Kinesis

Kinesis, November 1998 Nov 1, 1998

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 NOV 1998   Violence against women supplement   CMPA $2.25  INESIS  ^ News About Women That's Not In The Dailies Inside  KINESIS  #309-877 E. Hastings St.,  Vancouver, BC V6A 3Y1  Tel: (604)255-5499  Fax: (604)255-7508  Kinesis welcomes volunteers to work  on all aspects of the paper. Our next  Writers' Meeting is Tues Nov 3 and  Tues Jan 5 at 309-877 E. Hastings  St. Production for the December/  January issue is from Nov 18-25. All  women welcome even if you don't  have experience.  Kinesis is published ten times a year  by the Vancouver Status of Women.  Its objectives are to be a non-  sectarian feminist voice for women  and to work actively for social change,  specifically combatting sexism,  racism,classism, homophobia,  ableism, and imperialism. Views  expressed in Kinesis are those of the  writer and do not necessarily reflect  VSW policy. All unsigned material is  the responsibility of the Kinesis  Editorial Board.  EDITORIAL BOARD  Lissa Geller, Kelly Haydon,  Agnes Huang, Fatima Jaffer, Jenn Lo,  Laura Quilici, Amal Rana,  Colleen Sheridan (on leave),  Ellen Woodsworth  PRODUCTION THIS ISSUE  Tanja Stein, Claudia Deustchland,  Janet Mou, Leanne Keltie, Ivy Zhu,  Dorothy Elias, Miriam Stuart,  Kelly Haydon, Monica Rasi,  Corinne Brown, Cynthia Low  Marketing Coordinator: Jenn Lo  Circulation: Audrey Johnson,  Chrystal Fowler  Production Coordinator: Amal Rana  Design: Jenn Lo  FRONT COVER  designed by Tanja Stein, Claudia  Deutschland, Amal Rana and Jenn Lo  PRESS DATE  October 29, 1998  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  nclude 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  News  Challenging Canada's record on poverty 3  by Agnes Huang  Health info-structure not just for techno-weenies 4  by Celeste Wincapaw  Update on the World March of Women 2000 4  by Janet llin Mon  The continuum of anti-choice violence 5  by Agnes Huang  "Recipe" for right-wing nationalism 5  by Michelle Weinroth  Basmati takes on Texmati 6  by Verna Gokhale  The Women's Monument, on film 6  by Joanne Walton  Features  The pay equity fight: 20,000 feet above sea level 9  by Joanne M. Ursino  Exposing the tactics of "fathers' rights" groups 10  by Agnes Huang  The patenting of Basmati rice 19  by Nandita Sharma  Follow your bliss ... and paddle 20  by Jo Thomas  Special supplement:  Violence against women  Report from the "First World" Conference on Family Violence 11  by Fatima Jaffer  Taking back the night 14  information from the files of Vancouver Rape Relief & Women's  Shelter; compiled by Amal Rana  Grassroots strategies on Salt Spring Island 16  by Cherie Geauvreau  Why I keep "The Femicide List" 16  by Mary Billy  Violence and the girl child 17  by Yasmin Jiwani  Young women who use violence: myths and facts 17  from the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary  Rape and Rohypnol 18  by Tamara Gorin  Arts  Reviews from the Vancouver International Film Festival 21  by Laiwan  Shaira Holman's GID exhibition 23  by Lesley Ziegler  The heart of Sheila Norgate 24  by Kelly Haydon  Regulars  As Kinesis Goes to Press 2  Inside Kinesis 2  What's News 7  compiled by Leanne Keltie and Corinne Brown  Movement Matters 8  compiled by Monica K. Rasi, Corinne Brown and Janet Mou  Bulletin Board 25  compiled by Kelly Haydon  Canada's record on poverty 3  /tJHEN MY HvWW Befits ,  /mf    I'M   VeTTBR Off CALL ltd (?  N?V  |si&XT VOOKNeiO^WRTUhH"  CALLING*'we tops- **&* wt     .  -.Beueves. my sroey  /Lj£^T7^X^r\T AWAY.  Stopping violence against women 11-18  •  /  *  >•" ■"■■"  Outrigging women 20  Sheila Norgate 24  NOVEMBER 1998 As       Kinesis  As Kinesis goes to press, "Friends" of  media mogul Conrad Black launched a  website to "celebrate" Black's new national  newspaper, creatively named, The National  Post. The day after Black's addition to the  great tradition of newspaper publishing in  Canada hit the stands, his "Friends" released their "BlackEnvy" website into  cyberspace.  "The Friends of Conrad Black" say they  set up the website because "there are too  many Canadians who do not have access  to Mr. Black's insights and view of the  world." Not wanting anyone to be deprived  of the wisdom of Black and his wife Barbara  Amiel, the website presents some of their  finest pearls, such as Black's: "most Canadians would prefer an American Canada to  socialist one."  The "Friends" say the website is organized in easy-to-access categories based on  Black's favourite keywords, from "Authoritarian" to "Wealthy." However, not wanting to leave the impression that Conrad  Black is all business and no play, the  "Friends" have also posted some warm and  fuzzy personal details about Black-such as  his favourite TV shows, "I Love Lucre" and  "The Three Corporate Stooges," and his  favourite film, King Kongrad.  It all sounds very enlightening.  So, don't delay; visit today:  www.blackenvy.com.  [The Friends of Conrad Black is sponsored  by Guerrilla Media, which previously brought  us such newspaper gems as The Globe and  Stale and The Vancouver Smug. J  Across the waters to another Conrad  Black-owned newspaper... the Victoria  Times-Colonist recently covered two  events: a workshop with virulent anti-feminists Erin Pizzey and Anne Cools sponsored  by the Victoria Men's Centre [see page 10,]  and a press conference organized by the  National Anti-Poverty Organization to  mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty [see page opposite.]  Pizzey and Cools talked about the violence of women, and about how men are  being discriminated against because they  are "denied" access to the copious amounts  of funding women's groups get. [Apparently, one man in the audience announced that  the annual budget of the Ministry of Women's  Equality is $200 million, which is not even  close.]  NAPO, for its part, was announcing  plans to call the federal government to account before a United Nations Committee  in Geneva, Switzerland for its record on not  making progress towards ending poverty.  So, if you were to place your bets on  "Pizzey vs. Poverty," which one do you  think would have gotten the front page of  the Victoria Times-Colonist? (Remember,  who owns the newspaper.)  You guessed right. Pizzey & Cools.  Meanwhile, the anti-poverty story got buried inside.  More on the problem of too much  media concentration in too few hands...  David Black [no relation to Conrad,] publisher of 60 weekly newspapers in BC, decided to assert the editorial control ownership often affords. He ordered the editors  of his weeklies to oppose the Nisga'a land  claims treaty in their editorials, and also  hired Mel Smith, a critic of Aboriginal land  claims, to write a series of articles for his  newspaper chain. When challenged to allow space for a proponent of land claims,  Black wouldn't commit to it. Together, the  two Blacks own most of the newspapers in  the province.  On a lighter and happier note: You  know that old adage, "Children know best"  (okay, so we adapted it a bit)... well, it certainly applies to the 40,000 schoolchildren  in Ontario who attended a rally for Nelson  Mandela at Toronto's Skydome last September.  With the mere mention of the name of  the Conservative premier of their province  passing through the speakers overhead, the  young, wise ones broke out in boisterous  "boos." And when Mike Harris dared step  up to the podium, the future leaders of this  country drowned out the man responsible  for the tearing apart the education system  they are living through. And who says kids  aren't impressionable?  You know who should also be booed...  the Christian fundamentalist who showed  up at the funeral of Matthew Shepard—the  young Wyoming man who was tortured  and murdered because he was gay (oh,  pardon us... it was just a robbery)—with  signs saying, "God hates f_gs."  V a  rvj  c  o  lj  Our appreciation to the following supporters who became members, renewed their  memberships or subscriptions to Kinesis, or who made donations during the month of  October.  Helen Babalos * Barbara Bell * Mariene Coulthard * Johanna Den Hertog * Jean  Elder * Gloria Filax * Joanne Fox * Judith Gilliland * Mary Hackney * Hannah  Hadikein * Jennifer Johnstone * Deborah Lerose * Fradie Martz * Sedi Minachi *  Kerry Moore * Fran Muir * Nancy Olson * Prabhjot Parmar * Hulda Roddan * Janet  Routledge * Jehn Starr * Michelle Sylliboy * Celeste Wincapaw  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:  Elisabeth Geller * Jody Gordon * Erin Graham * Barbara Lebrasseur * Valarie  Raoul * Sheilah Thompson  It's astounding, and yet not, the level  of hatred that spews out from the antis: the  anti-homosexual, anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, anti-women (et cetera)  lobbyists. In this issue oiKinesis alone, we  find ourselves having to deal with a lot of  the violence meted out by those aligned  with a right-wing, fundamentalist, white  supremist agenda. It's critical we continue  to expose the continuum of violence the  Right promotes, and hold them responsible for even the most "extreme" acts of violence [see page 5.]  One last thing... October 31 will mark  an international day of action in support  of Taslima Nasrin, a poet and feminist from  Bangladesh who is under threat by Islamic  fundamentalists in her country [see page 7.]  For more on the campaign, contact the Action Committee on Women's Rights in  Iran—which is organizing the support rally  in Vancouver—at (604) 318-6579.  That's all as Kinesis goes to press. We  hope you're inspired by this issue, especially our supplement on violence against  women [pages 11 -18.] There's more to come.  K  n  Last month, the first rains of Fall descended on those who dared to venture  outside Kinesis. Those of us who remained  inside Kinesis, not only kept dry, we also  embarked on a little bit of visioning... Yes,  remember last month we said we'd be having a Kinesis retreat on October 3-4? Well  we did just that.  It was two days of brainstorming on  content, design and marketing. The primary goal was to look at short term (one  or two year) plans for re-vamping and  strengthening Kinesis.  We came up with lots of ideas, and over  the course of the weekend it became clear  that the overriding sentiment was: "Fun,  fun, fun." Some of the ideas mentioned  were: a crossword puzzle, shorter clips and  quips, cartoons and more cartoons, graphics and more graphics, profiles of activists  across the country, quizzes, more sarcasm  and parody, and the list goes on. [There was  one suggestion for a "feminist makeover  tips" column. What do you think? (Note  the sarcasm.)]  In terms of design, we talked about a  needing a new logo for our second quar-  ter-of-a-century. We plan on soliciting ideas  and maybe even running a "logo contest."  Our current tagline is "News about women  that's not in the dailies." Any thoughts on  that? Any other thoughts? You know where  to find us if you do...  Some women also talked about exploring a whole new look for Kinesis, such as  switching to a more magazine-style format.  Of course, as that kind of design change is  big news, we'll first be testing the ideas out  with our readers before making any commitments.  One thing we all agreed on was that  Kinesis needs a space where readers can  dialogue with each other, sharing comments, feedback, questions,et cetera. So, in  our next issue, we'll be debuting a new section featuring the thoughts and voices of  you, our readers. It's called "Readers  writes" (Catchy isn't it) and we invite your  contributions. Write, fax or email us.  We also got our Marketing gang going  again, and it will be responsible for our 25th  anniversary subscription drive campaign,  among many other things. Some exciting  and easy ways to increase Kinesis' profile  were discussed and we plan to follow up  on them. If you're interested in helping us  promote Kinesis into the 21st Century, then  give our Marketing Coordinator Jenn Lo a  jingle, please.  Thanks to all the women who participated over the weekend: Audrey Johnson,  Ema Oropeza, Robyn Kelly, Amal Rana,  Jenn Lo, Larissa Lai, Celeste Wincapaw,  Michelle Sylliboy, Kelly Haydon, Tanja  Stein, Laura Quilici, Agnes Huang, Louise  Thauvette, Erin Graham, and leanne  Johnson. And thanks also to Mary Logan  who prepared a delicious lunch for the first  day of our retreat.  The Editorial Board will be working on  implementing the ideas raised at the retreat,  although some of them will take more time,  thought and planning. We'll keep you informed as we progress- In the meantime,  the minutes of the visioning retreat are  posted in the production room and we invite Kinesis readers to come take a look at  them and write in some of your own ideas.  Speaking of the Editorial Board... Colleen Sheridan, a very active volunteer and  resident cartoonist, has decided to take a  much-deserved rest from the Ed Board to  regenerate and prevent further burnout.  We'll certainly miss Colleen and her cute  comics, but we'll survive. Colleen has  promised she'll only be gone a couple of  months... and we plan to hold her to that.  We wish Colleen lots of rest and relaxation.  However, we still hope to be able to sneak  a few funnies out of her from time to time.  (We're very enticing.)  On to this month's issue...we'd like to  welcome all the new contributors to Kinesis. Thanks to Michelle Weinroth, Corinne  Brown, Joanne M. Ursino, Amal Rana,  Mary Billy, Jo Thomas and Joanne Walton.  And thanks to our new production volunteers Corinne Brown, Miriam Stuart and  Claudia Deutschland.  We'd also like to acknowledge the incredible contribution of Tanja Stein who  was on a six-week internship with Kinesis.  Tanja's term is up and she is leaving Kinesis and Canada for her home in Germany.  Tanja was involved in all sorts of activities  around Kinesis: from calling women's  groups for submissions to Bulletin Board  [hint, hint,] to faxing advertising information, to checking out interesting sites on the  Internet, to cutting and pasting everything  in sight. Thanks Tanja for all your hard  work and humour. We wish you the best in  your new career as a journalist.  Hey, to all the women who volunteer  with Kinesis, don't forget to pick up a copy  of the hot-off-the-photocopier VSW /Kinesis Volunteer Newsletter. It's by, for and  about volunteers and it's got recipes and  poems. It's playfully [we think] dubbed,  "News about volunteers that's not in  Kmesis/'Hrnmrn. Drop by our office at 309-  877 E. Hastings St, and check it out.  Well, that's all for now this month Inside Kinesis. Hope you stay dry and warm  while you read this issue (unless of course,  you want to be wet and cold.) Don't  forget...next month is the launch of our 25th  year anniversary. See you then.  NOVEMBER 1998 News  Human rights and poor people in Canada:  A disgraceful tragedy  by Agnes Huang  Canada's record on ending poverty is  not impressive, and anti-poverty organizations plan to make that known in mid-November to the United Nations Committee  on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  The UN Committee reviews the performance of member states every five years  in complying with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural  Rights (ECOSOC). [Canada signed the covenant in 1976.] This year, it's Canada's turn.  On November 26, the federal government will make a presentation in Geneva,  Switzerland about the progress this country has made in improving the social, economic and cultural well-being of those living within its borders.  Ten days before the feds give their  speech though, anti-poverty activists—including representatives from the National  Anti-Poverty Organization (NAPO), the  Charter Committee on Poverty Issues, and  Low-Income Families Together (LIFT) of  Toronto—will take their turn at the podium  and tell the UN Committee what is really  going on in Canada.  Canada has long maintained a positive  international reputation for human rights,  even though its record proves the contrary,  particularly when it comes to poor people.  "It is hypocritical for the Canadian  government to be condemning other countries for human rights violations when the  it is just as guilty," says Bev Brown, NAPO's  international secretary. "There are no human rights without social and economic  rights."  LIFT's Josephine Grey has her own  personal reasons for taking the fight to the  international scene. "I've seen a lot of work  we've done over the last decade torn to  pieces. I'm so fed up trying to get people  to be accountable. It's time to go over their  heads."  Jacquie Ackerly executive director of  Victoria Together Against Poverty and  NAPO's the second vice-president, will co-  present NAPO's submission. NAPO plans  to highlight the devastation to low-income  people of provincial workfare programs  and the Canada Health and Social Transfer  {CHST) [see sidebar.]  Ackerly points to Canada's record on  such issues as unemployment insurance  and student debt to make it clear that  Canada is not living up to a requirement to  make "progressive improvements to economic rights."  "Ten year ago, 87 percent of working  Canadians were eligible for unemployment  benefits; now only 37 to 40 percent are eligible," says Ackerly "Ten years ago, student debt was running around $8,000; now  it is $25,000."  She adds the right to welfare has disappeared in this country with the discontinuation of CAP (the Canada Assistance  Plan,) which set out national standards for  social assistance.  Ending poverty is a question of will,  anti-poverty activists say, and governments  at all levels in Canada have made decisions  that work against this goal. Instead, they  say the priority must be debt and deficit  reduction, that hard choices have to be  made, and that we can no longer afford the  social programs set up in the "boom days."  "If the government collected all the  deferred taxes, then there'd be enough to  pay for social programs," says Ackerly. "If  the government cancelled subsidies to  highly successful and lucrative companies  like [aircraft manufacturer] Bombardier,  then there'd be enough money for social  programs." She further points out that in  1950, corporations paid 50 percent of income tax in the country; today, they pay  only six percent.  Grey adds that the real question remains, Who decided the debt would get so  high? "Ironically, it's the same people who  are benefitting from these decisions. It is  blatantly obvious when you put the whole  equation together, that there is a fundamental contempt for those who are not of the  male white elite."  In the Spring, Canada sent in its interim  report to the UN Committee. Interestingly,  but not surprisingly, Canada bases its report on data that ends in September 1994—  that's before the CHST, before Mike Harris,  before BC Benefits, before NAFTA...  "Canada is reporting on a reality that  doesn't exist anymore," says Ackerly. "In  another five years, Canada will report on  what we're living today."  The UN Committee, in turn, sent  Canada a list of 81 detailed questions. Some  of the questions relate to protections for  people with disabilties and their high level  of unemployment; discrimination against  welfare recipients through workfare programs; the elimination of national standards and entitlements; follow-up to the recommendations of the Royal Commission  on Aboriginal Peoples; the ability of  farmworkers and domestic workers to join  unions; and the cancellation of federal  funding for new social housing.  For her part in Geneva, Grey intends  to focus the Ontario government under  Conservative leader Mike Harris, as most  of the rights under the ECOSOC Covenant  fall under provincial jurisdiction.  "The Ontario government has been  very extreme and blatant in violating rights  of low-income people. We can prove it has  complete disrespect and disregard for the  poor," says Grey "The range of human  rights violations in Ontario is broader than  anywhere else."  Anti-poverty activists will definitely be  taking issue with the federal government's  failure to amend the Canadian Human  Rights Act (CHRA) to prevent discrimination against low-income people. The UN  Committee had specifically recommended  the federal government do this in its 1993  report on Canada.  "Five years later, the federal government is still dragging its heels," says  Ackerly.  However, this may be more difficult for  the feds. There is currently a bill before the  House of Commons, which already has  Senate approval, to amend the CHRA in order to add "social condition" as a prohibited ground of discrimination. [Seven prov-  Excerpts from the NAPO's written statement to  the UN Committee  "...the past decade has seen Canada's economic and social policies dominated by a series  of reversals at the legal, administrative and institutional levels, resulting in increased poverty and  hardship for low-income Canadians. As we  move into the next millennium, federal and provincial policies have peeled back many of the  gains of the past thirty years....  "In previous reports to this Committee,  NAPO has highlighted its concern that deficit  reduction policies disproportionately affect the  poor. It is without pleasure that NAPO reports  its predictions and concerns are being realized.  Dramatic reductions in Employment Insurance  eligibility; reduced transfer payments to the  provinces for social assistance, post-secondary  education and health care; and the intorduction  of complex tax incentives which are of little or  no use to the poorest Canadians, all indicate  that this government is more concerned with  saving money than effectively tackling the increasing disparity between rich and poor in this  country.  "Since implementing the Canada Health  and Social Transfer (CHST) in 1996, the federal  government has consistently reduced social and  health transfer payments to the provinces. Provincial governments have in turn reduced or  eliminated social progam funding and supports,  in many cases downloading costs to municipal  governments. The results have been inadequate  social program funding, a proliferation of user-  fees, and increased regional disparity within and  amongst provinces.  "The federal government refers to its commitment to develop, in consultation with the  provinces, principles, values and objectives to  underlie the CHST To date,... Canada has not  established national standards with respect to  social assistance, post-secondary education or  further national standards in the area of health  care. On the contrary, the uncertainty of federal-provincial relations have caused increased  discrepancies in social assistance rates amongst  provinces, devastating cuts to social services  supports and entitlements, alarming increases  to post-secondary tuition, and general  skepticism about the level of health care Canadians can expect as we enter the 21 st Century.  "The right of Canadians to gain their living  which they accept of choose freely has been  flagrantly disregarded by a majority of provincial governments who have implemented, or  are in the process of implementing, "work for  welfare" (workfare) programs. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, New  Brunswick and most recently Ontario have all  implemented workfare schemes. The Manitoba  government is currently considering implementing a workfare program...  "...Poverty is more prevalent today than it  has been in the last three decades, especially  for children. The incidence of food bank use in  skyrocketing. The availability of social housing  is shrinking. Homelessness is on the rise and  emergency shelters are over-crowded..."  For more information about the NAPO's  presentation to the UN Committee, contact  NAPO, #440-325Dalhousie St, Ottawa, On-  tano, KIN7G2;tel: I-800-810-1076; email:  napo@web.net; website: http:/Avww.napo-  onap.ca.  Over 100 people turned out for a march and rally in Vancouver  on October 17 to mark the International Day for the  Eradication of Poverty.  inces already forbid discrimination on the  grounds of social condition, social origin,  source of income, or the fact a person receives  public assistance.]  Bill S-ll was introduced on October  19—to coincide with the International Day  for the Eradication of Poverty—by Diane  St-Jacques, the member of parliament from  Shefford, Quebec. The bill is the product of  the hard work and lobbying by Senator  Erminie Cohen, who wrote a report on the  situation of poverty in Canada called,  Sounding the Alarm.  Josephine Grey says the federal government's achilles heel is its hypocrisy. And  anti-poverty activists plan to expose that  weakness in Geneva.  [An interesting footnote: While the UN  Committee invites participation of non-governmental organizations, it does not provide  funding support to facilitate their involvement.  NAPO only recently secured enough monies,  through donations from several unions, to ensure they can go to Geneva.]  NOVEMBER 1998 News  Women, health and information technology:  Computers talking to  computers  by Celeste Wincapaw   Many people think all government  computers can share information with  other government computers. This is true  only in some sectors, right now.  However, discussions are taking place  on how computers in the health sector can  share information. A national consultation  process is currently underway which will  shape the way patient records and information are kept and potentially utilized.  The Office of Health and the Information Highway at Health Canada set up an  advisory council on health info-structure to  develop a plan for implementing a nationwide system of interconnected computer  systems. The advisory council is made up  of many powerful private industry and  government leaders.  They have presented an interim report,  "Connecting for Better Health Strategic Issues," to Minister of Health Allan Rock,  which outlines the benefits and challenges  of creating a national health info-structure.  Many of the issues being tackled by this  advisory council are not just about machines—they are about the ethics of how  health information will be used and protected in Canada.  The advisory council touts as potential benefits of a coordinated health info-  structure cost and time savings. Patient  records and health information, it says,  would be more easily transferable from one  computer system to another. Many different health care providers would be able to  share information, and even electronically  access patient records.  The advisory council acknowledges  the system should be set up in such a way  as to afford people a level of confidentiality and privacy—they say only relevant information would be accessible by particular medical staff specialists and would  rarely be wholly accessible by any one office. Still, the million dollar question remains, Who is in charge of defining "relevant?"  Another potential benefit is that researchers would be able to use more complete health data in their analyses. This  might help them answer important, potentially life-saving questions. In the council's  report, it is clearly stated that release of any  personal information without consent requires the researcher to prove "tangible  public good of significant benefit..." The  council futher states that "no harm can occur to any person as a result of using personal information."  Again, what remains to be worked out  is who is responsible for defining "public  good?" Also, perhaps regulations should  be instituted which require that no distinct  social groupings be harmed by the release  of personal information. This might include, but not be limited to, people of a  particular race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.  While certainly this would be a difficult regulation to work out, the words "tangible public good of significant benefit"  need to be more clearly defined so that the  World March on Women in the Year 2000:  Packing our bags  by Janet llin Mou  Women across the globe will mark the  passage into the new millenium with a  huge March Against Poverty and Violence  Against Women.  Born out of the Federation des  Femmes du Quebec (FFQ) and their  wildly successful Du pains et des roses  (Bread and Roses) anti-poverty march in  1995, theWomen's World March will be  held on October 17,2000, marking the International Day for the Eradication of  Poverty.  Anumber of activities for the year are  in the works, many of which will be  launched on the first International Women's Day—March 8—of the new millennium. Suggested campaigns to date are a  support card mail-in to the United Nations, and local popular education workshops in the participating countries.  To prepare for the incredible journey,  the FFQ hosted the first, and only, international meeting in Montreal last month.  The gathering brought together 150  women from 67 countries. Come time for  the actual march, participation of more  than 105 countries is expected.  The women at the meeting are expected to take back information and strategies to other women's groups in their  home country, and to lead the organizing  of a national campaign that presents the  specific demands related to poverty and  violence of women in their country. As  well, March organizers hope national organizing will also translate into regional  activities throughout the year and particularly on the big day (October 17).  Canadian women's and labour groups  represented in Montreal were the National  Action Committee on the Status of Women,  the Canadian Labor Congress, the Calgary  Coalition on Family Violence, the Canadian  Association of Sexual Assault Centres  (CASAC) and, of course, the FFQ.  The range of women's organizations at  the meeting was wide-ranging with a good  cross-section of advocacy and grassroots  organizations, community boards and collectives, says CASAC's Nicole Robillard.  The focus of the March is to further the  global grassroots women's movement This  involves highlighting common demands  and initiatives of the global women's movement relating to poverty and violence  against women, and demonstrating women's ongoing determination to change the  world.  Some specific goals include promoting  gender equality, and forcing governments,  decision-makers and individuals the world  over to institute the changes necessary for  improving the status of women and the  quality of women's lives.  Robillard says that one of the hot topics under discussion at the weekend organizing meeting was the question of  which bodies and individuals women  should present their demands to. Another  concern raised by some women from  Muslim countries was the negative responses they expected in their home  countries to the inclusion of the word  "lesbian" in the March literature.  Robillard says that while proportionately more anti-poverty groups than anti-  violence groups were represented, there  was no dispute as to the relationship between the two issues.  One of the ongoing highlights was  the display of popular education tools developed by the women's movement in  various countries on issues of poverty  and violence against women.  'It was an exciting meeting," says  Robillard. "Women left enthused and eager to continue the work."  She hopes that when publicity for the  actual March begins next year thousands  of women will respond arid participate.  For more information, contact the Federation des femmes du Quebec, 110 rue Ste-  Therese, #307, Montreal, Quebec, Canada,  H2Y 1E6; tel: (514) 395-1196; fax: (514)  395-1224; email: marche2000@ffq.qc.ca;  website: www.ffq.qc.ca/marche2000.  rights and well-being of marginalized  groups of people are never sacrificed in the  name of "the greater good."  The report says the council will include  Aboriginal persons in the decision-making  and planning for the health info-structure.  One of the say this will be done is by working with the Assembly of First Nations.  It is critical that the council clarify that  Aborginal control of medical services for  Aboriginal communities must include their  control of data, research and analysis. The  council must also respect differences in  perspectives and realities among Aboriginal people, and explicitly include Aboriginal women's voices in the decision-making process.  The report does acknowledge that certain groups, such as women, may face barriers to accessing the technology. Yet, it later  contradicts this position when it states, "As  a result [of the Internet], distance and geography are now less of an obstacle to economic development, social intercourse,  learning, or volunteer work. These technologies are making information more  widely available to everyone..."  The Internet and its associated technologies are tools which certainly increase  the volume of information available to  many people. There are still many persons  who face barriers to access, such as illiteracy, technophobia, and lack of time or  money. Also, the power to shape content,  conduct information analysis, and spark  national media attention is, most certainly,  still in the hands of a privileged, monied  and male few.  Ethical decisions made by the corporation-influenced computer crowd will  likely not include enough grassroots activists to ensure adequate protection of the  health information of persons who have  been systemically oppressed—women,  people of colour, people with disabilities,  Aboriginal people, people who live in poverty, and so on.  Women need to speak out for ourselves  on these issues, but we also need a more  accessible format than a 60-page report produced by a less-than-representative committee to do so. These guys need our feminist analysis!  For a copy of the report, visit the Health  Canada website at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ohih-  bsi. The committee is asking for comments by  November 6. [The short timeframe and the  lack of public profile given to these significant changes may be worth comment in  themselves.] Submissions can be sent to the  Advisory Committee, c/o the Office of Health  and the Information Highway, Health Canada,  Holland Cross, Tower A, 2nd Floor, 11 Holland Ave, Postal Locator 3002A2, Ottawa,  Ontario, K1A 0K9; ; fax: (613) 941-5366;  e,ao;: ohih-bsi@www.hc-sc.gc.ca.  Celeste Wincapaw works at the BC Centre of  Excellence for Women's Health.  NOVEMBER 1998 News  Access to abortion in Canada:  Anti-choicers are anti-life  by Agnes Huang  The murder of an American doctor  who provided abortion services has  sparked calls for an investigation into the  activities of the anti-choice groups and individuals in Canada.  Specifically, the Pro-Choice Action  Network (P-CAN, formerly known as the  BC Coalition for Abortion Clinics) has  asked BC's Attorney General to look into  the anti-choice movement's connection to  right-wing extremist groups and the police.  Late in the evening on October 23, Dr.  Barnett Slepian returned to his home in  Buffalo, New York with his family Shortly  after, he was killed—shot in the back,  through his kitchen window, by a sniper  with a high powered rifle. Slepian was a  well-known obstetrician and was a frequent target of the anti-choice movement.  His murder is the first fatality in what  has become known as the "Remembrance  Day" shootings. Over the last four years,  there have been three attempted murders  of abortion providers in Canada and one  attempted murder in the US. All occurred  around the Remembrance Day holiday in  Canada and Veterans Day in the US.  Pro-choice activists and law enforcement agencies in both countries consider  the incidents to all be linked. They fear  there will be further attacks on abortion  service providers in the weeks leading up  to the mid-November holidays.  "We already have a murder and it is  only the end of October," says Judy Hecht,  a spokesperson for P-CAN and the BC regional director of the Canadian Abortion  Rights Action League. "In 1997, there were  two separate shootings."  Since 1991, there have been seven  murders of physicians and staff affiliated  with abortion services [in Canada and the  US,] and 15 attempted murders, a representative of the Elizabeth Bagshaw Women's Clinic said at the vigil for Barnett  Slepian in Vancouver.  She added, to great applause, that, despite the constant threat of violence, the  clinic has no intention of shutting down.  "Our abortion services remain open, accessible and safe for women. Our providers  and staff remain dedicated to ensuring  women continue the optimum in abortion  care."  P-CAN's Joyce Arthur criticized leaders of the anti-choice movement for their  inflammatory, hate-filled rhetoric. "They  call the sniper a 'hero' and label abortion  doctors 'child killers.' These are killing  words; they're an open invitation to violence," says Arthur. "Maybe the leaders of  the anti-choice movement didn't actually  pull the trigger, but they've got Dr.  Slepian's blood on their hands."  She urged supporters of women's reproductive rights to call the anti-choicers  to account. "Let's ask the anti-choice movement-all of it—to take responsibility for  their words and their actions, and to stop  the rhetoric. It's not enough for them to  condemn the violence; they have to take  responsibility for it. They must send a  united message throughout their community that violence against abortion providers will not be tolerated."  In response to the Slepian's murder,  BC's Attorney General and ministry of  women's equality jointly announced that  the provincial government will immediately commit $250,000 for security assessments and related personal security counselling for abortion providers.  "The right to control our bodies is at  the heart of this issue," says Minister of  Women's Equality Sue Hammell, who is  coordinating the provincial government's  action plan designed to increase the safety  of service providers and ensure safe access  to women seeking this legal medical procedure. "We will not let these terrorist acts  prevent women from making their own  decision about their bodies."  For his part, Dossanjh is meeting with  his federal and provincial counterparts next  week and will call for inter-provincial cooperation and coordination between  jurisdications in dealing with this issue.  In light of Slepian's murder, the NDP  government is calling on Gordon  Campbell, leader of the BC Liberals, to  clarify his party's position on abortion and  to distance himself from anti-abortion extremists such as John Hof, president of  Campaign Life Coalition (CLC). Hof has  been convicted for his actions in obstructing access to an abortion clinic.  Campbell continues to deny he and  Hof discussed the abortion issue last February at their hour-and-a-half long meeting organized by Langley MLA Rich  Coleman, a close friend of Hof.  However, Hof speaks positively about  the outcome of his meeting with the  Campbell and Coleman. In CLC-BC's February 1998 newsletter, Hof outlines the recommendations he made to Campbell after  the Liberal leader expressed a desire to  improve his party's attractiveness to the  small "c" conservative voters.  Among Hof's suggestions were that  the Liberals adopt a policy that defines the  "Family" properly, introduce Conscience  Clause legislation (which would allow  health care providers to deny care on moral  or religious grounds), open the door for  "pro-lifers" to meet with the Liberal caucus, and promise to throw out the "Bubble  Zone" legislation.  It is no surprise that shortly after the  meeting, Rich Coleman got to work drafting a private member's bill to include a  Conscience Clause modelled on US legislation.  There appears to be plenty of dissension within the Liberal caucus on this issue. In a letter written in July by West Vancouver-Garibaldi MLA Ted Nebbelling to  the Liberal caucus, Nebbelling raises concerns about the relationship between Hof  and the Liberals. [The letter was leaked to the  press.]  "Some Liberals are promoting Hof and  other extreme "family values" proponents,  while others are denying that this is going  on," says Hammell. "In essence, the Liberals are sending mixed messages."  When pressed on his party's position  on women's access to abortion, Campbell  gives a pat response: he would allow members of his caucus a free vote.  "It is very clear where we stand on  women's reproductive choice," says  Hammell. "It is very clear where Bill  Vanderzalm, leader of the BC Reform Party,  stands. But it is not clear where the Liberals stand."  In a related matter, pro-choice activists  are questioning the links between anti-  choicers and the police, after confidential  records landed in the hands of leaders of  the anti-choice movement. Last month, it  was revealed that police documents relating to NDP communications advisor Neil  Monckton were leaked to John Hof.  P-CAN tells of a similar occurrence.  Last March, P-CAN sent a letter to the AG,  with a copy forwarded to the Vancouver  Police Department (VPD). In July, the group  received a call from a woman in Denton,  Texas who identified herself as a reporter  with the Dallas Morning Star. She said she  had a copy of the letter and wanted to know  who wrote it, as the signature was obscured. P-CAN did not reveal that information.  p CAN checked out the woman's story  and discovered that she did not work for  the Morning Star. They also checked with  the BC Privacy Commissioner and found  that no freedom of information request had  been made of their letter. Therefore, the  document must have been leaked by either  the AG's office or the VPD.  Along the way, P-CAN put two-and-  two together, realizing that the militant anti-  choice group called Life Dynamics, Inc, is  headquartered in Denton.  Pro-choice activists are calling for an  independent investigator to look into the  situation. They do not want the police policing themselves on this issue, particularly  given that a member of the Delta police  force, Steve Parker, was previously found  to have illegally searched license plate numbers of abortion clinic staff and patients  through police computers.  In the meantime, pro-choice activists  will continue to work to safeguard women's reproductive choices, and to hold anti-  choicers accountable for their role in the  continuum of violence against women and  abortion service providers.  "Let's stand up for the rights, the moral  decisions, and the health and lives of millions of women who choose abortions,"  says Arthur. "Let's shine some light on the  dark underbelly of the anti-choice movement and expose their real agenda, an  agenda which is ultimately anti-life."  For more information on the work of  P-CAN, visit their new website at: http://  www.prochoicecon nection. com/pro-can..  1 1 1 1 1 1 II 1 1 1 1 1 1 II II 1 II 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1  IIII11II II 1 II 1 II 1 1 1 1 1 1 II 1 II 1 II II II II II 1 II II  ::  Recipe For Right-Wing Nationalism ::  by Michelle Weinroth  =: Ingredients:  ~; 1 large politico-economic crisis  -■ Assortment of several adversaries or 1 large ripe enemy  Z\ 2 cups of moral outrage and indignation (mixed)  ~; 3 cups of collective sacrifice combined with moral rectitude           ~~  - Rich Utopian:                                                       _:  - 4 tbsps of Utopian promise                                                                 --  ~; 1 cup of tax cuts                                                                               ~~  - 1 abstract picture of national prosperity  Z'. 2 tbsps of corporate excellence                                                          II  :: Method:                                                               -'-  -- Place politico-economic crisis in pot and bring to boiling point.  Z~. Stir continuously.                                                                                    _I  -■ Peel and slice adversaries.  Cook in boiling water.  -■ Remove, then marinate in racism. Let stand overnight.  ~; Combine moral outrage and indignation with collective sacrifice    ~"  -■ until well blended. Whip moral rectitude into stiff peaks. Fold in    --  Z\ gently with main batter.  -■ Completely cover adversaries with mixture so as to maintain air   Z\ tight seal.                                                                                              Zl  — Mix ingredients for Utopian sauce, pour over main dish and serve --  — with nationalist hysteria.  Serves almost 30 million Canadians.  Z". [reprinted from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' newsletter,   "  -■ the Monitor, September 1998.]  - iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii -  NOVEMBER 1998 News  The patenting of Basmati rice:  Food, fun, the facts of life  by Veena Gokhale  Baby Rice was in danger of being kidnapped by Texmati, who was looking for  delicious new rice strains. Ginger Rice, who  had been horribly manipulated by American scientists, urged Mama Rice to hide  Baby Rice so she would not meet the same  fate as Ginger.  This was the climactic scene from a skit  by Sheila James of The Rice Girls, the highlight of a very informative evening, "Food,  Fun, the Facts of Life and Who Owns  Them," organized by the Basmati Action  Group (BAG) last September in Vancouver.  The event was co-sponsored by BC Biotechnology Circle, FarmFolk/CityFolk, Co-op  Radio's Bulland Awaaz show, La Quena  and Patels.  "Food, Fun, the Facts of Life..." focused  on emerging food and agricultural issues  such as corporate patents on life, biopiracy,  genetic engineering and the control of the  world's food supply by a handful of  transnational corporations based in the  West.  The Basmati Action Group, which  started this summer, is working to bring the  issues of biopiracy and biotechnology to the  public. It is opposed to the patenting of life  and specifically to the patent on Basmati  rice owned by RiceTec Inc., a US corporation responsible for Texmati. Part of the  group's campaign comprises of a petition  to the Canadian government, asking it not  to recognize the Basmati patent, and to disallow life patenting in general. The federal  government has already approved some  life patents.  More than 50 people attended the  evening, which featured three speakers.  Nandita Sharma of BAG set the tone for the  evening with her talk on biopiracy and the  ownership of the Basmati rice patent by  RiceTec Inc. [see her speech on page 19.]  RiceTec's 'American' Basmati is marketed  communally held resources and traditional  agricultural knowledge from the South into  profit for Northern corporations. Sharma  said that it is nature that plays the most  creative role in the so-called innovations  claimed by agri-business which enables  them to register patents.  The Rice Girls (top left to right: Sheila James, Mercy Valamtarampil and  Nzula A. Ciatu) take onTexmati (Natalie Meisner)  under the names Texmati, Kasmati and  Jasmati.  Sharma pointed out that in the words  of prominent Indian environmentalist  Vandana Shiva, the patenting of the natural resources of the South by northern  agri-businesses is the second wave of colonization. Patents facilitate the transfer of  Katherine Barrett of the British Columbia Biotechnology Circle explained how  genetic engineering is an entirely new and  alarming phenomenon, and not a continuation of cross-breeding methods. It is new  because it allows for the splicing together  of genes from species which do not normally interbreed.  The effects of releasing genetically  manipulated seeds into the environment  cannot be predicated or controlled as experiments on a smaller scale cannot simulate the varied and complex fallouts from  the large scale use of these seeds.  At present, the Canadian government  has allowed for the genetic engineering of  the following foods-canola, corn, potato,  tomato and soya, Barrett said.  Steven Shrybman of the West Coast  Environmental Law Association spoke  about patent law, and how it is enshrined  in the World Trade Organization's (WTO)  economic regulations in the form of the  Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights  (TRIPs) agreement. He said that the regulations are important and unprecedented  because they amount to world government,  with the WTO imposing a US-led economic  regime which promotes global free trade  and corporate rights, to the detriment of  local autonomy, fair trade and citizens  rights.  Interspersing the speakers were performances by Janisse Browing and The Rice  Girls. Browning read two compelling poems: "Taster's Choice" and "New Genes."  Basmati rice and dahl (lentils) were  served at the end of the event. Rice and dahl  is the staple diet of a 100 million South  Asians, living in the Indian sub-continent  and abroad.  The Basmati Action Group meets next on  Saturday, November 7,from 2-4 pm. For more  information, call BAG at (604) 255-4910.  Marker of change  by Joanne Walton  A new one-hour film documenting the  powerful and inspiring story of the struggle by Vancouver feminists to build a  monument in memory of the 14 young  women murdered in Montreal on December 6,1989, will be released next month.  Marker of Change, The Story of the Women's Monument, will be premiered on Vision-  TV on Wednesday December 2 at 9:00pm.  There will also be public screening in Vancouver of Marker of Change on Sunday December 6th—the national day of remembrance—at 2:30pm at the Planetarium, 1100  Chestnut St.  Opening with the unveiling of The  Women's Monument in Vancouver last December, Marker of Change returns to the  tragic events eight years earlier when an  armed man went into a class at Ecole  Polytechnique, separated men from women  and shot the women. The name of the murderer instantly became known across the  country; the names of the 14 women murdered did not.  Marker of Change documents how a  small group of Vancouver women would  change that. The Women's Monument  Committee sparked a national debate, and  Suzanne LaPlante-Edward, mother of Anne-Marie Edwards,  at the Women's Monument in Vancouver, December 1997  over a period of seven years moved 6,000  groups and individuals to contribute to the  creation of a national monument dedicated  to all women murdered by men.  Directed by Moira Simpson, and written and produced by Sher Morgan and  Pamela Millar, and executive produced by  Hilary Jones-Farrow of the May Street  Group, the film is an important record of this  benchmark in Canadian feminist history.  "We set out to contribute to ending the  denial that women are being murdered by  men. It was a very difficult truth to deal  with", says Sher Morgan. "We perceived  ^UNICATIQH  that it was the denial of that truth that made  the building of the monument so hard. And  that was crucial to telling the story—in order to heal, you have to embrace the truth."  Morgan says the making of the film  was a collaborative effort. "We tried to mirror the feminist process that the women's  monument committee created. It was a very  challenging process because most filmmaking is hierarchal."  For information on the public screening,  call Moving Images Distribution at (604) 684-  3014. For other inquiries, contact Battle Creek  Productions at (604) 602-1202.  S a»Ar**i&* ' LOG0 »£su  *r-*HlKTS - P  Carol Weaver  graphic design & illustration  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. v6z1k9  689-7778 (ph)        689-5572 (fax)  quality legal services  woman friendly atmosphere  ((.04)4340888  NOVEMBER 1998 What's News  compiled by Leanne Keltie, Corinne  Brown  Bangladeshi  feminist hunted  After four years of exile in Europe and  the US, Bangladeshi poet and feminist  Taslima Nasreen returned home last month  to be with her mother who is dying of cancer.  Nasreen fled Bangladesh in 1994 after  conservative Muslim groups called for her  death and the government issued a warrant for her arrest. The charge: that she offended religious sentiments with her radical feminist writings.  Her writings include a series of books  and magazine columns which describe intimate sexual experiences and suggest  (among other things) that women be allowed to take up to four husbands.  "Since I came back, more or less every  day the fundamentalists have been demanding my death," Nasreen told a British journalist. If convicted under a religious-hatred law dating back to British colonial rule in 1860, she would face a maximum jail sentence of three years.  While many Bangladeshi women's  rights groups support Nasreen, they have  been trying to prevent her return from becoming the only issue represented in the  press. "Our problem is the Western press  and Indian press have been building her  (Nasreen) up as the only issue," says Kushi  Kabir, a leading women's-rights activist in  Dhaka.  She says women's rights organizations  are concerned focusing on Nasreen's situation will be used to divert attention from  other issues, such as the recent gang rape  of four female students at a Dhaka university by members of the ruling Awami  League's student wing.  OHIP changes  threaten abortion  The government of Mike Harris has  changed the Ontario Health Insurance Plan  (OHIP) fee schedule, limiting women's access to abortion services. Under the new fee  schedule, the provincial government and  the Ontario Medical Association have  agreed to place a cap on the number of  abortions for which a doctor may bill OHIP.  Previously, abortion services were exempt  from billing thresholds.  New Democratic Party Health Critic  Marion Boyd says, "Put simply, the Harris  government's OHIP changes are a disincentive for doctors to perform abortions."  "Women have fought for decades for  the right to safe, legal abortions," added  NDP Women's Issues Critic Marilyn  Churley. "We are not going to allow the  Harris Conservatives to quietly give up  what it has taken Ontario women years to  achieve."  The murder of  Marthadinata  Marthadinata was 18 years old. She  was a straight-A student at her high school  in Jakarta, Indonesia. A member of the ethnic Chinese community, Marthadinata and  her mother, Wiwin, had been active volunteers with the Tim Relawan Korban  Kerusuhan Mei, a volunteer group set up  by a Catholic priest to give support to In  donesian Chinese women and girls who  survived gang rapes and assaults during  the May riots [see Kinesis September 1998.]  As soon as Tim Relawan and other  groups began publicizing the rapes and  murders, they were subjected to continuous threats—by phone, by mail with photos of brutally raped and murdered  women, and by groups of men lurking outside their homes. They were told that if they  did not stop their work, they too would be  raped and murdered.  On Thursday, October 9th, days before  Marthadinata and her mother were to go  to the US to testify about the rapes,  Marthadinata was sexually assaulted and  brutually murdered in her home, with such  violence that her head was nearly severed  from her body.  The police have refused to call the  murder anything other than a "pure crime."  They claim their autopsy proves  Marthadinata was a heroin addict who had  turned to prostitution to support her habit.  The police have since arrested a young  neighbour and aquaintance, Suryada, for  the crime. While nothing was taken from  the house, Suryada has apparently "confessed" that he was in the midst of an attempted burglary, and when he was surprised by Marthadinata, he killed her.  Nothing in the police account fits any  known "profile" of such killers, but it does  fit the pattern of the rapes that occurred  during and since the May riots. It is also  consistent with the threats received by  members of the voluntary support groups.  Toiletries dangerous;  wildlife endangered  British scientists say some chemicals  used in toiletries mimic the effects of  xenoestrogens, the artificial female hormone that has been linked to a drop in  sperm count and an increase in breast and  testicular cancers.  The chemicals are found in thousands  of products ranging from sunblock and  cosmetics to baby creams. They prevent the  products from spoiling, but are also responsible for causing allergic reactions such as  skin rashes, swelling and itching.  John Sumpter of Brunei University in  London says that while there is no proven  link between the chemicals and adverse  affects on humans, further research is certainly in order.  Sumpter and his colleagues believe  hormone-disrupting compounds used in  plastics, pesticides and detergents can disrupt biochemical pathways and natural  hormones in the body, causing birth defects  and damage to wildlife.  In fact, recent studies have found  populations of animals living in highly  polluted waters to have bizarre sexual defects. British researchers say they have uncovered very compelling evidence that  sewage treatment plants routinely release  hormone-like compounds into rivers that  are "feminizing" a surprisingly large proportion of wild fish. The estrogen-like  chemicals are potent enough to cause fish  to be born half-male, half-female.  Hundreds of widely used man-made  chemicals are believed to be disrupting the  endocrine system that is critical to sexual  development by mimicking estrogen or  blocking testosterone.  Fighting military  sex abuse  STAMP: Survivors Take Action Against  Abuse by Military Personnel. STAMP: a  new group currently organizing a national  advocacy group to fight sexual abuse in the  military, founded by five women and two  men, all ex-Canadian military personnel.  Co-founder Dawn Thompson describes the organization as "giving people  a chance to talk to someone who has been  there and can lead them towards help. We  want people to know they are not alone."  Thomson, herself, has filed a $15 million  lawsuit against two sailors and the attorney general of Canada for three instances  of sexual or verbal abuse.  The NationalAction Committee on the  Status of Women (NAC) has also issued a  public statement vehemently condemning  the Canadian Forces for their "recent harassment of military women who have spoken out against sexual assault."  NAC is calling for an independent  commission to be responsible for the investigation of cases brought forward by Cana-  dian Forces women. This commission  should be neither connected nor accountable to the military and the recommended  solutions and findings should be directly  reported to the Prime Minister.  Ann Margaret Dickey, a former CF recruit who is currently fighting the military  after being physically and sexually assaulted by two military personnel, is urging for a letter writing campaign to Prime  Minister Jean Chretien to pressure him into  establish this commission.  NAC says the military cannot go unpunished for sexual assault, rape, physical  assault and battery. All of these are criminal offenses everywhere in Canada, and  should be in the military.  Woman killed  during deportation  Twenty-year-old Semira Adamu flew  from her home in Nigeria to Belgium last  March in the hope that she could flee an  arranged marriage to a 65-year-old polyga-  mist. Her request for asylum was rejected.  She awaited "forced repatriation," but  was determined to defy Belgium's attempts  to force her aboard a Sabena Airlines flight  to Lome in West Africa.  The Belgium government made five  failed attempts to deport her, and the sixth  attempt, in late September, turned tragically  fatal. Two gendarmes tried to silence the  struggling Adamu by covering her face  with a pillow. She lost consciousness on the  plane, fell into a coma and later died in a  Brussels hospital of an apparent cerebral  hemorrhage.  The two police officers were charged  with assault and the Interior Minister Louis  Tobback suspended all involuntary expulsions. One of the police officers had been  previously suspended for beating a detainee whose hands and feet were shackled.  Adamu had become a symbol for public protest against Belgium's deportation  policy. In July, a violent demonstration at  the airport detention centre erupted when  an attempt was made to deport her.  Anti-gay movement  in Malaysia  A month after charges of sodomy were  laid against Malaysia's ousted deputy  prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, the anti-  homosexual lobby stepped up its activities.  A new group called Pergerakan Sukarela  Rakyat Anti-Homoseksual (Pasrah), or Voluntary People's Movement Against Homosexuality, was formed by supporters of  Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad.  Datuk Ibrahim Ali, a local member of  parliament and the group's pro-tem chairman, and Tamrin Ghafar, the pro-tem  deputy chairman, say Pashrah was formed  to "raise awareness, especially among teenagers as they don't seem to take the matter  seriously enough."  They add that Pasrah was also formed  to combat "creeping social ills" demonstrated by a recent court case in which two  men whose confessions to being  "sodomized" are "proof to us that the homosexual activities are rampant in this  country." [The two men mentioned are the ones  Anwar Ibrahim is accused ofsodomozing. They  later recanted their stories saying they confessed under duress.]  Pasrah says it plans to meet with about  50 non-governmental organizations to  come up with some "solutions and a plan  of action." According to Ibrahim, "experts"  in law, health and religion will be invited.  Since the arrest of Anwar, lesbian and  gay groups in Malaysia have been virtually silenced for fear of criminal sanctions.  Sodomy is illegal in Malyasia and punishable with up to 20 years in jail and caning.  What does "no"  mean?  Feminist anti-violence activists  thought the matter was settled with  changes to the Criminal Code in 1992 that  proclaimed, "No means no."  However, the sexual assault case  against Steven Ewanchuk of Edmonton has  put that into doubt.  In 1995, Ewanchuk was charged with  sexually assaulting a 17 year old woman.  She testified she accompanied Ewanchuk  to his trailer to talk about possible job opportunities. When they got there,  Ewanchuk locked the door and soon after  made several sexual passes at her. She testified that she said "no" to Ewanchuk's  advances, but that she was too afraid to  aggressively resist him.  The Court of Queen's Bench acquitted  Ewanchuk on the grounds that the Crown  had failed to prove beyond a reasonable  doubt that the woman had not consented  to the sexual activity.  Last February, Justice John McClung of  the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the  acquittal. McClung has angered women's  groups and feminist lawyers, who say his  reasons set back the clock on sexual assault  to the days of blaming the victim.  In his ruling, McClung made mention  of the young woman's attire, noting that  she "did not present herself [to the accused]  in a bonnet and crinolines." (She was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.)  The Alberta government filed an appeal. The Supreme Court heard the case in  mid-October, then promptly reserved its  judgment.  [Sources: PAR-L listserve, Time magazine, the Globe and Mail, The Sun in  Malasyia, Southeast Asia Post]  NOVEMBER 1998 Movement Matters  listings information  Movement Matters is designed to  be a network of news, updates and  information of special interest to the  women's movement  Submissions to Movement Matters  should be no more than 500 words,  typed, double spaced and may be edited  for length. Deadline is the 18th of the  month preceding publication.  compiled by Monica K. Rasi,  Corinne Brown and Janet Mou  Legal aid stories  wanted  Stories of people who have been denied legal aid in all corners of British Columbia are being collected for "Journey for  Justice," a campaign initiated by the Coalition for Access to Justice.  Among the submissions could be one  from a woman whose children are forced  to see an abusive father because the woman  can't get a lawyer to vary a court order. All  the stories gathered will be used to put  pressure on the provincial government to  increase funding for legal aid.  Submissions are invited from transition houses, community groups and advocates, lawyers and individuals. Stories may  be anonymous if desired, or may be accompanied by the woman's name and phone  number if she wants to hear from the Coalition or speak to the media.  Find out more by calling the Coalition for  Access to Justice office at the Canadian Bar  Association in Vancouver, toll free 1-888-687-  3404, ext. 351 or in the Lower Mainland, 687-  3404, ext. 351.  Children exposed to  family violence  The BC/Yukon Society of Transition  Houses is requesting presentation and  workshop proposals for the Fifth International Conference on Children Exposed to  Family Violence, which will be held October 27 to 29,1999 in Vancouver.  The conference will bring together  counsellors, transition house staff/shelter  workers, social workers, educators, advocates, and others who work with children  and their families.  Submissions are invited for papers,  posters or workshops on any of the following themes: Preventing the Cycle of Violence, Early Intervention for Children, Children at Risk, Custody and Access, Minority and Special Needs Groups, Aboriginal  People, Juvenile Justice, and Trauma and  Children.  Presentations are limited to 20 minutes. The deadline is February 1.  For more information contact BC/Yukon  Society of Transition Houses, 1112-409  Granville St, Vancouver, BC, V6C 1T2; tel.  (604) 669-6943; fax (604) 682-6962; email:  hdempster@istar.ca; website: http://  home. istar.ca/Jbcysth.  CEDAW in Canada  Have you, your organization or anyone else you know used CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of  Discrimination Against Women) in your  work? If so, the International Women's  Rights Project of York University's Centre  for Refugee Studies would like to know.  The Centre is conducting a study on  how this international covenant—which is  supposed to ensure the protection of the  rights of women —has or has not been implemented by Canada, which is u signatory  to CEDAW.  Seven countries representing five  United Nations regions have been commissioned to submit reports on their country's  progress, which will be presented to the UN  in January 1999. The aims are to discover  how effective the guarantees have been in  improving conditions for women at the national level, and to determine what can be  done to improve CEDAW's effectiveness.  To facilitate the project, the Centre is  hosting a gathering at York University  November 22 to 24, which will provide  participants with an opportunity to discuss  improving the covenant and monitoring  their national governments' process. Participants will also have a chance to review  the draft report being prepared on Canada  by the Centre and to make further contributions.  For more information about the CEDAW  campaign, contact Lee Waldorf at  lwaldorf@hotmail.com, or visit the International Women's Right's Project's webpage at:  www.yorku.ca/research/crs/iwrpweb/  iwrphome.htm. Women interested in participating in the gathering should contact Anne  Molgat at annem@web.net or Marilou  McPhedran at marilou@web.net.  NAC-BC regional  meeting  In September, the Quesnel Women's  Resource Centre hosted the Fall Provincial  Conference of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women—BC Region.  Due to a refusal by the provincial Ministry  of Women's Equality to provide a small  grant to cover travel costs, childcare and  related expenses for conference participants, many member groups were unable  to send delegates.  For the women who attended, the  same themes were heard again and again—  increases in poverty levels, homelessness  and unemployment; devastating impacts of  cuts to legal services, particularly on  women without the financial resources to  challenge wrongful child apprehensions,  take protective measures against violent  partners or inform themselves of their legal rights; and hardships endured as a result of BC Benefits.  Other critical issues included changes  to benefit policies whereby women requiring assistance are stalled with appointments, and forced to sign iengthy consent  forms and attend orientation sessions.  MWE's contract reform proposals were also  on the table for discussion. The rape drug  Rohypnol was another critical issue that  women from rape crisis and sexual assault  centres raised [see page 18.]  The issue of funding difficulties  emerged once again, and NAC-BC extended a heartfelt thank-you to those  groups and individuals who made donations and responded to the National Day  of Action.  NAC National is in severe financial crisis, and donations are desperately needed, as  well as letters, faxes and telephone calls of support. Call Hannah Hadikein at (250) 352-3609  or Michelle Dodds at (604) 736-3346 for more  information.  Remembering Bonnie Agnew  by Suzanne Jay  Bonnie Agnew of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter Collective  died on the evening of Monday, August 17. A passionate fighter on behalf of  women's equality rights, Bonnie was a radical feminist activist in Vancouver for  over 20 years.  The legacy she leaves for all of us to carry on includes: the newly formed  Alliance of Feminist Transition Houses, dedicated to making all transition houses  advocacy centres for women; a provincial and federal-wide fight to restore legal aid; the fight to stop the arrest of battered women and greater police accountability through an increase in arrests of men who abuse women; an international campaign to link front line anti male-violence workers; the Rape Relief  website on the Internet as a way to preserve and makefeminist articles and strategies widely available as organizing tools; dedication that preceded her involvement with Rape Relief to teach and learn with white women how to conduct  themselves with openness and responsibility as allies to First Nations women; a  strong committment to ending the prison system; an end to jailing women who  have been abused; and a committment to the idea that men can and must change.  We each need to take a piece of Bonnie's legacy towards the achievement of  women's liberation.  Women and pensions  The Corner Brook (Newfoundland)  Women's Centre is pursuing the issue of  valuing women's unpaid work. Specifically, the focus is on examining the policy  of split, provincial government pensions for  ex-spouses. This issue was brought to the  centre's attention last March by dedicated  and concerned women in our community.  The centre learned that changes to the  provincial Pension Benefits Act in 1997  mean that a woman who was married to a  man employed by or elected to a provincial government office, is entitled to a portion of his pension benefits until her death.  Prior to that, the portion allotted to her  would, for all intents and purposes, die  when her ex-spouse did. However, to receive life-long benefits the woman would  have to sign a limited membership clause,  which would result in her receiving reduced payments.  According to the Pension Benefits office, payments are calculated according to  life expectancy. Thus, an ex-wife will receive smaller pension payments than an ex-  husband, even when all other factors are  the same (age difference, time married, et  cetera).  Believing this is discrimination on the  basis of gender, the Women's Centre has  been compiling information on the pension  allocation and women who are affected,  and writing to government officials on be  half of these women. In addition, some of  the women affected have registered complaints with the Human Rights Commission.  The centre feels that women across the  country need to be aware of the spousal  pension agreements in their respective areas. The same injustice may be happening  elsewhere.  Wanted: feminists  The Unique Women Project is a book  being planned by Joyelle Brandt to challenge the negative images of feminism, the  modern "f-word." Brandt believes these  stereotypes have been cultured through  media for many years now, and it is only  through media that they can be debunked.  The project will combine photos and  survey responses, highlighting each woman's unique feminism and womanhood,  dispelling the belief that a feminist fits a  certain mold, and providing young women  with positive role models. The emphasis is  on personal experiences and how feminism  has shaped women's own lives. All photos  and text will be subject to each woman's  approval.  Any woman interested is invited to contact Joyelle Brandt, The Unique Women  Project, 2912 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver,  BC, V6K 2B9, Tel (604) 730-6747, or email:  rowan@intergate.bc.ca.  KINESIS  NOVEMBER 1998 Feature  The f(l)ight for pay equity in Canada:  Is this seat taken?  by Joanne M. Ursino  Despite receiving a positive ruling from  the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in July,  more than 190,000 current and former federal  government employees—members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)—are  still being denied fair compensation in the longest-running pay equity dispute in Canada [see  Kinesis September 1998.] On the last possible day, the Liberal government filed an appeal  of the Tribunal's decision.  Since then, PSAC members have stepped  up their campaign to hold the Liberals accountable, with actions across the country. Not all  of them though have been confined to the  ground, as Joanne Ursino, co-chair of the PSAC  Vancouver Regional Women's Committee and  an Area Strike Coordinator for one section of  downtown Vancouver, describes...  It wasn't the first time I had challenged  a member of parliament in mid-air, but this  time it was planned. Aware that the eight  Liberal MPs from British  Columbia were going on a ...,,,.,  tour of the province, our ad  hoc Pay Equity Working  Group met to strategize.    What would it be?  Demonstrations at every point of landing  to confront the MPs about their government's decision to appeal the Tribunal ruling? Or something else perhaps?  As we discussed our demonstration for  the Vancouver Airport, I blurted out, "We  have to be on their plane!" At the end of  the meeting I was on the phone reserving a  ticket on the Monday evening flight to  Prince George—the first stop of the MPs'  journey  By Sunday night I was ready to cancel. The logistics were problematic and I  was stressed out.  The "what if" scenarios running  through my mind overwhelmed me—what  if I couldn't get close enough to the MPs to  discuss the devastating impact of their decision?  But there was no turning back—the  ticket had been confirmed earlier that day  So all I could do was plan my approach,  role-playing with my brother who was in  town visiting. I made him play MP, passenger and flight attendant, alternating between being cordial, confrontational, and  rude and angry Under no circumstances, I  decided, was I to raise my voice or be impolite.  There is a lot to say about the Liberal  government choosing to appeal the Tribunal's decision. I am faced with the impact  directly in my work as the Workplace Equity Officer with Human Resources Development Canada. When I talk with federally regulated employers covered under the  same pay equity legislation about honoring  it, I regularly get back, "Why should we  when the federal government won't abide  by their own laws?"  I find it a challenge when confronting  employers I work with, knowing that my  own employer has made a mockery of the  process for more than 14 years. I encourage them to work with their bargaining  agents and employees, stating that if they  work to implement pay equity now, they'll  avoid the high interest costs and negative  media coverage, as well as national and international embarassment.  The Liberals broke their promise to  honour the ruling of the Canadian Human  Rights Tribunal and I believe they must be  held accountable. And that's what I intended to do at 20,000 feet above sea level.  Monday arrived. I was nervous all day  and took time preparing and re-reading the  files on our pay equity case. The airline  wouldn't issue a guaranteed return ticket  because I wouldn't be staying in Prince  George for the prerequisite 30 minutes.  However, that was the least of my worries.  I hate flying.  With my briefcase full of pay equity  materials, including "Don't Delay, Just Pay"  stickers, I met up with PSAC members  gathered at the Vancouver International  PAY EQUITY NOW!!!  Airport for our "Liar, Liar" demonstration.  I was comforted and encouraged by their  good wishes.  The Liberal MPs would encounter this  protest just prior to passing through security... then, it would be my turn.  There were two objectives to my trip.  The first was to speak to the MPs on the  flight, in particular the three Liberal government ministers: David Anderson (Fisheries and Oceans), Herb Dhaliwal (Revenue), and Hedy Fry (Status of Women).  The second was to share information with  passengers about pay equity.  As soon as I arrived in the waiting area,  I noticed an unforeseen opportunity. There  were far more people around me than I had  expected. There weren't just passengers  waiting to board the flight to Prince George,  there were also people going to other regions of the province: Kelowna, Victoria  and Nanaimo.  I moved about the waiting area as discreetly as possible, asking each person's  permission to talk with them about pay  equity and about why I was flying to Prince  George with the Liberals.  Everyone was gracious; many asked  questions; all took written information. I  met a woman visiting from England who  lauded our cause, and union members who  were fighting for pay equity in their own  jurisdictions. I also shared some of my  "overcoming the fear of flying" tips with  two nervous first-time flyers.  It was time to board the plane. Seeing  Hedy Fry approach, I decided to wait. I  knew her turn would come later. I boarded  talking to David Anderson. "Hello, Mr  Anderson. I am Joanne Ursino, co-chair of  the PSAC Vancouver Regional Women's  Committee, and I am on this flight to talk  with you about pay equity and the Liberal  government's decision to appeal the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's ruling..."  Just before going to my economy class  seat, I introduced myself to all the Liberals seated in business class. I took the opportunity to pass out reading material for  dinner time and noted I would return later.  Sinking into my seat, I caught my  breath for a moment. Then I was off, introducing myself to my fellow passengers. I  started with those in my row, explaining  why I was on the flight and discussing the  issue of pay equity and the impact of the  appeal on workers.  Once we were in the air, I went row  by row, working my way to the rear of the  plane, introducing myself and handing out  imformation. At one  point, I crossed paths  with a flight attendant  who pointed out that  the selt belt sign was  still    on.    She  through security and re-boarded the plane,  just in time for the flight back to Vancouver.  With a wink of the eye, one flight attendant noted I had worked harder on that  flight than they had. I was glad to finally  eat the meal they had set aside for me, even  if there were no fresh strawberries.  Looking out the window at the beautiful sunset, I replayed the past two hours.  I immediately began to think about all the  witty retorts I wished I had made.  This was especially true when I recalled their mimicked responses about the  complexity of the issue, the high costs in-  checked in with the pilot as to  whether it was okay for me to move about  in the aisle. I could, as long as I returned  to my seat if there was any turbulence. I  promised she wouldn't have to come and  get me.  I worked my way towards the front,  stopping at the partition separating  economy from business class. With a silent  prayer, I moved the curtain aside and entered the Liberals' domain. Their dinner, I  noticed, included fresh strawberries.  Some passengers had finished eating  and were busy reading the newspaper or  talking quietly Hedy Fry was in the last  row on the aisle. How convenient.  I talked with her until I had to return  to my seat for landing. By the end of our  journey though, Fry's assistant was more  concerned about how I had found out  which flight they were on, rather than why  I was there in the first place. But with no  time to linger on logistics, I left him without a "goodbye" and hurried after David  Anderson.  I caught up with him on the tarmac  and picked up our conversation where we  had left off an hour earlier. As we entered  the Prince George airport terminal, there  were shouts from PSAC demonstrators  gathered by the baggage carousel: "Give  me an 'L;' give me an T;' give me an 'A;'  give me an 'R;' what does it spell?..."  With a copy of the PSAC "Liar Flyer"  in hand to give to Anderson—he seemed  repulsed by it and pulled away ("not so  fast," I thought)—and bringing Dhaliwal  into the conversation, I said, "I still have  two comments to make. One, public servants are tax payers too, and two, the Liberals' 'divide and conquer' rhetoric—pitting  pay equity against health care and other  important social programs—is unacceptable and will not work."  My last few minutes in Prince George  were a flurry of activity. I met PSAC members who were demonstrating and with a  few parting words to Hedy Fry, I ran  volved, the need for a "sound methodology," and that other employers were using  this appeal as an excuse to not fulfil their  obligations.  Perhaps honouring your promises,  women's work, and a process that sets out  to finally correct systemic pay discrimination after 14 years, takes a moral fortitude  and leadership the Liberals simply lack. In  the meantime, they hurt those who cannot  afford it, while heaping bonuses and raises  on themselves and those at the highest levels of the bureaucracy and judiciary.  I was glad to land safely in Vancouver.  Meeting me at the airport were four union  sisters, anxious to hear how it went and filling me in on the success of their demonstration. It was good to be home.  Over the next few days, the Liberal  MPs were joined on their tour by PSAC  members—at the Chamber of Commerce  luncheon in Prince George and at meetings  and speeches in Kelowna and Victoria.  In addition, Fry and Anderson were  met at the Kelowna airport by demonstrators waving "Don't Delay, Just Pay" placards. Anderson was heard to remark, "Oh  no, not again." Fry simply resigned herself  to the inevitable as she threw her arms up  in the air and prepared to meet the next  wave of PSAC members.  Our campaign to hold the Liberals accountable was followed with avid interest  and glee. Ultimately, their journey, a week  before Parliament resumed, became known  in union circles from one end of the country to the other as the "Lyin' Liberal Tour."  Joanne M. Ursino is the Workplace Equity  Officer for the BC/Yukon Region of Human  Resources Development Canada. Two years  ago, she flew with then-Liberal MP Roseanne  Skoke to Halifax and challenged her homophobia as they walked on the plane. Once boarded,  Ursino discovered they would be sitting together for the duration of the flight. In her spare  time, Ursino makes political-social commentary  quilts.  NOVEMBER 1998 Feature  "Fathers'rights"groups in Canada:  Exposing their scams  by Agnes Huang  "Father's rights' proponents stop at  nothing to mislead" was the headline of a  media release Vancouver Status of Women  (VSW) sent out on October 15. We sent it  out after we caught a local fathers' rights  group trying to pull a fast one in an attempt  to present themselves as really concerned  about domestic violence and the well-being of children.  It all began with a workshop notice that  read: The British Medical Association  presents Erin Pizzey... "Facts versus myth  and where do we go from here" Introduction by Senator Ann [sic] Cools.  The workshop was organized by Kids  Turn of Greater Vancouver, a "fathers'  rights" group based in Richmond, and was  to be held on October 16 at the Ralph Fisher  auditorium at the Richmond Hospital.  Stop! Wait a minute-  Senator Anne Cools: the "women-are-  just-as-violent-as-men" member of the Joint  House/Senate Committee on Child Custody Issues, and a vocal proponent of "fathers' rights" in Canada. She has been very  active in trying to refute the reality of domestic violence, proven over and over time  again by the experiences of women and  children, and in the figures from Statistics  Canada, the police, hospitals, and academic  researchers.  Erin Pizzey: Cools' counterpart in Britain. She is often referred to as the founder  of the first shelter for women in the world  (the Chiswick Women's Refuge in West  London in 1971). However, a number of  women who were active in England at that  time recall that Pizzey was not big on collective decision-making and so did not last  long in the Women's Liberation Movement.  Pizzey went on to tell police and local  [municipal] councils wild stories about the  subversive radicals in the Women's Liberation Movement (also known as Marxists,  women's libbers and lesbians.)  Since the early 80s, Pizzey has made it  her mission—through, non-fiction books,  novels, short stories, films and lectures—  to argue that victims of domestic violence  (namely women) cause their own abuse  and that they are batterers themselves. Her  1982 book, Prone to Violence, argues that  violence starts in the womb, and her more  recent works focus on "violent women."  Kids Turn: run by Guy Thisdelle, a  "counsellor" who argues for joint custody  no matter what. He also argues that the ills  of society—rape, drug abuse, crime, suicide,  et cetera-are the result of children growing  up in "fatherless homes." He, and other  "fathers' rights" guys, like to cite US statistics which say things like, "80 percent of  rapists motivated with displaced anger  come from fatherless homes," and "90 percent of all homeless and runaway children  are from fatherless homes." [Somehow, it's  hard to imaging the US Census Bureau or the  Centre for Disease Control having a category  named "fatherless homes. "J  Why would the British Medical Association be allied with the likes of Cools,  Pizzey and Thisdelle? Something seemed  suspicious. Inquiring minds wanted to  know. I knew there had to be a good news  story for Kinesis here.  I figured it would either be: "British  Medical Association's stance on domestic  violence contrary to the reality of women's  lives," or "Fathers' rights proponents stop  at nothing..." Whatever the answer, there  was a scoop to be had.  I stayed up into the wee morning hours  and called London, England. "Hello,  BMA... are you really sponsoring this workshop by Erin Pizzey?" Needless to say, my  call (and faxes) sent them into a tizzy. No,  they didn't know about the workshop or  of Kids Turn. And no indeed, they would  not sponsor anything by Erin Pizzey. Her  understanding of domestic violence  women runs contrary to the BMA's position. [In fact, Pizzey and fathers' rights groups  in Britain attacked the BMA for its report,  Domestic violence: a health care issue?,  when it was released in June.]  The BMA was horrified to hear that  their reputation was being tarnished. "This  is a totally unacceptable use of the BMA's  name," says Dr. Vivienne Nathanson, head  of the BMA's Science and Ethics Department. "We have not given permission to use  the BMA's name." The BMA passed the  notice on to their legal department.  Ha, Thisdelle got busted!  Now with that clarified, the next step  was to follow up with the Richmond Hospital where the workshop was being held.  I tracked down the woman at Richmond  Health Services who made the room  booking for Kids Turn.  I told her I was making a "courtesy"  call to let Richmond Hospital know that  the workshop was not what it appeared  to be. She said she'd have to talk to her  people, but I did get the impression she  didn't believe me.  When I talked to the hospital's  spokespeople the day before the event,  I was told they were "concerned" to  learn it was not under the auspices of  the BMA as advertised, but that wasn't  enough to pull their offer of a venue. For  them, the only criteria that matters is:  community group in Richmond wants  a space to talk about "health" issues.  I tried to argue that what Thisdelle/  Pizzey/Cools et al. profess is extremely  detrimental to the health of women and  children. [Ask someone with the Vancouver General Hospital domestic violence program, I told them.] The hospital argued  that they just offer space; they don't endorse the community group's position.  I argued that Guy Thisdelle had blatantly misrepresented the workshop as  being sponsored by the BMA. They argued that they don't "censor."  Ah, but we were to have the last  laugh. On October 15, as I was sending  out media releases, calling up media  locally and nationally... a fax came in.  Or more specifically, a "Correction Notice," which read: "This event was previously advertised as 'sponsored by the  British Medical Association' and should  have read 'sponsored by Kids Turn of  Greater Vancouver Society' ONLY...I/  We apologize for any inconvenience or  misunderstanding this may have  caused." [Richmond Hospital didn't believe me, so they called Thisdelle to confirm  and tipped him off to the fact we were calling his bluff]  When a reporter from a Richmond  community newspaper questioned  Thisdelle about misusing the BMA's  name, he responded by saying it was  just a simple misunderstanding.  "This was just my mistake,"  Thisdelle said. "A clerical error. I received  a very poor fascimile and I was trying to  read that information." [Nice try.]  Women's groups advocating on behalf of  battered women and their children aren't  shocked by the tactics so-called fathers' rights  groups employ to push their misinformed  positions on domestic violence and custody  and access. Still, it is despicable that Kids Turn  and its supporters like Anne Cools and Erin  Pizzey would go to such lengths to try and  legitimize their insidious agenda.  Epilogue  The workshop with Erin Pizzey in Richmond did take place. Ironically, during the  question period that followed, a number of the  men asked why they had to listen to these two  women talk (when they themselves had so  much to say.)  The next day, Pizzey and Cools took their  show to Victoria: to St. Ann's Academy, to be  specific. The event was organized by the Victoria Men's Centre and a group called, Women  Helping Women. There, Cools and Pizzey  shifted from the topic of violent women to discriminatory funding to women's groups.  Pizzey is quoted in the Victoria Times-Colonist as saying, "The billions and millions (of  dollars) going into the women's movement  should be shared with the men's movement  because this [violence] is not a feminist problem, it's a people problem."  One interesting note: Anne Cools said that  Erin Pizzey is doing research on domestic violence for the Canadian Senate. [Kinesis is following up on this.]  And one final note: The report from the  Joint Committee was supposed to be released  on November 30. But now it's being delayed  until the Spring. Seems there is quite a bit of  disagreement among Committee members as  to what should go into the report.  Women's groups are coordinating a national  fax campaign to challenge the process of the Committee and the behaviour of particular Committee  members during the hearing. For more information about the campaign, contact the Vancouver  Status of Women-tel: (604) 255-6554 or email:  vsw@web.net.  Agnes Huang is the information coordinator at  the Vancouver Status of Women.  -UJlSy^CS)^  NOVEMBER 1998 ^  I  r~i  \    r  t—t  VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN  It isn't often Kinesis runs supplements on any one issue, since our philiosophy is to  recognize "special topics" in every issue. The idea of this supplement on violence against  women came out of an opportunity to report on the "First World Conference on Family  Violence" in Singapore in September, and a recognition of the critical need to build an  international feminist alliance on violence against women.  The conference presented an opportunity for Kinesis to continue its tradition of  unique feminist, anti-racist coverage of international feminist movement building. This  seemed especially critical given that leadership on analysis of issues at such conferences  has increasingly come from feminists in the "South" (non-Western  countries.  In this supplement, we cover a few of the many issues related to violence against  women that women are organizing around in Canada and across the globe. Kinesis will  continue coverage of such critical issues in upcoming issues.  "First World" conference on family violence  Conference within a  conference  by Fatima Jaffer  Sue Pinckham, Australia  Firsts of anything can be full of surprises, innovation and e>  citement. But the First World Conference on Family Violence outdk.  itself and almost every world conference in recent history on the  surprise front!  First of all, it wasn't a first. There had been a similar conference  two years ago in the UK, except it hadn't used the term "family  violence," and hadn't been organized by the United States of  America.  Still, here was a conference with many promises: it would take  place September 8 to the 11th—the anniversary dates of 1995's tremendous Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing; it would  be the first to bring issues of "family violence," including domestic  violence, to an international plane; it would gather together delegates from across the world to network and share strategies; Hilary Clinton and Queen Nurjehan would attend and draw worldwide media attention to  the critical issues; and it would be held in New Delhi, India—a country with the world's  largest organized women's movement.  The first surprise was that no one I talked with, anywhere in the worldwide women's and anti-violence movements, had heard of the conference. The outreach seemed  discouragingly weak. Would anyone come?  Then again, how could you ignore a world conference on family violence? So I joined  others in spreading the word, locally and internationally, and Kinesis planned a supplement on violence against women around the conference.  Surprise number two came a couple of months before the conference. Rumour had it  the conference would not in fact take place in India. It took many phone messages left at  conference headquarters in Spokane, Washington, for Kinesis to confirm the conference  was now slated to take place in Singapore. The original site, New Delhi, it seemed, is not  only situated in a country with the world's largest women's movement, but one that had  also recently proven nuclear capabilities that transgress the international community's—  read, the US'—sensibilities of who gets to have what guns.  Without minimizing the impact of India's decision to explode three underground  nuclear missiles on the environment, regional and international politics, and world peace,  the bigger surprise to Kinesis was not that India revealed its nuclear capabilities. Rather,  it was that the conference's organizers would echo the US government's embargo on  dealings with India and move the conference from otherwise progressive and feminist  New Delhi to Singa-  pore — possibly  Asia's most capitalistic, and socially  h   and politically re-  §* strictive nation with  «   a rigidly controlled  ■«   women's    move-  >*.   ment.  -o After much de-  § bate and after hear-  "§. ing that conference  registration costs (a  hefty US$695, at that  point) were being waived to allow some  from less privileged countries and women's  organizations to attend, Kinesis decided the  conference might still be worth covering.  No matter how bad the organizing might  be, the networking potential at international  conferences is always great.  Hours after arriving in Singapore and  queueing up for registration—at a swanky  international hotel where many delegates  would pay more than $300/night for a  room—it became evident that the First  World Conference on Family Violence was  in fact a "First World" conference on family violence. Not that Western domination  at world conferences is that unusual, but  this conference exceeded recent precedents  in that regard—of the 400 participants registered for the conference, the vast majority came from the US, Canada, Australia  and the UK.  Amee Yajnik, a lawyer from  Ahmedabad, Cujerat in India.  "If you are going to talk to a woman  at the grassroots level about the laws  and the constitution and the elimination  of domestic violence and her need to  speak at this conference, when she is  thinking about getting water from a well  that is 22 kilometres away and has in  the back of her mind how to feed her  children and make the evening meal,  she is not going to listen to you. You  can't help a woman with her legal rights  if you are not aware she does not have  the most basic rights.  "The first step is...she has to get  out of the house and she has to be part  of self-government, which is itself an  institution empowering women to take  decisions for the community. Then she  can come here and tell what the law  has done for her, what the organizations representing her are doing for her.  "It is not that difficult. You have to  see it from a perspective that looks at  the whole picture. We are working on  this in certain areas [of Gujerat] with  teamwork by all the agencies--the local government, the practitioners and  professionals, the NGOs, the communities, women themselves."  see SINGAPORE next page  NOVEMBER 1998  11 Kripa Sekhar of National  Action Committee on the Status of  Women [a coalition of more than 600  women's organizations], Canada, at a  Q&A session.  "One of the I 2 issues agreed upon  in the Beijing Platform for Action was the  allocation of resources for women who  are doing the work to ensure they can  participate fully [in determination of the  issues that effect them.]  "Many women have been excluded  from coming to this conference simply  because of lack of resources. The registration fee in US dollars was extremely  expensive in Canadian dollars. I paid  C$800. I can imagine what it was like  for women whose currencies are even  weaker against the US dollar.  "This is only one indication that this  conference has an American-dominated  agenda... We need to ask, "What did  [the US women] do in all this to ensure  that women from under-privileged  countries and communities could be  here as well?"  A look at the program for the next four  days confirmed that approximately 106 of  the presenters were Americans, 14 Canadians, 11 Australians, four from the UK and  four from Singapore. Other speakers (one  or two per region) represented the continents of Africa and West Asia, otherwise  known as the Middle East. There were no  presenters from Latin America. Also conspicuously absent but not surprisingly so,  were women from India's grassroots women's movement, many of whom chose to ignore the US-dominated conference [see stories in the next issue o/Kinesis.]  But it was not all bad news. A small  percentage of the participants from the  Western countries (Canada, Australia, the  UK and Europe) in fact came from "third  world" communities within those nations—  that is, women of colour, Aboriginal  women, lesbian, and poor communities.  This meant being able to learn strategies and history from women like Sue  Pinckham of the New South Wales Aboriginal Women's Resource Centre, a severely  underfunded and unique service providing  critical advocacy on legal issues to Aboriginal women. It also meant the existence of  lesbians in the struggle would be acknowledged, rather matter of factly, on the pages  of Singapore's daily newspaper, The Strait  Times, following Louise Bond's push for lesbian and gay relationships to be recognized  in definitions of the term "family." Bond is an educator with the Domestic Violence Advocacy Service in Sydney, Australia. It also meant that in session after session, issues of  racialized violence—or as detractors called it, "the colour issue"—would be raised almost as often as issues of gender, when discussing systemic roots of and responses to  violence against women.  Still, there was no shortage of unpleasant surprises. At least one woman walked out  of the conference in protest of the organizers' "false advertising" when it became clear  there would in fact be little world media attention, and that the advertised keynote speakers—Hilary Clinton, Queen Nurjehan and other illustrious "patrons" of the family violence movement—were not coming.  Fairly early on, it also started to be obvious that participants at the conference held  different understandings of "family violence." No one on the organizing team had thought  it necessary to supply a definition. It was a bizarre anomaly that led to interesting dynamics. No one seemed completely sure why everyone else was there, and often, what  each other was referring to. In a session, a delegate from a grassroots women's group  might contradict a speaker who appeared to be talking about domestic violence but was  in fact referring to abuse of a small group of male elders.  This confusion culminated in an exciting closing plenary, where the recommendations and conference declaration were sent back to the steering committee for a  contextualizing definition of family violence—which could not be agreed upon after hours  of discussion at the plenary. And so the conference ended without any apparent outcome  or any significance.  So was it all a waste of time?  In the words of Malaysia's Ivy Josiah: "There are so few opportunities for frontline  workers to come together and meet others in the field doing the same work; let's make  the best of it. We may not like [the way this conference has turned out], but how can we  ignore it? What choices do we have?"  Josiah works at the Women's Aid Organization in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which  houses the only women's shelter in K.L. She also sat on the international steering committee that put to- ^^^^ gether the conference. She stood out f _ among her colleagues on the com- ' lanlyn Uladimejl, a part- mittee as being the  only one at the open- time professor at George Brown Col- ing plenary to acknowledge the his- lege in a program that trains counsel- tory, significance  and work of the lors to be advocates for women and women's movement in the area of        children survivors of male violence in         family violence.  That was also the Toronto,  Canada. She is also active plenary where the  word "feminist" got withm the 0ntano Coalition of Sexual its first mention  one hour and ten        Assault Centres. minutes after its  start, when Claire ",." .    . Chune  the Dresi-  '     ". , When we talk about domestic vio- ^nung, me presi  dent of Singapore s Society   Against  e,,y,;i"     \/;,,i0"TM lence, we need to look at where the L   ,\,   L°    . L  Family    Violence, . noted that resist  or.TM i-r, "famih/ ^ir> work came from. It stems from femi- , "   ,  ance to   ramily vio- lence    does not  come from any one        nist' anti-oppression work. Men perpe- source/ most nQta.  bly  not from "the        trate tne violence against women. In feminists." It was  not unexpected that        doing the work, we have to look at how Chung toed a gov  ernment line, power and privilege play out.  The hostility to- "There was a comment from one wards feminism  was not lost on those        of our sisters [at a session] who men- present.       Even  Josiah's clarity in situ-        tjoned the need to put -the co|our is_ ating herself as a  "feminist   and   an        sue,'aside. Can a man tell you, as a <=i<- NGO activist" did  little to lessen our        ter_ tQ       .the      der |ssue, a$|de w  ness that this was a ,  L,     , . you have been raped?  the key players not    L_ __   gender neutrality in discussions of "family violence," but felt the need to repeatedly  celebrate men as champions in the struggle against such violence.  This was also a plenary where Brigitte Camdessus would be introduced to applause  as a representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—a world financial body  responsible for imposing structural adjustment programs that decimated social programs  in exchange for aid monies in many "third world" countries. The IMF is also behind  Left to right: Mailin Suchting (Australia); Babes Sanchez (Philippines);  Helene Panaretto (Australia); Shalini Lockhart (Australia); and Lydia  Campillo (Australia)  much of the damage to national economies through forced participation in global economic restructuring. (Later that week, however, when challenged at a session, Camdessus  protested she was, in fact, the wife of an IMF official who makes some of the IMF's  growing aware-  conference where  only ensured total  sions. That official is  the executive direc-  disconcerting at the  was that there were  mitted after the  done. It took a loud  courage for a  land to raise the is-  ference location had  New Delhi to Singa-  convenor, Prema  the YWCA-US (a  conference), said  cumbed to pressure  about their personal  concerns from un-  groups about India's  muscles. (At a ses-  the woman from Ire-  from attendees  "It is difficult to be-  ference was relo-  India's nuclear  Americans have the  ered bombs in the  call the plenary to a  foiled by the persist-  Harding of WAVAW  Violence Against  sis Centre in Van-  through her co-  Harding, who is  she was being de-  language inter-  quent requests for  promptly promised  able resolution,  ately following the  witness to a disturb-  zle and intimidate  two male staff members. The men insisted the costs of sign language interpretation (about C$250 per day) be  borne by WAVAW. It was only timely intervention by Mathias-Davis that prevented the  altercation from turning physically, and not just verbally, violent. [When a sign language  interpreter was later provided at the conference's expense, it was a man and he could not  sign ASL (American Sign Language).]  Despite all these setbacks, women triumphed, coming together to network and learn  from each other. After experimenting with attendance at numerous sessions, some of the  more grassroots women, largely from non-governmental organizations from Canada,  Australia, Malaysia, South Africa, Palestine, the Philippines, Nepal, India, among other  draconian deci-  Michel Camdessus,  tor of the IMF.)  Perhaps most  opening plenary  no questions per-  speakers were  voice and plenty of  woman from Ire-  sue of why the con-  been shifted from  pore. Conference  Mathias-Davis of  key organizer of the  they had suc-  from participants  safety, as well as  named peace  flexing of nuclear  sion the next day,  land drew laughter  when she quipped,  lieve that [the con-  cated] because of  power when the  most nuclear-pow-  world.")  Attempts to  halt were again  ence of Anita  (Women Against  Women) Rape Cri-  couver. Speaking  worker Kam Raj,  deaf, asked why  nied access to a sign  prefer, despite fre-  such services.  Mathias-Davis  Harding a favour-  However, immedi-  plenary, Kinesis was  ing attempt to muz-  Harding and Raj by  Pat Kopusar, Pilbara Women's  Task Force, which works with indigenous women in the northwest part of  Western Australia. She was among the  Aboriginal women from Australia who  asked that a white woman speaker not  be allowed to make her presentation  on Aboriginal women and violence.  "The speaker [we asked to desist  from presenting] lives in the same area  as us, yet we didn't know the content  of her [presentation]. When we [heard  she would] be talking about what traditional Aboriginal culture, values and  beliefs are, we thought it was inappropriate for her to speak when it was obvious to us she didn't know what she  was talking about. At a world conference, surely you have to have some experience or knowledge of the subject  you are going to talk about?  "As Aboriginal women, we can  speak for ourselves. There are times  when we can't, but if we are here, as  we are today, we don't need anyone to  speak for us.  "To further compound the issue,  we were not allowed to explain, when  we went outside to raise the objection,  that a judgement has been made [to  have this woman present] without consultation with us. The response was 'I  will make a better judgment without  you.' That was when I had to walk away  because I felt threatened, as if the next  thing I would be asked to leave the conference."  NOVEMBER 1998 countries, decided to hold their own conference within the conference. This would happen, usually spontaneously, between, during and after official sessions, on the floor out  side rooms where of-  taking place,  citing and innova-  their countries, infor-  while sessions to at-  hard-learned at the  supported each  space at the confer-  cial grassroots is-  issues o/KinesisJ  In fact, women  in remarkable ways  the conference's oth-  agenda. Early on,  tralian women of  nal women collabo-  tion to a scheduled  tion by a white aca-  nal culture and vio-  in the program  nation of a number  uncontextualized  riginal women by  Zykus.  Aboriginal Aus-  mediately re-  out the authority  spoke, then asked  presenting her paper,  under protest. While  forted the distressed  the room where the  women inside were  yet another trav-  paper by a white  a Pakistani about the  in Pakistan.  In the rather ex-  and answer period at  sion, the question,  the numerous Paki-  vited to tell their  raised. The discus-  Mmabatho Ramagoshi, of  the National Network on Violence  Against Women in Pretoria, South Africa, at a session under the stream,  "Cross Cultural."  "In a room where we are talking  about cross-cultural issues... where we  are talking about models that are going to impact on women in all ways,  women themselves have to be  there. ..women of all classes.  "This [should have been] the most  important conference in the world  because...when we speak of violence  against women, there are no regions  of the world where you can say it is  not there. So then, you must come up  with an inclusive model that will take  care of women in all corners of the  world.  "Court procedures don't protect  women, whether they're progressive  or not progressive. I come from South  Africa and at the moment, everyone  says our constitution is the most progressive in the world. The Bill of Rights  has everything we fought for regarding domestic violence. But in practice,  there's nothing going on.  "So how do we change things? Do  we change them by coming to conferences, or by telling our governments,  'You've ratified all these conventions.  So what are you doing now?' They  ratify them because they want to be  seen as doing something, but nothing  is going on in the country."  ficial sessions were  Women shared ex-  tive strategies from  mation on worth-  tend or lessons  conference, and  other in taking  ence to address cru-  sues. [See upcoming  also came together  to make a dent in  erwise conservative  Canadian and Aus-  colour and Aborigi-  rated to draw atten-  workshop presenta-  demic on Aborigi-  lence. The abstract  promised an exami-  of offensive and  stereotypes of Abo-  the presenter, Basia  tralian women im-  sponded, checked  from which Zykus  her to desist from  Zykus did so only  organizers corn-  presenter outside  session continued,  forced to sit through  esty—a patronizing  woman married to  situation of women  plosive question  the end of the ses-  'why weren't any of  stani feminists in-  own story?' was  sion then turned to  the conference's inaccessibility and its consequent irrelevance to the majority of women  in the world. In itself, that half-hour brought to light more issues than came from the  three-hour opening plenary session on day one.  Other triumphant moments followed. At a session on cross cultural issues, white  women, Aboriginal women and women of colour came together to address painful and  difficult issues of racism, ethnicity and culture. The session illuminated the differences  in positioning and understanding of these issues that led to a remarkable discussion,  particularly between the Australian women (who were the primary presenters), the Canadians (a vocal mi-  fromAsia.  An obvious dif-  nology Where the  our" is used in  non-white or non-  is practically un-  Instead, the term  ing minorities" is in  collectively decolour and white  Anglo origin.  Another high-  quent reminder  demic, government  Pat Kopusar, Australia  rity) and \  ference was in termi-  term "women of col-  Canada to describe  jS Aboriginal women, it  ^ heard of in Australia.  g "non-English-speak-  '^j common use, and  ^ scribes women of  -° women of non-  ©  "a. light was the fre-  from women to aca-  and other "professionals" in the field that coordinated responses from the police, court systems, community services and government will not eliminate "family violence" without an uncompromising feminist agenda of social change.  A final triumph was the solidarity among NGO women and other feminists at the  end of the conference, where feminists fought to ensure the inclusion of marginalized  groups of people in definitions of "family;" fought for greater access for representatives  of the missing majority of women at future world conferences; and fought for recognition of the need for a feminist analysis of violence.  How much of that message was heard is uncertain. It seemed evident some were not  open to hearing. The NGO women left with a commitment to continuing the networking,  and to ensuring future conferences would not marginalize women's voices.  In true celebration of womenpower, about 25 to 30 women who could not afford the  US$88 per plate closing night banquet, decided to hold our own closing night celebration. We rented a bus headed for Johor Baru in neighbouring Malaysia, an hour's ride  from Singapore, where we feasted on a Malay "banquet" at a street-side restaurant.  Finally, no surprises! The banquet of the conference-within-the-conference cost only  a tenth that of the official conference.  Fatima Jaffer works at a frontline anti-violence against women organization in Vancouver, and  is a frequent contributor to Kinesis. Thanks also to Veenu Sainifor help with recording and other  support in Singapore.  A hidden ftGViCte  Conference registration packages always hold interesting tidbits of information, and can be very telling about what you might expect over the next few  days.  I almost missed it. After all, there were so many  colourful brochures on Singapore—where to stay,  where to shop, what to eat—and an overdue conference document with hundreds of abstracts of papers  to be presented over the next four days.  It was days after the conference's conclusion that  I noticed the invitation to join an "International Family Violence Network/Entity (IFVN)"—or at least to attend a plenary session on the last day to discuss what  such an international body might look like.  Fascinating idea—except it's all very gender neutral and the key players are three Americans, heading three large American national entities that are  barely, if at all, feminist. The Americans are: Alan  Davis, President & CEO of the National Council on  Child Abuse and Family Violence in Washington DC;  Prema Mathias-Davis, Executive Director of the  YWCA of the USA-New York; and Rosalie Wolf, President of the National Committee for Prevention of  Family Abuse.  It has the makings of a feminist horror movie. The  plot: an attempt by three non-feminist American national entities to own international feminist organizing on violence against women, children and elders.  The location: A "world" conference primarily made up  of Americans with little substantial feminist presence.  The conclusion: hardly surprisingly, the IFVN is  formed.  Currently, it seems to have taken the form of an  internet-and-fax-based network of agencies that deal  with "all areas of family violence strategies—child  abuse, spouse/partner abuse, and elder abuse." It already lays claim to being the response, information  and networking nucleus of an international anti-family violence alliance.  Since Singapore, Davis, Davis and Wolf have sent  out invitations to participants of the conference to join  the IFVN. Of 107 invitations, 66 had accepted as of  early October.  It may be more than speculation to suspect a hidden agenda of the conference may have been the  creation of just such an entity. It certainly explains  the shoddy outreach to feminist organizations worldwide, high cost of attendance and lack of subsidies  enabling women at the centre of "family violence" organizing to participate, among other factors that made  the conference inaccessible. This way, there would be  little challenge to the creation of an IFVN and what  its guiding principles, politics, mission and/or mandate will be.  Kinesis will stay abreast of developments.  SEXUAL ASSAULT  Published by the Montreal Health Press,  a women's collective, producing quality  books on health and sexuality for 30 years!  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  resource offers  the combination  of personal and practical information,  an understanding of why sexual assault  happens and ways to work for positive  chan8es;^mmmm^^ Women,s Health Clil  Available are ^v     Winnipeg, Manitoba  Handbooks c  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  Visit our Web site at:  http://www.worldsfinest.com/mhp  NOVEMBER 1998 I  WALPURGIS, providing a blueprint for Take Back the Night..  A woman moved from Germany to Vancouver and taught us women at Rape Relief about WALPURGIS,  "The Night of the Witches," which is celebrated throughout Northern Europe. April 30th was an important date throughout Europe in pre-Christian times. It is still celebrated traditionally by a few, but the  main event has been "modernized" as a night for bonfires and kids (similar to the Christianization of  our Halloween). Modern feminists have revived the witchiness of the original tradition by staging their  version of 'Take Back the Night" marches on this date.  We take inspiration from what has gone before us—often transforming tradition into something  totally new—sometimes discovering an amazing continuity of female resistance that is centuries old!  Source: Drena, Rape Relief  rived with very different intentions.  The tactics used  against us must be re-  San Francisco, USA, 1978  The slogan "Take Back the Night" was first used as a theme for a national protest march that took place on San Francisco's pornography strip.  The march took place at night and was a symbolic statement of women's  commitment to stopping violence against women in all areas, as well as a  method of directly demanding that the perpetrators of such violence—  from rapists to pornographer to batterers—take responsibility for their  actions and be forced to change.  Five thousand women had gathered in San Francisco from November  17 to 19 for a conference organized by Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media entitled, "Feminist Perspectives on Pornography."  The TBTN protest happened on one of the evenings of the conference.  Three thousand women marchers occupied the Broadway Strip for  three blocks chanting slogans such as, "No more profits off women's bodies." "For an hour, and for the first time ever, Broadway belonged not to  the barkers, pimps or pornographer, but instead to the songs, voices, rage  and vision of thousands of women."  Source: Take Back the Night, (edited by Laura Lederer)  Take Back the Night in Vancouver, British Columbia, 1998  Vancouver, Canada, 1978  Vancouver's herstory of Take       .  Back the Night demonstration is ex-   i  citing and proud. The first TBTN in   \  Vancouver was organized by an ad  hoc group known as the "Fly-by-   \  Night" Collective. Women gathered in   \  witch-like costumes and proceeded to   I  demonstrate in the rain, through the   \  streets of the West End. They carried an   \  anti-woman effigy, which they set afire   *  on one of the beaches along the Pacific   *  Leeds'.  A never dared go  ■ 3 \eat\<  had to go  0u.aloneattetda*M  . -..♦thenign1        I  London, England,  1979  isawthe^e^ou^^^  \  out    I  si'S-sassr..-  ■ Square, to^W^JSSi *£•£*  Ocean. At one point en route, the police   • windY dar^ding hands. VolceSop/ 0\ the  attempted to divide women by isolating   \ big circie       ^ again in rnem       ^  a few with their cars. Women's response   \ from sing   a Uorn woo  l ^^,alk down to w _ ^ the m00r, oi  I  \  I  \  \  I  t  I  1  I  \  Strong      I  I  \  was to call all women to the police car, sur-   j    ■ ~       raplstsiui*— ritory.  round it, and plaster it with stickers that   j   *"    eitown, RipPer ver Britian are  demanded an end to violence against   \   C ^^g our sisters a Square is a  women, all the while chanting "take one,   \     narching tonignt too. takeover,  take all." A fine example of bravery and   \   TM d spontanous *^ ch-'\Ne've: got  cleverness!                                                     I  Source: Take Back the Night (edited by Laura Lederer)  this space buUt^akemore0  On October 31st,  Halloween, about 200  women met at Leicester Square to reclaim  the night and protest  about rape and other  forms of violence  against    women.  Many women were  dressed as witches  and carried  torches—giving  out leaflets as they  walked to explain  why they were  marching  through Soho.  ^     The joyful at-  The Women's Liberation Movement has planned and organized Take Back the Night as  "direct action" by which we mean doing what we are prevented and discouraged from doing:  - walking the streets at night as women safely without male protection  - without males, or authority protection from police escorts  - wearing whatever we wish to wear that is comfortable and defiant and lively and  protects us from the elements  - walking in great crowds of women without begging the city for a license to do so  - walking a route that we have chosen, a route where women have to walk or are  not allowed to walk, an one that we have not announced to city authorities  previously  - singing, shouting, spray-painting, respecting women's rights to our won bodies more  than anyone's right to property  - all women invited so there's no cost childcare, extra care to women of colour and  women in chairs, and we advertise where other than "us" will hear about it  - mutual aid is encouraged with buddies, rides home board  - education using leaflets, chants, displays, song sheets  - building a movement with endorsements, banners, telegrams and national  coordination  - costuming material and face painting on site  - evaluate your event—keep a record of it. Repeat your successes.  Source: Bonnie Agnew, Rape Relief  mis »f--     dolo taKe "— .  I     Reclaim the wy ^^^ —  \  Pres  mosphere  didn't last long. The march reached the New Swedish Cinema Club and, according to many women  present, a man came out of the club carrying a stool with  which he hit one of the women over the head. At this point, the police  arrived and started grabbing women and dragging them away. Over thirty  women were injured in some way. On the two previous Reclaim the Nights,  the role of the police was noticeably different; their presence was  more as onlookers attempting to keep us from   r—"-—■ — — — mm _ __ ______  too much mischief. Pre-   ' Lancaster: "1  sumably orders were   J We met in the Women-* r« ♦  given to keep a low pro-       te,t ■" Procession, 27Z"S^,T T  Me,yetthisLeitisob-       s,a"8d °"tsligh,ly hysTenca! g '?' "'  I   Immediately outside h!,    ♦    areas  lated to the growing   |   places where worn 6' in the  right-wing backlash   I   have trouble, there^no?,"''6^ *  (determination to con-   I   Present at all The best !h  trol society) taking  I   constant warmth and suddo*?8 "*  place; whilst the po-   I   °*her women. There wa "* 90t from  lice openly escort the J   us being "extreme" 0 wT-"9 ^  National        Front       mhen" They knew exact^tLT  marches through the      £TM!"**>" and shouted their support  -»=*     t .n?irr^armadeai,th-^  These     events .   So..rr.a .        urrn n-  throw    up    many I _ ^^ncaster ^ newsletter  questions for us as a — — —. — _ ___   political movement. Tolerated until we step  across the invisible line and become a serious force. We are now being taken  seriously in some respects and it is important that in future we know the  law and take precautions to minimize our vulnerability.  Source: Women's Report, London, Jan. 1979  Take Back The Night Becomes National, Canada, 1981  Vancouver Rape Relief was, and is, a member of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres (CASAC), an umbrella organization with  members across English Canada and Quebec. We asked ourselves why TBTN  couldn't be organized across the country on the same night each year, and  brought such a proposal to the next CASAC Convention in the Spring of  1981. This convention unanimously agreed, and a united Canada-wide  TBTN was born, to be held on the 3rd Friday of September.  In September of 1981,6000 women took part across    the country. This  was also a year of  fear and grief for the  people     of    BC.  Eleven children had  disappeared in the  lower    mainland  area and had later  been found brutally  raped   and   murdered. We held the  demonstration in  the  city  of New  Westminster,   the  home of several of  the missing children. We wanted to  show support for  KIDS (Kids in Distress),  a  support  group formed by  parents in response  to the disappearances. We rallied in the rain to hear a brief speech by  candlelight, and walked through the dark, residential  streets alongside the grieving mothers, in protest.  Source: Joan, Rape Relief  Take Back the Night in Calgary, Alberta, 1998  Montreal, Quebec, 1982  Over 3,500 women, many of them accompanied by their children,  gathered in Pare Leerier Friday, September 17, at 7:30pm for the beginning of the march "la rue, la nuit, femmes sans peur."  Coordinated in Montreal by the Comite ad hoc du Mouvement Contre  le Viol, similar demonstrations were held on the same day in many other  cities in Quebec, Canada, the United States and Europe, organized by  local rape crisis centres and associations.  Women participated in the demonstration in order to show their refusal to accept violence and harassment with which they live on a daily  basis, to support each other and to celebrate their solidarity.  Source: Communiqu'elles, Montreal, Nov./Dec. 1982.  Tonight we are  marching for  ourselves and  each other and for  women who  cannot be with us  because they fear  repercussion from  their abusers. As  well we march for  the women who  cannot be with us  because they died  violent deaths at  the hands of their  abusers.  Although we are  distanced from  you in miles, in  our hearts we are  with you in  solidarity in the  fight to eradicate  violence against  women.  Sisters, lovers,  friends, mothers,  daughters, children, Take Back  the Night.  The women of the  Peterborough Rape  Crisis Centre  Collective  Vancouver's herstory of TBTN demonstrations is exciting and proud. All  have been "women only" protests to show that all men are responsible for  the violence done to women, and to show we will walk the streets unafraid,  alone, without a male escort. If men want to be supportive, they are asked to  help with childcare, to give a donation and/or encourage all the women they  know to participate.  Throughout the years, organizers in Vancouver have refused to ask for a  mandatory city permit to demonstrate. In fact, we see it is as a contradiction in  terms. Why would we ask male authorities for a permit to demonstrate when  it is their behaviour we are protesting? Every TBTN is an illegal action. The  marchers include safety women, wearing some visible piece of clothing. Although all women are responsible for each others safety, these safety women  have particular responsibility.  The police have invited themselves to every TBTN march in Vancouver,  and almost every year have not been useful; have been, in fact, disruptive, a  bother or increased the fear level of women participating (e.g. riding their  motorbikes within inches of the demonstrators, trying to isolate a few women  from the crowd, making demeaning comments). The safety women have  been fabulous throughout the years at protecting the crowd from traffic, hecklers and the police, and encouraging all women to take responsibility for the  safety of us all.  (Source: Joan, Rape Relief)  (j)<f)Cj)(j)<j)<j)(j)Cf)<j)  I We stretch our arms across this country, to join with you  in declaring that the women of Canada want to live free  from fear. From our eastern-most province, to your western-most province, we send you our strength, as we absorb I  yours, in working toward ending the violence in our lives.  We march together tonight, and look to the day when  there will be no need for marches.  St. Johns's, Newfoundland Rape Crisis Centre.  T - I       ■       I  Grassroot solutions to violence against women:  Rural power in action  by Cherie Geauvreau  Salt Spring Island, the largest of the  southern Gulf Islands, has experienced an  unprecedented population growth in the  past 20 years. In 1978, approximately 3,500  people were permanent residents here, and  now, the population approaches 12,000 in  the off-season.  Before 1992, Salt Spring offered no institutional services or outreach for women  experiencing violence, no safe houses or  organizational support, and no on-island  rape/crisis line or emergency response,  apart from the local RCMP station, fire and  ambulance crews.  In the last six years, our community  has been dragged and prodded into consciousness about violence against women,  child sexual abuse, elder abuse and sexual  harassment. This awareness was particu  larly sparked after a woman and her child  were savagely attacked and nearly murdered by a man they had surprised upon  returning home.  Some acquaintances of the woman  formed a grassroots women's group—Salt  Spring Women Opposed to Violence and  Abuse (SWOVA)—organized an impromptu vigil and took on the task of finding out what help, if any, existed for victims of gender violence on the island.  SWOVA openly questioned our community's ability to positively respond to  violence against women. Subsequently, it  undertook a two-year community outreach  research and development project to increase public awareness of violence against  women and to assess the needs of women.  Many programs have followed.  Documenting violence against women:  Why I keep a  femicide list  by Mary Billy  I began the "The Femicide List" in  1990. At that time, I had a magazine called  Herspectives, and as the first anniversary of  the Montreal Massacre—when 14 women  were murdered at their university—was  drawing near, I wanted to print a list of their  names on the front cover.  I couldn't find one—not in any of the  news clippings I'd saved, not from the UBC  or SFU women's studies faculties or women's centres, not from the Vancouver Sun or  Province, not even from Kinesis, at first. (Kinesis did find one in their files and called  me a few a days later.)  That made me wonder what happened  to all the other women in Canada murdered  by men. How many were there? I made  some inquiries and nobody could tell me.  I thought: while I'm waiting to find out  if anybody else has a list, I should start one  myself—just with the names I find in the  newspaper or hear about on radio or TV.  Since then, I have been foudn only two  other groups that collect names. One of  them is Montreal Men Against Sexism, a  collective of men so appalled at the level of  violence against women they saw in society and among their peers that they thought  they should take action. The group documents the murders of women and children  by men in Quebec. The other group is The  Women's Memorial Society in Toronto,  which records the murders of women and  children in Ontario. Both of them share  their lists with me, and every year or so, I  receive an update for my list.  "The Femicide List" is now a 188-page  document with 1,250 names on it. The list  is organized in alphabetical order with a  short explanation of each woman's incident. I have no formal way of gathering  them, so it is my firm belief that there are  likely double that number in reality.  I have attempted to get funding from  the Ministry of Women's Equality, and although I received tentative approval and  had partnered with Status of Women  Canada, one of the requirements was for  me to find an agency to work with whose  main focus was violence against women.  We were to jointly write another proposal  stating that they would be willing to supervise that I did what I said I would, or  wanted to, do.  However, that process requires countless phone calls, letters, draft proposals, et  cetera. I don't have any funding for all these  extra expenses. I live so far below the poverty line, I would consider doing it, a  luxury. I wrote that to my contact person at  the ministry, and have not heard back since.  And so the work continues. If anyone  knows of people in any of the other provinces who might be willing to act as a conduit for the names of women and children  murdered by men there and send them to  me, please let me know.  To add women's names to Mary Billy's  Femicide List, send information to her at: Box  2047, Squamish, BC, VON 3G0; or email:  mbilly@sea-to-sky.net. "The Femicide List" can  be purchased for $40.  One of the outcomes of SWOVA's work  was publishing a rural community guide  book for the prevention of harm against  women, children and the elderly called, A  Place to Move the World From. Another  project was "Women and Violence: Education is Prevention," in which students, staff,  parents and SWOVA facilitators worked  together to reach approximately 1,800 Gulf  Island students, Kindergarten to Grade 12.  A few of the students also worked to define such things as sexual harassment and  inclusive language.  Lynda Laushway, SWOVA coordinator, says the biggest change she has  seen is in the language used to speak about  violence. "Rape is rape," she says. "The  level of awareness increases when you put  a name on something and take it seriously."  Born out of SWOVA's community research project was the Gulf Island Women's Resources Network (GIWRN), consisting a group of women who took on the task  of filling some of the service and support  gaps for women in our community. They  started the first on-island, after-hours crisis line in 1994, which is completely staffed  by volunteers.  As well, they opened a transition house  in BC. This home was donated to the community by an anonymous resident after she  found out that the government would not  fund a transition house for any community  smaller than 50,000. Since opening in 1995,  our six bed "T" house, coordinated by  Jennifer Rensby, has been in constant use.  Because the provincial government  refused to fund our house, the women involved went to the community for help. Salt  Spring Islanders are a persistent lot well  known in Ottawa and Victoria as veteran  lobbyists, letter writers and whiners capable of driving any politician or bureaucrat  crazy. As a result, we recently received a  core funding commitment from the Ministry of Women's Equality.  The transition house is financially  aided by "The Transitions Store," a very  successful retail outlet which offers community donated clothing and household  items for sale. It is staffed by women volunteers; the money earned after expenses  goes to support the transition house.  While much has been accomplished by  women and the community, there are still  no victim services, crown counsels or courts  on Salt Spring Island.  Our island would seem to have come  to terms with its role in the prevention of  harm against women and the promotion of  non-violent relations in the community at  large. But as anyone can see, the list of accomplishments do not include the eradication of violence against women on Salt  Spring Island.  In addition, much of the grassroots flavour of programs and services has been  changed by the institutionalization of the  responses to violence against women,  where survivors are once again relegated  to the role of "client."  Salt Spring Island is a community still  questioning itself about these issues, and a  community in question is open to change.  Change is transformation and I believe that  as a culture we still have not stepped outside the paradigm of violence. Our future  strategies must rely on the teaching and  creation of peace in community.  Cherie Geauvreau is a writer, poet and community development worker. She is the author  of two books, Even the Fawn has Wings and  A Place to Move the World From.  Victims Information Line  1-800-563-0808  Province-wide sen  ,b-,atxs Dykes       Bisexual ivomen  tesi  Support group for women who are \r\ or  leaving abusive relationships with women  ♦Emotional support  ♦Legal advocacy  ♦Safety planning  ♦Referrals  ♦Confidential  ♦Free  ♦On-site childcare  Please call Sarah or April at 687-1867  for more information about the group or other services  at Battered Women's Support Services  NOVEMBER 1998 H '  i   ' i  i  i\i\i  i  i  i  T  I  Violence and the girl child:  Out of the  public purse  Young women who use violence  MYTHS  & FACTS  by Yasmin Jiwani  In March 1998, the Alliance of the Five  Violence Research Centres undertook a research  project with funding support from Status of  Women Canada to develop a national action  plan on Violence Prevention and the Girl Child.  The Alliance consists of FREDA, the Feminist  Research Education Development Action Centre in Vancouver British Columbia; RESOLVE  Tri-Provincial Network in Winnipeg, Manitoba; the Centre for Research on Violence  against Women and Children in London, Ontario; Le Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire  sur la Violence Familiale et la Violence Faite in  Montreal, Quebec and the Muriel McQueen  Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research  in Fredericton, New Brunswick.  Each centre conducted focus groups with  girls and service providers in its respective region, and that information was used for the research report. The Alliance is reviewing the final draft, and the report will be released later  this Fall.  Yasmin Jiwani is the executive coordinator of the FREDA Centre.  The recent focus on the "girl child"  [aged 18 and under] can be attributed to  the ongoing work of advocates who sought  to bring attention to the specific conditions  affecting girls throughout the world. At the  1993 Vienna World Conference on Human  Rights, the Working Group on Girls (WGG)  was set up to ensure governments implemented measures to protect girls from gender-based discrimination, oppression and  exploitation.  The WGG was active in putting the  concerns of girl children on the agenda at  the Fourth World Conference of Women,  held in Beijing, China in 1995, and in the  Platform for Action. At Beijing, women delegates from around the world reported the  continued exploitation and abuse of girls,  in spite of the ratification of the United  Nations' Convention on the Elimination of  All Forms of Discrimination Against  Women (CEDAW) in 1981 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in November 1989, and the World Congress Against  Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1996.  Specific issues raised by delegates included the violence directed at girls in the  form of female genital mutilation, forced  and early marriages, sexual exploitation,  unequal access to education, health care  and other services.  According to the non-governmental  girl child caucus at the conference, the situation of girls requires urgent action: a quarter of the 500,000 women who die every  year because of complications in pregnancy  and childbirth are young women in their  teens. Girls are immunized at a lower rate,  given less nurturing, and are breastfed for  shorter periods than boys. Young girls also  tend to be employed in occupations which  are unprotected and more vulnerable to  economic exploitation and sexual 1  ment.  The Platform for Action contains several strategic objectives addressing the issue of the girl child. These objectives emphasize the need to eliminate sexist discrimination against girls; ensure equal access to education, information, medical and  social services; increase awareness of and  protection of the rights of girls; and ensure  that steps are taken to protect girls against  violence.  The Canadian case  In the contemporary climate of backlash, illusory gender equality, and fiscal  restraint, how has the Canadian girl child  fared? Not very well.  Despite the various international accords which highlight the need for gender-  specific policies and programs, these are  not viewed with much favour in Canada.  The backlash against gender- (that is, female-) specific programs have compromised the allocation of resources to programs geared specifically to addressing the  reality of girls.  The needs of 'girls,' for the most part,  have been collapsed into the broader category of 'youth' and 'children.' For example, school-based violence prevention programs are becoming more generic. The recognition that much of the violence directed  at girls is a result of patriarchal power and  authority is being replaced with an emphasis on 'bullying' in the school yard and girl  gang violence (which suggests that girls are  just as violent as boys.)  Thus, in terms of violence, it would  seem that girls have achieved gender parity! However, such a view obscures not only  the differences between girls but also masks  the reality that girls are subject to sexual  violence.  A Canadian Federation of University  Women report on the girl child reveals that  more than half (54 percent) of girls under  the age of 16 have experienced some form  of unwanted sexual attention; another 24  percent have experienced rape or coercive  sex; and 17 percent have experienced incest. Of the sexual assaults reported to police, 63 percent involve girls under 18 years  of age. These figures do not take into consideration those girls who have witnessed  violence at home or school.  For girls who are differently situated  by virtue of their race, sexual orientation,  disability and class, the situation is compounded by their marginalization and 'lack  of fit' within the dominant white, heterosexual world. The situation of young lesbians, bisexual girls and transgendered  youths has been well-documented in the  United States, revealing a suicide rate that  is two to three times the national average.  Stigmatized and subjected to verbal and  physical abuse, these girls lead a socially  isolated existence. Homophobic attitudes  construct the closet. "Compulsory heterosexuality" ensures they remain there.  The Elizabeth Fry Society (EFry) of Calgary recently released a report cal/edYoung  Women Who Use Violence, researched and written by Heather Schramm. Alarmed by  media reports and politicians who claim that violence among young women is skyrocketing, EFry Calgary initiated a study, conducted over the summer, to look at young  women and the initiation of acts of violence.  The following myths and facts are presented in the report and in an accompanying  fact sheet.  MYThi. Violence committed by young women is skyrocketing.  FACT: Female involvement in violent youth crime is at it's lowest level in five years.  Male violence is much more prevalent and, in terms of raw numbers, increas  ing much more.  (Female violence accounts for 0.007 percent of all violations under the criminal code. Youngfemale offenders commit 3.83 percent of all violent crime.  Increases in female violent crime rate are due to an increase in the reporting of  crime, an increase in the willingness to identify and prosecute, and the increased  female population.)  MYTH: Violence by young women is becoming more violent.  FACT:   Serious violent offences by young women have gone down in the last 30 years.  Quantitatively, young women are actually less violent than they were 30 years  ago. Serious violent crime committed by women, as a proportion of all violent  crime, has actually gone down by half from 1965 to 1995. 88 percent of all  female violent crime is non-sexual simple assault.)  MYTH. Women's Liberation brought about an increase in female violence.  FACT: This belief is part of a backlash. Women's struggle for equality has not yet been  realized and is certainly not reflected in the lifestyles or behaviour of women  who use violence.  (Women who use violence are marginalized. They have suffered a history of  abuse and likely emulate their abusers and abuse themselves. The language of  gender equality has been appropriated by the mainstream and used to facili  tate this backlash. Incidences involving young women are being handled more  formally now. If women want equality, as far as the enforcement of criminal  justice is concerned, they've got it!)  MYTH. It is not appropriate for girls to use violence, aggression is a male characteristic. When girls use violence they are acting like boys.  FACT: No gender has a monopoly on a human emotion. It is unhealthy to restrict the  range of emotions young women may feel.  (The female gender roles deny the use of anger, yet it is a powerful and  potentially useful emotion. A lack of acceptable ways to express anger and  aggression result in the internalization of anger and rampant self harm. 50 to  100 percent of young women at risk engage in self injuring behaviour.)  MYTH. Poor parenting, meaning working mothers and lack of discipline, cause young  women to use violence.  FACT:   Working mothers do not cause young women to use violence. Histories of  abuse, most often by men, do.  (Studies have found young women from homes with working mothers are no  more likely to use violence than those who are not. Most women who use  violence experienced abuse in the home. 24 percent of young women who  use violence have been sexually abused. Violence by young women is often  used to prevent further victimization. Young women who know the reality of  abuse may find that a good offense is often the best defense.)  MYTH. There is a gang problem with young women.  FACT:   There is not a gang problem with young women.  (There is an extremely low level of organized gang activity in Calgary. Youth  from racially visible groups and lower income homes are more likely to be  labeled a gang without merit. If young women do experience gangs it is usually  as a victim within a male gang.)  Copies of the report Young Women Who Use Violence and the fact sheet are  available from the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary, Suite 650, 1010-1st St SW, Calgary,  Alberta, T2R IK4; e-mail: efry@telusplanet.net.  Similarly, girls with disabilities experience higher rates of sexual abuse (at four  times the national average) because of their  dependent status, isolation, and the negative stereotypes that prevail in the dominant society. Afraid to report the abuse because of the fear of not being believed,  many of these girls continue to lead lives  that are jeopardized by threats and actual  incidents of violence.  The heightened vulnerability to violence experienced by Aboriginal/indig  enous girls has also been noted. In Canada,  75 percent of Aboriginal girls under the age  of 18 have been sexually abused. Furthermore, Aboriginal girls are hospitalized for  attempting suicide at twice the rate of boys.  These figures still do not begin to tell  the full story. State level violence as imposed through child apprehension and  transfers to fosters homes, allows the continued practice of colonization. Confronted  see GIRL next page  NOVEMBER 1 A rape crisis centre view of Rohypnol:  The dangerous blue pill  by Tamara Gorin  Rohypnol, the "date rape pill,"  emerged in Florida in 1993. Now part of  the general understanding of rape in North  America, Rohypnol is a widely touted  method for rapists to access and incapacitate women as potential victims.  Rohypnol is just the latest drug men  rape with. Men continue to use alcohol,  prescription medication, marijuana and  cocaine. The number of women calling our  rape crisis centre about Rohypnol has increased proportionate to the media attention on the drug. Women are being bombarded with warnings to modify their behaviour to keep themselves safe from  Rohypnol, yet the number of women reporting the use of drugs or alcohol as a factor in rape remains constant at about one-  quarter of the 1,400 calls we receive each  year.  Rohypnol is definitely used to commit  rape. But after five years of information  overload it is time to take a closer look.  In early 1998, British Columbia's Ministry of Women's Equality (MWE) released  an "information bulletin" on Rohypnol.  The only government document in Canada  to show up on an Internet search, it provides the standard information.  There are some notable points though.  MWE acknowledges Rohypnol is not the  only potential rape drug, and takes feminists seriously by warning that "promoting awareness also run[s] the risk of potentially promoting the behaviour it criticizes." In other words, information distributed should not tell how to commit the act  the information is supposed to prevent.  However, by stating that, "although  there are reports about Rohypnol in the  media, there is no official evidence of the  [use of the] drug [in sexual assaults] in BC,"  (emphasis theirs) MWE reiterates the response most often given by police.  The police story is that Rohypnol has  not appeared in the few blood and urine  samples from women who have been sexually assaulted. However, most samples are  taken after the drug metabolizes, which  means it has essentially disappeared from  the bloodstream.  Local police and the RCMP tell women  that without this evidence, it is impossible  to investigate. As with sexual assault cases  generally, the onus is on women to prove  they were raped before the police will proceed with charges. So far, there have been  no convictions for administering Rohypnol  in Canada, although in BC alone there are  upwards of 20 police investigations into its  use in sexual assault.  Anti-drug campaigners have had a significant impact on the legislative changes  in the US and elsewhere, resulting in restrictions in the movement of and access to  Rohypnol. Their strategy has been to highlight Rohypnol's potential use against a  person to commit violent crime, and secondarily, its use as a street drug.  Public relations points are won for the  appearance to stop rape. In reality though,  neither these legislative changes nor previous changes to rape laws have prevented  rape. The real achievement of the anti-drug  campaigners is not protection of women,  but the restriction of a popular drug. They  won a fairly major victory in the war  against drugs off the backs of raped  women.  In calls to rape crisis centres, women  repeatedly say they are in some kind of relationship with the man who raped them.  "Date rape" describes rapes that occur usually towards the end of a date, frequently  in one of their cars, or in women's homes.  Also included are rapes by casual acquaintances slightly less known to women, men  met at bars, parties, and other social events.  The use of alcohol and /or drugs by one or  both people is often a factor.  Police, education institutions and social service agencies create instructional  information focusing on date rape which  is almost exclusively directed at "educating" women. Largely stressing what women  should do to avoid rape, lists of "do's and  don'ts" reinforce the myth that if women  restrict their behaviour, they will cease to  be targets for rape.  Add "avoid Rohypnol" to the list. Now  women must not only limit their alcohol  intake, they must also never leave their  glass of cola unattended. They should mix  their own drinks, and where they can't, it  is best they watch the bartender, waitstaff  or their date pour.  This makes women, not men, the active participants in rape. Seeming to "empower" women towards decisions which  protect them, these directives place the responsibility for preventing rape on women  and let men off the hook.  Despite years of feminist work to refute rape myths, women-hating still informs most public and private discussions  about rape. Accordingly, a woman needs  to be vigilant in explaining for her behaviour because anyone she tells about the  sexual assault will inevitably question her.  If she also experiences memory loss, no  matter what the cause, her judgements are  considered suspect.  Even before the potential of providing  the burden of proof in a legal case, she must  first provide it in the court of public opinion. Prescriptions of proper behaviour for  women persist so that judgements can be  made about which class of women they are:  true victim or deserving participant.  This insistence on maintaining standards that reflect only oppositional possibilities of behaviour denies the complexities  of women's lives and of rape. It also is a  steadfast refusal to hold men who rape accountable.  As unsettled as women who suspect  Rohypnol was utilized to rape them may  be, there is potential for one small relief.  Unlike other drugs which women mostly  choose how much to ingest, men give  Rohypnol to women against their will.  Women's potential activity to change what  happens next is diminished when men use  Rohypnol to rape them, so they are seen as  freer from responsibility.  This category of the absolved rape victim sets these women apart from the  women who may or may not have used all  of their agency to prevent a rape. This is  not the goal.  Whether or not a man uses Rohypnol  or another drug to incapacitate the woman  he intends to rape, he is the one responsible. Holding fast to this idea, women break  free of woman-hating myths about rape,  and it becomes possible to move the spotlight off of women's behaviour and focus  on men instead. It becomes possible to  move the spotlight off Rohypnol and focus  on rape instead.  Tamara Gorin is a staff member at Vancouver  Rape Relief and Women's Shelter.  GIRL from previous page  by racism, sexual abuse, physical and verbal abuse, many Aboriginal girls choose to  run away from foster homes and reserves.  Homeless and destitute, they survive on the  streets where their vulnerability to violence  escalates. (It has been noted that the mortality rates for Canadian girls and women  on the streets is 40 times higher.)  For girls who cross over more than one  of these differences, their marginalization  is doubly or triply accentuated. Young lesbians of colour, for example, are often  caught in the position of having to choose  one reference group over another, and having to deal with not only sexism, but racism and homophobia as well.  The WGG noted in its report that immigrant and refugee girls also experience  higher rates of violence because of dislocation, racism and sexism from both within  their own communities and the external  dominant society. Caught between two cultures—where their own is devalued and  inferiorized, and where cultural scripts in  both worlds encode patriarchal values—  these girls face a tremendous struggle in  trying to "fit." Economic pressures force  many of them to turn to the sex-trade and  to work that is devalued. Harsh immigration restrictions force many of them to use  illegal routes to get into the country—the  payment often being sexual exploitation.  Poverty is a major factor in the violence  experienced by girls. Among industrialized  countries, Canada's level of child poverty  ranks second. In cities, one out of every  three children is raised in a home with an  income below the state-recognized poverty  line. In rural areas, the rate is one in five.  Poverty itself constitutes a form of violence, but that violence is compounded by  the particular pressures of living in a society that values consumption and material  wealth. Poverty and homelessness facilitates the sexual exploitation of girls.  Attempting to "fit" has severe consequences. Self-mutilation, self-hatred and  addiction mark the lives of many Canadian  girls. Sexualized by the media, constructed  as commodities and markets, trained to be  nurturers and caregivers, and having their  needs and voices trivialized and dismissed,  it is no wonder girls today want some  power and self-respect.  In a series of focus groups FREDA conducted with girls in Vancouver and Victoria, BC and Whitehorse, Yukon, the majority of girls talked about the need for girl-  only spaces where they can find refuge  from abusive parents, boyfriends and peers.  For many of these girls, violence had  become something they learned to expect.  Many talked about constantly having to  "watch their backs," and had little hope that  things would change.  While girl gang violence may be  prominent in the public imagination, the  reality is, as a recent report by the Elizabeth Fry Society (EFry) of Calgary reveals,  that only 3.83 percent of violent crimes are  committed by young female offenders. [See  page 17 for EFry's myths and facts of young  women who use violence.]  As a signatory to various international  accords and declarations concerned with  addressing violence against women and  addressing the rights of girls, Canada has  a responsibility to honour these agreements. Yet, the reality shows otherwise.  Most violence prevention programs  are under-funded and sporadic, and  funders exert pressure on organizations to  couch their applications in gender-neutral  language. In the name of an illusory equality and buffeted by backlash against feminism and women, governments have  shifted their efforts away from ending male  violence against women and girls to promoting the concept of "community safety."  Under the rhetoric of law and order,  the violence problem is then simply defined  in criminal terms, which only serves to legitimize increased resources to policing and  crime prevention. The root causes of violence, and the notion of violence as a core  trait of patriarchy remain, but are erased  from the public mind and the public purse!  The FREDA Centre acknowledges the assistance of Monica Blais, Kim Rogers, Zara  Suleman, and Annabel Webb in conducting the  focus groups in Vancouver, Victoria and  Whitehorse. Yasmin Jiwani also thanks  Sheineen Nathoofor her work transcribing.  18  NOVEMBER 1998 Feature  Patenting of life forms:  Corporate control from  birth to death  by Nandita Sharma  Nandita Sharma of the Basmati Action  Group in Vancouver spoke at the "Food, Fun,  the Facts of Life and Who Owns Them"  evening last September [see page 6.]  In 1997, the powerful United States  Patent Office gave to RiceTec the patent on  Basmati rice. By cross-breeding two  Basmati rice varieties, RiceTec insists that  it "invented" a "novel" variety of this  age-old rice from South Asia. RiceTec is  now trying to get the patenting offices of  other countries, including Canada, to recognize and enforce its patent. They see their  patent as a reward for their research.  It is absolutely preposterous for anyone to claim to have "invented" any  Basmati rice plant! This just goes against  the grain of good sense! No matter what  Western science, with its obsession to master nature, tells us, it is nature that gives  life, and it is communities of people who  nourish and shape this life. White-coated  scientists did not create basmati rice; nature did, and it is the farmers in the Punjab  region of India and Pakistan who, through  seed saving, have cross-bred different varieties over time to produce the distinctive  Basmati rice we know and love.  It is ludicrous that a RiceTec Group  subsidiary in Texas received a US patent on  what it calls "Basmati 867." Basmati 867 is  not new, but rather a variety bred over centuries by farmers in South Asia. Indeed,  many of the proprietary seeds of multinational seed companies are no more than genetically altered versions of traditionally  bred strains that have been used in the public domain for centuries.  A clue to the motives behind RiceTec's  patent can be found in a statement from  Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, a farm labourer's organization in India. The group says  when RiceTec brands were not accepted in  many countries as premier Basmati, the corporation pushed for a patent.  RiceTec's patent covers the breeding  method, as well as the germplasm. While  patenting the breeding method is itself a  theft of farmer's knowledge and a privatization of the common practice of  cross-breeding, the patenting of  germplasms of plants amounts to nothing  less than the colonization of life. Vandana  Shiva, a globally respected Indian physicist and feminist, calls this, "the colonization of the inner spaces of life itself" [see  Kinesis July/August 1998. J  The crux of the issue is not whether the  rice variety bred by RiceTec is "novel;" the  issue is that no one should be able to hold  a patent over a life form-be it a rice plant, a  mouse resistant to cancer, or a human being whose community over time has developed resistance to a particular disease.  After colonizing most of the world's  peoples and their lands, the next stage for  capitalists is to actually claim to have in  vented the very life they exploit-whether  this life is plants, animals (remember  Dolly?) or humans. Through the ability to  claim "invention" and hold patents on life  forms, corporations can virtually own us  from birth to grave.  Placing patents on life is an act that  Shiva has aptly termed "biopiracy." Acts of  biopiracy represent a continuation of the  colonization of the people, their lands and  the biodiversity of the so-called "Third  World." The issue of patenting needs to be  placed firmly within this context of the  Monsanto (now owned by American Home  Products Corporation), the largest biotech  firm in the world and a recent "partner" of  Canada's industry ministry, set a new precedent by requiring farmers who purchase  their "Roundup Ready Soybeans" to adhere to the terms of its "1996 Roundup  Ready Gene Agreement."  The terms include: paying a $5 per bag  "technology fee," giving Monsanto the  right to inspect, monitor and test farmers'  fields for up to three years, giving up the  right to save and replant the patented seed,  Nandita Sharma  North colonizing the South. This is not a  paranoid reaction, as some would have us  believe, but a fact.  The North was created from looting the  wealth of the South. Despite the formal end  of colonialism in most parts of the world,  the United Nations estimates that biological resources valued monetarily at more  than US$5.4 billion continue to be stolen  from the people of the South every year.  This is obviously an important facet  behind RiceTec's patent. After all, the  Basmati rice exports of Indian farmers  alone are worth over US$270 million. Quite  a lucrative amount for any TNC to get  ahold of. Already, US corporations control  more than 20 percent of the world's rice  supply and this is expected to increase with  developments in patent laws.  Biopiracy represents a profound  cosmological shift. We are now living in a  world where the creative capacities of nature, of women, and of communities of  people are being denied and stolen by private companies - and sanctioned by national and international law.  Biopiracy lays the groundwork for the  monopolization of life itself by scientists  and, ultimately, the corporations they work  for. Corporations are intent on controlling  every aspect of food. For instance, in 1996,  and agreeing not to sell or give the seed to  "any other person or entity." Fines are levied if the agreement is violated.  These terms are all couched in the language of a contract, as if the parties are  operating on an equal footing. However,  through First World "development" programs, farmers are not given much choice  in whether they buy the products of these  transnational agri-businesses.  Not surprisingly, Monsanto wants to  introduce such "agreements" to all of its  genetically engineered seeds brought to  market. It is of great significance, then, that  Monsanto now owns what has been called  the "Terminator Technology," a genetic engineering technology that actually terminates the life cycle of seeds so that farmers  are unable to save the seeds they produce  to plant next season, but are forced to return to the transnational agribusiness companies for new seeds.  Ultimately, this is what biotechnologies, genetic engineering and patents on life  are all about - breaking nature's and farmers' cycles, and ensuring that only corporate heads have a say in what can live. This  corporate monopolization over the world's  food supply represents a serious threat to  the world's biological resources and a fun  damental threat to biodiversity and people's ability to feed themselves.  RiceTec has tried to divert attention  away from the issue of patenting life by arguing that:  • the quality of it is better than that  produced in India and Pakistan. RiceTec  says that rice from South Asia is "often [of]  poor quality [and] shipments [have been]  held up at US ports due to infestation." A  reporter from the Province newspaper recently said that she believed "her readers  would prefer to eat genetically engineered  organic rice over rice grown in cholera infested water in India."  • RiceTec's patent means it also has  a patent on the term, Basmati. This is a diversion, because everyone, especially  RiceTec, knows that you cannot patent  names, only trademark them. RiceTec currently holds trademarks on the names  Texmati, Jasmati and Kasmati, which are  obviously meant to conjure up images of  Basmati or Thai Jasmine rice.  • US companies have been growing  rice in the US and claiming it as "Basmati"  for more than 20 years, so it is unfair to  challenge RiceTec's patent on Basmati 867.  RiceTec CEO Robin Andrews has actually  said that, "History cannot be reversed in  these matters, and the principle of acquiescence applies. If someone is building a  house on your land, brick by brick, in your  presence, you cannot wait until the house  is complete to pull it down." Sounds like  every other attempt to justify colonialism.  It's time to pull that house down!  In its propaganda materials, RiceTec  claims the whole furore over its patent is  really a cover for the Indian government  and Indian corporations who wish to monopolize the world market for Basmati.  This is an incredibly narrow and misleading way of viewing the issue.  Ultimately, control of the world's food  supplies, including Basmati rice, must not  be seen as a struggle between corporations  of one country and those of another (as if  corporations have a 'country!') Rather, the  struggle is between the rights of farmers  and respect for nature's creative and regenerative capacities and corporate profit-making.  As mentioned, the issue of patenting  life is a North/South issue. The South is  where most of the world's biodiversity is  held; the North is where most of the world's  TNCs are headquartered. As with many of  the struggles that see Northern countries  pitted against some Southern countries, the  US is leading the battle.  see BASMATI page 24 Feature  Women, canoeing and warm water:  Ready and reach!  by Jo Thomas  In her paid work as a fitness programmer  at the Trout Lake Community Centre in Vancouver, Jo Thomas regularly encourages other  women —young and old — to get physically  active and be the best they can become.  That's a philosophy Thomas has always  subscribed to. Since childhood, she has been  involved in all kinds of sports and has never  backed down on any challenge. When she  stepped into a dragon boat more than 10 years  ago, she first had to overcome her fear of being  in the water in order to enjoy her love of being  on the water.  In 1992, she switched to outrigger canoeing because it was much easier on her spine.  [Canoeing involves paddling on both sides;  dragon boating on only one.] Her hard work  and dedication paid off. In 1994, she competed  in two team categories at the 6th World Outrigger Sprint Championships in Western Samoa, and brought back two gold medals.  This past August, Thomas headed for Fiji  for the Eighth World Championships. There,  she participated in two categories—Masters  Women (35+) and Senior Masters Women  (45+), and returned home with two silver medals.  Descending through the inky black  night, staring at the "fasten your seatbelt"  sign, I am reminded of a friend's question:  "What is it that you paddle for?"  Six months ago, I would have answered "curiosity." Curious if I could bring  an injured shoulder back to the intense demands of competitive outrigger canoeing.  Curious to find out what I could demand,  command, nurture from my 55-year-old  body. Curious to discover if I still had that  hunger for head-to-head competition, or  had it passively died with the deaths of my  parents in 1995.  Twenty paddlers, a team manager and  a half ton of luggage pile into a waiting bus.  The three hour ride from Nadi Airport to  Suva, Fiji's capital on the big island of Viti  Levu, is both beautiful and exhilarating.  A banner, strung from two coconut  palms across the highway entering Suva,  reads "Welcome Competitors to the 8th Va'a  World Championships." Va'a is the Fijian  word for canoe, the symbol which unites  the people of the Pacific. These championships are a way of bringing together many  competitors who share a kindred spirit for  this sport.  In the official Program of Events,  Canada is written up as follows:  "With its long winters, Canada's outrigger paddlers begin their season when  snow is still thick on the ground. Spare a  thought for these hardy and exceptionally  keen, devoted outrigger canoeists who paddle in some of the harshest of conditions in  training for major events."  One of fourteen countries at these  championships, Canada has entered eleven  events in solo (V-l), six person (V-6), and  double hull(V-12) boats over distances of  500,1,500 and 2,500 metres, and in the categories of Open, Masters (35+) and Senior  Masters Women (45+).  As the races get underway, it becomes  apparent that the Hawaiian crews are a formidable force. They step up on the centre  podium time and again to receive their gold  medals—it is the Hawaiian flag which gets  raised up the centre pole, and the Hawaiian anthem that is played to the delight of  the crowds.  Canada's golden moment comes when  the Senior Masters Women dominate the V-  6,500 metre final, winning in a time of  2:33:63. New Zealand takes silver, crossing  the finish line in 2:43:38, followed closely  by Hawaii Lokahi #1 with a time of 2:43:61.  Combined emotional highs occur  when all three Canadian crews make it to  the Senior Masters Women V-6,1,500 metre final. The team I'm on, Canada #1, captures silver. In the Senior Masters Women  V-l (solo) 500 metre final, four Canadians  reach" echoes, we settle into a powerful  cadence.  "Two more inches," I keep chanting to  myself trying to grab every square inch of  water on my blade. Swoosh, every change,  every paddler hitting harder trying to keep  the stroke up front. We are moving. The  boat is feeling good. "Power next change!"  yells our coach.  The 250 metre mark speeds by. A  minute-plus has evaporated and so has the  freshness. No letting up; another "power"  call, and the first twinges of tiredness creep  into my arms. My mind jumps to my next  mantra, "rotate, rotate, use the back muscles."  V-6 Outrigger Canoe: 5 paddlers, 1 steers person  Front to back: Holly Minor, Daphne Brockington, JoThomas, Diane Shepherd,  Brenda Flann, Chubby Moase  go up against Hawaii,  New Zealand and Tahiti.  Canada's Andrea Dillon  misses the bronze by less  than a second.  Our last event of the  week-long competition is  the Masters Women 500  metre double hull race, in  which two six-seat canoes  are joined with 4" x 4" timbers to form one boat. We  won this event in Western  Samoa in '94 and lost to the  Aussies in New Caledonia in '96. Can we  reclaim the gold in Fiji? Hawaii 2 will be  the team to beat situated in Lane 6. Canada  has earned Lane 4.  The gun sounds. Twelve paddlers grab  a half stroke of water, three-quarters of a  stroke, a full stroke. We are hauling ourselves out of what feels like cement to get  the boat up. The call "up, up, up" promptly  shifts gears as we reach and catch the water at an accelerated rate to get the craft  running smooth and fast. My butterflies  have disappeared 15 to 20 seconds into the  race and, as the next command "ready and  "Follow  Your  Bliss"  Timing still feels great  in the boat, but now I can  hear the concerted deeper  breathing of my crewmates.  I am struggling to stay relaxed on my recoveries, to  keep the burning sensation  in my arms manageable.  Sucking in every molecule  of oxygen to combat the  mounting fatigue, the final  call "finish it now" sounds.  This is our final sprint to the  finish line.  With 75 metres to go, I push deeper into  the pain driving the top hand down, pulling hard on my blade and focusing on my  exit.  It is here, at this place in a race that, if  the boat's timing breaks down, a race can  easily be lost. A thimble of adrenaline begins to empty into my body. I am gasping  for air, the lactic acid (a by-product when  there is insufficient oxygen to fuel the muscles) is pouring into my shoulders and arms  as the mind fights to hang on.  At that moment, the shared energy of  eleven teammates carries me through the  tunnel of pain and exhaustion. We cross the  finish line knowing each of us has gone to  the depths of our beings. We created and  became an energy field of one, an orchestrated moment in time when the collective  force, or spirit, leaves us in a slightly altered state of consciousness.  Hawaii 2 wins the gold in 2:13:58.  Canada takes home the silver with a time  of 2:16:56. Back on shore the Hawaiians  welcome us with hugs, smiles and words  of congratulations. While we lost to a  strong, powerful group of women athletes,  inside I feel completely satisfied. It was the  best 500 metre race of my life. It was very  reaffirming to know there is a much larger  community of women athletes out there.  At the end of the week, Canada had  tied for 4th place with one gold, three silver and two bronze medals. Hawaii was  the overall winner with 18 gold, 12 silver  and 8 bronze medals.  As the self-appointed Grandma of the  team, I have come to accept the changes and  adaptations required at mid-life—that less  is often better in terms of pushing the envelope; that quality rest and recovery are  as important as quality workouts.  In my 40s, I had been a slave to running schedules and had run a lot of junk  miles. Determined not to repeat the same  error on the waterways, I promised myself  I would not paddle junk miles to keep up  with everyone else paddling five to six days  per week. I stayed with three practices per  week, working each one with intensity. Two  days were spent maintaining my strength  in the weight room coupled with two or  three weekly 45 minute jogging sessions.  In the final six weeks of race preparation, I  opted for two full days of rest per week.  During the week in Suva, I got a chance  to talk with other women, who like myself  are over the age of 50. It was reassuring to  find out we all had pretty much the same  training regimes—no more than three times  in the boat a week, some weight training  and some cross-training. We shared stories  of our common aches and pains, especially  in the tendons. And we lamented about  what to do after you can't sleep the night  before a big race because of hot flashes.  There are certainly a lot more things  we can do today in terms of competitive  sports than 20 years ago. When I was in  high school, sports scholarships were only  available to boys. Nowadays, there are  more opportunities for young women to get  involved in sports. There's more awareness  and more effort is being made to ensure a  better balance between programs for girls  and for boys. As for me, I'm coming into  the prime of my life.  The plane climbs into the brilliant afternoon sunshine as the azure and turquoise ocean colours intensify far below,  and the palm fringed atolls and islands  shrink into tiny, floating dots. I gaze out the  window feeling relaxed and happy, my  curiosity satisfied. "Follow your bliss" an  inner voice whispers. Townsville, Australia  (site for the 9th Outrigger Canoe World  Championships)—August 2000?  20  NOVEMBER 1998 Vancouver International Film Festival:  Good documentaries;  what about the dykes?  by Laiwan  At this year's Vancouver  International Film Festival,  Laiwan checked out a few films  for Kinesis.  Here's what she has to say.  Joan Chen: the  sent-down girl  XIU XIU: The Sent-Down Girl  directed by Joan Chen  USA/China, 1997  Remember   actress  Joan Chen in roles like the  enigmatic Josie Packard in  the strange Twin Peaks series for TV, or as Ilsa in the  Hollywood action pic  Judge     Dredd     with  Sylvester Stallone? Well,  Chen's directorial debut  Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down  Girl seems as far away  as she can get from her  Hollywood and villain-  ess roles, and yet, I  can't help wondering what was Hollywood's helping hand in this film?  A melodrama set during the latter  stages of the Cultural Revolution in China,  Xiu Xiu is a young girl from the city of  Chengdu who volunteers to for the Educated Youth groups. This was a program  during the Cultural Revolution that functioned as an exchange, where city educated  youths would experience the life of labour  in rural areas. It was an exchange fostered  with hopes that the cultural gap between  educated intellectuals living in the cities  and the illiterate poor rural workers would  be addressed.  Xiu Xiu is sent to a remote part of Tibet to learn horse-breeding from Lao Jin, a  quiet, gentle man who was accidentally  castrated during a war. Alone with Lao Jin  in a tent surrounded by wide open Tibetan  landscape, Xiu Xiu struggles with her frustrations and the hardships of this bleak life.  She is haunted by memories of her home  and loving family in the city, peopled restaurants, good clothing, water and cleanliness.  Believing that she has been abandoned  in this remote place by the authorities and  desperate to get back to the city, Xiu Xiu is  convinced by the smooth-talking men at  headquarters that her only way out is to  trade sex for favours. Lao Jin unhappily  witnesses the various activities in their single tent—which often involves passive Xiu  Xiu's rape—while silently attending to Xiu  Xiu's increasing demands afterwards for  luxuries like water so that she can scrub  herself off after each man.  This film is filled with the wondrous  magical landscape of rural Tibet, and it is  here that Xiu Xiu loses her innocence. In  her isolation, she slowly forgets practicality and common sense, and petty bourgeois  values become her guide for survival. She  begins to treat Lao Jin as a servant, ordering him to fetch her water from a river 10 li  [miles] away so she can wash her "dirtiness" Lao Jin, in his silent love for Xiu Xiu,  dutifully does so.  Touted as an "astonishingly confident  directorial debut," reminiscent of the "emotional power and underlying social critique  inherent      in  Where were the Asian lesbians?  mainland  China's Fifth Generation filmmakers,"  Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl is a perplexing film.  Aside from the irritating soundtrack of  searing violins deliberately designed to pull  at the heartstrings, there were moments  when the word "Disney" kept popping into  my head. Was it the happy family scenes at  the beginning? Was it the long slow-motion  shots of the key characters' faces expressing emotions of pain or loss? Was it the Tibetan night sky which was so perfectly shot  with shiny stars so big, clear and bright that  made me think of 'ET'?  To be linked with China's Fifth Generation filmmakers—a generation of filmmakers highly revered in the West—like  Chen Kaige or Zhang Yimou creates a  mythical filmmaking backdrop for Joan  Chen. But if I look at films like Chen Kaige's  Yellow Earth, or Zhang's Raise the Red Lantern and Ju Dou, I remember the power  these films created through the use of landscape, colours and nature on a mystical,  phenomenological level. Women had active, powerful roles, even though characters in the films became small figures in the  larger world they lived and struggled in.  Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl has none  of this. Instead, nature is a backdrop for a  story of alienation and desperation that  could happen anywhere. And like Xiu Xiu  and Lao Jin, the herdsman, nature is powerless when confronted by the bureaucratic  and bourgeois constructions of human culture.  Like me, you may be looking for Asian lesbians on the  SILVER SCREEN DURING THE FILM FEST. In THIS SEARCH, YOU MAY  HAVE LOOKED FORWARD TO SEEING PORTLAND STREET BLUES FROM  Hong Kong—with a butchy lesbian, triad kingpin Sister Thirteen—and Maiden Work, an underground film from mainland  China.  Both films touted "lesbian" characters and I thought,  finally, times are changing towards the progressive. well,  i was wrong. who knows why, but both films have gratuitously thrown in lesbian characters perhaps for sensational effect or because no one in asia has directed an  out-lesbian character on film.  if "lesbian" means the two women characters start giggling like pre-pubescent teenagers during the moment of  supposed intimacy only to then tumble awkwardly to the  ground or bed (as happened in each of these films), then i  am embarrassed to be a lesbian.  Although Raymond Yip's Portland Street Blues portrays  Sister Thirteen (played gallantly by Sandra Ng) as a quirky,  tough triad kingpin with a soft heart a type of role not  found anywhere in film history the film itself does not  HOLD TOGETHER A STORYLINE. It's AN ALL-TOO-LONG MUSIC VIDEO,  EXCEPT IT HAS AN ABUNDANCE OF GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE AND TEDIOUS SCENES OF MEN SITTING AROUND, GAMBLING AND TALKING NONSENSE. This is a testosterone-laden film, with the prerequisite  CARS,   GUNS  AND  GIRLS.   THE   LESBIAN   IS  THROWN   IN   FOR  good measure.  Chun Zuo's Maiden Work isn't even worth mentioning. It  is pretentious, and was obviously made for a Western audience wanting to experience "an underground Bohemian  China." At least, in one vaguely interesting scene, the two  actresses playing the "lesbians" admit to being unable to  imagine what lesbians do.  The whole film could have been just about this and why  they as straights would want to represent "lesbians" in  this film. They could have easily been two Soviet nuns, and  still nothing would have made narrative sense.  Both films suffer from male directors attempting to be  fashionable. Unfortunately, Asian lesbians seem to be the  new item for sale.  The verdict? We have to make our own films.  2 FILM next page  NOVEMBER 1998 Arts  FILM from previous page  It is not insignificant that the Tibetan  herdsman Lao Jin is castrated. This can be  read as a subtextual nod by Chen to the  political situation of Tibet's metaphorical  "castration" under China's oppressive rule.  It could also be read as pointing to pre-  Communist social hierarchies where Lao  Jin's role can be read as "eunuch servant"  to Xiu Xiu's increasing bourgeois demands.  However, Chen's politics remain unclear—  except that this film has a decidedly anti-  Cultural Revolution and anti-communist  bend.  Tibetan actor Lopsang is perfect in his  understated performance as Lao Jin. Such  a portrayal is characteristic of Fifth Generation actors such as Gong Li. However,  newcomer Lu Lu as Xiu Xiu is burdened  by an earnestness. The movie overall has a  thin look of a Fifth Generation film bolstered only by its dependence on the open,  beautiful landscape of Tibet.  In comparison to a Fifth Generation  film, Xiu Xiu can be seen as a traditional  film in its narrative structure, use of location, stereotypical victimization of the two  main characters, overbearingly sentimental soundtrack; and underlying morality of  its narrative. I wonder why Joan Chen  would choose such a style of filmmaking  or such a story of an unempowered, victimized girl.  There are many films about China's  Cultural Revolution - many critical, few optimistic [see Laiwan s review of The Monkey Kid, Kinesis Dec/Jan 1997,J—-and Xiu  Xiu can be added to the list. With all its  shortfalls, I do credit Chen for not producing another typical Hollywood action flick.  Overall, Xiu Xiu fails to engage me  emotionally—I found myself fighting with  the manipulating soundtrack and the  staged heart-wrenching scenes which, in  the end, became images representing emotions on film rather than a film able to inspire emotions in me. And this is just as  much Hollywood as anything else.  Documenting  documents  THE BRANDON TEENA STORY  directed by Susan Muska and Greta  Olafsdottir  USA, 1998  "If God wanted homosexuals, he  would never have invented women." (Interviewee asked about his opinion of  Brandon Teena's rape and murder.)  Throughout this documentary, opinions such as this reveal a certain kind of  (non-) logic that is proof of the harsh, bigoted environment in which Brandon Teena  lived his short life. Brandon Teena's struggles were not so much about being homosexual or lesbian, as he considered himself  neither, but about his right to live.  In 1993, arriving in Falls City, Nebraska, 21-year-old transgendered Brandon  Teena (aka Teena Brandon) succeeded to  charm this small-town community with his  courteous and generous nature. Brandon  continued to have romantic relationships  with women who never questioned his  sexuality, assuming always that he was a  man. In interviews, they talk about Brandon  being the best kisser; his good-looks; his expression of affection through flowers, letters and gifts; and his sensitivity to them—  so unlike the many men they had dated before.  However, just three weeks after landing in Falls City, Brandon was outed in the  local paper. Not long after, two of his drinking buddies—outraged at being deceived of  Brandon's biological gender—rape him on  Christmas Eve, and then murder him New  Year's Eve.  Winner of the Teddy Award for Best  Documentary at the Berlin Film Festival and  the Audience Award at Toronto's Inside / Out  Festival, The Brandon Teena Story is successful in conveying the homophobic and intolerant attitudes found in the heart of America.  The filmmakers present a complex portrait  of a society conflicted with emotional dysfunction, heterosexism, domestic violence  and alienation—all intricately interwoven  within oppressions of gender and class.  By piecing together interviews with  Brandon's ex-girlfriends, family, the sheriff  and the killers, with transcriptions of police  and court proceedings, the filmmakers have  created a particular kind of documentary.  Because they concentrate on talking-  head interviews, and  skip most of  Brandon's  life before his  murder—as a  child, his  family life, his  interests, his  passions, his  life as an indi-  v i d u a 1 — I  would suggest  renaming the  film, The Story  of the Rape and  Murder of  Brandon Teena. This would more adequately  describe it.  Filmed on what looks to be Super-8 and  video formats, the filmmakers have followed a style of documentary making that I  would identify as predominantly North  American. It assumes that a camera will  catch everything, so there is minimal concern given to camera composition. Essentially, it's a "point the handicam and shoot"  approach. It comes with the presumption  that all information, including official documentation, is used to let the story tell itself.  (This is also found in the court case of the  Rodney King beating and recently with the  Bill Clinton sex saga.)  What this does is effectively create a  document that is seen through the camera,  the eyes of police records, news clips from  papers and TV. The interviews do not  contextualize the lives of those being interviewed, but rather are loaded with assumptions about the relationship of the subject  and the interviewee.  The problem with this approach is that  Brandon Teena remains as oppressed and silenced on film as he was in life. His victimization is perpetuated by the sensationalism  surrounding his murder, and this sensationalism is what feeds some of the key characters in this documentary. An example of such  a character is Sheriff Laux who shockingly  goes beyond "normal procedure" to interrogate Brandon about his rape.  In audio clips of a disturbing interview  by Sheriff Laux with Brandon following the  rape, Laux is heard to effectively criminalize  what in Brandon's own words is called a  "sexual identity crisis." As well, Laux disturbingly insists on getting the "sordid" details of the rape that he is so obviously hungry for.  The film labours in the many details  of the investigation, court questions and  characterization of people, such as the killers. They reveal their perversity, intolerance, alienation and lies to protect their  belief in heterosexual dominance, but this  only succeeds in being revealing if the  viewer has some analysis of sexism and  heterosexim. Without analysis, the flaws  of the investigation and the social environment surrounding Brandon can only be reinforced and the values of the bigoted  characters reiterated.  The film is limited by the availability  of particular types of information. For example, during footage which showed  transgendered activists from across the US  demonstrating support for Brandon Teena  outside the courthouse at the murder trial,  there is an all-too-short moment where  Kate Bornstein, transgender activist and  writer, expresses her heartfelt grief, passion and convictions.  from the claustrophobia of repression  and alienation that is shown in the rest of  the film. Making up only a few minutes  of the film's 90-minutes, this footage is so  short, it doesn't give background as to how  these activists are politicized, how they  have come to be here, and what kind of  support they create among each other.  Such information is odd to leave out. It  makes me wonder what is considered legitimate information and how our dependence on "official" information constructs our stories for us.  The value of this film is it gets a story  of Brandon Teena out. In itself, it is not a  sensationally made film. It is modest in  style and composition, sometimes with  poor sound and slightly out-of-sync  voices.  The filmmakers' own voices, in all  their modesty, can hardly be found. This  shows how much they depend on the information they present to speak for them.  This method of filmmaking paints a very  narrow picture. It remains dependent on  scripts written by our culture's addiction  for sensational information.  The fate of Brandon Teena—and the  legacy of alienation and dysfunction in the  culture that surrounded him—is a poignant reminder to us of our need for a legacy  of respecting difference, to open our minds  and hearts, and to embrace compassion.  One family's film  LETTER WITHOUT WORDS  directed by Lisa Lewenz  USA, 1997  In 1981, Lisa Lewenz discovered her  grandmother's home movies in the attic,  and a new sense of discovery of self and  family began. Ella Lewenz, born in 1883,  became inseparable from her movie camera. She was one of the first Germans to  own one and one of the first to document  the streets of Berlin on the eve of the outbreak of World War I.  Lisa Lewenz has long been collecting  stories of the life of her grandmother, her  six children, their displacement and survival from the Nazis, and their final escape  to America. Through it all, never did Ella  forget her camera—not even during the  outlaw of any independent filming or photography in 1933 Nazi Germany.  Through these once-hidden films, and  the discovery of her grandmother's fastidious diaries, Lewenz's family's German-  Jewish identity, social standing, wealth and  cultural vibrancy in pre-war Berlin is portrayed with sensitivity and intimacy. And  underlying it all is a respect for her grandmother 's passion for film, politics and culture.  From footage of a meeting that Ella attended of concerned Jewish artists and intellectuals—including Albert Einstein, Felix  Mendelssohn, Max Plonk, and others—to  that of the streets of Berlin, eerily draped  with Nazi flags and banners, we see evidence of the challenges faced day-to-day  by both Jewish and German citizens.  We also see the passion and talent Ella  had for film through her documents portraying a loving family living in a politically turbulent and dangerous time.  Interviewing her grandmother's children, Lisa discovered "each one of [them]  were like libraries." These interviews are  touching in both humorous and sad ways  as we learn about their lives and their  memories. Family members not interviewed here are included in the film project  Lisa is currently working on.  Letter Without Words is a short, wondrous document that shows a life of a  woman surrounded by culture: art, words,  books and family. Without cheap sentimentality or nostalgia, it reminds us of the  power of memory and storytelling and of  personal documents, the privileges we have  to make them, and how political agendas  can threaten both art and life.  Laiwan is an interdisciplinary writer and artist living in Vancouver. She was born in  Harare, Zimbabwe of Chinese origin.  SALT SPRING ISLAND  NOVEMBER 1998 Arts  Silver emulsion prints by Shaira Holman:  Girls in Drag is gender...  Self-portrait  by Lesley Ziegler  Gender, gender, gender. It seems like  everyone is talking about clothes and body  parts these days. Jock women wearing  bulky hockey equipment upset men in deodorant commercials. Bill Kurtis investigates  and reports on transsexual menace for  A&E. Writers earnestly and fretfully posit  gender transgression as a symptom of  millennial angst. Maybe the only thing  missing is Chicken Little in a flap, screaming "a girl is wearing a moustache!"  In the midst of this social and cultural  dither, GID: Gender Identity Disorder  or...Girls in Drag, Shaira Holman's instal- |  lation of silver emulsion photographs at j  the Helen Pitt International Gallery in I  Vancouver, is timely to say the least. The  series of 20 black and white portraits de- j  picts cross-dressing, gender-b(l)ending  girls in drag whose images, poses and  words confront and dispute society's  stereotypical boundaries for appropriate female conduct. As a whole, the collection undermines conventional Western gender codes to such a degree that any neat  opposition of male/female or man/woman  ends up seeming about as tidy and rational  as a chicken with its head cut off.  This ability to disorganize, to dis-ease  the binary opposition of male/female resides in all of Holman's GID portraits.  Much of this capacity to disrupt may be attributed to the prolific, fluid nature of the  images - no easy feat for a photographer  working in a medium which has traditionally relied on formally rigid style and content. "Historically, the photographer,  through the camera, tries to suggest we're  one thing and one thing only," Holman  notes, "but I'm trying to show that a person is not just one portrait. A person is a  whole number of things."  The photographs in GID are a whole  number of things too, and they overturn a  variety of traditions: they combine written  text and photographs; they blur their sub  jects; and, in place of a traditional prefab  silver gelatin, they employ a thick, aged  emulsion applied on watercolour paper to  let the drips and brushstrokes show. The  overall effect is to give the portraits an unpredictable, layered and tactile character  that compels the viewer to see the photographs not as documentary access to something beyond them, or even as spontaneous expressions of how something feels, but  as thoroughly material fabrications.  The prints in GID also play with the  made-up / make-up aspect of portrait photography. In almost all the prints, image is  an image is an image, producing and reproducing contact-sheet versions of the  subject on the periphery of a central portrait. The effect is visually unruly, drawing  the viewer's gaze to the top, bottom and  sides of the picture until, finally, it's impossible to say which image is central and  which is at the margins.  cases, the subject appears in a single portrait as female here and male there. As a  result, the images in Girls in Drag work to  expose the ways in which gender and self  in our culture are themselves manufactured  systems, unfixed, unnatural and uncertain.  "Gender Identity Disorder," one of the  meanings Holman ascribes to GID, is the  term employed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to account for women who "fail to identify as a  sexual female." It entered the DSM's world  of pathology at the same time the DSM's  editors decided to remove "homosexuality." In other words, at the precise moment  so-called "atypical sexual object-choice"  was depathologized, "atypical gender identification" came along to stigmatize individuals who didn't fit mainstream stereotypes.  But why even call up the regulatory  powers of psychiatry and psychology in an  art installation concerned with disrupting  ram?  In fact, the more you look at the  GID portraits, the more likely you are to  conclude that centers and margins are only  a matter of perspective. Which is fine with  Holman. "I think every individual has endless possibilities, including the ability to occupy more than one position," she argues.  "We're not static or unified individuals."  Using art to advocate for disorder and  flux can be risky, but the photographs in  GID nevertheless refuse to be singular or  merely representational. Even more, they  resist the urge to assert a unitary, stable gender or self.  Instead, by introducing many of the  signifiers mainstream culture would consider inappropriate for women, GID relentlessly challenges normative culture's expectations for the female body. The subjects in  these photographs have sideburns, beards,  goatees and moustaches; they wear  "men's" underwear, baseball caps and  undershirts; they pack dildoes. In some  model of gender play altogether, stating  simply, "Like I've always said, you're born  naked and the rest is drag."  After reading the text and images in  Holman's portraits, it becomes apparent  that a kind of cultural trompe I'oeil is at work  in GID. The inclination to position as "female" those subjects who lack traditionally  masculine accoutrements and, in turn, to  situate "in drag" those subjects dressed in  moustaches, boxer shorts or fedoras can't  be sustained. Simple nudes get juxtaposed  to long-haired models wearing miniskirts.  The same model wears a skirt here, a suit  and tie there. Another model, clearly packing in boxer shorts, tilts her head away from  the camera and gazes over her own breasts.  What the viewer is left with is an audacious parody not just of gender norms,  but of any norms at all. Prolific images take  the place of the documentary photograph.  Reading/viewing is exposed as an act of  coding and decoding. Multiplicity takes the  place of binary gender identities. Shifts and  seams open up where the unified  subject used to stand.  GID doesn't try to claim that  gender is over or that self and identity can only be found via gender  transgression. Instead, it challenges  the prescriptive, normalizing authority of convention and questions the  concise oppositions of male/female  and masculine/feminine on which  that authority is based. And Holman  clearly has a skilled hand and keen eye  when composing images that explore  gender's euphoric potential.  GID: Gender Identity Disorder  or...Girls in Drag is on exhibit at the Helen  Pitt International Gallery, 882 Homer St,  Vancouver until December 3.  Lesley Ziegler lives, slacks off and plays  '5 with her new skill saw in Vancouver. She  <o usually wears boxers but from time to time  'ñ†& wears briefs.  "Well," says Holman, "you  can't think or theorize about gender without using the terms that already exist, so  you have to at least acknowledge the medical texts, even if they're ridiculous."  To explore and expose that ridiculousness, Holman's photographs use written  text, in most cases selected or written by  the portraits' models, to speak back to how  and why society polices the ways females  perform gender. "By creating a treatment  process that is intended to churn out feminine heterosexual women and masculine  heterosexual men," reads one portrait (borrowing from Pat Califia's Sex Changes), "the  gender scientists have turned their backs  on the most liberating and revolutionary  implications of what they call "gender dysphoria" - the possibility that the categories  of "male" and "female" are unrealistic and  smothering us all." Another photograph,  titled "Born Naked," dismisses the disease  Pit-fired sculptures by  Myriam Fougere  Open Studio  Dec 4,5,6, and 12  1811 East3rd Ave, Vancouver  Friday,  Dec 4: (4-9pm) Food and beverage at 7pm  Saturday, Dec 5: (1-9pm) Food and beverage at 5pm  Sunday, Dec 6: (1-6pm) Tea at 5pm  Saturday, Dec 12: (1-6pm) Tea at 5pm  TEL: (604)253-3740  NOVEMBER 1998 Arts  Artist and etiquette maven Sheila Norgate:  Her heart held a party.  by Kelly Haydon  Sheila Norgate's art is fascinating. As  I gazed at the paintings hung on the walls  of her studio, I found something inside me  going quiet and still, and my heart opening. I finally dragged my eyes from her  work to interview the woman herself.  In the early eighties, Norgate, the  banker, was confined to her bed with a debilitating chronic illness. Unable to work,  she turned to painting. "I had always dabbled in water colour, but had no intention  of being an artist," she says. Less than 20  years later, Norgate has many shows under her garter, is collected internationally,  and has recently published a book.  Early on, her art centred around images of the heart. Her mixed media pieces  had titles such as, "My heart held a party  to which I was invited but couldn't go because I was afraid I'd see someone I knew"  and "My heart had been arrested for causing a disturbance and I was called downtown to pick it out of a line up."  Norgate followed that with themes of  Nice Girl/Bad Girl with mixed media  pieces containing words like, "Nice girls  apologize bad girls strategize," coupled  with images of women. Her more recent  works are beautiful abstractual landscapes  with imbedded text such as, "On a clear  day you can still only see where you have  the courage to look." Still evident in her  paintings is the "heart."  Norgate's book  Storm Clouds Over  Party Shoes: Etiquette  Problems for the  lll-Bred Woman was  published in 1997 by  Press Gang. The  book has snipped  text from etiquette  books combined  with hand painted  images culled from  women's magazines  of the forties and fifties. This book is  both hilarious and  disturbing, highlighting the absurdity of it all, as well as  pinpointing society's attempt to  erase women from themselves.  Norgate is a self-taught artist and I  asked her about this in our interview.  Sheila Norgate: I have no training other  than one lone semester at college. I have to  stay away from it; I am too impressionable,  too maleable. I get too caught up in ancient  childhood stuff about teacher-pleasing and  competition with people. I just need my  own space to hear my own voice.  Kelly Haydon: Why do you do your art?  Norgate: I have to; it just feels like my  spirit has to do it. I've forged a very deep  connection with a part of myself that really  needs to do this. Art is how I express myself. It's a way for me to know more about  myself and to invite myself to speak. I like  to express it publicly but really I'm communicating with me first, then other peo-  pie.  It's absolutely a calling and I know  how strong it is because I've given up a lot  of things to do art. I've seen my peers go  on with their careers and [accumulate] their  property, and I'm still driving a 1974  Volkswagen van, which I love.  Look with your eyes, see with your heart  Haydon: How does your feminism play  into the work?  Norgate: It plays into it a lot. I do work  like the etiquette series, and that's entirely  feminist. That was my foray into letting  myself be as political as I wanted to be, and  I was just thrilled with what happened. My  other work is really personal, and I'm always astounded that other people are interested in it. But of course, they are human stories-a life story about a woman trying to emerge.  My work is feminist because I'm a  woman and a feminist and I place myself  in the work all the time. It is always from  the female point of view and I usually iden  tify that in the title. It is political and it is  personal, and that makes it feminist. I've  loved the adage feminism gave us—the  personal is the political—and I have really  hung onto that. It means I am doing something political because it's my personal  struggle and that's political enough. It also  helps me validate the time and energy I  spend making art.  Haydon: What kind of response do you  get from women?  Norgate: There is a lot of  resonance with women to my  work. I've always had a wonderful following of women. A  lot of people who buy my work  have never bought art before  and that is exciting. I'm just  thrilled to know they are buying my work because they are  moved to come forward and do  something risky.  Haydon: What would you  say to women who are just beginning artists?  Norgate: It's a good question because there is not much  for them to hear from. I would  say, if you can endure long  enough until you are caught in  the art-making and absolutely  compelled to do it, then it's no longer a  choice. You won't need any will-power. I  would also say, just try and believe in yourself and try to trust that the investment in  the introspection and the time and energy  it takes to visit yourself over and over again  is everything.  Sheila Norgate is leaving Vancouver for  quieter ports of call (Nanaimo) next Spring.  She invites women to drop by to her Last  Chance Studio Moving Sale on Sunday, November 29 from 11:00am to 6:00pm at #204-  119 W. Pender St.  Kelly Haydon would rather paint than write a  bio.  from BASMATI page 19  Life forms such as plants, animals and  human genes can be patented under US  law. They are using the existence of these  laws to argue that "fairness" dictates that  other countries should have them too! And  it is working. Pressure from the US government and US-based corporations recently managed to overturn the European  Union's ban on patents on life. What this  pressure is intended to do is to have a  US-style patent law exist in every country  in the world.  The way the issue gets framed by corporations is that countries without laws  that allow for the patenting on life are simply bitter that they didn't think of it first.  They fault those governments who have actually listened to people's movements opposed to biopiracy, for what they call  "weak" patent laws.  From a people's perspective, it is the  US that has "weak" patent laws and the  governments of the North that must  change, not the countries of the South  which refuse patents on life. It is on the  basis of asking the question, "why should  we give monopoly rights to a handful of  plant breeders and corporations and nothing to the millions of farmers who over centuries have developed and nurtured the  materials these breeders rely on?" that we  can wage an anti-colonial struggle in food  politics.  What are some of the alternatives and  actions we can take? First, we need to ensure that the collective rights of farmers and  communities have precedence over the intellectual property rights regime [IPR] set  up through the WTO (World Trade Organization). [In 1995, the WTO brought in regulations to facilitate recognition of "ownership"  over knowledge—that is, products of the  mind—for market purposes.] In other words,  we need to protect indigenous knowledge  and ensure that it can never be privately  owned but remains in the common, people's space.  In a Supreme Court case currently being fought in India over the government's  failure to protect indigenous knowledge  and farmers' rights, a group led by Vandana  Shiva has said, "we must give due respect,  recognition and support to indigenous  knowledge systems so that the rejuvenation  of our knowledge serves the basic needs of  the poor...and our indigenous knowledge  is not reduced to be raw material for patent claims of TNCs or even Indian scientists." The group is also working with a  team of lawyers in Washington, DC to develop an effective strategy to have RiceTec's  basmati rice patent revoked.  Here in Vancouver, the Basmati Action  Group is in contact with people working  on this effort and will actively participate  in this struggle. We cannot stop with the  US government, though. We also need to  pressure the Canadian government to ensure that it refuses to ever accept patents  on biopirated life forms.  We need a grassroots, people's initiative on this issue if we are to gain back what  has been looted. We need to see this is much  more than a health issue, although, of  course, it is that. We also need to see it as  much more than a consumer's choice issue, even though this too is part of the issue.  The patenting of life forms is ultimately  an issue that will affect our very future on  this planet. Nobody knows how far it will  go. With things like Monsanto's Terminator Technology, we are talking about a possibly permanent, irretrievable, unrecallable  disaster on nature.  It's time to take back our past and give  our thanks and respect to indigenous  knowledge systems. It is time to take back  our present by taking back our lives, our  lands, our labour, our food so that we are  truly free to live on this planet. And it is  time to take back our future by stopping  the patenting of life.  The Basmati Action Group in Vancouver  meets regularly. For more information, contact  them by telephone: (604) 255-4910 or email:  basmati-action@sfu.ca  24  NOVEMBER 1998 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 Bulletin Board,  Kinesis, #309-877 E. Hastings Street,  Vancouver, BC, V6A 3Y1, or fax: (604)  255-5511. 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.  Story Meetings are held on the first  Tuesday of every month at 7pm at our  office, 309-877 E. Hastings St. The next  meetings are on Nov 3 and Jan 5. 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 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 back in production for our December/January 1999  issue—featuring a special supplement on  25 years of the women's movement in  Canada—from Nov 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.  VSW IS LOOKING FOR YOU!  If you are interested in learning to do  referral and peer counselling work, at VSW  we are offering a great opportunity to  women who are interested in volunteer  work during the day. Come answer the  phone lines, talk to women who drop in,  and help connect them with the community  resources they need. For more information  call Ema at 255-6554. 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 255-6554 today!   RECOMMENDING WOMEN  1999 will mark the 10th anniversary of the  Vancouver Status of Women's premier  fundraising gala, Recommending Women.  VSW is inviting women in the community to  join the organizing committee for this very  exciting event. If you have event organizing  skills, enthusiasm, or just want to have  some fun, call Audrey at 255-6554 to find  out how you can get involved. VSW  welcomes your ideas on how to make the  10th annual Recommending Women the  biggest and best VSW party ever.  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 (new Production Coordinator for  Kinesis) at 255-5499 or Rita Dhamoon of  the VSW Volunteer Development Committee at 255-6554.  EVENTS  VIOLENCE AGAINSTWOMEN  Yasmin Jiwani, executive coordinator of  FREDA (the Feminist Research Education  Development and Action Centre on  Violence Against Women and Children) will  speak on the work of the centre Tues Nov  24 at 7pm in the Boardroom of Douglas  College, 700 Royal Ave, New Westminster,  BC. Working with community groups using  participatory action research, FREDA has  conducted needs assessment for transition  houses, developed peer support groups for  older women, and helped identify the  needs of rural women. Jiwani's talk is part  of Douglas College's WomenSpeak  Institute. Admission is free. Reserve your  seat by calling (604) 527-5440. Space is  limited.  POPULAR EDUCATION  Vancouver Status of Women is holding its  popular education program "Gaining my  Voice, Taking our Strength" on four Saturdays starting Nov 7. Issues that will be  addressed include: health, economics,  violence, heterosexism, ableism, class, and  anti-racism. 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. To register call Ema at 255-6554.  Space is limited.  DISCUSSION SERIES  The Philippine Women's Centre is hosting  a three part discussion series on Filipino  women entitled, "Mga Kababaihan: Our  Past, Present and Future" at the Kalayaan  Centre, 451 Powell St, Vancouver. The  series will be held on Saturdays Nov 14,  28 and Dec 5, 2-5pm. The discussions will  focus on the roots of Filipino women's  oppression, their current conditions, and  their role in the national democratic  struggle of the Filipino people. For more  info call Maita or Jane at (604) 215-1103.  LESBIAN SENIOR CITIZENS  What are the needs of lesbian and gay  senior citizens? That is the topic Sandra  Kirby will address in her talk in Vancouver  on Fri Nov 13, 10am-noon, at the Centre  of Excellence for Women's Health, Room  E311-4500 Oak St (entrance at Heather  and 29th). Kirby worked with a research  team from the Sum Quod Sum Foundation  to ask older lesbians and gay men in  Winnipeg about their needs for gay-friendly  housing, health care, and social services.  Services for person with disabilities in the  Lower Mainland and transportation subsidies are available upon advanced request.  For more info call (604) 875-2633 or email  bccewh @ bccewh. be. ca  FREE VIDEO SERIES  The North Shore Women's Centre is  holding a free video series in November on  the theme of 'Together Against Violence" at  the centre, 944 West 16th St, North  Vancouver. Without Fear will be shown Fri  Nov 13 at noon. This video is a powerful  and poignant film of how six women  became survivors. Following the journey of  these women, we begin to understand why  all women are at risk of being abused. On  Fri Nov 20 at noon, In Our Defense will be  shown. This documentary explores the  question "why would some people want to  abuse others." And on Mon Nov 30 at 7pm  After the Montreal Massacre will be  screened with a discussion to follow. For  more info call (604) 984-6009.  NATIONAL FORUM  'Towards Filipino Women's Equality" is the  theme of the first Filipino-Canadian  women's national consultative forum to be  held in Vancouver Mar 11-14,1999.  Organized by the Philippine Women Centre  of BC, this forum will be an opportunity to  gather on a national level to address a  broad range of issues from the perspective  of grassroots Filipino women. The forum  will discuss five major themes: labour and  migration; human rights, systemic racism  and immigration; violence against women;  young women and their issues; and  challenges for women migrant workers. For  more info contact Luningning Alcuitas-  Imperial or Jane Ordinario at (604) 215-  1103 or pwc@netcom.ca.  INDIGENOUSWOMEN'S ART  Ancient Memories Thru Women's Art, an  event that will be held Nov 6-8 at the  Roundhouse Community Center in Vancouver, will be an opportunity for Indigenous  women to share their accomplishments,  ideas and skills thereby fostering a sense  of cultural pride and community solidarity.  The three-day gathering will include artist  workshops, cultural events, panel discussions, healing circles, and art exhibition,  among other things. Indigenous women  wishing to register contact Michelle  Sylliboy at (604) 251-4621 ext 1 and leave  a message; e-mail: sylliboy@usa.net; or  write to: Indigenous Women in the Arts  Collective, 307-1710 East Pender St,  Vancouver, BC, V5L1W4.  WOMEN OFWORDS  The Ridge Meadows Women's Centre, in  partnership with Press Gang Publishers is  hosting "Women of Words" on Thurs Nov  12 at 7pm at the Pitt Meadows Library,  12047 Harris Rd, Pitt Meadows, BC.The  event will feature readings by Persimmon  Blackbridge, author of Prozac Highway,  and Karen X. Tulchinsky, author of Love  Ruins Everything. For more info call (604)  460-0064.   TO BE CONTINUED  A new anthology of lesbian writings, To Be  Continued, edited by Karen X. Tulchinsky  and Michele Karlsberg and published by  Firebrand Books, will be launched in  Vancouver Fri Nov 6 at 8pm at Harry's Off  Commercial, 1716 Charles St. The literary  event is sponsored by Little Sister's  bookstore. For more info call (604) 669-  1753.   MARIE-CLAIRE BLAIS  Quebecois writer Marie-Claire Blais will  give a reading in Vancouver on Thurs Nov  12, 7:30pm at Women In Print, 3566 West  4th Ave. Blais is the recipient of a Governor  General's Award and has earned international acclaim for her work as a novelist  and distinguished playwright. She will read  from Wintersleep, a collection of five short  plays, which have recently been translated  into English. Admission is free. For more  info call (604) 732-4128.   POETIC QUINTET  Five Vancouver-based poets—Pam  Galloway, Eileen Kernaghan, Jean  Mallinson, Sue Nevill and Clelie Rich—will  read from their book Quintet: Themes and  Variations on Tues Nov 3, 7:30pm at  Women In Print, 3566 West 4th Ave,  Vancouver. Admission is free. For more info  call (604) 732-4128.   JOAN GIVNER  Joan Givner will read from the essays and  short stories that make up her Thirty-Four  Ways of Looking at Jane Eyre on Tues Nov  17, 7pm at Women In Print, 3566 W 4 Ave,  Vancouver. In Thirty-Four Ways, Givner  explores the uncertain boundaries between  biography, autobiography and fiction in a  way that is humorous and entertaining,  while raising some important questions  about the stories writers tell. Givner is  professor emeritus at the University of  Regina and currently lives in Mill Bay, BC.  Admission to the reading is free. For more  info call (604) 732-4128.  BAHJI ON THE BEACH  The Richmond Women's Resource Centre  is hosting a screening of the film, Bahji on  the Beach Wed Nov 18, 1:30-3:30pm. The  film focuses on the adventures of members  of a South Asian women's centre in  England and their friends as they embark  on an outing to the beach. Bahji is a  delightful view of women's relationships  with their families, from a humorous  viewpoint that addresses some serious  issues. The screening will take place at The  Caring Place, Room 110-7000 Minoru  Blvd, Richmond. For more info call (604)  279-7060.  WOMEN  IN PRINT  BOOKS & OTHER MEDIA  10-6 Daily*  12-5 Sunday  Discounts/or  book clubs  ♦  Special orders  welcome  NOVEMBER 1998 Bulletin Board  EVENTS  EVENTS  GROUPS  GROUPS  GID IN PHOTOS  Shaira Holman's first solo photographic  installation, GID: Gender Identity Disorder  or... Gids in Drag, can be experienced at  the Helen Pitt Gallery, 882 Homer St,  Vancouver until Dec 3. "Women do drag as  a parody, for fun, for survival, to feel  normal, for a performance, as a critique of  heterosexism; the list is endless... the  common thread is a refusal to accept  society's definition of female," says Holman.  Her installation is a series of portraits in  liquid emulsion on watercolour paper with  the use of layering and text. For gallery  hours or more info call the Pitt Gallery at  (604) 681-6740.   INDIGENOUSWOMEN'S ART  An art exhibit to accompany the Ancient  Memories Thru Women's Art gathering in  Vancouver will be held until Nov 10 at the  Roundhouse Community Centre, 181  Roundhouse Mews. Co-curated by Shirley  Bear and Grace Eiko Thomson, the exhibit  features works by established and emerging artists, including Susan Point, Michelle  Sylliboy, Corinne Hunt, Rose Spahan,  Alannah Earl, Michelle McGeough, and  Judy Cramner. For gallery hours call the  Roundhouse at (604) 713-1800.   WOMEN'S CENTRE FUNDRAISER  The Douglas College Women's Centre is  hosting a fundraising event featuring a  special screening of Fury for the Sound:  the Women at Clayoquot on Thurs Nov 5  at 7pm in Room 2201, 700 Royal Ave, New  Westminster, BC. Fury's filmmaker Shelley  Wine will be in attendance. Tickets are $6  or donate what you can. For more info call  (604) 527-5894 or 527-5148.   WOMEN'S DANCE  The last Women's Dance of the year in  Kelowna, BC will be held Sat Nov 21 at  9pm at the Laurel Building, 1304 Ellis St.  The event is a production of the Okanagan  Rainbow Coalition. Tickets are $5/mem-  bers, $8/non-members. For more info call  (250)717-8755.   MARKER OF CHANGE  In 1990, a group of Vancouver feminists set  out to create a national monument in  memory of the 14 women murdered  December 6, 1989 at Ecole Polytechnique  in Montreal. Their hard work and persistence paid off last year with the completion  of a memorial at Thornton Park. Now, a film  documenting their controversial seven year  struggle is set to be released. Directed by  Mo Simpson and produced by Sher  Morgan and Pamela Millar, Marker of  Change, the Story of the Women's Monument, airs on Vision TV Wed Dec 2 at 9pm.  Moving Images Distribution will be hosting  a Vancouver film premiere Sun Dec 1,  2:30pm at the Planetarium. For more info  call (604) 602-1202 or 684-3014.   INDIA MAHILA ASSOCIATION  The India Mahila (Women's) Association is  celebrating 25 years of struggle and  volunteer service with an Entertainment/  Awards/Dinner/Dance on Fri Nov 6,  6:30pm at the Fraserview Hall, 8240 Fraser  St, Vancouver. Over its decades of activism, IMA, the oldest South Asian women's  organization in Canada, has worked on  areas such as violence against women,  racist and sexist targetting of South Asian  women and the community, and new  reproductive technologies. For tickets and  more info call (604) 525-8042/325-3327 or  325-2820. Tickets: $15/adults, $10/student  or child.  NAC DINNER  The National Action Committee on the  Status of Women-BC Region is hosting a  fundraising dinner Fri Nov 20 at the Pink  Pearl Restaurant, 1132 E. Hastings St,  Vancouver. The evening will feature a  report back from the Women's Conference  Against APEC in Malaysia from NAC's  president Joan Grant-Cummings, and  entertainment. Doors open at 5:30pm;  dinner begins at 6:30pm. Tickets are $30,  or what you can afford. For more info, to  purchase a ticket, or to reserve a table call  (604) 736-3346.   HOMEOPATHY AND WOMEN  Surinder Mahil will talk on homeopathy and  women's health Sat Nov 7, 11am-1pm at  the Vancouver Women's Health Infocentre,  219-1675 West 8th Ave. Mahil will explain  what homeopathy is and and how it works.  Admission is free. For more info or to pre-  register call (604) 736-4234.   ROLFING  Gina Raynard will discuss women's health  issues and rolfing Sat Dec 5, 11am-1pm at  the Vancouver Women's Health Infocentre,  219-1675 West 8th Ave. Rolfing structural  integration is a 10-part series, hands-on  holistic approach to wellness. Admission is  free. For more info call (604) 736-4234.  CHILD APPREHENSION  DAMS (Drug and Alcohol Meeting Support  for Women) is holding a series of educational workshops on child apprehension  Wednesdays from 1-3pm, Nov 4 to Dec 9.  The weekly events take place at 119 W.  Pender, Room 112. Get to know your legal  rights and what to expect from the Ministry  for Children and Families. Lunch, bus  tickets and child-minding money available.  To sign up call Kathleen or Amanda at  (604) 687-5454.  CAREER CHANGE  The North Shore Women's Centre is  holding a discussion on the how to's of  career change on Wed Nov 18 at 6:30pm  at 944 West 16th St, North Vancouver.  Come learn job search skills, discuss  labour market information, the self-employment option and the development of a  marketing plan. To reserve a space or for  more info call (604) 984-6009.  RICHMOND WOMEN'S CENTRE  The Richmond Women's Resource Centre  is holding Legal Education and Access  Workshops for women Thursdays from  9:30am-12:30pm at 7000 Minoru Blvd. The  next sessions will be: a fieldtrip to Vancouver Law Courts on Nov 12, Getting a Job  and Starting a Career on Nov 19, and  Getting Involved in the Community on Nov  26. Seating is limited. Pre-register by  calling (604) 279-7060. Childcare and  travel expenses subsidized.  RELATIONSHIPVIOLENCE  Tara Britnell will be speaking on "Relationship Violence and Assault," Fri Nov 19  from 7-1 Opm at the Port Coquitlam Area  Women's Centre, 2420 Maryhill Rd, Port  Coquitlam, BC. Britnell will discuss what  violence and assault means, precautions  women can take, and how the court  process isn't so scary. A question period  will follow. For more info call (604) 941 -  6311. :   FREE WORKSHOPS FOR WOMEN  Douglas College is offering a free workshop on Stress Management Skills for  Women on Wed Nov 18. The workshop  will take place from 1-3pm in Room 2212,  Douglas College, 700 Royal Ave., New  Westminster. Seating is limited. To register  or for more info call (604) 527-5894 or 527-  5148.  EATING DISORDER RESOURCE  The Eating Disorder Resource Centre in  Vancouver is looking for volunteers to  assist with the planning and organizing of  "Eating Disorder Awareness Week 1999." If  you are interested in organizing events,  publicizing EDAW, putting together info and  materials or postering call (604) 631-5313.  MENOPAUSE AWARENESS GROUP  The Surrey Women's Centre is sponsoring  a Menopause Awareness Group which will  meet the 4th Monday of each month for  informal discussions around menopause  issues. The group meets 7:30-9:30pm at  the centre. For location or more info call  Janet or Sharon at (604) 589-1868.   WOMEN ABUSE SUPPORT GROUP  A support group 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 offerred. The group is free  and confidential and on-site childcare is  available. For more info call Sarah or April  at (604) 687-1867.   BI-WOMEN GETTOGETHER  A new Bi Women's get-together in Vancouver will hold its first meeting Fri Dec 11 at  8pm. Anyone interested is invited to drop  by to Moonbeams Cafe, 1200 Davie St, for  coffee, conversation and fun. For more info  call Liane at (604) 734-9407.   LESBIANS WITH CANCER  A support group for lesbians living with  cancer and their support persons is held  every third Monday, 7-8:30pm at the BC  Cancer Agency, Room 502-600 West 10th  Ave, Vancouver. Upcoming meeting dates  are Mon Nov 16 and Mon Dec 7. For more  info call Sarah Sample (604) 877-6000,  local 2192.   ENGLISH CONVERSATION GROUP  The English Conversation Group, hosted  by the Richmond Women's Resource  Centre, meets every Monday from 1-3pm  in Room 350 of the Caring Place, 7000  Minoru Blvd, Richmond. This group  provides a chance for those who speak  English as a second language to practise  grammar and vocabulary. Drop-in is free.  For more info call (604) 279-7060.  MULTICULTURAL GROUP  The Richmond Women's Resource Centre  hosts a Friends and Neighbours  Multicultural Group every Thursday from 1-  3pm in Room 340 of the Caring Place,  7000 Minoru Blvd, Richmond. This group  provides social support and English  language practice. Drop-in is free. For more  info call (604) 279-7060.   GODDESS ART SHOW  Goddess Artists: Call 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 through  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.  RAPE RELIEF VOLUNTEERS  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 STRENGTH  Shakti is a self-help group in Vancouver for  South Asian Indo-Canadian women who  have experienced the psychiatric system.  The group meets every 1 st and 3rd  Saturday of the month 1-3pm at South  Vancouver Neighbourhood House, 6470  Victoria Dr. For more info call Helen (604)  733-5570 (for English) or (604) 682-3269  box 8144 (for Punjabi & Hindi).  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 7:30-9pm every 1st and 3rd  Wednesday of the month. Facilitated by  Colleen Hyland and Cynthia Johnston. For  more info call (604) 631-5313.  FILIPINA NURSES  SUBMISSIONS  Are you a Filipina nurse who came to  Canada under the Live-in Caregiver  Program? The Philippine Women Centre is  gathering the experiences of Filipina  nurses who enter Canada as domestic  helpers. By sharing experiences, participants can identify what the systemic  barriers are that prevent them from developing their full potential in Canada. One  strategy is to begin the process of getting  collective recognition for the education and  skills Filipina nurses bring to Canada. For  more info about this research project or the  PWC's Nurses' Support Group, call Maita  or Mayette at (603) 215-1103.   ART SHOW SPACE  The VWHC Women's Health InfoCentre  (formerly the Vancouver Women's Health  Collective) is pleased to announce that  they will be opening up their space for  women artists. Shows will run for 4-6  weeks under contract guidelines. They will  host an opening and provide some advertising, as well as some hanging materials.  The next available show date is Dec 4.  Deadline for submissions is Fri Nov 13. For  more details, leave a message for Christine  or Tamara at (604) 736-4234.   GAY AND LESBIAN ANTHOLOGY  Two daughters of lesbian moms are inviting  others who grew up in lesbian and gay  families to contribute their creative pieces  for an upcoming anthology. Send work to:  Kids On The Margins, 50 Rosehill Ave, Apt  1508, Toronto, ON, M4T 1G6. Deadline is  Dec 31.  THE WRITING PROCESS  NOVEMBER 1998 Bulletin Board  SUBMISSIONS SUBMISSIONS  THEWRITING PROCESS  Contemporary Verse 2 is accepting  submissions of poetry, short prose,  reviews, and just plain old words on the  theme of "the writing process" for its Spring  1999 issue. Please enclose a SASE, cover  page and three line bio with your submission. Submissions should be no more than  4-6 poems; prose and essays maximum  800 words. Send to PO Box 3062, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 4E5. Deadline is Jan  15.   ANTE UP  Ante Up is now accepting submissions for  its premier issue. Ante Up is a new journal  of poetry dedicated to bringing into print  writings by under-recognized and under-  published Queer female poets. Send  submissions to Ante Up, c/o m  fondakowski, 76 1/2 Sycamore St, San  Francisco, CA, 94110.  KALLIOPE  Kalliope, a journal of women's art, is calling  for prose poems under two pages and flash  fiction under 500 words for its special issue  of Prose Poetry and Flash Fiction to be  released in Fall 1999. Send submissions to  Kalliope, FCCJ Kent Campus, 3939  Roosevelt Blvd, Jacksonville, FL, 32205.  Deadline is Feb 1.  API WOMEN 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.  IMMIGRANT STORIES AND POETRY  Two immigrant women in BC are compiling a  book of stories and poetry based on the experiences of "first generation" immigrant  women to be published in the Fall 1999. Stories/poetry should reflect hopes and dreams,  adapting, daily struggles, identity, striving to  strike a balance, loss and gain, the physical  process of migration, etc. Submissions  should be no longer than 4000 words and  be accompanied by an author profile of not  more than 200 words. Send submissions by  email to: nila_prabhjot@hotmail.com; or by  mail to: Nila/Prabhjot, PO Box 78023, Port  Coquitlam, BC, V3B 7H5. Deadline is Jan  31.   MIDDLE EAST PEACE QUILT  Women are invited to submit a quilt square  expressing their vision of peace between  the Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews in  the Middle East. Submissions will become  a permanent part of the Middle East Peace  Quilt, which will be toured and form a basis  for discussion and dialogue. Quilt squares  should be 9 inches square with a half inch  border on all four sides. The image may be  stitched, painted or worked in any other  way, as long as the fabric remains flexible.  Send submissions to the Middle East  Peace Quilt, PO Box 53528, W Broadway  Postal Outlet, 984 Broadway, Vancouver,  BC, V5Z 1K0. Those who can afford it are  asked to contribute $5 with each submission to help cover the cost of putting the  quilt together. For more info email:  quilt®vcn.bc.ca. Deadline is Dec 31.  YOUNG FEMINIST SCHOLARSHIP  Attention young feminists! The US feminist  publishing house, Spinsters Ink, is seeking  essays about feminism and what it means  to you. As part of their 20th anniversary  celebrations, Spinsters Ink is offering  students in their last year of high school a  chance at a $1,000 scholarship, essay  publication in HUES (Hear Us Emerging  Sisters): A Young Womans' Guide to  Attitude and Power, and an opportunity to  attend Norcroft, a writers' retreat for  women. For applications and guidelines,  please contact Spinsters Ink, 32 E. First St,  #330, Duluth, Minnesota, 55802; tel: (218)  727-3222. Deadline is Jan 1.  CRIAW CONFERENCE  The Canadian Research Institute for the  Advancement of Women (CRIAW) is  holding a conference entitled "Feminist  Definitions of Healthy Lifestyles and Caring  Communities" Oct 15-17,1999. CRIAW  welcomes papers, workshops, presentations, posters, art, poetry and performances for this conference. Submissions  must be sent before Feb 28,1999 to  CRIAW Paper Selection Committee, c/o  Andrea Levan, Thornloe College,  Laurentian University, Ramsey Lake Road,  Sudbury, ON, P3E 2C6; or fax: (705) 673-  4979. For more info call (705) 673-1730.  CLASSIFIEDS  ARTIST SHEILA NORGATE  Artist Sheila Norgate is leaving Vancouver  for quieter ports of call (Nanaimo) and  invites everyone to her Last Chance Studio  Moving Sale to be held Sun Nov 29,  11am-6pm at 204-119 West Pender St  (between Cambie and Abbott (689-4099).  The sale will feature original works of all  sizes, block prints, cards and T-shirts.  Something for everyone and every budget.  If you've been waiting to visit her studio  and pick up something for yourself or  someone you know, there's no time like the  29th. If you can't make the sale, call and  set up a studio visit.  OPEN STUDIO EXHIBITION  An open studio sale of pit-fired sculptures  by Myriam Fougere will take place Dec 4,  5, 6 and Dec 12. Opening with refreshments Fri Dec 4 at 7pm at 1811 E. 3rd  Ave, Vancouver. Touchable, sensual and  affordable, these clay creations are  inspired by women. For more info call (604)  253-3740.   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 has one, two and  three bedroom suites for $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.   ROOM AVAILABLE  A room is available in Vancouver for part-  time commuters or short-term visitors.  Lesbians and allies welcome. Call (604)  253-3740.  JEWELLE GOMEZ  Award winning author Jewelle Gomez will be in Vancouver for a reading at  Little Sister's, 1238 Davie St on Sunday November 22 at 7pm. She will read  from her new collection of short fiction, don't explain, which includes the  futuristic fantasy, "Houston," the fantasy novella "Lynx and Strand," and a  story of lesbian life in 1960s Boston, "Don't Explain."  Gomez is the Executive Director of the San Francisco State Poetry Center  and the author of the acclaimed Black lesbian vampire novel The Gilda  Stories, a book of essays Forty-Three Septembers, and the poetry collection  Oral Tradition. As well, her works have been anthologized in many collections.  Admission is free. For more information, call Little Sisters' at (604) 669-1753.  GET YOUR ADVERTISING IN!  CALL US AT:  (604)255-5499  OR FAX US:  (604)255-7508  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  NOVEMBER 1998 LOU  One year  □$20 + $1.40 GST  Two years  □$36 + $2.52 GST  Institutions/Groups  □$45+ $3.15 GST  Name.  □ Cheque enclosed  □ Bill me  □ New  □ Renewal  □ Gift  □ Donation  For individuals who can't afford the full amount  for Kinesis subscription, send what you can.  Free to women prisoners.  Orders outside Canada add $8.  Vancouver Status of Women Membership  (includes Kinesis subscription)  □$30+$1.40 GST  Address—  Country   Telephone _  Postal code_  Fax   Published ten times a year by the Vancouver Status of Women  #309-877 E. Hastings St., Vancouver, BC V6A 3Y1

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