allison and Ann Powell. Published  by The Women's Press. Toronto, 1983.  ON THE AIR  THE LESBIAN SHOW ON CO-OP RADIO, 102.7 FM.  each Thursday from 7:30-8:30.  December 2-Heather Bishop's new children's album.  December 9-Meditation  December 16-Humour Show  December 23-Auntie Xmas  December 30-Dancing Music  WOMAN VISION ON CO-OP RADIO, 102.7 FM.  Listen out on Mondays, 7-8 pm. News,  views, music on Womanvision, the program  that focuses on women.  RUBYMUSIC ON CO-OP RADIO, 102.7 FM from  7-7:30 pm each Friday. Join host Connie  Smith for half an hour of the finest  in women's music: pop, gospel, folk,  feminist and new wave.  CLASSIFIED  CO-OP RADIO, CCCA & ISADORAS would like to  thank everyone who came out and supported  us at our benefit on October 29th, 1982.  You all helped to make it a very successful and enjoyable evening. We'd also like  to express our apologies to those who  were turned away at the door due to space  constraints. Merry Christmas, everyone!  NEW HOURS AT PORT COQUITLAM WOMEN'S CENTRE,  Mon-Fri: 9:30 am - 2:30 pm. Beside  Centennial^Pool, nr. Shaughnessy &  Lougheed. Phone:'941-6311.   ^1   INTERESTED IN REVIEWING BOOKS FOR The  Radical Reviewer?  Call Cy-Thea at  876-2943 to discuss interest areas,  ideas, titles and outlines.  TWO ROOMMATES NEEDED for a lesbian-  feminist household for Jan. 1, 1983.  The house is located near .Fraser &  33rd. The house has pets, is nonsmoking and the rent is very reasonable.  One of the bedrooms can be used as  studio space. For more information:  876-4541 or 254-6036 (days).  COME TO SISTERS RESTAURANT, 612 Davie St.,  Hours: Mon: Noon to 5 pm; Tues. Noon to  midnight; Wed. Noon to midnight; Thurs.  Noon to 2 am; Fri. Noon to 2 am; Sat.  6 pm to 2 am; Sun. 11 am to 4 pm (brunch)  Phone: 681-6400  HERA CONSTRUCTION has changed their name  to "PLANE JANE CONSTRUCTION". Women's  Building Collective, Carpentry, Renovations, Painting. Call Beth: 873-5804  or Melanie: 736-0935.  LESBIAN INFORMATION LINE. Want to talk?  Need information? Call LIL Thurs & Sun.  7-10 pm. Phone: 734-1016. LIL is looking  for new members. Call to join our fun  collective.  ARIEL XMAS HOURS: From December 5 are 10-9  Mon-Fri, 10-6 Sat and 1-6 Sunday.  SMALL GROUP OF WOMEN interested in buying  land in southern B.C., preferred area  Vancouver Island or Gulfs. Call: 873-  5076 or write Ste. C. 1655 E. 21 Ave.  Vancouver.  WANTED: Small floor model loom. Call  Shirley: 255-7272.  ISLAND RETREAT. Bed and breakfast in a  women's farmhouse. Singles or couples.  Small groups can be arranged. Reasonable  rates. A weekend in the country in  beautiful Parksville. Children welcome.  Phone Judith at 248-2504 (evenings).  For information and bookings.  FOR RENT: PERSON WANTED for large, mixed  co-op house. We are 3 women, 1 man and  2 cats. We are politically concerned,  anti-sexist, and friendly, looking for  same. $180. month, share utilities.  Available immediately. Phone: 876-5609.  HOUSING FOR SINGLE PARENTS: Interested in  co-op housing? Contact: Michaeline  Yarchuk, Home: 251-3286. Messages:  931-7706  THE RADICAL REVIEWER  is in urgent need of  a good typewriter. A donation or ideas  about how to get one will be gratefully  received. Please call Cy-Thea at 876-  2943.  MARCIA MEYER  singer/songwriter  will entertain at  ARIEL BOOKS  2766 West 4th Ave.  Saturday Dec. 11th  2-4 pm  ARIEL XMAS  HOURS 10-9 Mon-Fri  10-6 Saturday  1-5 Sunday


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