Kinesis Mar 1, 1995

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 6f  MARCH 1995  NAC under 12 CMPA $2.25  Happy  International  Women's Instdf  KINESIS  #301-1720 Grant Street  Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y6  Tel: (604)255-5499  Fax:(604)255-5511  Kinesis welcomes volunteers to work on  all aspects of the paper. Our next  Writers' Meeting is Mar 7 for the April  issue and Apr 4 for the May issue,  at 7 pm at Kinesis. All women welcome  even if you don't have experience.  Kinesis is published ten times a year by  the Vancouver Status of Women. Its  objectives are to be a non-sectarian  feminist voice for women and to work  actively for social change, specifically  combatting sexism, racism.classism,  homophobia, ableism, and imperialism.  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  EDITORIAL BOARD  Shannon e. Ash, Lissa Geller,  Agnes Huang, Fatima Jaffer  PRODUCTION THIS ISSUE  Fatima Jaffer, Susan MacFarlane,  Rose Gilbert, Leah Ibbitson,  Coleen Hennig, Christine Tarampi,  wendy lee kenward, Heidi Henkenhaf,  Centime Zeleke, Christine Evans, Rose  Baldry, Elsie Wong, Moira Keigher,  Wendy Frost, Dawn Simpson, Laiwan  Advertising: Yasmin Jiwani  Circulation: Cat L'Hirondelle, Jennifer  Johnstone, Linda Gorrie  Distribution: Carolina Rosales  Production Co-ordinator: Agnes Huang  Typesetter: Sur Mehat  FRONT COVER  Happy IWD from the beach  Photo by Fatima Jaffer,  with Su Patel  PRESS DATE  February 21, 1995  SUBSCRIPTIONS  lndividual:$20 per year (+$1.40 GST)  or what you can afford  Institutions/Groups:  $45 per year (+$3.15 GST)  VSW Membership (includes 1 year  Kinesis subscription):  $30 per year (+$1.40 GST)  SUBMISSIONS  Women and girls are welcome to make  submissions. We reserve the right to  edit and submission does not guarantee  publication. If possible, submissions  should be typed, double spaced and  must be signed and include an address,  telephone number and SASE. Kinesis  does not accept poetry or fiction.  Editorial guidelines are available upon  request.  DEADLINES  All submissions must be received in the  month preceding publication. Note: Jul/  Aug and Dec/Jan are double issues.  Features and reviews: 10th  News: 15th  Letters and Bulletin Board: 18th  Display advertising  (camera ready): 18th  (design required): 16th  Kinesis is produced on a Warner  Doppler PC using WordPerfect 5.1,  PageMaker 4.0 and an NEC laser  printer. Camera work by Midtown  Graphics and II Kozachenko. Printing by  HorizonPublications.  Kinesis is indexed in the Canadian  Women's Periodicals Index,  the Alternative Press Index and is a  member of the Canadian Magazine  PublishersAssociation.  ISSN 0317-9095  Publications mail registration #6426  News  Remembering women in the Downtown Eastside 3  by Agnes Huang  Federal government's new child support proposal 3  by Susan MacFarlane  Students protest social policy cuts 4  by Edna Campbell  Social policy conference in Vancouver 5  by Sue Vohanka  Human rights victory for Wen-Do 6  by Agnes Huang  Women's community healthcare forum 7  by Caitlin McMorran Frost  Features  Critiquing the Human Genome Diversity Project 10  by Jeanette Armstrong, as told to Agnes Huang  South Africa's Speak magazine closes down 11  by Fatima Jaffer  Special feature  NAC under attack:  Interviews with Sunera Thobani,  Laura Sky and Shree Mulay   as told to Fatima Jaffer  Challenging child sexual abuse and homophobia..  by Shelagh Day  Speak closes down..  .12,16,17   13  Centrespread  International Women's Day Calendar..  compiled by Lora McElhinney  Commentary  Immigration policy in Canada and the US .  by Nandita Sharma  Arts  Review: Motherland.Tales of Wonder 19  by Deborah Stacey  Review: Unleashing Feminism 20  by Shannon e. Ash  Review: Sawagi Taiko at Women in View 23  by Lydia Kwa  Regulars  As Kinesis Goes to Press 2.  Inside Kinesis 2  What's News 8  by Shannon e. Ash, Centime Zeleke and Cyndi Mellon  Letters 24  Bulletin Board 25  compiled by Susan MacFarlane, Coleen Hennig  and wendy lee kenward  "—7" FfPf  IWD calendar..  The next  writers' meetings  are on February 1 & March 7  @ 7 pm at VSW  #301-1720 Grant St  Helen Klodawsky's Motherland..  ..17 As Ki nesi s goes to p ress th i s month,  women are pulling out their old shoes  and sending them to Finance Minister  Paul Martin. Are the shoes an International Women's Day gift? Well, why  not. Actually, the shoe campaign is the  National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC's) cute way of saying, Take a Walk in Women's Shoes  before you cut the budget. Most wom-  en'ssocialpolicycoalitionsincities across  Canada are organizing public shoe-mail-  i ns on busy city streets. The women then  walk miles (in less old shoes) to the post  office to deliver the message  The budget is another issue pending as Kinesis goes to press. As we've so  often said, nobody respects our deadlines! We know the budget holds cuts to  women's groups and services across the  board, cuts to social programs, and the  possible dissolution of the Canadian  Advisory Council on the Status of  Women (CACSW). Seems women have  achieved equality in this country already... fact, Human Resources and  Development Minister Lloyd Axworthy  is using that myth as a podium to denounce other countries-read "third  world"—for its treatment of women.  Axworthy was in New York last month  for meetings connected to a United Nations summit of world leaders in March  when he announced Canada's intention to ensure respect [sic] for the rights  of women and Aboriginal people's  around the world. The UN self-proclaimed agenda these days is to deal  with women's rights, popu lation growth,  poverty and to make human well-being  a priority for all its member states. According to the Liberal government here,  the threat to Canadian's quality of life is  directly linked to poverty in other  countries...and urban poverty, especially  in "third world" countries is growing. It  doesn't say why, or that the reason could  22 T HANKS  Our thanks to Vancouver Status of Women members who support us year  'round with memberships and donations. Our appreciation to the following  supporters who became members, renewed their memberships or donated to VSW  in February:  Tammy Astner * Sandra Bauer * Fatima Correia * Karen Egger * Sydney Foran  * Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Connie Geller * Bayla Greenspoon * Hannah Hadikin *  Jo Hinchliffe * Salme Kaljur * Barbara Lebrasseur * Alex Maas * Ken-in Moore *  Neil Power * Janet Shaw * Jill Stainsby * Ruth Lea Taylor * Sheilah Thompson  * Diane Thome * Maureen Trotter * Leanne Walsh * Lynne Werker  We would like to say a very special thank you to the following supporters who  have responded so generously to our annual fall fundraising appeal and supported  our annual Recommending Women event held February 16, 1995. The ongoing  support of VSW donors, as well as the support of many new donors, is crucial to the  expansion of VSW's vital services and programs in the face of continued government cuts to our funding. We are very thankful to:  Anonymous * Maryann Abbs-Fehler * Dawn Adamson * Jan Alexander *  Carolyn ■v.kew * Wendy Baker * Suzan Beattie * Barbara Bell * Jean Bennett *  Charley Beresford * Evy Birkeland * Margaret Birrell * Rebecca Bishop *  Elizabeth Briemberg * B.C. Federation of Labour * B.C. Women's Hospital * Pam  Bush * Carole Cameron * Coffey Miller & Co. * Confederation of Canadian  Unions * Diana Craig * Susan Crowley * Francesca De Bastiani * Jean Elder *  Stowe Ellis * Gene Errington * Mary Frey * Noga Gayle * Joan Gordon * Miriam  Gropper * Charlotte Gyoba * Hannah Hadikin * Aphrodite Harris * Ninel  Hoffmann * Dorothy Holme * Noma Horner * Karen Ireland * Faune Johnson *  Catherine Kerr * Yukie Kurahashi * Bernie Lalor-Morton * Julie Anne Le Gras *  Andrea Lebowitz * Louise Lecalir * Judith Lee * Leila Lolua * June Love * Michelle  MacPhee * Sandra Molloy * Myrtle Mowatt * Melinda Munro * Rachel Notley *  Eha Onno * Clea Parfitt * Candace Parker * Joy Parr * Marion Pollack * Penny  Priddy * Claar Prinsen * Kathleen Redmond * Gayla Reid * Josephine Rekart *  Alison Sawyer * D. Scammells * Janet Shaw * Linda Shuto * Kay Sinclair * Louise  Soukerof f * Lynn Stephen * Susan Stout * Deborah Strachan * Coro Strandberg  * Edith Thomas » Hilda Thomas * Penny Thompson * Jill Trotter * University of  B.C. * Vancouver Newspaper Guild Local 115 * Sue Vohanka * Joan Wallace *  Mary Wallace Poole * Katharine Young  We would also like to thank all of those who made this year's Recommending  Women reception such a terrific success. Thank you to our sponsor for the past six  years VanCity Credit Union * Marine Printers who assisted with our invitations *  Diane Levings of Full Bloom Flowers Inc. for the wonderful arrangements again this  year * The Twelfth Night Trio * Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre * our M.C.  Wendy Baker and speakers Adine Day of VanCity, Ellen Woodsworth and, of  course, Madeleine Parent * the generous artists who works were donated for our  silent auction Shani Mootoo * Susan Stewart * Persimmon Blackbridge * Nora  Patrich * Claire Kujundzic and all of the volunteers who worked so hard Miche *  Fatima * Diana * Andrea * Heidi * Cat * Hilary * Elizabeth * Fiona * Riitta * Linda and  the members of our Women Recommending Women Committee Elizabeth Aird *  Margaret Birrell * Gene Errington * Patricia Graham * Miriam Gropper * Shona  Moore * Veronica Strong-Boag * Gale Tyler * Joan Wallace * Elizabeth Whynot * Kate  Young  Most insulting is that Axworthy is the  minister carrying the government's  agenda to slash Canada's social programs, end universality of health care  and welfare, and make education  unaffordable except for the rich!  To get back to CACSW, as Kinesis  goes to press, we have received a statement from the Western Advisory Councils on the Status of Women saying  issues of violence against women, anti-  stalking legislation, sexual abuse of  women and children, and the  marginalization of women of colour and  Aboriginal women continue to be their  priorities even as rumours of CACSW's  demise may soon be confirmed in the  upcoming budget. .  In particular, they condemn the recent attacks in the media on Glenda  Simms, president of CACSW. The media has been particularly vigilent in attacking Simms' drycleaning bills and  other expenses. Sounds remarkably similar to the recent attacks on NAC, except  rather than berate NAC prez Sunera  Thobani for her extravagent dry-cleaning bills (maybe she uses a laundromat  instead?) the media has reported the  imminent demise of NAC due to one  fundraising initiative fallingthrough [see  page 12].  Also taking place as Kinesis goes to  press is a national day of action against  the Supreme Court decision on Intoxication as a defence (referring to September's Daviault decision by the highest court in Canada to uphold the use of  intoxication as a defence in a case of  sexual assault.) Numerous demonstrations havealready taken place [see Kinesis,  Dec/Jan and Feb 1995]. A coalition of  women formed the February 25th Committee to launch this day of action. We'll  bring you the more on this in our next  issue. Contacts are Toronto's METRAC,  Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, and O AITH  also in Toronto. As well, your local rape  crisis or women's centre may also be  involved.  As Kinesi s goes to press, a new news-  paper is making the rounds in Vancou-  by a collective of women at the University of British Columbia with the intention of increasing the visibility of women,  raising awareness of women's issues  both on and off campus, and countering  the "chilly climate" many women experience on campus. Issue One is a 16-  pager, carries news, arts, features, opinion pieces, poetry, photography, sports,  creative p rose writing and analy si s. Special features include a look at the Liberal  government's social policy review and  perspectives on the politics of choice,  judging by this premiere issue, VS. an  Alternative is going to shake up a lot of  people on campus.  Speaking of media, Kinesis will be  attending the international Women and  the Media Conference organized by  UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultu ral Organization). The conference is among many  being held prior to September's World  Conference on Women in Beijing.  Gertrude Mongella, secretary general of  the Beijing Conference will deliver the  keynote address. Only 15 of the 150  participants of the conference are Canadian. The theme for the Coneference is  Access to Expression and Decision-Making.  April 3-10 in Canada is Information Rights Week, and there will be a  series of events held to highlight the  inportance of access to information in  our daily lives. This year's Week will  particularly focus on the information  superhighway (Internet and all that stuff)  and deal with questions of access, control, ownership and protection.  Some tid-bits to hold on to before we  go...LorenaBobbitt is workingasa manicurist again at a salon somewhere in the  US.  And women nominated for Juno  Awards this year [previously reviewed in  Kinesis] include Lee Pui-Ming, Ferron,  and Loreena McKennit.  That's it for this month. Have a  wonderful International Women's Day!  Catch you next month!  m  \K  i  nests  Happy IWD from all of us here at  Kinesis'. Even though ive think IWD  should really mean "International Women's Decade", we still hope you have a  great day on March 8th.  So did you notice the photographs  on the front and back covers? What are  we talking about, you ask? The beach....  the snow! Can you believe we took these  photos four days apart! That's why we  love living here in Vancouver.  We wanted to let you, our beloved  readers, know that volunteers are the  best. Despite the snowfall, our volunteers all still came in to help. Nothing,  absolutely nothing, would keep them  away from working on Kinesis. And two  of them even brought ice cream!  This month, we had lots of new  volunteers working on our IWD issue.  Welcome to our new volunteer writers  this issue: Laura Sky, Centime Zeleke,  Lydia Kwa, Nandita Sharma, and Cyndi  Mellon and Centime Zeleke. And welcome also to new production volunteers  Heidi Henkenhaf.  Oh...just a little reminder: Don't forget: if you buy a gift subscription or start  subscribing before March 8, we'll send  your a set of six beautiful postcards as a  gift- That's all from us here at Kinesis.  Have a great month!  Do typos turn you into  a raging monster?  There is a vocation for  you  - proofreading  Kinesis.  Please call  (A E3E2EH1 News  February 14th march:  Healing  our spirit  by Agnes Huang   On February 14, over 100 women  and men marched through the streets  and alleys of Vancouver's Downtown  Eastside in one of the strongest and most  grassroots demonstrations against violence against women.  The march, held every year on Valentine's Day, commemorates women in  the Downtown Eastside who have died  violent deaths—women who have been  murdered or who died from drug overdoses.  Most of the women commemorated  were First Nations women and many  died alone. The march is held to keep  their spirit strong and alive. "Our sisters  died because of silence and we are here  to break the silence," says Margaret  Prevost, one of the organizers of the  march and a member of the board of  Carnegie Centre.  The march began at Carnegie with a  smudge and prayer ceremony, then proceeded through the Downtown Eastside,  tracing areas where women have died.  The marchers stopped in front of several  hotel and alley doorways where elder  Harriet Nahanee performed a death  prayer in the memory of the women.  Along the route, marchers, carrying  placards with the names of over 80  women, called out the names of the  women.  The march wound up at  Oppenheimer Park, where women  formed a circleas elder Mary Uslick said  a prayer for the women who had died.  Child support payments and taxation:  Proposing a new deal  by Susan MacFarlane  An intergovernmental committee  report on child support and taxation  acknowledges that the current taxation  system is unfair to women.  In late January, the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Family Law Committee  released its Final Report and Recomtnen-  dations on Child Support.  The report recommends increasing  child-support awards to ease the tax bite  on the custodial parent. In the case of  divorced couples with children, the current deduction/ inclusion system allows  the non-custodial parentwho pays child  support (almost always the father) to  deduct the payments from his taxable  income. The custodial parent (almost  always the mother) is required to include child support received as part of  her taxable income.  There have been a number of legal  challenges to the sexist taxation system  over the past few years. Last spring,  Suzanne Thibaudeau won her case before the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA)  [see Kinesis, June 94]. Thibaudeau, a  Quebec woman with custody of her two  children, challenged the tax law requiring her to pay taxes on child support she  receives. The FCA decision found that  forcing the custodial parent to pay tax  on child support was discriminatory,  but that the discrimination was on the  basis of Thibaudeau's family status-as a  single, custodial parent, receiving child  support-and not on her gender, even  though 98 percent of custodial parents  are women. The federal government is  appealing the decision, and the case is  currently before the Supreme Court of  Canada.  Since the FCA's decision in  Thibaudeau's case, the federal government and Justice Minister Allan Rock  have been promising a fairer deal for  women.  Katherine Hardie, a lawyer with the  BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre,  says the report's proposals for government initiatives do not sincerely and  effectively address the situation of custodial parents. Calling it "more rhetoric  than anything substantial," she also  points out that recommendations made  by other government committees are  often shelved or forgotten.  Hardie is also a board member of  SCRAPS, the Society for Children's  Rights to Adequate Parental Support  and is one of the lawyers representing a  coalition of women's and anti-poverty  groups intervening in Thibaudeau's case  at the Supreme Court. The groups are:  the National Action Committee on the  Status of Women, the Women's Legal  Education and Action Fund, Federated  Anti-poverty Groups and the Charter  Committee on Poverty Issues.  The Committee's Report presents a  number of options for solving the support payments crisis. One would involve doing away with the inclusion/  deduction system, taking away the tax  break the non-custodial parent (the man)  has been getting, and not requiring  women to pay tax on support payments.  This would result in an estimated $330  million increase in tax revenue for the  government which they propose to redirect to mothers by way of subsidies to  low-income households.  The government has rejected the  option of removing the inclusion/deduction system. Justice minister Rock  says the government favours leaving  the taxation system as it is and providing a scale for Family Law courts to use  for determining child-support amounts.  The government claims this "Revised  Fixed Percentage" scale would raise  current amounts of child support payments by 32 percent on average. Men  earning over $30,000 a year would pay  more in child support but men earning  less than $15,000 would actually pay  less. The scale is based on the man's  income and figures from Statistics  Canada on the costs of raising children  (a 40/30 formula where the first child is  deemed toincreasethefamily's expenses  by 40 percent, and each subsequent child  by 30 percent).  The government says standardizing payments in this way attempts to  eliminate one problem described by the  report, that "families in similar circumstances end up with significantly different child-support awards." As well,  under the proposed scheme, women already receiving child support payments  would be eligible for those awards renegotiated as long as it results in a ten  percent increase over current payments.  Inretainingthededuction/inclusion  system of taxation, the government is  ignoring the Thibaudeau decision by the  federal court which found it discriminatory. The principle behind the Revised  Fixed Percentage system remains flawed,  according to Michel Bernier,  Thibaudeau's lawyer. Butitisclearfrom  the Report that the government is committed to it.  According to Louise Shaughnessy  of the National Association of Women  and the Law, the government's proposal of leaving the inclusion/deduction system intact simply reflects an  outdated notion of the family. She says  the current system only benefits stay-at-  home mothers with little income and  low taxes, while the support-paying fathers earn higher incomes and get a  substantial tax break. Jane Friesen, an  economics professor at SFU, agrees,  adding that it's basically a subsidy for  higher-income families.  But many women with children  work outside the home, and their incomes vary from year to year as do their  taxes. Women working on child support  issues all say that in such uncertain circumstances, it isn't possible to legislate  a fixed amount to cover taxes and still  provide a consistent after-tax amount  for child support.  Friesen says it amounts to a social  policy contradiction since, more and  more, stay-at-home mothers on social  assistance are being encouraged to get  out and work to make money, but if they  do, their taxes go up. The increase in  taxes become a disincentive to get off  social assistance.  These are just a few of the problems  with the current tax system which the  proposed Revised Fixed Percentage formula would not solve. Worse, it offers  no remedy for children whose parents  both live in poverty. According to the  report, "no formula of conventional design can even come close to eliminating  child poverty for divorced families,"  which is an attempt to excuse the government from the effort. "What does  that say about how we value children  and how we think about issues of poverty?" asks Claire Young, a tax law professor at UBC.  Most women feel eliminating the  inclusion/deduction system is the first  step in establishing equitable child support. The government claims the tax  deduction is an incentive for men to pay,  but given the high default rate-about 75  percent—it is clear it doesn't work. The  government claims the awards would  be lower if women did not have to pay  tax on them. But whether the loss/win  would even out is unclear.  The outcome of the Thibaudeau case  is still critical. If the Supreme Court  upholds the FCA decision that the current tax system is discriminatory, the  government may have to rethink the  options. We'll keep you posted.  The report is available from the Ministry of Justice, Communications: Public Affairs, Department of Justice Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0H8 or in Vancouver,  by calling (604) 666-2061.   Susan MacFarlane is a volunteer writer  for Kinesis. News  Students rally for education and social programs:  Countrywide fightback  by Edna Campbell  Students across the country took to  the streets by the thousands, rallying to  defend education and social programs  during a national day of strike and action January 25.  About 70,000 people turned out  across Canada that day, according to  Caryn Duncan of the Canadian Federation of Students. "We haven't seen that  many students on the streets in opposition to government action since the Vietnam war," Duncan told a recent public  meeting.  "We're more united today than  we've been in years—because we've got  an enemy," she said February 17, at the  opening of a social policy conference  held in Vancouver, [see page 5]  For years, federal Tory governments  attacked education in little chips here  and bi's mere, Duncan said. "It was  really hard to mobilize students against  that."  But these days the federal government attack is much more blatant, she  added. "What the Liberal government is  proposing to do to post-secondary education in this country is to turn it into an  elitist system," she said.  At least 5,000 students rallied in  downtown Vancouver on the afternoon  of January 25. They listened to a wide  range of speakers condemn the government proposals, and they marched  through the downtown streets at rush  hour, carrying signs and chanting that  education is a right, not a privilege.  At the Vancouver rally, Canadian  Federation of Students representative  Michelle Kemper gave an update on  protests across the country that day:  • 10,000 students gathered for protests  in Newfoundland.  • 15,000 students rallied in the streets of  Montreal in Quebec.  • In Toronto, York University and the  University of Toronto were ghost towns  for the day, and 15,000 students turned  out for a rally.  • Elsewhere in Ontario, 5,000 of 6,000  students at Lakehead University stayed  out for the day. All 3,800 students at  Trent University stayed away from  classes that day.  • In Victoria, 6,000 students marched on  the provincial legislature.  • At the University of Regina, where  temperatures hit 22 below, 100 students  made sure that 95% of students did not  participate in classes that day.  "There is an alternative to their slash-  ingand trashing of our social programs,"  Kemper told the crowd in Vancouver.  "They are simply not listening," she said.  "Slashing our social programs is not  acceptable. It is not the answer. Doubling and tripling tuition fees is simply  not the answer. Committing students to  a lifetime of debt is not the answer," she  said. "Education is a right, not a privilege for the wealthy few."  Lee-Anne Clarke, president of the  Simon Fraser Student Society, told the  crowd she's a single mom with two kids.  If the Liberal government gets its way,  "people like me will be paying $100,000  to get a post-secondary education," she  said.  "Can we afford it?" she asked the  crowd. And there was a loud roar as the  people yelled "No!"  "This is an attack on Canada's most  vulnerable people," Clarke said. Government moves to slash spending on  education and social programs will most  hurt those who can least afford it: working class people, students, people with  disabilities, women, First Nations people, and people of colour.  This deficit is  obviously caused  by the rich and  not the poor,  and we've been paying  for it way too long,"  - Kim, student -  "We don't want to see a Canada  where only the rich and privileged can  get an education. Education should be a  right for all Canadian citizens," she said,  vowing that the fightback is just beginning.  Kim, a Port Moody student representing High School Students Against  the Cuts, told the crowd that cutbacks  will affect high school students more  than anyone else. The cuts also discrimi  nate against women, because we're more  likely to earn less than men.  Only two per cent of the federal  deficit is due to social programs, she  pointed out, while 50 per cent of the  deficit is caused by corporate tax breaks.  "This deficit is obviously caused by the  rich and not the poor, and we've been  paying for it way too long," she said.  A wide range of other speakers—  most of them women—expressed the  solidarity of teachers, women's groups,  the disabled, anti-poverty groups, and  unions.  And there was a rousing reception  for the Raging Grannies, whose song  lyrics reflected thebluntand clear analysis of many of the speakers. For example:  Hang down your head  Paul Martin  Hang down your head in shame  As you pander to the rich  To all the students you lie.  And this:  Rich corporate bums  Our country's controlled by  greedy jerks  Rich corporate bums.  Edna Campbell is a volunteer writer for  Kinesis.  LABOUR/LE TRAVAIL  JOURNAL OF CANADIAN LABOUR STUDIES  Labour/Le Travail is the official publication of the Canadian Committee on  Labour History. Since it began publishing in 1976, it has carried many  important articles in the field of working-class history, industrial sociology,  labour economics, and labour relations. While the supply lasts, new subscribers may purchase sets of the journal at a special bargain rate of $275.00  (32 issues, 10,698 pp., reg. $382).  Subscription rates (outside Canada): Individual $20.00 ($25.00 US); Institutional $25.00 ($30.00 US); Student/Retired/Unemployed $15.00 ($25.00US).  MasterCard accepted or make cheque payable to: Canadian Committee on Labour History,  History Department, Memorial University, St John's, Newfoundland, Canada, A1C 5S7  Articles are abstracted and indexed: America: History and Life; Alternative Press Index; Arts and Humanities Citation IndexTM; Canadian Magazine  Index; Canadian Periodical Index; Current Contents/Arts and Humanities;  Historical Abstracts; Human Resource Abstracts; PAIS Bulletin; PAIS  Foreign Language Index; Sage Public Administration Abstracts. News  Social policy conference in Vancouver:  Organizing to win  by Sue Vohanka  Organizing to win. That was the title  (and the point) of a social policy conference that drew hundreds of labour and  community activists together in Vancouver February 17 and 18.  Women had a lot to say about how  we must work together if we're serious  about organizing to win. In a conference  built around a series of speakers,  women—including Quebec feminist  Madeleine Parent and Vancouver activists like Jackie Larkin and Nandita  Sharma—provided leadership and clear  vision.  There were common thread s in wha t  women said during the conference. Organizing to win means we need to work  together, to continue the difficult work  of building alliances and coalitions. We  need to recognize our diversify—as people of colour, as lesbians and gays, as  Aboriginal people, as people with disabilities—as a strength, not a weakness.  We must make sure all groups get equal  respect. It isn't easy and it takes a lot of  time, and talking, and listening.  About 400 people crammed the hotel meeting room for a free public meeting that opened the conference February  17. One of the highlights that evening  was a speech by Jackie Larkin, of the  National Action Committee on the Status of Women.  As the world goes through profound  changes these days, "women's gains in  labour force participation are at grave  risk," Larkin said. The threats include  the growth in service jobs, and the increase in part-time work, seasonal work,  and contract work, which is mostly done  by women and members of minorities.  Women are shock absorbers for  changes in society, Larkin said. Explicitly or not, she added, governments rely  on women to pick up the pieces when  society changes.  "Everywhere there is an increase in  violence against women," she said.  Recent events in eastern Europe have  meant devastation and decline for  women, she said. Women's unemployment rates have doubled, prostitution  has increased, and women's political  participation has dropped by 75 percent.  The power of the transnationals is  real, Larkin said, and the pressure international money markets place on the  world is real as well. "We have to say we  don't want them," she said. "We have to  find ways to say that which can be heard."  We also need to find ways to link  together, Larkin said. "Their power is  international. Our power must be international. We have to be able to rely on  one another. We have to be able to ask  one another for help and get it."  Larkin mentioned recent organizing efforts, such as the women's social  policy review coalition and the occupation of a Vancouver UI office. "It was a  difficult process—but a satisfying one."  We must include the voicesof all the  people who are struggling, Larkin said.  Because if we don't integrate—if the  labour movement does not listen to the  insights anti-poverty groups have about  workfare, for example—we will not  win this fight, she said.  "The labour movement has put  some resources into this fight. But have  you put enough?" Larkin asked. "We  need your help."  Larkin gave NAC's walk-a-mile-  in-our-shoes campaign (which urges  people to wrap up a shoe and mail it to  finance minister Paul Martin) as an  example of a campaign where people  can take individual action.  That same evening, Saskatchewan  journalist and author Murray Dobbin  gave a chilling summary of recent  events in New Zealand, where the Labour government has shredded the  social contract by wiping out social  programs, slashing public services and  privatizing $16 billion worth of corporations.  As the world  goes through  profound changes  these days,  "women's gains-  are at grave risk."  The look at international social  policy continued the next day, with  talks by Gregg Olsen and Paul Phillips,  both professors at the University of  Manitoba, on Sweden and Australia.  The women who spoke on February 18—the afternoon session billed as  lessons from the women's movement—  provided much food for thought.  Nandita Sharma, of Women to  Women Global Strategies and the South  Asian Women's Centre, kicked off the  panel by talking about coalition building.  "There is a long history of exclusion, discrimination and betrayal between those of us who are relatively  more privileged against those of us  who are historically oppressed because  of our gender, our skin colour, our  sexual orientation or our immigration  status," she said.  But there are also moments of solidarity, which keep us working toward  coalition building, she added.  "When we are engaged in the battles to win, are we undermining the  struggles of others? If we are, what  does this mean for our own fight?" she  asked.  "We know corporations are bounding around the globe looking for the  cheapestand most politically repressed  labour force," she said.  But we also need to see how racism, sexism and imperialism help to  create these so-called cheap labour supplies, Sharma said. "I want us to see our  role in these practices," she added.  "Racism, sexism and imperialism are  processes many of us participate in."  For instance, we often accept that  women are cheaper to employ than men,  that people of colour are cheaper than  whites, that immigrants from the south  are cheaper than those from countries of  the north, Sharma said.  "It is this cheapening of the lives of  some human beings that is the major  problem we have to confront if we are to  build effective coalitions. It is also the  major problem that need s to be addressed  if we are to win the fight against  transnational corporations," she added  [see story, page 18].  "We need to recognize our role in  cheapening the labour of other people. If  we do not make sure that no one of us is  cheaper than the next person, we will lose  the fight."  Michelle DesLauriers, Vancouver  organizer for End Legislated Poverty,  provided a view from the community.  The federal government has spent  millions on manufacturing consent, she  said, adding that the Liberal social policy  review is part of the global picture.  DesLauriers reminded us of the 1,900-  page report of the Macdonald commission nearly 10 years ago, which contained  two main recommendations. One was  free trade. The other DesLauriers described as "the big-business version of  guaranteed annual income." The idea was  to fix incomes at about one-third of the  poverty level, destroy all existing social  programs, and keep minimum wages low  and pay equity ineffective.  These days, DesLauriers said provincial governments (including BC) are  changingwelfareprogramsalongthelines  of the Macdonald commission report.  The workfare program in Alberta  means people on welfare must apply for  jobs through Alberta Community Employment, or get cut off. So far, 30,000  people have been cut off, she said.  DesLauriers said the Alberta  workfare program is forcing people to  accept 20-week contracts to work as teaching assistants for $5 an hour. "Trained  workers who made $12 an hour had their  hours cut to 18 hours a week," she said.  "Yourunorganized sisters whoareat  home caring for their kids today may be  forced to compete for your jobs,"  DesLauriers warned.  "We do have an alternative vision of  job creation," she added. "The only way  is to come together and embrace the notion that an injury to one is an injury to  all."  Kate Braid, director of the labour  program at Simon Fraser University,  looked at women and unions.  Only 12 percent of US workers now  belong to unions, Braid pointed out, and  the level of unionization keeps shrinking.  "One of the reasons why Canadian  unions have maintained strength is because they have welcomed women," she  noted. "Unions need women because we  are their greatest hope for a growing,  dynamic labour movement."  Unions need to incorporate feminism,  and create a culture that welcomes the  unorganized, she said. "Feminist organizations tend to be more open, inclusive,  and concerned with process. There's  more talking, and certainly more listening."  Braid said it's important to maintain  separate organizational structures within  unions for women, for people of colour,  for gays and lesbians, for Aboriginal  people.  "We need to  recognize our role in  cheapening  the labour  of other people."  - Nandita Sharma -  Madeleine Parent, a feminist anc  union activist for more than 50 years  gave the closing address at the confer  ence. Parent outlined the struggle against  colonialism and imperialism in Quebec  and described current efforts to build  coalitions and save social programs.  Over the past 10 years people have  worked to build a people's democratic  coalition in Quebec, she said. Although  itsbeginningswereprecarious,Solidarite  populaire Quebec now includes 135  groups, representing women, students,  poor people's organizations, a wide  range of labour centrals and unions,  environmental groups and others.  As part of the fight for social programs, Quebec women are planning an  eight-day women's march, starting May  26 and winding up in Quebec City June  4, Parent said. "Feminists from the rest  of Canada who would like to join us are  quite welcome."  She asked people to remember that  the words on the Quebec government's  proposed bill are sovereignty association with Canada, not separation from  Canada, as the media put it.  "Somehow we've got to learn to  work together more and be on the battlements at the same time on the same  issues," Parent said, adding this will  only come with long and hard work, and  much discussion. "I think it's worth a  chance."  The social policy conference, sponsored by the Vancouver and District  Labour Council and the Trade Union  Research Bureau, had its limitations.  While there was good representation of community groups among the  200 people who attended the Saturday  sessions, there were also people missing. Some bridges still need building,  most notably with First Nations people  and environmental groups.  And although the organizers clearly  intended to allow time for small group  discussions among the people at the  conference (we sat at assigned tables, to  encourage dialogue between union and  community activists), time kept running  out.   Sue Vohanka lives in Vancouver.  MARCH 1995 News  Wen-Do wins human rights battle:  For women-only spaces  by Agnes Huang  After a six year battle, a Toronto-  based self-defense organization for  women has secured its right to offer  courses for women only and taught by  women only.  Last September, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) denied an application to reconsider its pre-  vious decision vindicating Wen-Do of  sex discrimination. Women involved  with Wen-Do hope'this most recent decision brings to an end challenges to its  women-only policy.  In December 1991, the OHRC dismissed a complaint, filed by Michael  Celik, that Wen-Do discriminated  against him as a man by refusing to  allow him to take the course. In that  decision, the OHRC said that Wen-Do's  women-only policy does not result in  discrimination "in view of the historical  and social context of gender discrimination," and does not amount to discrimination under*the Ontario Human Rights  Code.  The complaint began in March 1988  when Celik appeared unnannounced at  a Wen-Do course wanting to take the  class. Celik was told the course was for  women-only, but he persisted and even  called police to get them to force his  entry into the class. A month following  the incident, Wen-Do received word  from the Ontario Human Rights Commission of the complaint.  In responding to the charge, Wen-  Do argued that the OHRC should dismiss the complaint against them as  "trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in  bad faith." They pointed out that Celik's  motives were suspect because of his  connection with In Searchof Justice (ISOJ)  in filing his complaint. ISOJ, an all-male  group, has spoken out against most  measures to advance women's equality  and denies that male violence against  women is pervasive. Wen-Do also noted  that Celik, who has a black belt in Judo,  has no need for learning self-defense.  After investigating the complaint,  the OHRC agreed with Wen-Do arguments and dismissed it, saying that  Celik's reasons for the complaint were  MUNRO • PARFITT  LAWY E R S  quality legal services in a  woman friendly atmosphere  labour/em ploym en t,  human rights,  criminal law and  public interest advocacy.  401 -825 granville street,  Vancouver, b.c. v6z 1 k9  689-7778(ph)      689-5572 (fax)  not based on a real desire to learn or  teach personal self-defense techniques  with Wen Do, but on a desire "in part to  disprove that women have greater or  special need of protection as victims of  violence."  The OHRC also agreed that Wen  Do's training does not have particular  benef i t to Celik-or any man~because i ts  programs are designed specifically for  women to teach women how to defend  themselves against sexual violence by  working with Wen-Do. Wen-Do has no  paid staff, so three individual women-  Pine, Theresa Greene and Marilyn  Walsh-had to put in an incredible  amount of their own time and work to  respond to the complaint.  Until the complaint was settled,  Wen-Do put some of its programs on  hold. A ruling against the organization  would likely have resulted in Wen-Do  having to fold so Wen-Do wasn't sure it  could follow through with commitments,  "It is not discrimination when the point is to  tailor-make self-defence services for women to  defend themselves against male violence."  men. Wen-Do's courses include discussions on self-defence and the law, relationship assault, and safer ways of living.  Queen's University law professor  Sheila Mclntyre says the Ontario Human RightsCommission decision means  that "the mere fact of sex segregation  does not mean it is discrimination."  "It is not discrimination when the  point is to tailor-make self-defence services for women to defend themselves  against male violence. Violence against  women is a gendered problem," says  Mclntyre.  Through it all, Wen-Do has received  support from LEAF which sponsored its  case financially and provided the organization with advice. Mclntyre, a  member of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund's (LEAF) National  Legal Committee, acted as an advisor to  Wen-Do.  Celik didn't stop his harassment of  Wen-Do after the ruling. He wanted to  appeal and filed for an extension of the  15-day filing period for appeals of OHRC  decisions. InSeptember—3 years later—  the OHRC rejected his appeal saying  there weren't any "special reasons" for  him nothave made the application within  the 15-day filing period.  Marsha Pine, a member of Wen-Do,  says the complaint has put tremendous  emotional and work stress on women  barbara findlay  B_A. M.A. LIB  s delighted to announce  :hac she is now practising !  Smith and Hughes  321-1525 Robson St.  Vancouver  phone 683-4176  Smith and Hughes offer a full range of  legal ser.'ices to the lesbian, gay and  bisexual communities of Vancouver.  Initial consultations ere without charge.  says Pine. Many organizations were also  rel uctant to hire Wen-Do to teach courses  for them until the case was resolved.  Pine says the decision in Wen-Do's  case has far-reaching implications on all  women's organizations with women-  only policies, such as women in trades  programs and feminist newspapers and  magazines.  The significance of Wen-Do's first  victory was not lost on the Pandora, the  feminist newspaper based in Halifax.  When a complaint of sex discrimination  was filed with the Nova Scotia Human  Rights Commission (NSHRC) in September 1991, Pandora urged the Commission's investigator to fallow the  OHRC's lead and dismiss the complaint  outright as "frivolous, vexatious and  made in bad faith."  However, the investigator felt the  complaint against Pandora had merit  and recommended that a board of inquiry be called to hear the complaint [see  Kinesis Sept 1991, Dec/Jan 1992, May 1992].  Although in the end, Pandora's  women-only policy was found not to be  discriminatory, the complaint and the  NSHRC process put an incredible financial, emotional and energy stress on the  women involved with Pandora. Under  the strain brought about by the complaint, Pandora's collective decided to  stop publishing the newspaper [see  Kinesis, Jul/Aug 1994]. '  Agnes Huang is a regular writer for  Kinesis and is a member of LEAF National Executive Committee  INTERNATIONAL  WOMEN'S DAY  Wednesday, March 8  Open House  8:30am - 9:30pm  All Events Free  The public is invited to a full day  of activities at Capilano College.  Classrooms will be open to the  community throughout the day.  Lectures on women's issues will be given  in the areas of History, French, Fine Arts,  Geography, Spanish, Psychology, Economics  and other departments.  Mary Catherine Paterson Annual Lecture  at 7:30pm featuring  Dr. Karlene Faith, School of Criminology, SFU  " From Witch-hunts to FMS: Women, Crime and  Punishment "  Room 148 (Lecture Theatre), Cedar Building  Complete programs for the day's activities will be available from the Social Science  Division and from Main Reception Arbutus Building.  Tor information: Phone 984-4'  pg Capilano  CS  College   2055 purcell way, north Vancouver  KINESIS News  Community Forum for Women's Health:  Forum with no principles  by Caitlin McMorran Frost   New Directions in Health, the BC  Government's plan to regionalize health  care, is beginning to take form in Vancouver. On February 11, New Directions sponsored a-half day forum for  community members to a women's Community Advisory Group to the Vancouver Health Board.  The stated purpose of the Community Forum for Women's Health was to  bring together women from the community to develop recommendations for  the role and structure of the Women's  Advisory Group, and to determine the  process of its selection. The stated purpose of the Group is to "assist the Vancouver Regional Health Board in its decisions on issues related to women's  health."  About 50 women showed up for the  forum. Some representing specific organizations, some were health care providers, and others were individual  women concerned about the issues of  women's health in their communities.  The Women's Health Advisory  Group is designated one of several committees representing "Communities of  Interest" identified by New Directions.  These groups are defined in the 1991  Royal Commission on Health Care and  Costs as "populations traditionally not  well served by the health care system."  They are women, children and youth,  people with mental illness, frail elderly  people, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people and members of ethnic or  cultural minorities.  As part of the overall aim of New  Directions, "to design a health care defined by the needs and values of the  people it serves," the seven groups are  to be represented by Community of Interest Advisory Groups, of which the  Women's Community Advisory Group  is one. In this structure, the community  of Interest Advisory Groups plays a formal role in the system alongside citizens, neighbourhood health committees,  community health councils, regional  services and hospitals, with the Regional  Health Board in the centre [see Kinesis  Dec/Jan 1995]. According to the New  Directions structure, the Women's Advisory Group will report directly to the  Regional Health Board.  Concerns at the forum  Given tight timelines, many issues  were not addressed. Recommendations  included both general principles and  specific suggestions.  Women repeatedly stressed the need  for links to be made between poverty  and health and the disproportionate  impact of poverty on women. Poverty  was found to require a great deal of the  focus and resources of the health care  system to adequately respond to the  needs of all women. It was also highlighted as a key concern in discussion of  the overall makeup of the Women's  Advisory Group. The need for strong  representation by women in areas of the  city traditionally less served by the health  care system and more deeply affected  by poverty and violence was stressed.  Participants agreed that social determinants of health have historically  marginalized women, although some  questioned the identification of women  as a separate and distinct "Community  of Interest." A number of women also  took issue with the choice of the word  "frail" in defining the "Frail Elderly  Community of Interest Group." All  seemed to agree that a holistic approach  to women's health was needed and a  wide range of approaches to both treatment and prevention need to be considered.  Emphasis was placed on the need to  create a network through all levels of the  community, reaching deep into the community to make contact with the women  whose voices are never heard at the  table, both in the selection of Advisory  Group members and in the outreach  work done by the Group once in place.  Women said they saw the Advisory  Group as a voice of the community as  well as an ear—with a mandate to advocate on behalf of the community as well  as bring information back into the community. Many also saw the role of the  Group to work together with service  providers, advocacy groups and the  community at large.  All seemed to  agree that  a holistic approach  to women's health  was needed...  Participants called for the Women's  Community Advisory Group to establish links between issues, to provide a  woman-centred perspective on a wide-  range of issues, and to avoid providing  input only on a narrow range of issues  traditionally considered "women's issues." They stressed the need to advocate as well as advise, and to have a say,  not only on issues but also on budgets.  As well, they saw a need for connection  with the other Community of Interest  Advisory Groups.  Suggestions on the actual structure,  criteria and method of selection for the  Group included a strong focus on diversity and representation from all sectors  of the community. Most felt the makeup  of the group should be weighted to consider groups and geographical areas  most marginalized by the health care  system, and offer intensive outreach in  order to reach a wide range of women.  The mu ltitude of demand s on women's time and energy was another issue  raised. It was felt that the commitments  requested.of Group members must be  realistic and specifically stated before  nominations or selections are made.  Women called for meetings to be accessible to allow all women to participate,  with particular attention paid to needs  of women in poverty, with disabilities,  or with caretaking responsibilities and  other par ucu lar needs, and that the community be involved in selection.  Women were concerned about how  much real power and influence the  Group will have. The need for a system  of accountability was raised a number of  times. There was concern about the high  risk of tokenism and many wanted to be  sure that the hard work of community  and Group members would have a real  impact—that advice would be seriously  considered and acted upon. Women also  wanted to know whether sufficient support and resources would be made available to allow them to do the necessary  consultations, research and outreach.  What next?  There was no time structured into  the forum to allow for a formal response  to women's recommendations. At the  . end, women were asked to sign up to be  part of an interim coordinating group  which will develop the recommendations from the forum and present them  to the Vancouver Health Board.  Organizers of the forum seemed  pleased with the outcome. When asked  in an interview how the process will  unfold beyond the forum, Shereen Farag  of New Directions said it has not been  decided how particular recommendations will fit into the final structure of the  Women's Community Advisory Group.  She said the specifics will be the focus of  meetings over the coming weeks.  It is also still undecided who will  actua 1 ly select the members of the Women's Advisory group. "It could be the  interim coordinating committee, or it  could be the Health Board—we are not  sure yet," said Farag.  While not discussed in any detail at  the forum, the Report to the Minister of  Health, Interim Regional Steering Committee, Vancouver Region, October 1994, already lays out a clear outline of both the  purpose of the Community of Interest  Advisory Groups and criteria for selections. While these guidelines do touch  on a number of issues raised by women  at the forum, they were not presented at  the forum for feedback. Farag said the  guidelines were drawn before communities had been fully consulted and will  be reviewed in light of community input.  Farag noted that New Directions  would like to see a standard structure  for all Community of Interest groups, a  point not raised at the forum. Farag said  while a certain amount of flexibility  would take into consideration the particular needs and concerns of women,  she is not sure how much flexibility  there will be. She pointed out that most  of the guidelines will be established in  the coming weeks. The Region plans to  have the Advisory Groups in place by  June 30. At that time, community members and participants will get a concrete  sense of how much of their input will  inform the actual process and structure  of the Women's Community Advisory  Group.  "We feel we have done a great deal  of consultation and it is time to start  making decisions" Farag said. "We do  not expect it to be perfect right away, but  we can always make changes once the  committees and groups are in place."  Feminist group boycotts meeting  Notably missing from the forum was  the Vancouver Women's Health Collective (VWHC). While the VWHC hasbeen  an active participant at various stages of  the planning process, they were disappointed by the focus of the women's  forum and the limited time to deal with  critical issues and chose not to attend.  Notably missing  from the forum  was the Vancouver  Women's  Health Collective  VWHC's Raine McKay sat on the  initial committee to plan a community  forum for women's input. "We were  clear from the beginning that the process  must include establishing basic principles and values before we move forward on big issues such as structure and  role—we need to have some agreement  on these issues."  VWHC was initially in support of  what they thought were to be day-long  workshops involving a wide range of  women that would specifically address  values and principles, but withdrew  when the forum "turned into a half-day  consultation with two hours of working  time to discuss the whole structure and  role of the Advisory Group, and no  specific focus on values or principals."  McKay stressed that setting value-  based principles would providethe foundation for a strong and accountably system. By ignoring community input in  setting principles, the forum ignores the  input of the community, and only reflects the needs of New Directions. Having worked extensively within the New  Directions development process, she  believes "they mean well" but community input is not sufficiently considered.  The Vancouver Women's Health  Collective has decided to form a coalition of women to work outside of New  Directions. McKay explains the coalition will have some form of relationship  with New Directions but that, in order to  be sure that women's concerns and values are addressed, women require a  community advocacy group that operates independent of the formal system.  For more information, about New  Directions, the Women's Community  Advisory Group, and the Interim Planning Committee, contact Shereen Farag  at New Directions at 775-1866. Information on the Women's Health Coalition obtained from Raine McKay at  the Vancouver Women's Health Collec-  tive at 736-4234.   Caitlin McMorran Frost has a strong  interest in women's health issues. What's News  by Shannon e. Ash  Health workers  make links  Health care workers' unions from  Canada to Mexico have agreed to work  together to fight for quality health care  and against corporate takeovers.  This unprecedented network was  formed at a meeting in California attended by 200 delegates representing  more than one million health care workers in Canada, the United States, and  Mexico. Every major Canadian health  union, including the HEU (Hospital  Employees Union) and CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) was  represented.  US health unions are facing a wave  of corporate take-overs that threatens  thousands of layoffs. The situation is  even more desperate in Mexico.  The unions of all three nations agreed  to share information, support each other's strikes, and work for implementation of a Canadian-style medicare system across the continent.  Spousal rights  blocked in bC  The NDP government in BC will not  implement a Human Rights report recommendation that lesbian and gay couples be included under human rights  protection.  The report, released in November  1994 by UBC law professor Bill Black,  recommends a number of changes to the  provincial Human Rights Act, including  recognition of same-sex relationships  and multiplegroundsof discrimination.  Government minister Moe Sihota  said the report's administrative recommendations, such as streamlining the  complaints process and providing new  education programs, would be implemented. However, the government will  not attempt to expand the coverage of  the Human Rights Act in the current  legislative session.  Members of the December 9 th Coalition, a lesbian and gay rights group  which had lobbied for same-sex rela  tionship inclusion, have criticized the  government's inaction. According to  coalition member barbara findlay, "If  the legislation is not tabled in the current  session, there li kely will not be an opportunity before an election is called sometime next year."  Workfare is unfair  The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the National Anti-  Poverty Organization (NAPO) have  mounted a campaign to jointly oppose  workfare. Workfare is a program which  would require people on welfare to do  work for very low wages, paid by the  government. Employers would not pay  for the worker.  CUPE and NAPO want to spread  the message that workfare will hurt both  people on welfare and working people.  People with decent-paying jobs, benefits, and union agreements could be  laid off and replaced with welfare recipients with lower pay and fewer rights.  To get a brochure, contact NAPO at  1-800-810-1076.  Feds table Equity act  Human Resources Minister Lloyd  Axworthy has tabled a federal bill to  replace the Employment Equity Act. Bill  C-64, introduced in December, proposes  several new measures:  • to include all employees in the federal public sector under the Act;  • to empower the Canadian Human  Rights Commission to conduct audits of  all public and private employers covered by the legislation to verify compliance; and  •to provide that the Human Rights  Tribunal (to be named Employment  Equity Review Tribunal in these cases)  JANET LICHTY  B.A., M.Ed. Counselling Psychology, R.C.C.  COUNSELLOR  1-296 W18 Ave, Vancouver, B.C., V5Y 2A7  872-2611  KARATE for WOMEN  *$*  Mon., Tues., Thurs. 7 pm  Fitness, self confidence,  ^ self defense  JLgt ASK ABOUT BEGINNER GROUPS  I IBIS] 734-9816  ensures final.enforcement in both the  private and public sectors.  The current legislation covers only  federally-regulated private sector employees, and lacks provisions to enforce  employers' obligations.  The Standing Committee on Human Rights will hold "broad consultations with Canadians" after the bill passes  first reading, and will then make recommendations to the government on the  final form of the legislation.  BC college  of midwives  A college of midwives to govern the  practice of midwifery in BC will be established in spring 1995, according to  the provincial government.  Health Minister Paul Ramsey announced the draft regulations for midwifery last November. Midwifery care  will be available for women with normal, low-risk pregnancies. Women who  want a midwife-assisted birth must be  advised to consult a physician in the first  trimester of pregnancy. An Aboriginal  midwifery committee will be set up to  deal with the practice of midwifery  among First Nations people.  Midwifery care will be fully publicly funded. The exact funding method  has yet to be determined.  Midwifery without supervision by  a physician is not legal in BC until the  college is set up. The college will set  standards of practice and education,  develop a code of ethics, and review  complaints. A pilot project will be established to evaluate midwife-attended  home births, and consideration will be  given to establishing birth centres.  Ontario already has licensed mid-  wives and Alberta has introduced legislation to designate midwives as independent health professionals.  Support payments  InfoLine  BC's Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) has expanded its  telephone service to include the entire  province of BC. The FMEP InfoLine has  been available on a two-year trial basis  to both recipients and those paying family maintenance in the Vancouver and  Victoria areas.  InfoLine, which can be called free of  charge, will tell callers the date and  amount of the last received payment,  and the current account balance. It will  also tell the recipient the status of the  case and what enforcement action has  been taken. The FMEP ensures confidentiality: no names are used, and each  caller must enter the case number and  their personal identification number.  Regional offices have been overloaded with calls over the past year and  the InfoLine is expected to improve service, according to BC Attorney General  Colin Gabelmann.  The FMEP monitors and enforces  maintenance orders and agreements  which set out the amount and frequency  of support payments for children and/  or custodial parents. Enrollment in the  program is voluntary and this hampers  collection of payments.  For more information contact  Jocelyn-Gifford in Vancouver at (604)  660-1967.  EastsicIe DataCrapIhjcs  1460 CommercjaI Drjve  teL 255-9559 fAX:25M075  Happy  International ^ Day  •-Union Shop  Call or fax  and we' 11 send you our rronthly  flyer of great office supply specials.  Free next-day delivery.  DR. PAULETTE ROSCOE  NA TUROPA THIC PHYSICIAN  HOMEOPATHY  COUNSELLING  DETOXIFICATION  HYCROFT MEDICAL CENTER  108-3195 GRANVILLE ST.  VANCOUVER, B.C. V6H 3K2  731-4183  Operine  Banton  Counsellor  202 -1807 Burrard St.  Vancouver, BC V6J 3G9  Tel: (604) 736-8087  Bed & Breakfast  A Beautiful Place  Centre yourself  in the comfort and tranquility  of B.C.'s Super Natural  Gulf Islands.  Healthy Breakfasts  Hot Tub & Sauna  5 acres of forested  foot paths with ponds  ocean and mountain views  A Memorable Escape  (604) 537-9344  1207 Beddis Road,  Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 2C8 What's News  by Centime Zeleke  Hong Kong gets  Women's TV Channel  Women in Hong Kong are critical of  the first women's channel to be set up on  cable television. The channel has been in  operation since July last year and, like  other channels, broadcasts its programs  on a 24-hour-a-day basis.  However, while the programming  isintended to be geared towardswomen,  many women are critical of the lack of  feminist ideas and limited perspectives  on women's issues.  Programming falls under four general categories: drama; features; education and information; and "chat and  talk" shows. Most of the shows are imported from the US, Korea and Japan.  The locally produced "chat and talk''  remains the most important arena for  diverse women's lives to be reflected,  and attracts the largest number of viewers.  Some women say they feel that rather  than breaking down stereo-typical roles  of women in society, the channel actually reinforces them. Feminists have  objected to the numerous programs on  cooking, aerobic exercises and domestic  skills training offered on the channel. As  well, they point out that discussions  tend to be conducted in a gossip-like  manner rather than focused on serious  issues.  The foreign-produced shows such  as documentaries on women activists in  Chile struggling against the "forced disappearances" under the military regime  are considered to be more appropriate.  Lesbians on  Serbian TV  Lesbian feminism was represented  by one of its own for the first time on  Serbian television last November. Lena  Mladjenovick, a member of the lesbian-  feminist group Arkadia, appeared with  Wendy Eastwood, a British lesbian, on  the Serbian Arts channel during prime  time to discuss issues of discrimination,  lesbian sub-culture, family and gender  bending.  It was the first time an official representative of a lesbian and gay group took  part in a public television show.  Lena, while highlighting differences  in issues faced by lesbians and gay men,  said she was also interested in making  alliances with other oppressed groups  of people both because there is force in  numbers and also to end all forms of  discrimination. In particular, she stressed  the links between sexuality and sexist  gender roles in society, a major principle  of Arkadia's policy.  Audience response was favourable.  00B is 25 years old  Off Our Backs (OOB), a women's  news journal in the United States, is  celebrating its 25th year of continuous  publication. Published in San Francisco,  thefeministjournalwasfounded through  money that was raised to start a coffee  house for GIs. However, it was felt there  was a need instead to address the women's liberation movement, something the  left press was not doing.  Since its inception, OOB has striven  to produce a non-hierarchical environment by working as a collective. Like  Kinesis, it rarely has editorials, focusing  instead on carrying signed articles.  The title Off Our Backs was chosen  to say that "Men should get off our backs  and women should get off our backs to  work for our liberation."  OOB has always striven to cover  issues relevant to all women. In 1978, it  responded to criticism by First Nations  women and women of colour and produced a special issue on racism. It was  one of the first feminist publications in  the US to print a special issue on disabilities in 1991. They have consistently attempted to bring a global perspective to  local feminist actions, covering international feminist activism as well as race  and class issues within local feminist  organizations.  Congratulations on your 25th, OOBl  Campaign to  free prisoner  Women, people of colour and their  allies are gathering on March 11th to  rally against the imprisonment of Black  panther journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal.  Jamal has been sitting on death row in  the United States since 1982 for supposedly killing a cop.  Abu-Jamal's sentence was secured  by the persecutor claiming that his membership in the Black Panther party and  the use of the slogan "power to the  people" proved he was a committed cop  killer.  In Vancouver, the rally takes place  on March 11 at 7:30 pm at the Centre  Culturel Francophone, 115 West 7th  Avenue. Among the speakers are Yvonne  Brown, Gord Hill and Miriam Scribner.  Fijian women  organize around rape  Fiji's women's groups are outraged  by the repeated lack of convictions for  rapists, and are organizing to raise awareness of the sexism of the judicial system.  In a recent court trial in Labasa  Magistrate's Court, six men, who admitted to having raped a 15-year-old  girl, were let off because the Magistrate  said the "well-built" girl appeared to  look older than her age. In his sentencing  remarks, the Magistrate suggested that  because the victim looked as if she were  the age of consent (17), she may have  consented to having sex with all the  men.  Authorities are considering whether  to file an appeal.  In another case, a Chief Justice in  Suva was criticized by women's groups  for saying that, because of a teenager's  previous sexual experience, her rape at  knifepoint would have no adverse effect  'Irfvxa.  Interviews, poetry,  experimental prose,  After-Readings,  After-Viewings,  and theory —  with an emphasis  on women and art  $16/3 issues  $6 sample issue  P.O. Box 9606 • No. Amherst, MA • 01059-9606  on the victim. In yet another case, in  Nadi, a magistrate passed a lenient sentence against a rapist beca use the woman  he raped was drunk and asleep when he  attacked her.  Thailand's first  abortion clinic  The latter part of 1994 saw a victory  for women in Thailand as the country's  first abortion counselling clinic opened  in Bangkok.  The clinic, set up at Bangkok's  Rajvithi Hospital, is part of a series of 94  clinics to be set up nation-wide. The  clinic is called Dao Phra Suk after a  character in popular TV melodrama  whose mother has abandoned her.  The clinic hopes to address social  ills that past counselling has failed to  address. It will work in conjuction with  the social welfare department, women's  shelter homes, maternity and planned  parenthood clinics. The staff consists of  a gynecologist-obstetrician, an internist,  a psychiatrist, a nurse, and a social  worker. The clinic will examine, and  keep confidential the records of, any  woman considering an abortion, and  will provide a hotline.  California's anti-immigation law:  Agenda behind proposition 187  by Cyndi Mellon  Many people responded with disbelief when California Proposition 187  passed by 59 percent in the state's most  recent election. The new law, clearly  aimed at California's large Latina/o  population, makes it illegal for children  whose parents are not legally US residents to attend school or for any person  who has not passed through some form  of government immigration process to  receive non-emergency medical care,  including pre-natal care. Under the new  ruling, teachers and health care workers are required to play the role of  immigration police by turning in suspected undocumented people, who are  then destined for speedy deportation.  Non-legal residents already have  little access to social services in California. They cannot get welfare or social  security and are not eligible for nonemergency health care. In reality, those  using fake documentation in order to  work pay millions of dollars in taxes  and purchases into the system each  year and get little back.  California has long relied on the  low-wage labour of Mexican, Chicana /  Chicano and other Latina/Latino peoples and this is not likely to change.  But a workforce that is frightened  to report labour or other abuses, because of fear of deportation, will become even more vulnerable than it already is. A lesser-known feature of  Proposition 187 is the fact that police  will be required to check the immigration status of those who report a crime.  As a result, people will be more likely to  suffer abuse rather than make a 911 call  that could get them deported. This feature of 187 has obvious implications for  The struggle to defeat Proposition  187haslargely beenorganized by Latina  and Latino defense groups. High school  students have been at the forefront,  staging massive classroom walkouts  all over the state, and a demonstration  of 100,000 people in Los Angeles a few  days before the election was the largest  the state has seen since the days of the  Vietnam War protests.  It is worth noting that, while labour and other non-Latina/o groups  have also opposed Proposition 187,  some of these groups have refused to  concentrate on the obviously racist  nature of the proposition, choosing instead to emphasize the fiscal issue,  since enforcement would cost the state  considerably more money than it would  save by denying services to undocumented residents.  Proposition 187 has already been  declared unconstitutional, something  its authors have known would happen  since its inception. In fact, the Campaign to Promote 187 was largely financed by the Pioneer Fund, a white  supremacist group incorporated since  1937. But in a climate where both Democrats and Republicans have displayed  increasing paranoia over the Mexico-  US border, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on high- tech patrol  and capture equipment, Proposition  187 has clearly been used to build further support for the far right agenda.  Meanwhile, people have been staying  away from health clinics and school,  unsure of how to proceed. Others are  fleeing the state, unwilling to remain in  a climate that is becoming increasingly  unsafe. Enforceable or not, Proposition  187 is already in effect.   A California-born Chicana, Cyndi  Mellon is a program coordinator at  OXFAM Canada. Feature  Critique of the Human Genome Diversity Project:  Protecting our genes  by Jeanette Armstrong  as told to Agnes Huang  The Human Genome Diversity Project  (HGDP) is an international research and  databasing project intended to collect genetic  (DNA) materials from Indigenouspopulations  for storage in "gene" banks in Europe and the  US. Jeanette Armstrong of the Okanagan  Nation Ims been working with other Indigenous peoples to oppose the Project. Armstrong  is a writer, activist and the direstor of the  Enow'kin Centre in Penticton, BC.  Agnes Huang: Not many people know  what the Human Genome Diversity Project  is. Could you start by explaining the  Project?  Jeanette Armstrong: The Diversity  Project isa relatively newproject that came  about as a result of a larger project, the  Human Genome (Hugo) Project, which is  the mapping of the entire human genome.  The HGDP is different from Hugo in a  fundamental way. The Hugo project is  simply a collection of data and information about the genetic coding of all human  beings to basically give some information  about similarities in genetic coding relating to population, migration, the origins  of the human family and the genetic  makeup of human beings. That work is  being done worldwide.  The Diversity Project differs in that it  is specifically designed to collect and database the parts of the human genome that  are different from the rest of humanity in  terms of genetic coding, genetic makeup  and therefore, genetic results.  Now it doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with finding out what the  differences are, or with collecting and  databasing that divergence. But one of the  targets of the HGDP is to collect that divergence in DNA from Indigenous  populations, particularly Indigenous  populations that are identified on lists of  extinction. Now the questions are, Why  database that? What is the science question it answers?  [Proponents of the project] are looking for Indigenous populations that demonstrate specific divergence related to genetically originating diseases—for instance, how the population of a certain  group might resist certain kinds of viruses, bacteria or diseases. They [are interested in] why certain Indigenous peoples  resist, and the genetic reasons such resistance occurs. The intent is to collect a database and make it available to research.  That's their only objective.  Huang: Are there any safeguards to  prevent abuse in this project and misuse of  the genetic material collected?  Armstrong: That's the question for the  ethics sub-committee of the HGDP. They  are not saying who will have access to the  research, how the research can be accessed,  what kind of research is being done, or  what applications will result from the research, where applications [leads to  patenting] the genetic material. If there is  a divergence and a resistance to a disease,  for example, there may then be some practical medical applications that result. Who  profits from those results? Who is the research made available to?  None of those questions are being  asked in relation to the project. The ethics  sub-committee of the HGDP does not have  a mandate [to look at the issue] politically  or socially, nor do they have any kind of  reference system by which to determine  what questions should be asked, or how  they might be answered.  The ethics sub-committee basically  says ethics have to surround collection,  not what happens after collection. That  means that if they go in to collect data, they  must first gain consent. But what does  consent mean? What is informed consent?  How do you inform a people about the  scientific field of DNA collection and genetic manipulation so that they are able to  understand what the implications might  be of their DNA being collected and made  available? They have no answer to that.  Jeanette Armstrong  Other ethical questions are: What  about the applications? What safeguards  will there beagainst the patenting of [DNA]  without consent? This kind of patenting  has already happened with a woman in  Guyana and another in the Solomon Islands. These patents were taken out by US  pharmaceutical corporations. The outcome has been that the countries in which  the collection took place asked: "Does the  US or a US person have a right to hold this  patent?" and decided they want to retrieve the patents from US ownership.  TheUShasbasicallysaid/'Yousigned  GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs  and Trade) and if you signed GATT, then  freedom of information is protected and  since the genetic code is a database, it's  information."  So there aren't any controls in place  yet in terms of multinational corporations  stealing information that belongs to Indigenous peoples and bringing it across border lines into the hands of transnational  corporations who then patent and create  all sorts of uses for the information and  benefit from it. There is no compensation  going either to the country, the Nation  group or to Indigenous people for that  information.  Huang: Who are the main proponents  of this project? Certainly researchers in the  biomedical field, those in transnational  corporations would benefit from this type  of capitalistic activity. But are most governments in the North—Canada, the US  and European countries—also supportive  of the project?  Armstrong: That's an important connection. The governments and the science  community are complicit in the project.  The dollars funding this project are from  large biomedical corporations, as well as  from large research grants to the science  community from the government.  The whole thing boils down to mine-  staking—that old attitude about a new  frontier and the idea that whoever gets  there first and stakes a claim has the right  to exploit it to everybody else's exclusion.  The complicity is also reflected in the  non-information position of those involved  in the project. Whether it be Indigenous  populations or just people in general, the  reaction you will get from 95 percent of the  people you ask on the street about this  project is, "It's too complex. This is science. We don't know anything about it."  And that's how the corporations and the  governments want to keep it.  Huang: Genetic research is usually  explained as being benign or even as beneficial, as a way to prevent cancers and  certain other diseases.  Armstrong: That'sexactlytheapproach  they're using to promote the Diversity  Project. It is how they are posing their  questions when they go to Indigenous com-  munities,bothinCanadaand the US. Their  approach is to find out what diseases may  be rampant in the community, and to use  that as a tool to walk in and do the testing.  They say, "Well, you have a lot of diabetes  in your community." Because diabetes isa  sensitive issue in Native communities, Native community people will say, "Yeah,  we want answers to that because our sisters and brothers and fathers and mothers  are dying of diabetes at an early age."  The fact is that the HGDP is not set up  to answer the question of diabetes. It is a  question that can be answered easily and  specifically by studies of all the factors in  that community that may be causing the  diabetes pattern to occur. Diabetes wasn't  rampant in previous years, so it has to do  with something more recent than genetic  coding. It is not a medical cure for diabetes  that we're in need of—it's a cure for the  situation that creates those conditions [for  the rise in diabetes in Native  communities]..So regardless of the benefits that come out of the Diversity Project,  it doesn't benefit the people who, in those  conditions, are going to continue to get  those diseases.  The other method they use is even  more diabolical. They walk into communities and promise health clinics in return  for the right to [collect DNA] and make it  available to corporations that may be interested in studying the DNA for future  applications. This can be particularly dangerous in countries and communities  where there are serious medical shortages  and needs in relation to health care services.  Huang: You've spoken on the issue of  the HGDP at a number of forums of Indigenous people. What kind of reaction do  you get?  Armstrong: Shock. Horror. Anger.  Most of the people at the forums had never  heard of the project and were just stunned  at the implications as well as at the fact it  is not widely known. Groups that are non-  Indigenous have also been horrified and  stunned.  Huang: Have any actions to oppose  the project come out of your discussions  with other Indigenous people?  Armstrong: One action is to get the  information out there so people can begin  to form strategies and actions against it.  The information is so little known that it's  very difficult to come up with any broad-  based actions or movements in resistance  to it. Talking to someone who's willing to  sit down and listen is an essential part of  resistance right now. Talking at forums  that could facilitate that kind of broad-  based movement is critical.  Huang: There are international conventions that are supposed to protect the  rights of Indigenous peoples. Do they apply to this kind of research?  Armstrong: That's an interesting question but the answer is not available. The  field isso new that most of the conventions  do not address it specifically. The only  conventions you can apply to the issue of  your genetic makeup being exploited  would be conventions that govern your  body—blood, tissue, body parts and so  on. There are laws that regulate the buying, selling and trading of body parts,  blood and tissue. There are regulations to  prevent transporting them across borders.  Those conventions haven't stopped  the buying and trading of body parts so in  fact, the protections are not there for physical transportation, buying and selling of  body parts. In America and Europe a lot of  harvesting of lungs, hearts, livers, eyes,  skin, and marketable tissues for transplanting or hormone-based drugs and cosmetics does go on. The conventions have not  controlled the legality or illegality. And  while consent is required to harvest from  a person who is dead or alive, people in  countries where the conditions are extreme  in terms of poverty would sell a kidney in  order to eat and feed their children. The  rich are usually the only ones who can  afford these transplants.  One issue being debated right now in  GATT is how intellectual property rights  are to be recognized. The UN and economic institutions are involved in defining whether the human genome is a code  or an actual physical thing. If they find that  DNA is a piece of information or a code,  and not a body part, then it becomes something that's not governed by international  regulatory powers.  Jeanette Armstrong toill bespeaking about  theHGDP in Vancouver on Wednesday March  8, 5:30pm at SFU Harbour Centre 515 W.  Hastings St. She will be speaking as part of the  panel, Eugenics, Genetics and NRTs: Reforming the Body Politic.  Agnes Huang is a regular volunteer writer  for Kinesis. This interview was previously  aired on Obaa, a show produced by, for and  about ivoman of colour on Co-op Radio  CFRO 102.7FM in Vancouver. Thanks to  Sur Melwtfor transcribing. Feature  Women and South Africa:  Speak speaks no more  by Fatima Jaffer   Speak, the most widely read and one  of only two national feminist publications in South Africa, has ceased publication of its monthly magazine and  closed down its radio project.  It is a loss that will be felt deeply by  women in South Africa and, in particular, their target audience of women of  colour and African women who, for 13  years, have relied on Speak for information and analyses on their legal rights,  violence against women, women's organizing, health, poverty, rural women's issues, women with disabilities' issues, and, more recently, lesbian rights.  The decision to discontinue Speak  operations was made early this year  after most of the skilled personnel at  Speak resigned for newly available jobs  in the mainstream media, following the  first multiracial, non-apartheid elections  in South Africa last April.  Unable to attract Black women with  the skills to run Speak projects, and left  with a bare bones trainee staff of two  who felt unable to continue contributing  to the publication without the input of  skilled staff, the volunteer Speak board  was left with no alternative but to close  shop.  However, as Kinesis goes to press,  board members are still meeting to find  a way "to keep the ideas Speak stands for  alive in some way," says Shamim Meer,  a longtime member of Speak's board,  and former editor of the magazine.  Speak: a voice of women's liberation  Speak was founded in 1982 at a time  of great proliferation of civic, anti-apartheid organizations. The women who  formed Speak, like others in the Left, saw  a need to link the struggles of peoples in  local communities to the broader national struggles taking place. But history  had shown that even while women are  the driving forces of liberation movements, the issue of women's equality is  sidetracked once revolutions are won.  And so the women at Speak decided to  ensure women's liberation would be an  integral part of national liberation right  at the start. Speak became an organizing  tool for women.  The publication was originally based  in Durban, and published twice a year in  both Zulu and English. In 1987, Speak  moved its headquarters to South Africa's largest city, Johannesburg, where it  found large, appreciative audiences at  rallies, trade union meetings, factories  and other community events.  When the women at Speak realized  the plain-English version of Speak had  become more popular than the Zulu  version, they decided to limit publication to English but to publish more often. Speak became a monthly and, by  1992, had signed up with a national  distribution company, enabling Speak to  be found on newsstands throughout the  country, including remote rural areas.  This meant what they covered and how  had become even more accessible to  their target readership—Black and African working class and rural women.  Speak did not carry advertising, receiving its funds largely through international non-governmental organizations, newsstand sales, and sponsorship  of pages in the magazine by richer NGOs.  In 1990, with the unbanning of liberation organizations, the release of the African National Congress' Nelson Mandela  and the opening up of South African society, community groups began to focus on  community radio initiatives. Radio is the  primary commercial media in South Africa, as it does not require literacy and  radios are relatively inexpensive, so are  widely available. Women, in particular,  mobilized to ensure they be included in  these new initiatives and that radio programming include women and women's  issues in English and the numerous African languages.  In 1992, Speak began a radio project,  coordinated by Libby Lloyd, who had  trained in community radio production  at stations in Canada such as Vancouver's Co-op Radio 102.7 and Toronto's  CKLN. Lloyd and trainee radio assistant Rita Thathe set up workshops to  train women in radio and produce audio tapes for distribution to community  radio stations. Speak produced a tape for  South Africa'sNationalWomen'sCoali-  tion in Xhosa. Other topics covered include women in trade unions, voter education and the elections.  In fact, Speak's contributions to ensuring voter education prior to the elections in April last year were considered  to be outstanding in its accessibility to  women in particular.  Fatima Jaffer worked out of Speak's  offices zvhen she represented the National  Action Committee on the Status of  Women in Johannesburg during the  elections last April.  Speak's Shamim Meer talks with Kinesis  Note: In the context below, lower-cased  "black" refers to women of colour.  Shamim Meer: Since Speak went  monthly, we've had a problem recruiting trained skilled people for a variety of  reasons—we wanted black women, predominantly African women, as we have  a commitment to Speak's staff being majority African women. We also wanted  socialist feminists. Then, women had to  have skills in journalism, desktop publishing and magazine management. It's  quite a tall order.  A critical area we would like to  address now is training. We would like  to work on linking Speak and media  organizations like the Institute for the  Advancement of Journalism to offer  training programs for black and African  women journalists. Speak could offer a  feminist journalism component. One  way people, especially anti-apartheid  activists abroad, can contribute to this  project is by making scholarships available for Black women to enable them to  go on these training courses.  Where do we go from here? We've  looked at all the options but there is no  way we could continue to produce Speak  in the same way in 1995. We are looking  for ideas on how to keep the ideas Speak  has been promoting all these years alive,  especially now in this critical time of  change and transformation.  Certainly what's happening at Speak  is not particular to us. A problem all  progressive organizations are facing is  the draining of trained personnel to the  national, provincial, and now in this  February's elections, the local government. People are moving out of NGOs to  run for and take jobs in government.  It's a difficult situation because we  do want the people with the best skills  and the right politics in government  positions. This enables people to have a  lication Eearn & Teach had to fold because of funds, and nobody was willing  to invest in the organization. [Learn &  Teach was the only adult basic-education  magazine for new English speakers in RSA.  Founded in 1981, it had a readership of  200,000 by 1994. J There are also organizations like the Black Sash, which had to  close down all its ad vice centres because  funding was pulled. [Black Sash was  ..this drain on skilled Black women  is hurting NGOs."  voice and a real people's democracy.  NGOs are good training grounds for  people to acquire a range of skills and it  is good that people can now contribute  in government structures, as well as  transform institutions that were cornerstones of apartheid, like the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).  In fact, three of our key staff are now  working at the SABC.  But we also want progressive organizations to continue their work and  this drain of skilled people, of skilled  Black women is hurting NGOs. In one  day, at an international NGO I was working at recently, four people handed in  resignations.  The other problem NGOs are facing  today is funding. For example, the pub-  formed in 1955. It provided research, monitoring, education, and advice through a nationwide network of voluntary advice offices  on issues such as land reform, pension inequalities, the treatment of domestic workers, family maintenance issues and detention without trial.] There is now nothing  to replace the services Black Sash provided, especially to people who didn't  have access to education or didn't speak  English and wanted to know what their  basic rights are.  The problem is that most of the  money that came into the country before  was largely to counter apartheid. Now  that Western donors are making the  assumption that apartheid is over, we  have a crisis of funding. Donors like US  Aid, which funded Black Sash, are trans  ferring those funds to the new government because the state has taken on  addressing some of the peoples' issues.  While the state needs to play a role  in addressing these issues, we also need  NGOs to continue to play an important  role in the creation of a strong democratic society. »  I want to stress that the repercussions and consequences of apartheid  have not been eradicated. In fact, the  turmoil in terms of people's everyday  lives that was created by the apartheid  state is not going to be eliminated even  by the next generation.  The question is, shouldn't the government be funding NGOs? There have  been some statements by the government [that they are considering that] but  we haven't seen anything in reality yet.  I'd also like to make a differentiation  between the NGOs in South Africa which  took on apartheid, and the NGOs which  never took a political stand or challenged  the status quo. I believe the NGOs that  took a stand are the ones that are going  to advance the interests of democracy,  through organizing people in communities and trade unions. That for me is the  real purpose of NGOs. It is those NGOs  which attracted the overseas funding,  and which are now losing their funding  to the government. Meanwhile, the  NGOs that were subsidized by the apartheid state continue to receive funding  from the government. Feature  National Action Committee on the Status of Women:  Alive and kickin' back  as told to Fatima Jaffer  Mainstream media reports of the demise of Canada's largest national coalition of women's groups have been greatly exaggerated,says Sunera Thobani,  president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, as do other  members of NAC's executive, made up of 26 elected NAC representatives from  across the country.  The attention was sparked by a story printed in The Globe and Mail on  January 12 when it looked like a potential deal between NAC and the book  publishing house, Random House Canada, to raise funds for NAC might fall  through. Gail Picco, NAC's fundraising consultant had just quit over the deal.  At an executive meeting later in January, NAC voted not to enter into a deal  with Random House to put the NAC logo on the spine of Judy Steed's Our Little  Secret, a book on child sexual abuse in Canada, and distribute the book through  NAC's mail-order system.  By February the corporate media had turned NAC's decision into rumours of  its imminent demise, carrying stories of NAC's critical financial problems which  the attributed to cutbacks in government funding, the failure of the Random  House deal, "power struggles" and irreconcilable differences within NAC. Most  recently, the media has carried calls for the end of funding to NAC, as well as  articles, letters and opinion pieces on how NAC has ceased to represent "Canadian women."  Kinesis talks to three women—Sunera Thobani,Laura Sky and Shree Mulay—  who were at the NAC executive meeting in January. As well, we present an article  by Shelagh Day on page 13, submitted for the purposes of this feature in Kinesis.  Interview with Sunera Thobani:  Sunera Thobani is the president of NAC.  Fatima Jaffer: According to the most  recent backlash against N AC in the mainstream media, NAC is falling apart.  Could you tell us what's really happening?  Sunera Thobani: This recent round of  negative media attention was fostered  by the Random House book deal. When  the deal fell through, it caught the media's attention. Then the story became  bigger, and started to focus on funding  to women's organizations. When NAC  started in the 1970s, it was 95 percent  government funded. Today, only 27 percent of NAC's funding comes from the  federal government. The stress that has  been put on women's groups as we've  seen federal governments cut back their  commitment to fund women's organizations has meant that women are forced  to spend more time and energy actively  fundraising for organizations.  I had a meeting with Finance Minister Paul Martin three weeks ago [see  Kinesis, Feb. 95] and he senta clear signal  there are going to be major cuts in the  upcoming budget to NAC and our sister  organizations.  Jaffer: In some ways, it seems like the  women's movement has never been bigger, despite all these set-backs; for example, NAC is larger and more in touch  with its membership.  Thobani: That's true. When I became  president, there were 550 member  groups. Today, there are over 600. But  the reality across the country is that  women's groups are getting poorer.  The other thing is that, as NAC has  undergone this transformation, the organization is being called upon to do  even more work. In my first year as  president, I met with more ministers  and made more presentations to parliamentary committees than the previous  NAC president did in her three-year  stint. This past year particularly has been  a crazy round of consultations on almost  every issue. So we are faced with increasing work, being called on to do  more research, more consultations, an  expanding but poorer membership, and  funding cutbacks by the government.  Jaffer: Where does NAC get the 73  percent of funds that's not from the  government?  Thobani: From our member groups  in the form of membership dues. Major  donors include unions. NAC holds  fundraising events and does a direct  Then the fundraising committee  came up with the idea of trying to get  into a deal with a publishing house and  starting up a NAC line of books. NAC's  own publications would go out under  this line, as would other books in the  area of women's studies and feminist  issues. The first book discussed was  Misconceptions [a collection of essays on  new reproductive technologies]. Misconceptions was already out, but the distribution was terrible. We tried to get  back the rights for Volume II of Misconceptions, but it didn't work out because  the publisher wasn't willing to let it go  and there would have been a lengthy  legal battle.  At that point Judy Steed, a supporter of NAC, approached us. The  fundraising committee had alreadyused  We can't sacrifice feminist principles  for funding, but you have to  have people take a clear position  on what we should do...  mail program. The problem is, when we  do our fundraising, we cannot give donors receipts for tax deduction because,  according to government regulations,  groups doing advocacy work are not  given charitable status. But people who  give large sums of money want a tax  receipt for it.  Jaffer: Why did the Random House  deal fall through?  Thobani: The idea of a book deal as a  fundraising initiative initially came from  NAC's fundraising committee. The deal  would have been a shift for the organization in that we have never had a partnership like that with anybody before.  As you know, NAC currently produces its annual Revieiv of the Situation of  Women in Canada and several other publications which we distribute ourselves.  The idea of putting out Revieiv as a book  was in our minds for some time.  Steed's book Our Little Secret in hardback, whereby women who donated  more than $100 to NAC through one of  our direct mail programs would get a  copy of the book. That fundraising strategy brought in $13,000.  Since Random House was publishing a paperback version of her book,  Steed's book became a possibility for the  beginning of our idea of putting out a  NAC line of books carrying the NAC  logo.  The Random House offer raised  wide-ranging concerns on the NAC executive, including whether this was a  feasible business proposal for NAC. We  would have to buy a certain number of  books up front and the concern was  whether we'd be able to sell them and  whether we had the infrastructure to  cope with something like this.  • Random House renegotiated the terms when they found  out we were worried about the  risk. From requiring NAC to  buy 5,000 books up front, they  cut it to 2,500. They also gave us  favourable repayment terms.  At this point, some women  continued to have concerns  about the viability of such a  project. The content of the book  also became a big issue. So the  majority voted against going  ahead with it.  Jaffer: We have heard that a  reasonfornotgoingaheadwith  the deal was that the content of  the book is homophobic.  Thobani: There was no consensus on the executive as to  whether it was homophobic.  There were a number of reasons women voted the way they  did. Some clearly had concerns about  content and that formed the basis of  their vote. Others were concerned  whether this was an attractive proposition business-wise. There were others  who saw how frustrating and divisive  the issue had become and felt we couldn't  do a major fundraising campaign when  the majority of the executive had so  many concerns about it. In the meantime, our fundraising consultant Gail  Picco resigned.  Jaffer: That's when the mainstream  media began to run stories on the Random House deal. According to those  stories, the main reason for the deal  falling through is dissension on the executive as to whether the book is  homophobic, with you saying it is not.  Thobani: I didn't say the book is not  homophobic. I don't know where the  media got that from. I said I supported  the deal. There's no question that the  media is using the whole thing to bash  NAC.  On the other hand, there are clear  differences of opinion on theexecutive—  not only about the content of the book  but about our approach to fundraising.  There are differences of opinion on the  executive about the idea of having a  NAC imprint out—the content of books,  what it means to actually use this type of  fundraising, and what our fundraising  means to us. There are some of us who  feel it is not NAC policy to use a book as  a fundraising activity. There are others  who see NAC as endorsing the position  of the author.  Jaffer: Was this why the chair of the  NAC fundraising committee resigned?  Thobanvl think the fundraisingcom-  mittee did not feel they had the support  of the executive in the way it had wanted  or had looked for. Fely Villasin said she  had done the best she could for  fundraising and she couldn't go on with  being the chair of the committee. [Ed  note: Villasin has remained a member of the  NAC executive.]  See Thobani, page 16 Feature  Efforts to marginalize:  The media has  a NAC attack  by Shelagh Day  The mainstream media's treatment  of the concerns that were raised by some  NAC executive members about the proposed NAC Random House book deal  deserves examination.  Raising concerns about whether a  book reinforces negative stereotypes of  gay sexuality has been treated as so  marginal as to be a sign of NAC's  demise (columnist Margaret Wente in  The Globe and Mail), extreme or "too  politically correct" (Val Ross, also in The  Globe and Mail), or as seeking perfection,  "being Utopian" (Naomi Klein in The  Toronto Star).  These characterizations are simply  wrong. Being concerned about reinforcing negative stereotypes of gay sexuality is not a marginal or Utopian concern  for any person or organization that takes  human rights seriously. We live in a  deeply bigoted society in which a number  of governments, including the federal  Liberal government, still cannot bring  themselves to extend basic human rights  protections to lesbians and gay men.  Further, the repeated message—  whether from Naomi Klein; Val Ross;  Michael Coran on CFRB Radio; or in the  BC Report—is that being concerned about  negative stereotypes of gay sexuality  means being soft on child sexual abuse.  That's not just wrong, it is itself indicative of the problem. If being concerned  about perpetuating negative stereotypes  of gay sexuality translates into condoning child sexual abuse, as it does so  readily for media commentators, that  means gay sexuality is being equated  with pedophilia. If one defends gay sexuality, one is understood to be defending  pedophilia.  Child sexual abuse isa seriousprob-  lem in Canada that must be eradicated  wherever it is occuring and whoever the  perpetrators and victims are. The point  is that allowing negative stereotypes of  gay sexuality to flourish does not help us  solve the problem of child sexual abuse.  And it may hinder us.  The fact is that there is an image out  there of the child abuser as homosexual.  There i s a commonly held belief that gay  men are, by definition, immoral, perverted, sexual predators, child molesters and unfit parents. If the principal  image we have of the child abuser is the  "homosexual pedophile," this may not  just reinforce the stigmatization of gay  sexuality, but also obscure the prevalence of child sexual abuse in all parts of  our society, especially in those families  that are considered the most ordinary  and respectable. This just makes it more  difficult to come to grips with child  sexual abuse.  The point is that if the society constructs the perpetrators of sexual vio  lence against children as "other" because of gay sexuality, we can fail to  come to grips with the problem in two  ways: (1) we focus social hatred on the  sexual orientation of the perpetrator,  not on the crime; and (2) we divert attention from the fact that the crime is also  perpetrated by those in the dominant or  what Margaret Wente calls the "mainstream" group.  Carol Smart, a British scholar, emphasized in a lecture at Osgoode Hall  Law School in September, 1994 how  important it is if, as a society, we are to  address child sexual abuse, to have accurate cultural images of who the perpetrators are.  The sad fact is that most sexual abuse  of children is perpetrated by parents  and relatives, mainly fathers with their  own children, or by stand-in fathers  (stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, older  brothers). This would suggest that Dad  should figure among our principal cultural images of the child sexual abuser.  This does not mean that Dad should  be turned into the new universal villain,  but the fact that Dad is not among our  cultural images of the child sexual abuser  should make us aware of our denial; it is  easier to make an image of the child  sexual abuser as "other."  None of this means there should be  a double standard, that we should not  expose child sexual abuse perpetrated  by gay men. On the contrary, we must.  But we have to do it knowing that we are  on uneven terrain. We have to know  that stories about child sexual abuse on  the part of gay men are likely to be  interpreted as evidence of the inherent  perversion of all lesbians and gay men,  while stories about child sexual abuse  on the part of heterosexual men or  women will be understood to be individual matters; they shed no negative  light on heterosexuality per se. That is  S&S!hm   KB COMITE NATIONAL COMITE  ACTON canadien ACTION mm  COMMITTEE D'ACTION COMMITTEE MfTION  a«»o,M umJm mm«3 simtm  the social context, and a critical consciousness of that context has to inform  our discussion.  If we are serious about dealing with  child sexual abuse in all parts of our  society, with all perpetrators and all  victims, then we have to ask, what will  help? We need to be focussed on child  sexual abuse itself and be willing to ask  more questions, and more complicated  ones. Why do adults do it? Why is it so  If one defends  gay sexuality,  one is understood  to be defending  pedophilia.  common? Why is it part of family life for  so many children? How do cultural images help or hinder our efforts to address this problem? We need to talk  more.  There are important issues to be  addressed abouthow tostop child sexual  abuse and how prejudiceaboutgay sexuality can infect our thinking about this  problem. But the mainstream media  simplifies the question to: is Judy Steed's  book homophobic, and by that they  mean: is Judy Steed really Rosanne  Skoke?  The question for feminists and human rights activists are bigger and more  complex, and the question about the  book itself is more subtle. The question  is: how does Steed's book relate to the  current social context of bigotry against  gay sexuality? Does it perpetuate and  sensationalize stereotypical images?  Does it counteract the bigotry that ex-  ists,or feed it? When considering putting  NAC's name on the cover of Steed's  book, these questions must be asked.  Lately, however, the media's interest in NAC has taken another turn. Having tried to label concerns about prejudice against gay sexuality as marginal,  the mainstream media now questions  whether NAC is representative (Wente,  The Globe and Mail; Douglas Fischer, The  Vancouver Sun).  This is a question that has been raised  many times before, but it has a new  context. It is raised now when NAC is  more inclusive and diverse in its membership than ever, when it is led by a  woman of colour for the first time, and  when it takes seriously the issues of  those women and men who have the  least power in Canadian society.  The problem is not that NAC is  unrepresentative, but who and what  NAC represents. There are a lot of  women in Canada, and men too, who  are committed to fighting every form of  prejudice, and who are not convinced  that current economic policies and social program cutbacks will lead to a  better, fairer, more egalitarian future.  NAC is one important voice for those  with critical and progressive political  views. The eagerness of the media to  silence or discredit NAC must be read as  an eagerness to silence or discredit those  views.  Contrary to mainstream media assertions, NAC is neither marginal nor  unrepresentative, and while uncomfortable, its voice is essential to keeping us  moving toward an egalitarian society; it  is central to genuine political debate.  Shelagh Day is a human rights activist.  She wrote this article to clarify issues  raised at and following the NAC Executive meeting in January.  Some women might ask: why  should we care about negative images  of gay sexuality; why does this matter  to women? There are four answers:  • girls are the principal victims of child  sexual abuse. If negative stereotypes of  gay sexuality impede our ability to deal  with child sexual abuse, thisaffects a lot  of girls;  • lesbians feel the negative effects of  bigotry about gay sexuality because we  are treated by the state and society as  part of the group with that sexuality;  • the perpetuation of negative stere  otypes of gay sexuality is a means of]  exerting social control over sexuality.  Whenever this happens successfully,  women lose. Because we are still struggling to assert our sexual autonomy, we  have a stake in breaking the links between sexuality and oppression, wherever those links are being made;  • as feminists it is important to have a  broad vision of oppression and a commitment to the human rights of others  as well our own.  KINESIS »*  \«  **u  ^tf<p  I  u  M  N  T  o^pp      (i©//     j^r   11^^ I  I  E  T  T  ffl  E  D  W  i  0  E  N  S  A  T  L  ?-,  DAY  V)*2?X  1  1  |  \  A  ■ M  D  \A .  kc  d  t  I  International Women's Day arose out of the protest and political activism  of working women at the begining of the 20th Century. Among the many  struggles taking place was the 1908 strike of garment workers, 80% of whom  were women, in New York City. The strike began at the Triangle Shirtwaist  Company, and grew to become a general strike of 30,000 garment workers.  In 1910, the idea of "Women's Day" was taken up by socialists and  feminists. At the Second International Conference of Socialist Women in  Copenhagen in 1910, attended by women from 17 different countries, a  proposal for an international "Women's Day" was put forward: Clara Zetkin  presented a motion that women throughout the world should focus on a  particular day each year to press for demands and to commemorate women  and their struggles. Women passed the motion unanimously and "International Women's Day" came into being.  The first International Women's Day was held on March 19, 1911 in a  number of European countries. The date was later moved to March 8. The day  became more widely celebrated with waves of the feminist movement and  following the International Year of the Woman in 1975, which began the UN  Decade of Women (1975-1985).  (material gleaned from past issues of Kinesis and knowledgeable women)  Calendar  1995  The following is a statemmtfrom Vancouver's IWD  1995 organizing committee.  Ten years ago, in the last year of the UN Decade  of Women, world leaders signed a declaration committing themselves to bringing about women'sequal-  ity. Since then women world-wide have not seen  equality and instead have had their rights eroded in  many parts of their lives.  And the erosion of rights means women are  facing increasing poverty. Vicious cutbacks to social  programs planned by the federal government hurt  women in Canada by potentially taking away essential access to education, social assistance and community services. Internationally, women bear the  brunt of increased labour demands and increased  poverty in countries where paymment of debt to the  world bank means drastic cuts to health and welfare  programmes that were never wide spread in the  first place.  Locally and globally, poverty and economic  dependence make women vulnerable to aggression,  religious fundamentalism and lack of reproductive  choices, and deny women basic human rights, access to decision-making bodies and the political  clout to influence the media, the economic elite, the  arms trade and the military.  International Women's Day is one day out of  many to acknowledge our struggles, to make our  demands heard and to celebrate women.  IWD March and Rally  The theme of this year's International Women's  Day March is "Women Unite Against Poverty".  This year we will gather at Grandview Park (on  Commercial Drive at Charles) on Saturday, March  11 at 11:30 am. Afterwards, meet at the Britannia  Centre Cafeteria. Music, live theatre, information  tables and NFB Studio D films until 3:30pm. Call  Jane at 876-4123 to book a table or Claire at 322-8630  to volunteer.  A Choice Celebration  A pro-choice IWD celebration dance will follow this year's IWD March in Vancouver, Saturday  March 11 at the New York Theatre, 639 Commercial  Drive. Confirmed acts are Rumplesteelskin,  Crandshaft, Jam Tarts and Ray Condo. Doors open  at 8:00pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and available  from Highlife Records, Black Swan and Zulu  Records, or $8-15 sliding scale at the door.  IWD Film Series  The National Film Board and YWCA celebrate  International Women's Week with their 7th annual  Film series March 11th at 7pm and 9:30pm at the  Pacific Cinematheque, 1131 Howe St. Free admission except "Fiction and other Truths: A Film about  Jane Rule," a benefit for Little Sister's. Advance  tickets at Little Sisters. For more info call 666-3838,  or see the ad on Bulletin Board, page 25.  Philippine Women Centre  "Struggle of Women Workers" is this year's theme,  with an afternoon including "The Site of Silence" art  exhibit by Marilou Esguerra, a workshop on quilt  making, a women's ritual and more. In the evening,  "Solidarity Night" will include dances, songs and skits  from various community groups. It all takes place on  Saturday, March 4th at St Giles United Church, 305  West 41st Ave. from 1-6 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. For more  information call the Philippine Women Centre at 322-  9852.  IWD on Air  On March 8th tune your fm dial to CiTR Radio,  101.9 for a full day of women's programming. Jazz,  blues, punk, hip hop, queercore, Canadian independent, poetry, interviews and live bands (at 10 p.m.  Lashback and Yvette). Consult the March issue of  Discorder magazine for a complete schedule; call 822-  3017 for more info.  IWD Jazz Cabaret  Women in Music presents a two part evening of  jazz on Thursday, March 9th at 8pm at Western Front,  303 East 8th Ave. in celebration of IWD. First Bonnie  Ferguson, jazz singer and pianist, and storyteller,  Melanie Ray weave a tapestry of jazz and storytelling.  Later in the evening Standard Changes, a group of  Vancouver's finest women jazz singers will perform.  Tickets are $10 in advance at High Life Records (1317  Commercial Dr) or $12 at the door. For more info call  520-3395.  IWD Public Forum  The Freedom Public Socialist Party is hosting a  brunch and forum on "The Australia That Canadians  Never Hear About". Guerry Hoddersen, from the  Freedom Socialist newspaper, will talk about what's  happening in the union, feminist, lesbian/gay, and  Aboriginal movements in Australia and discussion  will include comparisons to the Canadian movements.  Brunch begins at 1pm, program at 2pm at the Croatian  Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive. Call Marcel  at 688-5195 or 254-3210 for more info.  Women and Prisons  Books 2 Prisoners presents a four part series to help  raise awareness on prison issues from women in prison  to abolition. Part One, "Women and Prisons" takes  place on March 9 at 8:00 p.m. at La Quena Coffeehouse,  1111 Commercial Drive. Donations at door, (see Bulletin Board for other events)  NDP IWD Dinner  The Vancouver Centre New Democrats present  the IWD Dinner on March 8,1995 at the Parkhill Hotel,  1160 Davie St. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 7:00.  Tickets are $60, childcare costs reimbursed. Proceeds  will go the the Betty Baxter Election Debt. To reserve  tickets, call 669-6757 or fax 669-5341 attn. Carol  Plummer.  ■^SfcfiSies quavery ha  IWD Comedy  Women in View presents "Lipschtick on your  Collar" a new women's comedy group of well known  Vancouver actors and comedians at The Arts Club  Theatre (Mainstage), Sunday, March 5th at 7:30 p.m.  Call 687-1644 for tickets or 685-6684 for more info.  Langley Family Services IWD Luncheon  Langley Family Services welcomes you to its 4th  annual celebration of IWD, a luncheon on March 5th  from 11:30am to 2:30 pm at the Sheraton Inn Guildford.  Patricia Graham, Senior Editor of the Vancouver Sun,  is the guest speaker. There will be entertainment, by  local artist Holly Arntzen, and the Joan Murrell Memorial Award presentation. Tickets are $25, call Dorothy  at 534-7921.  Richmond Women's Forum  The Richmond Women's Resource Centre is holding its third annual "I am Woman" Forum on Saturday,  March 11th following International Women's Day.  Speakers and workshops to be given on a range of  themes including "Women in a Global Environment",  "Media Watch: Images of Women" and "How can we  Support one Another: Building an Inclusive Community". Cost, including lunch and childcare is $15. For  more info or to register call 279-7060.  Capilano College  On Wednesday March 8, Capilano College faculty  members will open their classrooms to the community  for lectures, films and discussions about women's  issues. Departments participating include History,  Sociology, Fine Arts, Economics, French, Geography,  Spanish and Psychology. From 8:30 am through  9:30pm,there are lectures and other events, all free of  charge, to which the public are invited to attend. The  main evening presentation, at 7:30 pm, in the Lecture  Theatre C148, is titled "From Witch-Hunts to PMS: ,  Women, Crime and Punishment" presented by Dr.  Karlene Faith from SFU's School of Criminology. For  fu rther information or a copy of the full program phone  984-4953.  North Shore Women's Centre  The North Shore Women's Centre will host an  Open House on Tuesday, March 8 to celebrate International Women's Day during regular hours, 9:30 am to  4pm. Please drop by. For more info call 984-6009.  Nelson ft District Women's Centre  The Nelson & District Women's Centre is holding  its grand opening of the new centre at 420 Mill St. in  celebration of International Women's Day on March 8  from noon to 8pm. The official opening ceremony takes  placet 5pm.  A Voice from the Past  The Kelowna Women's Centre presents "An impersonation of Nellie McClung" by local actor Trudy  Cowan on Sunday, March 5th at 2:30 p.m. at First  United Church (Bernard and Richter). Tickets are $5 or  donation. There will be coffee and refreshments. For  more info call 762-2355.  IWD Displays in Kelowna  Local women entrepreneurs in Kelowna, BC will  set up displays and present their businesses and field  for all interested from 1-8 p.m. Wednesday March 8th  at The French Cultural Centre (Bernard and Richter).  Refreshments and entertainment, admission by donation. Call 762-2355 for more info.  Penticton IWD festival  The Penticton and Area Women's Centre is holding their third annual International Women's Day  Festival on March 4. Over 1500 people are expected to  attend. Organisers are asking for donations of posters  and materials related to IWD. For more info or to  donate materials contact Laurel Burnham at 8-88  Duncan Ave. West Penticton, V2A 7J7 or phone 493-  6822.  Quebec Du Pain et des Roses  On March 8 la Federation des femmes du Quebec  (FFQ) is organizing women to march against poverty  in their communities to remind local government,  social services and the federal government that they  can no longer continue to cut vital services to women,  that women are particularly vulnerable to poverty and  need not only the bread: jobs, better pay and equal  opportunity, but as well the roses: better living conditions, adequate social programmes, and assistance in  ance in balancing professional and family responsibilities. Du Pain et des Roses was the theme of garment  workers at the turn of the century who demanded less  hours for themselves and abolishment of child labour  for their children. This march precedes a larger one  planned from May 26 to June 4 this year.  IWD in Seattle  Radical women presents "Women and Revolution-Alive and Inseparable!" on Saturday, March 11th  at 8 p.m. at New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier Ave. S.  Panelists will speak on the roles of women in Nicaragua, Cuba, South Africa, Mexico and the United States.  International buffet at 6:30 for $8.50, door donation $2.  Call Anne at (206)722-6057 for more info.  Compiled by Lora McElhinney, and designed by  Dawn Simpson and Leah Ibbitson. Graphic by  Kumvana N'Gomani. Photo by Fatima Jaffer. Feature  Interview with Laura Sky:  Laura Sky is NAC's national secretary and  is based in Toronto.  Fatima Jaffer: Could you tell us why  you voted against the Random House  deal?  Laura Sky: There were a number of  reasons why we voted against the deal.  There was the discussion about the content of the book and about the process,  not just around Judy Steed's book.  We are looking at larger issues of  new funding relationships. NAC hasn't  entered this kind of fundraising deal  before and we needed to talk about a  number of things. Some questions that  came up, for example, were: how will  we decide what books we want to go  ...the spirit of  homophobia is alive  and well  and living in every  Canadian community.  with and have a NAC imprint on?  Should we have an editorial committee  to review books? How would we develop an evaluative process to make  these kinds of decisions, both in terms of  the book and generally?  I think this is also an important,  larger question for many women's organizations today—how are we going  to have relations with corporations and  private companies? What ethical con-  cems should we be dealing with informing those relationships? How much do  they get to control? What do we expect  to gain?  Most of the interventions at the ex-  ecutivewereaboutprocess. Beyond that,  there were interventions about money  and content. The issue of content is important in relation to this book as well as  generally because if we are to have a  NAC imprint on the book, there was  discussion about whether this meant we  would be endorsing the principles or  position of the book. If we intend that,  then we have to ask ourselves how that  is going to relate to the issues of our  constituency groups or membership.  For example with Our Little Secret,  there was discussion about the stereotyping of gay men and pedophilia and  whether the book would stimulate that  kind of stereotyping. The important issue there is about NAC's responsibility  in endorsing a book that potential ly could  add to the backlash against gay men and  lesbians.  Jaffer: One impression I have been  getting from the mainstream media's  coverage is that women on the executive  thought the book was homophobic. From  Sunera I hear that none of the women  would actually call it "homophobic."  Sky: The concern was not necessarily that the book was homophobic but  the role this book is playing in society in  general, in the context of a society where  the spirit of homophobia is alive and  well and living in every Canadian community. Some women felt more strongly  about it than others.  Jaffer: The attention in the corporate  media now seems to have shifted towards predicting the death of NAC. Is  this just one more predicted death of  NAC?  Sky: NAC is like a cat, except we've  exceeded our nine lives. The death just  never quite happens. What's happening  in the media right now is part of an  incredible period of backlash. The issue  for the media is either we're going to die  financially, or we're going to die because of internal conflict.  NAC is like a cat,  except we've exceeded  our nine lives.  The death just  never quite happens.  Jaffer: So what's happening at NAC? Is  there some truth to the dissension at NAC?  Sky: My personal take on what's  happening internally is that we're having to deal with issues in two contexts.  Fi rst, whi le the issues may not be getting  harder, they feel harder. We're dealing  with issues in the context of terrible  economic scarcity, both within the organization and in the rest of our lives. So  when issues like this come to the table,  it's harder to deal with them with a cool,  calm clarity.  The money situation at NAC is similar to that in all women's groups. We're  worried and concerned we have to do  things differently at a time when we  can't afford to take a lot of risks—and we  need to take risks in order to improve  the situation.  The other issue is how we work in  terms of being a diverse organization—  diversity in this case on two huge levels:  race and sexual orientation. It isn't only  the question of how we relate to each  other in leadership positions as white  women and women of colour, but also  how we deal with decision-making,  analysis, and leadership. Every issue is  worked through that series of experiences and strategies and in terms of how  issues of racism, for example, relate to  issuesofhomophobia,and also to what's  gone on in the women's movement before in terms of models of leadership,  decision-making, racism, and  homophobia. You put all that together  in one organization and it makes decision-making, to put it mildly, intense.  When we have a discussion, and we  as white women are unclear about how  to be able to deal with conflict or differences of position that are also informed  by questions of race, it's tough. We're  trying to perpetually figure out how to  do it. Finding out wedon't always know  how to do it is painful.  In terms of what's happening out  there in the world, we have Finance  Minister Paul Martin, Reform Party  leader Preston Manni ng, med ia conglom-  erates Conrad Black and Mr. Southam  and all their gangs, who are prepared to  exploit what they perceive to be cracks  or vulnerable spots in oppositional organizations. They create the opportunity by running stories on the Random  House deal, and then exploit the opportunity by saying NAC is in disarray. The  situation NAC is in is gold to those guys  right now.  Thobani, from page 12  Jaffer: The issue of the book deal  seems to have given the media a new  reason to re-hash the "NAC does not  represent women in Canada" line that  came up particularly following NAC's  demonstration against the Reform Party  on Parliament Hill last June [see Kinesis,  Jul/Aug 1994].  Thobani: That is the tone of the latest  round of attacks in the media. We get  women who don't belong to the organization saying "NAC doesn't represent  me" Well, of course we don't. They  don't belong to the organization. "NAC  doesn't represent me" has become a  tired old song. NAC does not represent  the women of Canada; NAC represents  its membership and we work for women's equality in this country. I have been  very clear about that every time I am  given a public platform.  Jaffer: Did NAC receive that kind of  criticism from its general membership  for last June's demonstration against the  Reform Party in Ottawa?  Thobani: No, there's been nothing  from inside the organization. The membership chose and supports that action.  The negative criticism and reaction has  been very much from the outside.  The real story of that Parliament  Hill demonstration was that the Reform  Party, which claims to represent and be  accessible to Canadians as a grassroots,  populist party, refused to meet with  equality-seeking women's groups and  that the Reform was the first political  party in 10 years of NAC lobbies that  absolutely refused to meet with NAC  Instead what the media carried was an  attack on NAC's behaviour and theopin-  ion that this is not how Canadian women  should behave.  We did not get this negative publicity three years ago, when women  marched to the House of Commons and  banged on parliament's door and demonstrated because the Prime Minister  didn't attend the NAC lobby.  Jaffer: Why did you support the Random Housedeal even after some women  on the executive said the book could be  homophobic?  Thobani: I believe when concerns are  raised about the book, they have to be  taken seriously, especially if the concerns are that the book is homophobic. I  have read the book and have my own  opinionabout it. Theconcernsof women  on the executive were also about the  way it deals with child abuse. It is written in a journalistic way and focuses on  high profile cases when most cases of  child sexual abuse take place within the  family and are hidden.  But nobody was saying the book is  "homophobic." Women were saying the  book feeds into negative stereotypes  which might promote homophobia.  Some women said, "Personally, it makes  me uncomfortable, but I wouldn't call  this book homophobic."  There are several issues here though.  One is that the lesbians on the executive  were divided evenly for and against this  issue. Likewise, the straight women were  divided evenly on this issue. There was  no consensus.  The other thing is the discussion  raised the question of whether NAC  should be putting its imprint on books;  that if we are 26 women on the executive, which book would meet everybody's definition of how issues should  be covered, in what way should it be  written, which kind of incidents should  be addressed, and so on.  Jaffer: Perhaps NAC could set some  kind of criteria and then decide which  book steps over that line and which one  relatively doesn't.  Thobani: That's the issue—the definition of this major line. To get back to  the executive's discussion on the Steed  book, if women had said this book is  homophobic, the discussion would have  moved in a different way from somebody saying, "Well, I read it and it personally makes me feel uncomfortable."  It would have put the discussion on the  level of what having a NAC line of  imprints would mean, what it means to  use the book as a fund raising tool, and so  on.  The other issue is that right now, we  are having a really tough time in the  women's movement. We have seen a lot  of groups fold for lack of money. NAC is  getting poorer. We've had to lay staff  off. The conditions under which I work  are terrible—I have no research person  yet am called upon to make presenta  tions on any and every issue. NAC has  four staff members who are completely  stressed out. We don't have the money  to be able to bring more people on to  make those staff jobs do-able. NAC committees have had their budgets frozen.  My priority at the moment is to do  what needs to be done to stabilize the  organization financially. That's why I  supported the deal. I don't want to see  this organization put such stress on its  staff and its executive that the conditions are completely unworkable. If the  $275,000 NAC receives from the government is cut this year, I don't know  how the organization would survive.  We can't sacrifice feminist principles for funding, but you have to have  people take a clear position on what we  should do and see it through.  Jaffer: Are you discussing ways to  enable NAC to negotiate such deals in  the future?  Thobani: We have to reconstitute a  new fundraising committee and decide  on our next fundraising strategy. This  current Random House deal is off.  On a positive note, I think what this  issue has done is to raise discussion  across the country about child sexual  abuse and homophobia. I think it's going to have a really educational impact.  In fact, NAC is organizing a forum in  Toronto in March on homophobia and  child sexual abuse. For more information on the forum call NAC at 1-800-665-  5124.  16 Feature  Interview with Shree Mulay  Shree Mulay voted to abstain from the  NAC executive decision to support or reject  the Random House book deal. Mulay is co-  chair of the NAC New Reproductive Technologies committee and lives in Montreal.  Fatima Jaffer: Could you talk about  NAC's fundraising initiative with Random House?  Shree Mulay: Firstly, the problem  that NAC's funding has decreased, both  in terms of government funding but also  independent funding.  There is a sense that the amount of  money people are willing to donate has  decreased. Some people attribute that to  saying that middle-class white women  are not supporting NAC because of the  leadership NAC has at the moment.  Personally I don't think that is entirely  correct. There is a great deal of poverty  in Canada today, and even if people are  making money, they're giving a little bit  less because there's a general anxiety  about what kind of work is going to be  available and how stable employment is  going to be.  Jaffer: So the Random House book  deal was one in a series of ideas to raise  funds?  Mulay: Yes. When the Judy Steed  book was first proposed, a lot of people  had not read the book and women were  excited by this new possibility of  fundraising. I think the process was a bit  flawed in that, before any further discussions had taken place about whether  this was going to be the book or not, we  should have read the book.  Our Little Secret had already been  offered to women who donated more  than $100 to NAC. Now, I don't think  women on the executive were as acu tely  aware of all the details as we ought to  have been. I think the responsibility of  knowing what the material was should  have been with the entire executive, but  then people have different levels of  awareness about what goes on in different areas of NAC. In any case, that project  was quite different from NAC putting  its imprint on the book.  Some people pointed out that the  content of the book should be looked at.  There were also a number of questions  about what kind of contract was being  signed, the liability form, and so on.  There was a sense it was not going to  happen right away. All of a sudden, the  pace quickened; there was an actual deal  on the table and we would have to sign  on the dotted line. That's when real  anxiety began about whether it was a  feasible deal financially. The initial deal  brought to NAC was really quite unfavourable—our fundraising consultant  told us it had to be this book, it had to be  5,000 copies, and the only thing Random  House was willing to give on at that  point was the schedule of payments.  After NAC's fundraising consultant Gail  Picco resigned, Sunera spoke to Random House personally and they renegotiated the deal to 2,500 copies.  Then women on the lesbian issues  committee put forward the idea that the  book may be homophobic and we should  not go ahead with it. There was another  concern that Random House Canada  actually publishes in the US, which raised  the question of low union rates, as well  as the effect this would have on women's publishing houses that are facing  great difficulty in Canada.  The mood at that point was that  these issues were being brought quite  late to the table, that perhaps these concerns should have been raised earlier.  Thediscussion went around and around.  Finally, thechair of the fundraising committee, Fely Villasin, put forward a motion that we should not proceed with the  book deal. Most women voted in favour,  a couple of people voted to proceed, and  I abstained.  Jaffer: Why did you abstain?  Mulay: I felt the motion did not help  clarify things. It left things open. Had  there been a motion to proceed with the  deal, we would have had a true count of  people who supported thedeal and people would have had to take a clear stand  on the issues. A motion not to proceed  meant that women who opposed the  deal because of financial concerns or  because the book was homophobic, and  people who had actually initially proposed the deal ended up voting on the  same side. People with completely op-  ttkm  CAlUi  ^mmm  , mm  achojv  COMMITTEE  mt  PACTION  that any book that NAC brings out as an  imprint is going to be looked upon as an  endorsement by NAC. The second is, as  long as the book is not totally opposed to  the principles NAC stands for, it should  be possible to support it.  The NAC publications committee  has since brought forward a proposal  that any books or material that are not  I think the process  was a bit flawed in that, before  any further discussions had taken place..  we should have read the book.  posite perspectives were voting for the  same motion. That really did not clarify  the situation.  Jaffer: But the discussion preceding  the vote seems to have brought to light  some of the issues that needed to be  discussed before you vote on a single  deal. For example, questions of process...  Mulay: The process was certainly in  my estimation a little flawed. When  women on the executive meet and have  so many things on the agenda, not everything receives the attention it deserves.  I'm referring to earlier times when discussions have taken place and thoughtful decision-making has not been possible because, by that time, there was so  much emotion around the whole issue.  One thing I have not heard people  discuss is how much money this deal  would actually bring in. There seems to  be a general sense it would bring in  hundredsofthousandsof dollars. In any  such operation, you would not expect to  make that much money in the first year.  You might make more, once the system  is set up and people are tuned to purchasing NAC imprints.  My own estimation was that if we  made $20,000-$25,000 in the first year,  we would be doing quite well. That may  sound like a lot of money but it isn't. We  have unions that have donated money  to that tune in response to one letter  from us.  Personally, I think selling books to  raise money for an organization is a neat  idea because women, particularly feminists, do buy books, and it's a good way  of supporting an organization. Certainly  I support the idea itself. What I'm less  sure of is on what basis does one select  which books NAC should distribute.  In talking to various women, I've  heard two viewpoints expressed. One is  NAC's own be looked at by an editorial  committeee before they are distributed.  Jaffer: Do you think that the next  time the executive meets, this is where  the discussion will go?  Mulay: The women who were asked  to take on responsibility for the  fundraising committee will be looking  at what the process should be and, on a  broader perspective, who would take  responsibility for what, and also at all  the legal, financial, and technical aspects  of this kind of proposal.  Jaffer: Who's the new chair of the  fundraising committee?  Mulay: No one took on the job as  chair.  Jaffer: I'd like to talk about the mainstream media attention NAC has received as a consequence of this. The  media has painted the situation asone of  huge divisions within NAC that could  possibly lead to the demise of NAC. Do  you think there's any truth to this?  Mulay: This negativity is really an  agenda carried by a number of groups  and individuals, such as REAL Women  as well as others more in the centre.  These people don't like NAC's stand on  a variety of issues—the continued insistence on social policy, that one has to look  atthedeficitinadifferentwayandsoon.  NAC's views are opposed in an overt  way by groups like the Reform Party or  the REAL Women, but there are others  who dismiss the debate altogether.  For example, Sheila Finestone of the  Status of Women says women have  achieved so much already, the problem  doesn't exist and therefore groups like  NAC should not exist. She has not said  this blatantly but has basically said  women do not need the same kind of  affirmative action they did many years  ago and groups like NAC should become completely self-supporting.  That opinion may also be shared by  those who resented NAC's position on  theCharlettetown Accord [Ed note: NAC  voted No to the Charlottetowri constitutional amendments in 1992] or by those  who harboured resentment against NAC  for the way we handled the protest  against the Reform Party on Parliament  Hill in Ottawa last year.  Internally, I think there is a sense of  frustration that we have not been able to  coalesce a really strong protest to the  current slashing of social policy programs. This has led to people really  scrutinizing the proposals NAC is  putting forward and what they mean.  They begin to try to find somebody who  is a problem and it's very easy to pick on  Sunera as the president of the organization. But there are many decisions made  which get lost in the translation. As well,  some women don't make decisions and  thatgets translated concretely into what  gets done and what doesn't. If NAC had  a strong social policy campaign that  caught the imagination of people, we  might see a turning around both internally and externally.  There are many who oppose the  current economic reforms and want a  social policy campaign but those forces  feel their bargaining power is weak and  they are looking for something that is  going to be able to give them that  strength. I don't think we as NAC have  been able to give people that inspired  message to hold on to and to build into  a movement. I think the start of the shoe  campaign against Paul Martin's  upcoming budget is an attempt to do  that. We will see how successful that  campaign is.  Jaffer: At the same time as this crisis  in confidence, NAC is growing as an  organization.  Mulay: Definitely. I think it is because groups who previously could not  identify with NAC are beginning to see  the importance of being part of it. I'm  certainly not giving up on NAC at all.  The struggle is just getting harder and I  think that's because of the general swing  to the right in this country. NAC needs  an infusion of new talents in leadership  positions, and I hope people with a clear  vision and clear politics become part of  NAC's decision-making body in the  upcoming NAC elections at the AGM  thisyear. I'm a great believer that women  can bring about tremendous change.  Sometimes the path is not as straightforward as you'd like it to be and we have  to ensure these struggles are fought in a  principled way.  MARCH 1995 Commentary  US and Canada immigration policies:  Tools for cheap labour  by Nandita Sharma  Immigration policy in Canada has  long been a racist tool in the hands of  governments. It has been used to encourage European settlement, to counter First Nations claim to their lands. It  has been used to shape the characteristic  ofthecountry.Atdifferenttimesandfor  various reasons, peoples of colour have  been systematically forbidden to enter  or stay in the country.  Immigration policy has also been  used to deport people that threaten the  state and the privileges of some sections  of the population. And immigration  policy has always been used to provide  employers with a cheap workforce.  Recently there have been far-reaching changes in Canada's immigration  policy [see Kinesis, Nov. and Dec/Jan 1994].  The Liberal government has cut official  immigration rates by 50,000 people—  amounting to a 20 percent reduction.  Most of these cu ts have been made at the  expense of refugees and immigrants  coming in under the family sponsorship  program. Indeed, the number of refugees Canada will admit in 1995 has been  cut by 33 percent—in direct contradiction of Canada's commitment to international agreements protecting refugee  rights. These cuts particularly discriminate against women, since sponsorship  under the family class is one of the main  avenues for them to enter Canada.  It is not a coincidence tha t the family  class is being cut back exactly when  immigrants of colour, rather than Europeans, wish to bring their families to this  country. And it is immigrant women of  colour who are bearing the brunt of the  new immigration policy. Simultaneously, the Liberal government is cutting  back on (and often eliminating) the social and economic services that have  long assisted immigrant settlement in  Canada.  Increasingly, immigrants of colour  are being scapegoated for the social and  economic ills of this country. The government has stepped up active  solicita tion of people whoalready speak  English or French for immigration to  Canada. Citizenship and Immigration  Minister Sergio Marchi has publicly said  Canada should actively encourage European business immigrants, further  confirming the racist direction Canada's immigration policy is taking.  The Liberal government, pandering  to the climate of racist hysteria promoted by the Reform Party, has made it  legal for international mail to be seized  and opened if "suspected" of containing  false immigration papers. The government has indicated it would consider  harsher laws to allow officials to revoke  citizenship status as well as denying  citizenship to children born here if their  mothers are not Canadian-passport  holders. The government has also recently passed a law requiring that all  people applying for refugee status be  fingerprinted.  Clearly, the political and human  rights of immigrants of colour are increasingly under attack. But this anti-  immigrant and people of colour climate  is not limited to Canada. In last year's  US elections, California passed, by 59  percent of votes, Proposition 187, which  would deny non-emergency health services and education rights to so-called  "illegal" residents [see p.9]. This proposition is a landmark in a long history of  racist discrimination specifically aimed  at the state's Latina/o population.  While Canada and US immigration  policy contain features unique to each  country, there are numerous similarities. How do we understand the relationship between these two attacks?  ...we have seen  hard-won rights  of workers  being severely  eroded over  the past 20 years.  The global agenda  One approach is to look at both  global and local factors involved in making the "anti-immigrant of colour  agenda" a popular political card during  hard economic times. This attack is not  occurring in isolation. It is taking place  at a time when social programs in both  countries are being slashed, and Canadian foreign policy is being brought in  line with the US's.  We should see events in the two  countries as part of a larger strategy to  make territories under the control of  either government more lucrative for  big business. The transnational corporations' search for unprotected, "cheap"  labour forces have led them, not only to  relocate offshore to countries like  Mexico, the Philippines and China, but  to attempt to create "cheap" and politically oppressed workforces in the countries of the North. Immigration policy is  certainly being used to this end in the US  and Canada.  Historically, women and people of  colour have made up the ranks of so-  called "cheap" labour. The interplay  between sexism and racism has ensured  that the labour of women of colour is the  cheapest.  However, the white male agenda  that ensured their labour would attract  the highest price is increasingly backfiring. Because corporations look for  "cheap" defranchised labour, white  populations and men are beginning to  face pressures to reduce their wage expectations. Hence today's backlash.  While white male privilege was protected in the short-term, in the long-run,  racism and sexism have served to make  all workers vulnerable to the needs of  capital.  Guestworker labour  One way the state ensures certain  groups provide "cheap" labour pools  has been to label them "temporary" and  place legal restrictions on their mobility.  "Mobility" means a person's ability to  have some choice of who their employer  will be, which occupation they will work  in, or what part of the country they will  live in.  A major component of both Canadian and US immigration policy is the  guestworker labour force. The  guestworker program legislates terms  of residence and employment for immigrants in a much more restricted way  than applied to other immigrants. These  so-called 'temporary' residents (labelled  "non-immigrants" by the state) do not  enjoy the same rights as the "permanent" population. Their "temporary-  ness" is legitimately used to subjugate  them. They have no political rights, little  access to social programs, and their human rights are not protected in any real  way by the government.  In Canada, guestworkers have dramatically increased in number since the  program was first implemented—interestingly enough by a Liberal government—in 1973. In that year 84,000 people, largely from countries of the South,  were brought in as guestworkers. In  1992, the number of guestworkers  jumped to over 260,000—well over the  "official" immmigration rate. Every region in the world, except Europe, sends  in more people as guestworkers than as  permanent immigrants. Guestworkers  provide cheap labour in agriculture, domestic work, the retail and manufacturing industries as well as in professional  occupations.  Thereare great gender disparities in  the jobs that guestworkers do. Women  are found largely in the lower-paid  workforce, while men are over-represented in professional occupations (they  are still paid less than permanent-resident professionals.) For instance, women  make up almost 100 percent of those  working as domestic workers. Women  of colour who are forced to work as  guestworkers and denied permanent  status find that it is their labour that is  the cheapest in both Canada and the US.  Setting low standards  We should not be fooled into thinking that this level of institutionalized  discrimination only damages those directly affected by it. Discrimination in  any form also serves to cheapen the  labour of the rest of the workforce. When  there is any group in the country (or the  world for that matter) that is "cheaper"  than any other, employers are able to  exploit this by using the most  disadvataged asa "model" to mould the  rest of the population. Thus, what we  see today is that the white population,  males in particular, are experiencing  drops in their living standards and job  opportunities, and wages are falling to  levels previously borne by women and  people of colour. Thus the backlash.  As most privileged groups within  society tolerate discrimination against  certain people, we have seen hard-won  rights of workers being severely eroded  over the last 20 years—from the jailing  of prominent union leaders, to the rise of  "temporary" suspensions of workers'  rights to strike. Real wages have been in  decline in both countries since the early  1970s.  Now, compounding it all, the Liberal government in Canada and the Congress in the US (now "legitimately" controlled by the far right) are shredding  the social safety net to ensure more of us  will be desperate enough to work for  less.  It is important to understand how  certain groups are being used by politicians and others on the right. This is  more than a case of politicians passing  particular pieces of legislation. In California, where Proposition 187 is obviously unconstitutional and unlikely to  reach full implementation, politicians  have nevertheless used it as an organizing tool, both to test their "market" for  racist supporters, and to attract voters  who are ever more confused by the worsening economic situation and in search  of an easy scapegoat.  In Canada, where the right led by  the Reform party is clearly in control of  the agenda on immigration, the ruling  parties are hard pressed to answer why  they supported anti-social policies that  has led to the plummeting of many people's living standards. It is far more  convenient to have people believe immigrants are to blame for everything from  h igher crime to massive job losses. There  islittle mention in mainstream society of  the fact that immigrants are significantly  underrepresented in Canada's prisons.  Immigrants certainly aren't responsible  for the signing of both the US/Canada  Free Trade Agreement or the North  American Free Trade Agreement  (NAFTA)—both of which have led to  hundredsandhundredsofthousandsof  lost jobs, particularly in the manufacturing industry.  What's in store?  The right-wing agenda in North  America carries dangerous implications  for us all. To see what lies in store for us,  we need only look at recent Reform  Party proposals. Reform has simultaneously called for: the abrogation of the  Charter of Rights for refugees, visitors  and guestworkers (combined, this population would well exceed 300,000 people!); mandatory HIV testing for all entrants to the country in order to exclude  people who are HIV-positive; and the  elimination of any employment equity  practices intended to rectify systemic  barriers faced by First Nations people,  women, people of colour and people  with disabilities.  The right's power to crush progressive resistance to their agenda lies not  only in their power to affect legislation,  but also in their ability to galvanize support for an agenda based on hate.  This agenda is what we need to  fight. And we must fight hate together  because divide and rule strategies have  led to the problems we currently face. It  is a formidable but necessary struggle  for our survival. There are no easy solutions.  Nandita Sharma is a member of Womett to  Women Global Strategies.  18 Arts  Review: Motherland: Tales of Wonder;  Shattering  the myth  by Deborah Stacey  MOTHERLAND:  TALES OF WONDER  Director Helen Klodawsky  Assoc. Director/Editor Sidonie Kerr  Producer Signe Johannsson  National Film Board, Studio D  Canada 1994  Often when we read or hear about  motherhood, it is couched in terms of  child care; the latest "expert" child-  rearing advice or advice on how best to  balance work and family. Motherhood  itself is concommitant Invisible. As if  dealing with it directly is toodangerous,  too volatile. And perhaps it is; as one  woman saysin the featuredocumentary  Motherland: "It's like opening Pandora's  box."  According to a 1991 Statistics  Canada study, 66 percent of Canadian  women 15 years and over are mothers.  One might think this vital, ubiquitous  experience warrants scrutiny, research,  and discussion, not to mention support.  But we live in a patriarchy, and motherhood is still seen as something women  just do, quietly, naturally, without recompense or validation. It is certainly not  seen as "work." Helen Levine, a social  worker and feminist activist featured in  the film, calls this old model the "institution of motherhood."  In the National Film Board production Motherland, filmmaker and mother  of two Helene Klodawsky asks the question, "What does it take to be a good  mother?" and in so doing, opens  Pandora's box.  In search of answers Klodawsky  turns to other mothers, including her  own. The film draws on the lives of  seven women from different generations, from diverse class, racial and ethnic backgrounds. Their interviews, interspersed with archival footage, family  photographs and Kladowsky's own  home movies, weave a poignant and  humourous tale of the struggle to be "a  good mother."  The juxtaposition of the mothers  [that media createdj with real women  highlights the gap between the myth of  motherhood and women's reality. This  theme is effectively underscored with  fairy tale-like intertitles such as "Once  upon a time," and "It came to pass."  These titles also provide a loose structure and continuity, helping to move the  stories forward in a seamless chronology-  Another of the film's strengths is in  finding the roots of current Western  definitions of motherhood. Aware that  the "fear of not being able to do enough,  well enough has been handed down in  many ways," Klodawsky attempts to  tease apart fantasy from reality, the so  cially defined "institution of motherhood" from motherhood itself.  The pervasive image by which mothers continue to compare themselves is  the 1950s North American TV mom.  Clothed in a spotless white apron, she is  responsible for making all things right in  the family, for being the selfless nurturer.  Always available to her children and  husband, she is also attractive—and she  is white.  Along with media images, advice  from "experts" serves as another source  of indoctrination for women. Old news-  reel and documentary footage shows a  white male doctor admonishing a concerned mother whose son is refusing to  eat. Solemnly he informs her, "You are  the problem not your son." In another  scene, after lighting a cigarette, a doctor  scolds a worried mother with, "nagging  is the worst crime in the parental calendar."  For our mother's generation the  message was clear, if there was a problem with a child, and inevitably there  was, mother was at fault. Like nuclear  fallout these messages linger.  As mothers we all fail to meet the  ideal in one way or another. Among  mothers, guilt is as common an emotion  as love. Florence Clark, a Black single  mother knew early on this model for  motherhood was not meant for her.  "They were white and we were black,"  she says. Clark says the model of motherhood did however demonstrate that if  there was anything wrong in her marriage, it would fall upon her to fix it. "Of  course they never told you what it was  exactly you were doing wrong."  Nancy Gould couldn't make her life  fit the mould either. Why? Two of her  four children were diagnosed autistic.  As she says mMotherland, "Handicapped  children interfere with the myth in a  very significant way."  Commenting on the messages aimed  at women during and after World War  two, Helene Levinne warns, "The theories of the day are never an accident."  With headlines like "Women, Jobs,  Kids—Irreconcilable Triangle?" and  "NewestCareerSwitch—Motherhood,"  what line are we being fed now? And  will we swallow it?  "Losing oneself" is a phrase heard  frequently from mothers. While for many  this is an occupational hazard, for Carole  Lacroix, mothering put her on the road  to self-knowledge. A survivor of abuse,  she along with other women in Motherland, advise mothers to "listen to themselves," to write their own prescriptions  for motherhood.  How will change happen? How will  future generations of mothers enter  motherhood with eyes open, knowing  the job at hand and having the tools and  support systems in place to do it?  In redefining motherhood to more realistically  reflect women's lives,  Klodawsky says, "The outside prescriptionsaredan-  gerous and there are no  blueprints. The true stories of mothers, spoken in  public, are perhaps our  only guide." Inthishonest  conclusion, we are left in  ambiguity, with only a  suggestion of which way  to go.  I recall a woman I met years ago at  my first La Leche League meeting. Both  of us pregnant for the first time, we sat  beside each other and watched, silent  and wide-eyed, as if we'd fallen down a  rabbit hole and landed in a strange new  world.  She missed the next meeting then  showed up a month later with a tiny  baby in her arms. She looked tired, very  tired. And she told me, "Nothing can  ever prepare you for this." Maybe. But  by our silence, we do ourselves a disservice. We contribute to the myth: that  it's easy; that it's not work; that we can  do it alone.  Along with sound and images,Mof/i-  erland projects a kinetic energy not unlike a pebbledropped in a pond; I felt the  ripple moving through me. I wanted  more stories. What do other women  think? What is their experience? Do they  seea solution? I invited a group of friends  over to watch the film. We stayed up 'til  midnight talking---which is late for a  group of moms:  "I stayed home for 20 years. After  that length of time, I felt like I was  shadows of all of them. That I didn't  know who I was. I lost myself."  If we fail to balance giving with  receiving, eventually there's nothing  left. We become empty. But how much  loss of self is inherent in the mother/  child relationship and how much is due  to society's messages?  In Motherland, a mother recounts  her experience with a supermarket cashier. "The young woman behind the cash  asked me if I had a work number and I  said no. She scrawled "Doesn't work,"  across the back of my cheque. I can  remember, she didn't say anything, but  I physically felt like I had been kicked in  the gut. And I looked at my children  who were 23 months and three months  old and I did the appropriate thing. I  smi led at her and said "Thank you," and  I sort of stumbled out of the store and I  realize now what I should have done to  enlighten her."  Women gain strength and wisdom  from their mothering experience. Yet  rather than motherhood being a source  of pride and prestige, it is seen more as  an impediment to women participating  fully in the "real" world.  | Yvonne Greer with her mother and son  We wonder who was defining "real"  and "work" anyway?  "I quit my job for the second time. I  go for a year then I have to quit. I was just  hanging on by a thread trying to please  my husband, my children, my co-workers, employer, my babysitter and I spread  myself so thin that I broke again. I wasn't  looking after myself at all."  Mothers can not do it all. Men must  share parentingresponsibi!itiies,notjust  in the homebut in the workplace. As one  woman said of her male bosses, "They  don't care. They're just business men."  Talk turned to the issue of monev  and how hard it is to make it on one  salary. "What do we mean by making  it?" someone asked. Another woman  commented, "We've been raised with  certain expectations that we would have  more than our parents. Our expectations are too high."  Then it was on to the idea of guilt.  "When I left my youngest child with the  babysitter, he would scream. I had terrible guilt feelings but I was driven to do  this because I felt that when I was home,  I wasn't happy anyway. And so I wasn't  giving them what they needed. I wasn't  being a good mother."  When women ask what it takes to be  a good mother, the answer is perfection.  What makes you perfect is the product,  your children. But whether we put our  kids in daycare or stay home, no one will  ever have a perfect child. As a society,  we need a more realistic understanding  of what it means to be a mother.  In popping that myth of the ideal  mother, Motherland exposes the caricature inside and offers a glimpse of the  real thing. Inspiring and affirming, it  faces the challenges and ambivalence of  motherhood with a loving and unsparing eye in the faith that the truth will set  us free.  The poet Adrienne Rich describes  women who break the traditional rules  and expectations of motherhood as "outlaws from the institution of motherhood." If Motherland and the women  I've spoken with are any indication,  every mother is an outlaw.  Pandora's box is open.  Deborah Stacey is mother of two and  freelance writer living in White Rock. Review: Unleashing feminism:  Arts  Resisting the "culture  Arts  of violence"  by Shannon e. Ash   UNLEASHING FEMINISM:  CRITIQUING LESBIAN  SADOMASOCHISMS IN THE GAY  NINETIES  Edited by Irene Reti  HerBooks  Santa Cruz, California 1993  I was tidying (straightening? heh  heh) the gay/lesbian section in the alternative bookstore where I volunteer when  I came across Unleashing Feminism. It is a  small, unadorned book, but the subtitle  caught my eye: "critiquing[ital] lesbian  sadomasochism." This was unusual—  books describing or celebrating s/m are  more common, books featuring "trans-  gressive" women wielding daggers. (I  guess I'm revealing my bias here, but  why would I review a little-known anti-  s/m anthology if I wasn't sympathetic  to its cause?)  "Why another anthology critiquing  lesbian s/m ?'.' asks editor Irene Reti in  her introduction. The first (and last)  anthology, Against Sadomasochism, was  published in 1982. The debate seems to  have stalemated, she says, with most  women thinking the issue is not worth a  fuss. So is anything new being said? The  difference, says Reti, is that ten years  ago, lesbian sadomasochists demanded  inclusion as feminists, while today they  are disassociating lesbianism from feminism: "In the Gay Nineties, lesbian sadomasochism has been reframed as a rebellion against feminism itself."  Unleashing Feminism begins with an  anti-s/m poem by the late Pat Parker,  originally published in 1985. The bulk of  the book consists of two long essays by  Kathy Miriam and D.A. Clarke, which  frame two short stories and two smaller  essays.  Kathy Miriam's lengthy essay, "From  Rage to All the Rage: Lesbian-Feminism,  Sadomasochism, and the Politics of  Memory", argues that a story has been  framed about feminism and s/m, in  which feminism is seen as a restrictive  "good girl" and s/m has the radical "bad  girl" role. D.A. Clarke's "Consuming  Passions: Some Thoughts on History,  Sex, and Free Enterprise", criticizes s/m  in the context of capitalist consumerism  and in relation to prostitution and pornography.  Miriam describes the early '70's  women's movement as one which "reclaimed" lesbianism as woman-loving, a  love which was political because it incited resistance to a woman-hating culture. She contrasts this to lesbian identity today, which focusses on the image  of the hot "sex radical."  Lesbian sadomasochism, she maintains, is more than women's private  sexual behaviour—it is an ideology. She  connects it with the general backlash  against feminism, and shows how both  the gay and mainstream media present  the good girl/bad girl story of s/m and  feminism.  In setting out her position on s/m,  Miriam accepts that there is a difference  between sexual violence and lesbian s/  m, that s/m is consensual, but asks "what  isbeing consented to?"—a question that  is central throughout Unleashing Femi-  nism. "Does lesbian s/m itself constitute  consent to a culture of sexual violence?"  Miriam has chosen to focus on s/m  because she believes its ideological  project i s to disassociate lesbianism from  feminism. Lesbian sadomasochist advocates have moved from calls for tolerance to a celebration of s/m as liberation, in opposition to the rigidity of lesbian-feminism.  But it is not lesbian sex itself that is  threatening to the mainstream, says  Miriam (and this is echoed in Clarke's  essay); rather, it is the "possibility of  women creating our lives together, apart  from men."  I think this is an important argument. There seems to be an assumption  that we should support sadomasochists  because they are targeted by the Right.  Rightists often seize on s/m because  they know it will shock moderate people  who know little about lesbians and gays.  They rarely talk abou t heterosexuals who  practices/m.Iflesbiansdidnotpractice  s/m, they would still be targeted.  Miriam does criticize lesbian-feminism for a "utopian idealism" which  assumed feminists would automatically,  and at will, have egalitarian relationships and desires, an "idealized harmony" which overlooked class and race  hierarchies, abuse, authoritarianism, and  battering. Miriam argues that lesbian-  feminism lost its dynamism and vision  when it focussed on creating cultural  ...lesbian sadomasochism  has been reframed as a rebellion  against feminism itself."  - Irene Reti -  She questions the "taboo"-breaking  of s/m: why, she asks, is it "gutsy" to use  "racial and sexual myth" in s/m writing, referring to Susie Bright's praise for  a story where a "ditzy blonde" woman  is gang-raped by a group of black butch  women. Sexist and racist oppression is  not taboo in mainstream society. The  lesbian desire to be "gutsy" is not the  problem, says Miriam, it is the association of "gutsiness" with sadomasochism.  She criticizes the dualism which associates s/m with risk, active negotiation, and excitement, while tenderness/  egalitarianism is associated with security, passivity, and boredom, "as if sexual  tenderness did not involve risk and fear,  or the ritualized sex games of sadomasochism offer a specific security."  Miriam allows that women are socialized to respond sexually to dominance and submission (she doesn't expand on this), and thus it's understandable that women may have s/m desires.  But all desires are not necessarily of  equal value, she argues:  "Perhaps the question is not so much,  What are our desires? but, Which desires do we value and why?"  Lesbian sadomasochists often refer  to themselves as a "sexual minority",  similar to other oppressed groups, such  as ethnic minorities. Miriam refutes this,  saying they are more like groups which  come together around a "set of beliefs,  style, and political agenda"—such as  hippies or punks.  enclaves instead of political engagement.  The new "queer" activism has positive  aspects such as direct action and creativity. The sex rebel myth "might appeal to  a real and positive need that many lesbians have to claim agency as sexual beings." But, she points out, s/m is a shaping factor in "queer culture." ( I am  reminded of Toronto's Queer Culture, a  gay & lesbian theatre festival, which  advertised their closing party as "Dungeon", using s/m motifs.)  Miriam calls for the creation of a  "culture of dissent" to sexual violence,  and the creation of new consciousness-  raising groups on sex, where we can talk  "without fear of censure," drawing on  memories of ^egalitarian experiences as  well as those of dominance and submission, yet "keeping our focus on the common values" we are shaping.  This sounds like a good idea, but  there are some key questions that occur:  what are these "common values?" what  if we can't agree on them? I also have  some doubts about Miriam's assertion  that all s/m advocates have disassociated from feminism.  "From Rage to All the Rage," although bursting with ideas and opinions, doesn't flow as well as it might.  Miriam jumps back and forth between  ideas. The numerous subtitles, though  often inventive and smart-alecky—e.g.  "OK, You Consent, So What?"—eventually serve to confuse matters. Some elements are repetitive. Tighter editing and  VANCOUVER  WOMEN'S  BOOKSTORE  SpRiNq saLe  1050% oFF EVERyihawq  IWD Week MARch 6 11  315 CAMBIE ST.  VANCOUVER, B.C. V6B 2N4  TEL: (604) 684-0523  HOURS:  MONDAY - SATURDAY  10 AM-6PM  organization would have made this an  easier read. That said, it was exciting to  read the ideas being discussed here.  The short stories and short essays  make Unleashing Feminism an easier and  more varied read.  Anna Livia contributes "Look on  the Bright Side", two clever and amusing fables which, tongue-in-cheek, point  out the "benefits" of s/m publicity and  the relations of domination in non-s/m  relationships.  "The Rules of Love," by Sharon Lim-  Hing is a dystopian tale set in a future  world where trans-national corporations  have complete control. Permanent relationships are not allowed, and s/ m is the  only acceptable sexual expression; incest/child sexual abuse is taken for  granted, free therapy is provided once  you're adult. The writing itself is rather  artless and didactic, but the concept is  an interesting one.  Jamie Lee Evans' short essay,  "Rodney King, Racism, and the SM culture of America" is blunt and to-the-  point, and experience-based, very different from Miriam's extended, and  sometimes tangential, analysis.  U.S. culture, she says, is indoctrinated with s/m beliefs. "Was it for investigative examination or enjoyment?"  that the American public repeatedly  viewed (and the media repeatedly  played) the video of Rodney King, an  African American man being beaten by  the Los Angeles police. The naming of  mass arrests and police violence as protection is mirrored in the distortions of  s/m, where someone who is tied up calls  it a liberating experience.  The jury in King's case said they  believed King was in control while he  was being beaten. The s/m line is that  the "bottom" is in control: in reality,  says Evans, "there is no safe word when  you are being beaten."  Evans says most masochists are people who have been abused—she questions consensuality, saying abused  women never chose the sexual abuse  that led to the linking of sexual excitement with abuse and pain. She brings in  her personal experience of ritual abuse  as a mixed-blood Asian child in a white-  new and  gently used books  Philosophy • Poetry  Native - General  Open daily 11am-?pn  Coffee Bar  1020 Commercial Drive  Vancouver BC V5L 3W9  (604) 253-1099  Bonnie Murray  Cynthi* Brooke  run foster home, where central to the  abuse was being forced to ask for it. She  does not accept the idea of s/m as  therapy for abuse survivors, saying it  would insult her history of abuse and  just conforms to old programming.  In "Remember the Fire", Irene Reti,  the editor, writes of being a Jewish lesbian, the daughter of refugees from the  Holocaust. She is disturbed by the "playful endorsement" of torture and humiliation in s/m writing.  Reti disputes s/m dyke and writer  Pat Califia's claim that s/m is a parody  of the "hidden sexual nature" of fascism  (this is similar to a claim I've heard in the  case of "slasher" films—some  progressives claim they are laughable  parodies and this excuses their watching this brutal violence), that no real  Nazis would be involved in a "kinky"  sexual scene. Instead, Reti argues, sadomasochistic values were an integral part  of the Holocaust, and Nazis were involved in sexual scenes. She cites, among  other evidence, accounts of sexual sadism by SS guards against gay prisoners.  The principles of punishment and discipline, humiliation, and the roles of handsome sadist— played by the Nazis, and  beautiful masochist—ascribed to Jews,  are examined. Reti juxtaposes accounts  of Nazi atrocities and camp conditions  with passages from s/m writing.  The Nazis' appearance of militaristic power attracted depressed German  citizens; worship of militarism and uniforms is found in s/m. The "romance of  suffering," the myth that the Jews' suffering made them noble characters, and  that they did not resist the Holocaust,  makes submission seem attractive.  Reti says the connection between  humiliation and love is "deeply embedded" in our sexuality—she describes her  own experience of courting humiliation  in relationships.  Reti asserts that she does not want to  ban or censor lesbian s/m—this would  backfire on lesbians/feminists/  progressives—nor is she claiming that  lesbian sadomasochists are Nazis. But,  she says, "In a world where torture,  slavery and violence are our legacy, I  believe we must question why we find  handcuffs and chains alluring, slavery  erotic, torture pleasureable."  D.A. Clarke's "Consuming Passions" discusses what I consider to be  one of the most exciting ideas—the potential of a Green feminism. But that  comes in the latter part of the essay.  Clarke begins by saying she has "lost  faith" with gay pride. She accuses gay  media of hypocrisy, citing its support of  legal protection from "hate speech" while  "any and all sexual imagery and speech,  even if violent and hateful towards  women" is defended.  She laments the turning away from  analyses of women's material condition,  both in academia and popular lesbian  culture, replaced by emphasis on self-  actualization, individual accomodation  to society.  Sadomasochism is included under  the rubric of "sexual liberation", and  critics are called "sex negative" or even  "fascistic." (I have seen the term  "femiNazis" used not only by right  wingers such as Rush Limbaugh but by  their opponents, particularly men in the  anarchist and "sexual liberation" movements.) Miriam also notes this "blurring  policy of "moderating or modifying our  expectations" in light of their costs (e.g.  exploitation of women) is never considered.  This goes hand in hand with "libertinism", the "ideal that freedom means  of the line" between censorship and criticism, and I recall attending Sexpertease,  a lesbian "sex show" held last year in  Vancouver—when an s/m act was introduced, we were told that it was consensual, etc., "so don't say anything."  Clarke compares the current selling  of the sex industry to women as radical  to the tobacco companies' selling of  smoking to women as alluring and evidence of liberation.  The fundamental disagreement over  sadomasochism, pornography, and  prostitution, says Clarke—and she quite  deliberately links these issues—may be  over the commercialization of sex, treating sexuality as a commodity and  objectifying each other.  Clarke presents her views on prostitution and pornography at length. Although it might seem that taking on  these other controversial feminist issues  on top of sadomasochism mightweaken  her argument, I found this expanded  view gave more context for her critique  (even if it gives one more opportunity to  disagree with her!)..  Prostitution is at the extreme worst  end of a continuum of paid labour, argues Clarke. The assumption that a man  can buy any sexual service of a woman,  and if she accepts payment for it, this is  ok, is a free market ideology. The global  economic context is central to her argument; Clarke sees increasing corporate  power, free market ideology and consumerism, even as some people are questioning industrial capitalism and environmental damage.  The "sex industry"—which includes  prostitution and media, and is presented  as a monolith—is just another capitalist  industry. People are consumers, and a  complete lack of social restraint and the  right to do whatever one damn well  pleases." Clarke notes historical reasons  —oppression by church and state—why  gays and lesbians may ascribe to this  viewpoint, but asserts that this plays  into the hands of the individualist consumer philophophy promoted by corporations.  Lesbian s/m has developed out of  the culture of gay male s/m, asserts  Clarke, and lesbians should not assume  gay men and their practices are automatically in opposition to patriarchal  society. She cites ancient Greece and the  homosexual faction in the Nazi party  (which was later purged) as examples  where homosexuality has been compatible with male supremacy. It is the refusal to engage in male-dominant behaviour and the establishing of tender  bonds between equals, which is a challenge.  "I see the new dividing line not  between straight and gay [but] between  two ethics for living." One is a "tough-  guy",individualist, consumer-oriented  stance; the other is a "nascent Green  outlook", a mix of feminist and ecological concerns and a "striving away from  excess and towards responsibility and  moderation."  She sees potential in the Green movement's critique of consumerism, its  skepticism of packaging and thus surface appearances, a demanding to know  the facts behind a product/practice and  its cost. But she also criticizes the Greens,  e.g. for classism, or when they appeal to  a simplistic "Mother Earth"/woman as  nurturer image.  Clarke emphasizes the importance  of reclaiming concepts such as "respect"  and "morality" from the Right, which  misuses them to hide their true intentions.  "Ruthlessness, hardness, force, and  intimidation have characterised the successful businessman, soldier, gangster,  politician, and pimp. If we admire these  qualities, we implicitly endorse the world  these men have created."  She suggests women who oppose s /  m refuse to participate in it or in the sex  trade and boycott businesses that buy/  sell/rent "sexualized imagesof women"  (an alarmingly vague term).  What does this mean in real, practical terms? Most gay/lesbian stores do  not deal exclusively, or even mostly, in  material we may not want to support.  What do I do when Little Sister's, a  local gay and lesbian bookstore which  has faced ongoing harassment from customs officers, and has even been bombed,  promotes a reading by Pat Califia, describing her as "one of our favourite  authors"? What do they mean by "our"  Little Sisters? The gay community? If the  latter, how can I effectively say, "you  don't speak for me"? If the former, how  can I express my support for the struggle  of a gay/lesbian bookstore and reconcile that with their "favourite" author  being one I'm politically opposed to?  And is it worth the effort to deal with  this?  Reti says she published Unleashing  Feminism because she still believes in the  potential of lesbian-feminism. Can we  accept that we may be politically opposed to other lesbians on some issues  and work together on others?  Clarke also seems to dismiss women  interested ins/masbeingdiverted from  political action. How do I reconcile this  with the women I know/have known  who are activists for peace, social justice, et cetera, yet have told me they "like"  s/m (depictions of it, anyway) and /or  see nothing wrong with its practice/  depiction/ promotion?  Of course many people involved in  progressive movements still carry very  non-progressive mental baggage—usually it's unintentional, but it can still lead  to the re-instituting of oppressive relations. Truly, it's a conundrum for me,  and it would be useful to get a more  complex view of how some women mix  social justice and pro-s/m views. Clarke  sees it as a misguided political notion of  liberal tolerance and libertinism, but I  don't think it's a total explanation.  Miriam's suggestion of groups/discussions where we view our experiences  with both a "loving and a critical eye"  might be a beginning, despite the misgivings I mentioned earlier.  Unleashing Feminism is an important  contribution, despite its limitations  (which include a less than easy to read  typeface), promoting critical thought  about a difficult issue, and linking it  with broader economic and political  trends of the 1990's.   Shannon e. Ash is a dyke and spent five  months thinking about this book and five  days reviewing it.  20  MARCH 1995  KINESIS We're the women of the union and we've just begun  to fight,  We have learned of women's issues, we have learned  of women's rights,  We're prepared to stand for freedom, we're prepared  to stand our ground,  Women make the union strong..."  Solidarity Forever  B.C.  FEDERATION  OF LABOUR  (CLC)  Working with women to change the terms of trade  and to strengthen their participation in democratic structures.  Greetings of solidarity  to our sisters around the world  on International Women's Day!  5«sscanada  2524 Cypress St.       i  Vancouver, BC V6J3N2]  736-7678  Greetings on  International  Women's  Day  Bring this coupon in for  20% off regular priced  books until Mar 25, 1995  1391 Commercial Dr.  Van, BC V5L 3X5  253-6442  HAPPY  INTERNATIONAL  WOMEN'S DAY  SISTERS  FROM THEP.S.A.C.  VANCOUVER REGIONAL  WOMEN'S COMMITTEE  430-5631  Serving Vancouver's women's community  for over 18 years  \otwall°/us«fCQ£-  CCEC Credit Union  mercial Drive, Vancouver, B.C  VanCity  Supports  International Women's  Pay,  March 8th  Vancouver City Savings Credit Union is pleased to  invite you, your family and friends to an evening event supporting  International Women's Day.  Tuesday, March 7,1995, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm) at the  Kitsilano Community Branch, 3395 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC.  Food and beverages will be served.  The evening will include presentations which will focus on  issues surrounding women in our communities.  Please R.S.V.P. to Kathleen Wong,  at Community Actionand Education Department, 877-7612 before March 3.  //in  We're VanCity  8    7  o   o Arts  Sawagi Taiko at Women in View:  Raising hell,  Sawagi style  by Lydia Kwa  SAWAGI TAIKO  Women in View  Vancouver East Cultural Centre  January 1995  It was March 1991 when I had my  first taiko experience. Watching the Kodo  drummers from Japan, I was understandably impressed. However, strength and  artistry were demonstrated by the men,  while a handful of women appeared infrequently to tap on small cymbals or  drums. It struck me so clearly then, that  absence of strong female presence.  Now, four years and several other  taiko concerts later, I am pleased to witness the exciting creative energies of  Sawagi Taiko, the first all-women taiko  group in Canada. The seven women who  make up Sawagi Taiko, ranging in age  from 26 to 54, have performed with various mixed taiko groups in Vancouver.  With Sawagi, they are able to direct their  artistic energy and vision toward subverting convention and hierarchy with  innovative compositions and arrangements tor taiko and other musical instruments.  Sawagi Taiko performed twice at the  recent Women in View festival in Vancouver. I went to their second performance. The group displayed a wonderful  breadth of talent and energy. The program consisted of an array of different  compositional styles and music, ranging  from traditional taiko pieces to more  experimental work composed by some  Sawagi members.  The performance started off with an  exuberant piece "Hayashi Bayashi" ("Ensemble, Ensemble") composed by Leslie  Komori. In our program notes, it is men  tioned that other taiko members have  also contributed to the composition.  The piece showcases that collaboration  through strong solos, precise choreography where the women move confidently between the different drums,  and an infectious spirit of playfulness  and enjoyment.  The program included a large  number of innovative compositions.  Grace by Komori—a short meditative  work featuring the Japanese flute—  drifted into Linda Uyehara Hoffman's  Been Down So Long, a jazz-blues number  which embodied another kind of meditative mood using bass guitar and the  kit-drums. Since the two pieces were  quite different, I found it difficult to  follow the group's attempts to bridge  from one to the other. Perhaps, if elements of Grace were repeated and integrated into Been Down So Long, the presentation would become more cohesive.  Fast Life on a Lazy Susan, composed  by Wai Gein, was a delightful celebration of food, in particular Japanese and  Chinese food. The theme of food was  playfully explored, including a kind of  Asian rap where lien and Sachiko  Yamaguchi rail off names of food, mock-  order style; and a hilarious "conversation" between performers on the Japanese drums and Wai Gein, who played  on a percussion line up of pots and pans.  Gee, how come we don't do that more  often in our own kitchens?  Nobori ("to rise or ascend"), composed by Lisa Mah, was adapted by  Sawagi using voice instead of flute. This  piece felt richly passionate to me, with  Joyce Chong's voice communicating victory and transcendance. Ayakomai was  next, a traditional Japanese flute piece  performed by Leslie Komori.  Sawagi Taiko  From top clockwise: Aiisa Kage, Tien, Wai Gein, Sachiko Yamaguchi,  Leslie Komori, Joyce Chong, and Eileen Kage.  Missing: Linda Uyehara Hoffman.  The next composition on the program, Bar Doors, integrated poetry by  Helen Koyama with a solo choreographed segment performed by Tien.  Dramatic, humorous, and sexy, Bar Doors  speaks about a woman crossing the  boundaries and shocking "fat composures" as she enters the macho world of  men with her own brand of toughness.  Her cool mystique reverberated through  Tien's slinking, strutting and pouncing  gestures, as well as in the modulationsof  rhythm in Linda Uyehara Hoffman's  reading.  Eddy, a short composition by Leslie  Komori, describes a fast-moving water  formation. It was followed by Sawagi's  arrangement of Matsuri, a traditional  taiko song of celebration. Sawagi has  incorporated lyrics originally sung by  fishing villagers to encourage themselves  as they rowed. This works well to amplify the mood of celebration in the piece.  Wipe Out, also arranged by Sawagi,  will never again be the same for me.  Gone are the days of recurrent imagesof  ugly men in tight outfits gyrating on the  stage. Instead, I will be delighted to  recall images of Sawagi Taiko hamming  it up on stage, and infecting the audience  with its own brand of rock and roll.  The last piece on the program, Ja  Sawago, is composed by Sawagi member, Eileen Kage. I gather from the notes  that "Sawago" or "Sawagi" means to  raisehell.Well,ifyou'vebeentoaSawagi  Taiko performance, you know that their  brand of raising hell carries a lot cf zest,  talent, and passion.  Having seen Sawagi Taiko perform  only a couple of times previous to this  recent concert, I found I enjoyed this  performance the most. Not only was hel 1  raised, but many of us walked away  energized, the life spirit egging us to go  home and bang up those pots.  Lydia Kwa is a writer and psychologist  living in Vancouver. Kwa recently published her first book of poetry, The Colour  of Heroines, with Women's Press.  Western Canada's  Lesbian & Gay  Bookstore  Open Daily 10am to 11pm  Our Books/Our Issues  Gay Fiction  Lesbian Fiction  Our Magazines & Journals  AIDS/Health  Humour  Erotica  Queer Theory  Feminist Theory  Biographies, Essays, Poetry  Religion & Spirituality  Art & Photography  Community  1221 Thurlow(at Davie), Vancouver, B.C.  Tel:(604)669-1753 or   Fax:(604)685-0252  Touchstone Theatre presents  The Erotic Art Show  by KATHRYN ALLISON  March 9 - April 8  Directed by Roy Surette  and Stephane Kirkland  Featuring Babz Chula, Susinn  McFarlen and Beatrice Zeilinger,  Show Times: Tues - Sat 8pm,  Sun 7pm, Sat Mat 2pm  Tickets: Tues - Thurs $14/12,  Fri Sat $16/14 Sat Mats $10/8  Sun2-for-$16,  Previews Mar 9&10 2-for-$16  Firehall Arts Centre  Box Office 689-0926  *s$3S8 Lktters  /C/nes/sloves receiving mail. Please  get your letter to us by the 18th o  the month.  If you can, keep the length to abow  500 words. (If you go way over, wt  might edit for space.)  Hope to hear from you very soon.  Love,  In Women  Studies hell!  I have a problem that your readers  might be able to help me with. The prob-  lemismy Introduction to Women'sStud-  ies course I am taking.  I find the course to be very closed  minded.Theinstructorsdismissall viewpoints that do not agree with their ideology of feminism. Ihavebeen told in class  that I am wrong when I share my personal experience or my viewpoint. As  well, 1 have been penalized in essays for  holding "non-orthodox" viewpoints.  I will deal with the academic issues  through the University channels. It is the  personal issues that I need help with.-  These are my questions: Are there readers who've had similar experiences?  How did readers process the experience? How did readers maintain a belief  in feminism as a viable world view despite their experiences? Is thereany other  information that readers could give me  that would be helpful?  Any information, advice and support would be very helpful to me.  Sincerely,  Carol Gentlepeople  P.O. Box 23086  Ste. Catharines, Ont. L2R 7P6  Another Marie  Thompson update  Do you remember the "Marie  Thompson Case Update," a commentary by me on what I had to deal with as  I pursued a case against my abusers in  Ontario? [see Kinesis, Sep. 94.] In that  story, I mentioned numerous debts I  had accumulated—hospitalizations, surgeries, time off work, 14 years of therapy,  and an old student loan, which the gov  ernment considered a typical default of  repayment. Here's the latest for Kinesis  readers who wondered what happened  with that particular struggle.  I won my Canada Student Loan ap-  peal! After being denied by Lloyd  Axworthy's Office, I gave up for three  weeks. Then some interest from others  regenerated mine. I embarked on what  seemed like my 19th strategy. I wrote  the Prime Minister.  Unbelievable! I won! Do I attribute  this success to going to "the top?" Not  really. The Human Rights Complaint I  attached (for his reference only), alleging discriminatory practices by Human  Resources Development, wielded some  clout too.  The previous month, there was more  movement on the case against my abusers. The Crown sent me east for five days  of interrogation by the specialized task  force. In the remote offices of the task  force, I sat stiffly behind a table, staring  down the eye of a video camera. The two  male officers across from me, were direct, but sensitive. I told the story, initially like it was somebody else's. I  cringed at naming my body parts and  the sexual assaults against me. Still, we  filled sixhoursof videotape. Afterwards,  I collapsed for 18 hours.  A day later, I gave Christmas gifts to  my brother, while we were chauffered  to the town I came to despise. Its beauty  shocked me! When ushered up the stairs  to our old apartment above the post  office, I thought I'd feel nothing. I followed the officer, from room to room,  identifying locations with events. I even  got angry enough to climb the steel ladder, which led to the cold, dark attic  where my sister and I were often locked.  "Did they ever go out and leave you  here?" I was asked by the cop.  "I don't know," I said, shaking. Then  all I knew was the click and flash of his  camera, over and over. In the distance,  was the pounding of postal clerks stamping mail. The sound as ominous, in that  second, as the threat it symbolized for  me in the mid-1970s.  As this long process continues, what  have been the results? I struggle again  with antidepressants to cope with my  choices. I survive sometimes in great  discomfort, with the airing of my pain.  My surviving brother, I have learned, is  seriously ill.  However, I have a greater sense of  "family" than ever before. I cherish my  brother every second we struggle against  our "programming" by our abusers,  greater dictates of what little we're  worth. My tearful rages I savour equally  with the love and laughter that I know.  Marie Thompson  Vancouver, BC  Love you,  but lighten up  Kinesis:  I am an avid reader of Kinesis and  think we have to publicly recognize that  it's the only publication of its kind in this  country, and support it, before Kinesis,  like Pandora and The Womanist, dies from  Everywoman's Health Centre  is currently seeking pro-choice Registered Nurses to f  and casual day-shift vacancies.  I part-time  You must have:  •a practising R. N. A. B. C. membership  •two years of acute care experience  •the ability to work effectively under stressful conditions  Please forward your resume to:  The Hiring Committee  Everywoman's Health Centre  2005 East 44th Avenue  Vancouver, B. C. V5P 1I\I1  No phone calls accepted.  funding cuts and women's apathy (as  reported in your paper).  I'm writing to thank you for increasing the size of the text. It's certainly a lot  easier to read. In fact, I can't believe I  used to read Kinesis before without really noticing just how tiny the text was.  I do have a suggestion, though.  Could you run more photographs, design work or just plain white space?  There's just too much text and while I do  like to read it all when I can and usually  enjoy the in-depth look Kinesis takes at  the various issues, sometimes I can't  bear to go near my Kinesis because the  sheer volume of words to read puts me  off.  I mean this as constructive criticism.  I know from following your letters section that you do actually respond with  changes to women's suggestions and I  hope you follow through with mine.  Thanks again for all the terrific work  you do to bring us THE news.  Sincerely, Millie Jane  Toronto, Ont.  Position Available  Kinesis Editor  Kinesis needs an Editor beginning May 1. The Editor works with  an Editorial Board and is a full-time staff person at the Vancouver Status of Women.  The Kinesis Editor:  • oversees the publishing of a feminist tabloid newspaper, 10 times a year;  • solicits, writes and edits articles;  • recruits and assists volunteer writers;  • keeps abreast of issues, debates and news relevant to a feminist newspaper;  maintains contact with women's and community groups;  • works closely with production, advertising, disU ibution and circulation coordinators.  Qualifications  • editoiial, writing and copy editing skills, and familiarity with feminist journal-  • an ability to work collectively;  • broad-based knowledge of women's issues and organisations;  • an ability to work under deadline pressure;  • knowledge of production techniques;  • organisational skills  Women of colour and First Nations women are strongly encouraged to apply.  Affirmative action principles will be in effect for this hiring.  Salary: $31,200 plus benefits  A full job description is available. Drop by our office or call (604) 255-5499.  Send applications to: Kinesis Hiring, #301 1720 Grant St., Vancouver, BC  V5L 2Y6, or fax it in to: (604) 255-5511.  Deadline for Applications: March 15 Bulletin Board  EVENTS  EVENTS  EVENTS  Bulletin Board listings have a maximum of 50 words. Groups, organizations and individuals eligible for  free space in the Bulletin Board  must be, or have, non-profit objectives.  Other free notices will be items of  general public interest and will appear at the discretion of Kinesis.  Classifieds are $8 (+$0.56 GST) for  the first 50 words or portion thereof,  $4 (+$0.28 GST) for each additional  25 words or portion thereof and  must be prepaid..  Deadline for all submissions is  the 18th of the month preceding  publication. Note: Kinesis is published ten times a year. Jul/Aug and  Dec/Jan are double issues.  All submissions should include a  contact name and telephone  number for any clarification that  may be required.  Listings will not be accepted over  the telephone.  Kinesis encourages readers to research the goods and services advertised in Bulletin Board. Kinesis  cannot guarantee the accuracy of  the information provided or the  safety and effectiveness of the services and products listed.  Send submissions to Bulletin  Board, Kinesis, #301-1720 Grant  Street, Vancouver, BC, V5L 2Y6.  For more information call 255-5499.  WANNA GET INVOLVED?  With Kinesis? We want to get involved with  you too. Help plan our next issue. Come to  the Writers' Meeting on Tues Mar 7,7pm at  our off ice, 301 -1720 Grant St, Vancouver. K  you can't make the meeting, but still want to  write, call us, 255-5499. No experience is  necessary, all women welcome. Childcare  subsidies available.   CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS  Are you interested inf inding out how Kinesis  is put together? Well...just drop by during  our next production dates and help us design and lay out Canada's national feminist  newspaper. Production tor the Apr issue is  from Mar 21-28. No experience is necessary. Training and support will be provided.  If this notice intrigues you, call Agnes at 255-  5499. Childcare subsidies available.  VSW WANTS YOU!  Want to get more involved but not sure  where to begin? Join us—become a volunteer at Vancouver Status of Women. VSW  volunteers plan events, lead groups, raise  funds, answerthe phone lines, organizethe  library, help connect women with the community resources they need, and other exciting tasks! Come to the committee meetings: Finance/Fundraising, Mon Mar 20, 6  pm. The next volunteer potluck and orientation will be on Thrs Mar 16, 7 pm at VSW,  301-1720 Grant St. For more info, call  Jennifer at 255-5511. Childcare subsidies  available.  FEMINIST NETWORKING  Meets once a month. Call Miche for more  info at 255-5511.  POLITICAL ACTION GROUP  The Women of Colour and First Nations  Women's Political Action Group meets once  a month. For more info please call Miche at  255-5511.  SEXUAL HARASSMENT SUPPORT  The Sexual Harassment Support Group  meets twice a month at the VSW, 301 -1720  Grant St. For more info call Miche at 255-  5511.  ECLECTIC WARES  Eclectic Wares: Functional Expressions is a  group showing and sale of art and craft works  by local artisans. Features: jewelery by  Tienwear, ceramics by Cynthia Low, paintings by Kao, candles by Waxwomen. Sat  Mar 18,11 -7pm, and Sun Mar 19,11 -5pm at  Harry's (off Commercial), 1716 Charles St,  Van. For more info, call 254-3703.  JUDY CARTER SHOW  Judy Carter headlines a gay extravaganza of  comedy and one magic trick with Vancouver  comic Tova Fox. Sat Marl 8, 9pm at The  Lotus, 455 Abbott St, Van. Tickets are $10/  12 at the door, available at Duthie Books,  Little Sister's, the BookMantei or at The  Lotus. For more info call 255-0046.  MOTHER TONGUE  Mother Tongue, a provocative play by Vancouver playwright Betty Quan will be performed until Mar 5 atthe Firehall Arts Centre,  280 E Cordova St. Mother Tongue, is af amily  drama that weaves together Cantonese,  English and sign language. Shows are Wed-  Sat 8pm, Sat 2pm and Sun 4pm. For more  info and tickets contact the Firehall Arts  Centre at 689-0926.  PRISONER RIGHTS  Books 2 Prisoners presents a four part series to help raise awareness on prison issues  from women in prison to abolition. Thursdays Mar 9 Women in Prison, Mar 23 The  Politics of Prison and Political Prisoners, Apr  6 First Nations Prisoners, and Apr 20 Bending the Bars Blow Out Bash: Music and  Poetry. All events are by donation and will be  held at 8pm at LaQuena Coffeehouse, 1111  Commercial Dr. Van.  SEXUALITY CONFERENCE  The 17th annual Guelph Conference and  Training Institute on Sexuality will take place  Jun 19-21. This year's focus is Sexuality:  Towards Equality. For more info orto register  write Guelph Sexuality Conference, Office of  Continuing Education, 159 Johnston Hall,  University of Guelph, Guelph ON Canada  N1G2W1 or fax (519)767-1114.  STORYTELLING FESTIVAL  The 4th Annual Storytelling Fesr/Va/will take  place Mar 31 - Apr 2. Local and international  performers will bring their folk tales, myths,  legends, oral histories and family stories to  various locations in Vancouver. There will be  performances, workshops and many free  events. For more info call 876-2272, tickets  available at CBO.  WORKSHOP ON AGING  Growing Older, Growing Better is a workshop for womyn on age, rage, menopause,  celebration and ritual. Led by Sharon and  Pat, trained in Dianic and Reclaiming Wicca  traditions. Fri Mar 24, 7-1 Opm and Sat Mar  25, 10-4pm. To be held at East Vancouver  location. Reg/info call 253-7189.  National Film Board of Canada in association with  Y.W.C.A. present  The 7th Annual  I International Worn  l's Week Film Series  Wed MARCH 8      Thurs ]  Sat MARCH 11  WHEN SHIRLEY MET  FLORENCE  rfSP  Hands of History  By Woman's Hand  The Gods of Our  Fathers  Goddess  Remembered  Wisecracks  Benefit Screening for  Little Sister's*  Two showings:  6:30pm and 8pm  Fiction and Other  Truths: A Film about  Jane Rule  Directors will be in  attendance.  Mi' Kmaq Family  Keepers of the Fire  When Shirley Met  Florence  Domino  Motherland: Tales of  Wonder  FREE  1 1131 Howe Street, Vancouver (A<^??^0n  ; cc \except the Benefit Screening  Information: 666-3838  xept the Benefit Screening ,  March 11  * Advance tickets for Benefit Screening available from Little Sister's, 1221 Thurlow Street and NFB Lforary, #100 -1045 Howe Street. Tickets are $10 - $20 (sliding scale).  KINESIS Bulletin Board  EVENTS  EVENTS  EVENTS  EVENTS  BODY POLITIC  Reforming the Body Politic is a two part  series on population control, eugenics and  new reproductive technologies being held at  SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings St,  Van. Part 1: Population Control, critiques  international population policies and ideology, will be held on Wed Mar 1,5:30pm. It will  include a screening of Deepa Dhanraj's new  documentary, The Legacy of Malthus, and a  panel discussion with Mary Daniel, Raminder  Dosanjh, and Fay Blaney. Part 2: Eugenics,  Genetics & NRTs, will examine recent trends  in genetic and reproductive technologies in  the context of eugenics and will be held on  Wed Mar 8, 5:30pm. It will feature Gwynne  Basen's film Making Perfect Babies, and a  panel discussion with Tamara Vrooman,  Jeanette Armstrong, and Eileen O'Brien.  Both panels are part of The Spectacular  State: Facism and the Modern Imagination.  FEMINIST ART  Without Wings, Claire Kujundzic's new exhibition offershope, humourandasense of the  absurd. Herindependentflyingfemales have  long been seen on walls and T-shirts, and  now appear as prints, paintings, and mobiles  at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, 1895  Venables, from Mar 1-27. For information  call 254-9578 or 251-5314.  HERSPECTIVES  Writers from the BC feminist journal  Herspectives will be presenting a reading at  the Burnaby Writer's Society's regular monthly  meeting on Sun Apr 23. The reading will  begin at 1:30 and will take place at the The  Burnaby Art Gallery at 6344 Deer Lake Ave.  HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE  Women's Rights Are Human Rights: Focus  on Youth, an international pre-Beijing workshop will be held at York University from Mar  6-8.Sponsored by the Centre for Feminist  Research and the Centre for Refugee Studies at York, this three day workshop will bring  women from around the world to discuss the  global situation of young women. For more  information contact Nancy Mandell at the  Centre for Feminist Research, York University, 4700 Keele St, North York, ON, M3J  1P3. Or call in Ontario, (416) 736-5915.  STARHAWK  Honouring the SacredMysteriestakes place  Apr 7-9 with Starhawk and her partner David  Miller. "Drawing on the wisdom of ancient  earth-based Goddess traditions we use the  tools of magic and ritual to help us explore the  joyful and painful places in our womanhood  and manhood." For women and men of all  sexual persuasions, singles and couples.  North Vancouver Outdoor School, near  Squamish. $240-400 includes food, lodging.  Info/brochure call Pat 253-7189.  CYNTHIA FLOOD  Vancouver author Cynthia Flood will be reading at Women In Print, 3566 West 4th Ave on  Tues Mar 14 at 7:30pm. Flood has written  two collections of short stories, the award-  winning My Father Took a Cake to France,  and the critically acclaimed The Animals in  Their Elements. Call 732-4128 for more info.  ECONOMIC ALTERNATIVES  Marjorie Cohen, an SFU political science  professor, will be speaking on Deconstructing  the Welfare State Thur Mar 30, 4pm at the  BCTeacher's Federation building, 500 W 6th  Ave, Van. Sponsored by the BCTF. For more  info contact Pat Balango at 871-1872.  EDUCATION CONFERENCE  A Conference on Public Education, sponsored by BC Teacher's Federation, will be  held Sat Mar 4 at the Coast Plaza Hotel,  1733 Comox St, Van. This conference is  open to anyone interested in issues of public  education. The registration fee is $30 and  free for students,unemployed or low-income  participants. Space is limited so pre-registra-  tion encouraged. For more info contact Pat  Balango at 871-2283.  MENTAL HEALTH CONFERENCE  Pathways for healing, a conference dedicated to mental health promotion for peoples  with disabilities, will be held on Fri Mar 31, at  the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, Ont. The conference, sponsored by REACH, a non-profit  organization dedicated to the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, ranges in  cost from $50 for students, to $120 for  individuals registering after Mar 7. For more  info contact University of Ottawa at (613)  564-4263.  COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT  The Community Development Institute(CDI):  Local Leadership for Sustainable Communities, a conference sponsored by The Social  Planning and Research Council(SPARC) of  BC, will be held in Salmon Arm,BCfrom Mon  Aug 14 to Fri Aug 18. The CDI is an annual  educational forum to develop skills and enhance knowledge in social, economic, and  environmental issues. For more info contact  Leslie Kemp of SPARC at 736-8118.  GRRRRLS WITH GUITARS  The first anniversary showcase of Grrrrls  with Guitars will be held Mon Mar 27,10pm  at The Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir St, Van.  Performers include Nadine Davenport, Judy  Atkin, Me and Another Woman, KathyO'Neill  and Yvette. For info and bookings call 879-  4930.  NATIVE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS  Sisters, playwright Wendy Lill's dramatic  account of the Native education activities of  the Canadian government and the church in  the 50s and 60s will be performed at Simon  Fraser University Theatre on Burnaby Mountain Mar 3-4, and Mar 10-11 at 8pm. Tickets  are $7 general admission and $5 seniors/  students. Free performances on Wed Mar 1  & 8 at 8pm and Thurs Mar 2 &9 at 12:30 pm.  For more info contact Nancy Harris at SFU,  291-3513.  INFORMATION RIGHTS WEEK  The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy  Assoc (FIPA) and the BC Library Assoc  present the fourth annual Information Rights  Week in BC Apr 3-9. Held at various locations throughout Vancouver, this week of  lectures and workshops includes the themes  of Acess to Information, Privacy Protection  and the Emerging Electronic Democracy.  Pre-registration is required for all events,  most events are free. For more info and  event locations, or to register or e-mail or call  (604) 224-4843.   EROTIC ART SHOW  The Erotic Art Show by Kathryn Allison, is a  play that follows the lives of three women as  they hold candid and hilarious discussions on  sex, relationships, men and careers. The  show opens Mar 11 at the Firehall Arts  Centre at 280 East Cordova St, Van, and will  run until Apr 8. Special previews on Mar 9-  10. For more info call Touchstone Theatre at  687-8737.  JUNE TABOR  June Tabor, renowned English singer of  traditional and contemporary folksongs, will  be performing in Vancouver Wed Mar 29  8pm at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre,  1895 Venables St. She will be accompanied  by Mark Emerson on viola and accordion and  Huw Warren on piano. Call 254-9578 for  tickets and more info.  W HI  \f Wise W<  HERSPECTIVES  The dialogue of the common woman  Poetry • Letters • Essays  Short short stories  • Cartoons • Graphics • Humour  Pub. 4xyr sliding scale $22 - 35/yr  (S3545-US)  Inst. $40-50  Sample copy $6  HERSPECTIVES - Mary Billy, editor  Box 2047, Squamish, B.C. Canada VON 3G0  JOIN THE MAGIC CIRCLE  REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES  Reproductive Technologies: Science and  Public Policy, a presentation and discussion  on the issues around public policy and women's reproductive rights, will be held in Victoria on Fri Mar 24. The panel presentation will  take place from 7:30-9:30pm at the University of Victoria. Fee is $5. For more info or to  register call in Victoria (604) 721 -8481.  GROUPS  CHINA-CANADA PROJECT  The China-Canada Young Women's Project  will facilitate a workshop on self-esteem and  leadership on Mar 4 at Britannia Community  Centre (1661 Napier St). Young women from  all communities are encouraged to attend.  Come join us in celebrating International  Women's Day through active participation.  Free admission and refreshments. TimeTBA.  Info and registration 253-8446.  AIDS WALK  The Centre for AIDS Services of Montreal is  organizing a nation-wide walk of solidarity for  women and children living with HIV/AIDS. If  you would like to organize a walk in your  community contact Francine Breton or  Kathryn Roston at Centrefor AIDS Services,  Suite 202,1168 St.Catherine West, Montreal, PQ H3B 1K1; or call in Quebec (514)  954-0170.   RADICAL WOMEN  Radical Women Business Meeting. Radical  Women will prepare and plan f ortheir annual  International Women's Day Celebration and  conduct general business. Meeting Thurs,  Mar 2,7:30pm; dinner served at 6:30 for $6  donation. New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier  Ave S, Seattle. For rides or childcare, call  (206) 722-6057 or 722-2453 two days in  advance. Wheelchair accessible.  FORMATION DES BENEVOLES  Le Comite anti-violence de Re'seau-Femmes Colombie-Britannique offre  ^^        une   formation  d'une  fin  de  semaine     aux benevoles  fl^ fe desireuses de travailler aupres des femmes francophones  R^* violentees.     On encourage toute femme francophone a  ■JP.m           participer. La formation se tiendra les 7, 8 et 9 avril, 1995.  HBJ__I       Pour plus d'information appeler Taylor Freedom,   coordonnatrice du programme au 736-6979 poste 331  Co-op Radio  CFRO 102.7 FM  Listener Powered!  Community-Based!  Where women have a voice  Monday, 8:00 - 9:00pm:  WomenVisions  For women about women by women. Health, politics, law, spirituality, arts  sexuality and alternative ideologies.  Tuesday, 7:00 - 8:00pm: OBAA  By women of colour for women of colour. Local community groups and events,  interviews and music not heard in the mainstream.  Thursday, 8:00 - 9:00pm:  The Lesbian Show  Friday, 8:00- 10:00pm: Rubymusic  12 years on the air, Rubymusic features the best in music by women-old, new,  lost and found.  For a free listener's guide call 684-8494 Monday to Thursday, 10am - 6pm Bulletin Board  GROUPS  LESBIAN PARTNER ABUSE  Have you ever experienced physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, verbal and/or  other abuse by a lesbian partner? Beginning  in March, Battered Women's Support Services is sponsoring a 10 week support group  for lesbians who have been or are currently  in abusive relationships. Call 687-1867 to  register.   MATURE LESBIANS  Are you starting or continuing the coming out  process? Are you looking for friendship and  support? Come out and join us for lunch, and  help us plan some social activities. We're  "JUSTOUT!" Call Geri 278-8497 (evenings),  Vancouver.  SUBMISSIONS  DISABLED WOMENS ANTHOLOGY  Disabled dykes, bisexuals, 2-spirited and  transgendered women—including women  with environmental illness, HIV/AIDS and  otherchronic illnesses—are invitedtosubmit  stories, poems, narratives, and other writing  as well as visual art (in black and white) for an  anthology tobe published by Women's Press.  Submit either in print form (dbl space) or  audiocassette with SASE to Shelly Tremain,  Women's Press, 233-517 College St, Toronto, Ont, M6G 4A2. Deadline is May 15.  EYES ON THIS  Submissions are being sought from Black  writers and artists for the anthology eyes on  this: africanadian perspectives on art, media, politics and culture. Students and unpublished writers are strongly encouraged to  submit non-fiction work: interviews, transcribed radio programs, criticism—on music, media, step & rap culture, technology.  Max 5000 words. No fiction or.poetry. Visual  artists may send slides, photographs, photocopies of artwork, including graffiti, comix,  phototext. Deadline Dec 1995. For more info  call Karen Augustine at FUSE Magazine,  (416) 367-0159, or write eyes on this, PO  Box 317, Stn P, Toronto, Ont, M5S 2S8.  AFRICAN WOMEN'S GROUPS  Akina Mama wa Afrika will be publishing an  International Directory of African Women's  NGO's, available by Sept. African women's  groups in Africa, Europe and North America  interested in being included in the directory  should contact AMWA for entry forms and  further info. Write to: The Director, AMWA,  London Women's Centre, 4 Wild Court, London WC2B 4AU.  ABSINTHE MAGAZINE  The Calgary Women of Colour Collective is  now accepting submissions for a special  edition of Absinthe literary arts magazine,  summer 1995. We especially encourage non-  published women of colour, as well as published women of colour, to submit stories,  poetry, black and white photo essays, black  and white artwork, essays, works-in-progress,  abstract thoughts, interviews, journal excerpts andcritiques. Send submissions along  with a short bio to: The Women of Colour  Collective, 321-223 12th Ave SW, Calgary,  Alta, T2R 0G9. Deadline is Mar 31. For  further info, (403) 232-8458.  SUBMISSIONS  QUEER BLACK WOMEN  Pleased/annoyed with the way you're represented in film, tv, literature? Wouldyou like to  report on some of the many women-specific  events that promote up & coming writers,  artists & poets? Do you have a beef, coming  out stories, comix, a really good tale? At the  Crossroads: a black women's art mag is  looking for work covering the queer Black art  scene. Essays, opinion pieces, profiles, visual  art, fiction & poetry from dark lesbians &  bisexual women. SendsubmissionstoAf ffte  Crossroads, QBW issue, PO Box 317, Stn P,  Toronto, Ont, M5S 2S8. Deadline is May.  READING OUT LOUD!  Reading Out Loud! CJSF Radio (93.9 FM  Cable) in Burnaby is hosting a radio program  dedicated to writings, performances, announcements, commentary by/for lesbians.  CJSF, the campus station at Simon Fraser  University, is looking for written submissions  and volunteers to read/perform their own or  selected material for the show. First Nations  women, women of colour, women with disabilities, lesbian mothers, working class and  poor women are especially encouraged.  Contact Sharon or Stephanie at 253-0841.  LESBIANS AND MEN  Women's Press is calling for short fiction and  poetry submissions (max 5000 wds) for their  anthology by lesbians about the men in their  lives—brothers, fathers, lovers, sons, friends.  Women's Press encourages a diverse mixof  women to write about their (good and bad)  relationships with the men in their lives.  Deadline is Jun 30. Send all enquiries and  manuscripts with a SASE to: Countering the  Myths from Within and Outside, Women's  Press, 233-517 College St, Toronto, Ont,  M6G 4A2.  CLASSIFIEDS  LYDIA KWA, PSYCHOLOGIST  I'm pleased to announce the opening of my  private practice in clinical psychology  (Granville Island office). I'm a feminist therapist and I work with clients on a variety of  issues. I welcome new clients, especially  survivors, gays and lesbians, women of colour, artists and writers. Call Lydia Kwa,  C. Psych, at 255-1709.  THE ART OF HANDKNITTING  Rediscoverthe lost female art of handknitting  while enjoying the beauty and quality of our  100 percent natural fibre yarns: wools,  mohairs, alpacas, cottons, linens and silks.  Patterns, kits and how-to books—whether  you're a beginner or an expert, we have  something for you. Catalogue and complete  yarn samples $4 (refundable with purchase).  Elann Fibre, PO Box 771, Cranbrook, BC,  V1C 4J5. Toll free fax/voice mail: 1 -800-426-  0616. Visa accepted. All female owned and  operated.  GENERAL PRACTITIONER  Joan Robillard, MD, Obstetrics, General  Practitioner for all kinds of families is now  located at 203-1750 E10th Ave, Van. Phone  872-1454, fax 872-3510.  *#J Eves Wide Open  1^    jJP Spiritual resource;  jjg/jr     from childhood sexual assault  Meet the author...  Louise Cummings will be speaking  and signing books at  Vancouver Women's Bookstore  315 Cambie St., Vancouver • 684-0523   Saturday, March 11   2 p.m.   WOMEN  IN PRINT  BOOKS & OTHER MEDIA  Discounts for  book clubs  3566 West 4th Avenue  ^  Vancouver BC  Special orders  Voice   604 732^128  welcome  Fax      604 732-4129  10-6 Daily ♦  12-5 Sunday  Faith Nolan is a long time comin"  African Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist Faith Nolan  will be coming to Vancouver to perform from her new album,  Hard to Imagine, Thursday, April 20,8pm atthe Vancouver East  Cultural Centre, 1895 Venables St. Nolan, who blends the  styles of blues, jazz and folk, has recorded three other albums,  Africville, Sistershipanti Freedom to Love. She uses music to  bring about social change and has performed at demonstrations, picket lines, music festivals, shelters and schools.  Tickets for her Vancouver performance are sliding scale $14  and up. For more information call 253-7189. A Sounds & Furies  Production.  CLASSIFIEDS CLASSIFIEDS  BOOKKEEPER AVAILABLE  Qualified small business bookkeeper with  over 25 years experience. Weekly, Monthly,  Yearly. Call 879-2787 or 684-0888.  LIKE TO SING?  I'd like to organize a group of people to get  together to sing just for fun (ie not competitive, not performing, anybody would be welcome). The idea is that this would be a fun,  non-competitive singing get-together—we  could pick our own songs and get together  whenever we wanted, once a month or more  often if that's what people wanted. If you're  interested in getting together to sing just for  fun, please call Jill Weiss at 685-7098, weekdays after 5pm or weekends anytime.  INCOME TAX PREPARATION  Preparation of income tax returns for individuals, self-employed, small businesses,  partnerships. Electronic Filing Sliding scale.  Call Yvonne at 879-9167.  HOUSE CLEANING  Eek! Mum's coming for a visit! Quick, call  Kate at Vanish Eek! Cleaning Services, 258-  9105. Specializing in cleaning homes with  hairy pets. Sliding scale $13-15/hour. Excellent references available upon request.  ART ASSISTANT  Versatile, good-natured, flexible—artis- looking for full or part-time work. Recently returned from working with street kids and  grassroots artists' organizations in Zambia,  setting up workshops for artists. Previous  experience includes assisting painters, sculptors, fabric artists and set designers. Call  Jocelyn at 251-5314.   PROGRAM DIRECTOR  Artspeak Gallery in Vancouver is currepty  conducting a search for the position of Director. The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications: Excellent knowledge of  contemporary art practices, proven financial  management and organizational skills, excellent written and oral communication skills,  knowledge of a broad range of issues related  to the arts, and sensitivity to the needs of  various cultural communities. Qualified candidates should submit resumes to Artspeak  at 401-112 W. Hastings St, Van, BC, V6B  1G8 before Apr 15. For more info call (604)  688-0051  INA DENNEKAMP  Piano Service  • Piano and Harpsichord  Tuning  • Repairs and  Reconditioning  * Appraisals  KINESIS IDEAS for IWD:  buy your mom a sub  buy your friend a sub  •buy your lover(s)  a sub  •buy Sheila Finestone  a sub  •buy Roseanne  Skoke a sub  •buy yourself a sub  $1.40 GST □ Bill me  Two years D New  □$36 + $2.52 GST □ Renewal  Institutions/Groups □ Gift  l$45 + $3.15 GST □ Donation  Na  □ Cheque enclosed     .Jf you can't afford the full amount for Kinesis  subscription, send what you can.  Free to prisoners.  Orders outside Canada add $8.  Vancouver Status of Women Membership  (includes Kinesis subscription)  □ $30+$1.40 GST  Address—  Country   Telephone.  Postal code_  Fax  Published ten times a year by the Vancouver Status of Women  #301 -1720 Grant Street Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y6


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