Kinesis

Kinesis May 1, 1999

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 %*dai Collections Swial  1&^  r   .;;  1  i "if  ...1  fill  "i  ■  J  €      Ii:  yilip"  CMPA $2.25     BLACK BUTCH HERO...page 13        MAY 1999 KINESIS  #309-877 E. Hastings St.  Vancouver, BC V6A 3Y1  Tel: (604)255-5499  Fax: (604)255-7508  Email: kinesis@web.net  Kinesis welcomes volunteer to work  on all aspects of the paper. Our next  Story Meetings are on Tues June 1  and Tues Aug 3 at our office, 309-  877 E. Hastings St. Production for our  July/August 1999 issue is from June  15-22. 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, imperialism and anti-Jewish  oppression. 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, Jenn Lo,  Bernadette Phan, Laura Quilici, Amal  Rana.Colleen Sheridan (on leave),  Ellen Woodsworth  PRODUCTION THIS ISSUE  Adeebah, Boris, Deva, Dorothy Elias  Farrah, Robyn Hall, Fatima Jaffer  Leanne Johnson, Leanne Keltie  Nancy Pang, Bernadette Phan  Monica K. Rasi, Rubina, Miriam  Stuart, Ruth Sauder, Dorcas Wilkins  Marketing: Jenn Lo  Circulation: Audrey Johnson,  Chrystal Fowler  Production Co-ordinator: Amal Rana  Designer: Jenn Lo  Veenu Saini and Rubina on  Redondo Beach, California  November 1998  Photo by Fatima Jaffer  PRESS DATE  May 6, 1999  SUBSCRIPTIONS  Individual: $20 per year (+$1.40 GST)  or what you can afford  Institutions/Groups:  $45 per year (+$3.15 GST)  VSW Membership (includes 1 year  Kinesis subscription):  $30 per year (+$1.40 GST)  SUBMISSIONS  Women and girls are welcome to  make submissions. We reserve the  right to edit and submission does not  guarantee publication. If possible,  submissions should be typed, double  spaced and must be signed and  include an address, telephone number  and SASE. Kinesis does not accept  poetry or fiction. Editorial guidelines  are available upon request.  DEADLINES  All submissions must be received in  the month preceding publication.  Note: Jul/Aug and Dec/Jan are double  issues.  Features and reviews: 10th  News: 15th  Letters and Bulletin Board: 18th  Display advertising  (camera ready): 18th  (design required): 16th  Printing by Horizon Publications.  Kinesis is indexed in the Canadian  Women's Periodicals Index,  the Alternative Press Index, and is a  member of the Canadian Magazine  Publishers Association.  ISSN 0317-9095  Publications mail registration #6426  Inside  What's News 3  compiled by Wei Yuen Fong, Leanne Johnson and Leanne Keltie  Features  Living with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) 7  by Annaliese Van Oers  Fighting to preserve disability classifications 8       Black, butch, lesbian, hero..  by Eileen O'Brien  Centrespread  Mother's Day Special: Roundtable with three Vancouver moms ...  by Lynda Gray, Lissa Geller and Veenu Saini, as told to Fatima  Jaffer  The birthing of "Mothers' Day"   .13  Arts  sharon bridgforth's the bull-jean stories 13  reviewed by Nadine C. King  30 Helens at the Firehall 14,16  review and interview by Kelly Haydon  Two decades of Joane Cardinal-Schubert 15  reviewed by Michelle McGeough  Regulars  As Kinesis Goes to Press 2  Inside Kinesis 2  Movement Matters 5  compiled by Robyn Hall  Bulletin Board 17  compiled by Miriam Stuart  ^  W&  efr  vvS  /yvt  )v ^ Happy mommy's day .  cjot some, news   for us?  Then, come to our  Story Meetings...  the first Tuesday of every month  at 7:00pm  at 309-877 E. Hastings St  Next Meetings:  June I  August 3  Or call us at (604) 255-5499  Celebrating Joane Cardinal-Schubert  r^NESK The dog days of summer may not have  yet officially begun, but the women of Kinesis have already started longing for mobile production rooms that can be set up at  the closest beach!! With June around the  corner, we've started preparing for all the  usual summer activities: BBQs, beach parties and watching WNBA ( Women's National Basketball Association) games on TV.  However, amidst all this excitement  and planning for June, we definitely  haven't forgotten that May holds its own  significant dates. Perhaps the most important of these is Mothers' Day (May 9th).  Who better to talk about Mothers' Day than  three mums? In this month's issue, we invite you to join Veenu Saini, Lynda Gray  and Lissa Geller as they talk about motherhood and all its different facets [starting on  page 9.] No discussion on motherhood  would be complete without input from the  kids, so we also invite you to take a peek at  the cool drawings by Rubina, Boris,  Adeebah, Farrah and Deva.  We would also like to welcome some  amazing new writers: Michelle McGough,  Nadine C. King, Annaliese Van Oers, Veenu  Saini and Lynda Gray. And while we're at  it, we want to thank the fabulous Kinesis  volunteers who pored over proofreading  material and bravely took on various tasks  in order to bring you this month's issue.  Welcome especially to our newest production volunteer, Ruth Sauder.  As usual, there has been a lot of exciting stuff happening within the mango-hued  walls of Kinesis. Most importantly, we've  hired leanne Johnson as our new subscription drive coordinator, leanne has been  hired on a two month contract and will be  coordinating—amongst other things—a direct mail campaign to potential individual  subscribers. She brings with her an enormous amount of experience as a copy  writer and editor and has done promotional work with community and arts organizations.  Needless to say, we are ecastic that she  has decided to join the Kinesis team! leanne  Many thanks to the following women, organizations and businesses for  supporting this year's tenth annual Recommending Women Fundraising gala  through their ticket purchase, donations or sponsorship and to the women who  volunteered their time to help make this year's RW a success:  Laura Anderson * Helen Babalos * Elizabeth Bell * Ray Boucher *  Dionne Brand * Charlene Brisson * Yvonne Brown * Nalda Callender * Leslie  Campbell * Hilda Ching * Jordanna Chtrynbaum * Sharon Clarke * Jo Coffey  * Gillian Creese * Fiona Forbes * Chrystal Fowler * Tanya De Haan * Marion  Hartley * Kelly Haydon * Kevin Hewitt * Hallie Hill * Agnes Huang * Tamara  Girke * Nora Grove * Suzanne Jay * Alice Kendall * Karen Kilbride *  Nahboobeh Khanbaghi * Louise LeClair * Cat L'Hirondelle * Andrea  Mellalieu * Sedi Minachi * Sandra Moe * Patty Moore * Shona Moore * Leslie  Muir * Shana Myara * Joanne Namsoo * Ema Oropeza * Prabhjot Parmar *  Valarie Raoul * Roberta Rich * Josephine Rekart * Veenu Saini * Maggie  Sherlock * Rebecca Shields * Linda Shuto * Jehn Starr * Susan Stout * Frances  Suski * Edith Thomas * Penny Thompson * Jane Turner * Anne Tyler * Gale  Tyler * Yvonne Young * Stephanie Wilson * Celeste Wincapaw * Ellen  Woodsworth * Anatoli Souvlaki Restaurant * The Bay * BC Federation of Labour  * Burnaby Teachers Association * CEP Local 2000 * The Coast Whistler Hotel *  Coffey Miller & Company, Accountants * Davidson Muir & Sandor, Lawyers * Full  Bloom Flowers * Marine Printers * Munro-Parfitt, Lawyers *Sooke Harbour House  Inn * The Sutton Place Hotel * Stratosphere Hair Salon * Vancouver Fringe Festival  * The Vancouver Pen Shop * VIA Rail  Moving?  Let us  know!  Nome:  New Rddress:  Phone:  e-mail:  . Fax:  KIN€SIS;#309-877 €. Hastings St.. TcI:(604)255-5499;Fqx:(604)255-7508  is currently working with the Kinesis Marketing Gang in order to create a promotional package to be sent out to potential  subscribers. The package will include different definitions of what "Kinesis means..."  For example, Kinesis means movement.  Kinesis means not having to read about  Wayne Gretzky yet again! Kinesis means  parties, BBQs and fun at the beach.... We  could go on and on but Kinesis also means  knowing when to stop!  Speaking of BBQs and fun, the resident  partiers at Kinesis have decided that its time  to start planning for the ultimate summer  BBQ. So far, we've picked Saturday June  26th as a possible date, but we're still mulling over a location. If you have any ideas,  give us a jingle.  While we're talking about dates, we  also thought we'd slip in a gentle but persistent reminder about production. Production for the June issue will take place from  May 18th to 25th. So if you need to cool off  from the sun and stimulate your creative  juices, come and join us in the production  room. Who knows, we may finally have  fulfilled our dream of working on the  beach!!  All this talk of beaches and BBQs almost made us forget to remind all our subscribers out there to send us your email  addresses and phone numbers even if  you've sent them our way before. We want  to make sure we can keep you updated as  much as possible!  There's a couple of more "serious"  things we wanted to mention this month  inside Kinesis. First, we wanted to let our  readers know that we have updated our  stated objectives. If you look at our masthead on the table of contents, you'll notice  that Kinesis "works actively for social  change, specifically combatting sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, ableism and  imperialism." We've now added "anti-Jewish oppression" to that list. In fact, this  omission should have been corrected a long  while ago and was an oversight on our part.  At the time our objectives were written, there was still discussion going on  within the women's movement, and at Vancouver Status of Women (Kinesis' publisher)  in particular, as to which was more appropriate and relevant: "anti-Semitism" or  "anti-Jewish oppression," or some other  term. This discussion was part of VSW's  work in clarifying its own statement of principles. In the end, it was agreed that "anti-  Jewish oppression" best reflected the reality of the discrimination faced by Jewish  women. Kinesis are now in the process of  updating all our written materials in which  our objectives are stated.  We also want to put out to you that  Kinesis is looking for an Aboriginal woman  (or women) to guest edit an "Aboriginal  Women's Supplement" to be published in  our September 1999 issue. The plan is for  an eight to 12 page supplement, which is  written and produced by Aboriginal  women with the support of theKmeszs Editorial board, staff and volunteers. An honorarium will be given to the guest editor. If  you are interested or can recommend someone, call Agnes at (604) 255-5499 or email  us at kinesis@web.net by May 30th. Thanks.  On another editor note, we want to let  our readers know that Kinesis/Vancouver  Status of Women will soon be posting for  the position of Kinesis Editor/VSW Information Coordinator. The current editor/  info coordinator plans to leave the position  at the end of October. If all goes well, the  new woman will be hired in early September and receive one-month of training in  October. A full job description will be available in mid-May and will be published in  the next two editions of Kinesis. In the  meantime, if you want to know more about  the position, please contact us.  Well that's it for this edition of inside  Kinesis. Of course, any time you want more  information about what we do here, you  can always drop by and say hi!! We'd love  to see you! In the meantime, lie back on  your blanket in the summer sun, take a sip  of ice cold lemondae and take a peek at our  latest issue. And when you're done, pass it  on to a friend or use it to shade yourself  from the sun...  Our appreciation to the following supporters who became members of VSW, renewed  their memberships or subscriptions to Kinesis, or who made donations during the month  of April  Paula Clancey * Kelly D'Aoust * Wendy Scholefield * Shelagh Wilson  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  Helen Babalos * Merlin Beltain * Jody Gordon * Erin Graham * Tamara Knox *  Barbara Lebrasseur * Valarie Raoul * Linda Shuto * Sheilah Thompson  kIne^is  MAY 1999 What's News  compiled by Leanne Keltie, leanne  Johnson and Wei Yuen Fong   GM wraps National  Post  More than 40,000 people in Toronto,  Vancouver and Victoria were greeted with  a parody edition of The National Post on the  morning of May 5th. The four-page satire  tackling Canada's high degree of media  ownership concentration was produced by  Vancouver's Guerrilla Media (GM). The  National Post is owned by Conrad Black and  his Chicago-based Hollinger Inc.  "Whether it's print, radio or TV, the  extreme levels of ownership concentration  in Canada is a serious problem," says GM  spokesperson Beau Gus Monniker. "Guerrilla Media has created this parody of the  Post to point out the downside of letting a  special interest group of a few wealthy  men—like Black or Power Corporation's  Paul Desmarais—control the news we  read."  More than 150 guerrilla's and GM supporters handed out the bogus daily directly  to commuters. In addition, they wrapped  thousands more around the Wednesday  edition of the Posf and placed them back  in the Post's newspaper boxes.  GM notes that Black is one of the few  media barons bent on buying up print and  broadcast outlets. "Obviously Conrad  Black [who controls most dailies in Canada  through his Southam newspaper chain]  epitomizes everything wrong with the state  of Canada's media ownership," says  Monniker. "He doesn't hide the fact that he  won't tolerate editors who oppose his  views, and his down-sizing tactics have  severely hampered local coverage in many  small- and medium-sized Hollinger/  Southam papers."  The bogus National Post, the first in a  new series of media criticism parodies to  be launched by GM, featured satire pages  with articles by prominent Post columnists  like Linda Frum, Barbara Amiel, Kenneth  Whyte and David Frum. The back page  advertised a new horror movie call The  ConBlob, a "Megalomedia/TeleTubby/Cuts  of Thousands co-production of a Conrad  B. DeMillions film." Another page is devoted to a straight-up discussion of media  concentration in Canada, examining its effects on editorial coverage and alternatives  that exist in other countries.  "In Italy, France and Germany, Black  and Desmarais would not be allowed to  Ttb  Cr^  JAZZ BRUNCH at the  COTTON CLUB  Come to the Cotton Club on Sunday,  May 23rd for a delicious brunch and  hear the sensational jazz sounds by  local singer, Christine Duncan. Brunch  will be served between 1 1:00 am and  3:00 pm for $21.95 per person. All  proceeds go to the support of the  Vancouver Status of Women. A great  meal to groovy tunes for a great cause  at the Cotton Club, located at 200 -  I 833 Anderson Street (outside the  entrance to Granville Island).  For info.  Call VSW at 255-6554.  control the number of dailies they currently  reign over in Canada-they would be breaking the law," says Monniker. "Canada  needs to rethink its media policies. We need  to take ownership away from greedy, ideologically-driven media barons. We need to  make the media a public trust."  Guerrilla Media can be reached at 108-  3495 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 4R3;  tel: (604) 877-4721;        email:  gmedia@geocities.com. GM also has its own  website at: http://members.tripod.com/  -gmedia. For more dirt on media moguls, check  out the website set up by "the friends of Conrad  Black" at www.blackenvy.com  Reward for missing  women  The City of Vancouver has finally  shown a sign that it is concerned about the  rash of disappearances of women from the  Downtown Eastside area.  In April, Mayor Phillip Owen agreed  to put up an award to find out if there is a  serial killer targetting women in the Downtown Eastside. Owen recommended that  the Vancouver police board approve a  $100,000 reward toward solving the cases  of 21 women who have disappeared from  the area in the last four years.  Since 1995,22 "street-involved" women  have gone missing from the Downtown  Eastside; only one has been found alive.  The announcement of a reward comes  after the City received numerous calls from  people about the approval of $100,000 rewards for both the spate of home invasion  and garage robbery cases, but not for the  missing women.  The City will contribute $30,000 with  the province providing the larger sum of  $70,000. Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh  has already stated that the BC government  would support such a reward.  Families of the missing women are ecstatic at the news—finally some recognition  that women in the Downtown Eastside do  matter.  [information from various newspaper dailies.]  Aboriginal women  challenge Bill C-49  Aboriginal women are stepping up  their campaign to stop Bill C-49, the First  Nation Land Management Act, from becoming law.  In March, Bill C-49 was passed by the  House of Commons. It is expected to pass  MmSBMBSSBSBM  Massage  Therapy  Craniosacral  Therapy  736-1910  315-2150 West Broadway,  V«K 4L9  Vancouver, BC  the Liberal-dominated Senate. Bill C-49  would remove reserve lands from the Indian Act and allow band councils to write  their own land-use laws. At this point, only  14 bands across Canada have signed on, but  more bands may opt in later.  Concern has been expressed about the  bill putting more power in the hands of a  select group who are predominantly male  and who have already been accused of unfairness, poor financial management and a  lack of accountability.  "No one will be safe on their land any  more when Bill C-49 goes through, least of  all Aboriginal women," says Teressa  Nahanee, a lawyer from Merritt, BC and a  member of the Squamish band.  Nahanee is also part of the BC Native  Women's Society, which launched a court  case in March 1997, claiming that the Indian Act discriminates against women in  terms of the division of matrimonial property rights. In its suit, the Society called on  the federal government to halt Bill C-49  until their case was resolved, [see Kinesis  April 1997.] Obviously, the government  didn't listen.  If Bill C-49 passes, decisions about  matrimonial property division will be  made by band councils. Aboriginal women's groups had called for the bill to require  a 50-50 division split of common property,  as most provincial laws do. Again, they  were ignored.  Nahanee points out that women and  children are often tossed out of their reserve  homes when marriages fail. With band councils as the decision makers, she says many  Aboriginal women fear that favouritism,  abuse of power, and other factors will see  husbands win more property more often.  [information from various newspaper dailies.]  Canada fails on  gender persecution  On the international scene, Canada  likes to parade itself as "humanitarian and  compassionate" in its dealings with refugees. In fact, Canada has been lauded for  drawing up guidelines for "women refugee claimants fearing gender-related persecution" in 1993.  However, since its inception, few  women have applied for refugee status in  Canada under these guidelines and even  few women—a paltry 127—have been accepted into Canada on those grounds. A  recent case makes it clear that Canada does  not deserve such a positive reputation, particularly when it comes to women re  "Mina" arrived at Peason airport in  Toronto four years ago. She was severely  traumatized by the ordeals she faced in her  home in Iran. When she landed in Canada,  she was well-dressed and looked dignified-  -not anything like a "persecuted" woman  (read, "victim") should look. She also did  not reveal to Immigration officials interrogating her at the airport the full details of  the horrors she had just escaped from.  Those "mistakes" would haunt her later.  Mina grew up in a non-religious household. As a teenager, she was whipped twice  by Islamic fundamentalists for playing  mixed badminton and for carrying a picture of Michael Jackson.  Fatefully, Mina and her family dismissed a marriage proposal from a distant  relative, who was a member of the  Hezbollah and a fundamentalist.  In her mid-20s, Mina was arrested.  Thrown into an isolation cell, tied to a chair,  beaten and kicked, she discovered the same  distant relative was now in charge of the  prison. He threatened Mina with execution  unless she agreed to marry him. He arranged a "temporary concubinage."  He raped Mina repeatedly. Mina became  pregnant, but she escaped and had a secret,  illegal abortion. She then fled Iran.  At her Refugee Board hearing, she was  advised by her intepreter to keep her answers "short," a misinterpretation of the  Board's request that Mina be "direct." And  so, the Board did not believe her story.  They seemed to have difficulty understanding the marriages can be "coerced,"  concluding that it was "highly improbable,  and therefore implausible" that a marriage  took place without either family being  present, or that Mina wouldn't have altered  her documents to reflect her proud new status as a married woman.  The gender-related persecution guidelines specifically cite forced marriage as  grounds for awarding refugee status. They  also stress that religion-based persecution  might be deemed safe for men but should  not be considered safe for women.  Mina's last chance to argue her case for  refugee status in Canada will be on May  17th, when she will have a humanitarian  and compassionate interview.  To support Mina in her case, send an urgent letter to the Refugee Processing Officers,  Etobicoke Canada Immigration Centre, 5343  Dundas St. West, first floor, Etobicoke, Ontario, M9B 6K5. Be sure to cite Mina's file  number: 3129-5254.  [information from a column written by Michele  Landsberg, published in The Toronto Star,  May 2, 1999.]  Paula Clancy, b.a.  Certified General Accountant  Auditing  Accounting  Financial Planning  Income Tax Services  for  Organizations  Small Businesses  and Individuals  Tel: (604)215-1720  Fax:(604)215-1750  pclancy @bc.sympatico.ca  LEGAL REPRESENTATION  AND MEDIATION  SERVICES  in:  labour and employment law  human rights,  civil litigation  public interest advocacy.  MUNRO • PARFITT  LAWYERS  Melinda Munro and Clea Parfitt  401-825 granville street,  Vancouver, b.c. v6z 1 k9  689-7778 (ph)        689-5572 (fax)  quality legal services  woman friendly atmosphere  KhSlS What's News  Japanese women  protest Viagra  Women's groups in Japan are angered  by the "fast-tracking" of Viagra. Purported  to prevent impotency, it took the manufacturer of Viagra just six months to get the  drug approved for sale in Japan.  Japanese women note that Viagra got  its okay so fast while the birth-control pill  still has not been approved for sale or use  in Japan. Japanese women have been waiting for over nine years for the Pill to work  its way through process.  Midori Ashida, a Tokyo-based grassroots spokeswoman, says, "When old guys  want something they get it. But when  women want something, nothing happens.  Japan is still a male-dominated society."  Women argue that the need for the Pill is of  greater social importance and the risks of  the Pill are fewer than those of unwanted  pregnancies and abortions.  The Japanese government maintains  they have not approved the Pill because of  its possible side-effects and the risk of HIV  transmission. (Condoms are used by 77  percent of women.) Japan is one of the few  remaining industrialized countries that  have not given women access to the Pill.  Legislator Akiko Domoto states, "The  decision makers have no understanding of  the issue. All they have is the simple mentality that women should keep on having  babies."  [information from the Associated Press,  published in off our backs, April 1999.]  Only in Denmark?  Danish day care has reached a new  high. In Copenhagen, a day care facility was  set up which provides new services for  busy, working families. Not only will the  staff provide care for children, they will also  do the laundry, shop for groceries, and provide reasonably priced take-out meals.  Parents can bring in three bags of laundry per day and a list of groceries to buy.  At the end of the day, they can pick-up their  children, clean clothes and food. The centre also provides an online video camera  where parents can tune into to watch their  children during their day.  And to think, we can't even get safe  and accessible day care here.  [information from the Aviva website  (www.aviva.org), published in off our backs,  April 1999.]  Jahangir targeted in  "honour" killings  As Asma Jahangir, the United Nation's  Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions, attended the UN Commission on  Human Rights in Geneva this past April,  members of the Peshawar Chamber of  Commerce in Pakistan called for Jahangir  to be arrested and hanged upon her return.  Jahangir is accused of taking the "small  problems of Pakistan to international forums and creating a bad name for Pakistan."  The Organisation Mondial Contre Torture  (OMCT, the World Organization Against  Torture) has expressed concern for Jahangir  and her sister, Hina Jilani, a lawyer and  human rights advocate in Lahore. Both  women were representing Saima Sarwar,  who was murdered by her estranged husband in the office of Jahangir and Jilani.  Sarwar, who had lived in Peshawar  with her parents for four years after leaving her husband, fled to Lahore after her  family threatened to kill her if she tried to  get a divorce. She was given shelter at  Distak, an organization run by the legal aid  team headed by Jahangir and Jilani.  Sarwar's family finally agreed to her  divorce, and she was to meet her mother  in Jilani's office to receive the necessary  papers. However, her mother did not come  alone as agreed... she brought a man—a  driver in the government Education Directorate in Peshawar—who shot Sarwar in  the head. She died instantly.  The man also fired a shot at Jilani but  missed. He was then killed by a security  guard.  The murder is another in the endless  series of "honour" killings—murders of  women by family members in the name of  family "honour."  The OMCT is calling on people to write  to the prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz  Sharif sand demand full protection for  Jahangir and Jilani; the prosecution of the  murderers of Saima Sarwar without delay;  immediate action against those inciting violence against women; and police protection  of shelters for women.  Send letters to Prime Minister Nawaz  Sharif by fax: 92-51-920-8890 or email:  primeminisler@pak.gov.pk  [Source: OMCT email (omct@omct.org)  published on the Internet on the Aviva website  (www.aviva.org). ]  Shelter fined for  negligence  The Cumbee Center to Assist Abused  Persons (CCAAP) in Aiken, South Carolina,  has been sued by a woman's family for  negligence as a result of her murder by her  batterer. While the woman and her children  were staying at the shelter, her ex-partner  requested a meeting at a lawyer's office, a  request made through the woman's mother.  The woman was accompanied by an  advocate from CCAAP, but at the women's  instigation, the advocate left her alone in a  room with her batterer. He then shot and  killed her and then himself.  Several experts on domestic violence  testified to a jury that all women who come  into a shelter are suffering from battered  women's syndrome or post-traumatic  stress disorder, and should not be allowed  to make decisions for themselves for at least  six months.  The shelter was charged with negligence in taking the woman to the meeting  at the lawyer's office and has been ordered  to pay the family $103,000, although they  had asked for $3.5 million.  Concerns have been raised that the  court ruling implies the public should expect shelters to guarantee safety for victims  and that shelter staff should "think" for the  residents.  [Source: FAV Net published on the Internet on the Aviva website (www.aviva.org).]  Norplant pulled in  Britain  Norplant, the contraceptive implant  that sparked mass legal action from women  who claimed to have suffered ill effects, will  be pulled off the market in Britain. More  than 1,000 women complained of symptoms ranging from non-stop bleeding, hair  loss and suicidal depression.  The decision by the implant's distributor, Hoechst Marion Roussell, took many  by surprise, as it came just four months after legal aid to the women was withdrawn  and the court case collapsed.  The pharmaceutical giant insisted the  reasons were commercial, saying the controversy has destroyed Norplant's "reputation." Not enough women were prepared  to switch to the five-year implants to make  them viable, the company said, stressing it  still had full confidence in the product.  Norplant will be discontinued at the end  of October.  Hoechst Marion Roussel denounced  the "unholy alliance of bureaucrats, lawyers and media," which is says is responsible for Norplant's demise.  But Paul Balen, the solicitor who coordinated legal action on behalf of at least  250 women, said that blaming lawyers and  bureaucrats did "a disservice to the doctors and women who were able to make  their own judgments as to whether  Norplant was a product they wished to  use."  Thousands of women in the United  States were still bringing class actions  against Wyeth, the American distributors  of the drug.  Norplant, a progesterone-only contraceptive contained in six silicone rods implanted into a woman's upper arm, was  launched in 1993. It was marketed as an  alternative to the Pill, but there is a major  difference. Oral contraception can be  stopped instantly, but removing the silicone  rods turned out to be a difficult procedure  that some doctors refused to undertake or  could not manage.  [Source: The Guardian Weekly]  Women's daily in  Iran banned  The only women's daily newspaper in  Iran has been banned by the revolutionary  court in Teheran. The daily Zan ("woman")  was ordered to close after it published part  of an Iranian New Year message by Iran's  former queen, Farah Diba, and a cartoon  about the law oidiya, or "blood money."  The court objected to the cartoon's depiction of an article of Iran's penal code,  which states that the sum paid by the murderer of a woman to the victim's family is  half that of the sum paid for the murder of  Zan, which is run by Faezeh Hashemi,  a member of parliament and daughter of  Iran's former president Hashemi  Rafsanjani, was launched in 1998 to promote the role of women in political, social  and cultural activities.  The paper is of political importance  since the ongoing power battle between the  conservative clerics and the people of Iran  is often represented as a struggle over women's rights. Although Iran's press has enjoyed increased freedom since President  Mohammad Khatami took office, the banning of Zan is seen as a clear signal that  conservative forces are using their control  to constrain women's political activities.  Urgent action is requested. Send letters  to Hojjatoleslam Mohammed Khatami,  Office of the President, Palestine Avenue,  Azerbaijan Intersection, Teheran, The Islamic Republic of Iran. Letters can also be  sent by fax to: 98-21-646-4443; or by email  to: president@khatami.com.  [Source: Sisterhood is Global Institute  (sigi@igc.apc.org) published on the Aviva website (www.aviva.org.)]  Timorese to vote on  "autonomy"  People in East Timor will go to the polls  on August 8th, to vote for "autonomy" or  "independence." This follows a pact signed  by the governments of Indonesia and Portugal at the United Nations headquarters  to enable the 800,000 Timorese to decide if  they want wide-ranging autonomy under  continued Indonesian rule.  If the Timorese reject autonomy, the  Indonesian government has promised to  reverse its annexation of East Timor and  allow it to become independent.  Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975  and incorporated the territory into Indonesia as its 27th province. During and since  the invasion, the Indonesian military has  killed hundreds of thousands of Timorese.  At the polls, the Timorese people will  be asked: "Do your accept the proposed  special autonomy for East Timor within the  Unitary State of the republic of Indonesia?  or "Do you reject the proposed special autonomy for East Timor, leading to East  Timor's separation from Indonesia?"  It is expected that the majority will reject "autonomy" and vote for "independence."  [information from the Vancouver Sun. J  Western Canada's  Lesbian & Gay  Bookstore  Open Daily 10am to 1 lpm  Our Books/Our Issues  Gay Fiction  Lesbian Fiction  Our Magazines & Journals  AIDS/Health  Humour  Erotica  Queer Theory  Feminist Theory  Biographies, Essays, Poetry  Religion & Spirituality  Art & Photography  Community  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: http://www.lsisters.com  KINESIS Movement Matters  Summer institute  scholarship  The BC Federation of Labour is offering a scholarship for a labour woman (a  member of a union) to attend the Summer  Institute for Union Women, to be held July  7 to 11 at the British Columbia Institute of  Technology in Burnaby, BC. The scholarship covers tuition, accommodation and  meals for the eighth annual Summer Institute titled, "Union Women: Take Action to  Close the Gap."  The Summer Institute is sponsored by  the BC Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress. It is an intensive  week of learning where union women can  learn skills as workers, activists and leaders in a supportive environment. The Institute is committed to building solidarity  between workers and overcoming obstacles, especially those based on race, culture  and sexual orientation.  Some of the topics this year include:  Women in the Global Economy; Employment Equity; Young Women in Unions;  News That's Fit to Print; and the sure-to-  be-popular Snappy Comebacks.  Applicants for the Marianne Gilbert  Scholarship must write a letter outlining  their union activities, what they hope to  learn at the school and how the experience  will help in their work at their own union  or with the labour movement in general.  Applicants must also submit a recommen  dation letter from their union. The deadline for applications is May 21.  Send application to: Marianne Gilbert  Scholarship, c/o the BC Federation of Labour,  200-5118 Joyce St, Vancouver, BC, V5R 4H1;  fax (604) 430-5917.  HIV/AIDS and  Aboriginal people  A recently released report makes recommendations on the issue of HIV and  AIDS among British Columbia's Aboriginal peoples. The Red Road: Pathways to  Wholeness, An Aboriginal Strategy for HIV  and AIDS in BC is a project of the BC Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Task Force. It is a community-based move towards care and prevention around HTV/AIDS respecting positive Aboriginal tradition, history and values.  In recent years, a high percentage of  people in BC newly diagnosed as HIV-positive are Aboriginal. Aboriginal women  make up a much larger percentage of new  cases as compared to non-Aboriginal  women.  While a large number of people have  contracted the virus through injection drug  use or homosexual sex, Aboriginal women  also identify sex trade work as a major risk  factor, according to the report. Of even more  concern for Aboriginal women and their  families is the fact that, due to higher birth  rates, HIV/AIDS is being passed on to Aboriginal children at a greater rate.  The report highlights the current challenges to preventing the spread of HIV/  AIDS further in Aboriginal communities  and providing adequate treatment for people with the disease.  Specifically, The Red Road points to the  historical traumas of cultural genocide and  the residential school system as underlying causes of the current epidemic. The  legacy of this history means that Aboriginal people in BC experience lower levels  of education, lower income and an increased reliance on social assistance, as well  as higher levels of alcoholism, abuse, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.  As the burden of AIDS has increased,  there has also been a challenge in coordinating services for Aboriginal people with  HIV/AIDS. Seventy percent of Aboriginal  people in BC live off-reserve, many in urban areas. Outside of cities, people are  spread out over large geographic areas.  Coordinating on- and off-reserve prevention programs and treatment has been difficult, as has dealing with regionalization  of the provinces health care system.  The report makes some strong recommendations or "pathways" to dealing with  HIV/AIDS, such as the need for:  • A strong emphasis on prevention programs for children and youth is crucial (32  percent of Aboriginal people in BC are under 14 years of age).  • Prevention and intervention for adults  that focus on those using or at risk of using  injection drugs is needed.  • Programs that are culturally appropriate and take into account the lower level of  education of both users and community  health care providers. A wide range of materials is needed as well as standardized  training for workers.  • A focus on HTV/AIDS transmittal in prisons, given that a disproportionate number  of people in prison are Aboriginal.  • Changes to funding, training and service  structure on reserves so that home-based  care for those living with AIDS is possible.  • More physician training so doctors will  provide appropriate, culturally-sensitive  care.  • More research by trained Aboriginal researchers on the whole range of HTV/AIDS  issues.  Throughout the report, the need for  increased funding for prevention and treatment services is obvious. The next step for  the Task Force is to develop an  implemention guide and begin fulfilling the  goals identified in the report. The Task  Force is made up of on and off-reserve organizations and projects dealing with HTV/  AIDS and other health issues and representatives of government.  To receive a copy of The Red Road, contact Healing Our Spirit, 415 Esplanade, North  Vancouver, BC, V7M1A6; tel: (604) 983-8774;  fax: (604) 983-2667.  BENEFIT AUCTION!  Sunday, June 6, 1pm  Westin Bayshore  To Support Prevention Services for Women  Over 500 auction items! Via Rail tickets • Hot air  balloon rides • 5 day Shuswap houseboat charter for up  to 10 people • Pitney Bowes laser fax • Luxury  wilderness vacation on magnificent Stuart Island,  gourmet meals, Big Bay Marina • 6 days at the  Pinnacles, Silver Star Mountain • 2 weeks for up to six  on Christina Lake • 4 nights at the Hill's Health Ranch,  all meals, massage, spa • Over 100 lakeside &  oceanside vacations in Tofino, Whistler, Victoria, Banff,  Gulf Islands & more in BC, Alberta & US • cherry wood  table set • Youth Theatre School • chocolates • silk  pyjamas • whale watching • Greyhound passes • Folk  Festival • entertainment • Bentall Centre year fitness  membership • furniture • dining • services • Persian  carpets • down quilt • clothing • CDs • Inuit sculpture •  bedding • car repairs • fitness • sports • sewing machine  • cruises • art: Onley • Average • Picasso • Davidson •  Smith • Matisse • Point • O'Hara • Danby • Chagall •  Bateman • Evrard • Scherman • O'Hara • Morrisseau •  Kandinsky • Patrich • Jarvis • Coop • Falk • Whistler •  Hurtubise • Doray • Bachinski • Granirer • Marshall •  Riopelle • Audubon • Rembrandt • MUCH MORE!  Admission free. Viewing: 10am. Wonderful bargains  Absentee bids & credit cards accepted  Art Preview: May 15 - June 5, 2735 Granville, HSBC  For info & catalogue: PID Society, 684-5704  *M  PRAIRIES OFflK  233 10 SI. NW Calgary, AB T2N W5  M  Ph: (403) 283-2871 fax: (403) 283-2275  1-800-276-3847 ehaug@web.net  Overseas Position  CUSO is currently recruiting Canadian volunteers with professional  experience in women's organizing, social justice, social welfare  and adult education for two year placements with local women's organizations in Ghana, Thailand and Chile. CUSO supplies  health benefits, travel to posting, language training, and a basic  living allowance. If you are interested, please check out our web  page at www.cuso.org or email our office in Calgary:  ehaug@web.net  «*  CALL FOR ABSTRACTS/ADVANCE NOTICE  10th International Nursing Conference  Ending Violence Against Women:  Setting the Agenda for the Next Millenium  June 1-3, 2000  The Coast Plaza at Stanley Park Hotel, Vancouver. BC Canada  Conference Description: The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum in  which the many disciplines who encounter abused women have an opportunity  to meet each other, exchange ideas, and deepen alliances which encourage a coherent response to abused women. The conference will continue the Nursing  Network on Violence Against Women International's (NNVAWI) emphasis on  understanding the enormous implications of violence on women's health. The  beginning of a new millenium provides a unique symbolic opportunity to take  stock of previous advances and to promote a coordinated community response  towards ending violence.  For further information contact: Elaine Liau, UBC, Tel: (604) 822-4965,  Fax: (604) 822-4835, e-mail: elaine@cehs.ubc.ca 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 Robyn Hall  New resource for  battered women  A new legal information booklet for  women in or leaving abusive relationships  was launched in Vancouver in April.  Speaking of Abuse: Violence Against  Women in Relationships, a project of many  community groups, Legal Services Society  and the Victim Services Branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General, replaces an  older brochure called Assault: Violence  Against Women in Relationships.  The 46-page booklet is available in  eight languages: Chinese, English, Farsi,  French, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese, and on disk (in text only) and  audio tape (in English only).  Speaking of Abuse contains up-to-date  information on the changes to the laws that  affect women in abusive relationships. The  booklet is for any woman who needs legal  information about her rights because she  is being abused, assaulted or harassed by  her husband, boyfriend or ex-partner, and  for the advocates and victim service workers who assist them. It explains what a  woman can do to protect her safety.  Topics covered in the newly revised  booklet include: what violence against  women in a relationship is; what you can  do if your husband, boyfriend or ex-partner has assaulted you, threatened to assault  you, or is criminally harassing you; what  the police do when they are called [or  rather, what they are supposed to do;] what  the court process is; how to get a peace  bond or a restraining order; what to do if  you choose to end your relationship; and  who can help with emotional support and  legal advice.  The booklet also provides details about  maintenance and support, custody, access,  separation agreements and property if you  want to end the relationship permanently.  The booklets are available free of charge.  To place an order, ivrite to: Distribution, Publishing Program, Legal Services Society, 1500-  1140 West Pender St, Vancouver, BC, V6E  4G1; or fax (604)682-0965. Indicate your  mailing address and the number of copies you  would like and in what language(s) or formats.  Looking for pop ed  projects  The World March of Women in the Year  2000 is calling for examples of successful  women-led popular education initiatives  from all regions of the world for a collection called, Tribute to Women's Struggles  Worldwide. The collection will be distributed to all the groups who participate in  the World March of Women, which will be  launched March 8,2000.  The collection of iniatives will illustrate  important milestones in the fight against  poverty and violence made by women's  movements around the world. It aims to  celebrate popular education initiatives that  have led to transformations of attitudes and  practices or major political, economic or  social victories in the struggle against poverty and male violence.  The Tribute to Women's Struggles Worldwide also has a goal of supporting women  in developing new strategies and popular  education tools, in connection with the demands of the World March [see Kinesis April  1999,] by providing examples of successes  from around the world.  Some examples of popular education  initiatives are popular theatre, public forums, community kitchens and marches.  This work raises awareness and encourages  people to then take collective action for  change.  Kinesis is looking for a guest editor...  for an 8-12 page "Aboriginal Women's Supplement"  which will be published in our September 1999 issue.  If you are interested, please contact Agnes by May 30th  at (604) 255-5499 or by email at kinesis@web.net.  (An honorarium will be provided.)  Speaking Out For Safe and Respectful  Health Care for Women  COMMUNITY  HEALTH  ADVOCATES  There are 10 Volunteer Advocates helping women in  various communities of the Vancouver/Richmond Region.  SPECIAL THANKS to our partners who provide  safe space and support for the Advocates:  so South Vancouver Neighbourhood House  so Richmond Women's Resource Centre  so UBC Women's Centre  so South Asian Women's Centre  so Downtown Eastside Senior Centre  so Multi-Cultural Family Centre  so The Centre  so Women with Disabilities Health Action Group  The Vancouver Women's Health  Collective supports women in  making their own decisions  about their health care.  &  Visit the InfoCentre at  #219-1675 W 8,h Ave  Call for Information & Hours  736-5262  The final collection will be distributed  with the campaign to sign cards in support  of the March's world demands.  The deadline for submissions is June  10. A few lines are needed, including information on: what motivated the women involved to act; how did they proceed; what  were the gains in terms of social change  around poverty and violence; and what  kind of popular education do they intend  to use in connection with the World March  of Women in the year 2000.  Send examples to: Martine David, Popular Education Campaign Organizer, Marche  mondiale des femmes en Van 2000, World  March of Women in the Year 2000, 110 rue  Ste-Therese, #307, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y  1E6; or email: marche2000@ffq.qc.ca. For more  information about the World March, check out  their website at: http://www.ffq.qc.ca.  Equality rights in the  new century  West Coast LEAF (Women's Legal  Education and Action Fund) is hosting a  forum on the equality rights of women in  the new century November 4th to 7th.  Transforming Women's Future will serve as  an historic occasion to reflect on the  progress that women's equality-seeking  groups have made over the last few decades and to look ahead to the future of  employing such law-related strategies as  litigation, law reform/advocacy, and public legal education to achieve equality.  The forum will bring together more  than 500 community activists, front line  workers, lawyers, paralegals, judges, educators, social workers, academics and others from across the country. The gathering  will allow participants an opportunity to  network; hear about leading-edge research;  share practical skills and strategies; and  strengthen existing partnerships and develop new ones. The forum will be conducted in English and French and simultaneous translation will be available for the  plenary sessions.  Five plenary sessions will be held on  the topics: Defining moments in the struggle for women's equality and the unfinished agenda; Violence, abuse and misuse  of power in gendered relationships; The  intersection of race and gender; Social and  economic rights for women; and A place at  the table: legal strategies for ensuring full  participation by women in decision-making.  The forum will also feature more than  40 workshops. The Program Planning  Committee is currently inviting proposals  for the 90-minute workshop sessions. Proposals should involve participatory discussions. Participation will be limited to 25-30  people per workshop. Workshop presenters will be required to prepare a short issues paper (10-15 pages) for circulation in  advance of the forum.  Some suggested issues workshops  could cover are: pay equity; family law issues; addressing bias in the justice system;  reconceptualizing equality and citizenship  in light of the Delgaamuukw decision;  women in prison; how can CEDAW be used  in the Canadian courts; working in coalition; or feminist leadership skills.  Anyone interested in presenting a  workshop should submit the following information to the forum organizers: the title  of the workshop; a 200-300 word abstract  setting out the themes and issues to be addressed; name, address, fax and email of  presenter; and whether the workshop will  be offered in English or French. The deadline for submissions is May 28. Selection of  workshops will be made by June 30.  For more information or to submit proposals, contact the Forum Program Planning  Committee, West Coast LEAF, Suite 1517-409  Granville St, Vancouver, BC, V6C 1T2; tel:  (604) 684-8772; fax: (604) 684-1543; email:  wcleaf@dowco.com. (If you are submitting proposals by fax or mail, you are asked to provide  a copy on disk saved in a Microsoft Word .)  Research project on  IMEs  Fibromyalgia (FM) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) are chronic conditions with no cure. Both conditions are typically "invisible" disabilities, contributing to  the myth that people with ME and FM are  "malingerers." Insurance companies have  gone to great lengths to prove that invisible illnesses are suspect and ineligible for  coverage under their disability plans.  One of the hurdles disability applicants  must overcome is the independent medical exam (IME), which is an evaluation by  physicians hired by the insurance company.  Case studies indicate that the "independence" element of IMEs is questionable.  The National ME/FMAction Network  has established a registry to collect information about IMEs or functional ability  evaluations (FAEs) required by insurance  companies. People with ME and FM who  have been requested to undergo an IME or  FAE are asked to support this important  research project.  The goal is to identify patterns in the  way ME/FM people are treated by insurance companies and independent physicians with regard to the independent medical evaluations. Both favourable and unfavourable experiences are needed for a clear  picture. Data will be compiled by province,  area, insurance company, doctor, type of  exam and results. Names will remain confidential.  To contribute to the IME Registry, please  contact Mary Ellen, PO Box 66172, Town Centre Postal Outlet, 1355 Kingston Rd,  Pickering, ON; LI V 6P7. For more information call (905) 831-4744. A registration form  is also available at the ME/FM Action Network  website at http://www3.sympatico.ca/me-  fm.action/medexam.html. You can e-mail Mary  Ellen at marye@pathcom.com.  [Information from an article written by  Shelley Hourston published in transition  magazine, December 1998 issue.]  STITCHED  FABRIC BANNERS  MADE TO ORDER  Sima Elizabeth  Shefrin  [604] 734-9395  WOMEN  IN PRINT  BOOKS & OTHER MEDIA  3566 West 4th Avenue  10-6 Daily*  12-5 Sunday  Discounts for  book clubs  Special orders  welcome Feature  Four-and-a-half- years with chronic illness:  Every day is different  by Annaliese Van Oers  I used to jump out of bed with little or  not much, or any, thought towards health  and well-being. Health was the norm. I took  it for granted. In reality, it is a privilege and  a tender gift. It needs to be celebrated.  I only realized this after my passport  to good health expired. Only after I was  brutally robbed of my strength did I acknowledge and come to fully realize the  precious gift of health. Being ill is very  much like being deported from trusted  ground into a new and  unknown terrain.  Suddenly, you are  an outcast, rejected  from the "normal" order; a refugee from  your own body, prisoner of tiredness,  robbed of all strength.  Looking for asylum,  full of hope and trust, I  threw myself upon the  healing professionals.  As I waddle into their  office, I am a constant  reminder of their short-  Understanding ME  comings.  Acknowledging  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is acknowledging that as a healer  one stands on shaky  ground, face-to-face  with a mystery of life, and the shortcomings of modern day science. While trying  to cope during these ill times, I have had to  deal, and continue to deal, with issues such  as isolation, loss, responsibility and acceptance. The journey so far has been choppy  and at times extremely tough; however, it  has also been a time of tremendous growth  and healing.  Living with ME  Life is onerous when you constantly  feel like a used up, wet dish rag. It is difficult to experience simple pleasures and joys  when your body resembles liquid cement,  and your brain functions like mushy peas.  I don't sit comfortably. I don't stand  comfortably. I don't lie comfortably. I don't  fit right in my skin, and I cannot seem to  clear my murky mind. My muscles ache, I  don't remember my name, and I can't  clearly remember yesterday. I don't remember my age. I feel old, very old.  Every morning I wake up with a huge  hangover, and just as the doctor cannot find  any organic evidence of my illness, I can  never find the bottles to justify the hangover. I get up and throw up.  For breakfast, I wrench the muscles in  my arm while attempting to open a peanut  butter jar (two weeks later I still suffer from  peanut butter elbow). I sit down and hope  the fog will clear. I need some groceries.  Chores are piled up, but, if, and when, the  energy comes I want to do something fun,  to take a joyful risk and create a happy  memory that I might behold if I can remember it, when I hit that dreaded down cycle  again.  Every day is different; there are no  guidelines, no boundaries to how sick or  well one gets. Every hour is different.  Every morning I  wake up with a  huge hangover,  and just as the  doctor cannot  find any organic  evidence of my  illness, I can  never find the  bottles to justify  the hangover.  Untrustworthy improvements and un-  explainable deterioration. It is difficult not  to rate every twist and turn. With every sign  of improvement, I go into this euphoric  high that has me bound to come crashing  down again.  If I am not busy trying to pull myself  out of a relapse, I am most likely sliding  into the next one. And so the days fill the  years. Decline, build up, fall down.  I enter yet another stage of euphoria,  energy rising up like  sap through a tree in  Spring. It's been a  while since I last experienced this beautiful  sensation, so it takes  me some time before I  name it. But as soon as  I fully remember, I'm  off. I want to do it all:  go and meet all my  friends, shop, tackle  the chores that have  been piling up around  the house, go play a  game of squash and  finish the day with a  cosy dinner party. I  have unlimited energy,  boundless get up and  go. So off I go, no time  for mundane things, I  jump into action.  The outer world seems unrecognizable, and with sheer exhilaration I look at  all the new books in my favourite bookstore. I begin to drool but before I have time  to further contemplate the joy of the printed  word, I am hit. Frantically, I search for the  nearest chair and wobble over. Why on  earth did I go out? I should know better by  now!  Bound and limited, I curse myself. I am  like a dog on a leash, continuously being  pulled back to heel. This sly illness, always  allowing myself to be fooled. I am betrayed  by my own body, but first and foremost,  "How am I going to get home?"  Isolation  I find isolation very difficult to deal  with. It occurs on many different levels,  and, unless you have a certain amount of  energy to spend, it is extremely difficult to  break its powerful grip. I rely on those  around me to come down to my level, to  spend time in my low-energy zone.  Shortly after getting ill you start to  break off bonds. You stop working on communal projects then soon you stop working altogether. Volunteer work is cut and  you can no longer involve yourself in social gatherings. You're a drifter, endless  days of nothingness. Damn this illness. The  costs are very high. Unable to commit energy that isn't yours to commit.  Not only does chronic illness isolate  you because of your limited ability to participate in society, you also find yourself on  a totally different wave length from those  beautiful souls still around you. My problems and pre-occupations are of a totally  different nature than those of a healthy being, so much so that often I can't seem to  find a common thread.  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) can be a severely debilitating disease which  seems to affect the brain and muscles. The hallmark symptom is severe muscle  weakness where after a minor degree of physical effort, power is restored to the  muscle only after a prolonged length of time (days or longer). Cerebral dysfunction  is another marker of the disease. It can cause impaired memory, poor concentration  and emotional instability. Dizziness, balance disorders, sleep disturbance, muscle  twitching, fainting and seizures are also common symptoms. Constant, chronic  pain may also be a problem—from severe headaches to joint and muscle pain. People with ME may also experience irritable bowels and diarrhea, low temperatures,  hearing disorders, rashes, allergies, hair loss and de-sensitivity to odours, chemicals  and medications.  Many people with ME are bedridden and some require tube feeding (particularly kids with ME). Others are in wheelchairs and scooters, while some have  minimal symptoms and are able to carry on a near normal life. The illness is often  constant but can follow a relapsing/remitting pattern. Long term prognosis is not  good. Recent epideiological studies are finding recovery rates of six to 17 percent  where recovery is defined as an ability to return to work (although not symptom  free.)  ME is both endemic and epidemic. It has been documented in medical journals  going back at least one hundred years. By 1986, up to 52 outbreaks (epidemic form)  of this type of infection have been recorded from all over the world. For the last 50  years, it has been known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in most countries, and is  referred to as Low Natural Killer Cell Disease (LNKD) in some Asian countries.  An outbreak at Incline Valley, Nevada (US) during the late 1970s/early 1980s raised  the interest of the Centre for Disease Control. After not being able to identify nor  comprehend the outbreak, government officials named it Chronic Fatigue Syndrome  (CFS) in an attempt to diminish/dismiss it. Patients were outraged at the demeaning  name. It later got changed to Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome  (CFIDS). Limiting the problem to a chronic fatigue issue takes a severely debilitating illness and diminsbes/minimizes it. The US is currently the only country that  uses "chronic fatigue." Even the World Health Organization uses ME.  - Kelly Haydon -  How can a healthy person have insight  into the thoughts of a chronic sicky unless  they've been there? Partly I am responsible. I don't wish to endlessly talk about the  sorrows of living with ME. I don't get into  the finer details much. It's depressing talk;  there is too much loss involved. I deeply  grieve not being able to actively participate  in community.  Loss  There are so many things I want to  commit to. I am invited to share lives, to  participate, rejoice, suffer and celebrate  with others. But my ability to participate is  so severely limited that I rarely connect and  bond deeply. I cannot express the grief this  brings, the isolation this creates. I see so  much potential for life, growth, compassion, but I do not have the amount of energy needed to bring this to realization.  Responsibility  Am I responsible for getting this illness? Am I somehow to blame? Is this a  punishment for not looking after the precious gift of life? Both Western medicine  and the holistic alternative seem to think  so, but I could not disagree more strongly.  How can I be responsible for something  that I have so little control over?  The Western doctors have pricked me,  scanned me, and tried hard to mend me,  but so far they haven't found anything organically wrong with me. Instead of seeing this as a shortcoming in scientific  knowledge, doctors will often ask me if I  have "emotional problems," and will suggest a psychiatrist who can "cure" my ills.  Five minutes later I find myself shown out  with a referral, a prescription for anti-de  pressants, and a friendly pat on the back.  Help it may, but heal it doesn't.  Holistics have another way of holding  me responsible. They often believe that if  we suppress our emotions they will manifest themselves in physical illness. Suppressed anger will lead to cancer, and guilt  might lead to warts on your big toe. If we  had somehow only done things differently  or better, then we wouldn't have become  sick in the first place.  . What happens to those who stay  chronically ill? Did we not "connect" with  our healing power? Are we really as responsible as the healing professionals lead us to  think? I've done enough inner work to last  me a life time. I've taken the anti-depressants and throw myself into the alternative  health circuit, much to my wallet's distress.  I've met my chakras, cleared the channels,  eaten the diets, taken the remedies, wore  the crystal, looked at the card, had hands  laid on me, got the pressure points needled,  and met a counsellor.  Some of it was very helpful and I've  certainly learned a lot. However, I am still  as sick as ever. And time and time again, I  am asked the question, "Have you maybe  some uh... emotional problems?" Well if I  didn't have them before I certainly have  them now!  I am not disclaiming responsibility totally but the boundaries need to be clearly  identified, especially when dealing with illnesses that are medical mysteries. It is not  the first time that organic medical problems  have been psychologized. Before finding  the organism responsible for tuberculosis,  see ME next page  KhSlS Feature  Social programs and people with ME:  Declassifying disabilities  by Eileen O'Brien  In recent months, more people with  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) have been  denied government benefits even with  strong physician support. It's clear to me  that people with ME are in this situation  because there is political will for it to happen.  At the national Canada Pension Plan  (CPP) consultations, it was stated clearly  that one of the main reasons for wanting to  separate disability benefits from other benefits was the dramatic increase in the  number of claims from people with ME and  Fibromyalgia. There was fear about the  demand on the fund and the need to weed  out "abusers" so that the fund could meet  its commitments in the future. [See sidebar.]  The reality is that, just as with other  social programs, cutbacks are a matter of  government priorities rather than a real  shortage of funds. We are just at the bottom of the priority list.  In the months following the consultations, there has been an increase in the  number of CPP claims denied. Workers are  doing what they have been asked to do:  make it difficult for people with ME to  qualify. The problem for us is the fight has  no clear arena. The courts are only open to  people who receive private insurance and  many of these cases are settled out of court  for inadequate sums, at least half of which  go to lawyers and expenses. Those cases  that go to court are often successful. However, the insurance companies are doing  their best to challenge claimants at every  level. Their latest strategy is to try to claim  there is a psychological basis for these  physical symptoms.  Meanwhile, dwindling healthcare  budgets are not putting money into research and cutbacks are being made to diagnostic services.Other systems set in place  to cover disability benefits cannot handle  the load and have declared war on people  with ME and other diseases, such as environmental illnesses, brain injury, soft tissue  injury and many forms of mental illness.  Those of us with ME are most at risk  in the disability "hierarchy." When services  for people with disabilities are cut back, the  "most disabled" are seen as most deserv  ing of the dwindling benefit pie—they are  the "deserving disabled."  With this undeniably physical disease,  as with many others, people may experience depression and fear at the loss of their  jobs and their inability to participate in family and social life. Mothers have lost their  children when they were unable to care for  them.  Experiencing the loss of control over a  once-dependable body and mind, and  faced with little improvement after a significant length of time, some may find their  physicians refocussing treatment on psychological support. Some physicians, having exhausted their medical bag of tricks  and hitting a brick wall in terms of diagnostic tools, begin to treat many patients  as depressive instead of continuing the frustrating, time-consuming job of understanding more about the illness itself.  Although compassion, support and  encouragement can help people deal with  any serious illness and reinforce the healing actions and attitudes that will boost the  immune system, there are some concerns  for us in the disability community about  the pyschological approach to ME treatment. Standard psychological tests, such as  the MMPI (the Minnesota Multi-phasic Inventory, which is used to test for personality disorders,) are based on the assumption  that the individual has no physical disease.  These kinds of tests and skewed results  could be, and we feel sure will be, used to  determine what personality types are likely  to acquire certain diseases and could be  used against us in any battles for disability  benefits.  You should also know that your medical or psychological records are not protected. Any test or session you participate  in is not confidential if you are in a court  battle for disability benefits. Recently, I was  approached by a very well-meaning psychologist who was running a study to determine if cognitive therapy will improve  the health of people with ME. This researcher believes that the disease has a significant psychological component.  Although he has helped people with  ME through his therapy, we have serious  No CPP for people with ME  The Advocacy Access Team (AAT) of  the BC Coalition of People with Disabilties  says it has noticed a disturbing trend when  they have applied for Canada Pension Plan  (CPP) disability benefits on behalf of clients with ME: it's become next to impossible to have benefits approved.  In the 1970's to the early 90s, CPP,  like other long-term disability schemes, did  ] not recognize ME as a compensable dis-  \ ability. Basically, this was because ME  [ cannot be detected on an x-ray, biopsy or  blood testet cetera. This changed in 1993  when CPP accepted ME as an illness. Between 1993 and 1997 the AAT saw a 75  I percent success rate for CPP disability  claims. So why the drop back to almost  zero?  What has changed is that now CPP  insists on "objective" medical evidence  of a disability. This objective evidence is  hard to come by as ME transcends pigeonholing. CPP disability adjudicators com- j  monly dismiss evidence from an applicant's long-time physician as "subjective"  and use a one-time, 15 minute to three  hour evaluation by a CPP-chosen specialist as "objective." The sad result is that .  people with ME are denied CPP coverage.  [Source Transition magazine, January / i  February 1999.]  concerns about the ways in which his research may be interpreted, especially because of the use of the MMPI. Our fear is  that the study could be used by the insurance companies to hurt us—by strengthening the myth that ME is "all in our heads."  Who is funding this research and why?  Where is the money to research the virus  and its eradication? There is certainly an  agenda on the part of the insurance companies and the government benefits programs to declassify or reclassify this disease in any way to cut costs.  The truth is people with ME are ill and  tired. We cannot fight this battle without  the support of our disability community  and non-disabled allies. Many people suffering with this illness cannot think or  speak clearly because the disease attacks  the brain. Children experience mood  swings and learning disabilities, often having difficulty in math, languages, reading  and other subjects involving the use of short  term memory.  It seems there are also more women  who have this illness. At this point we don't  know why. This reinforces and increase our  risk of poverty. Women have hormonal difficulties and often have severe exacerbation  of menstrual and menopausal symptoms.  Irritable bowel and bladder, with or without pain, numbness of extremities, swollen  lymph nodes, night sweats and sometimes  low-grade fevers, arthritis and extreme  muscle pain are only a few of the symptoms that find most people completely debilitated by this disease.  Children, especially adolescents, faced  with absences from school, ostracization by  peers and misunderstanding from physicians, teachers and often parents, are especially at risk for suicide. Some people with  ME are just too sick to keep up the struggle. Noone is addressing the frightening  reality that this devastating illness is reaching epidemic proportions and is having a  destructive effect on an ever-increasing  number of people.  There are times we feel like the "canaries in the mine"with no one paying attention to the fact that we are no longer singing. Rather than being "malingerers,"  maybe we are some of the first warning  signs about the pathogens in our western,  technological society.  Eileen O'Brien is a mother living with a disability whose child also lives with ME. Her volunteer work within the disabilty movement, yoga  and meditation keep her sane and positive. /This  piece was originally written as an editorial  in Transition magazine, January/February  1999, which featured several articles on ME.]  from ME previous page  it was thought there was a certain personality trait that allowed TB to fester. This  same mentality occurred with AIDS, previously known as GRIDS (Gay Related  Immune Deficiency Syndrome), and ME,  previously known as Yuppie Flu. (Ouch.)  AH too quickly, the medical community will point to psychological factors in  explaining the cause of disease and lay the  blame and responsibility firmly onto the  sufferer. I will no longer buy into that story.  How can I be responsible for something  that I have very limited control over?  One of the least helpful questions when  I hit the down cycle is: "Did I overdo it?"  This kind of thinking is prevalent and dangerous. When dealing with ME, it is important to understand how little control you  have over the consequences of your physical actions.  One day I will go swimming and experience only positive effects from it. The  next week I might do a similar swim. However, for days and sometimes weeks after, I  could be in bed with acute muscular soreness and exhaustion.There are no clear  boundaries to what I can and cannot do.  Every time I will have a different reaction.  It's very unpredictable and makes coping  with this illness all the harder. So it really  isn't a question of overdoing it.  We need to be aware of our assumptions about responsibilities for illness that  are hiding behind innocent questions. Next  thing we may question whether the chronically ill should have a right to claim a disability pension [see above.] In The Netherlands, ME sufferers have great difficulty obtaining a disability pension, mainly because  there is not yet any scientific "proof" of an  organic cause to this illness.  This psychologizing attitude presented  by our health care professionals may lead  us to think that sick people are not our responsibility. [Ontario premier] Mike Harris  may be capable of it, but are we?  Acceptance  How and why do I accept this illness?  It might reside in me but it is not an invited  or welcome guest. By accepting something,  it will be internalized, it will become a part  of my being. I don't want this to be a part  of me! I do not wish to live my life in this  dreadful way. I want to run and not feel  weary, I want to fly on the wings of eagles.  There is another voice within. It speaks of  acceptance. It speaks of healing.  At times I have found that peace. Truly,  I think healing will not come from the internal fight against acceptance of ME, nor  will it come from healers and doctors. It is  the gentle whisperings of love from within  that will bring true healing.  My ideas about true healing are at  times very different from those whispers  in my heart. There is a growing group of  ME sufferers that has not yet experienced  physical healing after many long years. It  is not certain that I will get better. However, I can try to take great joy in the knowledge that healing can, and has, occurred in  many different ways.  Kathleen Norris, in her book Dakota  wrote: "As I grow in acceptance, I am  opened to experience healing. I am learning to rejoice in the gifts of deprivation. To  learn from them, and to care less for amenities than for that which refreshes from a  deeper source. Acceptance is a way of surrendering to my reduced circumstances in  a manner that enhances my whole being."  Anneliese Van Oers lives in Ottawa.  KINESIS Feature  Moms meet and mingle to talk about.  The woman behind 'Mom'  by Lynda Gray, Lissa Geller and  Veenu Saini, as told to Fatima Jaffer  On a sunny Sunday in April,  four women got together to talk about  parenting for the "Mothers Day" issue of Kinesis. Fatima Jaffer, a regular contributor to Kinesis, who is not  a mom, facilitated and edited the conversation between the three mothers—  Lissa Geller, a Jewish lesbian mom of  two boys, pregnant with her third, and  a middle management worker; Lynda  Gray of the Tsimshian First Nation, a  Native youth worker, newly graduated  from the University of British Columbia, and a single mom with two  teenaged children; and Veenu Saini,  who works in the anti-violence movement and is a divorced, South Asian  single mom of one nine-year old girl.  All three are in their early-to-mid-30s.  While all are known to Kinesis, they  had not met each other before we had  the following conversation.  Fatima Jaffer: Could you give  us a very brief overview of your experiences becoming parents?  Lissa Geller: I have two boys—  David, a 12-year-old; and Joseph,  a two-year-old—and I'm having  another baby next month, which  my radiologist tells me has a 70-  per-cent-chance of being girl. I've  been waiting 13 years to parent a  girl, but now I'm kind of terrified  by the prospect.  I had my first son when I was married  and lived in Saskatchewan, but I'd split up  from my husband by the time David was  born, so he's never actually been with his  dad.  Then I moved to Vancouver, met  Tracey, fell in love and we decided we  wanted to have more kids. So we went to a  clinic in Vancouver, found sperm, got pregnant, and had Joseph over two years ago.  We then went back, found the same sperm  and now we're having another one.  The donor is some American guy; we  have a photograph of him. The clinic actu-  Jot aW-^ctothusOu* "fr^  "For all the mothers out there," by Farrah, age 10, and Adeebah, age 7  ally gives you quite a bit of information,  all non-identifying of course, like how  many siblings he had, what he does for a  living and medical history, et cetera.  We were all over the place deciding  how to pick sperm. Initially, we tried with  a friend we knew but that was a bust. When  the clinic opened up, it seemed considerably more scientific, which meant we had  a better shot at getting pregnant. So we  chose that route, and I'm not disappointed  we did.  Lynda Gray: I have an 18-year-old  daughter and a 16-year-old son. I was in a  relationship with the father until they were  seven and four. When we first broke up,  they lived with me. My ex- and I made up  a schedule and he had to come and see  them every day. He plays pool semi-pro-  fessionally, so if he had a tournament at  seven o'clock, he'd come pick them up from  school [in the afternoon] so it wouldn't be  such a big deal for the kids.  Was I a single parent? Some people  have said I did it all alone, but he was there  to always back up my decisions—because  they were always right. [Laughter].  My younger sisters lived with  me and they've always been there for  me. I didn't realize until last year  how helpful they were, until I heard  other people talking about extended  families in the Native community. I  thought, "You know I didn't really  have that," but I guess I did. My sisters and I used to sit around the table and talk. Then one of my kids  would come and ask me, "Where is  whatever?" An hour-and-a-half later,  they'd have heard this whole philosophical discussion and they'd go,  "Can we leave now?!" [Laughier].  They'd learn some big lesson from  all of us.  Geller: That's kind of cool.  Gray: Yeah. And it always just  kind of spontaneously happened.  Jaffer: When did you have your  children?  Gray: I was 16 when I had my  first. Their dad was about 24.1 don't  know if I should have been making  the decision to have kids [at that age]  but I've never regretted it.  Veenu Saini: I have one child—  Rubina—and she's nine years old. I  had her when I was almost 22 years  old. I was married to her father at the  time. It was an abusive marriage. I  had just moved to this country after  getting married to him.  He wanted a child, because it was his  way of keeping me in the relationship,  while I wasn't quite ready for a child, and  in fact was quite opposed to having one. I  was alone in the country at the time. I didn't  have any family here, or any friends, so I  was quite isolated.  Rubina was two-and-a-half when I left  him. I decided I couldn't raise her with him  because he was sexist and abusive. That  was one of my best parenting decisions.  see MOM'S DAY next page  Birthing of Mother's Day  Kinesis has not traditionally  recognized Mother's Day in its pages  in part because of Mother's Day's  conservative, back-to-the-kitchen  origins, and in part because of its  deliberate, underlying impetus of  celebrating women as "womb" while  ignoring child-less women and women  who do not fit traditional "motherhood" roles.  In this issue though. Kinesis celebrates  Mother's Day and the bold, brash and  bodacious moms out there who are  raising children in defiance of a  woman-hating, mother-blaming state  and society that makes it damn  difficult to raise our children.  We do this in the context of a  deeper understanding of the origins  and symbolism of Mother's Day,  brought to us courtesy of Vancouver  academic/activist Karlene Faith, who gave  us permission to summarize/extract from  the introductory chapter of her newly  released treatise on popular Western  culture Madonna: Bawdy & Soul.  Under the subtitle, "Before Madonna: A Selective United-Statesian  History,"Faith explores state-sponsored  woman-hating in aggressively conservative  post-war USA in the I950s-a time, Faith  writes, when the "popular media and  entertainment industries rarely posed a  challenge to the patriotic, nuclear family-  centred status quo."  Faith traces efforts to redomesticate  white women and "transform the natural  female monster into some model of  desexed, defanged, passive, compliant,  quiet perfection who can readily accept  authority and not get in the way, of which  Madonna, the mother of Jesus, is the  Western prototype."  She then outlines a brief history of  Mother's Day: "In the 1950s, Mother's Day  cards came into their own as a major  commercial industry."This internationally  traditional holiday became official in the  United States on May 8, 1914, when  Congress jointly approved a bill declaring  the second Sunday of every May as  Mother's Day, signed by President  Woodrow Wilson.  "The bill honours mothers as 'the  greatest source of the country's strength  and inspiration' and refers to 'the home' as  'the fountain head of the State.' Because  women do so much for 'moral uplift and  religion/ they directly benefit 'government  and humanity'  'The holiday was not always  observed, but fervour for it was renewed  in the 1950s in the context of a shifting  economy and the need to get women  back in the home. Commercial glorification of stay-at-home motherhood  produced a moral imperative to give  mom a card, and even a gift, but the  deeper effect was ideological. Given the  nature of the job, and the responsibility  put on mothers for their children's  success in life, mothers have needed  reassurance."  Karlene Faith's Madonna: Bawdy  8l Soul is published by University of  Toronto Press, 1999, and available at  selective bookstores in Canada. from MOM'S DAY previous page  I believe my parenting and my relationship with Rubina starts at the point I  left. Before that, his mother was a big part  of parenting her. He wasn't that involved  because he worked out of town, and came  home on weekends only.  Once I left, things got easier. It's been  tough, at times, but it's been a breeze too.  Geller: Does your ex-husband see  Rubina?  Saini: She's had no contact with him  for the last six years. I went through the  court system and got full custody. He  fought to have access but once he got it, he  didn't exercise it. He wanted to control  what I did when I didn't have Rubina  around. I guess he thought he could have  access to her and keep an eye on me. When  he realized he couldn't do that, he stopped  seeing her.  He also stalked me for a year and a  half after I left him. It was quite horrible,  but at the same time, I was quite involved  in building my new life, so it didn't really  get to me.  I did a lot of parenting on my own because I didn't have family here. But I have  had a lot of friends—a lot of women—who  have been involved in Rubina's life.  My family is close to Rubina too, despite the distance—they live in New Delhi,  India. We talk to them every week and she  visits them every two years or so. They  are very supportive of me and my decisions around parenting.  Geller: Does she see her father'sex-  tended family?  Saini: No, except for one cousin,  once in a while.  Geller: I lived in the same community as my folks until David was  about a year-and-a-half. Then my  folks moved away. It was horrible.  They just moved five hours away but  all of a sudden, I did not have that  support. So I was alone from the time  David was born until he was four.  Like you say, friends came in and  filled in, but I was 21 when I had  David and none of my friends had  kids. David grew up largely in the  company of adults without any playmates. With Joey, we have friends who  have kids who are his age, so when we go  to see them, he plays with them, while  David still always plays with adults.  As good as my friends were, when you  don't have kids of your own, you do things  like phone at six o'clock on Friday night  and say, "Oh, let's go to a movie!" I mean,  are you like high on crack? They just didn't  get it. You lose friends like that. It's easier  to be with people who have kids because  they get it.  Saini: Pretty much all of my friends  now are single with no kids, which is a  good thing because they have one child to  dote over. At the same time, it is hard because they always have plans. There were  times when I felt, "Oh my god, now that I  have a child, I have to stay home." But then  I was doing other things that were far more  fun that they couldn't do. Most of my  friends are pretty close to Rubina and  sometimes I wonder if they are in my life  because of her.  Geller: My partner, Tracey always says  she fell in love with David first and me later.  Saini: You're just what comes along  with \xar\...[Laughter]  Geller: Yeah, the baggage. [Laughter].  Gray: In the last three or four years as  my kids got older, it's been different for me.  I find myself with all this free time suddenly. All my friends are either having babies or are single and don't have kids. It's  been very weird.  Jaffer: Does having all this freed-up time  make you realize how much time you put  into parenting?  Gray: Yeah. Now when I see my friends  with kids, I feel sorry for them. But then I  feel sorry for myself too because [my friends]  are less in my life—they've got to be up at  5:00am and so they're in bed by 8:00pm.  Saini: I have some friends with kids, but  the majority are raising them in two-parent  families.  Gray: It's very different.  Saini: The children are different too. My  child is used to hanging out with adults, so  she finds these kids quite "young" and she  doesn't know where they're coming from.  Rubina actually talks about how you can't  be a child in the same way when you are a  single parent's kid. For example, when I'm  sick, she takes care of me. She also tries to  make sure as much as she can that she stays  out of my way and gives me alone-time.  There are pluses for her because she has all  the attention from  at least  It's a different child. I don't know any  more than you know about this kid."  Jaffer: Was there ever any issue about  who would bear Joseph or this third  child?  Geller: Tracy didn't ever want to bear  one. I tried to convince her by telling her  you get cleavage. [Laughter] It didn't  work. I always thought I'd have four  kids, but I think we'll stop at this one. I  remember thinking, when I knew I was a  ' lesbian, "I want to have more kids," and  trying to figure out how that would work.  Jaffer: How do you deal with mainstream media and other right-wing elements telling you that you are not a "normal family"? And have there been advantages to raising these kids on your own?  Saini: For the first seven years of  Rubina's life, she lived in a small town in  BC, which is a very conservative place.  The SouthAsian community was also far  more conservative there than  Rubina and her mom Veenu, by Rubina age 9  one   person—me—  and from all my friends.  Geller: I think single parents' kids are often more self-sufficient. I remember David  learned to tie his shoelaces faster than the kids  of my friends who were two-parent families,  just because you have to. I just didn't have  the energy and the time to do things. He had  to learn to play by himself. Then again, David  has essentially been in a two-parent family  since he was four.  It was a very different experience having a baby alone and then having one with  someone there. It was almost like not having  a baby. It was so much less work. At first,  when Joey needed his diaper changed, I'd get  up to do it. Tracey would say, "I can do that."  I was so used to doing everything by myself,  it didn't occur to me somebody else could  do those things too.  Jaffer: Would you say it's also because  she's a woman?  Geller: I never raised a child with a man  so I can't say. Michael, David's father, had a  quasi-relationship with David until he was  three. But he never really involved himself  in what daycares David should go to, what  schools, and other decisions.  Meanwhile, Tracey's expectation was:  "Well, you've had one before, you know all  about them." I said, "That was 10 years ago.  almost anywhere else in the world.  Rubina was the only child in the class  who came from a single-parent family.  Even the mainstream [white] kids all  came from church-going families, with a  mummy and daddy who were married  for sure. But Rubina recognized at a very  early age how her situation was much better. We had quite a stable household,  where she would go to the childminder's  after school, and when she came home  after that, we would then be quite  focussed on each other.  Often she heard things from other  kids like, "Oh, you guys aren't really a  family. It's just you and your mom." She  didn't let people at school get away with  saying things like that. She would say,  "We're more of a family than what you  guys tell me about."  What she has found really hard is not  having siblings. She tells me a lot that "I  wish you'd have another kid." It's not  about having another parent in her life. I  don't think she's ever mentioned wanting to have a second parent.  Gray: I don't think my kids faced any  pressure about being single-parent kids.  They grew up in Vancouver and a number  of families around us were single-parent  ones. [If there was an event at their school,]  my sisters would go. Their dad often went  too.  As far as decision-making went, it was  easy because he agreed with me. I don't  know if that was because he thought, "Let  her do it. I'll just back her up," or whether  he thought they were the right decisions. I  never really had to deal with conflict  around decisions.  The only thing that would come up is  if he said something sexist. I would say,  "Don't say that." I feel pretty safe about my  kids now becausef/awg/jferj they're shaped  in my image, so to speak.  Jaffer: So you like your kids?  Gray: Yeah. I think they're amazing. A  totally unbiased view of course. They're  probably in a "higher" place of understanding than I was when I was their age because  they've had a stable life, they have culture  and they're proud of who they are. They've  always had pretty loving people in their  ives.  Geller: At some point, Michael and I  realized there was a time when we had actually liked each other and we just sort  of needed to get back to that point.  Things went along reasonably well for  a while. Again, he just let me make the decisions. I'm not sure if he just abdicated responsibility to me, or if he would have  parented the same way I did if it had just  been him alone.  At the same time, Michael was  never very good at seeing David on a  regular basis. He started seeing him less  and less. Then he met another woman  and they have a couple of kids. I think  he just kind of moved on.  I find the most difficult conversations I have with David are about his  dad. I mean, I love his dad—he's a  sweet man, and gentle but he's an  idiot. He has no sense of responsibility. He's completely content to  abdicate responsibility for parenting  David.  It sure makes it easier for me not  to have to deal with him, especially  because I've never actually spoken  to him about my being a lesbian,  though I think he knows. We were  iving in a pretty small community  [in Saskatchewan]where you couldn't  have not known. I don't think he  would be broadly homophobic, so  much as specifically about me.  As for David, I worry that he thinks,  "How much of a shithead am I as a kid that  my own father won't spend time with me."  I'm the only person who knows his dad,  and he doesn't see any of Mike's family at  all. So if he wants information about his  dad, he has to come to me. I tell him, "Your  dad loves you, but he's just really bad at  responsibility."  But now that he's older and more informed, I wish Michael would come back  in contact with David and make that connection. I think David would feel so much  better if he had his dad in his life. Not that  his dad is some great guy, but just that he's  his dad.  Saini: Rubina and I have had that conversation about her dad. I am actually quite  against her having any contact with her father because he is not just an idiot. It goes  beyond not having any sense of responsibility. He's sexist and abusive, and I  strongly believe she has nothing to gain  from him being a part of her life.  Rubina says it would actually be  strange if he did call her. He's since moved  on and has another family now. She doesn't  really have any strong memories of him because she was three when he stopped contacting us. I've talked to her about how it's  not about her that he's not there, and she  understands that quite well. I have also talked about what my relationship with  him was like.  But I'm sure she's going to have lots  of questions about him as she gets older.  I've told her she can choose to contact him  then... not that we have his phone number.  He got his phone number unlisted, so I  wouldn't contact him. As if I would.  [Laughter].  Gray: In case you were desperate.  Jaffer: ...and saw the error of your  ways....[Laughter.]  Saini: Yeah. When I first left, he actually said to me, "You make up your mind  right now whether you want to take care  of this child or whether you want me to.  Don't come back to me later on and say, 'I  can't deal with her. Take her back'." I said,  "What would you say? 'No?! I don't want  this child'?"  For the longest time, I used to worry  about what would happen to my child if I  were to die. I worried about her ending  up with him, even though I have done  what I can legally to ensure she wouldn't.  It's only been about a year or so that I  stopped worrying, now that she's got other  people in her life who understand. Plus  she's older.  If she had to go live with him now, he  wouldn't know how to deal with her because he doesn't know how to deal with  women and girls with strong minds and  strong wills. He'd probably say to my parents, "Here's the child. Take her."  Jaffer: Another thing I have heard  Rubina say is that the kids from two-parent families tell her about having abusive  fathers who don't really co-parent, and  about how their moms are "single-  parenting" within their marriages.  Saini: Rubina picks up stuff about  abuse when kids are talking about things  that are not appropriate, probably because  she has been around you and me and other  women in the anti-violence movement.  Gray: I see it as socialization that  makes kids feel like they've got to have a  father. I never missed a father because nobody ever said, "Where's your father?" I.  don't think it's natural to think, "I need  one." It's an expectation others create in  you.  Geller: Do you find your boy has different needs regarding a father than your  girl?  Gray: They have different relationships  with him, but my daughter is actually  closer to him. I had thought my son would  be the one to get that bonding thing happening.  Saini: We visited India after I left my  abusive marriage. When Rubina saw my  connection with my father, at first, she  didn't believe he was my father because she  didn't have a notion that fathers could be  like that. My father is a very loving man  and he's been very involved in our lives.  She was envious I had this relationship  in my life and she didn't. I told her, "You  don't need to be a father to be a parent. He's  Family photo of Lissa Geller andTracy Osborne and their sons Joseph and  David, November 1997  as much a part of your life and cares as  much about you." So she now sees him as  a father figure, and in fact, also calls him  Daddy. He came to visit us in Canada for  four months and she really got to know  him. She has a strong bond with him now  and doesn't have that sense of competition  with me anymore.  Geller: I worry that I can count only  on one hand the number of men who are  involved in our daily, weekly or monthly  lives. Tracey and I both have dads that are  loving, caring and involved, but Tracey's  dad is in Calgary, and mine is in Saskatchewan. The kids see them once a year, so as  far as regular contact with men goes, they  don't get a lot. I worry that, as they grow  up into men in the company of women,  they'll wonder where they fit, that they may  see men and fathers as kind of also-rans.  We also get very picky about the kinds  of men we spend time with because if they  are the men who are going to role model  for our kids, I want to make sure they're  notboneheads.  Gray: I think one of the big myths out  there is that you need a man to teach a boy  to be a man. I think my sisters and I have  taught my son more about how to be a man  than his father did. But I also agree it's important to have good male role models  around.  Geller: That's the thing. And if I had  girls, I would still want them to be around  men.  Jaffer: A lot of the messages boys get  about being men are self-serving male  myths about what being a man is—basically, how to be a jerk. How do you deal  with that outside pressure as mothers of  boys?  Geller: I think if you see needing men  to raise men as a myth, then you also have  to work really hard to remove gender as  an equation in the behaviour you expect  from your kids. So it's not about, "You're a  boy, so you don't hit girls." It's about,  "You're a human being and you don't hit  other human beings."  I think the problem is that nearly everything they do is genderized for them. I  work really hard to expect behaviour based  on people living in a family or a community together, regardless.  I remember this one instance though  when David was little. We had two women  friends who were farmers up in Saskatchewan. They were the only farmers we knew  at the time. One time David said, "Mummy,  draw a picture of a tractor." So I drew a picture of a tractor. Then he said, "Draw a  farmer on it." So I drew a picture of a  woman sitting on the tractor. And he said,  "No, not the farmer's wife, the farmer."  [Laughter from the others.]  I was horrified. He was just three years  old. He wasn't a kid who watched a lot of  TV and he wasn't a kid who knew any  farmers who were men. But you can't get  away from that. Those sexist messages are  a constant barrage.  Gray: I think [raising a boy and a girl]  was always about naming that stuff. If my  son said, "This is what a boy does and that's  what a girl is," my sisters or I would say,  "Hey, come back here," and he would have  to answer to it. It's always like de-programming them.  Jaffer: I think these messages are deliberately being targetted at kids because  they are expected to uphold and preserve  the sexist, heterosexist order of the world.  Saini: My child believes being a boy  means being silly or being a bonehead. For  example, I went on this trip with her class  and the boys couldn't even walk in a  straight line. She rolled her eyes and said,  "This is what boys are!" How do you tell  her that's not really true when that's what  she sees out there? The boys her age are  really quite different from the girls. Even  the few boy cousins she sees do things just  to get on her nerves. She says, "That's because they're boys."  I think she partly gets this message  from hanging out with me and people who  work in the anti-violence movement. It's  also a reality of her life. She's seen men behaving very badly.  Gray: It's all part of socialization. Once  she starts to believe that's acceptable behaviour for men, it allows it to keep going.  So even if it's true, she has to challenge that  bad behaviour.  Saini: She is trying to fight it as much  as she can. When the boys in her class make  stupid comments about the girls, she challenges them.  Geller: I think when we say, "Oh, boys  will be boys," in a way it allows boys to  get away with it, and reinforces that behaviour. I appreciate strong girls who take  boys on and say, "That behaviour is unacceptable." I think boys hear it more when  their peers say it than when their moms  tell them.  I worry for my own boys when they  hear, "Oh it's just like a man to blah, blah."  There's a double message there because it  says, "you're stupid because you're a  man," but also, "That's okay, we expect less  from you. We don't expect you to change  diapers, or read a map, or all those stereotypical things that men don't do."  Jaffer: Did you experience moral  judgements or feel pressured by your kids  or the outside world to live up to the myths  of what a "good mom" is, versus a "bad"  one?  Saini: When I was growing up, pretty  much all the kids were raised by mum and  dad and extended families. When I grew  up in India, there were few single-parent  kids. If there were, it was usually because  one parent had died and rarely because one  parent had left. Even then, the kids would  be raised by extended families.  When I thought about leaving my abusive marriage, I believed in that way of raising kids. But once I decided to raise a child  on my own, it really wasn't that hard. Soon  as I was away from the people who had  been hard on me during my marriage, I felt  free to make mistakes and not be hard on  myself for making them.  A lot of parenting for me is based on  common sense and not on what I thought  growing up in a family should be like. That  came from making mistakes and deciding  to do the things that worked rather than  any fixed ideas of what I "should" be doing.  Perhaps it also helped that I was so far  away from where I grew up. Now when I  go back, I feel quite privileged that I have  the space to do all of this my way. I get a  lot of compliments about my parenting. It  makes me realize, "Yeah, actually that was  rather cool," and I think I'm quite a good  parent. I really like my kid and she likes  see MOM'S DAY next page  x&v V  ^,J\.  deva and mama Christina at play, by deva age 6 Feature  from MOM'S DAY previous page  Geller: I never felt like David ever  judged me in a moral way, certainly not  about being lesbian. If I were challenged  on hypocrisy, it was more, "Why do you  get potato chips, and I don't?"  It's odd for me to hear you say you  think you're a good parent. I agonize about,  that and always have. Part of that comes  from my own background. My mom had a  lot of self-doubt about her own parenting.  She was also young when she started to  parent—about 20 or so, in the 1960s—and  went on to raise five kids. I think she projected her worries onto us because all my  siblings manifest that worry.  Although I like the person that David  is turning out to be, I do worry whether I  am doing the right things—things like, "Is  it too soon to let David go out in the evenings? Is he old enough to do this or that?"  I don't feel particularly judged from  outside. The things they would judge me  about —like being a lesbian—I'm very secure about.  Jaffer: Do you think your self-doubt  might also be the result of messages in society about how it's the mother's fault if  the child doesn't turn out "good"?  Geller: Sometimes, although I think  every mother has trouble remembering that  their children are other people [laughter  from the three moms,] especially when they  do stupid things. You can't help but think  it reflects on you.  Saini: At the same time, all the talk  shows and the news tend to reinforce the  message that if the child does something  wrong, it's the mom's fault.  Geller: Much more so than they blame  the father, which I think is part of misogynist women-loathing. I must just internalize a lot of that, because objectively, I know  I love my kids and that they're interesting  people, so why the self-doubt?  Gray: When my kids were really small,  I would spank them. At the time, I didn't  know any better. Where I learned that from  I have no idea. Lucky for them, I learned it  wasn't a great thing to do and stopped doing it. I had a lot of guilt then, but then realized I didn't know any better.  Jaffer: It's like you don't get the support from society that you need to allow  you to parent as well as you can, and then  people turn around and blame you for being the "bad" parent.  Gray: I just moved out of my kids'  space into my own apartment, and my  friend was asking me, "What does it feel  like?" I said, "Well, it's a relief." What I  mean is it's a relief that I didn't screw [my  kids] up. I think that's because I didn't have  that positive parenting when I was growing up, and I learned from watching other  women parent.  Saini: I get a lot from women who tell  me what they like about what I'm doing.  You do something you've always done and  somebody says to you, "Wow, that was really great. What you did there was really  excellent parenting." Really? Okay. I hear  that from Fatima, for instance, and from my  other friends.  Jaffer: If I didn't affirm your parenting,  you wouldn't want me in your life. [Laughter.]  Saini: I think I do only keep people  around me who affirm my parenting.  Geller: We call them Moments of Great  Motherhood—MGMs—in our household.  [laughter from all moms]. You talk/teach a  great moral lesson, just like on a sitcom  where the kid gets it in the end, and you  go, "Like, wow!"  Saini: You should write those down in  a book.  Geller: Maybe we should because I certainly seem to remember those Moments  of Ungreat Motherhood more.  Jaffer: What role did your finances play  in deciding to go ahead with having kids?  Did you think, "Holy Smokes, what about  shoes?"  Gray:l didn't think about it. When my  kids were young, I moved into a co-op, so  we never worried about rent to the point  where we couldn't afford it. Their dad always paid child support. We weren't always comfortable, but not poor either.  Saini: When I left Rubina's father, I had  about $70 in the  bank, and I  didn't even  think about how  I was going to  manage. We had  rough spots  where we didn't  know what to do  from hereon, because I was self-  employed, and  had lost the  business I had in  partnership  with my husband.  Perhaps because I was  young and naive, I didn't really think too  much about  how we were  going to cope. I Mom> Melissa and  started working when Rubina was about  eight months old, and worked really hard.  I paid more for child care than in rent. I got  child support from her dad, not because of  his willingness to pay but because I went  after him legally. It's a small amount but I  believe it's her entitlement.  I grew up in a fairly middle-class way,  so it was quite different never knowing how  you were going to manage. Being a woman  of colour made it especially hard to get jobs.  It's been a mixed bag of rough spots and  comfortable times.  Geller: I think there's a difference between money and class. I grew up in a white  middle class suburban house with a mom  and dad and I had the same middle-class  expectations I think most kids had.  The year David was born, I distinctly  remember my income tax return for the  year was about $6,000. But even having almost no money, I was still a middle class  kid and, if I needed to, I could always call  my dad.  Initially, I didn't really make a decision  to parent. I had had an abortion two years  before I got pregnant with David and knew  I would never go through that again. So it  was almost like not having a choice.  It's different with Joey. We had to go  down to the clinic and get out the Visa card.  By that time, Tracey and I both had middle  management jobs. We don't both have big  student debts, we don't worry about where  our next meal is coming from, and we can  pay the bills. It's a very different circumstance. There were pressures when David  was born that aren't there with Joey.  Money was more of an issue in our  decision to have this third one, but we still  have the same kind of middle class resources that I had 10 years ago.  jaffer: Can we talk about the role race  plays in bringing up kids? I mean you're  all taking on stereotypes, both those of your  own communities and of the mainstream  white racist society.  Saini: Yeah. Rubina and my surnames  are different, so when I cross the Canada-  USA border, customs officers will say,  "Well, aren't all you people supposed to  have the same names?" or "Aren't you people supposed to have kids within marriages?" and stuff. There's been a lot of that  sort of thing.  I think especially when we lived in a  small town, there were a lot of stereotypes  of us. Within the South Asian community,  there were certain codes you had to live by.  I made choices within that range of limited  choices about who I was going to have as  my peers and as  me, by Boris age 4  around her she can talk to about it. I don't  want her thinking this kind of thing doesn't  happen.  Gray: There are so many stereotypes  around Native women. People are always  surprised that I'm a good parent, and that  my kids are such good kids. Kids in school  used to say, "You're Native? I never knew  you were Native?" People must have a  stereotype of what a Native parent is like  and I must not fit it.  At the same time, I've always said to  the kids that, "You know, you're lucky to  be in this house," and explained to them  why a lot of Native families aren't doing  really well, so just not letting them think  it's normal. Then again, a lot of Native people I know are really good parents, but people don't see that. They only see what they  want to on the streets.  Saini: But that comes from racism. You  have to behave extra nice and extra proper  to be okay, whereas if you fuck up in a small  way, it reflects badly on your whole community.  Gray: Oh yeah, for sure.  Geller: David's father is Native, and  Joey's donor is a white man. For me, the  challenge is always to contextualize racism,  so that racism is not just part of what one  kid does to another kid but is part of the  systemic structure of white privilege. I want  to contextualize that with Joey even more  because he will grow up to be a white man.  It's been a challenge to move away  from David's community roots. In the city  we grew up in, 30 to 40 per cent of the population was Aboriginal and many of them  are part of David's extended family. When  we lived there, David saw his dad's side of  the family. When we moved here, we lost  all that.  Jaffer: Could you talk about what supports you have found the most useful as  women raising children?  Saint: A number of people in my life  plan things in a way so I can bring my child.  And they include her, they don't just see  her as an extension of me. They see her in  her own right and treat me as a person in  my own right, which I sometimes forget I  am. They keep reminding me of that by  asking me some things and asking her some  things.  People have also been good about how  they give me criticism. They say, "When you  did this, this wasn't great," and at the same  time, given me some ideas about doing it  differently. So it's not about implying,  "You're a bad mother," it's about specific  things that they thought were not okay. Not  that that happens very often. [Laughter.]  Gray: ...since you're perfect. [Laughter.]  Saini: The people who gave me ideas  and stuff were mostly not parents but they  had stuff from their own childhoods about  their mothers or fathers. That was always  great.  Another thing that helps is just checking in when they see I'm losing it and stepping in to ask me what I need. And child  minding would be great. I'm so glad Agnes  [the Kinesis editor] volunteered to child-  mind so we could do this roundtable.  Gray: My mother died when I was 13,  and eventually my sisters came to live with  me. They were good at stepping in to do  stuff with the kids and entertain them. They  would rent videos to watch or play games.  I didn't recognize that as support at the  time.  I've also found support from watching other women, and learning from them.  Geller: There were times I've been so  grateful when someone would come by  and take David, and even now, when someone does that with Joseph. But most of the  time, the support slips in, and you don't  notice it, then a few months later you go,  "Hey, that was good." There's the subtlety  to it.  I've been lucky to be double parenting.  That's the biggest support—Tracey. But we  still need an outside structure. I was in hospital in February with this pregnancy.  David is 12, he's old enough to take care of  himself and of Joseph, but it wasn't fair to  expect that of him. We had friends come  by every day without being asked. Afterwards we realized that, even if these were  extenuating circumstances where people  step up to the plate, people do that other  times too.  Jaffer: So how bad can it get? What's  the hardest part to parenting?  Saini: The money part. There are some  decisions I could have made differently, but  all things come at a cost. I may want to go  to school full-time but I can't just quit my  job and do that without thinking what it's  going to be like money-wise for us.  And my child has some standards  around who I should have relationships  with. [Laughter.]!'ve had relationships and  friendships where she wasn't happy with  the people, so I've had to either not go that  way, or think, well, this can wait. It's not  just your life anymore—you have to make  decisions for that other person in your life.  Gray: I agree. [Laughter.]! didn't think  about what was hard as I was going along,  I just did it. I'm just finishing school now,  but I didn't have aspirations about school  before, so I didn't miss it. I think the hardest thing about parenting was that I had to  grow as a person myself, especially when  they were teenagers.  I think the hardest thing, but the best  thing for me, is that I'm a way better person because of that—giving up that control and being humbled.  KINESIS Arts   1999 Lambda Winner the bull-jean stories:  Get a copy for you  and yer mama!  Mm  sharon bridgforth  by Nadine C. King   THE BULL-JEAN STORIES  by sharon bridgforth  RedBone Press, Austin, Texas, 1998  Some may call it poetry or historical  fiction, but dear reader allow me to present  a line or two so the bull-jean stories can speak  for itself—a collection of rhythms/kept-sounds/  body released variations of layers of syncopated  memories from many times back.  Split into two chapters with 13 stories  in total, the bull-jean stories is a non-linear  performance work in print. From start to  finish the words bounce up from the black  and white of the page to make colourful,  dynamic sound-shapes in your mind.  The setting is the Black rural South and  the time frame is the 1920s. Historical? Well,  I think the characters are the lovers you  know, the aunt-mommas you may be lucky  to have right here in the present.  'the author, sharon bridgforth, has  made a complete cast of characters who are  free to talk their talk and spread their broad,  wide selves all over the pages and converse  with the reader on a number of "thangs."  A favourite question of mine when asking someone to tell me about themselves  is, "Who your people?" Well, bridgforth  certainly introduces us to the folks that  make community for our Black, butch lesbian hero, bull-jean. From the get-go, we  learn that the kinds of women who raised  bull-jean are real live wires—not the out-  side-your-mind kind. You think I'm kidding? Meet my favourite: Aunt Tilly.  "na/i shoot mafuckas/yessuh run through/  my yard crawlout./ shiit/ buttfullalead be fair  warning to where my next aim jes might be...  thats tillecous loufina Johnson..na/ole  tilly can shoot a can off a squirrel's ass  blindfolded/so i know she don't really  want to hit them half-grown fools/hell she  helped raise they mammas and daddys/  ...just lik to cuss up on the threat.../til  Saturday night they gets to shortcutn from  trouble/straight into ole tilly's barrel/  The daughter of such fierce women is  our hero bull-jean who lets you know .../  me/they call bull-jean i say/that's cause i works  like somekinda ole dog trying to git a bone or  two/they say it's cause i be sniffing after  wy'myns /down-low [begging and thangs/  whatever.  Yes, bull-jean is serious about her  search for love. If you think she's all about  begging, the scene where she makes an objection to a lover's marriage puts that notion straight. (No strange pun intended).  yessuh mr. reverend preacha man/ i  take the right/ to make objection/ to this/  lie-befo God / SAFFIRA/ you my biscuits  and gravy/ the amen at end of my prayers/  you my perfumed hallelujah/ sweet chariot  stop and let me ride/you my southern comfort/ my gi-tar/ stroking/ all night/ cradling the scent of you/are my memories/  you are/all the wy'mn i have ever/ Lowed  my / last-Life-Lowe / come back  She doesn't. Your loss saffira, honey.  Girlfriends come and girlfriends go, but  bull-jean's commitment to love won't quit.  From the porch to the streets and  smoky nightclubs, the bull-jean stories is a  lyrical journey of the central character with  family and lovers across lifetimes.  Even variation in the Southern speech  pattern is celebrated. Those of us from the  Caribbean will be surprised to meet American cousins we never knew we had (until  recent time), in the piece "bj and mina stay."  ifrom da swamp, my fo-matha/snap two  man neck/run free ta swamp people/we long  lim from here/da ship ova stop at island/trade  fo-matha manfo watafofatha kill/oh six seven  fin freedom too./since dat time we people go  from island ta swamp be wid one da otha  Entwined with the laugh-lines, the bull-  jean stories touches on some serious issues—cross-the-tracks racism, pressure of  marriage on women, heart-ache and the  truth of butch women having children. The  most powerful story (for me) was "mama,"  which tells the truth  of lesbians who have been threatened with  incarceration in the system—psych wards,  jail, et cetera—if we did not give up our children or choice of family. The story is set in  the '20s, but we know that this struggle continues today! The piece ends on a happy  complete family circle note which some  may say is wishful thinking—if that's the  price for a good story of hope, then bill me!  Each story is an honour-ful reflection  on family, Black lesbian life, loving in good  and hard times. Their simplicity does not  interfere with the poetic richness of the dialogue, characters and themes which are  meant to be heard out loud.  I was lucky enough to get a taste of the  CD recording of the bull-jean stories. Let me  tell you, sharon bridgforth's voice calls the  ear to come listen.  I say, book me a seat on the porch when  the next set of stories come out-  Order the bull-jean stories through your  local independent bookstore if you can. For a  copy of the CD, send US$16.19 (which includes  shipping and handling) to RedBone Press. For  information on sharon bridgforth's company,  tours or workshops, visit her website at http://  members, tripod. com/~rootwymn/  Nadine C. King is a Femme Zami studying and  sashaying in Vancouver.  .7    HjEmftmiK;  JPBJESS:  BlACK   IJESMAJTS   OJT   THE   StaELVJES,   OITE   BOOK   AT   A   TIMJE  I first heard about RedBone Press  when I came across does your mama  know?, a Lambda award winning anthology of Black lesbian coming out stories.  What was unusual about this anthology  was that it presented a range of Black lesbian voices from different cultures.  "Great!" I thought, filed RedBone Press  in the back of my mind and hoped they'd  make it to publish another book.  Lo and behold, I came across the  bull-jean stories, RedBone's second book!  I could not resist faxing off a letter of support to both sharon bridgforth, the book's  author, and Lisa C. Moore, RedBone's  publisher. Suddenly the fax machine  rang back. Something said, "Pick it up!"  It was Moore on the phone. We talked  about many things in that call, so when I  decided to review the bull-jean stories for  Kinesis, I knew a spotlight on the press  was a must as well.  Unfortunately, I was too busy to set  up an interview with Mz RedBone herself, but her press kit was filled with information on her experience in the inde  pendent publishing world, and a step-by-  step telling of how RedBone came into being. Seems it was quite natural really. Combine skills in accounting, publishing, a high  regard for detail and the main ingredient:  a commitment to publishing quality work  by and for Black lesbians. Voila, one small  press rolling out of one woman's kitchen!  Of course, there was tons of advice and  support along the way from other women,  the two most recognized being Barbara  Smith of Kitchen Table: Women of Colour  Press and Makeda Silvera of Sister Vision  Press.  Moore very deliberately directed all of  her publicity efforts, beyond word of  mouth, towards the non-mainstream media and developed a good rapport with the  feminist/independent bookstore network  to distribute the first run (3,000 copies) in  1997 of does your mama know? Much of the  direct promotion and sales was done on an  18-city summer tour across the US. The first  run sold out in eight months.  More exposure was gained by the two  Lambdas—the annual lesbian and gay  book awards—in the categories of "Lesbian  Studies" and "Best Small Press Book," won  June 1998. This has led to an additional  5,000 copies of does your mama know? being  printed.  When the mega-chainstores such as  Barnes & Noble and Border's requested  books, Moore says she was hesitant to do  business with them " ...because of how the  chains are eating up the independents. But  I also realized that not everyone has an independent where they live."  With a growing demand for its books,  RedBone turned over its distribution to the  LPC Group, which was recommended by  Firebrand Press, a feminist press based in  New York.  In an article about RedBone in the Feminist Bookstore News, Moore summed up her  experience in the following quote: " What  have I learned? That there is a market for  Black lesbian writing, that a distributor  does indeed help, that small print runs are  good, that there's nothing like a well-publicized reading to sell books, that women's  bookstores stick together..."  Currently, Moore and RedBone Press  are planning a book on family and  friends of Black lesbians and gays—[see  Bulletin Board page 18 for submissions information]—promoting the bull-jean stories  in print and on CD, and looking into marketing the Press in Academic circles.  Did I mention that Moore is a graduate student in the African Diaspora program at the University of Texas?  With four Lambda nominations for  RedBone's publishing efforts since its  birth in 1997, Moore simply states, "I'm  very humbled by all the attention and  awards... I'm just trying to publish the  best quality work I can and get it out  there."  Thank you Mz Redbone!  RedBone Press, PO Box 1805, Austin,  Texas, 78767, USA; tel: (512) 498-4997  and fax: (512) 451-0612.  [Information gathered from Foresight and  Feminist Bookstore News. J  - Nadine King - Arts  The 30 Helens at the Firehall:  The H-Team  JkAMM*"  .*PO»v*  by Kelly Haydon  As the lights dimmed in Vancouver's  Firehall Theatre, the audience was  auditorially bombarded by the "humour"  of Andrew Dice Clay, an American comedian well-known in the early 1990s for his  women-hating drivel. Just when I thought  it was time to permanently wax in my ear  canals, in came The "H" Team—dressed in  full hit-woman attire—to end all such misogyny.  What followed were 26 side splitting  sketches by The 30 Helens, a very talented  group of women comedic writers and performers.  In response to the lack of strong roles  for women in the acting industry, Liisa  Ingimundson brought all her "funny, cool,  chick friends together and put on a show."  From there, Girlparts was  born. A year later, seven  members of the group  (Morgan Brayton, Farrell  Spence, Brianna Mason,  Madeline Kipling, Victoria  Deschanel, Jennifer-Lee  Koble and Ingimundson)  broke off to form The 30  Helens. [Haydon got a  chance to talk to two of the 30  Helens. Seepage 16.]  With great difficulty, I  managed not to pee my  pants during the Helens'  first sketch, "It's Not Pee."  I did, however, have tears  streaming down my face as  a pre-adolescent Lizzie  (Morgan Brayton) shared her knowledge  about the facts of (a woman's) life. The content was hilarious and Brayton's facial and  body expressions sent the sketch even further up the warp factor scale of humour.  Even her co-star Brianna Mason had a hard  time not losing it.  Farrell Spence exhibited a considerable  range of acting throughout the evening's  program. She convincingly went from sultry singer in "FOAD," to five-year old  hyper kid diving head first off the stage in  "Helmet Girl."  While Mason began the evening a bit  hesitantly, she hit her stride in "Heather and  Paula," where she and Victoria Deschanel  spoofed AC/DC head bangers. (The accuracy of their portrayal was confirmed by  the three women I went with who grew up  with "Heathers" and "Paulas.") Mason's  rendition of a male pig in a bar was also  outstanding. (I had flashbacks to the years  I spent working in a bar in Ottawa. Yuck!)  In "Dance of the Dream Man,"  Deschanel was arresting. It is beyond me  how a simple stroll across the stage could  have an entire audience bent over laughing hysterically. I was in the middle of  howling uncontrollably when the thought  zipped through my head, "She's only walking across the stage." Then I started laughing again.  Another favourite sketch of mine was  The 30 Helens' interpretative dance to the  movie The Titanic. (I feel relieved that I now  won't have to waste $8 to see the movie  itself. The 30 Helens gave me enough of a  synopsis to get me through  until the sequel, or beyond.)  These are only a few  of the highlights. Each  member of the group is  highly creative and their  varying talents complement each other.  Given their awesome  talents though, I was disappointed that the range of  their content was quite  limited. In my life, I am  surrounded by awesome  women writers, artists and  thinkers—women who are  "■■" «■■■"■»" wonderfully women-  centered. This is what I am  used to. So for me, the lack of women-  centered material in an all-woman comedy  troupe is glaringly apparent. Many of the  sketches were constructed around the status quo male-female dynamic in our society.  For example, "Amateur Duo Night,"  featuring two "first-time" strippers in a  nightclub, was funny but still revolved  around the male gaze. Women stripping in  a male strip club is not radical no matter  how sharp the commentary on the situation. Are women's lives nothing more than  our reactions to the male world?  None of the sketches went outside of—  let alone questioned—the fundamental assumptions about women and men in our  society that feminism constantly tries to  challenge. Even the name, The 30 Helens,  It is beyond me  how a simple  stroll across  the stage could  have an entire  audience bent  over laughing  hysterically.  L-R clockwise: Farrell Spence, Morgan Brayton, Brianne Mason, Jennifer-Lee  Koble (and baby), Victoria Deschanel, Liisa Ingimundson, Madeline Kipling  is taken from the male performance realm.  Brayton explained that the group chose the  name from a skit by Kids in the Hall, an  all-male comedy ensemble which had a  weekly show on CBC television. In their  skit, Kids in the Hall were themselves  spoofing a well-known consumer products company's commercial featuring "30  Helens."  I was also surprised by the lack of lesbian content in light of the fact that half  the group is queer. Only one skit out of 27  had obvious dyke overtones. Weird.  One woman who attended the show  with me queried, "With all their talent is  that all they can come up with?" Indeed,  going to a 30 Helens show is entertaining,  but it is like a Twinkie. It tastes great but  offers little nutritional value.  Kelly Haydon is still in search for more women-  • comedy troupes. Arts  Joane Cardinal-Schubert: Two Decades exhibit:  Evoking familiar feelings  Joane Cardinal-Schubert, Four Directions - War Shirts, My Mother's Vision, This is the Spirit of the North, This is the Spirit of the East, This is the Spirit of the West,  This is the Spirit of the South, 1986  by Michelle McGeough  JOANE CARDINAL-SCHUBERT: TWO  DECADES  Surrey Art Gallery  until May 23rd  It all began simply enough, a conversation over coffee and apple pie. Did you  see the article about Joanne Cardinal  Schubert, the editor asks? She is doing a  show at the Surrey  Art Gallery.   She  knows my weaknesses, I say to myself, as the last  crumb is washed  down my throat  with the last drop  of coffee from my  cup.  Are you going  to go to the show?  the editor continues. After I tell her  that I attended  Joanne Cardinal-  Schubert's presentation at Emily  Carr [Institute of  Art and Design in  Vancouver] during the First Nations Awareness Day two years ago, and that I admire  both her and her work, I reply that I would  like to actually see her work as I have only  seen slides and pictures of it.  The editor looks at me, lowers her head  a bit and says, "Well, if you are going would  you consider doing a review for the newspaper?"  ♦J My response is slow as I consider the  responsibility I feel about writing an article about the exhibition of someone I admire as an artist. I succumb.  My partner sitting beside me turns and  says, "I would like to go too." Before not  too long and after a few telephone conversations, the two of us quickly become four  and baby. We are four women of colour, two  of whom are lesbians, heading towards Surrey on a Saturday afternoon. I have heard  about Surrey and wonder about the sanity  of this journey for us. But the promise of  what awaits us causes me to throw caution  to the wind and overcome any of my misgivings.  The journey has become symbolic for  me. My partner and I have had many discussions about our experiences of being  women of colour. Our histories are different and our experiences are different. We  talk and share with each other about what  it means to be a woman of colour in this  country, at this time in history.  I tell her stories of my mother's and  grandmother's experiences. But, I want her  to see how one person speaks of these  things with more skill and eloquence than  I ever could. It is this ability that lies at the  foundation of my admiration of Cardinal-  Schubert as both a person and as an artist.  Joane Cardinal-Schubert has always  been a political activist. Her paintings, poetry and installations have always been  strong and have never failed to evoke  strong emotions from the viewer. I was first  drawn to her work because I identify with  her. She is of mixed heritage and from the  Alberta plains. Our histories are similar, but  she is from the south, the Kainaa people.  Walking into the Surrey Art Gallery, I  felt both elation and dread. The gallery was  awash in red, the walls filled with work that  reflected two decades of an artist's seeing,  feeling, experiencing.  How do I begin to relate to a reader  what I saw and felt as I moved through this  exhibition. I walked slowly, trying to take  it all in—it was richer and more powerful  than I had imagined it would be.  The show starts with works completed  while Joane was a student at Art school.  Reading the text accompanying this imagery, the viewer learns that she left art  school when her work was compared to  Gauguin. I see similarities in style. My  admiration for her work intensifies as I  think about a a young First Nations artist  having the political awareness to understand how Gauguin's work objectified  women of colour.  I understand why I have always been  drawn to Cardinal-Schubert's work.   It  speaks of an awareness that is beyond ego  and self. Even if the piece begins with the  personal it always moves beyond its creator.  Standing among the desks in the installation, "The Lesson," I felt muted and small,  a reflection of much of my own experience  within the education system. Reading the  comments written on the blackboard by  others that had viewed the installation, I  saw how it evoked similar feelings in them.  In Cardinal-Schubert's paintings, I see  symbols and animals that are familiar to  me—there are war shirts, not out of animal  skin and pigment, but paper and paint  speaking to the artist's vision of dreams, of  protection and of the wars that are going  on now around us and inside of us.  Her work is a reflection of her belief  that "...We are grounded visionaries, children of the earth, on a pathway of concern  not only to our generation but our children's and their children." What is so important about Cardinal-Schubert's work is  that it speaks not only of a personal history but also of a collective history. It is this  side of Canada's story that is rarely given  the opportunity to be shared.  The retrospective show illustrates why  Schubert's work is found in collections all  over the world and why she is invited to  lecture both nationally and internationally.  Joanne Cardinal-Schubert's work is not  only grounded in the past but also in our  future on this planet. I watched Kenji, a  small baby who is just beginning to experience this world, as we walked through the  retrospective. What struck me was his reaction to Cardinal-Schubert's work. It was  a lesson for me about the power of art to  communicate a message, not using a spoken language. I perceived Kenji understanding, participating and sharing this experience.  The Surrey Art Gallery is located at  13750-88 Ave, Surrey, BC. For gallery hours,  call (604) 501-5581 or visit the gallery's website at: www.city.surrey.bc.ca/artgallery.  Michelle McGeough is usually a photographer  but made an exception for Agnes and apple pie.  KINESIS Arts  Two 30 Helens on the art of sketch comedy:  The three-pile system  Kelly Haydon had an opportunity to talk  to two of the 30 Helens: Morgan Brayton and  Liisa Ingimundson. [See review page 14.]  Kelly Haydon: How do you come up  with your material? Do you write your  sketches together or individually?  Morgan Brayton: Both. Everybody  does things differently. We sometimes do  brainstorming sessions although they seem  to be falling by the wayside and more is  happening in smaller groups. We still come  to each other with ideas and say, "I want to  do a sketch about this," or "I have this idea  for a section of a sketch but I don't know  what to do with it," or "I have this character," and so on. Then someone will say, "You  know what would be funny? If you did  this..." or whatever.  I prefer to write by myself; that works  best for me. Some people write better together. I need someone there to hash it out  with, but when it comes down to actually  writing it, I take the notes away and do it.  Brie and Liisa write really well together—  they do "Fry Guys." Everybody has a part  of the process they like to do by themselves  [and a part] they like to do with other people. There aren't very many sketches written by all of us. That would be like a seven-  year sketch in the making.  Liisa Ingimundson: It's kind of impossible because the skit has to have direction.  One person will come up with the vision  and then get input. If you've got seven different people saying [either], "Let's make  the sketch go this way" or "No, let's make  it go this way," [it's impossible.] Someone  has to make the decision of which way the  sketch will go. Unless for some crazy reason all seven of us see it the exact same way  [laughter.]  Haydon: How do you decide what  sketches will go in each show?  Ingimundson: We have a...  Brayton: ...very elaborate process.  Ingimundon: ...which we stole from  Monty Python. It's the "three pile" system.  First we have a script deadline, then we  have a script reading where everybody  pitches their sketches to the group in whatever way they want. Some will read it out  loud; some will act it out. After we've  pitched every sketch and Jennifer Lee has  written them all on the board, we vote. We  put them into three different piles: 100 percent, 75 percent, and zero percent. Because  we're doing a monthly show at Jupiter  (where 75% is new material), we cast two  shows at a time. We take the 100 percent  pile and break it in half and then we fill it  up with the 75 percenters, which means  they need a bit of tightening up. The zero  percenters just means [the writer] needs to  re-submit a whole new sketch. However, we  could still like the idea.  For the Firehall, we did The Best of 30  Helens. We went through all the sketches  we've ever written and voted for the strongest ones. We cast the whole show from the  100 percent pile.  Brayton: There's a lot of discussion that  goes along with it.  Ingimundson: Oh yeah. We have huge  discussions over whether a sketch is a 75  or a 100.  Haydon: It must be so hard to rate  them. Right after the Firehall show, five of  There aren't  very many  sketches  written by all  of us. That  would be like a  seven-year  sketch in the  making.  us went out and started writing down our  comments. Everyone picked a different favourite one.  Ingimundson: Exactly. Sense of humour  is totally individual. There'll be one I think  is a 100 percent but Morgan will insist it's  75. When we vote, we have to reach a consensus. All seven of us have to agree it's a  100 percent, or we  have to convince the  person who's holding  out. It's pretty rare  that one person has  hated something so  much that they  would block it.  Haydon: Do you  ever get one that the  group doesn't think is  100 percent but the  audience loves? Or  vice-versa?  Ingimundson:  Definitely vice-versa.  There's definitely  ones we think are  awesome and the audience doesn't love it.  We stand behind it and say, "We still think  it's a 100 percent."  Brayton: Every audience is different.  For example, "Dance of the Dream Man"—  Victoria's little Twin Peaks dance—we think  is one of the most hilarious things on the  planet. It's the strangest thing. [Sometimes  the audience will react with] dead silence;  sometimes people laugh hysterically. You  can do a sketch one night and nothing. You  can do it the next night, and people are rolling in the aisles. You just never can tell.  Haydon: How much time do you  spend rehearsing?  Ingimundson: Every day.  Brayton: The whole group meets twice  a week three to four hours a time for rehearsals and meetings. The production  team meets at least once a week in addition to that, and then we all meet seperately  for individual rehearsals outside those  times.  Ingimundson: There's probably one,  maybe two days a week we don't see each  other. But there are many phone calls that  happen on those two days.  Brayton: The monthly shows are good  for us, as far as keeping us writing and performing. As an actor, going to auditions is  a breeze now because I have to get up on  stage not knowing my lines once a month.  Ingimundson: That's why the Firehall  show was so successful. That's because  those sketches are the ones we've done the  most. We know exactly when to pause for  laughs, and we know exactly when to hold,  and push, and all that kind of stuff, just  from exercising them.  Brayton: It's the opposite story at Jupiter because we're putting stuff on it's feet  for the first time. For the most part, we're  all thinking, "Let's hope this flies." We're  always pushing ourselves, and we're building up a fan base just through them being  able to find us somewhere once a month.  Ingimundson: We learn from the last  show every time.  Brayton: And you can fail. We're a little hesitant to put brand new stuff on the  stage at the Firehall or on the tape we're  sending to Just for Laughs, but at Jupiter  we're a little more willing to take risks because that's what it's all about. We've got  no choice because we've got to write new  stuff all the time.  Haydon: It's great you have that avenue. So what are you planning for the rest  of your lives?  Brayton: My life has  been irreparably  changed by The 30 Helens, and I can't see beyond it right now. This is  it for me. Everything in  the future I see includes  this group. So, more performing, more  shows.And I'll tell you  one thing, I know I won't  go back to who I was before. I did some stuff this  year television-wise, and  before when that was the  be-all and end-all. I  would say, "I'm hoping  for that X-Files audition." That's so irrelevant now. That is all about getting the bill  collectors off my ass. Now we're so used  to doing everything ourselves. We handle  all aspects of our group and our careers.  So for us not to have creative control... I'm  not saying I'd turn down big film stuff, but  it's not what I'm working towards  anymore.  Ingimundson: Even if somebody offered me to be on their sketch comedy show,  I wouldn't want to. I would want The 30  Helens to be on their sketch comedy show.  Haydon: What's next for The 30 Helens?  Brayton: May 15th, we're doing  Grrlapalooza at the Cultch (the Vancouver  East Cultural Centre.) Then we're doing the  Victoria Fringe Festival August 26th through  September 6th, and then we go straight to  San Francisco from September 9th to 19th.  Haydon: Are there any new directions  you're developing in your material? For example, I noticed in one sketch you make a  reference to racism but you don't focus on  it. Do you have plans to do more in that  area?  Brayton: I don't think we ever have  plans, period. [We write about] stuff that  we feel strongly about or that we think is  funny. We very rarely say, "OK, I'm going  to write a sketch about this issue," mostly  because then it ends up not so funny. It just  so happens there are issues that are important to one person and they write something about it. I don't really think we have  any agenda to write things, aside from the  sketches always being from from women's  perspective, and always in your face and  pushing the envelope.  Ingimundson: We just write about what  we find funny, and we happen to be political women. A lot of the stuff that we laugh  at in our daily lives are political ironies.  That's just the type of people we are. A lot  of [our sketches] are feminist because that's  what we have to deal with. If I was Black,  I'm sure a lot more of my writing would be  about that because I would be dealing with  that. But, I don't deal with racism. I'm  white. I'm middle class. It'sjnot in my face.  Who knows, my nephew is half Black now.  Maybe that will be more of an issue in my  life. Just like when you first come out and  people say negative things and yell at you  from their cars. All of a sudden you have  to deal with an issue you never had to before. Maybe now something will be in my  life that I'll have to see it more in front of  me. But part of me sometimes goes,  "Maybe we should be more aware. Maybe  we should try and write from a voice that  isn't just our own, so that we are being more  politically correct." Then I have a fear that  we won't be as funny because it will be  forced, not natural. This is just who we are,  and it might be pompous if we try and  speak from a voice that isn't ours.  Brayton: That's the key; it's always  about our perspective. There's a Much  Music sketch with a band that sings, "Sky-  Train Cop," and an interview with them.  From my perspective, it is a comment on  young white boys who take on mannerisms  and language of Black rappers, and completely appropriate culture that is not relevant to them in any way whatsoever, going on and on about the oppression they  experience. It's ridiculous and offensive to  me. My perspective is the only place I can  write from and the only place I feel I should  write from. [Our material] comes out of  what we think and the things that do make  us want to say something.  SEXUAL ASSAULT  Published by the Montreal Health Press,  a women's collective, producing quality  books on health and sexuality for 30  The most up-to-date information on  sexual assault: how to handle an assault,  prevention, the social context.  1997 EDITION  New information on  ♦ Pregnancy and  STDs resulting  from an assault  ♦ Partner assault  ♦ Dating violence  ♦ Abuse of people  with disabilities  No other  the combination  of personal and practical info  an understanding of why sexual  assault happens and ways to work for  positive changes.  ' ° Women's Health Clinic  /Also Available are %^ Winnipeg, Manitoba  Handbooks  t  Send $5.00 (cheque or money order)  to:  Montreal Health Press Inc.  P.O. Box 1000  Station Place du Pare  Montreal (Quebec) Canada  H2W 2N1  Tel.: (514) 282-1171 Fax: (514) 282-0262  E-mail: mhpmontreal@msn.com Bulletin Board  read    t h i si* 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 Kinesis, #309-  877 E. Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC,  V6A 3Y1, fax: (604) 255-7508, or email:  kinesis@web.net. For more  information 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 Kinesis—  whether it's news, features or arts—are  invited to our Story Meetings held on the  first Tuesday of every month at 7pm at our  office, 309-877 E. Hastings St. The next  meetings are on May 4 and June 8. For  more information or if you can't make the  meeting but still want to find out how to  contribute to the content of Kinesis, give  Agnes a call at (604) 255-5499. New and  experienced writers welcome. Childcare  and travel subsidies available.  INQUIRING MINDS WANTTO KNOW!  Do you ever wonder how the pages of text  in the newspaper you're holding get lined  up so neatly? Want to know what the fastest  way to get wax off your hands? How about  all the cool things you can do with a  scanner? Does thinking about the right dot  pattern keep you up at night? Or do visions  of rubylith enter into your dreams? If so,  then you definitely need to come down and  help put Kinesis together. Just drop by  during our next production dates and help  us design and lay out Canada's national  feminist newspaper, and all your questions  will be answered. We'll be in production for  our June 1999 issue from May 18-25.  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.  FEMINIST FUNDRAISERSWANTED  VSW is seeking enthusiastic, energetic and  creative women to join the Finance and  Fundraising Committee. If you enjoy raising  money for a great cause, organizing events,  or just want to have fun, call Audrey at (604)  255-6554 today!  VSW IS LOOKING FOR YOU!  If you want to learn to do referral and peer  counselling work, at VSW we are offering  a great opportunity to women 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 Shana at (604) 255-  6554. Childcare and travel subsidies  available.  VOLUNTEER NEWSLETTER  Are you a volunteer at VSW or Kinesis? If  yes, please feel free to make contributions  to our new monthly "Volunteer Newsletter."  The newsletter is for us—for all VSW/  Kinesis volunteers—and will be a place for  updates on committee work, gossip,  recipes, things for sale/barter, a calendar  of events, and whatever else volunteers  want to put in. There's a box at #309-877  E. Hastings St just waiting for your submissions. If you want more info contact Amal  Rana (Kinesis production coordinator) at  255-5499 or Rita Dhamoon of the VSW  Volunteer Development Committee at  (604) 255-6554.   KINESIS MARKETING GANG  Are you interested in being on the hottest  new committee at VSW? Then check out  the Kinesis Marketing Gang. We're looking  for women who have experience or are  interested in advertising and marketing.  The Marketing Gang works as a collective  to strategize on innovative ways to  promote and raise the profile of Kinesis.  The gang meets monthly. Training and  support will be provided by Kinesis  marketing coordinator Jenn Lo. Call her at  (604) 255-5499.  EVENTS  MIDDLE EAST PEACE QUILT  You still have a chance to make a square  expressing your vision of peace in Israel  and the Palestinian territories. Elizabeth  Shefrin is offering quilt square workshops  on Sat May 15 from 9:30am-12:30pm and  Mon May 31 from 6:30-9:30pm at the  Roundhouse Community Centre. No  sewing involved! All materials are provided, but bring sharp scissors. Workshops are free but call (604) 713-1800 to  pre-register.   JOANE CARDINAL-SCHUBERT  Two Decades, a retrospective exhibit of  works by Joane Cardinal-Schubert will be  at the Surrey Art Gallery until May 23. One  of Canada's foremost contemporary First  Nations artists, Cardinal-Schubert's multimedia exhibit includes pieces from her  1970s drawing series, "The Great  Canadiana Dream," which portrays the  unsung First Nations heroes of Canada,  particularly those from southern Alberta.  The gallery is located in the Surrey Arts  Centre, 13750-88th Ave, Surrey, BC. For  gallery hours, call (604) 501-5566.   TAKING ACTION FORUM  Taking Action: Building Unity Across  Colours and Cultures, a one-day education and mobilization forum, will be held on  Fri May 7 from 11 am-4pm at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, 1607 E.  Hastings St. The forum will feature panels  and discussions including, "Immigration  and Colonization: Common Bonds and  Histories," and "Issues that Divide: Oppressions in Our Communities." The event is  hosted by the Urban Youth Alliance,  Redwire Magazine, and the Racism Free  Neighbourhood Network. For childcare,  registration and info call Angela at (604)  879-7104.  TRANS/GENDER CONFERENCE  TransAction is a group of transfolks, allies  and friends. The group is organizing a  conference for Sun Jun 6 to talk about  issues affecting the trans communities  including: the law, identity, feminism, anti-  racism, political strategy and, of course,  the washrooms. Share your ideas, time,  experience and skills. Everyone welcome.  For more info call Beth at (604) 215-4585.  LAIWAN'S MACHINATIONS  Machinate: a projection in two movements  by Laiwan will be exhibited at the Video In  Studios, 1965 Main St, Vancouver until  May 15. Using 16mm film, video, audio,  sculptural assemblage and the internet,  this installation poetically explores our  consciousness of "body" in relation to  analogue and digital mechanisms. Bom in  Harare, Zimbabwe of Chinese parents,  Laiwan is an interdisciplinary artist and  writer currently living in Vancouver.  Laiwan's first video work, Remotely in  Touch, (1998) signaled her departure from  still to moving image and into researching  the signification of digital media. Machinate  will be her first installed collection of  investigations into technologized consciousness, phenomena and presumptions. For more info call (604) 872-8337.  PIONEERS PAVINGTHEWAY  Pioneers Paving the Way: Celebrating  Achievements in the Disability Community,  a fundraiser for Transition Magazine will be  held on Mon May 17 from 6-9pm.The  event is at the Top Gun Chinese Seafood  Restaurant, 1316 W. Broadway, Vancouver.  The evening will feature live entertainment,  a silent auction, door prizes, a huge  banquet, special guests and fun. Tickets  are $45. Wheelchair accessible and sign  language interpretation. For more info call  the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities  at (604) 875-0188. Anyone interested in  being a sponsor for the event or donating  raffle prizes or silent auction items please  call.   KOSOVO BENEFIT CONCERT  World renowned Gospel, Jazz and Blues  vocalist Dee Daniels will be giving a benefit  concert for Kosovar Refugees on Sun May  16 at the Ryerson United Church, W. 45th  Ave, Vancouver. Also appearing will be  Jane Trojan on piano and Jerry Wennes  playing the clarinet. Doors open at 7:30pm.  Admission by donation. Proceeds will be  sent to refugees via The United Church  World Development and Emergency Relief  Fund. For more info call (604) 266-5377.  WOMEN'S SPIRITUALITY  CONFERENCE  The Sudbury Sexual Assault Crisis Centre  is hosting a women's spirituality gathering,  on May 18-19 in Sudbury, Ontario. The  guest facilitator at the gathering, Making it  Real: Grounding Spirit in Action, will be  Starhawk. For more info, contact Violet  Lanthier at violetl@vianet.on.ca.  MAYDAY SOUL SURVIVAL  Mayday Soul Survival, an evening of hip-  hop, rap and more, will be held Fri May 7  starting at 8pm at the Vancouver Aboriginal  Friendship Centre, 1607 E. Hastings,  Vancouver. Come out for an evening  featuring Forth World Occupants, 3rd eye  tribe, Cascade and profound. With MC  Ebony, MC Black Rose, Alchemy and  others. Brought to you by Redwire Magazine, Abstract Elements, Supreme Entertainment, and the Urban Youth Alliance. For  more info call Redwire at (604) 602-7226.  Tickets are $5 in advance, $8 at the door.  MICHIGAN WOMYN'S FEST  The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival will  be held Aug 10-15. The annual event  attracts 5-8,000 women for a week-long  event that includes 40 performances, 200  workshops, a Film Festival and Crafts Fair,  and 650 secluded acres for camping. For  the full week tickets are $260-310 sliding  scale (before Jul 17) and $290-340 (after  Jul 17). Includes all activities, meals,  concerts, dances, workshops, film festival,  camping and childcare. For more info call  (616) 757ss-4766; fax (616) 757-3414; or  write WWTMC, Box 22 Walhalla, Ml,  49458. Or visit their website at:  www.michfest.com.  HOWLETT & WYATT  On Tues May 4 at 7:30pm, Women in Print  bookstore will feature Debbie Howlett and  Rachel Wyatt. Howlett will read from her  new book We Could Stay Here All Night, a  collection of 12 linked stories in which  Diane Wilkinson quietly chooses sides in  her own domestic battles. Rachel Wyatt will  read from Mona Lisa Smiled a Little, which  carries on with Almeida from her previous  book of short stories, The Day Mariene  Dietrich Died. Women in Print is located at  3566 W. 4th Ave in Vancouver. Admission is  free. For more info call (604) 732-4128.  DESH PARDESH  The 10th annual Desh Pardesh festival  celebrating South Asian culture, politics  and arts will be held in Toronto from June  9-13. For more information or if you are  interested in volunteering contact Amie at  401 Richmond St. West, Suite 450, Toronto,  ON, M5V 3A8; tel: (416) 340-0485 or fax:  (416) 340-1418. Or check out Desh's  website at http://home.ican.net/desh.  POPULAR EDUCATION  Vancouver Status of Women is holding its  popular education program "Gaining my  Voice, Taking our Strength" for five evenings starting in June. Issues that will be  addressed are determined by the participants. Among the goals are identifying  skills, enhancing self-esteem, recognizing  our common struggles, and taking collective action. The program is free. Preference  will be given to women living on limited  income. The venue is partially accessible to  women with disabilities. Childcare and  transportation subsidies are available.  Space is limited. To register call Ema at  (604) 255-6554.  : mmw urn tne emmm  l The Vancouver Status of Women  I and the Downtown Eastside Wom-  » en's Centre are hosting the 9th  «' annual Single Mother's Day Cel-  * ebration on Sunday May 9th. Single  * moms and their children are invited  * to come and enjoy an afternoon full  * of entertainment and fun. There  * will be wilderness walks for chil-  * dren, refreshments, performances,  * and relaxing time in the country-  * side. This event will take place  * from 1:00pm to 5:00pm at a park  * near Vancouver. Transportation will  J be provided. The event is free for  * single moms and their kids, how-  * ever it is necessary to register in  % advance at VSW (255-6554) or the  * Downtown Eastside Women's  * Centre (681-8480).  KINESIS Bulletin Board  EVENTS  EVENTS  EVENTS  GROUPS  SCWIST  The Society for Canadian Women in  Science and Technology will hold its  Annual General Meeting on Thurs May 20  at theYWCA. Anyone interested in attending or becoming a volunteer for SCWIST  and joining the Board, please contact Nikki  Skuce at the Resource Centre at (604)  895-5814.   POWER OF UNITY  Power of Unity: A Gathering of Grassroots  Resistance will be held in Victoria, BC May  12-16. This gathering is organized by a  network of activists from different communities, dedicated to radical social change,  an opportunity to network, reclaim the  streets, build coalitions, realize common  goals, have fun and celebrate community.  The focus will be on art, education, and  action. There will be a huge range of  workshops and forums in the daytime, and  films, music, performances and more in the  evening. For more info call (604) 682-3269  ext. 9035, or e-mail powerofunityt@tao.ca.  CHILDREN AND DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE  The BC/Yukon Society of Transition Houses  is hosting an International Conference on  Children Exposed to Domestic Violence in  Vancouver Oct 27-29. The focus of the  conference is on integrating research,  policy, and practice. Among the conference  presenters will be Helen Dempster of the  Society and local counsellor Val Oglov, with  other presenters from across Canada and  the US. To register, or for more info, call  (604) 669-6943 or email.hdempst  ©istar.ca.  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WORKSHOP  The Japanese Canadian Citizens Association's Human Rights Committee is holding  a bilingual (English and Japanese) information workshop on domestic violence in  Vancouver Sat May 8, 9:30am-4pm at the  JCAA Centre at 511 E. Broadway. The fee  is $10 including lunch. For pre-registration,  call Mariko at (604) 451-4122, David at  (604) 871-9472 or Judy at (604) 876-9858.  GAIL SCOTT  Gail Scott will read from her most recent  novel, My Paris, on Tues May 11 at 7:30pm  at Women in Print, 3566 W. 4th Ave,  Vancouver. My Paris is a hypnotic, evocative novel about a woman who falls obsessively and fatefully in love with the city of  Paris—its sights and sounds, and its  contradictions. Admission is free. For more  info, call (604) 732-4128.  DOGLESS DYKE CAMPOUT  This year's May Longweekend Campout,  organized by Queer Art Guild in Victoria,  will take place May 21 - 24 at Ruckle Park.  Only half as many sites as prior years due  to changes at the park. The cost is $12 per  person before May 15, and $15 after May  15. Children are free. Space is limited.  Sliding scale and subsidized ferry may be  available. To pre-register or for info call  (250) 920-0275.   BREAST SELF-EXAM  The North Shore Women's Centre will be  hosting a workshop on breast cancer,  "Much More Than a Breast Self-exam," on  Fri May 21 from 10:30am-12:30pm. A  representative from the Canadian Breast  Cancer Society will be presenting on many  issues relating to breast cancer, such as  "How common is breast cancer," "What  causes breast cancer," and "How does  breast cancer spread." A doctor will be  available to direct questions and conduct  private breast exams. The workshop will  be held at the Women's Centre at 944 West  16th St, North Vancouver. For info call  (604) 984-6009.  FEMINIST NETWORKING GROUP  The Lower Mainland Feminist Networking  Group invites you to a discussion session,  "Abortion issues: access in BC and current  struggles and ways of supporting our  abortion rights," Wed May 19, 7-9pm at  Vancouver Status of Women, 309-877 E.  Hastings St. Skye Stuart of the Pro-Choice  Action Network will be making a presentation. For more info please call Ema at (604)  255-6554.  GAY MUSLIMS CONFERENCE  Al-Fatiha Foundation, an international  organization dedicated to lesbian, gay,  bisexual, transgendered and questioning  (LGBTQ) Muslims, will host its first North  American Conference from May 28-31 at  the New York University in New York City.  The conference will feature workshops,  panel discussions, regional US and  Canadian meetings, and a reception with  SALGA (South Asian Lesbian and Gay  Association) and GLAS (Gay and Lesbian  Arab Society). For more info contact the Al-  Fatiha Foundation, Inc, PO Box 300, Astor  Station, Boston, MA, 02123; tel: (617) 685-  4175; email: gaymuslims@yahoo.com;  website: www.al-fatiha.org.  MAKING ART WITH WORDS  Betsy Warland will facilitate a workshop on  "Making Art with Words" at the Surrey Art  Gallery on Sat May 15. Warland trained as  a visual artist and is an art catalogue  editor, writer and reviewer. She has  published nine books of prose and poetry  and has taught writing-based workshops  across Canada for 18 years. For this  workshop, Warland will discuss: What  makes a piece of art require words as  material? How does an artist determine  which words, whose words and how many  words are most effective? And, what are  some of the visual possibilities of rendering  words? The cost of the workshop is $25.  The gallery is located at 13750-88th Ave,  Surrey, BC. For more information call (604)  501-5100.  CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL  This year's Vancouver International  Children's Festival will take place from May  31-June 6 at Vanier Park, 1100 Chestnut  Street. Among the artists performing this  year are Heather Bishop tickling the funny  bone with her fun and quirky stories and  sing-along songs, and Theatre Kazenoko  presenting enchanting stories, games and  songs. For more info visit the festival's  website at: www.youngarts.ca, or call (604)  708-5655.   MENOPAUSE  Marion Smith will talk about menopause  from her personal experience on Sat Jun 5  from 11am-1pm. She will also present info  she gathered in creating the new and  improved Menopause Kit, now available.  The talk will take place at the Women's  Health Information Centre, 219-1675 West  8th Ave, Vancouver. For info leave a  message for Tamara Flick-Parker at (604)  736-4234.   MISSING WOMEN MEMORIAL  A memorial will be held on Wed May 12  starting at 2:00pm at the First United  Church, 320 East Hastings St, (at Gore) to  remember women from Vancouver's  Downtown Eastside community who are  missing. There will be a march to Crab  Park (at the north end of Main St) for a  gathering and bench dedication. Refreshments will follow. The venues are wheelchair accessible, and rides are available  from the church to the park for seniors and  people with disabilities. For more info call  Maggie deVries at (604) 669-9047, or visit  their website at www.missingpeople.net.  LEGIT CELEBRATION  Celebrate the 7th anniversary of Vancouver's own Lesbian and Gay Immigration  Task Force, May 29. Featuring a showing of  Muckup Productions' Borders Across The  Heart, a silent auction (great weekends  away), and guest speaker Svend Robinson.  Light refreshments, cash bar. Come out  and learn, support LEGIT and have lots of  fun. BCIT Downtown, 555 Seymour St,  doors open at 7pm. Entry by donation ($5-  $50), tickets available from Little Sisters  (limited tickets available at the door).  GROUPS  ENTREPRENEURS WITH  DISABILITIES  The first meeting of a recently formed  group for women entrepreneurs with  disabilities will be held on Sat May 8 at  10:30am at 456 W. Broadway. Topics to be  discussed include advantages of self-  employment, future direction of the group,  community resources, workshop training,  networking, cooperative office space and  business ventures.Women interested in  attending should pre-register by contacting  Shelley Hourston at (604) 623-2313, fax  730-9608 or e-mail shourst@istar.ca.  SATRANG  If you are into drama, theatre sports, etc.  and feel strongly about issues affecting  South Asian women, come and check out  the South Asian Theatre and Networking  Group. Satrang is about enthusiasm and  having fun with your creativity in a positive  scene. Meetings are every Monday from  3:30 to 5:00pm at the South Asian Women's Centre at 8163 Main Street, Vancouver. For more info call Anu at (604) 592-  0013 or Sonia at (604) 325-6637.  CUSTODY AND ACCESS SUPPORT  Battered Women's Support Services in  Vancouver offers a free once a week drop-  in support group to share information,  problem solve, strategize and provide  support on custody issues for women who  are involved in custody and access issues  as a result of separating from an abusive  relationship. Call (604) 687-1867 for more  info.  MENOPAUSE AWARENESS GROUP  The Surrey Women's Centre is sponsoring  a Menopause Awareness Group which  meets the 4th Monday of each month for  informal discussions around menopause  issues. The group starts at 7:30pm and will  be held at the centre. For location or more  info call Janet or Sharon at (604) 589-1868.  BUILDING BLOCKS  Building Blocks Vancouver offers information and support for Spanish-speaking,  Vietnamese and Aboriginal women living in  the Grandview Woodland area expecting  their first baby or with newborns under  three-months old. The program has a great  team of Home Visitors to assist women. For  more info call Mosaic at (604) 254-9626 or  the Vancouver Aboriginal Family and Child  Services at (604) 251-4844, local 311.  WOMEN ABUSE SUPPORT GROUP  A support group in Vancouver for women  abused by women is available for lesbians,  dykes and bisexual women through  Battered Women's Support Services.  Emotional support, legal information and  advocacy, safety planning, and referrals  are offered. The group is free and confidential and onsite childcare is available. For  more info call Sarah or Stacia at (604) 687-  1867.   GODDESS ART SHOW  Calling all Goddess Artists. If you are  interested in being involved either as an  organizer or participating artist, or know  someone who might be, in a huge show of  Goddess Art for the year 2000. The plan is  to organize a major show in Vancouver,  combined with multiple bus tours of 3-5  days throughout different parts of BC. For  more info contact Mary Billy, Box 2047,  Squamish BC, VON 3G0; tel: (604) 892-  5723; or email: mbilly@sea-to-sky.net.  Donations to help with postage and phone  calls are appreciated.  BWSS DROP-IN GROUPS  Battered Women's Support Services in  Vancouver is offering support groups for  women who are in or who have been in an  abusive relationship. Women can drop-in to  just one session or come to as many as  they like. Offered two times a week. In  these groups, women meet to talk about  issues related to abuse and healing that  are relevant to them. Pre-registration is not  needed. For more info call (604) 687-1867.  COMPULSIVE EATING SUPPORT  A drop-in support group for women with  issues of compulsive eating is held 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.  The Ruth Wynn Woodward Chair in Women's Studies  and the  Women's Studies Department,  Simon Fraser University  present  Summer Institute 1999  TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN:  THE UGLY FACE OF GLOBALIZATION  with Farida Akhter  acclaimed activist for women's rights in Bangladesh  June 8-11, 9:30 a.m. -1.30 p.m.  Harbour Centre Campus  515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver  Registration Fee: $200  SFU Students: $100  for further information, call 291-3333, or visit our website http://sfu.ca/womens-studiesy Bulletin Board  GROUPS  RAPE RELIEFVOLUNTEERS  Vancouver Rape Relief and 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.  MIDDLE EAST DISCUSSION GROUP  The Vancouver Middle East Discussion  Group meets once a month to discuss  issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian  conflict. The group's focus is to be part of  the struggle for equality and freedom in the  Middle East. Some issues of discussion  include Zionist exploitation of Nazi genocide, and settler colonialism in Palestine  and North America. In the coming months,  the group hopes to discuss the experiences of women in the Middle East,  different types of Palestinian feminism, and  the role of the United States in the region.  To participate or for more information, call  (604) 253-4047.   SHAKTI  Shakti (meaning "strength") is a self-help  group in Vancouver for South Asian 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. Join the group for outings,  discoveries, peer support and relaxing  massage. Participation is free. For more  info call Helen (604) 733-5570 (for English)  or (604) 682-3269 box 8144 (for Punjabi,  Hindi and Urdu). Sponsored by the Vancouver/Richmond Mental Health Network.  SUBMISSIONS  HEALTH NETWORK  The Canadian Women's Health Network  invites submissions for its quarterly  newsletter, Network. If you'd like to contribute or want to suggest a topic we should  cover, please contact the editor at  news@cwhn.ca. Or contact her at CWHN  Network, 203-419 Graham Ave, Winnipeg,  MB, R3C 0M3, call (204) 942-5500; or visit  their CWHN website at www.cwhn.ca.  PRIDE IN ART  The Pride in Art Society in Vancouver  invites submissions of art and short stories  for this year's queer art exhibition, which  will take place from Jul 29-Aug 15 at the  Roundhouse Community Centre, 181  Roundhouse Mews. Submissions will be  accepted from May 29-Jun 6. Send entries  to Pride Art Exhibition 1999, c/o Robert L.  Hong, 103-1065 Burnaby St, Vancouver,  BC, V6E 1N9. For more info contact by  email: robbieh@direct.ca or tel: (604) 683-  3884.  TALES OF PUBLICTRANSIT  Anvil Press Publishers wants your real-life  stories (3,000 words max) about heading  out, heading back, and everything that  happened in between—whether the trip  was across the country or just across town.  Selected submissions will be published in  the anthology Exact Fare Only: Good, Bad  and Ugly Rides on Public Transit. Publication date is Sept 2000. Payment will be an  honorarium plus complimentary copies of  the anthology. Only submissions accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope will be returned. Email entries will not  be considered. Send submissions to: Exact  Fare Only, Anvil Press Publishers, 204A-  175 E. Broadway, Vancouver, BC, V5T  1W2. For more info call (604) 876-8710.  Deadline is Dec 1.  SUBMISSIONS  BLACK LESBIANS & FAMILY  Lamba award winner Redbone Press is  seeking interviews with friends and family  of lesbians and gays for their take on  having a lesbian and/or gay man in their  life. Redbone hopes to collect stories  reflecting the full range of emotions and  experiences (the good and not so good).  For more information contact Lisa Moore at  Redbone Press, PO Box 1805, Austin,  Texas, 78767; tel: (512) 498-4997; fax:  (512) 451-0612.  ART SHOW SPACE  The Vancouver Women's Health Collective  has opened its space to women artists.  Shows will run for 4-6 weeks under  contract guidelines. The Collective will host  an opening, and provide some advertising  as well as hanging materials. For details,  leave a message for Christine Campbell or  Tamara Flick-Parker at (604) 736-4234.  APIWIMMIN AND GIRLS  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:  boun@sfu.ca.  WORK & COMPUTERIZATION  This is a first call for papers to be presented at the 7th International Federation  of Information Processing (IFIP) Conference on "Women, Work and Computerization." The conference will be held in  Vancouver Jun 8-11, 2000. For further info  call Ellen Balka, School of Communication,  SFU by email: ebalka@sfu.ca.  WOMEN ANDWELLNESS  Submissions for presentations at the 4th  BC Conference on Aboriginal Women and  Wellness, taking place Jan 8-11, 2000 in  Vancouver, are currently being accepted.  The Legacies We Leave Our Children is a  conference for indigenous women, health  care providers, researchers, community  health planners, Native leaders, Elders and  youth. The focus of the conference is on  traditional ways of birthing, parenting,  health, language, dance, value system,  plant medicines, storytelling, governance,  cultural and political movements, oral  traditions and spirituality. Send submissions to Continuing Education in the Health  Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Room 105-2194 Health Sciences Mall,  Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3. For more info  contact Elaine Liau at (604) 822-2626 or by  email at: elaine@cehs.ubc.ca. Deadline for  submissions is Jun 1.  BISEXUAL CONFERENCE  The BC Bisexual Network (BiNET) is  seeking workshop submissions for its 4th  annual conference to be held Sept 11-12  at* a location to be announced. Conference  organizers are interested in a variety of  subject matter exploring experiences and  identities of those in and "around" the  bisexual community. The official language  is English but workshops in other languages are welcome. Send submissions to  BfrJet BC, PO Box 53515, 984 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1K0. For more  into email binet@hotmail.com or call (604)  875-6336. Deadline is Jun 30.  CURAGCZIA -  WRITINGS &\l  WOMEN   OF  ITALIAN   DESCENT  The first Canadian collection  of writings by women of  Italian descent will be  launched in Vancouver at the  IRtTING  BY  UOntH  OF   ITALIAN   DES  &um,qqifid  v 1 ^ (^, • ^»   >  Public Library Central Branch  350 West Georgia St, on Satur'  day May 15 at 7:30pm.  Curaggia, a dynamic collectioi  of multimedia work, features  the creativity of more than 5C  women writers. Edited by  Nzula Angelina Ciatu,  I Domenica Dileo and Gabriella  Micallef, Curaggia provides a  forum for critical discourse  about location and identity  within Italian cultures. Examining the roles of religion,  language, class, race, gender,  ability and sexuality, Curaggia  - - W'/ if  distortion of self and other;  and they move toward exploring dreams and building a  stronger coalition politic.  The Vancouver launch will  feature readings by Curaggia's  three editors as well as  Francesca Gesualdi and Anna  celebrates the rich diversity o)  Italian women's lives and  documents how Italian womer  are transforming their communities. Following a tradition o  preseverance forged by mothers, grandmothers, aunts and  sisters, Curaggia's reflections  launch the processes of shedding myth, stereotype, and  Nobile. The launch is sponsored by Women's Press, the  i      anthology's publisher, and the  Italian Cultural Centre in  Vancouver. Admission is free.  For more information about  the launch, contact the library's events line at (604)  331-3602.  CLASSIFIEDS  ROOMMATE WANTED  Hey there women! I need you and you may  need me! I'm looking for a roommate for  either June or July 1st. I live in a sunny  breezy top floor, two-bedroom suite in an  East Vancouver co-op close to the Drive.  Underground parking and laundry facilities  on site. I am looking for a non-smoker, gay-  friendly, tidy, responsible, easygoing  woman to share my plant-iful apartment.  No pets please, I'm allergic. You would pay  $348 per month plus share deposit. Call  me, Lisa, at (604) 253-1827.   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.  CITYVIEW CO-OP  Cityview Housing Co-op is accepting  applications for its waitlist for one, two and  three bedroom suites ($565, $696, $795  per month and refundable share purchase).  Carpets, blinds, appliances, parking and  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.  CLASSIFIEDS  GAIA ADVENTURES  GAIA (Mother Earth) Adventures presents  Outdoor Adventures for Women. Hike  Squamish Valley High Falls Creek on Sat  May 15 and discover exciting trails leading  up to spectacular views of the falls and  Coast Mountains. Hike easy but beautiful  nature hikes in Lynn Valley Sat May 22 or  Squamish Estuary Sun June 27 with our  experienced guides. You can also discover  the adventure of rock climbing with us on  Sat June 26 (no experience required) or  Backpack Vancouver Island's Carmanah  Pacific old growth forest in early July. Call  875-0066 today or check out our website at  www.vancouver-bc.com/Gaia  OCEANFRONT CABIN  Charming, secluded, oceanfront cabin,  Roberts Creek, Sunshine Coast. Two  bedrooms, full bath, kitchen with all  amenities. Relax in picturesque setting.  Ideal for cycling, hiking, swimming,  kayaking. Children welcome. Friendly,  trained outdoor felines OK. Smoke free  indoors. Weekly $350. Group retreat rates.  Weekend rates. Available from May 99.  (250) 352-3609 or hgh@netidea.com  SPINSTERVALE  Work exchanger(s) wanted at Spinstervale,  on Vancouver Island. Three hours a day for  cabin and food. Opportunity exists in salad  business for local farmer's market. Apprentice also needed to care for goats. Or, rent  cosy cabins for $7.50 night/person. Contact  Box 429, Coombs, BC. V0R 1M0; call (250)  248-8809 or e-mail: sunshine ©macn.bc.ca  KINESIS LIB1ZS 5/28/1999  LIBRARY PROCESSING CTR - SERIALS  > EAST MALL, U.B.C.  VANCOUVER, BC VbT 1Z6  ;  I .{row  *  £U<Y0rtf-  &*ard  /viemter  One year  D$20 +$1.40 GST     D Bill me  Two years                  □ New  □$36 + $2.52 GST     □ Renewal  Institutions/Groups   □ Gift  □$45 + $3.15 GST     □ Donation  □ Visa        □ Mastercard  Card#:    Name   Address   Cou ntry   Telephone   E-mail   □ Cheque enclosed   For individuals who can't afford the full amount 2  for Kinesis subscription, send what you can. *  Free to women prisoners. J?  Orders outside Canada add $8. =g  Vancouver Status of Women Membership §  (includes Kinesis subscription) |  □$30+$1.40 GST I  _    Expiry date:  °-  Postal code.  Fax   Published ten times a year by the Vancouver Status of Women  #309-877 E. Hastings St., Vancouver BCV6A 3Y1

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