Kinesis Sep 1, 1998

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 4  EPT1998 lesbian desire in India 8 CMPA $2.25  News About Women That's Not In The  Qoin the excursion hike  Vancouver hinge  festival ^  Indonesia in context Inside  KINESIS  #309-877 E. Hastings St.,  Vancouver, BC V6A 3Y1  Tel: (604)255-5499  Fax: (604)255-7508  email:  Kinesis welcomes volunteers to work  on all aspects of the paper. Our next  Story Meetings are Tues Sep 1 and  Tues Oct 6, 7 pm at our office,  309-877 E. Hastings St. Production  for the October issue is from Sep 16-  22. 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 Board.  EDITORIAL BOARD  Fatima Jaffer, Lissa Geller  Kelly Haydon, Agnes Huang,  Colleen Sheridan, Ellen Woodsworth  Laura Quilici  PRODUCTION THIS ISSUE  Dorcas Wilkins, Janet Mou  Fatima Jaffer, leanne Johnson  Michele McCabe, Michelle Silliboy  Nancy Pang, Celeste Wincapaw  Kathe Lemon, Monica K. Rasi  Karla Reid, Kelly Haydon  Colleen Sheridan  Advertising: Sur Mehat  Circulation: Audrey Johnson,  Chrystal Fowler  Production Coordinator: marilyn lemon  Typesetter: Sur Mehat  FRONT COVER  Vivienne Wang and her piano in  Excursion [see page 12.]  Photo by Carol Sawyer and Andrew  Czink. Designed by Tanya Pettreman.  PRESS DATE  Aug 27, 1998  SUBSCRIPTIONS  Individual: $20 per year (+$1.40 GST)  or what you can afford  I nstitu tions/G rou ps:  $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  Features and reviews: 10th  News: 15th  Letters and Bulletin Board: 18th  Display advertising  (camera ready): 18th  (design required): 16th  Printing by Horizon Publications.  Kinesis is indexed in the Canadian  Women's Periodicals Index,  trie Alternative Press Index, and is a  member of the Canadian Magazine  Publishers Association.  ISSN 0317-9095  Publications mail registration #6426  News  Indonesian Chinese women and girls raped and murdered 3  by Peggy Woon-Yee Lee  Pay equity fight still not over 4  by Kay Sinclair  Supporting the rights of contracted out workers 4  by Marion Pollack  Behind the riots and resignation in Indonesia 5  by Julia Suryakusuma  Features  Lesbian desire in ancient and modern India   by Giti Thadani as told to Fatima Jaffer and Veena Gokhale  Some words on fetal rights   by Kate Murphy  No protection for contracted out workers .  Centrespread  Pullout section:  Women at the 1998 Vancouver Fringe Festival 11  by leanne Johnson, Kelly Haydon, marilyn lemon and Agnes Huang  Arts  Interview with Moana, of Moana and the Moahunters  17  as told to Kelly White  Review of Helene Liftman's Peripheries 18  by Kathe Lemon  Alison Bechdel on Alison Bechdel 19  reviewed by Celeste Wincapaw  Regulars  As Kinesis Goes to Press 2  Inside Kinesis 2  What's News 6  compiled by Janet Mou, Rita Wong, Wei Yuen Fong, Ednoi Boun  and Gitanjali Lena  Movement Matters 16  compiled by Monica Rasi and Janet Mou  Bulletin Board 21  compiled by Michele McCabe and Dorcas Wilkins  "LATELY,   I'VE  BEEN   FEELIN'...   YOU   KNOW..  KINDA LIKE RAISIN'   HELL.  I think I'll drop into a Story Meeting''  Tuesday October 6, 7pm  #309-877 E. Hastings St.  Alison Bechdel, a dyke to watch out for 19 As Kinesis goes to press, we reflect on  the issue of health-the health of the women's movement and the health of the  women in the movement.  Often, when we address this subject, we  end up critiquing the "systems" of health  that affect us: publicly funded medicare; legislation concerning abortion services;  healthcare professionals; medical research.  Not enough do we allow ourselves the  space to talk about our own health as  women, and as feminists in this society. At  Kinesis, the reality of this hit us hard over  the past few months, as we witnessed the  deaths of three longtime activists in the  women's movement.  All three women died of cancer, and  all three women died before they had the  opportunity to complete their journeys  with themselves, other women and the  women's movement.  We remember Amanda Ocran, a feminist academic and activist. She dedicated  much of her time and energy pressing for  justice for garment workers. She was also  instrumental in challenging the discriminatory attitudes of professors in the Political Science Department at UBC. For her  strength and courage, she suffered the consequences.  We remember Jeri Manson-Hing. She  was an active member of the NAC Executive Committee and was working on her  PhD in women's studies at York University  when her illness made her too weak to carry  on. Jeri had been involved in all kinds of issues over the years: anti-racism work, new  reproductive technologies, health, media.  We remember Bonnie Agnew, who for  more than 20 years was instrumental in pushing forward the work of the feminist anti-violence against women movement. A founding  mother of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, Bonnie organized many Take Back  the Nights in Vancouver, and she will surely be  missed at this year's event  We are also thinking of all the women  who struggling with their health.  Doesn't it make you flunk, How many  of us are really that well? How many of us  don't feel the constant strain of thinking  about, dealing with, and challenging the various oppressions we face as women and the  backlash against feminism. How many of us  don't feel the stress from logging long hours  in support of our sisters (the ones we know  well and the ones we've never met), from  working through the divisions among us,  and from just surviving the trials and challenges placed before us each and every day.  As a tribute to all our feminist sisters,  we should stop and ask ourselves, "How  can we, as individual women and as a  women's movement, do the critical work  we do, and still stay healthy, happy and  vibrant?"  That's a question Kinesis would like to  explore in an upcoming issue (or issues.)  For now, we invite your thoughts. Write,  fax or email us.  As Kinesis goes to press, we thank and  remember Amanda, Jeri and Bonnie, and  all our feminist sisters who have passed on.  In good health and solidarity.  Our appreciation to the following supporters who became members, renewed their  memberships or subscriptions to Kinesis, or made donations during the month of July:  Jan Altshool * Jennifer Bradley * Somer Brodribb * Janie Cawley * Caren Durante *  Louise Hutchison * Faune Johnson * Meredith Kimball * Joan Lawrence * Andrea  Lebowitz * Vera Mclntyre * Paule McNicoll * Jill Stainsby * Shelly Tratch * Roberta  Westwood * Brenda Wong * Maggie Ziegler * C.E.P Local 115-M * Stowe Ellis Barristers & Solicitors  A special thanks to our donors who give every month. Monthly donations assist  VSW in establishing a reliable funding base to carry out our programs, services and Kinesis throughout the year. Thanks to:  Elizabeth Geller * Jody Gordon * Erin Graham * Barbara Lebrasseur * Valerie Raoul  The lights went out this month inside  Kinesis. Yes, we mean that literally. Late one  night on the weekend before we went to  press, we were hard at work (on the phone),  when all of a sudden, without any warning... darkness. Yes, it was lights, camera,  no action. Oh no!  Not only did we lose power throughout our office, we also lost contact with the  outside world via telephone. (Our phone  system, being the fancy kind it is, requires  electricity.) Fortunately though, this not-so-  Hallmark moment was only a temporary  glitch (although it did happen again briefly  the next day), so it didn't impede us in  bringing you this issue oiKinesis.  However, something did happen during production that caused us more than  one night's lost sleep. You know how for  the past year (or has it been two years),  we've had a computer woe to report on in  each and every Inside Kinesis. Well, let this  month be no different.  But wait. First of all, did we tell you  that we were finally able to get new computers? We're very excited about that. We  (as in the Vancouver Status of Women and  Kinesis) got two new Pentium II 233MHz  computers—one for the production room,  where we put together the very thing you  are holding in your hands, and another that  will allow us to participate in the world of  emailing and Internet surfing. Hey send us  something to  Okay, back to the reality of life with  computers... So here we were, gearing up  for production, when all of a sudden, without any warning... darkness. Sound familiar. Our production room computer decided, in its infinite microchip wisdom, just  to shut itself off. No farewell party, no goodbye note...just "off."  We did manage to get it going again by  using a new power cord, but things didn't  feel the same. Something was still amiss. The  computer was operating in "Safe Mode."  Now, doesn't that sound like a good thing?  Well, we soon discovered, if s not.  When we tried loading in our scanner  software, the monitor screamed out, "You  have no printer port." Now, the big panic  set in. Press day less than a week away, and  us with no way to produce the paper. What  to do; what to do. We called every computer ge.. genius we knew. (Thanks to Celeste  Wincapaw for her incredible patience with  us.) And just when we were about to pull  every little file, every program off the hard  drive and start over, Pearly (the woman we  bought the computer from) said, "The com  puter's overheating. You just need a fan  inside the CPU."  We were disbelievers. How could that  be, we cried. But sure enough; that's all it  took. An $18 fan. Yes, this is a true story.  We do have another technical foible we  could tell about, but we're just way too  embarrassed to put it into print. (Call us  and we'll confess. Maybe.)  A lot of other things have been happening inside Kinesis. As this was our first  month back after an brief rest, we jumped  right into action. Of course, one very important thing we're working on is our 25th  anniversary subscription drive campaign.  The success of this project is critical to the  survival and growth of Kinesis, so we're  calling on all our readers and supporters  for your help in this work.  Another exciting thing coming up is our  "Visioning Meeting," tentatively scheduled  for October 3-4. To lead us into our 25th anniversary and right through the new millennium, we want to revisit Kinesis—the content, the design, the processes. If you are interested in participating in this two-day  meeting, please give us a call at 255-5499.  As mentioned earlier, Kinesis is finally  online. Thanks to everyone who so patiently waited for us to reply to your emails.  So now, for our next foray onto the information highway, we want to set up our very  own website. We think it will be a good way  to let women know about Kinesis and share  a few tidbits of the "news about women's  that's not in the dailies" (with the hopes that  they will then subscribe). We need help setting this up—lots of help. If there are  women out there who have insights into  the Internet, or are whizzes with websites,  we'd love to hear from you.  This issue, we have a lot of new voices  in Kinesis: Thanks and welcome to Peggy  Woon-Yee Lee, Julia Suryakusuma, Janet  Mou, Monica Rasi, Giti Thadani, Veena  Gokhale, Kate Murphy, marilyn lemon,  Moana Maniapoto-Jackson, Kelly White,  Kathe Lemon and Celeste Wincapaw. We  invite women to contribute their ideas and  articles for upcoming issues. Drop in to one  of our next story meetings—held the first  Tuesday of each month [see masthead for  dates]—or call or email us and we'd be  happy to send you a copy of our Writers'  Guidelines.  Also this month, we welcome new production volunteers Monica Rasi and Karla  Reid. Thanks both for your awesome work.  Well that's all for this edition of Inside  Kinesis. Have a fabulous month.  CORRECTIONS  In our June 1998 edition oiKinesis, we  acknowledged Mary Billy as the winner of  the first International Helen Prize for  Women. While we still send congratulations to Billy, we should also have mentioned that 19 other women were honoured.  Further back... in the Movement Matters section of our May 1998 issue, we  mispelled Cathy Loewen's last name in the  piece, "Amazing Greys on video." Also,  Loewen's email address should have been  listed as Our apologies.  SEPTEMBER 1998 News  Violence against Chinese women in Indonesia:  Time to break the silence  by Peggy Woon-Yee Lee  On May 12, gunshots sounded over a  prestigious university in Jakarta, Indonesia,  which left four students dead and dozens injured. This bloody response by government  forces to the student demonstrations set off 11  days of rioting that subsided only when, on  May 21, President Suharto resigned.  The demonstrations and riots coincided  with the growing social, political and economic  crisis in Indonesia, and followed decades of  corruption and abuse by members of the  Suharto regime [see page 5.]  During the riots, many shops and houses,  in particular Indonesian Chinese enclaves, were  looted, burnt and destroyed, in attacks tliat many  believe to have been very deliberately planned.  Indonesian Chinese people themselves have also  been the targets of violence, and hundreds of  women and girls have been sexually assaulted,  gang raped, mutilated and murdered.  Onlyrecentlyhavethese atrocities gained widespread public attention. In response, women's, students andhuman rights groups across thegbbehave  been staging rallies, demonstrations and candlelight  vigils, and petitioning their own governments to  respond strongly and swiftly to tlte targeting of the  Indonesian Chinese.  Below, Peggy Woon-Yee Lee puts into a  historical context the rapes and murders of the  Indonesian Chinese women and girls. Her commentary begins with an excerpt from the story  of one Indonesian Chinese woman...  "My name is Vivian [not her real name]  and I am 18 years old. I have a little sister  and brother, and we live in what is supposed  to be a 'secure' apartment. At9:15am on May  14, a huge crowd had gathered outside. They  screamed: 'Let's butcher the Chinese! Let's  eat pig! Let's have a party!'...  "We could hear girls of 10 or 12 years old  screaming: 'Mommy, mommy, mom, mom. It  hurts.' I didn't know then that these girls were  being raped... Not long after, nine men came to  the room and grabbed me and my Aunt Vera. I  passed out and everything went blank.  "I became conscious at around 5 or  6pm. My head hurt and I realised I had no  clothes on. I cried and saw my family were  still there. My father was hugging my  mother and Doni. I also saw Uncle Dodi  lying on the floor and Aunt Vera was crying over his body. I fainted again...  "AfterTour days of treatment my condition improved. With a sad look, my father  told me what had happened. After I fainted,  seven people raped me. Repeatedly."  I read the articles, the horrific testimonies and opened up web-page after web-  page only to view more and more examples of our collective dehumanization. Images of school girls bleeding from their  genitals and mutilated in ways beyond  polite description. I am appalled by the  depths of human depravity Yes, these are  young Chinese women, not unlike myself.  To date, human rights agencies in Indonesia, such as the Team of Volunteers for  Humanitarian Causes, have documented 20  deaths and at least 168 rapes committed  against women and girls from when the riots broke out in May to as recently as July 3.  The latest published accounts detail the  rape of one female student at the  Tarumanegara University on July 2, where  three rapists intentionally mutilated the  victim's genitalia with an object so massive  that the woman required two operations to  remove her womb.  In addition, during the demonstrations  in May, four students at Jakarta's elite  Trisakti University were fatally shot and 20  pro-democracy activists tortured, twelve of  lash has been quietly legitimated under the  guise of explaining socioeconomic unrest.  The history of class-linked racial hatred towards the ethnic Chinese in South  East Asia is nothing new. The Chinese are  known as the "Jews of South East Asia"—a  term coined in reference to their supposed  disproportional amount of wealth in the  Horrific photos are being circulated  to threaten victims  and discourage them  from disclosing the events  to authorities.  whom are still missing. These atrocities are  just a few among the many "crimes against  humanity" committed by the same imperialistic Indonesian government which  masterminded massacres in both East  Timor and Irian Jaya.  At present, women and girls who have  been raped and assaulted are the latest targets of a fear-mongering campaign by the  area. The narrative that gets omitted is the  history of strategic scapegoating and outright discriminatory legislation against  those of Chinese heritage [set in place by  the historical colonial powers.]  Few people remember that not so long  ago, when Suharto [who was then a general in the army of President Sukarno] responded to the October 1965 coup attempt  Suharto's legacy  has created a state where legislation  specifically restricts  the political, cultural and economic  involvement of Indonesians  of Chinese descent.  Indonesian government. Horrific photos  are being circulated to threaten victims and  discourage them from disclosing the events  to authorities. New Indonesian president  BJ Habibie has paid lip service to the atrocities by appointing a 19-member investigative commission, a body which includes no  ethnic Chinese members.  In interviews, Habibie himself makes  no attempt to hide his contempt for Indonesian Chinese people. "The Chinese exodus won't kill us... If the Chinese community doesn't come back because they don't  trust their own country and society, I cannot force them, nobody can force them,"  Habibie said.  In the same interview, the president  explained that those Indonesian Chinese  who were not attacked and survived the  mayhem were the ones that had "integrated  into society." He thus implicitly blamed the  victims themselves for not "assimilating."  While other instances of "ethnic cleansing" and racial rioting have received worldwide media coverage, there seems to be a  grave omission about the events that took  place in Indonesia, particularly in the West-  em media. What coverage Indonesia has had  in the past few months has usually been focused on the effects of the Rupiah [the Indonesian currency] crisis, the role of the International Monetary Fund, the riots, and the  change of presidency. The anti-Chinese back-  by members of the [communist] PKI, one  million people were systemically slaughtered. This was, as described even by the  CIA, "one of the ghastliest and most concentrated blood-lettings of current times."  Of those killed, the majority were Indonesians of Chinese descent who were  suspected communist sympathizers.  Suharto's army did not work alone as it  began with a hate campaign that incited  fear and suspicion towards the presumed  Chinese communists. Backed by public sentiment, Suharto utilized the climate of fear  and distributed arms, while calling for action against the Indonesian Chinese.  During this period, again the Western  media was unusually silent as America itself was caught up in its Cold War propaganda and initiating its own confused involvement in Vietnam. [US Senator] Robert  F. Kennedy was a lonely voice when he  said, "We have spoken out against the in-'  humane slaughters perpetrated by the Nazis and the communists. But will we speak  out also against the inhumane slaughter in  Indonesia, where over 100,000 alleged communists have been not perpetrators, but  victims?"  Thirty years later, Suharto's legacy has created a state where legislation specifically restricts  the political, cultural and economic involvement of Indonesians of Chinese descent. From  birth, ethnic Chinese are not allowed to have a  Chinese name, or publicly learn Chinese languages, or celebrate, Chinese festivals. These restrictions apply to Chinese people only, and  not other Indonesians.  All Chinese in Indonesia must have Indonesian names or they will not be granted citizenship. A person caught learning or teaching  Chinese languages may be subject to arrest for  subversion under the law. Indonesian Chinese  are restricted from governmental positions and  public scholarships. Most importantly, ethnic  Chinese are not permitted to have permanent  land title, thus creating a scenario where the only  means of economic sustenance is through doing business.  During the early stages of Indonesia's  economic development [in the early 1980's,]  concessions were made to Chinese businessmen who were instrumental in engineering the nation's economy. Despite economic participation, Indonesians of Chinese descent remain forever designated as  second-class citizens. They are permanently  denied full cultural-political citizenship  and are constantly under public scrutiny  to prove their Tndonesian-ness.'  As one Indonesian writes: "Imagine  the bureaucracy: As long as you look Chinese, you will always have to be able to  prove that you are an Indonesian citizen,  despite the fact that you were born in Indonesia of Indonesian parents, were educated in the country, speak only Indonesian  and only have an Indonesian name. People should understand that being politically  impotent, money is the only tool most Chinese Indonesians can bargain with."  The blame game is perpetuated today  by the global media that unquestioningly  equates Indonesian ethnic Chinese people  with corrupted wealth. While surely there  are examples of Indonesian Chinese  businesspeople who have manipulated the  economy, the majority of Indonesian Chinese are not of that elite business class.  Again, stories that do not fit the presumed  racialized class stereotype do not get press  coverage.  In this age of globalized media and the  world-wide web, it is the Internet that  seems to be the only site of rallying and  activism in regards to the recent atrocities  in Indonesia. Websites such as the Huaren  Network's have been created to raise  awareness, voice outrage, and call for action against the violations in Indonesia. Perhaps a signifier of the class mobility of a  segment of the global Chinese diaspora is  the fact that the community can actually  organize on-line. An email Yellow Ribbon  campaign has circulated globally in mourning for those who have died and been assaulted, and several petitions have been  collected to lobby both national and international organizations to take action and  condemn the events in Indonesia.  Halfway around the world, sitting before my laptop typing up my thoughts, I  am reminded of similar local discourse circulating about "Hongcouver," and the imminent fear of the Chinese investor takeover. No longer can we sit complicitly in  denial while these atrocities continue.  see CHINESE page 5  SEPTEMBER 1998 Newts  Pay equity in Canada:  Victory still on hold  by Kay Sinclair   July 29 was a day to celebrate for  women working in the federal public service. A Canadian Human Rights Tribunal  ruled in favour of a pay equity complaint  filed by the Public Service Alliance of  Canada (PSAC) on behalf of more than  190,000 current and former federal government employees—most of them women.  This was a major step towards a positive ending to the 14-year pay equity struggle with the federal government, which included a five year joint union-management  (JUMI) equal pay study and 262 days of  human rights Tribunal hearings [see Kinesis February 1998 for a detailed history of the  PSAC struggle.]  Essentially, the Tribunal found that a  wage gap does exist and that the federal  government's pay policies are discriminatory under the Canadian Human Rights  Act.  In its decision, the Tribunal said that  current and former members in six female-  dominated groups will receive pay equity  back to March 8, 1985, the date the JUMI  Study was announced. Previously only two  groups were covered. However, they have  received partial pay equity payments back  to April 1,1984.  In terms of determining how the wage  gap should be calculated and closed, the  Tribunal ruled that the methodology put  forward by the Canadian Human Rights  Commission (CHRC) is the one to be used.  While the Tribunal did not choose the union's formula, it did accept the PSAC methodology as valid, and overall the CHRC's  methodology encompasses about 90 percent of the PSAC position.  The Tribunal rejected the argument by  the Treasury Board [the representative of  the federal government] that only the "lowest" male rates should be used for compari  son. Instead, the Tribunal called for the "average" male rates to be used. The Tribunal  also ruled that simple interest should be  paid on wages owed, using Canada Savings Bond rates in effect on March 1 of each  year.  For some women who have worked in  affected jobs for the entire 13-year retroactive period, the Tribunal's decision could  mean they are owed more than $30,000. As  of July 1998, pay equity payments will form  part of salary for the purpose of determin  ing that, "A Liberal government would  abide by the [CHRC Tribunal] decision."  [As Kinesis goes to press, the appeal period  had not yet expired.]  On the day the Tribunal decision came  down, the PSAC held a rally at the main library in downtown Vancouver to celebrate.  Women in several lower mainland federal  workplaces also held victory activities.  Since that time, PSAC women have  been working hard to put pressure on the  Liberal government to accept the decision  For some women ... the Tribunal's  decision could mean they are owed  more than $30,000.  ing pension and other benefits, the Tribunal ruled.  On other matters put before the Tribunal, the question of whether retroactive pay  equity payments should form part of the  salary for all affected workers was sent back  for further discussions between the PSAC  and the Treasury Board. PSAC's claim for  damages for lost opportunities for affected  employees was dismissed as was PSAC's  claim for legal costs.  The union and the federal Liberal government have until August 28 to appeal the  Tribunal's decision to federal court. The  PSAC feels very strongly the government  has no grounds to appeal; however, this  may not stop the government from trying  to gain a bargaining lever. Prime Minister  Jean Chretien, Marcel Masse, the president  of Treasury Board, and Finance Minister  Paul Martin have all been making noises  about appealing the decision—this despite  the fact Chretien wrote a letter to the PSAC  prior to the 1993 federal election promis-  and not appeal. When the Liberal caucus  met in Shawinigan, Quebec, in mid-August, 250 PSAC members marched on their  hotel meeting place. The PSAC Vancouver  Women's Committee and other PSAC  Women's Committees organized a fax campaign to the Liberal Women's Caucus,  which was also meeting in Shawinigan. The  Vancouver Women's Committee has also  organized a calendar of events and activities for PSAC locals to do leading up to the  appeal deadline.  Dozens of mostly male editorial writers and commentators have cited "cost to  taxpayers" as the main reason for opposing pay equity for women working in the  federal public service. This despite the  quarterly surplus of $5.8 billion recently  announced by the federal finance minister.  Perhaps women in the federal public service deserve part of the surplus their low  wages helped to create.  Various editors and commentators  have also decried the "intrusion" of pay  equity into the sanctity of the marketplace.  Are they saying that women's demands for  equal pay with men do not form a legitimate part of the marketplace, but tax writeoffs for corporations and those that have  do?  A positive outcome for the women affected by this case will be an important victory for all women, as it will reinforce the  principle of pay equity and be a boost f oron  women's wages in clerical, secretarial, data  keying, and hospital and library services  jobs in the private sector as well as the public sector.  Women's community groups and other  unions are encouraged to support their sisters  in the federal public service by writing, phoning, faxing or emailing their member of parliament, Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Finance Minister Paul Martin, Treasury Board  President Marcel Masse, and Hedy Fry, secretary of state for the status of women. Call on  them to abide by the Tribunal's decision and  support pay equity for women.  Write to any member of parliament or Liberal cabinet minister, c/o House of Commons,  Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A2. (No postage required.) Jean Chretien, tel: (613) 992-4211; fax  (613) 941-6900; email: Marcel  Masse, tel: (613) 957-2666; fax: (613) 990-  2806; email: Paul Martin,  tel: (613) 996-7861;fax: (613) 995-517; email: Hedy Fry, tel: (819) 997-  9900; fax: (819)953-8055; email:  For more information about the PSAC's  pay equity struggle, contact Nycole Turmel at  (613) 560-4310 in Ottawa, or Regina Brennan  and Joanna Schultz in Vancouver, (604) 430-  5631.  Kay Sinclair is a member of the PSAC Vancouver Women's Committee and a devoted employee at Revenue Canada.  Women in the paid labour force:  Contracted out workers vulnerable  by Marion Pollack  In December 1997, ten women who  worked in the kitchen of the Vancouver  Lodge of the Canadian Cancer Society all  lost their jobs. Many of these women had  worked in the Lodge, a residence for cancer patients awaiting treatment, for 16  years. They were all members of the Hospital Employees Union (HEU) and as a result received decent wages and benefits.  They were also employees of Versa  Food Services, a company that had won a  contract to provide food services at the  Lodge. However, when the Canadian Cancer Society retendered the contract, they  accepted a lower bid by the multinational  Restauronics Services. The new company  did not rehire the old workers, and instead  brought in a new crew of workers who were  then paid an average $4 less than the previous workers.  Currently, food services workers at the  Langara Campus of the Vancouver Community College are fighting for a new collective agreement. Until recently, they were  employed by another company which held  the cafeteria contract at the college. They  made decent wages and benefits as a result  of a long strike several years ago. They are  all members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 15.  Recently, the Langara food services  contract was retendered. The combined  pressure of the student society and the union resulted in one condition of the  retendering process—that no current food  service workers would lose her job.  Restauronics again was awarded the new  contract. They hired the old staff, but then  demanded huge wage and benefit cuts.  They want the workers to earn less for doing exactly the same work. (The situation  has yet to be resolved.)  These are not isolated instances. Every  day workers, in the janitorial, food services  and security guard industries are faced  with similar circumstances—the company  they work for loses the contract and the  workers are either replaced with a new  crew of workers doing exactly the same  work at substantially less wages, or offered  their jobs back with lower pay and fewer  benefits.  Most of the workers in janitorial and  food services industries are women. Often  they are immigrant women and women of  colour. Many are young women. According to a 1997 report called Women's Work  published by the Canadian Labour Congress, the economic reality for these workers is that they are generally low paid and  receive few, if any, benefits. As well, the  work situation for these workers has been  changing, so that more and more of them  are employed not directly by the organiza  tion or company they are doing the work  in, but rather, by a subcontractor.  Many workers in these industries have  attempted to start unions. In most cases,  unionization has resulted in significant  gains. Among women, unionized people  of colour workers earn 32.7 percent more  than comparable non-unionized workers.  The difference for Aboriginal workers is  69.4 percent.  However, the benefits of unionization  for contracted out workers in British Columbia are limited, given the gaps in the  successor rights provisions in current labour legislation. The objective of successor  rights provisions is to preserve collective  bargaining rights when a business is sold,  leased or transferred. Under the provisions  in the code, successor rights are not automatic; an employer can challenge them before the Labour Relations Board.  see CONTRACTED page 7  SEPTEMBER 1998 News  Repression, riots, resignation, reforms:  Indonesia in context  by Julia Suryakusuma  On Ascension Day, May 211998, President Suharto stepped down, turning power  over to BJ Habibie, his protege and vice-  president, to serve out the presidential term  to 2003. Looking crestfallen, and with resignation in his voice, Suharto said, "I have  decided to withdraw my position as the  leader of the Republic of Indonesia, effective immediately". The authoritarian, paternalistic rule of the retired general who  had led Indonesia for 32 years was finally  over.  Suharto's announcement climaxed one  of the most extraordinary 10-day periods  in Indonesian history—full of high drama,  nerve-racking suspense, and unexpected  turns. In many ways, the grand scenario  was familiar: a despotic ruler being overturned by popular will. However, external  factors were also at play.  The international financial marketplace had ravaged the rupiah [the Indonesian currency] plunging Indonesia into its  worse economic crisis since Suharto took  charge. The rupiah had lost 75 percent of  its value since last Fall, prices have spiraled,  and three-quarters of the companies listed  on the local stock exchange are now technically bankrupt. The banking sector is in  tatters, and unemployment is expected to  triple this year.  The economic crisis served to expose  the illusion of Indonesia's development  paradigm and constant growth. Indonesia's  "economic success" was heavily dependent on foreign loans (so-called aid,) and  imported materials and components for its  industries. The crisis also served to highlight, even more, the high-cost economy  resulting from the monopolistic, nepotistic  and corrupt business practices, particularly  of Suharto's children, relatives and cronies.  What was originally seen as a monetary  crisis quickly became a political crisis, and  a crisis of faith in the government.  Many were stunned by the swiftness  of events. Politics had previously been the  domain of the ruling elite. Only recently  have Indonesians woken up to the realization that they are citizens with rights, and  not merely subjects of one of the wealthiest  men in the world, in a country which almost "overnight" become one of the poorest in the world.  The signs of the end were many, but  the death-knell of the Suharto era was  sounded by the gunshots that caused the  tragic death of six students from Trisakti  University on May 12. Trisakti, a prestigious, elite private university, has never been  known to be the hotbed of student activism. It was simply one of many universities that had been staging peaceful demonstrations over the past three months in protest of the crisis.  It generated much sympathy because it was  seen not so much as a political campaign  but more as a moral movement. It was only  after the women's demonstration that other  groups moved forward: professionals, civil  servants, and then students.  The deaths of the students at Trisakti  were met with shock, grief, indignation and  condemnation. Outrage was expressed at  their funerals with yells of, "Hang  Suharto!"  It was only after  the women's demonstration  that other groups moved forward:  professionals, civil servants,  and then students.  The student demonstrations were also  part of the rise-in-revolt of the previously  complacent and politically dormant middle-class. One of the first actions was by a  spontaneous grouping of women university lecturers, activists, intellectuals and  housewives, who called themselves the  A powder-keg was building, but few  were prepared for the terrible scenes of anarchic rioting and destruction that would  rock Jakarta. The capital looked like a war-  zone, as thousands of people damaged and  burned hundreds of buildings, vehicles and  looted the contents of the burned properties.  This may be the end of the Suharto era,  but it is not the end of the crisis.  It is not even the end of the regime,  yet.  Voice of Concerned Mothers (of which I  was also a part).  On February 23, they organized a demonstration at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout in central Jakarta, demanding economic and political reforms. The timing of  the demonstration attracted enormous attention as it was on the first day of week-  long ban on demonstrations and political  activity before the parliamentary sessions  to elect the "new" president.  It was also the first time in 32 years that  women had taken to the streets in protest.  There have been strong indications that  some of the riots were engineered and organized systematically and professionally,  with heavy suspicions that factions of the  military were behind these actions. Truck-  loads of people were seen being dropped  off at various spots, and the destruction,  looting and burning occurred simultaneously in different areas of Jakarta.  People looted, damaged and burned  all that were the symbols and altars of  Suharto's New Order economic development model. Particularly targeted were  from CHINESE page 3  At this moment, our elected government  and other Canadian business elites continue  to hammer out business deals, trade  CANDU [nuclear] reactors and negotiate  CIDA [Canadian International Development  Agency] aid projects with Indonesian leaders without entrenching the protection of  human rights as an integral part of their business negotiations. The search for global pools  of cheap labor and lucrative sites for investment at times shrouds human concern for  each other's basic dignities.  What can we do from here?  1) Sign the petition urging the Canadian government to condemn such acts of  violence and press the Indonesian govern  ment to investigate and bring charges  against the criminals involved;  2) Write to Lloyd Axworthy, minister of  foreign affairs, to make the protection of human rights a necessary condition for Canada's foreign aid program to Indonesia;  3) Write to Lucienne Robillard, minister of citizenship and immigration, to set  up a special program facilitating the application of Indonesians to seek temporary  reprieve as visitors or long-term protection  in Canada as conventional refugees; and  4) Continue to learn and share awareness about ongoing global human rights  abuses and violence against women. Support  and help local groups to organize educational campaigns and memorial vigils.  To access further information via the  Internet about the happenings in Indonesia over the past several months, use any  search engine and type in "Huaren."  To petition Lloyd Axworthy, contact him  by phone: (613) 995-1851; fax: (603) 996-3443;  or email: To petition  Lucienne Robillard, contact her by phone: (613)  954-1064; fax: (613) 957-2688; email: Letters can be sent to the  ministers c/o House of Commons, Ottawa,  Ontario, K1A 0A6. (No postage required.)  Peggy Woon-Yee Lee is a Vancouver-Hong  Kong writer, cultural activist and Masters of  Philosophy candidate at the University of Hong  Kong. She was in Vancouver when she wrote  this piece.  those belonging to Suharto's family and  cronies. Even for those of us who abhor  violence, we could not help but feel some  satisfaction in the destruction of property  owned by a ruling family which had looted  and damaged the country and people with  impunity for so long.  Also targeted were the ethnic Chinese,  seen as being the economic beneficiaries of  the New Order [see page 3. J The Chinese  shopping area of Glodok was almost totally  destroyed, and even individual Chinese in  the streets were attacked. Again, this was a  result of the divide-and-rule tactics of the  New Order regime, inherited from colonial  times.  Although official figures cite 500 as the  number of deaths resulting from the riots,  unofficial sources say that the figure was  closer to 1,200. The extent of the physical  damage incurred was announced by a  number of cabinet ministers on May 17,  estimated at 2.5 trillion rupiah (US$ 250  million) for the damaged property alone.  The non-physical damage—the pain and  trauma of the people victimized, raped and  violated—was not reported.  This is the situation Suharto returned  to on May 15 when he cut his trip to Cairo  short, where he was attending the G-15  meeting. While in Cairo, he made a statement indicating he would be willing to resign. This may have merely been a delaying tactic. As soon as Suharto returned to  Jakarta, the Minister of Information denied  that Suharto had any intention of resigning, but that he intended to reshuffle the  cabinet—a move interpreted as an attempt  to mollify his critics.  In the meantime, more and more students occupied the Parliament House. Influential Muslim leader Amien Rais, chairman of Muhammadiyah, an organization  claiming 28 million members, and considered as Suharto's most outspoken critic,  made known his intention to lead a rally of  millions of people on May 20, National  Awakening Day, which marks the birth of  nationalist movements in the 1920s during  the Dutch colonial period.  Throughout Indonesia, students and  various other groups continued to demonstrate peacefully. Their demands varied, but  one thing was clear: the people's trust in  Suharto had totally eroded, and they  wanted him out.  The real coup de grace came on Monday, May 18, when Harmoko, the Speaker  of Parliament, announced the most dramatic political mutiny of Suharto's long  rule. Hand-picked by the president to lead  his ruling Golkar political party, and previously the longest serving Minister of Information, Harmoko had long been one of  Suharto's most trusted operatives and  trusted confidantes. Yet, perhaps traumatized by recent rioting in his Central Java  hometown of Solo where his family home  was burned to the ground by a mob,  Harmoko turned his coat on his patron, and  called on Suharto to step down, "for the  sake of national unity."  see INDONESIA page 18  SEPTEMBER 1998 What's News  compiled by Rita Wong  and Janet Mou  Protests of rapes of  Indonesian Chinese  Women's and student groups in China  staged rallies on August 17 to protest the  mass rapes and murders of mostly ethnic-  Chinese during the May 1998 riots in Indonesia [see page 3.] The protests coincided  with Indonesia's Independence Day.  Students from Beijing University and  a women's group had originally planned  large, organized demonstrations, but were  denied permission to do so. They instead  planned several smaller, but powerful,  events.  The first event was a meeting organized by China Women's News at a Beijing  hotel. Titled "Intellectual Women of the  Capital Voicing Their Support for the Ethnic Chinese Victims of Indonesia," it consisted of speeches made by university students who wore yellow ribbons in honor  of the victims.  One group of students assembled outside of the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing,  and another organized a "sit-in" outside of  the Indonesian ambassador's residence.  Many students carried gruesome pictures  of the rape and murder victims—pictures  that were only recently published in Chinese newspapers  Two groups of students delivered petitions to the Indonesian embassy last week.  Alerter of protest addressed to the Indonesian ambassador in Beijing was signed by  over 1,500 Beijing University students, even  though classes were not in session.  Meanwhile, the Indonesian government has accused several Indonesian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) of  "spreading rumors," and says it plans to  question all those who continue to claim  that the mass rapes occurred. The NGOs  have publicized the systematic rape of approximately 150 women of ethnic Chinese  origin during the May riots, in which more  than 1,000 people were murdered.  Indonesian police chief Lieutenant-  General Roesmanhadi said that persons  who could not provide "proof" that the  rapes occurred would be questioned.  [SourceMtp:/, August  17 and 18,1998]  Women fight  fundamentalism  Attempts by Algerian women to fight  against fundamentalism by demanding a  deep-reaching transformation of the Family  Code in order to defend their rights is being  overlooked, according to reports. Response  to women fighting to defend their rights is  met with contempt from the authorities.  As well, the efforts made by these  women are not reflected in the media.  While militant women are said to be a minority, there is a resonance among women  in general regarding the fight against fundamentalism.  The picture international media convey in relation to violence in Algeria can  actually be detrimental to the democratic  forces in Algeria, and is especially dangerous for women. Because of the confusion  around the question of responsibilities with  regards to massacres and violence, it is important to clarify that the independent media in Algeria, women's organizations, independent human rights NGOs, witnesses  and victims are all very clear about who is  doing the killing.  Since the early 1980s, women have  been targeted by the GIA (Islamic Armed  Groups) and its political branch FIS (Islamic  Salvation Front) who openly claim responsibility for the recent massacres through  public statements and written documents,  and have a history of violence in Algeria.  In 1991, after gaining power in certain  local areas, the FIS imposed segregated  buses, ended co-education in schools and  imposed the hidjab on women working in  the civil administrations. However, FIS officials and diplomats abroad deny imposing their ideology on the population.  A GIA statement made November 4,  1996 clearly states its goal as "preventing]  all women who refuse to wear thehidjab or  chador to go to work or to school. Furthermore, women are not allowed to leave their  homes without a proper Islamic dress. Refusal to abide by this rule will be met by  instant death."  This is a clear indication that women  are targeted by the GIA and FIS in a systematic way. Not only are they victims of  bomb attacks or slaughtered as the rest of  the population, they are victims of symbolic  mutilations, such as having their breasts cut  off or their foetus torn from their womb.  In all these circumstances, Algerian  women are still organizing themselves and  building and leading a "third way," independent from the government and Islamists. Large scale demonstrations organized  by these women in the past prove that they  are a potential majority and that they express women's aspirations to a greater degree than is being acknowledges by authorities and the media.  [Source: information excerpted from the  article "Violence Against Women in Muslim  Societies" by Anissa Helie and from BOIX, all  found on the Internet.]  US anti-abortion  arsonist jailed  John Yankowski of Bozeman, Montana  was sentenced to 15 years in prison for repeated attempts to set fire to a building that  houses the Bridger Mountain Family Planning Clinic and an abortion doctor's office.  Yankowski targeted the clinic, which does  not perform abortions, because he was opposed to information distributed at workshops led by clinic workers.  In his ruling, US District Judge Donald  Molloy called Yankowski "a terrorist and a  threat to society." Yankowski apparently  disagrees, comparing himself instead to  Martin Luther King.  [Source:, August  19, 1998]  Election to decide  RU486 fate  Whether women in Germany will have  access to abortion services in the form of  the drug RU486 hinges on the outcome of  the upcoming national election.  If Germany's Social Democrats prevail  in the September 27 elections, it is likely the  party will file an application with the European Union to make RU486 available in  Germany. Although the Social Democrats  and their candidate for chancellor, Gerhard  Schroeder, have not yet taken a formal position on mifepristone [the generic name of  the drug], they have traditionally supported the safe passage of the RU486.  On the other hand, Germany's current  chancellor, Helmut Kohl, of the Christian  Democratic Union has declined to back the  drug. Previous attempts to market the drug  in Germany have been obstructed by lack  of governmental support and anti-abortion  groups.  Social Democratic parliamentarian,  Marlisse Dobberthien, has said she will  urge Exelgyn, the French firm which now  holds worldwide patent rights on RU486,  to make the medical method of early abortion available in Germany. The company  says it hopes to soon expand the market of  the drug, which is currently widely available in France, Great Britain and Sweden.  [Source:, August  3,1998]  Nepalese women wed  Two women were married in a Nepal  village recently, in the first known marriage  between Nepalese gays, Japan Economic  Newswire reported. Earlier the two women  were arrested on complaints from their  parents. The women told the police they  loved each other and intended to marry.  While gay marriage is socially taboo in  Nepal, there is no law against it.  [Source: the Advocate]  by Gitanjali Lena   Activists arrested,  released in Burma  On August 15, 18 pro-democracy activists and members of a multinational  peacemaking team were released from detention by Burmese officials in Rangoon.  The activists were arrested a week earlier  while taking part in a peaceful commemoration of the August 1, 1988 slaughter of  pro-democracy Burmese people by the ruling SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council) military government. The  military crackdown is popularly known as  "8888," and has become a rallying point for  the Burmese people and their supporters  worldwide.  Three of the activists were from Malaysia: Johnson Chong and Ju Lynn Ong  who are members of a human rights group  SUARAM, and businessman See Chee  How from the Burma Solidarity Group.  Other Southeast Asian activists arrested  were from Thailand, the Philippines and  Indonesia. A further six Americans and one  Australian were also part of the team arrested, released and deported.  The activists were taken to court on  August 14 without warning and were denied  legal counsel. Apparently, they were sentenced to five years hard labour but were  then deported the next day to Bangkok.  It is shocking than they were detained  and charged with "inciting unrest" when  their actions were limited to the passing out  of business card size leaflets. The cards, designed to be non-provocative bore the simple message: "We are your friends from  around the world. We have not forgotten  you. We support your hopes for human  rights and democracy. 8888—Don't Forget—Don't give up."  Reportedly, embassy officials of the  countries with activists involved, except  Malaysia, swiftly came to the aid of their  own nationals, supporting their rights to  show solidarity with the people of Burma  and the pro-democracy movement.  The Malaysian government, however,  condemned its citizens for their actions.  According to press reports, Malaysian Foreign Minister Badawi responded to letters  of protest by saying that the three  Malaysians should not have broken the  laws of Burma and therefore must pay the  penalty. (Of the ASEAN nations, Malaysia  gives the most support to the military  SLORC government that has refused to  hand over power to the democratic government which won a landslide victory in  the 1990 elections.)  Burmese officials are said to have been  extremely worried about the message they  would be sending to the Burmese people if  the activists went unpunished for their actions. The SLORC has a bloody record of  human rights violations including rape,  torture, murder, persecution of religious  minorities, and almost total censorship of  dissent.  The SLORC was also facing additional  pressure from Aung San Suu Kyii, leader  of the National League for Democracy  (NLD), who was detained in her minivan  near military barricades for two weeks, after being blocked from making a visit with  supporters in a village outside Rangoon.  August 21 was the deadline set by the  opposition parties for the military junta to  convene the parliament elected in 1990.  Tensions rose in Burma as the deadline  passed unheeded and the NLD announced  its plans to convene its own parliament.  It is crucial that the international community maintain pressure on the Burmese  government to acknowledge the will of the  people of Burma.  compiled by Ednoi Boun and  Wei Yuen Fong   Jane Doe wins big,  finally  It took more than 11 years and a long  fought battle, but the woman known as "Jane  Doe" has finally received some justice.  On July 3, Madam Justice Jean  MacFarland of the Ontario Court, General  Division accepted Jane Doe's allegation that  the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force  (MTPF) had used her and other women as  "bait" to catch a serial rapist; that their investigation into the "Balcony Rapist" case  was motivated and informed by sexist rape  mythology and discriminatory sexual  stereotypes, and that their conduct was  "grossly negligent."  The court ordered the police to pay  Jane Doe more than $220,000 in damages.  Jane Doe was raped onAugust 24,1986  by a man who had climbed into her second floor apartment via her balcony. Before  the rape, police knew there was a serial rapist attacking and raping women in Jane  Doe's downtown Toronto neighbourhood.  Although there were many similarities in  the assaults, the police made a deliberate  decision not to warn women in the area.  In ruling that the police were liable for  negligence, Justice MacFarland said the  MTPF failed utterly in their duty to protect  women. She found that the police did not  take the crime of sexual assault seriously,  and that the reason women living in the  area were not warned was that police believed the women would become "hysterical" and jeopardize their investigation.  SEPTEMBER 1998 What's News  Drive to unionize  McDonald's a success  Two Grade 12 students in Squamish,  British Columbia have won their bid to start  a union at the McDonald's restaurant in  their hometown. Last month, the BC Labour Relations Board ruled in favour of the  young women, rejecting the opposition put  forward by the multinational fast food corporation.  Jennifer Weibe and Tessa Lowinger approached the Canadian Auto Workers in  July about the possibility of unionizing  their workplace. The two say they took up  the fight, not because of money, but rather  because of a belief that all employees deserve "respect and dignity and safe working conditions." Both women had had bad  experiences with their employer.  Weibe and Lowinger's victory means  that the Squamish McDonald's will be the  chain's first restaurant in BC to become  unionized. However, it is not the first time  a McDonald's restaurant has been faced  with demands for unionization.  Last year, the Brotherhood of Teamsters  tried to organize the 43 employees in a  McDonald's south of Montreal. Their efforts to certify the outlet were thwarted  when McDonald's management closed the  outlet down.  The Brotherhood of Teamsters are  again trying to get union certification for  another McDonald's restaurant, this time  in Montreal. They may have more success  with this bid, as recently Quebec's labour  commissioner ruled that management of  the outlet had tried to tamper with its employee list by adding more anti-union  workers to its staff.  CAW organizers say they are not worried that the owners of the Squamish  McDonald's will shut it down as it is the  sole outlet in Squamish, which is on the  route to the popular tourist site, Whistler.  Settlement for  women at P4W  Four years after six female inmates  filed a civil suit against Corrections Canada  for being strip-searched and bound by a  mostly male emergency response team at  the Prison for Women (P4W) in Kingston,  Ontario, a settlement has finally been  reached.  Although details of the settlement are  not being released because of a non-disclo  sure clause, sources have told a Kingston  television station that each of the six women  will receive around $50,000. Although a  substantial sum, no compensation was allocated to address the physical and psychological effects those involved in the incident  still suffer.  In 1996 a federal inquiry into the incident, headed by Justice Louise Arbour, released a damning report of the actions of  corrections officials. Arbour called the  treatment of the women cruel and degrading and said it breached individual rights  in ways that would not be accepted by  judges, lawyers and the courts. As well as  being strip-searched and assaulted, several  of the women had been left in segregation  for up to nine months.  Although the head of the correctional service at the time of the incident has since resigned,  many staff and correctional officers at P4W remain outraged over the settlement  A free-flow of anti-  choice literature?  Much to the dismay of pro-choice activists, the mass mailings by anti-choice  groups to British Columbian health care  providers requesting identification of doctors who provide abortion services will not  be prosecuted under the Access to Abortion  Services Act. The Attorney General's office  has refused to pursue the case because of  "insufficient evidence."  The anti-choice groups behind the letters say they sent out the mailings so that  their supporters could specifically choose  a doctor who did not perform abortions for  their own personal healthcare. However,  given the growing violence against abortion service providers and clinics, the potential danger behind compiling and circulating such a list is all too evident.  Many doctors and the pro-choice community immediately expressed outrage  over the fact that the lists could be used to  identify individuals in order to target them  with harassment and even violence.  In spite of the Access to Abortion Services Act, which prohibits anti-choice literature within the bubble zones protecting  clinics and doctors' offices, at least four  more mailings have surfaced since pro-  choice activists brought the matter to authorities. Most of them use stationery from  the radical American anti-choice group,  Life Dynamics Inc., based in Texas.  Some samples of quotes taken off Life  Dynamics stationery are: "Abortion: The  Red-Light District of Medicine;" and  "Abortion: The Quickest Way to Destroy  Your Medical Career." Still, Life Dynamics  seems tame in comparison to one brochure  which pictures a doctor called "Edgar the  Blade" holding a butcher knife in his office  with the caption: "Stackin' Em Deep, Killin'  'EmCheap-Since 1973."  Pro-CAN (Pro-Choice Action Network), formerly known as the BC Coalition  for Abortion Clinics, is presently working  on several fronts to address the injury and  damages inflicted by these hate letters and  mailings, as well as anti-choice harassment  and violence in general. One example of  hope Pro-CAN identifies is that the more  repeated mailings prove a direct connection to a radical American group, the easier  it may be to prove there is a violation  against the Access to Abortion Services Act.  [Sources: Pro-Choice Press, Summer 1998]  New hope in battle  against AIDS  The transmission of AIDS from mother-  to-child has, up to this year, known a 20 to  25 percent possibility rate. However, some  good news may be on the horizon.  The CCRS/KKAF, the federal commission responsible for coordinating all AIDS-  related research in Switzerland, has discovered that combining Zidovudine (AZT), a  known drug that lowers the risk of mother-  to-child transmission, with a pre-labour  caesarean section, may prevent the transmission of the FflV virus from mother to  child altogether.  Researchers says pre-labour caesarean  section may significantly reduce the  number of baby's born with the virus because the risk of transmission during the  process of natural birth is considerable.  Often mother-to-child transmission  occurs when infected maternal blood is  forced across the placenta during labour,  or the newborn swallows amniotic fluid  after the water breaks, or through prolonged contact of the foetus' delicate skin  with the mother's infectious fluids in the  birth canal. A foetus is only rarely infected  in its mother's womb.  The drug component of the AZT-  caesarean procedure involves the mother  taking AZT pills five times a day for the 12  weeks preceding delivery, and then a drip-  feed during labour. The baby, in turn, takes  the drug for the first six weeks of life.  Further testing is still needed to confirm the viability of the AZT-caesarean combination. However, in Switzerland, doctors  are already offering this program to pregnant women after having monitored and  administered this procedure successfully in  31 birthings. Final doubts should be dispelled with the completion of fifteen studies taking place across the world, including the one sponsored by CCRS/KKAF.  [Source: Positive Women's Network  News, July/August 1998]  Sextrade more stressful than combat  (Not so) Shocking news to report:  "post-traumatic stress disorder" is more  common among sex-trade workers than  troops who've engaged in combat. That's  according to a new study presented last  month at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.  The study, conducted by Melissa  Farley, a psychologist and researcher at the  Kaiser-Permanente Medical Centre in San  Francisco, involved interviews with 475  prostitutes in five countries—the US, South  Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Zambia.  What Farley and her colleagues discovered was that 67 percent of the women interviewed suffered from post-traumatic stress  disorder. That is an extremely high rate when  compared to the less than five percent incidence rate found in the general population.  Even the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder among Vietnam veterans is reported as  being between just 20 and 30 percent.  The sex trade workers interviewed for  the study ranged from ages 12 to 61, and  operated on the streets and in brothels in  several major cities. The vast majority of  the women and girls reported that they had  sustained repeated physical or sexual assaults over the course of their working  lives. Sixty-two percent of the women reported being raped; 73 percent said they  had been assaulted; and 68 percent said  they had been threatened with a weapon.  Farley's study also concluded that the  frequency of post-traumatic stress disorder  among prostitutes did not depend on the  country where they worked or whether  they worked on the streets or in brothels.  [Source: The Globe and Mail]  from CONTRACTED page 4  Under BC's Labour Relations Code, if  a company contracted to provide services  at a particular location loses the contract,  employees are not guaranteed anything,  and will likely be out of their jobs.  That is why the labour movement has  been fighting very hard to amend the provincial legislation to achieve comprehensive successor rights, especially for workers performing contracted out work. As  part of the 1997 provincial government  process to make changes to the labour code,  a number of organizations made submissions strongly arguing for strengthening  the successor rights provisions.  The Vancouver and District Labour  Council stated that "the current law is out  of date in that it fails to effectively encourage and facilitate the retention of collective  bargaining. ...The radical changes taking  place in workplace organization and service delivery modes, plus the weakness of  the code with respect to successor rights,  put workers in  unionized work  places in constant  risk of losing  their jobs, their  collective bargaining rights  and their collective agreements.  In this environment, the law is  neither balanced  nor supportive of  the continuation  of workers rights  previously won..."  Unfortunately, the recent amendment  proposals to the BC Labour Code (Bill 26)  do not contain any provision for successor  rights to cover contracted out workers. While  the Bill calls for critical and long needed improvement to the construction industry, it  fails to protect the  needs of some of  the most vulnerable workers in  the province.  Irma Mohammed, director of women's  programs for the  BC Federation of  Labour says,  "Workers in  janitorial, security guard, and  food services  have their jobs on the line every single day  and the government is ignoring this."  "The BC Federation of Labour will  never accept that hard working low paid  workers, who are mainly women and visible minorities, can be fired so that big business can increase their profits," Mohammed adds. "Our labour code has to do better to protect these workers."  Women workers are being hard hit by  the global economy. Women workers are  working harder and earning less. Low  wage jobs are on the rise. The inclusion of  comprehensive successor rights provisions  in the BC Labour Relations Code will not  eliminate these problems, but it will provide a small amount of dignity for working women.  Phone your NDP MLA and tell her or him  that you want real successor rights included  in the BC Labour Relations Code.  Marion Pollack is an activist in the Canadian  Union of Postal Workers.  graphic from the Everywoman's Almanac,  Toronto Women's Press, 1987  SEPTEMBER 1998 Feature  Lesbian desire in ancient and modern India:  Searching for autonomy  by GitiThadani, as told to Fatima  Jaffer and Veena Gokhale   Giti Thadani's book Sakhiyani: Lesbian  Desire in Ancient and Modern India, published by Cassell in England in 1996, combines  rare and insightful independent research into  past and present lesbian culture in India. It  documents lesbian existence through a careful  study of icons, myths and symbols in paintings, sculptures, carvings, drawings, poetry  and other ancient artefacts. Thadani uncovers  a mass of evidence of a thriving lesbian erotic  almost erased and destroyed by centuries of  patriarchal, religious and colonial efforts. The  book also focuses on contemporary lesbian realities in India, including lesbophobia and forging lesbian space.  Without institutional support or frameworks, Thadani has also captured this history  on slides and in workshop format. Thadani  came to Vancouver in august from New Delhi  via Toronto to give her slide presentation and  to answer questions from an audience of almost  70. The presentation was co-sponsored by  Monsoon: Asian Lesbians and Bisexual  Women of Vancouver; Kinesis, Little Sisters  Book & Art Emporium, and Video In Studios.  Thadani spoke with Kinesis while in  town.  Veena Gokhale: Could you talk about  how you came to write Sakhiyani?  Giti Thadani: It was a long process. I  wrote it over ten years, but the research  began five years before that.  Fatima Jaffer: What was motivating you  to do this work, to even look in the direction of the lesbian erotic?  Thadani: Initially, I just wanted to learn  an older language—Sanskrit—and to explore the histories and traditions of India.  I was brought up in a secular way, like anyone who grows up in Delhi and comes from  a liberal secular world. You may know  something of the liberal politics of the city  and of the struggles in the West and the  "third world" countries.  But I felt I knew nothing about India. I  came from a Left tradition but it wasn't  enough. You get to know a place in a very  structured way; you don't really explore the  history of the place.  After I started travelling in Europe, I  had the feeling there was something historically within me I was not in touch with.  It was part of a process of looking at colonization, but it was also simply a need to  explore and travel in India, to explore at  least one older language in India.  A couple of years later, I bought a second-hand jeep and started taking people  around the country. I financed my travels  in India in those early years by being an  informal taxi driver. I would meet somebody—foreigners and Indians—who  would say, "Take me around."  Throughout, I was also aware of my  own lesbian identity and aware of an  uncomfortability in being in India and not  finding autonomous gender space. I can't  say I was doing the research looking for a  feminist or a lesbian tradition. It was in the  process of travelling and finding out who I  was that I started finding things.  Then what started off as a simple journey ended up becoming much more complex than I ever anticipated. I don't think I  could have seen at the beginning of the research anything that has happened 15 years  hence.  Gokhale: What do you mean by "autonomous gender space?"  Thadani:  Fifteen years  ago when I  was growing  up, there was  little room to  be an autonomous woman.  The basic middle-class thing  used to be: you «..'  get your education; you do  a Masters degree; you get  married at  some point;  you have middle-class ideals—a good  career, a two-  children family. That's the  value system  we were  handed down,  even in the  leftist and  feminist circles.  It was difficult to have  an autonomous identity.  Even a small  thing like sitting in a cafe  alone and  drinking a cup  of coffee was  not done. Everyone in my  generation has  been subsequently married off. When  I first tried to  find a place of  my own to live  in, it was almost impossible. Now I  know a lot of  women who  live on their  own. It is  easier now.  Gokhale:  In Bombay, I  got the impression a single woman is  viewed with active suspicion. A single  woman friend in a city in India tells me  she's not invited out much socially. She's  not a social "outcast" but verging on it. And  this is in educated middle-class circles.  Thadani: I have a cousin who feels the  same. She's in her 30s too, and it's difficult  Miniature painting of the Rajasthan School,  (from the collection of GitiThadani)  for her as a single woman. Everyone in her  generation is married and tends to move  in couple or family spaces. The places I get  invited to as a single woman tend to end  up being more of foreigners.  Jaffer: That  happens here  on a different  level. If you  live as an out  South Asian  lesbian, you  don't fit into  South Asian  space; but in  lesbian space,  you don't fit in  as a South  Asian. It  sounds like the  process      of  writing    the  book was also  ^   quite a journey  §*  of finding the  a   autonomous  ■5   woman iden-  kj   tity that once  j^  existed    and  2   was erased...  -g_ Thadani: I  started looking  for the autonomous goddess  I traditions and  m within that,  definitely the  autonomous  woman's  identity existed and that  became a journey on its  own. I was  completely  driven. I don't  know now,  when I look  back, how I  managed to  do all that I  did. I didn't  think about  where I was  going to find  the resources  for the next  journey. I  didn't care.  Gokhale:  Was it the language that influenced you  to look at the  images the  way you did?  Thadani:  When I started this work, I was looking at  traditions of philosophy and language and  grammar—what their notions of language  and philosophies were, how they constructed grammar and what notions of  grammar they had.  I started off with a very different  project. Even when I first saw the temples  and the iconography, it didn't click. I had  no context to put the iconographies in come from a very secular  context. I saw myself primarily as an intellectual and certainly didn't see myself as  working with cosmology or anything of  that sort, or see the links of sexual identity.  Strangely enough, what helped me was  the work I was doing writing cinema criticism and film history. I had gone to Berlin  for a few months and was looking at different kinds of cinemas in Germany. As part  of the research, I got a scholarship to learn  German. I wrote a project proposal and sent  it around Germany.  I did a sort of historiography of images,  looking at the way cultures passed representation through images. I must have seen  600-700 films in Berlin, a space in which  there was a lot happening on sexual politics and the cultural, in terms of fascism.  This work gave me some of the tools  to look at the temples in India. I started to  ask, "What is happening with representation here? This is not religious space in the  way one has the notion of the secular and  the religious. That sense is split, and this is  actually cultural space, a space of representation, a symbology." When I started really  looking, I realized this is film...on stone.  Jaffer: When did the idea to put this in  book form begin?  Thadani: It was a hard process. I tried  to get the material out within India. I found  there was no context for it. There was no  space to write anything about what I was  doing in any of the feminist publications.  In fact, when I started learning Sanskrit, the  feedback from the progressive community  was that I was crazy, that even the travelling I was doing was crazy, not political,  and had no social relevance.  Jaffer: Because it was about going back  into the past?  Thadani: Yes. And at that time, there  was little space for any historical cultural  work. The historians worked on colonial  history, from the 19th Century on. I was  unconsciously taking on a form of de-colonization but not within the simplistic notions of the East and West.  As well, the feminist movement in India had been labelled "Western" from the  beginning, and so the feminists felt the "lesbian thing" could further discredit it. What  I was doing was viewed very suspiciously.  But I did have some support from people who felt passionately for what I was  doing. I did workshops in the mountains  that were actually set up by a British lesbian who had been living in India for seven  or eight years, working on a small project.  The women there were looking at gender issues and had started a women's program. She invited me to do a workshop on  mythology. It was successful so they kept  calling me back. I did workshops for this  particular NGO for five years. Then two-  three other people heard of it and I did  workshops with other NGOs in India. But  it hardly paid.  Jaffer: Were you financing your work  with grants as well?  SEPTEMBER 1998 Feature  Thadani: I got my first grant about six  years after I started my research. I had already written quite a bit, and in 1989-90,1  offered it to the feminist publishing house,  Kali for Women. They didn't refuse it, but  sent me a letter saying they would contact  me and never did. Then they said I was the  one not interested in contacting them. So I  called them up and met with one of them  on the fly and showed her what two chapters of the book. Again, they said they  would contact me but never did.  It was clear they weren't interested in  publishing it. Of course they didn't officially put that out because it would open  them up to critiques of homophobia. But I  think they felt "the lesbian thing" was too  complicated and so didn't want to touch  the book.  Jaffer: That must have been quite a  blow because Kali is among the most progressive publishing houses in India.  Tliadani: It's certainly the only feminist  publishing house.  Gokhale: At that point, were you beginning to connect with a lesbian community,  beyond your immediate friends?  Thadani: I was in total isolation. Not  only was there absolutely no support; there  was hostility. I had no one to discuss what  I was doing with. But I felt I just had to go  on. Doing this work actually became my  only sustenance; it was what kept me alive  in India. There was no way I was going into  the closet—I've never been in the closet. I  knew I was a lesbian since I was young. I  had had access to lesbian and gay literature from the West and I never had a problem coming out to myself.  Jaffer: I imagine there are others who  felt like you, but didn't have access to exploring their autonomous woman or lesbian identities.  Gokhale: Could you talk a bit about  your educational and class background?  Thadani: I dropped out of school when  I was about 15-and-a-half. That was the end  of my institutional education. It turned out  to be a good thing because I don't think I  would have been able to do this work had  I remained in institutions. I would probably have become a mathmetician or something. But in dropping out, I also dropped  out of any peer group activity. In a sense, I  dropped out of my social class privilege.  I played table tennis professionally for  a few years to make a living. I liked the  game but didn't like competition—it was  killing something in me so I stopped. I did  odd jobs, bits of sports journalism here and  there. I became a kind of survivor.  In my 20s, I went abroad because my  mother was working for an airline and  could get me tickets. I didn't know anyone.  In France, I faked a social security number  and did odd jobs any migrant worker  would do. I'd get paid and save the money  up to take back home, where you can  stretch that money out for a long time. I  survived by going back and forth for a short  while. Eventually I started getting invited  abroad for my work.  Jaffer: Were you continuing the research  throughout this time?  Thadani: Yes. And when I started getting support for my work, it came from  outside India, from Europe.  Jaffer: How was word about you getting out?  Thadani: In 1991-92,1 founded Sakhifa  lesbian collective in New Delhi.] It started off  when the gay magazine Bombay Dost came  to Delhi and said "We want some participation from the women in Delhi, so we'll  give you space to write in the magazine—  a page, two pages, anything." [Bombay Dost  was formed in 1988-89 and was the first public forum on alternative sexuality in India.]  Prior to that, there had been a small  lesbian group with a primarily social purpose, but it was inactive. We spread the  word out about the space in Bombay Dost,  but nobody was interested. Four of us felt  something should be done, and eventually  two of us ended up writing the piece, and  a gay man offered us a PO Box address.  It was really the first public statement  on lesbians that ever came out in India. The  article basically said Sakhi existed to be a  network and a platform. It was sort of a  rhetorical statement saying that lesbianism  has never been seen as a political issue, even  within India, except for within Bombay Dost.  Gokhale: So did the women from the  small towns say in their letters how they  heard about Sakhi, since one could assume  only an urban, middle-class audience  would see Bombay Dost?  Thadani: And Bombay Dost had difficulty even finding outlets. It must have  been through word of mouth.  The letters that came in—written from  places like Allahabad—were written by  women who couldn't speak English well.  You could see clearly their main language  was Hindi or something from the south.  Basically, the letters were about looking for partners. About 80-85 percent of  detail, miniature painting, National Museum,  New Delhi, Kangra  in the Left and feminist movements, and  that we hope to create a platform for political networking and visibility.  Jaffer: Homophobia is quite common  within Left  and feminist move-  m e n t s  worldwide.  Thadani:  Yes. Of  course they  were very  hostile to it  and felt  very threatened by it.  Then  the letters  started  pouring in. Initially we got a lot more mail  from South Asian lesbians living outside  the country who subscribed to Bombay Dost.  Then the first Indian letters started coming  in. There were no letters from the big cities; they all came from the small towns. And  you know, we'd been hearing this is a middle class thing, this comes from class privilege and so on.  At first, the Indian letters trickled in,  because Sakhi wasn't really publicized  "It's a myth to think that  friendships between  women are tolerated by  society—  they're tolerated only up to  a certain point."  - Giti Thadani -  them were married. They called themselves  "married lesbians" where marriage was the  duty, and lesbianism was what they actually wanted. We said we could circulate  their addresses if  they wanted  so they  could communicate  with each  other, which  is what they  started doing.  W e  started a list  of ad-  d resse s,  both international and local. So the first network was  this letter network.  Then in 1992, a room in the house I was  living in was going empty and we decided  to rent it. We thought we'd take it and use  it partly as a guest house because we should  have some kind of lesbian space.  We got together and showed a couple  of films, and got the local lesbians to come  out. But even for that there was a lot of hostility because, even though there were no  other facilities in Delhi, if they allied them  selves with us, they would lose the support of the lesbians in the feminist movement.  Jaffer: So it was the lesbians within the  feminist movement who were also saying  lesbianism is not a political issue?  Thadani: Yes, and that it should be kept  separate...  Gokhale: ...that it's a privilege...  Thadani: ...and that it would endanger  the respectability of the feminist movement. A lot of the lesbians within the feminist movement had very professional positions and were making good funds.  Jaffer: So they weren't really very out  within the movement?  Thadani: They were hardly out. It was  sort of known within certain circles but they  certainly weren't out. Or if one of them  made a public statement, she would come  out as a married woman and say her husband was very nice. She would certainly  not talk about her girlfriend. There was a  complete double identity. For the public,  you were married. Then you have your  own private little world where you could  have your lesbian affairs which would  never make it out.  It was crazy, the amount of women  who were in really high positions like professors and so on. Or they would come out  while they were in the West...  Jaffer: ...or wouldn't come out because  they have families in India?  Thadani: They would even go to lesbian and gay bars as long as nobody in India knew about it. Then, when they went  back to India, they would go back into the  closet. It was depressing and very hard because the worst homophobia was coming  from women like that—women who are accountants or lawyers who say they don't  want to be anywhere close to this because  it'll endanger their professional lives.  Jaffer: In terms of what we are talking  about now, your book directly challenges  the myths firstly that sexuality is not political, and secondly, that it's a Western  thing, because it does actually exist historically in India.  Gokhale: Is there a difference depending on the age group in terms of women  who do identify as lesbian versus those that  won't? For example, is there a difference  between women in their 20s, versus those  in their 30s or 40s who are already married  or have children?  Thadani: The younger generation is certainly more open and there's a context to  coming out now that wasn't there then. Two  things have happened. One is that the  whole political paradigm has changed.  When I was in my 20s, a lot of the feminism came from a very Maoist background  where in fact you had to work for the  masses. Sexuality was not an issue and in  fact was even more repressed.  The other thing is that AIDS has played  a major role in introducing the subject.  There was this whole thing about how they  were going to ban sex with foreigners  [laughter]. I don't know how they were going to do it. And then there was this rule  that if you're going to stay in the country  more than three months, you had to have a  AIDS test. Again, there is this whole thing  of the West as this dirty sexual hotbed and  anyone who goes out becomes corrupted  with these values.  seeTHADANIpage15  SEPTEMBER 1998 Feature  Reproductive rights and bodily integrity:  Women, not fetal containers  by Kate Murphy  The news made the front page of The  Globe and Mail: The Supreme Court of  Canada ruled [on October 31, 1997] that  courts cannot control a pregnant woman's  conduct even if her behaviour poses a risk  to the fetus. The decision centered around a  young Native woman whom a court in Winnipeg had ordered into drug treatment because she sniffed glue during her pregnane}.  The court's order was eventually overturned,  but the debate over the fetus' rights versus  the woman's autonomy continued right up  until the Supreme Court verdict.  Reaction to the verdict was mixed.  Right-to-life groups, as expected, decried  it. An editorial in the Globe, a paper that  has taken the "family values" position on  everything from daycare to single motherhood, spoke of the need for a "law to protect the unborn"—that is, from women who  have to earn the right to legal abortion by  embracing incubator status during pregnancies they carry to term.  On a more thoughtful and less punitive  note, some Aboriginal groups, noted Globe  columnist Margaret Wente, worried that the  decision would lead to an increase in the  number of children affected by fetal alcohol  syndrome, a significant problem in many  Native communities. Feminists and reproductive rights groups, on the other hand,  hailed the Supreme Court's ruling as a victory for women. Women would no longer  be treated as fetal containers, they said.  While I share concerns about the effects  of prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs  on children, I agree with women's and reproductive rights advocates that  the Supreme Court made a good—  and in my opinion long overdue—  decision.  First, the ruling affirms women's status as autonomous beings  as opposed to fetal carriers, and  guarantees at least to some extent  freedom from unwanted bodily intrusion during pregnancy. This second impact will hopefully prevent Canada  from sliding down a slippery slope into the  fetal rights scenario that has unfolded in  the United States over the past two decades  or so. Canadians who care about women's  freedom must make sure that such a scenario never happens here.  The fetal rights debate in the US, explains political scientist Cynthia Daniels in  her informative book At Women's Expense,  has covered three major areas: forced medical intervention (generally caesarian sections, but cervical stitching done to prevent  miscarriage and blood transfusion as well);  exclusion of women of "childbearing age"  from jobs deemed dangerous to fetuses  because of exposure to toxins; and legal  persecution of women who drink alcohol  or use illegal drugs while pregnant.  A smattering of fetal rights cases has  also come up, such as that of a mother of  two preschool-aged children who was  charged in the death of her brain-damaged  baby because during her pregnancy she  had, among other things, disobeyed her  doctor's orders to stay off her feet (a nearly  impossible mandate to fulfill while caring  for young children, as anyone with a mini  mum of baby-sitting experience would  know).  At times the fetal rights movement has  gone from the ludicrous to the tragic. In  1987, a woman in Washington DC died following a court-ordered caesarian section  meant to "rescue" her extremely premature  fetus (who, by the way, did not survive). A court later ruled that forcing the woman to undergo the  procedure was wrong, but  some commentators still advocate forcing women to  have caesareans against their  will.  These   and   many  other cases present a  picture of what the Canadian      Supreme  Court's decision will      j  hopefully nip in the  bud.  Fetal rights advocates claim to be con  cerned   about   children—a familiar line  used by, among others,  singer Anita Bryant in her  "Save the Children" campaign against gay teachers in  California.  However, a number of  tators have suggested that concern for children is not the only, or even the primary,  driving force behind the fetal rights mania.  More plausible motives cited include: the  Interestingly, however, women in "female" jobs, such as nursing, faced no such  restrictions (nor did they receive any protection from toxins they might encounter  in the workplace) even though these  women, too, were exposed to chemicals  that posed risks to their fetuses. Were the  "unborn children" (the term used by  many fetal rights advocates) of  women in male-dominated  professions more valuable  than those of women in traditionally female ones? It  isn't hard to suspect  that the real motive  behind the exclusion  of women from the  former type of jobs  was more an attempt to keep  women "in  their  place"  than to  protect  children.  Even a glance  at forced caesareans  makes one wonder  whether their proponents are really so  concerned about the "unborn  children" they seek to rescue from their recalcitrant mothers. For example, Patrick  Murphy, a Chicago city official who sought  to force a woman to undergo a caesarian  A woman in Washington DC died  following a court-ordered caesarian section  meant to "rescue" her extremely premature fetus  [The fetus also died.]  courts' greater identification with fetuses  than with their mainly non-white mothers  (women of colour are disproportionately  targeted in fetal rights cases); attempts to  regain the "selfless motherhood" ideal that  women have supposedly left by the wayside in their rush out of the home and into  the workplace; and discomfort with women's ability to control their reproductive  lives through contraception and abortion.  While all three arguments have their  merits, I agree most with the third. The fetal rights movement seems like a last-ditch  attempt to wrest control of women's reproduction out of their hands. More broadly,  the fetal rights crusade can be seen as an  effort to control women's lives in general,  not only reproductively and sexually, but  economically and socially as well.  The practice of excluding presumably  fertile women from "dangerous" jobs is a  case in point. A number of employers in the  1970s and 80s pushed for laws barring  women of childbearing age from positions  in which their fetuses might be exposed to  toxins. For example, some companies forbade fertile women from assembling car  batteries in case the lead from the batteries  damaged any of the women's fetuses.  after she refused to do so for religious reasons, said that the woman should be allowed to give birth vaginally but that she  should be hauled into court afterwards.  Punishing a woman for daring to exercise  her reproductive freedom rather than saving a fetus appeared to be Murphy's primary motivation. He also indirectly maligned the abortion rights movement by accusing the woman's defenders of considering the fetus a "clump of cells".  The fact that women cannot be relegated to fetal carrier status apparently enrages the fetal rights lobby.  As writer Ellen Willis notes in an essay about the anti-abortion movement, sex  has a way of rearing its head in discussions  about fetuses and their rights. Part of the  furore over the refusal of some women to  undergo caesarian sections stems from the  fact that a significant portion of them (50  percent according to one survey) are not  married.  One obstetrician who believes such  women should be considered "felons"  writes with great indignation that some patients who refuse abdominal delivery want  to escape bearing a child conceived in a  non-marital relationship. In other words,  he is upset that women are, as Native  American poet Chrystos cleverly puts it,  "Like the anti-abortionists, this obstetrician  views the fetus not as an individual but as  a "punishment for sex." His outrage stems  as much from women's sexuality as from  their reproductive rights.  The issue of legally prosecuting  women who use drugs or drink alcohol  while pregnant causes me more ambivalence than that of forcing women to undergo caesarian sections or excluding them  from work places. While I do not object to  a woman earning her living as she sees fit  or refusing an operation that fetal rights  advocates dismiss as minor inconvenience  but that in reality has a mortality rate at  least double that of vaginal delivery, it is  harder for me (a non-drinker who's never  even had the urge to try pot) to defend a  woman's "right" to use illegal drugs.  Still, I would stop short of supporting  the legal prosecution of drug-using women,  for several reasons. First, punishing them  for their behaviour might lead to a slippery  slope that would open the way for other  forms of fetal rights legislation. Second, just  as in the case of forced caesareans, most of  the women prosecuted for exposing their  fetuses to drugs are women of colour and  Aboriginal women, even though their rate  of drug use does not differ from that of  white women. My final argument is that,  as American writer Katha Pollitt correctly  notes, while fetal rights activists are eager  to slam women for using drugs, they're less  eager to fight for these women's access to  treatment.  It was not until 1993 that the  New York state court of appeals  ruled that drug rehabilitation  centres could not refuse pregnant women as clients, which  many centres had done. Those  concerned about fetal exposure  to drugs might better spend their  efforts trying to ensure women's  access to appropriate treatment  than hauling them into court after the fact.  While the Canadian Supreme Court's  decision was a relief and a triumph, we  shouldn't think that it will remove once and  for all the matter of fetal rights. First, the  ruling may well be challenged. A case  about to go before the Supreme Court regarding a woman who, while pregnant  supposedly "failed to avoid a car accident"  that led to her son's disability, could have  serious negative implications for women's  rights if the court rules that the woman can  be "sued" for prenatal injuries.  We can concur with fetal rights activists that drug abuse by pregnant women is  a social problem. The means of dealing with  this problem, however, should lie in facilitating women's access to drug treatment  and working to end the cases of substance  abuse rather than prosecuting pregnant  addicts. Finally, we must always be vigilant and ensure that the reproductive rights  of all women are respected.  This article was first published in the July  1998 issue of off our backs, a monthly  newsjournal by, for, and about women, published in Washington, DC.  Graphic by Hilary Paynter.  SEPTEMBER 1998 Fringe  1998 Vancouver Fringe Festival:  Women on the verge of...  by leanne Johnson   It's the 14th Annual Vancouver Fringe  Festival and the press kits are piling-up to  the rafters. Lots and lots of glossy photos and  exclamation marks bear witness to this year's  Fringe which runs from September 10 to 20.  Shows will be located on or around Commercial Drive—in Grandview Park, Havana  Restaurant, the local Legion Hall, the WISE  Hall, the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, the  Firehall Theatre, the Blinding Light, Cavern,  and the GastownActor's Studio. For full details of show dates and times, look them up  in your Fringe Guide (available in those  ghastly green coffee shops that I refuse to  name but they pop up everywhere like  mushrooms—there's probably one in your  basement right now).  Seventy two troupes will be making  their way here from all over the globe. There  will be over four hundred performances.  Now apparently this means that "every 15  minutes a new show will start somewhere  in the city," so remember to keep your head  down. This year, the Fringe organizers plan  to make the Drive a "Banner Republic." I  wonder what the residents think about this?  It seems the Fringe has moved into the  visual art game, and hired some five to 12-  year old artists to make banners to liven  up the old neighbourhood. I wonder when  the kids get to mount their own Fringe pro  duction?  This is the first Vancouver Fringe for  new executive director, Karen Planden. She  wants to put the "festival" into the Vancouver Fringe and according to the press kit,  she's encouraging her staff to reach for the  moon. (I guess they've made their way to  the top of the street lamps.) Not much else  to report about changes in direction for the  Vancouver Fringe, except for a new in-  house ticketing system and new computers for the office. [Call the Fringe Festival at  257-0366for dates, times, locations and tickets.J  Anyhow, nothing will deter our intrepid reviewers from attending some fine  work by women artists which you can read  in our next issue. First, here's a preview...  leanne Johnson is a Vancouver based writer and  theatre goer.  WHY WE HAVE A BODY  Random Acts brings another  production to Vancouver's Fringe  Festival this year with Why We  Have a Body, a comedy by Claire  Chafee. Formed by Jackie Crossland  and Nora D. Randall, Random  Acts has produced original stories  about lesbians and working women  for more than ten years. As an independent company, Random Acts  has created much of their own work  in conjunction with theatre festivals and their own credit cards.  Given their financial constraints,  they have produced a significant  body of work, including some  larger productions, like The Fairy  Princess and the Princess Fool  and Collateral Damage.  leanne Johnson had a chance  to talk to Jackie Crossland over the  phone about Why We Have a  Body, a play directed by Crossland  and performed by Erin Graham,  Rosanne Johnson, Nora D. Randall  and Taylor Stutchbury.  leanne Johnson: Until this  year, you have produced your  own work. Why did you decide  to produce a play written by someone else?  Jackie Crossland: Well, Rosanne Johnson  and I read [Claire Chafee's play] in an anthology and we really both liked it. It was a  fresh perspective and it had some really interesting inter-generational things happening in it. What happens to relationships over  time is a really big subject matter. This is a  real artistic theme that interests me more and  more as I get older.  Also, we had never intended to produce just our own works, and had been  interested in other people's work before.  Johnson: So this is an expansion for  your company?  Crossland: Well, more of a moving out We  have had larger productions than this play but  we are interested in working with others.  Johnson: What's it like working on  somebody else's script?  Crossland: This play has been published and produced, so it was very  straightforward. You just write and ask for  permission, and as long as you don't want  to change the script, you don't need to do  anything else. It's much more straight forward than it used to be to produce lesbian  plays. Before, the work was a first production and the playwright was more involved.  The women of Why We Have a Body (left to right): Erin Graham, Taylor Stutchbury, Rosanne  Johnson, Jackie Crossland, Nora D. Randall  We are finally getting to a stage where producing work by lesbians is much easier.  Johnson: Is it easier to produce and direct somebody else's work?  Crossland: We do two kinds of productions. Storytelling and theatre. Storytelling  just involves us [Crossland and Randall],  but when you produce a play, it involves  others. You get to work with talented people, and everybody can get behind it. I like  writing, the whole process around it. When  you have a script, you have to honour the  work as written. There is still a matter of  interpretation, but there isn't any squabbling about the words. As a director, it's just  about the staging and the performers. I  don't have to think about structure. When  you mount a first production, the actors  have so much input into the script. They  have to feel comfortable with the words,  but when it has been produced, it is ready.  Johnson: You first produced this play  last November and performed it at the  Havana Restaurant...  Crossland: Yes. We really enjoyed doing  it. It was exciting and frightening. We didn't  want to produce in a festival setting because  we felt it was important to produce independently to find out who our audience is.  In a festival, you get theatre lovers, but you  don't find out about your community and  whether they like what you are doing.  It was frightening because we paid for  it on our credit cards. It was a success and  we paid all our bills. It made us very happy  to see all the people come out and recommend it to their friends. It was an unexpected success and we could see real support for what we were doing.  Johnson: What's it like doing a second  production of the play?  Crossland: Well, the second production  is different from the first. It's great to revisit  the production [with the same crew]. You see  things from a different perspective. It's an  ongoing development, and you can see the  different layers of the play. It's like the play  itself, everybody is investigating in it.  Johnson: Tell us more about the play.  Crossland: The play is a comedy and it's  funny in the way I like. If s like life, full of  great and horrendous moments. Everybody  is searching and it has a mystical edge to it.  The mother is an explorer and she's there but  she is also absent. Her daughters are trying  to sort their lives out. One daughter is an investigator; the other robs convenience stores.  Add a heterosexually married paleontologist  lover and you have a lot of questions. If s about the time when  you realize you are an adult and  are separate from your parent.  Johnson: You mentioned a  credit card, doesn't Random  Acts receive funding?  Crossland: I haven't really  investigated funding for Random Acts, but I have worked in  theatre companies and have an  idea of whafs available. I know  that Nora and myself qualify as  individual artists but I don't  think there is funding available  for the kind of work that Random Acts does. Besides with  funding there is always criteria,  £ and we just wanna do what we  ,g want to do and work with the  - people we choose. We want to  2 make our own statement about  § our cultural and community  ig» values. Funding can limit that,  ' 2 but working on a shoestring  -§ budget can also be limiting. Fortunately I have a low-tech aesthetic.  Johnson: Well, doesn't the lack  of funding keep your work small  and, in general, the work of other  women in the community, small?  Crossland: Well, not small; we have  made larger productions, but we won't be  playing the Ford Theatre any time soon, for  sure. Besides, we want to be available to  people not necessarily fundable and Equity  [an association which represents actors] ain't  exactly crawling with out-lesbians yet. But  if we wanted to do something, funding  wouldn't stop us. We would do it. Nora and  I like working. It feeds our writing, and we  write about working women. We are influenced by our community and friends.  Johnson: Whafs in store for RandomAds?  Crossland: We called ourselves Random  Acts because we are open to everything. We  are looking forward to exploring local writers. At times we are more active than others,  but Random Acts continues. We'll be back  with the persistence of women. We hope everybody comes to see the play.  Why We Have a Body will be performed  at the Gastown Actors Studio, 138 East  Cordova St.  more FRINGE next three pages  SEPTEMBER 1998 EXCURSION: Concerto for Pianist,  Piano and Bench  presented by Vivienne Wang and SFU  Contemporary Arts  created and performed by Vivienne Wang  Forms overlapping. However, you encounter Vivienne Wang's Excursion, it  promises to take you on an exciting journey of movement, music, sound.  Trained as a concert pianist and composer at the National Taiwan Academy of  the Arts and at Brandon University, Wang  stretches (literally) her talents with her submission to this year's Fringe Festival, jumping between playing the piano and acting  through a range of characters.  Drawing from the many layers of  meaning in American composer Samuel  Barber's "Excursions, Op. 20," Wang's  theatre-concert (or concert theatre) tells the  story of migration. Over the course of the  60-minute solo piece—which Wang describes as a comedy with serious issues in  it—the audience travels across the Pacific  Ocean with a tango dancer, an islander, a  stewardess, a cowboy and a clown.  Wang incorporates the piano, not only  as an instrument but an object as well.  "When I position the piano differently, it  becomes different things. From a spectator's point of view, it can look like a news  desk, a tango partner, a sail boat... and a  grand piano."  Many musical motifs also occur  throughout Excursion to enhance the viewer's experience. At the core of the piece (not  surprisingly) is the sound and feel of the  ocean.  Another interesting element in Wang's  piece is her use of spoken language. As an  example, through the character of the stewardess, Wang migrates between English  and Mandarin to make the journey from  East to West clearer. "Even for those who  do not understand Mandarin, incorporating it into the piece creates a musicality and  an emotional impact," says Wang.  "Through text in English and Mandarin,  movement and music, I can communicate  with a multilingual, multicultural audience."  It was her own journey to Simon Fraser  University that led Wang down the path of  theatre performance. She says her interdisciplinary focus for a Masters of Fine Arts  degree (which she is still working on) inspired her to begin creating and performing original works with an emphasis on  multicultural issues in Vancouver, and to  integrate concert performance, electronic  soundscape and theatre.  "I am interested in how I can reveal  the musical subtext in an interpreter's mind  and to stage that theatrically. In the process of playing the piano, I use the image to  help me make the musical layers more  rich," says Wang. "Theatre performance is  more concrete and a more direct way to  communicate with the audience. A lot of  musical performance is very abstract. I'm  hoping to see how this theatrical moment  affects the listener's experience."  Excursion is not the first concert-theatre piece Wang has created, although her  previous works were much more modest  in size, ranging from 10 to 15 minutes. Excursion itself began as a shorter piece.  Last summer, Wang workshopped that  version with her peers at SFU. From there,  she began collaborating with directors  Mallory Catlett and Jennifer Rozylo, sound  designer Gabriel Alden and lighting designer Jacob Zimmer.  The piece evolved and so did Wang  herself. She started receiving training in  &  physical theatre, and says her work with  Catlett, who is also a dancer, brought many  dynamics to Excursion, making it more  physical than she first imagined it would  be. "Many things about staging and transitions are very different for a theatre person from a music person. We tried out different things to arrive at the current version of the piece," says Wang.  Wang openly admits that Excursion is  a demanding piece. "It is very challenging,  physically and emotionally," she says.  "And yes, I actually do get inside the  piano."  Vivienne Wang will be performing Excursion at the Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E.  Cordova St.  - Agnes Huang -  IT'S UNCANNY  Friends for almost two decades, Alison  Goldie and Kath Burlinson finally got a chance  to work together again when they made the  big decision to drop all their other commitments and form the Weird Sisters Theatre  Company. Goldie had been working as a BBC  TV presenter, stand-up comic and radio broadcaster, while Burlinson was a writer, performer  and lecturer at the University of  Southhampton.  It's Uncanny is the Weird Sisters'first  production, and Goldie and Burlinson have  been touring the show internationally since  they launched it at the Edinburgh Festival last  year. Kelly Haydon caught up with the Weird  Sisters while they were doing their thing at  the Edmonton Fringe Festival. They had already done the rounds at the Winnipeg and  Saskatoon Fringes and were planning to stop  off at the Victoria Fringe before landing in  Vancouver.  Kelly Haydon: Can you tell us a bit  about yourselves and how you came to  form the Weird Sisters Theatre Company?  Alison Goldie: Kath and I have been  friends for 19 years. We went to university together, and did a comedy act together for three years after we graduated.  We haven't worked with each other for  over ten years but we knew there was a  pressing need to create a project together.  That's how It's Uncanny was born.  Haydon: You say you had a pressing  need, could you expand on that?  Kath Burlinson: It was something both  of us were feeling. At the time, I was working in a university and Al was doing corn-  Nora D. Randall (top) and Erin Graham in Why We Have a Body  edy improvisation and various kinds of  work on TV and radio. We had to wait quite  a long time because of our various work  commitments to find a space to do it.  The most important thing when we  started the project was to do something that  was for us. We had no idea at that point of  international touring or sellout shows.  What we really wanted to do was something really fun and challenging.  Goldie: We knew we wanted to be adventurous in our style and use all the skills  we have as performers. We thought of all  the things we've always wanted to do on  stage and then boiled it down into something that made sense. It was our indulgence project to start off with.  Burlinson: Sometimes we laugh about  the show and think it's a bit like a first novel,  and that maybe the next show will cover  more territory and pursue a smaller number  of ideas in greater depth. We've got everything in this show: we've got mask work,  character work, singing and mime, cabaret  style and audience participation...every  possible style.  Haydon: How does feminism fit into  your work?  Burlinson: When we were at Hull University in the department of drama there  was a great deal of interest in sexual politics. We were very quickly absorbed into  feminist discourse and discussions and we  got interested in political theatre. It was  very much a part of our peer group's interest and an interest for us from the time we  met, wasn't it Al?  Goldie: Yes, we've developed together  politically for sure. Burlinson: Feminism is  absolutely intrinsic to every single thing we  do in the show.  Goldie: It's not that the play actually  comes up with any political speech or anything like that, but all of our feminism is  just woven into the characters. I think this  is something that comes from where we are  at now in our maturity. When we first  started, we did the "Wild Girls Comedy  Double Act". We were much more agitative. The Weird Sisters, Kath Burlinson and Alison Goldie in It's Uncanny!  Lorena lurettigh as "Baton" in WeightingTo Get In  It was a time when that was more appropriate as well. We were wearing Dr. Martens boots, had cropped purple hair, were  big stroppy, cheeky, filthy girls. We were  angry, directly angry, whereas in this play  there's certainly anger in it but it's not  about pulling down all of the oppressive  institutions with big sticks. It's about really going into ourselves and seeing what  our needs are as women.  Burlinson: There's a real difference. In  the very first feminist review we did we  sang a song that had a line "We're going  to get those sexist bastards and pin 'em  to the floor." That's the kind of thing that  probably wouldn't get through the first  draft these days. We're into a subtler exploration and a subtler kind of celebration. It's Uncanny is a show that tries to  be as honest as we've been able to be about  the power of women's friendships and the  strength of women. It also addresses the  difficulties and the challenges, the losses,  the vulnerability, the insecurity and all of  those things. In that sense the personal  and political are completely woven.  Haydon: Somewhere in the past Kath,  you taught at a university?  Burlinson: Yes, I worked at the University of Southhampton as a lecturer in  English and Drama.  Haydon: And you left that.  Burlinson: Yes. Once Al and I started  working together on this project again I  decided that I had to make a big choice. It  was so exciting working on the project  that although I loved teaching and research, I just couldn't do it all. This thing  might be what I want to do more than  anything else, and if I didn't do it now, I  might never do it. I didn't want to look  back in ten years and wish I'd had the  courage to break away from it all and pursue the dream. I didn't want that regret  and so I packed in the career, packed in  the permanent lecturing job, the pension,  the salary and the whole lot for life as a  travelling player touring the world in  fringe festivals.  Haydon: Alison, your bio says you are  a BBC TV presenter, stand-up comic, and  radio broadcaster. Are you still doing all  those things?  Goldie: All those I did in the past and  may well do again. It's been a great learning experience but I have to look at where  my happiness lies these days and it seems  to be more important for us to be doing this  than to be cravenly ambitious and selling  myself to the devil of television.  Haydon: Kath, you taught Victorian  Women's Literature at the University of  Southhampton. Has that research work  found its way into the play?  Burlinson: When we were putting the  show together I was doing a lot of work on  Victorian fantasy. I was interested in all the  work about women as disseminators of  fairy tales and fairy stories, the kinds of  tales that speak symbolically about women's lives.  When Al and I got together to discuss  the play, she was doing lots of reading of  people like Angela Carter and on mythology, so we wanted to have some kind of  supernatural or fairy tale sort of aspect to  the play. Both of us, in different ways, had  lots of material to draw on. A lot of the imaginative stuff I've researched has been fed  into the project for sure.  Haydon: Can you talk more about your  play?  Goldie: It's a kind of resume about female friendship, and it reflects our experience to date as women in our mid-thirties.  It is a story of two girls growing up—from  little children to our own age, and then  speculating what we might be like as seniors. It's a nightmare, it's a joke. We don't  think we're going to be like that, but it's  the worst case scenario: absolute physical  decrepitude, having fallen out with each  other and being co-dependent. It's funny  but also quite a scary thing. In the play there  are two crones who are women with license, the ancient hags who live outside of  time and who can do whatever they want  and don't always do the right thing. They  sometimes make mistakes and get very  irascible and put their finger into pies they  shouldn't. The crones are the women with  freedom in this play and they have lots to  teach the girls. They crop up all the way  through linking the very realistic sketches  about the rights of passage of the girls' lives.  Burlinson: We play all of the characters  in It's Uncanny—the girls, the crones, the  mothers, the fathers, the boyfriends, various inanimate objects... so it's lots and lots  of short scenes with powerful bits of music  from the relevant decade we're exploring.  It's a fast paced piece and there is some very  quick character transformational work.  Haydon: What kind of response are you  getting?  Goldie: Amazing. We've been so  bowled over. The play really appeals to a  huge constituency and that's pleased us because we wondered if only women of our  own age would like the show?  Burlinson: One of the incredible things  about being here in Edmonton is that it's  the biggest festival we've been to. We've  now sold out our last three shows and we're  playing in a 175 seat theatre.  Goldie: Women quite often say, "I have  just seen my life flash before me." There's  a lot of identification with actual events that  we portray. Then there are women who get  the stuff about goddesses and crones. I  think those issues resonate with contemporary women closely because it's all in the  air at the moment; the reinvestigation of  women's essential self and goddess qualities. We definitely hear women raving  about that.  PL      see WEIRD next page Fringe  from WEIRD previous page  Burlinson: Some of the younger  women we've met on tour and some of the  other women performers have blown us  away by saying that it really inspired them  to feel they can represent their own lives.  If our work can act as a springboard for  other women to carry on their explorations  and investigations and face their personal  or collective challenges, then that's just phenomenal.  Haydon: Where do you go from here?  Burlinson: We have about three weeks  in Vancouver and Victoria, and then we've  got gigs in the UK. Then, we go to Holland  for two months. At Christmas, we'll go  home and collapse, and then in the new  year we're going to create a new show.  Haydon: Can you talk a bit about that?  Burlinson: [laughing] It's yet to be revealed to us, but every day one of us says,  "Oh, this is a good idea, we must put that  in the new show." I've heard the rattling of  ideas but it's got no tone or shape or concept yet, we just know it'll be more of the  same things, more honesty, more humour,  more sadness, more of the whole big pat  of emotions.  Goldie: We also really want to work on  developing a certain kind of performance  style. It is something different from what  you get in a sketch theatre piece or in stand-  up. We really are moving between both  those different genres and that seems to be  something people have responded to.  There will be elements that'll become a certain trademark for us but as far as what  we're actually going to do, it's all a big mystery right now.  It's Uncanny will be performed at The  Legion, 2205 Commercial Dr.  Kelly Haydon is a weird sister in the privacy  of her own home.  THE MIDNIGHT DIP  produced by Mega Rouge  directed by Teri Snelgrove  written and performed by Terry  Winkelman  She's young and her life is changing  much too quickly. She's tormented and  driven by fear. And she can't sleep. The  Midnight Dip takes place mainly in her  dream/nightmare world just before sleep.  It's a fantastic, chaotic place of sex, drugs  and rock'n'roll which includes both underwater and mountain sequences.  After seven years of acting in Vancouver's Fringe Festival Terry Winkelman has  ventured into writing, producing and performing in this one-hour, one-act, one-  woman show.  Director/designer Teri Snelgrove (director of last year's Brownie Points) has  cleverly risen to the challenge of producing a visually beautiful set in which the  action takes place essentially on a bed. The  play opens with a bird's eye view of a bedroom as the young woman struggles with  insomnia. When combined with the music and sound effects of Barry Mirochnick,  we are immersed in the freedom of the  dreamscape. Known for his work with  Veda Hille, Mirochnick works with vibraphone, percussion, guitar and saw in this  piece.  The Midnight Dip will be performed  during the Fringe Festival at the Legion, 2205  Commercial Dr.  - marilyn lemon -  Terry Winkelman in The Midnight Dip  WEIGHTING TO GET IN  directed by Judi Price  produced by Penniless Theatre  Each year, for the past seven years,  Penniless Theatre has produced a play for  the Vancouver Fringe Festival on one topical women's issue or another.  The local theatre company comprised  of Judi Price, Katharine Carol and Aedon  Young, started it all with the theme of unplanned pregnancy, then moved on to the  subjects of women living together (Roommates) and the "chore wars" between men  and women (Dirty Laundry). And last year,  breast cancer was the topic of The Passion  and the Pocketwatch.  Given that 95 percent of the people in  North America dealing with eating disorders are women, it's no shock that that is  sue became the focus of Penniless Theatre's  1998 Fringe play.  In a nutshell, here is the storyline: the  publicly funded medical system in Canada  has gone down the tubes, and the only way  people can get in to see a therapist or a  doctor is by auditioning. There is a long  wait (weight) list to get an appointment to  see the drama therapist. The objective of  each of the four women and one man with  eating disorders who walk into the therapist's office is to do a good audition. However, the unethical drama therapist, played  by Katharine Carol, has her own agenda in  mind—she wants to produce a show with  her "unsuspecting patients," and charge  admission to see it.  Judi Price calls Weighting to Get In a  stylized acting piece. "The movement in the  show is constant and the stories are interwoven," she says.  As interesting as the final product itself, is the process behind creating Weighting to Get In. Starting right after their last  year's Fringe production, Penniless Theatre put out a call for people with eating disorders to send in their stories. Price then  took an eight-month sabbatical from her job  at Capilano College in order to pull together all the different pieces into a script.  The resulting play, co-produced by Aedon  Young and choreographed by Lisa Pope,  also includes original lyrics and music by  Chris Taylor.  As well as the story contributors, a  number of the actors and technical crew  members involved in Weighting to Get In  are also people dealing with eating disorders. Price says that involving women and  encouraging them to develop their creativity has always been a part Penniless Theatre's work. "We try to give everybody a  chance. We have professional [actors] right  down to people who've never performed  in their lives."  The experience of producing the play  certainly opened their eyes to how people  deal with eating disorders, says Price.  "We had a rehearsal one night where  we were all crying before it even started.  Even for those who don't have eating disorders, we all have our demons. We all  started to feel for each other, and that comes  out in the work, which just makes the play  really exciting."  Weighting to Get In will be performed at  the Gastown Actor's Studio, 138 E. Cordova  St. Penniless Theatre plans to donate a percentage of opening night ticket sales to AN AD,  the Canadian Association of Anorexia Nervosa  and Associated Disorders.  - Agnes Huang -  THE BRUTAL TELLING  produced by Mascall Dance  directed by Penelope Stella  performed by Olivia Thorvaldson,  Marthe Leonard and Veda Hille  Inspired by the writings of Emily Carr, The  Brutal Telling is a collaborative dance/music  production between Vancouver's Mascall  Dance and musician Veda Hille. The Brutal Telling has been two years in the making.  Perhaps Canada's best known woman  artist, Carr struggled throughout her career  with no private or public support, and very  little recognition until the end of her life.  Born in Victoria in 1871, she trained as an  artist at the age of 19. She toured England  and France but really sealed her fate as an  artist with a series of sketching trips along  the coast of British Columbia in 1930.  Based on the books and journals of  Emily Carr, Mascall Dance commissioned  Hille to write the music and lyrics, which  were then choreographed by Jennifer  Mascall. The resulting piece is a series of vignettes, anecdotes and images that form a  picture of Carr's life. Using images and colour along with music and lyrics, The Brutal  Telling is an artist's look at the life of another  artist, using interesting juxtapositions of artistic mediums, much like Carr herself.  The Brutal Telling promises to be a big  show. It is dramatically and technically far  ranging, and is directed by Penelope Stella  and performed by Marthe Leonard and  Olivia Thorvaldson, longtime collaborators  with Mascall. The Brutal Telling has already  been performed in western Canada to  much critical acclaim.  The Brutal Telling will be performed during the Fringe Festival at the Vancouver East  Cultural Centre, 1895 Venables St.  -leanne johnson-  KINESIS  SEPTEMBER 1998 Feature  from THADANI page 9  Gokhale: Is it gay men they are talking  about or lesbians as well?  Thadani: In terms of the imagination of  people in the mainstream, gay and lesbian  becomes mixed. They can't differentiate.  So AIDS gave us a platform on which  to start talking. In Delhi, the first International AIDS Congress took place in 1992.  Again, Bombay Dost said, "We are having a  public meeting in the park to talk about alternate sexualities. Will you join us?" I said,  "Sure."  Three of us went down and we were  the only women there. None of the other  lesbians would join in. But it was the first  discussion in open space and it was  splashed in the English-language news.  Every day we made the headlines. Our  photographs were published. That was the  first major media opening out of talking  about lesbian sexuality. We started giving  interviews and the more we gave out the  box address, the more letters would come  in.  In 1993,1 was able to get grant money  to do a seminar on the history of alternate  sexualities. That was another public event  in which homosexuality was the basis.  The money for that came from the Ford  Foundation and was channelled through  the Na-z Foundation in London [an HIV/  AIDS organization] because Sakhi is not allowed to exist as a registered lesbian organization, and only registered organizations  can receive foreign funding. [Ed note: lesbianism is illegal in India.]  Jaffer: What did Sakhi do next?  Thadani: A little bit of funding came in  to set up the place. In 1993, we got monies  to pay the rent. In 1995, we were able to  expand and pay someone fulltime, and  there were volunteers too to answer the  mail and so on.  Jaffer: Were you receiving private donations?  Thadani: Not much. A friend in England once gave 20 pounds. Naz Foundation gave us 500 pounds. Global Foundation in the US gave us money for two years.  For three months when there was no  money, I paid the rent. Then we got money  from the Dutch.  But in 1996, there was a huge robbery  at Sakhi. Sakhi never had its own phone  number—we were using my phone—and  since I'd started doing my research, I'd get  threats and obscene calls...  Gokhale: Are you saying you think the  robbery wasn't just a robbery but vengeance?  Thadani: I think so. It was an inside job.  It happened at three o'clock in the afternoon  and someone had the key. They took the  computers, the printer, the fax, all my cameras—it was all cleaned out. I even had my  [unpublished] book on the computer. It was  very clearly meant to sabotage Sakhi.  Meanwhile, I had to do my final edit. I  had no computer to work on, no camera  equipment. The whole thing had been  wiped out-$10,000 worth of stuff. Whatever  infrastrusture we had been able to build  was gone. And then we did not even get a  letter of support from the other lesbians in  Delhi acknowledging this had happened.  Jaffer: Are you happy with the book?  Thadani: I'm not because they took out  a lot of the historical sections. I could have  taken back my manuscript but I thought it's  better to just get the stuff published. In fact,  none of the small European publishers  would touch it, even in Germany where I  have a lot of contacts, because it's too spe  cialized. If you are from the "third world,"  you can write a coming-out lesbian book  or for and an anthology and get published.  But if you do anything intellectual or complex, they can't sell it or they won't make  an effort to sell it.  Jaffer: That's a  shame because the  book is great. It's  blowing people  away who don't  usually read this  kind of thing.  Gokhale:  Whafs has the reception of the book  been abroad? This  would be a perfect  text for gay and lesbian studies, for example.  Thadani: I've  hardly received any  feedback. It's been  out for two years  and I had the feeling nobody was  reading it. It's new  for me to hear in Toronto and Vancouver that people  have read my book.  Jaffer: What  kind of reception  did the book get in  India?  Thadani: No reception. It's not distributed in India.  Informally there are RajaraniTemple in Bhuveshvar,  a few copies in cir- Orissa: 10th to 11th centuries AD.  culation.    Veena This is the visual description of the  [Gokhale's] review bhag-bhogini lesbian eros.  in The Hindu [a Left  English-language  have been saying it's not a lesbian film...that  love can happen between any two people...  But they having small private screenings  of the film, and now they'll have video copies circulating, so it will get seen. But the  thing is, it won't  have context—it  won't get officially  talked about.  Jaffer: And Ffre  can also easily get  turned against lesbians and women—  create a paranoia  that women who are  close freinds or hang  out together might  become lesbians...?  Thadani: That's  i'.ready happening. I  mean, people are  very smart. The moment they know that  the friendship [between two women]  becomes threatening  or it's a relationship,  it straight away gets  cut off. It's a myth to  think that friendships between  women are tolerated  by society—they're  tolerated only up to  a certain point.  There'll be a certain  pressure to get married.  Of course, there  is the small liberal  world where a lot  will be permitted,  but there is also a  strong pressure for  Replica of Chola Bronze (7th to 10th centuries AD),Tamil Nadu,  (from the collection n* GitiThadani)  newspaper] is the only review of Sakhiyani  within India.  Jaffer: I'm curious about how people  received the film Fire [which portrays a lesbian love story set zvithin a middle-class family in India.J Fire must have provoked some  discussion?  Thadani: Yes, but again Fire hasn't  passed the censor board, and so is not released in India. As it is, one of the actresses  [Nandita Das] and the director Deepa Mehta  heterosexualization—there is strong pressure to be bisexual, failing all else. There's  a feminist who wrote a theoretical piece  saying we don't need a lesbian or gay identity because this is all part of identity politics, there's no pressure to come out, this is  all a Western thing.  Jaffer: There's a lot of pressure to be bi-  in alternative South Asian communities  here too, where being lesbian is viewed  with suspicion, and being bi- is considered  to be more befitting of "South Asianness."  Thadani: Exactly.  Jaffer: I can't be in the closet about who  I am either. But I still have questioned myself and asked, have I been Westernized to  the point that I'm selling out my South  Asianness by being lesbian? And the answer is No.  Thadani: And often there'd be a kind  of straight woman/gay collaboration,  where it is chic to be with gay men.  Jaffer: But it's not chic to be a lesbian,  is it?  Thadani: No. So then you feel as a lesbian, who do I ally with? Because if I use  the support of this progressive liberal  world, there's nothing there for lesbians. So  the pressure of isolation becomes much  greater. It's a hard battle, and this is relly  within the English-speaking, middle class.  Jaffer: I'd love to find out what is happening outside of that world, in small  towns, in rural areas. Is that something  you've explored at all?  Thadani: Look at the first public lesbian  marriage. It was between two police  women from a lower class context. They  were sacked [fired] and then, as I understand the story, they went back to the village and were accepted as man and wife.  There was so much social pressure, but they  were able to be together. Except at some  point, they actually started taking on the  male and female personas and the heterosexual relationship model.  It's like the women who want to  change their sex. I was reading in an Indian magazine about the number of guys  who are into gender change because they  are not allowed to be homosexuals. I know  a woman from a conservative, Haryana  small town who changed her sex to male  so she could marry her girlfriend. She went  through the sex change, but her girlfriend's  family found out and got the girl married  to a man. You may feel the middle classes  are a world to escape into where the pressures are subtle. But they are still so strong.  Jaffer: I believe you want to take the  slides and other research and turn it into  film or put it on CD Rom. How were you  thinking of doing that and where are you  going with the work?  Thadani: I want to do more research  and I've been thinking of making a big trip  in India. I want to get a digital camcorder  along with the photographic work, and put  a lot of new documentation on digital and  on slides. It depends on what kind of  fundraising I manage to do.  Gokhale: Are you going to record more  images or use the old ones?  Thadani: Both.  Gokhale: Are you planning to explore  new sites or visit old ones?  Thadani: There are many more sites.  I've been travelling for 15 years but there's  still so much to document.  To send donations to support Giti  Thadani's project of documenting her research  on film/CD ROM, contact her through Kinesis, 309-877 E. Hastings St, Vancouver, BC,  V6A 3Y1; tel: (604) 255-5499: fax: (604) 255-  7508; email:  Fatima Jaffer is a South Asian lesbian feminist  and a regular zoriterforKinesis. Veena Gokhale  is a writer and environmentalist who retains  her Indian citizenship.  Images of artwork are published in Sakhiyani.  SEPTEMBER 1998 Movement Matters  listings information  Movement Matters is designed to  be a network of news, updates and  information of special interest to the  women's movement.  Submissions to Movement Matters  should be no more than 500 words,  typed, double spaced and may be edited  for length. Deadline is the 18th of the  month preceding publication.  compiled by Monica K. Rasi and  Janet Mou  Urgent: deportation  imminent  Feminist and other progressive activists are urged to petition the federal government to intervene to stop the deportation of Fatemeh Dehghani back to Iran.  Immigration Canada has issued Dehghani  a deportation order for September 10. Only  widespread and concerted opposition can  block this order and protect her safety.  As a teenager, Dehghani was beaten by  Islamic guards in Iran for participating in  a mixed badminton match. Later, she was  drawn into a forced marriage. In 1994 she  was arrested, apparently because of her  opposition to the Islamic regime's treatment of women. During the several weeks  she was jailed, she was beaten repeatedly.  Upon her release, she came to Canada seeking refuge from persecution.  If deported, Dehghani faces the threat  of further persecution, arrest and torture.  It is a disgrace that the government of  Canada would take action to expose her to  such risks again.  To oppose this deportation order, fax letters to Lucienne Robillard, minister of citizenship and immigration: (613) 952-5533; and to  Lloyd Axworthy, minister of external affair:  (613) 996-3443. Also send copies of letters sent  to the International Federation of Iranian Refugees, fax: (416)265-9915.  Challenging  citizenship policies  The National Action Committee on the  Status of Women will be working as part  of a coalition pulled together by the African Canadian Legal Clinic (ACLC) to fight  the racist and sexist practices of Citizenship  and Immigration Canada.  The ACLC has brought a case to the  Supreme Court of Canada, that will be  heard next year, regarding the violation of  the constitutionally protected rights of Canadians who have, in many cases, lived  most of their lives in Canada as landed immigrants or permanent residents.  The federal government has chosen a  racist solution to dealing with crime by  deporting landed immigrants who commit  crimes or, in some cases, are thought to be  affiliated with "criminals." The deportees  are overwhelmingly African Canadians,  and very specifically Jamaicans.  Many women have been deported—  their crime may be "welfare fraud" or writing "bad cheques"—and their children  seized by Children's Aid. The children are  apprehended because they are Canadian  born and therefore cannot be deported. The  federal government is now tampering with  the Citizenship Act to try and deal with this  issue. (One solution being proposed would  deny children born in Canada their citizen  ship rights, if their mother or parents are  themselves not citizens.)  NAC is calling on all its member  groups and supporters to support the actions of the coalition, and to lobby Immigration and Citizenship Minister Lucienne  Robillard to address the racism and sexism  in the federal policies.  For more information about the campaign,  contact NAC. Tel: (416) 932-1718; fax: (416)  932-0646; email:; Internet:  Indigenous people  networking  "Guess who's coming to steal your  plants?" This is just one of several headlines demonstrating how traditional knowledge and Indigenous peoples are threatened by Western exploitation. To raise  awareness about the issues facing Indigenous peoples, the South Pacific Peoples  Foundation is hosting the 15th annual Pacific Networking Conference September 18  to 20 near Victoria, British Columbia.  Our Knowledge, Our Rights: Traditional  Knowledge and Pacific Peoples will bring to  Canada resource people from Samoa, Fiji,  Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, the Philippines  and Hawaii. Among the confirmed participants are: Michelle Lam from the Solomon  Islands, who works in the area of traditional  approaches to resource management; and  Maggie Vuadreu and Seini Fiu, both of whom  are involved with WAfNIMATE in Fiji, an  organization which focuses on supporting  traditional medicine and its practitioners.  Since 1989, Indigenous peoples have  been formally documenting their concerns  regarding the protection of their cultures  and traditions. The Mataatua Declaration,  agreed to in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in  1993, states that Indigenous Peoples "must  be recognized as the exclusive owners of  their cultural and intellectual property."  Other key statements include the one issued  at the Indigenous Peoples Knowledge and  Intellectual Property Rights Consultations  in Fiji in 1995.  This year's networking conference will  be held at Lau, welnew Tribal School in  Brentwood Bay. It will feature thematic  workshops on such issues as traditional  medicine, cultural property rights, traditional approaches to resource management,  ethical issues regarding the use of indigenous knowledge by non-indigenous peoples and organizations, and the Human  Genome Diversity Project.  The cost to attend the full conference  is $90, if registered before September 8.  Subsidized rates and single day rates are  also available. Registration after September  8 should include a $10 late fee. A limited  number of billets, as well as childcare subsidies, are available.  To register or for more information, contact the South Pacific Peoples Foundation, 1921  Fernwood Road, Victoria, BC, V8T 2Y6; tel:  (250) 381-4131; email:; or online  at The conference organizers also invite those unable to attend to make  tax deductible donations to allow greater numbers of Pacific Island resource people to attend.  UNITE women strike  back  The members of Local 1764 of UNITE  (the Union of Needletrades and Industrial  Textile Employees) are currently on strike  from their jobs making men's and women's  socks. The 80 employees of JB Fields Inc,  located in Trenton, Ontario, have been on  strike since March 23. They are fighting for  justice, equality and respect.  JB Fields has been unionized for 28  years. Although they have a history of fair  working conditions with a good contract, the  company is now more concerned with union-busting and attacking workers' rights.  Incentive rates have been cut by up to  38 percent. Arbitration rulings against the  company have been ignored. The local union president has been unjustly fired three  times, and long-serving workers have been  abused and harassed.  As well, last year, the company claimed  bankruptcy protection, but then turned  around and started up production with the  same workers. This "bankruptcy" was used  to impose rollbacks in wages, benefits and  other working conditions. All this happened despite the company setting a record  in 1996, producing 10 million pairs of socks  in one month.  All of the production workers at the JB  Fields plant are women. They've been asked  to accept additional pay cuts of 20 percent.  However, the nine men working at the plant,  who are considered "skilled" workers, have  lost less than four percent of their pay. Management has clearly targeted women to  shoulder the burden of cost cutting.  The women workers' fight isn't about  money; it's about basic union principles.  The company's "final offer" would gut the  collective agreement of key provisions dealing with seniority, union representation and  job security. JB Fields also wants the right  to fire any employee simply for failing to  meet production quotas—quotas which  management will set arbitrarily and unilaterally, with no grievance procedure as a  UNITE is also calling on supporters to  boycott the company. The factory makes  socks with the following labels: JB Field's,  Vagden Mills, Moores, Eatons, Sears, Club  Monaco, Guy Laroche Mountain Equipment, Bay, Westport, Golf Miller, JB Natural, JB Sport, J B Denton, English Sport, LL  Bean and Viyella.  For more information check out the union's  website: 764.  UNrTE asks supporters to report any solidarity  actions in your community to  Essentially, the company wants the union out. The women of UNITE, Local 1764  are fighting back, and ask other women to  support their campaign.  The women are asking for financial support to be sent to: Local 1764 UNITE, 3-63 N.  Murray St, Trenton, Ontario, K8V 2E5. As well,  they are calling on supporters to contact JB  Fields company president Kris Murphy, 390  Sydney St, Trenton, Ontario; K8V 5R7; toll free:  1-800-233-9842; fax: (613) 394-0278. Tell him to  treat the women workers fairly.  NAC goes for gold  The financial situation of the National  Action Committee on the Status of Women  (NAC) is still in a critical state. The national  feminist lobby group representing women's  centres and other women's organizations  is being denied federal Women's Programs  monies because of its refusal to play ball  with Status of Women Canada's new funding criteria.  The failure on the part of the federal  government to adequately fund women's  organizations is undermining NAC's ability to be a truly national-based group.  Women living in isolated communities,  poor women and women facing other  forms of systemic oppression other than  gender oppression are affected the worst.  NAC is calling on all feminists and  activists to continue pressuring the Liberal  government to ensure its next federal  budget, to be released in February 1999,  respects women's rights to politically participate in Canadian society.  As well, NAC is urgently calling on its  supporters for help. Given its current financial situation, NAC is literally relying on  the day-to-day contributions of women,  men and organizations across the country.  Many individuals and groups have already  offered support, but whether it's $10 or  $10,000, every little bit helps.  All donations and other correspondence  can be sent to the National Action Committee  on the Status of Women, #203-234 Eglinton  Ave E, Toronto, Ontario, M4P 1K5. To contact NAC with good wishes, call (416) 932-  1718; fax: (416) 932-0646; or email:  The Vancouver Status of Women  invites you to its  Annual General Meeting  Wednesday, September 23, 1998  7:00 pm - 9:30 pm  Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House  800 East Broadway (at Fraser)  • Entertainment 6k refreshments  • Door prizes!!  • Get reconnected to VSW & Kinesis  • Bring a friend  Please RSVP to 255-6554 by September 18th  SEPTEMBER 1998 Arts  Interview with Moana and the Moahunters:  It's really cool to be Maori  as told to Kelly White   One of the highlights of this year's Vancouver Folk Music Festival certainly was Moana  and the Moahunters. Fronted by Moana  Maniapoto-Jackson, the group from Aotearoa,  New Zealand is comprised of vocalists Leonie  Adams and Mina Ripia, musicians Teina  Benioni, Brent Turner, Richi Campbell, Gadzor  Cossar and Pete Hoera, and dancers Herana  Roberts, Linda Norton, ChadManga, Te Warena  Morgan, Scottie Morrison and Colin Tihi.  Moana and the Moahunters have two CDs  to their name, Tahi and Rua. Almost all the  songs the group performs, which are very beautiful and powerful, are written by Moana, alone  or in collaboration with others.  Kelly White had the opportunity to speak  to Moana about the band's past, present and  future. This interview was first aired on the  program Kla-How-Ya FM on Co-op Radio  CFRO 102.7FM in Vancouver.  Kelly White: We are pleased to introduce  Moana of Moana and the Moahunters from  New Zealand. Welcome to our territory and  it's really an honour to see your group here.  Moana Maniapoto-Jackson: It's been  wonderful and we thank everybody for the  sun and the salmon and the good times!  White: I'd like to ask you for a little  view of Moana and the Moahunters' trail  over the last few years. As well, how has  your visit to Vancouver been?  Moana: We've been together for nearly  ten years. The band keeps getting bigger  and bigger like a lot of First Nations groups.  You always find new people you like to  bounce a bit of energy off. We perform a  mixture of music with soul, funk, pop,  based in traditional and indigenous music  and choreography.  We sing in both English and our native  language, which is Maori. [The Maori language] was nearly decimated two generations back but we are working to revive it.  We've been in Vancouver once before  as part of the MusicWest Festival, and  we've been around the world. We've been  very lucky—we've been to Malaysia, New  Orleans, where we met Michael Donoshae,  his father and son. He played with us here  during the Folk Festival.  It's been wonderful [being in Vancouver.] We've been shown great hospitality  extended to us from the Squamish people.  The band is on a high. They served us some  moose, sea lion... I've never met any Canadians or hardly any indigenous people who  have chowed down on that. Serious week  of bonding.  White: Quite the trail. It seems that First  Nations artists have been a secret in the  music industry, or that they just started being recognized via the decade of Indigenous peoples' celebration. It's totally commendable to see you out there, combining  the language traditions with contemporary  performance, and specifying who you are  as a performer. Moana, I'd like to invite you  to give an inspirational note to the mainstream people who want to develop a partnership with the Indigenous peoples in  Canada, our homeland here, an inspirational note for both parties.  Moana: Well, I guess what's been happening in our country in Aotearoa, New  Zealand is probably the same for colonized  Indigenous peoples the world over, and minorities in their own countries. We've had  Leonie Adams, Moana Maniapoto-Jackson and Mina Ripia  performing at the Vancouver Folk Festival  Moana Maniapoto-Jackson  to upscale ourselves and learn about [the  colonizers'] history and learn their language  against great odds.  We actually just put a lot of time into  upscaling our counterparts, we call them  pakow—the white New Zealander people—  but we have stepped back from that now.  There are a pool of white New Zealanders  who are with it, who know about sovereignty issues and liberation and stuff like  that. They work with their people, so that  it's not Maori energy going into educating  pakow New Zealanders; we put our energy  into our own people.  It's now going into the Year 2000 and  there are a lot of challenges. We've only had  one Treaty in our country. It was signed in  1840, and it's been a god-damned myth since  then. We're still working through it, but I'm  optimistic that justice will be done.  Part of our music is about conscious-izing  people and representing our culture. Through  music and putting our language out there, we  are showing our young people that it is really  cool to be Maori. They don't have to be Black  American [to be cool], cause that's what a lot  of them would like to be.  White: Quite the inspirational note.  Moana: One of the most exciting things  for us, and something that we had wanted  for a long time, is that we developed our  own Maori record label, Tangata Records,  with BMG (New Zealand) Records, which is  a big multinational corporation. The big  record companies didn't know how to market and develop Maori music like we do,  but some of them were interested in our  music, so we developed our own company.  [Our own label] is going to be distributed  in Canada through Festival Distribution.  Our people, Maori people, have been  coming up to Canada for some time.  We've got quite a strong relationship with  the Native communities here, in terms of  their language and their music. I wouldn't  be surprised to see a whole bunch of people down here jamming in the Year 2000.  White: So there it is, in the spirit of  honour—healing our nations in united resistance to apathy and apartheid.  Moana: Kiaora, Kelly. Kiaora means  life. Kiaora.  For copies of Moana and the Moahunters'  latest CD Rua, contact Festival Distribution,  1351 Grant St, Vancouver, BC; V5L 2X7;  tel: 1-800-633-8282; website: http:// You can write to Moana  and the Moahunters, c/o Tangata Records, PO  Box 3679, Shortland St, Auckland, Aotearoa,  New Zealand.  Kelly White is from the White Owl Clan of  the Coast Salish Nation. She is an accomplished singer, theatre performer and radio  reporter, and is often accompanied by her three  daughters and grandson.  Lyrics to "MOKO"  written by Moana Maniapoto-Jackson  from the CD Rua  Tenei matou te hunga moko e tu nei i roto  i tenei ao hurihuri ao tangata  (Chorus)  I wear my pride upon my skin.  My pride has always been within.  I wear my strength upon my face.  comes from another time and place.  Bet you didn't know that every line has a  message for me.  Did you know that?  The word tattoo describes the marking of  pattern by inserting coloured dyes under a  smooth skin. The word moko represents a  traditional custom in which spirals unique  to Maori are carved deeply below the skin's  surface to produce a grooved scar.  Did you know that?  Because the head the most sacred part of  the body was touched blood spilt. The  whole ceremony was tau the tip of a  birdbone chisel dipped into sooty black pigment tapped by a beater to the sound of  songs created to soothe the painful process of creating moko. So don't use that  word tattoo.  Every spiral has a name every line on the  face don't use that word tattoo.  Chorus  The classic Maori moko has the male bearing complex spirals on both cheeks both  sides of the nose. Lines spread from between the eyes to the temple the nose to  the chin. Over nineteen names have been  identified for different parts of the pattern.  Women received kauae or chin moko.  Some copied their mothers or grandmothers. Others allowed the artist to express  their creativity some women received markings on their foreheads, eyes, arms and  breasts. The moko indicated genealogy  rank accomplishment it represented masculinity beauty warriorhood identity. So  don't use that word tattoo.  Chorus  The moko reflected the carvings and rafter  patterns inside the whare tipuna, but some  were made so distinctive they were like an  autograph, a beautiful signature written all  over the face. In 1815 Te Pehi Kupe drew  his own moko without the aid of a mirror  every line firmly in his mind and then he  drew the moko of his brother and his son.  Did you know that?  The moko reflected the Maori way of life  everything was connected art, religion, war,  lovemaking, and death. For this generation the kauae and moko were only seen  in paintings, but now those images have  come to life. Netana Whakaari said in 1921,  you can lose your most valuable property  through misfortune, in various ways. You  may be robbed of all your prized possessions, but of your moko you cannot be deprived, except by death. It will be your ornament and your companion until your last  days. So don't use that word tattoo.  Chorus  korero ki nga tamariki tenei kaupapa ta  moko he taonga tuku iho ki nga tipuna  SEPTEMBER 1998 Arts  Review of Helene Littmann's Peripheries:  Stories stay on the edges  by Kathe Lemon   PERIPHERIES: three novellas  Helene Littmann  Cormorant Books, Dunvegan, Ontario,  1998  Some people will love Helene  Littmann's book Peripheries. They will say  that it is tike real life, the characters are like  real people. They will say that if s gritty and  raw. Some others, myself included, will say  that it's not raw, it's unfinished.  There isn't anything really wrong with  the three novellas in Peripheries; there just  isn't really anything great about them either. Most of all, Littmann didn't go far  enough.  There are a few good lines, particularly  Littmann's description of Vancouver rain:  "Confident rain, rain that would go the distance." These perfect lines show that  Littmann has great potential. Potential that  has not yet been realized.  Nothing really happens in these stories. The main character of each novella is  a young woman who seems to not really  know who she is, or where she's going.  With the exception of Stephanie, in  "Ground Zero," none of these women make  decisions, things just happen, or don't happen to them. However, by the end of each  story, the characters seem no further ahead.  Nothing about the main character in  each novella inspires the reader to continue  reading about them. These are not women  that you would particularly admire; they  aren't women that you would even notice.  These three women are on the edges  of society. They don't have very much  money; they don't really have steady jobs;  they aren't married. There is nothing holding them back or down, but still they don't  go anywhere.  They are never the centre of attention.  They are not particularly beautiful or particularly ugly They are relegated to the peripheries and perhaps because of this, the  book will be too.  All three are intelligent women; they  just don't speak up. They are women who  generally agree with what other people say,  even if they don't really think that way.  Each of the main characters gets  dumped by her boyfriend. They each feel  pretty shitty about it for a while, and then  they go on and do whatever it was they  were doing before.  Littmann has chosen to set each of the  stories in Vancouver within a common  crowd of people. There are some background characters and a band that run  through each of the novellas. However,  none of the main characters seem to know  each other  The common setting makes it easier to  understand the characters.  Littmann instantly shows us something about each of the women by telling  us that all of them have at one time been  fans of this particular punk band, Cryptic  Neon. Time change is also communicated  by letting the reader know about the band's  success.  One of Littmann's strengths is that she  is able to portray Vancouver in a way that  doesn't limit the relevance of the stories to  people who do not know the city. Perhaps  this is because the three main characters all  feel that they are out of place in their city,  even though all of them, like Littmann herself, are Vancouver natives.  Overall, the stories don't go far  enough. In parts of the novellas, it feels as  if the characters' real stories are at some  other point in their lives, as if the really  important detail takes place just before or  just after the snapshot we are given in the  book. These stories are the preamble to the  story that the characters really want told.  Littmann didn't listen closely enough to  them.  Kathe Lemon is a student at the University of  Victoria.  SALT SPRING ISLAND  Paula Clancy, B.A.  Certified General Accountant  Auditing  Accounting  Business Planning  Income Tax Services  for  Organizations  Small Businesses  and Individuals  Tel: (604)215-1720  Fax:(604)215-1750  pclancy@bc. sympatico. ca  from INDONESIA page 5  On May 19, Suharto gave a televised  speech that was expected to contain his resignation. Instead, it was a meeting with  nine Islamic ulamas, offering the plan for  the reform council, which would include  critical figures, conducting early elections,  and Suharto's eventual retirement. All in  due time.  None of his manoeuvres worked. In the  end, after various wheelings and dealings  between Habibie and the military, and the  latter's assurances that Suharto and his family would be protected, at 9:00am May 21,  Suharto officially announced his resignation.  The 30,000 students who had occupied  the Parliament House were euphoric: their  main demand had been met. Interviewed  by the press, the students expressed their  hopes. "We want a total reformation and a  president who can uphold the people's aspirations. We do not want to repeat the  same mistakes—overthrowing one [corrupt] regime only to create another one."  Now, there are a number of long-term  and short-term issues which need to be  addressed. Long term issues involve,  among others: dealing with the deeply entrenched economic crisis; reviewing national development policies which affect  the majority of people and the environment; making institutional changes and  breathing new life into the economic, political, and legal spheres; creating bureaucratic efficiency; changing the electoral sys  tem; instituting parliamentary membership  based on elections (as opposed to appointments); forming a political party system  that can accommodate wider political participation and real opposition; creating a  free press; redressing the ethnic economic  balance (allowing greater opportunities for  indigenous Indonesians); reaffirming religious tolerance; ensuring a greater decision-making role for women; liberalizing  the education system; decentralizing the  economy as well as the government; and  determining a more limited role for the  military.  One of the hottest short-term issues  will revolve around popular demands to  put Suharto and company on trial, which  many feel is the least that can be done to  atone for the damage they have caused to  the country. There are also practical considerations: Suharto's family wealth, which  may amount to US$40 billion, is close to  the figure that the International Monetary  Fund and other countries have pledged to  save the ruined Indonesian economy As  Indonesia's debt burden will have to be  born by future generations, any means to  alleviate it should be seriously considered.  For me personally as a scholar, columnist and activist who has been openly critical of the Suharto regime since the early  1980s, this moment was a long-awaited one.  Suharto had embodied so many evils and  now finally he is gone. His resignation  brought forth a whole gamut of emotions:  euphoria and tremendous relief that blood  shed that had seemed inevitable, had been  averted.  But had he really stepped down, or  merely stepped aside? The New Order regime still exists—teetering and under attack, but hanging on and fighting back.  They still rule over the political, governmental, legal and economic infrastructures  and institutions, and are backed by the military to boot.  The reform movement, while growing  and gaining ground is divided, has yet to  establish a cohesive platform and strategy,  and does not as yet even have the support  of the masses behind it. People power has  not emerged in Indonesia, yet.  It was not even really the students who  brought Suharto down, romantic a notion  though it may be. The withdrawal of support of key people he had relied on made  Suharto realize his position was no longer  tenable.  This may be the end of the Suharto era,  but it is not the end of the crisis. It is not even  the end of the regime, yet. Even now, a polarity is forming, between pro-Habibie  groups and those who want him out, seeing  him as merely being an embodiment of  Suharto's legacy. The possibility of bloodshed, power-struggles, of chaos, anarchy, and  much, much uncertainty, still looms before  we can even start our nation's reconstruction.  And then of course, there is the rest of  the world. Many of the superpowers are  also guilty of complicity for the crimes committed by the Suharto regime. When things  were going well—when economic growth  was seven percent a year, when the Gross  Domestic Product was constantly on the  rise, when Indonesia was considered a  shining example of the Asian economic  miracle—they were quite happy to overlook the abuses, the excesses, the human  rights violations.  Now, all the heads of states of these  countries applaud Suharto's resignation,  and say they had even urged him to do so.  The question is: will they continue with  their hypocritical stance?  The reform that is needed falls nothing short of a revolution, a complete overturning of the system. Repression in Indonesia has been so systematic, so entrenched,  and so long-standing. Most of us know  nothing other than the New Order ways of  ruling—we have been thoroughly brainwashed.  A major part of the struggle will be to  lift the yoke of oppression in our hearts,  the veil of repression from our minds, and  the shroud of fear from our spirits.  Julia Suryakusuma is a columnist, social commentator, activist and feminist in Indonesia.  She wrote this piece in Jakarta on May 23,  1998. Thanks to the editors at Feminista, the  online journal of feminist construction, art,  literature, social commentary, philosophy, wit,  humor and respect, for connecting Kinesis  with Suryakusuma. The full version of her text  is available on Feminista's website at http:// Check it out.  L  SEPTEMBER 1998 Arts  The incredible, indelible Alison Bechdel:  Mo memories and more  by Celeste Wincapaw  THE INDELIBLE ALISON BECHDEL:  Confessions, Comix and Miscellaneous  Dykes to Watch Out For  by Alison Bechdel  Firebrand Books, Ithaca, New York, 1998  The first time I picked up a friend's  Dykes to Watch Out For comic book, I earnestly thought that it might be filled with  ten easy tips for avoiding evil lesbians.  Steeped as I was in the literal thinking of  fundamentalist Christiandom, I was completely confused by such a title on a book  that turned out to be very pro-lesbian.  I asked my friend who was knee deep  in cheesy lesbian erotica if perhaps the author were against lesbians. "Comic... joke...  read it," she sputtered as she snorted and  rollicked with laughter.  Later that evening, I dragged my ever-  serious, newly come out, newly excommunicated body to bed and read a clever  American comic book. It was the story of  Mo, a politically savvy and socially self-  conscious lesbian-feminist and her eclectic  group of friends and acquaintances.  Soon thereafter, I picked up a queer  newspaper and there, in a comic strip format which looked like Peanuts, For Better  or For Worse, or any other  mainstream comic I had ever  read, was another episode of  the ongoing saga of Mo.  Issue after issue, year after  year, Mo wore the same t-shirt,  but she remained one sure  source of usually reactionary  lesbian-feminist commentary  in an ever-changing less-than-  heterosexual world.  I went through lesbian u-  hauls, butch/femme hair, small  town gossip, big town politics  whilst Mo and her friends did the  very same. I felt like they were  friends of friends who I heard of  but never met in person.  When I was housebound  with illness in rural Ontario, I  often prayed that I'd wake up  one day surrounded by a big  pack of friends, each with her  differences and quirkiness.  Alison Bechdel's dykes, while  I didn't always like them, provided a current commentary on  gripping issues of the day.  When I picked up the latest by Alison Bechdel, The Indelible Alison Bechdel, I expected  more of the same old, same old,  but was completely surprised  to find an autobiographical  narrative of Bechdel herself:  her early childhood drawings,  her adolescent penchant for  male figures, her self-hatred,  her self-critical narrative of  how she pulled her real life into  her stories. Eeeek! Enough already! I completely admire this  woman, but do not want to  know so much. As my coworker often says, "Too much  information!"  In reading about Bechdel,  I felt like I needed to retract and  JVKts to WrtUi Out For, fktt A* IS  TiyU is appalled to larn tint fcwte*noiUr£ person.  perhaps clarify my desire for reality. I  wanted to meet the Dykes—70's television,  Fantasy Island-style. Place one arm around  Ginger, the doctoral student who worked  on her thesis forever, and another around  the hyper-sexual, Prozac popping Lois, and  walk into the sunset. I did not want to know  how hard it was for Bechdel to meet deadlines for calendars. That's way too real,  thank you very much.  Some of the sweetest moments of The Indelible were seeing previously unpublished  comics, including the one of Mo  as the American Statue of liberty—completely ironic picture  givenAlison Bechdel's frequent  commentary on the pathetic  state of the US government Perhaps that is what endears the  Dykes gang to Canadians and  readers from all over the world.  Bechdel also includes some of  the translated comics and wrote  with joy at the prospect of bootleg Dykes cartoons wandering  the globe.  Bechdel also writes  about the vetting of her personal psyche  through Mo. Perhaps it would make a good  capitalist substitute for therapy. Something  the Dykes' guerilla lesbian therapist would  endorse—get the rest of the world to pay  you to talk about yourself. Or better yet,  write a book review for Kinesis.  Celeste Wincapaw lives in Vancouver, BC. Her  passions are electronic, artistic and feministic.  defending  lesbian  liberty  for  twenty  years  National Center for Lesbian Rights  1977-1997  !  signsothe  MUiirai  to watch out for  What's Mile stars ?*Size up potential lewemate/ ♦ See whatcarfan celebrity shares your sign/  (MAR.1l -APfU?)  IMPULSIVE, CR£Aflv£,i  VOtAT'^,A>JPPRO-  ZAm uxi&jtmw  SeiVej" ID 8£, IR K£5JS-  ■f\8vf5WAti»5oM  ft*£S ACTvAUY ARE,  THty'Kt QUITE f?o  aw/PC, ear i w 5Ay yout> like to  JP£nD MORE 1W Vrw THE*, THty GET  PA MICK/ ArJD PSL UKt THEy WT  6KEATHE.  ON TUt OfK£* HAHO,TM£yK  mr the l£Ast ctr Possessive TH£y  fa/Twfty UI A&AW TH&R ACB.  LoiS  Leo  (ju.yij-AU6.22)  GRfGAR>0U5, OV6K-  gEAPW6,Arit>PCftJWR,  ao$ m atjheik  B&ST N FZcHTOF A«  AUMWCt. 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THEyLo/fTfc  Bcmt UP THSK FE£l>«;,1H&/iOR.-  |p«i5£ you By emcano wke a mau/a<.ih#  ARt CAPAB^ Of DEE«»PfVWlok/,BOTlf  VOJ £V£f»- MAtff A MUUlPGRSrANCX*fe  l^tfH T«£M,T)»Ey wia WEl/£RJP6AX-n>y(M  A6Al«0. Urey KfEPlHflRlfrrcHW lwr^5*W.  Thea  Pisces  («=6.2o-*AR.-iO  , 6E»itt£,Cc«ntMPtA-^W&iJITlVE  MP FLW.nscf/W/  A«f uup:y Roka*J-  HcA»l6fttr7f|«IE  SOMMH THAt-THEIR  p-———^   - REAL GJRifRrww  I*«iJtj to -TKPA. tney am Rag a^p 5y;-  6ppLy,1H£y UAtffTF*& i^HiCH J5 U(JftftRk//»rt fiEC^iifTHfy  ' Of TEM E«P UP B6I06 SbCJAL W0RK6R5.  TH ey Wy 5EV-1 MTRowCWnT BaSKJ, AMP  CAU BE ?X«>P W Pl5PR0ft>tTMATE WUM-  BERJ WASVlfcA«$iAA£Pl-plrT<o»JRfTReATjr,  AKP Ger-RICH-«HICK SEMh/ARS.  SEPTEMBER 1998  KINESIS <  #  BEST  OF THE  ALTERNATIVE  PRESS  Looking for an  adventure in your  magazine reading?  Order a sample copy of the best of  Canada's other press by simply filling  out the request form.  &hemaifce~  %v*.  With over 25 years of journalistic  experience, ALTERNATIVES is the most  widely-read environmental journal in  Canada. Thought-provoking articles go  beyond band-aid solutions to consider  concrete alternatives for a wide range of  environmental issues. Look to ALTERNATIVES for reports, opinion pieces, and  reviews of eco-books.  ARTICHOKE is Western Canada's visual  arts magazine and winner of the 1996  Western Magazine of the Year Award for  editorial excellence. Launched in Calgary in  1989, ARTICHOKE sustains a critical  dialogue about visual arts in BC, Alberta,  Saskatchewan, and beyond. Each issue  features reviews, interviews, and profiles  documenting careers, politics and trends.  on  BRIARPATCH is Canada's award  magazine, providing an alternative  issues and event in Canada and the  world. Essential reading for activists  interested in politics, unions, the  environment, women's rights and  international affairs. We publish articles  the mainstream media won't touch.  Principled. Radical. Independent. For over  30 years, CANADIAN DIMENSION has  been a place where activists can debate  issues, share information, recount our  victories, evaluate our strategies for social  change. Our pages are open to all  progressive voices- debate makes the  movement stronger.  And it makes for lively reading!  Insightful, informative, inspiring,  CANADIAN WOMAN STUDIES is an  indispensable resource for the feminist  reader. We publish material that bridges  academia and grassroots activism.  Women's diverse voices from across  Canada are featured in each thematic  issue. Upcoming: Women and Education,  Mothers and Daughters, and a 20th  anniversary issue.  You're going to love HERIZONS, the  Canadian feminist magazine that delivers  the scoop on issues inside the Canadian  women's movement today. The latest legal  rulings affecting women, provocative  interviews, health, new issues and  debates. HERIZONS has it all. Plus satire,  tons of reviews, and plenty of news at a  News with an edge from Indian Country  and traditional knowledge from the  source. The award-winning magazine THE  NATION is a bi-monthly that has broken  all the industry's rules. Starting with two  borrowed computers and a $1000 ad, it  has grown into one of the leading voices  of Canada's North.  ConWectibn  THE COUNTRY CONNECTION  illuminates country life through heritage,  cultural, artistic, pro-nature and outdoor  themes. Stories, maps and photography  are dedicated to the restoration of natural  ecosystems, the preservation of heritage  buildings, and the nurturing of low-impact  lifestyles. A great see-and-do guide for  nature lovers and rural adventurers.  Vegan friendly.  Njttura[Mfe  -  ,11  '•■'■ ':^Wt^:j/1  NATURAL LIFE is Canada's alternative  newsmagazine- in print and on the  Internet at <>. Founded in  1976, we are now Canada's widest-  ranging source of information and  inspiration for reinventing now we live...  in our communities ana on our planet.  Always honest, always provocative, always  slightly ahead of our time.  SocialistM^S?!?]  Southern Africa     w.« ifc. i  Begin your  South Africa Now;  Co»aw. Thabo Wb«W         ;^jp  H.IMIIMIM       CCTtferene«: #W  _.  MEGA  BANK  reading  adventure  here...  Economic crisis sweeps Asia. General  strikes challenge the cuts in Ontario.  Unemployed workers demonstrate in Paris.  The world has become a terrain of crisis  and struggle. Every two weeks, SOCIALIST (  WORKER analyses this terrain and argues  for a way to fight back.  SOUTHERN AFRICA REPORT- for  trenchant commentary and perceptive  analysis on the latest events in Southern  Africa! SAR has provided 12 years of  nsistently informed analysis on the region';  political and economic developments.  Published quarterly by writers and activists.  £23U  TERRAIN   |[  f»;:  Each issue of SUB-TERRAIN is a  stimulating fusion of fiction, poetry,  commentary and visual art from Canada  and abroad. Voted one of the two "Best  edited-in-Vancouver magazines with few  pictures, lots of good words." - Georgia  Straight, Best of Vancouver 1997.  Publishing a new front-line of writers  Alternative journalism that doesn't flinch.  With THIS MAGAZINE, the recognized  leader in alternative journalism, you get  genuinely fresh takes on Canadian politics,  culture and the arts. You get writing that  takes on neo-con myths with wit,  personality and attitude and award-  winning investigative journalism that the  mainstream won't touch.  WE INTERNATIONAL brings a brand nev  face to the 21st century with reviews,  interviews, art, essays and humour.  Independent and 22 years old, WE  (formerly Women and Environment^ is ar  eco-feminist quarterly that prides itself or  its world readership and representation,  and ground-breaking research on women'  global and community realities.  FUSE MAGAZINE provides a door to  cutting-edge activities in the art and  cultural communities shaping our world.  Investigating why the work is being  produced, FUSE covers visual art,  performance, film/video, multimedia and  more. One of the only magazines  exploring in depth the political aspects of  art making and the ways art  Who's being exploited? How should we  live? Who will save the Earth? Find out  what's really going on with NEW  INTERNATIONALIST, a five-time  Alternative Press Award winner. From  endangered species to child labour, each  month Nl takes a radical look at a specific  theme. We examine all the angles to put  you squarely in the picture.  GEIST is home to the Honourary  Canadian Awards, the Trans-Canada  Phrase Book, the Canadian Mall Writing  Competition, the Who the Hell is Peter  Gzowski survey, and the very best in story,  picture, essay, memoir, crossword, toon,  and little-known fact. In print since 1990.  "A publication that is, in this country,  inimitable."- Toronto Star  POV is Canada's cutting-edge magazine  on the culture, politics, art and business of  independent documentary film and  television. POV also covers a diverse range  of work from features and shorts to video  art through lively analysis and timely  criticism. Published three times per year.  !  ^   REQUEST  I s?\ FORM  To place your order, please:  • 1 / Indicate the magazine(s) you wish to receive.  Artichoke Briarpatch  Alternatives  Can. Woman Studies  Country Connection  Herizons  New Internationalist  S. Africa Report  WE International  Canadian Dimension  Fuse Ceist  Natural Life The Nation  POV Socialist Worker  Sub-Terrain This Magazine  • 2/ Fill out your name and address.  • 3/ Calculate your payment. The first magazine you request  • costs $5.00, each additional magazine is $2.50. For example, if  • you order three magazines, your payment would be $5.00 + 2  • x $2.50 = $10.OO. GST is included. Please add $S to US  • orders, S10 to international orders. Please make your  • 4/ Mail this form with your payment. Send to: Chaos  • Consulting-BOAP, PO Box 65506, Stn F, Vancouver, BC, V5N  • 5K5. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. For inquiries  • only (no orders), e-mail or  • fax:(604)875-1403.  KINESIS  SEPTEMBER 1998 Bulletin Board  read   this!     INVOLVEMENT  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, #309-877 E. Hastings St,  Vancouver, BC, V6A 3Y1; fax: (604)  255-7508; email:  For more info call (604) 255-5499.  INVOLVEMENT  WANNA GET INVOLVED?  With Kinesis? We want to get involved with  you too. Help plan our next issue. All  women interested in what goes into  K/nes/'s--whether it's news, features or  arts-are invited to our Story Meetings on  the first Tuesday of each month. Our next  Story Meetings are on Tues Sep 1 and  Tues Oct 6 at 7pm at our office, 309-877  E. Hastings St. For more information or if  you can't make the meeting, but still want  to find out about contributing to Kinesis,  give Agnes a call at (604) 255-5499. New  and experienced writers welcome.  Childcare and travel subsidies available.  CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS  Are you interested in finding 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. We'll be in production  for the Oct 1998 issue Sept 16-22. Come  and join us. No experience is necessary.  Training and support will be provided. If  this notice intrigues you, call us at (604)  255-5499. Childcare and travel subsidies  available.  KINESIS IS 25  Well, just about... 1999 is Kinesis'25th  year anniversary, and we intend to celebrate! If you're interested in working on  our anniversary party (in January), or on  our 25th anniversary subscription drive  campaign, or with our anniversary kick-off  issue (our December/January 1999 issue),  then call, call, call us. (604) 255-5499. We  want your input, ideas, remembrances,  cartoons, and everything else.  VSW IS LOOKING FOR YOU!  If you are interested in learning to do  referral and peer counselling work, at VSW  we are offering a great opportunity to  women who are interested in volunteer  work during the day. Come answer the  phone lines talk to women who drop in,  and help connect them with the community  resources they need. For more information  call Ema or Agnes at (604) 255-6554.  Childcare and travel subsidies available.  FEMINIST FUNDRAISERSWANTED!  VSW is seeking enthusiastic, energetic and  creative women to join the Finance &  Fundraising Committee. If you enjoy  raising money for a great cause, organizing  events or just want to have some fun, call  Audrey at 255-6554 today!  RESOURCE LIBRARIAN NEEDED  If you have knowledge of organizing and  maintaining a Resource Centre and want  to hang out with great group of women,  VSW is the perfect place for you. VSW is  looking for women to help make our  resources more accessible and user-  friendly to women. For more information  call Ema at 255-6554. Childcare and travel  subsidies available.  EVENTS  VSW AGM  The Vancouver Status of Women will be  holding its annual general meeting on Wed  Sep 23 from 7-9:30pm at the Mount  Pleasant Neighbourhood House, 800 E.  Broadway. The event will feature reports  and updates on the activities of VSW and  Kinesis, as well as entertainment, refreshments and door prizes. Members of VSW  and women who are not members but are  interested in the work of the organization  are invited to attend. Please RSVP by Sept  18. Call (604) 255-6554.   NAC CONFERENCE  The National Action Committee on the  Status of Women-BC Region is having its  Fall Regional Conference Sep 25-27 at the  College of New Caledonia in Quesnel. The  conference will include discussions on  women's centres' contract reform, sexuality,  gender identity, and strategy and  fundraising workshops. The event is open  to members and non-members of NAC. For  more info or to register contact Joyce  Mariash and Vinder Lalli at the Quesnel  Women's Resource Society, 690 McLean  St., Quesnel, BC.V2J 2P6; tel: (250) 992-  8472; email  WOMEN RESEARCH BIOMEDICINE  The BC Women's Health Centre as part of  their Women's Health Speakers Series will  be hosting a panel discussion, "Feminist  Approaches to Biomedical Research" Tues  Sep 29, 2-4pm in Room E311 at BC  Women's Hospital, 4500 Oak St, Vancouver.  The event will feature presentations by  Penny Ballem, vice-president of Women's  and Family Health Programs at Children's  and Women's Health Centre of BC;  Arminee Kazanjian, associate director of  the Centre for Health Services and Policy  Research and a professor of health care  and epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC; and Jerilynn Prior, a professor  of Endocrinology in the Faculty of Medicine  at UBC. Everyone is welcome. The event is  free. Services for persons with disabilities  and Lower Mainland transportaion subsidies are available upon request. To RSVP  or for more info phone (604) 875-2633 or  email  ANTI-POVERTYTRAINING  End Legislated Poverty is holding their  13th annual Organizer's Training School  Sept 25, 26, 27 in Langley, BC. ELP invites  those who are new to the anti-poverty  movement as well as seasoned activists to  come connect and share skills about  political organizing. The training school is  free to low income people, with meals,  child care, accommodation and transportation included. The site is wheelchair  accessible. To register or for more details  call Terrie, Linda or Michelle at ELP (604)  879-1209 (collect).   YOUTH FACILITATOR WORKSHOPS  The Self-Help Resource Association  (SHRA) Youth Project in Vancouver will be  hosting a free Youth Facilitator Workshop  Sept 26-27. The goal of these workshops  is to explore the knowledge and practical  skills needed to facilitate a mutual support  group for youths. They will cover group  boundaries and obstacles, issues involving  safety and disclosure, power and development of youth voice plus much more. All  youths and any adults who work with  youths are invited to participate. To register  contact SHRA of BC, 303-1212 West  Broadway, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3V1; tel:  (604) 733-6186; email: .  INDIGENOUS WOMEN'S ART  Ancient Memories Thru Women's Art is an  event that will be held Nov 6-8 at the  Roundhouse Community Center in Vancouver to allow Indigenous women to share  their accomplishments, ideas and skills,  thereby fostering a sense of cultural pride  and community solidarity. The three-day  gathering will include artist workshops,  cultural events, panel discussions, healing  circles, an art exhibition, among other things.  Indigenous women wishing to register may  contact Michelle Sylliboy at (604) 251-4621  ext 1 and leave a message, e-mail; or write to Indigenous  Women in the Arts Collective, 307-1710  East Pender St, Vancouver, BC, V5L 1W4.  LISA ROBERTSON  Poet and art critic Lisa Robertson will be  reading from her new book Debbie: An  Epic on Tues Sep 15,7:30pm at Women in  Print, 3566 West 4th Ave, Vancouver.  Robertson is a regular columnist for the  Toronto-based arts magazine Mix, and is  the author of XEclogue and The Apothecary. For more info call (604) 732-4128.  BETSY WARLAND  Betsy Warland, author of several volumes  of poetry and two plays, will be celebrating  the publication of What Holds Us Here on  Tues Sep 29 7pm at Women In Print, 3566  West 4th Ave, Vancouver. Among Warland's  previously published works are The Bat  had Blue Eyes and Proper Definitions. For  more info call (604) 732-4128.  % ,o««UN,CAT'°«  .Carol Weaver  ) graphic design & illustration  CO-OPERATING WOMEN  Women Work in Co-ops, will be held in  Vancouver Oct 16-17 at the YWCA. Through  a combination of panels, workshops and  plenaries, participants will examine women's  experiences in their co-ops and work  collectively to generate ideas for enhancing  women's participation in co-ops, exploring  new ideas for development, and ensuring  diversity. The two-day event will also feature  women from Cuban co-ops. Registration is  $75. Some subsidies are available. For more  info or to register call (604) 737-1338; email:; or write to Women Work  in Co-ops, 217-1956 West Broadway,  Vancouver, BC, V5J 1Z2.  RADICAL LESBIAN FEMINIST  UPRISING  Radical Lesbian Feminist Uprising is a rural  gathering being planned for Oct 1-4, near  Kansas City, Missouri. The purpose of this  gathering is to discuss and practice radical  lesbian feminist concepts. Activities will  include workshops, small group discussions,  community meetings, good food, and homegrown entertainment. The fee is based on a  sliding scale and the food will be vegetarian.  For more info, in Canada call Ursa at (905)  523-8471 or email her at Or write to  Carla Biersdorff, RLF, PO Box 32983,  Kansas City, MO, 64171.   A PLACE CALLED CHIAPAS  The premiere of Canadian filmmaker Nettie  Wild's controversial documentary, A Place  Called Chiapas, will take place in Vancouver  this September. For eight-months, Wild  travelled throughout the jungle canyons of  southern Mexico to film the elusive and fragile  life of the Chiapas rebellion. The documentary  includes interviews with Subcomandante  Marcos, the charismatic commander of the  Mayan Zapatista indigenous army as well as  members of the right-wing paramilitary death  squads. The film will be shown at Fifth Avenue  Cinemas, Vancouver on Sep 18-24 and on  CBC-TV Tues Sep 22 at 8pm.   SOCIAL CHANGEWORKSHOPS  The Simon Fraser University Public Interest  Research Group is sponsoring free popular  education workshops Sep 29 & 30 as part  of its PIRG U. The first day will feature an  Aboriginal herb walk with workshop, an  interactive food theatre, and a session with  Farm Folk/City Folk on globalization, food,  politics and BC. The second day will feature  a coffee and fair trade workshop, a session  on the Burnaby Mountain development, and  a wrap-up social. All workshops will be held  on the SFU campus in Burnaby. Pre-  registration is recommended. For more info  call SFPIRG, (604) 291-4360, or visit their  website at  Mediation is a way of"  finding solutions to conflict  which preserve rights,  dignity and the future  ability to work together.  MELINDA MUNRO  MEDIATOR/LAWYER  401-825 granville street,  Vancouver, b.c. v6z 1 k9  689-7778(ph)     689-5572 (fax)  seeking peaceful solutions  which respect difference,  equality and justice  labour/employment, human tights,  civil disputes and conflicts within  community organizations.  SEPTEMBER 1998 Bulletin Board  GROUPS  GROUPS  SUBMISSIONS  CLASSIFIEDS  FEMINIST RESOURCE GUIDE  Women interested in putting together a  feminist resource guide for women with  disabilities are invited to send their input to  Neva at (604) 872-0555 or Ema at the  Vancouver Status of Women, (604) 255-  6554.   RAPE RELIEFVOLUNTEERS  Vancouver Rape Relief & Women's Shelter  needs women who are interested in  volunteering for their 24-hour crisis line and  transition house for women and children.  Volunteer training sessions are held  Tuesday evenings. For more info and a  training interview call (604) 872-8212.  LGTB VOLUNTEERS WANTED  Want to be more involved in the lesbian/  gay/transgendered/bisexual community in  Vancouver? Interested in volunteering on  phone lines providing info, referrals and  support? The Centre, a community centre  serving and supporting L/GAT/Bs and their  allies, is inviting interested volunteers to  participate in the training program for the  Centre's Prideline. The six-week program  begins Mon Sep 14. Fill out a volunteer  application at 1170 Bute Street, Vancouver,  BC or call (604) 684-5307 for more info.  WOMEN'S HEALTH CLINICS  An all-women group has been getting  together in Vancouver every second Friday  from 11 am-2pm to talk about women's  physical, mental and emotional health.  Topics are picked week by week. Bring  your own lunch. Hosted by AWARE (All  Women's Autonomous Radical Education).  For meeting dates and location or more  info call (604) 215-2662.   BREAKINGTHE SILENCE  A new project in Vancouver's Downtown  Eastside has been started up to build  community, and to speak out and develop a  community response to the many aspects  of violence women experience. The  "Women Break the Silence by Speaking  Out" project, co-sponsored by the Carnegie  Centre, the Senior's Centre and the  Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, will  produce a series of workshops by and for  the women of the Downtown Eastside  community throughout the Fall, and will  culminate with a three-day retreat. The  organizers invite women living in the area,  organizations and activists interested in  participating in the project to call them at  (604) 682-3269, mailbox 8319.  SHAKTI STRENGTH  Shakti is a self-help group in Vancouver for  South Asian Indo-Canadian women who  have experienced the psychiatric system.  The group meets every 1st and 3rd  Saturday of the month 1-3pm at South  Vancouver Neighbourhood House, 6470  Victoria Dr. For more info call Helen 733-  5570 (for English) or 682-3269 box 8144  (for Punjabi & Hindi).  COLECTIVO LATINO AMERICANO  A new group for Latin American women  and men has started up in Vancouver. The  Canadian Latin-American Collective is a  non-profit organization committed to the  general well-being of the Canadian Latin  American community in British Columbia,  by developing and supporting activities  involving the opening and sustaining of a  socio-political space for sharing cultural  values with the rest of Canadian society.  For more info write to the collective, PO  Box 4265, VMPO, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3Z7;  or call Leticia Flores at (604) 708-0996.  COMPULSIVE EATING SUPPORT  A drop-in support group for women with  issues of compulsive eating meet twice a  month at the Eating Disorder Resource  Centre of BC, St. Paul's Hospital, Room  2C-213, 1081 Burrard St, Vancouver. Drop-  in times are 7:30pm to 9pm every 1st and  3rd Wednesday of the month. Facilitated by  Colleen Hyland and Cynthia Johnston. For  more info call (604) 631-5313.  SUBMISSIONS  APIWOMEN  Are you a wimmin or girl of full, mixed or  partial Asian or Pacific Islander origin?  Have you always wanted to see your  work-be it poetry, art, recipes, rants, fiction  or non-fiction-in print? Fire Moon!, Asian  and Pacific Islander Wimmin's Alliance,  wants to print your stuff for its Zine. All  submissions can be handed into the Simon  Fraser University Women's Centre, c/o  Janet. Submissions are accepted on an  ongoing basis. For more info call (604)  291-3670 or email: .  CALL FOR ART DONATIONS  The Indigenous Women in the Arts Collective, the Roundhouse Community Center  and the Helen Pitt Gallery invites the  Indigenous women's artistic community to  support an exhibit which will be held in  conjunction with the Ancient Memories  Thru Women's Art gathering. The exhibit,  co-curated by Shirley Bear and Grace Eiko  Thomson, will take place Oct 17-Nov 10  and is designed to provide Indigenous  women with the opportunity to share a  broad range of artistic expressions, while  fostering a sense of cultural pride and  solidarity. Interested artists are invited to  send sample photographs, slide, and/or  video presentations, together with an  artist's statement and a resume to the  Curators of Ancient Memories, c/o Helen  Pitt Gallery, 882 Homer St, Vancouver, BC,  V6B 2W5. For more info call (604) 681-  6740 or email: Deadline  is Sep 30.  GAY AND LESBIAN ANTHOLOGY  Two daughters of lesbian moms are inviting  others who grew up in lesbian and gay  families to contribute their creative pieces  for an upcoming anthology. Send work to:  Kids On The Margins, 50 Rosehill Ave, Apt  1508, Toronto, ON, M4T 1G6. Deadline is  Dec 31.  IMMIGRANT STORIES AND POETRY  Two immigrant women in BC are compiling  a book of stories and poetry based on the  experiences of "first generation" immigrant  women to be published in the Fall 1999.  Stories/poetry should reflect hopes and  dreams, adapting, daily struggles, identity,  striving to strike a balance, loss and gain,  the physical process of migration, etc.  Submissions should be no longer than  4000 words and be accompanied by an  author profile of not more than 200 words.  Send submissions by email to:; or by mail to:  Nila/Prabhjot, PO Box 78023, Port  Coquitlam, BC, V3B 7H5. Deadline is Jan 31.  MIDDLE EAST PEACE QUILT  Women are invited to submit a quilt square  expressing their vision of peace between  the Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews in  the Middle East. Submissions will become  a permanent part of the Middle East Peace  Quilt, which will be toured and form a basis  for discussion and dialogue. Quilt squares  should be 9 inches square with a half inch  border on all four sides. The image may be  stitched, painted or worked in any other  way, as long as the fabric remains flexible.  Send submissions to the Middle East  Peace Quilt, PO Box 53528, W Broadway  Postal Outlet, 984 Broadway, Vancouver,  BC, V5Z 1K0. Those who can afford it are  asked to contribute $5 with each submission to help cover the cost of putting the  quilt together. For more info email:  quilt® Deadline is Dec 31.  CRIAW CONFERENCE  The Canadian Research Institute for the  Advancement of Women (CRIAW) is  holding a conference entitled "Feminist  Definitions of Healthy Lifestyles and  Caring Communities" Oct 15-17, 1999.  CRIAW welcomes papers, workshops,  presentations, posters, art, poetry and  performances for this conference.  Submissions must be sent before Feb  28, 1999 to CRIAW Paper Selection  Committee, c/o Andrea Levan, Thornloe  College, Laurentian University, Ramsey  Lake Road, Sudbury, ON, P3E 2C6, tel.  (705) 673-1730, fax (705) 673-4979.  GIRLS AROUNDTHE WORLD  Personal essays are being sought for an  anthology on girls and their lives today to  be called Millennium Girls: Today's Girls  Around the World. In particular, the  anthologizer in interested in essays  detailing the life experiences of disenfranchised girls, such as working in  canneries, fields and factories, homeless  girls, prostitutes, delinquent girls, and  girls marginalized in their cultures by  race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, and  other factors. For this collection, a girl is  defined as a female between the ages of  8-18. Submissions should be in English  and between 15-25 pages long. An  abstract of 250-300 and an author profile  is requested by Nov 1. Send submissions to Professor Sherrie A. Inness,  Department of English, Miami University,  1601 Peck Boulevard, Hamilton, Ohio,  45011 USA.   ANTHOLOGY ON LESBIAN  DISABILITY  This nonfiction anthology will address  social-political issues from a range of  vantage points. Each essay must be  accessible in the literal sense of the  word while also addressing ideas and  theories specific to lesbians and disability. A strongly progressive perspective  on issues of gender, race, ethnicity, class  and ability must be elemental to all  essays. This anthology is open only to  disabled lesbians. Contact Victoria A.  Brownworth at: You  may also call (215) 848-9341. Mail  inquiries to Susan Raffo/Victoria A.  Brownworth, c/o 3147 14th Avenue  South #3, Minneapolis, MN 55407  SHARED HOME OFFICE  A two-bedroom basement suite converted  into shared office space is available for  rent. Located in East Vancouver near 1st  and Nanaimo. Separate entrance. Quiet,  secured, non-smoking environment.  Shared kitchen and bathroom. $200-250.  Call (604) 215-1720.   JOB POSTING  Battered Women's Support Services is  currently recruiting for the position of Coordinator, Vancouver Coordination Committee on Violence Against Women In Relationships. The Position involves the cooperative management of a program designed to improve the response by systems  and community support agencies to  battered women. Representatives from  these agencies come together in committees and working groups to critique and  improve policies and procedures which  affect women attempting to access protective intervention. Closing date for resumes  if Fri Sep 11, at 5pm. Under the BC Human  Rights Act, preference will be given to  Aboriginal women, women of colour, and  immigrant women of colour. For a full  description of the duties, qualifications and  hiring process, check out BWSS' website  at No phone calls will  be accepted.  WOMEN'S SELF-DEFENSE  Women Educating in Self-defense Training  (WEST) teaches Wenlido. In Basic classes,  you learn how to make the most of mental,  physical and verbal skills to get away from  assault situations. Continuing training  builds on basic techniques to improve  physical and mental strength. By women,  for women. For info, call 876-6390.  TWO BR BASEMENT SUITE  A legal two-bedroom suite; newly renovated, secured, with separate entrance,  sprinkler and fire alarm system, parking  and yard. Across from park and playground. Suite is quiet, non-smoking, with  cooperative tenant(s). Children welcome.  $675, includes utilities. Located in Near 1st  and Nanaimo. Call (604) 215-1720   CITYVIEW CO-OP  Cityview Housing Co-op has one, two and  three bedroom suites for $565, $696, $795 per  month and refundable share purchase.  Carpets, blinds, appliances, parking, laundry  room. Children and small pets welcome.  Participation required. Please send a business  size SASE to Membership Committee,  Cityview Housing Co-op, #108-1885 E.  Pender St, Vancouver, BC, V5L 1W6.   BETH TROTTER COUNSELLING  Beth Trotter, MA, Registered Clinical Counsellor announces the opening of her counselling  and in-depth psychotherapy practice in  Vancouver. Ten years experience in private  practice in Victoria, specializing in working with  women. Integrating feminist, Western and  Buddhist psychological approaches. Expertise  in working with deep trauma and dissociation  issues. EMDR trained. Fifteen years experience as a Buddhist Vipassana meditator. Call  (604)731-1701.  a woman owned and operated business specializing in defensive driver training    ->  PACIFICWEST  Driver Improvement and Retraining  ■ Become a confident and safe driver with an experienced instructor  SEPTEMBER 1998 Bulletin Board  CLASSIFIEDS  UNPLANNED PREGNANCY  Volunteers are being sought for one-to-one  interviews by an academic researcher on  assistance received and any choices made  concerning an unplanned pregnancy.  Interviews will be confidential and the  participants will remain anonymous.  Expenses will be reimbursed. To participate  contact Eileen in Vancouver at 738-9787.  WOMEN'S SPIRITUALITY  WORKSHOP  Whole Body/Whole Spirit: Women in Search of  a New Spirituality, is an eight-session course in  Vancouver exploring the links between body  awareness and women's spirituality. Using  creative movement, drawing, dance, voice,  group reflection and ritual, we will explore body  image, body myths, religious and cultural  influences on our body the social construction  of the body and gender, self-care and healing,  space and boundaries, and the sacredness of  the body and its connection to the earth. One  session will be held on Wednesdays from Sep  16-Nov 4,7-9:30pm at St. Margaret's Cedar  Cottage, with Maria Cervino and Denise  Nadeau. Cost is $150. Another session for  Spanish-speaking women will be held on  Tuesdays from Oct 27-Dec 15,7-9:30pm at St.  Margaret's Cedar Cottage, with Maria Cervino  and Denise Nadeau. Cost is $150. Another  session will be held on Mondays from Oct 19-  Dec 7, 7:30-1 Opm at SEAD Centre (12th and  Yew), with Denise Nadeau. Cost is $150. Some  subsidies available. For info or to register call  (604) 876-6744.  \WA/Book&  .   J    wr    Art Emporium  Western Canada's  Lesbian & Gay  Bookstore  Open Daily 10am to 11pm  Our Books/Our Issues  Gay Fiction  Lesbian Fiction  Our Magazines & Journals  AIDS/Heaith  Humour  Erotica  Little Sister's Book & Art Emporium  1238 Davie Street,Vancouver,B.C,V6E 1N4  (604)669-1753 Phone Orders 1-800-567-1662  Internet Address:  Queer Theory  Feminist Theory  Biographies, Essays, Poetry  Religion & Spirituality  Art & Photography  Community  The law firm of  STOWE ELLIS  is pleased to announce that  Shannon Aldinger  has joined the firm  Practise restricted to:  - civil suits for sexual abuse and assault  - family law  - personal injury and ICBC claims  — Theresa L. Stowe — Megan R. Ellis — Shannon Aldinger —  Suite 310 - 111 Water Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1A7  Telephone: 604-683-7144  Employers and employees!  Avoid problems in future by  having responsible hiring,  dismissal, harrassment and  human rights policies.  MUN RO^PARFITT  *        LAWYERS  401-825 granville street  Vancouver, b.c. v6z 1k9  689^7778(ph)     689-5572 (fax)  quality legal services  woman friendly atmosphere  labour/employment, human rights,  civil litigation and  public interest advocacy.   WOMEN  IN  PRINT  BOOKS o OTHER MEDIA  Disfoiin/s/or  book clubs  3566 West 4th Avenue  +  Vancouver BC  Special orders  Voice   604 732-4128  welcome  Fax       604 732-1129  10-6 Daily  ♦  12-5 Sunday  *.*  PROUDLY ANNOUNCING  the Opening of  DR. PENNY THOMPSON'S  DENTAL PRACTICE  Dentistry in the Heart of the Community  Phone:251-1322 Fax:251-1232  Call Us ... Be a Special Patient  Or drop by at 1 - 1701 Grant Street (at Commercial Drive), Vancouver  Advertisement paid by Dr. Penny J. Thompson, Inc.  SEPTEMBER 1998  #s Kinesis: the musical  the longest running production in  Canadian feminist history  This engaging collage of theatre,  music and dance has been thrilling  audiences on the big stage for more than  24 years. With original monologues,  dialogues, songs and movements coming  out 10 times a year, Kinesis: the musical  is sure to entice audiences back for  more.  The show starts off in an unconventional set—a bright mango room, with  windows at two ends. Inside, there's an  assortment of quirky props: scanners, x-  acto knives, light tables, waxers, filing  cabinets, rubylith, and stacks of interesting  objects that audience members are actually  welcome to handle and organize.  And there lies the uniqueness of  Kinesis: the musical—the audience is as  integral to making the production a  success as are the regular cast members.  Also, instead of taking away a mangled play bill, Kinesis: the musical sends  audiences home with a terrific newspaper full of fascinating "news about  women that's not in the dailies."  In conclusion, this reviewer gives  Kinesis: the musical an enthusiastic  recommendation, and encourages viewers to ramble on down to the set and  check out this dazzling production.  You'll be glad you did.  And don't forget to pick up your subscription to the season's series today, and  ensure that the wonder that is Kinesis will  be at your doorstep every month!  One year  □$20 + $1.40 GST  □ Cheque enclosed   For individuals who can't afford the full amount  □ Bill me  □ New  □ Renewal  □ Gift  S2?T,Sfr^?S      O Donation  □$45+ $3.15 GST  Two years  □$36 + $2.52 GST  Name   Address   Country   Telephone _  for Kinesis subscription, send what you can.  Free to women prisoners.  Orders outside Canada add $8.  Vancouver Status of Women Membership  (includes Kinesis subscription)  □$30+$1.40 GST  Postal code_  Fax   Published ten times a year by the Vancouver Status of Women  #309-877 E. Hastings St., Vancouver, BC V6A 3Y1


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