Kinesis Jul 1, 1996

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 JULY/AUGUST 1996      NAC's new president... pg 13      CMPA $2.25  ^  Sgecial£yiectioii2J>erfg  Women of Courage  Photos from Ottawa: National Women's March storms Parliament Hill  • Saying No to Drugs: Commentary on Women and Psychiatry  • Jewish Women in Film  • Art in the Suburbs  and much, much more... KINESIS  #301-1720 Grant Street  Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y6  Tel: (604)255-5499  Fax:(604)255-5511  Kinesis welcomes volunteers to work  on all aspects of the paper. Our next  Story Meetings are Tues Aug 6 and  Tues Sep 3, at 7 pm at Kinesis. All  women welcome even if you donl  have experience.  Kinesis is published ten times a year  by the Vancouver Status of  Women.lts objectives are to be a  non-sectarian feminist voice for  women and to work actively for social  change, specifically combatting  sexism, racism.classism, homophobia, ableism, and imperialism. Views  expressed in Kinesis are those of  the writer and do not necessarily  reflect VSW policy. All unsigned  material is the responsibility of the  Kinesis Editorial Board.  EDITORIAL BOARD  Fatima Jaffer, Lissa Geller,  wendy lee kenward, Agnes Huang,  Alex Hennig  PRODUCTION THIS ISSUE  Dorothy Elias, Sandra M., Agnes  Huang, Judy Miller, Andrea Maenz,  wendy lee kenward, Dorcas, Fatima  Jaffer, E. Centime Zeleke, Persimmon Blackbridge, Joanne Namsoo,  Andrea Imada, Michelle Sylliboy.  Advertising: Sur Mehat  Circulation: Cat L'Hirondelle, Audrey  Johnson, Crystal Fowler  Distribution: Fatima Jaffer  Production Co-ordinator: Laiwan  Typesetter: Sur Mehat  FRONT COVER  Lilia Blasetti (centre) and Nadiya Jina  (right) receive congratulations from  NAC president Joan Grant-  Cummings after being presented with  the Women of Courage Award [see  page 4].  Photo by Agnes Huang.  PRESS DATE  June 27,1996  SUBSCRIPTIONS  Individual: $20 per year (+$1.40  GST)  or what you can afford  I nstitutions/G roups:  $45 per year (+$3.15 GST)  VSW Membership (includes 1 year  Kinesis subscription):  $30 per year (+$1.40 GST)  SUBMISSIONS  Women and girls are welcome to  make submissions. We reserve the  right to edit and submission does not  guarantee publication. If possible,  submissions should be typed, double  spaced and must be signed and  include an address, telephone  number and SASE. Kinesis does not  accept poetry or fiction. Editorial  guidelines are available upon  request.  DEADLINES  All submissions must be received in  the month preceding publication.  Note: Jul/Aug and Dec/Jan are  double issues.  Features and reviews: 10th  News: 15th  Letters and Bulletin Board: 18th  Display advertising  (camera ready): 18th  (design required): 16th  Printing by Horizon Publications.  Kinesis is indexed in the Canadian  Women's Periodicals Index,  the Alternative Press Index, and is a  member of the Canadian Magazine  Publishers Association.  ISSN 0317-9095  Publications mail registration #6426  JULY/AUGUST 1996  Inside  kin  \New3 About '  News  Report back from the NAC AGM and federal lobby 3  by Agnes Huang  New legislation on disclosure of records 4  by Agnes Huang  Protestors confront Reform Party 5  by Andrea Maenz  Madeleine Gould loses human rights case 5  by Krista James  New statistics on women and HIV/AIDS 6  by Fatima Jaffer and Nancy Pang  A gathering of community-based researchers 6  by Zara Suleman  Features  A feminist analysis of DNA evidence 11  by Julie Kubanek  Making a case for the Canada Pension Plan 12  by Ellen Woodsworth  Interview with NAC's new president: Joan Grant-Cummings 13  as told to Agnes Huang  Jewish women and political activism 18  by Justine Davis, Faith Jones, Sarah Leavitt and Rachel Rosen  Centrespread  Photos from Ottawa: National Women's March Against Poverty.... 14  compiled by Agnes Huang  NAC AGM..  Commentary  mzm*  0TW3H*  AMC! RUOY*  3MOH RUOY*  Feminist analysis of DNA..  Women and psychiatry .  by Irit Shimrat  Arts  Review of Ding Xiao Qi's Maidenhome 20  by Karlyn Koh  Reviews from the Vancouver Jewish Film Fest 21  by Faith Jones  Lesbian and gay subtext in Yiddish cinema 21  by Faith Jones  Review: Three solo shows at the RAG 22  by Lizard Jones  Powell Street Festival honours Asian Canadian women 23  by Eileen Kage as told to Laiwan  Regulars  As Kinesis Goes to Press 2  Inside Kinesis 2  International What's News 7  compiled by Lissa Geller, Fatima Jaffer and Andrea Maenz  National What's News 8  by Lissa Geller, Fatima Jaffer, Andrea Maenz and Heidi Walsh  Movement Matters 10  compiled by Joanne Namsoo  Letters 24  Bulletin Board 25  compiled by Alex Hennig  PAssfoviAte ^bovit women's issues!  Jewish women talk 18  Want to sec those  155VIC5  i»1   thcSC  pA£CS?  Come to our  Storvi Meetm$s  Tuesday August   6   and  at     #301-1720   Gr  Tuesday  September   3   at   7pm  ant   Street,   Vancouver.  Telephone:  (604)   255-5499  Kathy Ross at the RAG.. A lot of things seem to have been going in the political scene across the country  over the last month—a march on Parliament Hill, new federal legislation, a national consultation on violence against  women...  As Kinesis goes to press, many women  have just returned from the month-long  National Women's March Against Poverty  [see centrespread.] Women in Canada were  not the only ones marching for equality and  justice. About 10,000 US women turned up  in Los Angeles for a march that saw the  participation of just about every socially  progressive sector in the country [see What's  News page 7.]  Throughout and following the NAC  AGM, there was a spate of vitriolic articles,  editorials and letters critizing NAC's choice  of a new president, showing the mainstream newspapers are unrelenting in the  NAC-bashing. It also shows women don't  have to be storming Reform Party headquarters to set off a string of negative attacks.  One editorial inT/ie Globe and Mail was  particularly hateful: if one closed one's  eyes, one could imagine the editorial writer's veins popping out of his head over the  fact that NAC was able to get so much national and local media coverage. The Globe  followed the editorial with an even more  spitefu! front page cartoon the next day—a  NAC coffee mug with the caption "Black  no sugar."  On the provincial scene, BC premier  Glen Clark recently recalled the legislature  and announced a new cabinet. Essentially,  the cabinet faces are the same as those preelection. Mostly, what Clark did was to  merge a few portfolios and shuffling cabinet ministers into different jobs.  With regards to the Ministry of Women's Equality, Clark kept his pre-election  promise to women and left it as a stand  alone ministry. Sue Hammell was re-ap-  pointea as minister.  In other cabinet actions.. Joy McPhail,  the Minister of Social Services before the  election and when the NDP government  brought in its much despised changes to  social assistance last fall, was shifted over  to the health portfolio. Relative cabinet  newcomer, Dave Streifel, was dropped into  the social services hot seat.  As Kinesis goes to press, we have just  learned that Penny Priddy, the minister of  tourism and small business and former  MWE minister, will leave provincial politics temporarily to take care of her health-  Priddy has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  As well, as Kinesis goes to press, Glen  Clark essentially re-released the budget  announced before the NDP were re-elected.  He made two concessions to his "critics"--  one: to halt all new construction projects,  and two: to conduct a comprehensive review of all government programs.  More on the provincial politics  scene...last month, Ontarians mourned one  year of Mike Harris' right wing policies.  And just when everyone thought the Conservative government had done all the  damage it could (don't we say this every  month,) Harris and company came up with  another regressive policy. In late June, he  essentially stripped the tenancy rights legislation of all its teeth. Among the changes  was the removal of rent controls (which  ironically, were brought in by the last Conservative government.) The changes also  basically cleared the way for landlords to  evict tenants at whim, to turn apartments  into condominiums, and to leave tenants  with little recourse from exploitation and  abuse by landlords.  Across the country, there has been debate on alternatives to the deficit hysteria  and slash-and-burn policies of the right-  wing, that try to maintain social programs  and national standards, and create jobs,  stimulate the economy, and address the  deficit.  One example offered by the Social  Planning Council of Kitchner, Ontario criticizes the Ontario government's assertions  that cutting taxes would stimulate the  economy and that private businesses will  actually create real jobs. Instead the Council stresses that using the revenues from  taxes to create jobs through the non-profit  sector. The debate shows the right-wing  approach is being scrutinized by more and  more sectors.  \/   A   INT    C    O    U  Our appreciation to the following supporters who became members, renewed their  memberships or donated to Vancouver Status of Women in June:  Elizabeth Bristowe • Janet Berry* Inez Curl • Joyce Arthur • Tanya DeHaan •  Erlene Gladstone • Sharon Costello • Melanie Conn • Pierette Boily • Patty Moore  • Faune Johnson • Claire Kujundzic • Becki Ross • Wendy Scholfield • Mabel  Seggie  And a special thank you to our donors who give a gift 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:  Eha Onno • Barbara Curran • T.. Gibson • Jody Gordon • Barbara Lebrasseur •  Neil Power • Elaine Everett • Erin Graham  Thanks to volunteers who helped with our recent direct mail campaign:  Elizabeth Geller • Andrea Imada • Karen Joseph • Joanne Namsoo • Madeleine  Mclvor • Jennifer Johnstone  Speaking cf the NAC  lobby of federal politicians, women challenged Finance Minister Paul Martin on his  claim that Canada cannot afford to spend  $50 million on feminist strategies to end  violence against women. One NAC delegate told Martin he could use the monies  planned for the creation of the proposed  DNA databank (at a cost of hundreds of  millions) which women don't want [see  Page 11.]  Within days of rejecting women's demands for funding, mainstream newspapers reported at least four cases where a  woman had been murdered by her abusive  male partner or ex-partner. How much does  it take before Canada can "afford" to stop  women from dying.  On a happier note...congratulations to  Janine Fuller, manager of Little Sister's,  Vancouver's lesbian and gay bookstore  [which is making a long overdue move to  a bigger and wheelchair accessible space  in July] and Press Gang Publishers. Women  from Press Gang, Fuller, and co-writer  Stuart Blakely, just returned from Chicago  after receiving a special Lambda[lesbian and  gay] Literary Award jury prize for their  book, Restricted Entry, which documents  Little Sister's fight with Canada Customs.  Hey, on the local Vancouver  case you haven't caught it a relatively new bi-weekly Vancouver Sun column offering a selection of items from "the  local ethnic and community press." Last  month, Kinesis' coverage of the Women's  Election Agenda coalition's mobilizing  around the BC election was mentioned in  the column. Women called to find out about  "Vancouver's women's newspaper," surprised that they hadn't oiKinesis before and  thrilled to make a connection with the  women's movement through the mainstream media.  That's all for this month. We'll be back  after a month-long break with the September issue. Have a good summer and happy  reading.  Where in the  heck  can I find  Kinesis?  Vancouver  Banyen Books, Women in  Print, Duthie's on 10th,  Duthie's on 4th, Duthie's  @ Library Square, Capers  on 4th, Little Sister's,  Manhattan Books, Spartacus  Books, People's Co-op  Bookstore, Magpie Magazine  Gallery, Eastend Food  Co-op, Mayfair News, and  UBC Bookstore  Victoria  Everywoman's Bookstore  Brooks Books  Qeattle  Red and Black Books  Everywhere else  Kinesis is distributed to stores  all across Canada by the  Canadian Magazine Publishers  Association (CMPA), so ask  your local alternative  bookstore or newstand to  carry Kinesis for you.  And here's our monthly weather report from Kinesis HQ: fair, lots of sun, right-  wing weather over east with strong  rightwing winds over Alberta. Tomorrow,  less of the same, with more feminism and  sunshine expected all over the world due  to high pressure from out Left.  Well, actually, it's just kinda sunny over  Vancouver as we pore over text, scanned  images and chamomile tea.  We've got some not so sunny news this  month: Robyn Hall, who has been a member of the Kinesis Editorial Board for just  over a year is leaving the board to focus on  a new (paying) job and other pursuits. We  will miss you, Robyn. Thanks for the dedication and keeping us on our toes regarding Kinesis' exposure and visibility "out  there." Robyn has reassured us that she will  continue to volunteer and join us for our  chocolate fiestas or guilt-ridden jogs.  We've got an update regarding our  Kinesis annual benefit and raffle: we had  initially planned this exciting event for  August, but have been forced to move it to  September due to logitistical difficulties  (not the weather). We will announce a date  and venue as soon as it's been firmed up—  through a back-page ad in the September  issue oiKinesis, and (in Vancouver) through  posters on the Drive or at your closest wom  en's centre or bookstore. Wherever you hear  or read about it, don't miss it: it's one of  the best parties women put on in Vancouver each year (and that's not just our bold,  biased and brazen opinion!)  Big hellos to new voices in this issue:  Eileen Kage, Rachel Rosen, Justine Davis,  Julie Kubanek, Joan Grant-Cummings,  Karlyn Koh, Irit Shimrat, Krista James and  Andrea Maenz. Thanks also to ex-Ed  Boarder and writer Heidi Walsh who came  back to Canada from Germany long enough  to say hello, write a What's News item, and  make some much appreciated editing suggestions.  Finally, we'd like to remind Kinesis  readers that the Kinesis office will be closed  for the month of July, to give our exhausted  editor, production staff members and volunteers a rest. Please direct only urgent advertising inquiries to the Vancouver Status  of Women at (604) 255-5511.  We'll be back in August, refreshed and  ready for the revolution so stay with  us.. .and if you want to start the "new year"  as a budding reporter, photographer,  proofer or production pal, call 255-5499 (in  August) or come to our next story meeting  on Tuesday, August 6th at 7 pm. No experience necessary. Take the'll  never look back!  JULY/AUGUST 1996 NAC's annual general meeting:  News  Women vote for unity  by Agnes Huang  Women arriving in Ottawa June 13 for  the National Action Committee on the Status of Women's annual general meeting  knew they'd have a busy weekend ahead  of them. Not only would they be dealing  with the election of a new president, a booklet full of resolutions, and financial reports,  they would also be participating in the  jubiliant arrival of the National Women's  March Against Poverty on Parliament Hill  [see page 14.]  Throughout the weekend, women  scrambled back and forth in the warm Ottawa sun from the Citidel Hotel—the site  of the AGM—and the march's Tent City at  Le Breton Flats.  Because of the activities surrounding  the march, this year's AGM was allotted  less time than usual. Only one and a half  days were set aside to deal with all the business at hand.  The AGM started early Friday morning, June 14. Outgoing NAC president  Sunera Thobani and Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) vice president Nancy Riche  opened the plenary session with their  thoughts and assessments of the month-  long March across Canada. Riche read from  some e-mail letters received from women  during the march—a few, she said, were  hostile, but most, supportive.  Delegates also heard from the two candidates running for NAC president: Joan  Grant-Cummings, NAC's Treasurer and an  anti-racist, pro-choice health activist from  Toronto, and Catherine Laidlaw, a relatively  unknown feminist from Montreal.  Later in the morning, delegates went  to workshops to discuss questions and concerns with the resolutions. But less than  two-hours time was structured in for this  work, and the deadline for submitting  emergency resolutions was noon, Saturday.  After a lunch break, it was off to Tent  City to await the arrival of the marchers.  The rest of the day was filled with a rally,  some workshops and an evening concert.  Saturday morning did allow a bit more  time for constituency groups—Aboriginal  women, lesbians, young women, women  with disabilities—and women from the different regional groupings to meet and work  out final versions of emergency resolutions.  But by 1 pm, women set aside their AGM  business, and readied themselves for the  big march on Parliament Hill.  The only full day for AGM business  was Sunday. Some women arrived looking  tired, others seemed tense, but for the most  part, women seemed to be in good spirits,  still on an emotional high from the day before.  The AGM gave delegates a chance to  say thanks and goodbye to Sunera Thobani,  and for Thobani to hand over the reins of  the presidency. In her final speech as president, Thobani talked about what it has been  like to be the first women of colour president of NAC.  Twelve young women, who are all still in high school, were chosen from  across the country through an essay contest and flown out to Ottawa for  Tent City and the NAC AGM. [Some are pictured above.JThey were instrumental in getting NAC to support a new young women's caucus.  Delegates gave a Thobani a ten minute  standing ovation, chanting, "Women  united, will never be defeated," as she  made her way through the room past delegates and back around to the podium.  Women who had worked with her in  NAC—Carolann Wright, Vuyiswa Keyi,  Maureen Trotter, Laurie Kingston and Judy  Rebick—paid Thobani an emotional tribute.  Just before lunch, the polls had closed  and the ballots were counted—it was time  to announce the new president of NAC.  Despite being billed by the mainstream  media as a race based on "race," the election did not split votes between white  women and women of colour. Nor did  there seem to have been any concern that  the media's predictions would be realized.  Joan Grant-Cummings received more  than 90 percent of the vote, leaving  Catherine Laidlaw to gracefully acknowledge defeat. While there was some concern  from women on the floor about the insensitive way the election results were announced, almost everyone in the room  seemed elated by Grant-Cummings' victory and gave her a standing ovation.  The presidency was the only position  contested. All other members elected or reelected to the NAC Executive were acclaimed.  Fay Blaney, a First Nations woman  from Vancouver, became a two-year vice-  president, as did Vuyiswa Keyi of Toronto's Women's Health in Women's Hands.  They join Miche Hill and Marianne Roy as  vice-presidents.  Amy Go of the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) retained her position as secretary for a second term, and  Meenu Sikand-Taylor, a computer consultant and disability rights activist from To  ronto, replaced Grant-Cummings as treasurer.  Cenen Bagon, who stepped down as  NAC-BC South/Central regional representative, Jennifer Chew of the SouthAsian  Women's Centre in Montreal, and Jon Leah  Hopkins from Vancouver, who had previously been a member of the NAC Executive, were all acclaimed as members-at-  large, joining Nandita Sharma.  A highlight of the AGM was the presentation of the 1996 Women of Courage  Award. This year, a decision was made to  recognize the collective work of women.  Usually, it is individual women who are  honoured.  The Women of Courage, nominated by  the CCNC, are the 60 women laundry  workers of the Calgary General Hospital,  most of whom are women of colour and  immigrant women. Last fall, when Conservative premier Ralph Klein announced  cuts to health care funding and plans to  contract out their work, the women, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 8 and the Alberta  Union of Public Employees (AUPE), decided enough was enough and went on  strike. (Two years ago, they had agreed to  take a $2 an hour pay cut and reduction in  their holidays and benefits in exchange for  job security.) Their strike sparked solidarity protests across Alberta, and forced Klein  to back down.  Lilia Blasetti with CUPE and Nadiya  Jina withAUPE accepted the award on behalf of all the laundry workers [see front  coper photo.]  In honour of the Calgary laundry  workers, delegates broke out into a rendition of the Ode to Working Class Heroes,  which was sung (to the tune of You are my  Sunshine) by the striking laundry workers.  The rousing chorus is: "We did the laun  dry, the dirty laundry/We did it each and  every day/Now Ralph has told us he  doesn't need us/ And he thinks we'll just  fade away."  Less than half the resolutions were debated and voted on that day by the membership. Among key resolutions was the  designation of one of the vice presidency  positions to an Indigenous women-a position now being held by Fay Blaney. As  well, delegates agreed to support a resolution that there be a Young Women's Caucus within NAC that would meet twice a  year. An Executive member is to be designated to maintain contact with the young  women. However, a definition of "young  women" remains unresolved, with some  women saying under-20, others under-25.  There were several resolutions concerning accessibility and accomodation for  women with disabilities, which was an issue during the march and at Tent City, and  on the role of women with disabilities in  influencing NAC's policies and positions.  Another resolution passed directed the  Executive to look into changing the NAC  Constitution to allow individual memberships with voting rights in the organization.  A recommendation will be brought back to  the membership at the 1997 AGM.  When it came time to vote on this  year's Priority Campaign-Equality and  Democracy, a lot of discussion ensued. The  Campaign involves continuing to press for  the demands of the Women's March  Against Poverty, as well as focusing on the  democratization of political structures by  mobilizing the women's movement for the  upcoming federal election and constitutional talks.  Some women questioned why, given  the success of the march, the focus did not  remain "Bread and Roses, Jobs and Justice."  Others raised concern and confusion over  the meaning and use of the term, "democracy." In the end, delegates agreed to support a Priority Campaign of "Equality and  Democracy: Bread and Roses, Jobs and Justice."  The AGM ended with a final round of  the March's anthem, Bread and Roses. Delegates stood up, held hands around the  room, and joined Arlene Mantel in singing  the song.  The following day, over 300 women  packed into the room reserved for NAC's  annual lobby of federal politicians. The  women were scheduled to meet with the  Bloc Quebecois, the New Democratic Party  and the Liberal government.  Twelve BQ members, three NDP members and 32 Liberals showed up to the  lobby. Notably missing from the Liberal  caucus were Prime Minister Jean Chretien  and Human and Resources Development  Minister Doug Young.  As well, true to form, the Reform Party  did not show up...although, they almost  Continued on next page  JULY/AUGUST 1996 News  Sex discrimination in the Yukon:  One more  for the boys  by Krista James  Madeleine Gould's nine year battle  against sex discrimination in the Yukon  ended when the Supreme Court of Canada  (SCC) ruled that the men-only membership  policy of the Yukon Order of Pioneers was  not a violation of women's human rights.  The purpose of the Order, according  to its constitution, is "the advancement of  the Yukon Territory, the mutual protection  of its members, and to unite these members in the strong tie of brotherhood; and  to preserve the names of all Yukon Pioneers  on its rolls; to collect and preserve the literature and incidents of Yukon history." In  practice, it records the history of Yukon pioneering and of the Yukon generally. Its constitution requires that its members meet  three criteria: they must have lived in the  Yukon for a minimum of 20 years, be of  good character, and be male.  When Gould applied for membership  in the Order in 1987, she was turned down.  The 75-year old woman was a pioneer by  trade: she had mined the Klondike for 40  years. And like many Yukon women, she  had done a lot of work for the Order. She  had entertained children at Order events  and cooked and served food at Order dinners for years. According to Gould, "I  thought that if we were doing all that work,  we might as well become Pioneers."  Gould responded to the Order's decision by filing a complaint of sex discrimination with the Yukon Human Rights Commission. The Commission found in her fa-  vour, ruling that the Order's action  amounted to prohibited sex discrimination.  The Order appealed the Commission's decision to the courts, and at all levels, the  courts ruled that the Yukon Human Rights  Act had not been violated.  In March, the Supreme Court of  Canada ruled that there was no question  the Order's men-only rule amounted to sex  discrimination. However, the SCC further  said that the bare fact of sex discrimination  is not enough to establish a violation of the  Yukon Human Rights Act. This is because  the Act does not prohibit sex discrimination under all circumstances. Every human  rights statute makes a distinction between  the public and the private, and the law only  regulates what people do in public.  The SCC was concerned with whether  membership in the Yukon Order of Pioneers  was sufficiently public that the Order's actions were regulated by the Act. Only then,  would the discrimination against Gould on  the basis of her sex constitute a human  rights violation.  The Yukon Status of Women Council  intervened in the case to support Gould,  arguing that the male-only membership  policy discriminated against women because it cuts women off from the benefits  of membership, excludes women's input  from Yukon history, thereby contributing to  misconceptions of pioneering as a male-  only practice, and denies women pioneers  recognition for their work. The Council fur  ther argued that membership in the Order  met the Act's requirement of being a service provided to the public, because members of the Order acquire a number of benefits and the purposes and functions of the  Order are public. According to Nitya Iyer,  one of the lawyers for the Council, the  Gould case is important because it addresses the kinds of exclusion women are  supposed to be protected from. "When is a  club really private and when does it have  sufficient public or social existence to lose  that immunity from scrutiny under human  rights laws?... The question is how far are  we going to go to remedy sex discrimination; how much do we care about it," says  Iyer.  She adds that: "For women, as for  pretty well every other marginalized group  in this society, a lot of oppression takes  place in the private, most personal sphere—  in the family, for example. From the perspective of oppressed groups, it is a very  important question how far into the domain of the private the law will reach."  The majority of the SCC judges found  that the "service" the Order provides is  making available materials on the history  of pioneering in the Yukon and that there  is no discrimination in the provision of this  service, because the materials are available  to the general public. Membersmp, they  said, is not the public service in this case.  They saw the Order as a social ciub.  As has been the case in a number of  recent Supreme Court decisions, the two  women justices disagreed with die men.  The women found that the Orde; s actions  amounted to a prohibited form of discrimination In the dissenting opinion, Justice  Beverly McLachlin stated that "membership in the Yukon Order of Pioneers provides sufficient benefits of a public nature  and importance that membership itself constitutes a service to the public," and noted  that the Order's role in the community was  so prominent that denymg a woman access  to the Order amounted to denying recognition of her work as a pioneer.  In response to the male judges' fixation on the value of boys' clubs in facilitating male bonding, McLachlin pointed out,  "if male camaraderie suffices to render the  Human Rights Act inapplicable any organisation that excludes women from  membership could make a convincing case  for the perpetual exclusion of women."  After almost a decade of hearings,  Madeleine Gould says she is quite relieved  the whole thing is over, but she doesn't  seem bitter about how things turned out.  Says Gould: "It was worthwhile. In years'  time, someone will try for it and get in."  Still, she says she is amazed that the  men fought so hard to keep her out. "All I  wanted was to be recognized as a pioneer."  Krista James is a law student at the University of British Columbia.  Confronting the Reform Party  by Andrea Maenz  On Saturday, June 8th, about 200 people convened on the steps of the  Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre to demonstrate against the Reform  Party, whose delegates were inside, midway through their national  convention.The action, sponsored by many women's, community and  activist groups, including Act-Up Vancouver, Downtown Eastside Residents'  Association, Iranian Women's Independent Society, the Vancouver Status of  Women and the New Socialists, was organized to confront the sexist,  homophobic and racist policies of the Reform Party.  The initial chanting was enough to draw out a few white Reform men  in suits, whose reaction seemed to be a combination of amusement and  confusion.The Reform Party then responded by sending out two other  delegates in a futile attempt to defend the men. One delegate who was sent  out, a woman of colour, did try to speak above the yelling, while holding up  her Reform ID tag, yet she appeared to be quite uncomfortable being used  as a shield. Photo by Andrea Maenz.  fif&rS  W*   / Book&  W"*     Art Emporium  Western Canada's  Lesbian & Gay  Bookstore  Open Daily 10am to 11pm  Our Books/Our Issues  Gay Fiction  Lesbian Fiction  Our Magazines & Journals  AIDS/Health  Humour  Erotica  Queer Theory  Feminist Theory  Biographies, Essays, Poetry  Religion & Spirituality  Art & Photography  Community  1221 Thurlow(at Davie), Vancouver, B.C.  Tel:(604)669-1753 or  Fax:(604)685-0252  JULY/AUGUST 1996 News  Women and HIV/AIDS:  Taking on the  myths  by Fatima Jaffer and Nancy Pang  The 11th International Conference on  AIDS takes place in Vancouver July 7-12.  This will be one of the largest AIDS conferences ever. The conference will not just  bring together academics, medical "experts," researchers, pharmaceutical companies and professional HTV/AIDS service  workers, but people living with HIV/AIDS,  grassroots activists and community resource people from all over the world. One  of the key issues AIDS activists will bring  to the table will be the need for medical  researchers, academics and governments to  continue to look for a cure, not just drugs  that aim at making AIDS a chronic, manageable disease.  Most importantly, the conference will  bring together an unprecedented number  of women, both those working on issues of  HIV/AIDS and HIV-positive women.  While more men than women have HIV/  AIDS, women have become the fastest  growing group being diagnosed with HIV.  In North America, more white and First Nations women have HIV than any other  group of women. Black and South Asian  women are the largest groups among  women of colour in BC testing positive for  the HIV virus. In the US, it is Black and Hispanic women.  The most common age group at which  women are diagnosed is 30-39. In BC, more  people are infected with the HIV virus  through intravenous drug use than for any  other reason. There are numerous risks for  women sex trade workers. Heterosexual  women are at greater risk for the virus  through sexual contact. The numbers for  known lesbians with HTV are still relatively  small, though the risks are greater if they  sleep with men or use intravenous drugs.  Women have traditionally been considered at lower risk for the HIV/ AIDS virus  than men. As such, they have been  misdiagnosed or not encouraged to take  HIV tests. The symptoms of HIV for  women are different than for men, though  this is only recently being recognized. Often women are diagnosed with HTV when  the virus has been in their systems for several years already. They die sooner after  diagnosis than men. Even if they receive  early diagnoses, they tend to live shorter  lives with the virus than do men. Women  are subject to different opportunistic, AIDS-  related illnesses than those that afflict men.  Some women die of AIDS never having  been diagnosed with HTV/AIDS. Women  with HIV/AIDS are more likely to live in  poverty than are men. More AIDS/HIV  service organizations cater to HIV-positive  men than to HIV-positive women.  Most of the above information is relatively new, not commonly known and is  being brought forward by women, who are  challenging the myths about HTV/AIDS  that put them at greater risk and leave them  with fewer resources to cope with the virus. Women's organizations have also been  slow to respond to the isolation and many  realities facing HIV-positive women.  In future issues, Kinesis hopes to carry  coverage based on interviews with women  from various parts of the world attending  the International AIDS Conference. In particular, we will be looking at the role of  women in HIV/AIDS prevention /service  work, the differences and similarities in the  ways HTV/AIDS affect women/peoples in  the "third" versus "first" worlds, the activism of women H3V/AIDS workers, and  why HIV/AIDS is a women's issue.  On page 25, a calendar lists some of  the events specific to or of interest to  women taking place concurrently with the  AIDS Conference. Most of them are free.  All are open to the public.  Fatima ]affer is a regular contributor to Kinesis. Nancy Pang works at Positive Women's  Network in Vancouver.  About the XI International  AIDS Conference  •A Community Forum will precede the AIDS Conference. Only 500 people from  all over the world will be able to attend the Forum, 100 from each of the five regions of  the world. The Forum will take place at the University of British Columbia. Delegates  will discuss strategies, policy statements, and regional action plans to take to the AIDS  Conference.  •Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has not committed to attending theAIDS  conference, and it is unlikely he will do so. As a result, South African President Nelson Mandela, who was initially expected to attend, will not be coming because protocol does not permit it.  •It costs almost $1,000 per delegate to attend the International AIDS Conference  if you applied before February. After February, the cost of registration skyrockets.  "Scholarships" have been given to some "first" and "third" world delegates to enable  them to attend. It is unknown what criteria were used to select the delegates who  received scholarships.  • TheAIDS conference is the largest conference ever to be held in Vancouver. Workers at Vancouver hotels have been given "sensitivity training" by AIDS Vancouver  staff.  •Police are also being given sensitivity training. However, hundreds more police  will be posted in Vancouver to deal withAIDS activists protesting during the conference.  Violence against women:  A gathering of  researchers  by Zara Suleman  On April 20, community-based researchers came together for a two-day forum  in Vancouver called the Gathering. It is organized by FREDA, the Feminist Research  Education Development and Action Centre.  The researchers who participating in the forum had each worked on one of 15 projects  funded by FREDA, which focused on violence against women and children.  FREDA was established in 1992 with  joint funding from Simon Fraser University  (SFU) and the University of British Columbia (UBC), and is one of five violence against  women and children research centres in the  country.  FREDAprovides seed funding for community research initiatives and is active in  helping community groups formulate proposals and access information on violence  against women. It also houses a resource library, a catalogue of feminist researchers,  and provides a host of other services such as  advocacy and a strategic researchers program.  The scope of partnerships fostered by  FREDA includes working with community  groups andfeminist academics with participation from both SFU and UBC.  Day one of the Gathering allowed community-based researchers to network, exchange information, and support and share  strategies with each other. Women said they  found it extremely valuable to be able to  come together and discuss the hurdles and  difficulties in the field of research and in  working with communities on the issue of  violence against women and children. Researchers also found it useful to discuss  where to obtain more funding for projects,  as well as how to access a variety of published resources.  Many researchers who participated in  the forum said they believe that having  grassroots community involvement and input was essential in creating research that is  ethical, accountable, community-driven,  challenging and action oriented. Women  from community groups also expressed that  it was critical to produce research that with  an action component so that research does  not just create more "books on shelves." All  agreed that action components need to be  incorporated in the research funding to  bridge the theory and data gap in order to  create concrete services, protocols, lobbying  and education.  Some of the obstacles to community-  based feminist research identified were:  building trust within communities for research; backlash against feminist research;  difficulties translating research into action,  and demystifying the research process and  "academic" language. Participants  brainstormed ways in which FREDA could  play a role in promoting research and feminist reseachers.  On day two, researchers and community members had an opportunty to meet  with and recommend actions for change to  representatives from several federal, provincial and regional government departments.  Representatives from the BC Ministry of  Women's Equality (MWE), Status of Women  Canada (SWC)-BC/Yukon Region, Human  Resources Development Canada, the Immigration and Refugee Division, and the Vancouver Health Board were just a few of the  external guests present at this part of the forum.  Women were able to question representatives about their funding practices and  their proposal requirements for research, and  to advocate that research on violence against  women be produced from the initiative of  grassroots, feminist, community agencies.  Participants presented the government representatives with a list of recommendations  which emerged from the forum. The recommendations were focused particularly on the  BC Attorney General, MWE, SWC, and all  funders of research on violence against  women.  The Gathering was an incredible  opportunty for researchers to offer information and share resources with one another,  and was quite timely. The Gathering followed  both the SWC's consultations in the BC/Yu-  kon region on research and a consultation  with the MWE on violence against women.  SWC has a research budget of approximately $1.8 million which is intended to be  distributed for research projects in the 1996/  97 fiscal year. [The money was transferred to  SWC after the federal Liberal government announced in its 1995 budget that it was closing  down the Canadian Advisory Council on the  Status of Women and merging its responsibilities into SWC] How the research fund will  be administered is still being discussed.  The Gathering was a forum that gave  women the opportunity to discuss the needs,  priorities and assistance that researchers and  community groups believe are necessary for  research on violence against women and  children. Having representatives from SWC  and the MWE present was key in informing  those funders of the needs of community  groups.  FREDA hopes to hold more gatherings  in the future to enable researchers to further  work together against violence against  women.  If you are interested in finding out more  information about FREDA please contact  FREDAat: 515 W. Hastings St. Vancouver, BC  V6B 5K3; tel: (604) 291-5197; fax: (604) 191-  5189.  Zara Suleman is an independent feminist researcher who has currently finished research on  "Young Women and Sexual Assault." The research is available through FREDA.  ~Z8£    " ' %7**"N  "world.  JULY/AUGUST 1996 International  ->y Lissa Geller and Fatima Jaffer  Profiting from  breast cancer gene  Almost 200 organizations, including 30  international women's groups, are backing  the International Coalition to Protect the  Human Genome in its attempt to stop a US  firm from patenting a human gene linked  to breast cancer in women.  The gene, known as BRCA1, is contained in the genetic makeup of approximately 85 percent of women who get breast  cancer. It was "discovered" by Myriad  Genetics, the US-based biotechnology firm  that is now applying for a government patent and monopoly over the gene. Myriad's  intentions are to charge about US$850 for  breast screening tests that will identify the  gene's presence in women.  "Myriad did not invent the breast cancer gene —it merely discovered a gene that  has long existed in the human genetic pool.  To claim it as an invention is as incredulous as laying claim over the discovery of  a chemical like chlorine," said a spokesperson for the Coalition.  If Myriad gets its way, it would effectively deny millions of poor and working  women access to the costly test and open  the door to patenting thousands of other  genetic traits. The Coalition is seeking to  have the patenting of human genes made  illegal.  As well, the Coalition is concerned that  US health insurance companies would use  the test to discriminate against women.  They are seeking legislation in the US that  would ensure companies cannot require  this test as a way to deny health insurance  coverage and that, if a women chooses to  have the test, the results will be confidential.  For more information on the legislation,  contact the International Coalition to Protect  the Human Genome, at 1660 L Street NW,  Suite 216, Washington, DC, 20036, USA;  (202) 466-2823.  Women's Party  in Ireland  In six short weeks, women in Northern Ireland organized a political party  which took one percent of the vote in recent elections. This finish, which was ninth  overall, guaranteed the Northern Ireland  Women's Coalition Party two seats in the  110 seat, all-party peace talks. While the all-  party talks' credibility is suspect as the British continue to exclude the Irish Republican Army's political wing, Sinn Fein, the  victory is a step towards shattering "the  mould of politics in Northern Ireland," a  key objective of the women's party.  The new party attracted both Protestant and Catholic nationalists, and stands  on a broad platform calling for a Bill of  Rights.  "If the established parties took women's issues and women seriously, we probably wouldn't exist as a party," noted Kate  Fearon,one of the party's chief organizers.  Women in Northern Ireland are severely underrepresented in traditional politics. None of the 17 parliamentary seats in  the country are held by women and only  12 percent of seats on local councils have  women as representatives.  Meanwhile Sinn Fein member Chrissie  McAuley is critical of the women's party  as being too middle-class and not nearly  as diverse as its organizers claim. Nonethe  less, she welcomed the spotlight the party  has put on the debate about women's issues and the dearth of women in politics.  Maternal deaths on  the rise  In the first comprehensive survey in  ten years that looked at maternal deaths  around the world, Unicef, an arm of the  United Nations, reports that 600,000  women will die this year in pregnancy and  during childbirth, many of those needless  deaths.  As well, as many as 300 million more  women will suffer debilitating illnesses or  lasting injuries as a result of pregnancy and  childbirth, while millions more children  will die each year because their mothers are  too sick or weak to care for them in their  first weeks of life.  "It is no exaggeration to say that the  issue of maternal mortality and morbidity,  fast in its conspiracy of silence, is in scale  and severity the most neglected tragedy of  our times" says the report.  The figures, released in June, are 20  percent higher than previous Unicef estimates and were compiled in conjunction  with the World Health Organization and  Johns Hopkins University in the US.  The survey blames a lack of adequate  obstetrical care in many nations, proper  medical training and a lack of midwives to  assist in prenatal, post natal and delivery  care, as well as women's poverty.  Human rights  abuses in Turkey  raised at Habitat II  Activists, women's groups and other  non-governmental organization (NGO)  representatives to the United Nations Summit on Human Settlements (Habitat TI) are  calling for world condemnation of systemic  human rights violations in Turkey, the site  of Habitat II. In Canada, returning delegates  from Habitat n are calling on the Canadian  government to take a public stand and  strong action in light of blatant violations  of the rights of protestors, unionists,  Kurdish people and women during Habitat II.  According to a press release sent from  Habitat II, by members of the Canadian  youth delegation, "The events that have  taken place in Istanbul during the Habitat  Conference have made a mockery of the  goals of the last UN Conference of this century."  In particular, the Canadian delegates  refer to two incidents on June 8th within  walking distance of the UN Conference site.  In the first, the Saturday Mothers, a group  of mothers, relatives and friends of Kurdish  people who have disappeared or been  killed while in the hands of Turkish security forces, were holding their 53rd peaceful sit-in with participation from some  women from the NGO Forum of Habitat  n.  About 3,000 police in full riot gear violently swarmed over the 50-60 protestors.  Nita Kapoor, a feminist activist with the  Norwegian People's Aid who was in Istanbul for the NGO Forum, was mistaken for  Kurdish and detained for two hours by  Turkish security forces.  The following day, members of the Saturday Mothers joined with NGO Forum  participants in organizing a press conference and holding a mass action to protest  the brutality of the security forces.  The second inciden also on Tun^ 8th;  took place within blocks from the sit-in,  where a demonstration by members of the  Turkish Confederation of Public Sector  Employee's Union was also violently  crushed by security forces. Prior to the dem  onstration, the police arrested protestors  arriving from Ankara. During the demonstration, the police detained hundreds in  efforts to clear the area. About 311 were still  in custody at the time of press.  Turkish and Habitat II activists say the  June 8th actions by the Turkish government  and its security forces are typical of the disregard for human rights in Turkey. During  the NGO Forum, the streets were lined with  riot police, military and undercover cops,  military vehicles and weapons. About 1,500  people in total are said to have been detained.  Over the last five years, Turkey has  destroyed over 2,000 Kurdish villages, leaving about two million people seeking refuge in the cities of western Turkey.  The press release points out that,  "while hosting a conference aimed at improving human habitat, the Turkish government has systematically destroyed the  habitat of its citizenry."  US women take on  the radical Right  Tens of thousands of activists in the  United States travelled to California in  April to join the March to Fight the Radical  Right in San Francisco, organized by the US  women's coalition, National Organization  for Women (NOW). The march had two  major agendas—to build coalitions between various socially progressive movements in the country and to draw attention to the rise of right-wing parties and  politics in the US.  It succeeded in meeting both the agendas, drawing the participation of more than  850 organizations, from labor unions to religious groups, in an unprecedented show  of unity.  Speaker after speaker drew attention  to the recent waves of violent attacks on  women, immigrant bashing, anti-affirmative action campaigns, anti-gay legislation,  poor-bashing, and other right-wing attacks  on marginalized groups of people in US  society. They also denounced the hypocrisy  and bigotry that characterizes right-wing  politics in the US.  Speakers included Katie Quan of the  Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, Delores Huerta of the  United Farm Workers of America, Peggie  Reyna of the LA Commission on Assaults  Against Women, Pat Ireland of NOW, and  feminist Gloria Steinem.  Divorce (still) legal  in Ireland  Women celebrated a Supreme Court  ruling in Ireland last month that upheld a  referendum decision in 1995 which  scrapped the country's 70-year ban on divorce.  Anti-divorce campaigners had claimed  the government had unfairly influenced  voters during the referendum campaign.  But the five Supreme Court judges unanimously rejected the last bid to stop divorce  becoming legal in Ireland. There is no further legal recourse for the anti-divorce minority.  California's th-ee  strikes yaw strikes  out  Judges m California ha ve oeen told they  do not have to impose life sentences on people who commit three or more :nmes if ihev  think the sentence is too harsh, the California Supreme Court ruled in June.  The decision could affect 'housands of  cases in California. The three strikes law. enacted in 1994, made it mandatory for judges  to imoose a 25-vear sentence on all those who  had two prior convictions, irrespective of ne  crime. Only The prosecutor the state) vid  the authority to ask for a more lenient sentence.  The ruling gives judges rhe same rights  as prosecutors. It also allows prisoners sentenced under the law since 1994 to ask he  sentencing judge to review trie sentence  New rights for  homeworkers  The International Labour Organization  ■TLO) signed a convention at their annual  conference last month laying down international standards for home workers, who are  among the world's least protected workers  and predominantly women.  The ILO, which gives power to worleers, employers and governments, voted 246-  14 to ratify the convention. I: obliges governments to adopt national policies on home  working to improve the situation of home  workers, with a view to creating "equal treatment of home workers and other wage ear v  Togo woman  granted asylum  A ruling from the US Board of Immigration Appeals on June 13 has granted  asylum for Fauziya Kasinga, who fled her  home in Togo to escape genital mutilation.  Female circumcision is routinely performed  women in Togo at age fifteen. Kasinga  avoided the practice because her father  opposed it. After his death, it was arranged  for Kasinga to be married and be circumcised. Kasinga was able to flee to Germany,  obtain a false passport and get to the United  States.  During her stay in the US Kasinga was  detained in prison for over a year, and in  August her initial claim was denied by an  immigration judge on the basis that her  story was not believable.  Kasinga's is the first case involving the  threat of genital mutilation to be heard by  the Board of immigration Appeals. Last  May, the US became the second country  (after Canada; to make genital mutilation  grounds for refugee status.  The Board's decision to grant asylum  to Kasinga will hopefully prevent other  women fearing persecution, from being  detained in prison, and their cases dismissed as unbelievable.  continued on next page  OCEANSIDE ACCOMMODATION  SALT SPRING ISLAND  (604) 537 2727  JULY/AUGUST 1996 What's News  by Lissa Geller and Fatima Jaffer  Challenging  Ontario's "Spouse  in the House" rule  The Women's Legal Education and  Action Fund (LEAF) has been granted  intervenor status in an Ontario Divisional  Court to argue the case of Falkner v. Ontario which deals with Ontario's so-called  "Spouse in the House" rule.  The case is a constitutional challenge  to the General Welfare and Family Benefits  Regulations in Ontario passed by premier  Mike Harris Conservative government,  along with other welfare cuts, last October.  The regulations changed the definition of  spouse for the purpose of receiving social  assistance. Under the new definition,  women who live with a man in the same  dwelling will now be presumed to be  spouses, and therefore become ineligible for  welfare as single people or sole-support  parents. Previously, a recipient of social  assistance could live with whomever they  chose for up to three years before they were  assumed to be spouses (which is the definition for common-law spouse under all  other areas of the law, such as Ontario's  Family Law Act.)  The regulation is also unique in that  the onus is on the recipient to prove that  no spousal relationship exists the instant  she moves in with a man.  To date, over 10,000 people have been  declared ineligible to receive benefits and  89 percent of those are women.  Falkner v. Ontario was launched by  four single mothers whose welfare benefits  have been cut off despite their protests that  the men they are living with bear no financial responsibility for her children.  Martha Jackman, LEAF's lawyer in the  case, is arguing that the regulations clearly  discriminate and overwhelmingly affect  women. "They are founded upon two biased assumptions; either a women who is  living with a man must be financially dependent upon that relationship, or the  woman is of inferior moral character and  therefore undeserving," she says.  "In both cases, the woman's right to  receive an income in her own right to meet  her and her children's needs is ignored."  In 1986, LEAF was instrumental in  launching a challenge to a similar regula  tion in Ontario. "As a result of our actions,  the Ontario government publicly admitted  that the rule was arbitrary and intrusive  and held consultations, which led to the  three-year rule," says staff lawyer  Carissima Mathen. "LEAF is dismayed that  the present government would choose to  go back to a rule which was universally  condemned as both unfair and ineffective."  Harris' welfare changes also included  cuts to most welfare cheques by 21.6 percent, and tightening eligibility requirements. The government say the cuts  amount to up to $1 billion a year, which  will go towards deficit repayment to banks.  Same Sex Benefits  Lesbian and gay rights groups across  the country welcome a recent federal Human Rights Tribunal ruling which ordered  the federal government to extend health  benefits to the partners of federal employees in same-sex relationships. While it stops  short of ordering the extension of pension  coverage, it also ordered three government  departments to prepare a list within 60 days  of laws, regulations and directives that  deny lesbian and gay employees other  employment benefits, such as the definition  of "spouse" in the Income Tax Act, which  could lead to pension coverage for partners  of lesbian and gay federal employees.  The human rights decision comes on  the tail of the federal government's recent  passing of Bill C-33, which says the federal  Human Rights Act should be read to include sexual orientation as a prohibited  ground of discrimination. However the  ruling is unrelated, because the amendment  to the Human Rights Act merely formalizes previous court and tribunal rulings that  have been reading sexual" orientation into  the Act anyway.  "This decision underscores the hypocrisy of the federal government in pretending to favor gay rights by amending the  Human Rights Act to add sexual orientation,  while at the same time fighting against us  in this case," said barbara findlay, a Vancouver lawyer and member of the December 9th Coalition. The December 9th Coalition is the largest BC group of lesbian and  gay activists.  Although the federal government has  the right to appeal the ruling, it is considered unlikely that it will do so.  Sexual harassment  in the NWT  Several women have complained to  the Northwest Territories Council for the  Status of Women about a sexist remark  made by a male member of the NWT parliament to another MP, Jane Groenewegen.  MP Michael Miltenberger made remarks in March about Groenewegen's participation in a hockey game, claiming that  she came to support them by watching  them undress after the game. Groenewegen  dismissed it as a sick attempt at humour,  but Miltenberger persisted and referred to  her as "thunder-thighs." On numerous occasions, he made other disparaging comments directed at her.  Bonnie Denhaan, one of the women  who wrote the protesting letters, notes  Miltenberger's behaviour is symptomatic  of widespread sexism in the North. "The  northern attitude is still extremely male-  dominated and there is not enough pressure being put on anyone to do something  about this kind of behavior."  Women's groups continue to demand  an apology. Miltenberger has refused to  apologize and claims it's all just in good  fun. Groenewegen meanwhile says she is  anxious that the controversy will not permanently damage her relationship with  other members of parliament, who are all  independents and operate by consensus.  Workfare hits  Ontario  People receiving social assistance in  Ontario will now have to work for their  benefits under the Ontario Conservative  government's mandatory workfare program called "Ontario Works" introduced  last month. While the exact details of the  program have not been made clear, the program will require all able-bodied welfare  recipients, including single mothers with  children older than age three, to work for  their cheques or give up the money.  The government claims it legalized  workfare in Ontario because it will help  people break the cycle of welfare dependency by motivating them to work.  Their reasoning is unsound and is  based on the assumption that welfare recipients are lazy bums who are getting  something for nothing, says Jamie  Kristensen, an activist with the Ontario  Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP). It is not  a lack of motivation that keeps people dependant on welfare but.."a shortage of  jobs."  Various forms of workfare programs  in Canada as far back as 1955 and the Great  Depression of the 1930s have never worked.  Nor have similar programs recently introduced in the United States. Academic studies have also shown that workfare programs fail to deliver major benefits to governments in the form of smaller welfare  caseloads. Nor do they move recipients into  the permanent workforce.  Ontario Works and a program similar  to it in Alberta, which force welfare recipients to work, do nothing to train people for  employment, says an OCAP press release.  "The jobs [in Ontario Works] are low-skilled  and do not have any long-term employabil-  ity attached to them." The "jobs" include  work such as removing old logs from rivers, assisting at seniors' drop-ins, and helping with breakfast programs at schools.  The Ontario government has been unable to give any estimates on the amount  of permanent work which may come out  of the program for those forced to participate in it.  In fact, workfare is expected to undermine the job situation in Ontario in a  number of ways. It will redirect resources  from job creation, displace paid employees,  and push down wages. As well, it is unclear whether welfare "workers" will be  allowed to unionize, or what benefits they  will be eligible for under the Ontario Works  program.  Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario division of CUPE (the Canadian Union of  Public Employees), predicts that the plan  will lead to job losses in the community  among people who now perform work for  pay that is to be done by welfare recipients  for substandard amounts of money. Some  "jobs" under Ontario Works include painting park benches, maintaining parks and  recreation areas, maintaining snowmobile  trails, and tree-planting.  There are two parts to the Ontario  workfare scheme: an employment program  intended to place people in private sector  jobs, and a program run by service clubs  and social service organizations where people on welfare can work on community  projects.  continued on next page  International News  continued from previous page  by Andrea Maenz   Victory for US  lesbians and gays  In a 6-3 ruling, the US Supreme Court  struck down Colorado's homophobic  Amendment 2, which prohibited governments from passing anti-discrimination legislation to protect gays and lesbians.  In the majority decision, Justice  Anthony M. Kennedy cited the US Constitution's 14th amendment, which gives all  citizens equal protection under the law The  court ruled that: "A state cannot so deem a  class of persons a stranger to its laws.  Amendment 2 violates the Equal Protection  Clause."  US President Bill Clinton said he supports the decision in a statement from the  White House.  However, at the same time that lesbian  and gay rights advocates celebrated the decision and praised the White House for its  endorsement, Clinton indicated he may  sign a bill introduced into Congress in May  by conservative Republicans, that would  prevent the recognition of such marriages.  This would allow states to decide whether  or not to recognize same-sex marriages, but  would defines marriage under federal law  as a union between a man and a woman.  According to a White House spokesperson, Clinton feels that same-sex unions  undermine families, at a time when "we  need to do things to strengthen the fam-  ily."  Malaysian activist  arrested  A human rights activist who challenged the Malaysian government for its  abuse and torture of illegal immigrants in  detention camps has been arrested and is  on trial in Malaysia.  Irene Fernandez, director of the  Malaysian human rights organization  Tenaganita, is being charged with  "maliciousle and falsely" accusing prison  guards.  In 1995, Tenaganita published a report,  with accounts from prisoners who described overcrowded and filthy conditions,  sexual assault and beatings, and bribery.  Fernandez contends that the abuse lead to  the death of 71 prisoners from Indonesia,  Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Thailand.  The Malaysian government has acknowledged the deaths, but maintains they were  caused by diseases brought in from other  countries, not by any wrongdoing by authorities.  Although Malaysian law guarantees  free speech, Fernandez has been charged  under a law that prohibits the publication  of "malicious allegations" against the government. If convicted, she faces up to three  years in prison and a fine equal to $19,000  Cdn. A conviction could also threaten the  rights of other activists to speak out.  Human rights supporters worldwide  are calling for and end to the trial and an  investigation into the treatment of migrant  workers and prisoners.  To support Irene Fernandez, send letters  and faxes to the Malaysian Prime Minister demanding that charges against Fernandez be  dropped: YABH Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohammed, Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Pejabat  Perdana Menteri, Jalan Datuk Onn, 50502  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Fax: 60-3-238-3784.  SOURCES: National (NOW) Times; Nita  Kapoor (Norway) and Anisha Susanna George  (Malaysia) from Istanbul Habitat II; off our  backs; The Barnard-Baecker Centre;  Sojourner, The Vancouver Sun; The Globe  and Mail; and various press releases.  JULY/AUGUST 1996 What's News  continued from previous page  Many community volunteer agencies  have already decided to boycott Ontario  Works' mandatory job placements. The  national United Way, which has been  warned CUPE will discontinue all  fundraising on United Way's behalf if the  charity participates, has declined to get involved. As well, United Way of Ontario is  recommending to organizations receiving  funding from United Way that they should  not participate in the programs. It is unclear  whether the government will withhold  funding from groups receiving government  funding that refuse to go along with Ontario Works.  Ontario Works will cost taxpayers $150  million, and will begin this summer in 20  communities across Ontario. The whole  province is expected to be participating in  the program by 1998.  Canada loses its  number one ranking  Canada's ranking internationally has  fallen as a result of higher child poverty  rates, suicide rates and a lowered commitment to foreign aid, according to a United  Nations report released in June.  The Unicef Progress of Nations report  ranked Canada as average or below average in several key areas, in stark contrast  to the ranking Canada received in 1993  Canada was ranked as leading all other nations in life expectancy, education and  standard of living.  "It's fair to say that in critical areas like  child poverty, suicide rates and foreign aid,  Canada's situation in 1995 is as bad as it  was in 1990," said deputy executive director of Unicef, Stephen Lewis, a Canadian.  The report notes that Canada has the  second-highest number of poor children  among 18 industrialized countries, with  more that one in seven living in poverty.  (According to Statistics Canada, that  number is one in ten.) As well, the country  ranked 24th out of 34 for suicide rates  among young females and 22nd for young  males.  Dr. Denise Avard of the Canadian Institute on Child Health points out that, "For  Canada, the big shame is the Aboriginal  children. We have a Third World problem  in our midst and Aboriginal issues need to  be addressed." She says that among First  Nations people in Canada, poverty is much  higher than that of other Canadians, the  suicide rate is seven times higher, infant  mortality rates are twice as high and the  high school drop out rate is 50 per cent.  Battered women  seek justice  The Ontario courts are being swamped  with requests for a review of sentences  given to women who are in prison or on  parole for murdering their abusive partners.  Ontario court justice Lynn Ratushny  says she has received almost 100 requests  for judicial review since she was appointed  by the Justice Minister Alan Rock following a Supreme Court ruling which modified the understanding of self-defense in the  case of Angelique Lavallee. Lavallee was  initially acquitted of killing her common-  law husband with a rifle shot through the  back but the Crown appealed the decision.  The Supreme Court upheld the acquittal  and recognized that Lavallee had been so  battered that she feared for her life when  she pulled the trigger, even though she was  not in immediate danger.  Ratushny said the federal government  had originally anticipated there would be  15 to 20 cases for clemency. But she is currently reviewing the records of 44 women  who are incarcerated and another 50  women who are on parole and seeking to  have their names cleared.  "We have a lot more cases than anticipated. And the facts that come out of almost every file is that these women had  terrible lives and have suffered a lot of  abuse that has greatly affected them."  Ratushny has the power to recommend  early release and new trials for women and  is expected also to make recommendations  regarding the self-defense provisions of the  Criminal Code. In all the cases however,  the final decision rests ultimately with the  Justice Minister.  by Heidi Walsh   BC ends welfare  wait for refugees  Refugees landing in BC will no longer  be subjected to a three-month residency  requirement before being able to apply for  welfare benefits. In early June, the newly-  reelected New Democratic government  announced it was easing a controversial  ban whereby newcomers to BC would have  to wait three months before being eligible  for social assistance.  Holly Whittingdon, executive director  of Mosaic, a Vancouver-area organisation  for refugees and immigrants, says the easing of the restriction is welcome news. She  says the original residency requirement had  in some cases caused hardship for the refugees, who are not allowed to work in  Canada without a welfare permit.  The residency requirement will still  apply to everyone else, including women  fleeing abusive male partners from another  province. Women's and anti-poverty  groups are continuing to call for the entire  removal of the three-month residency requirement, saying that it violates the right  to access social assistance anywhere in  Canada—the only remaining national  standard for welfare.  BC government first introduced the requirement last year as part of its controversial and regressive changes to social assistance, a program they call, "BC Benefits."  The NDP said cuts to welfare rates and restrictions on eligibility were necessary to  compensate for insufficient federal funding  for social programs.  The NDP also hoped to reduce the  number of welfare applicants moving to  BC, particularly from Ontario and Alberta.  The government says the three-month wait  was expected to save taxpayers $25 million  annually.  Ottawa called the move unconstitutional and countered by freezing $47 million in welfare payments to the province.  BC has launched a court case against the  federal government to regain the money.  The case is still before the courts.  by Andrea Maenz  Canada gets strict  NRGT legislation  On June 14, federal Health Minister  David Dingwall introduced a bill proposing restrictions on several aspects of new  reproductive and genetic technology  (NRGT). The legislation is the long-  awaited response to the 1993 Royal Commission which called for the banning or  restriction of a variety of practices pertaining to reproductive technologies.  The proposed legislation follows the  ineffective "voluntary moratorium" on certain procedures introduced last year.  Among procedures to be banned are the  sale of sperm, eggs and embryos; surrogate mother contracts involving payment;  germ-line genetic engineering; and sex-selection for non-medical reasons. Research  on embryos will also be regulated, experimental procedures such as cloning of human embryos and animal-human hybrids  will be prohibited, and it will be illegal to  breed embryos for research. The strict  regulations differ dramatically from the  United States where most of these practices  are unrestricted, but are similar to some  European countries. The government says  it is introducing these measures because  some of the these procedures pose risks to  human health and safety; and that the  banned practices are those that commercialize reproduction.  Tthe same time, the government also  released a position paper proposing a management regime to set national standards  to regulate doctors performing reproductive procedures.  Feminist reproductive rights activists  welcomed the legislation as an important  first step, but expressed concern that the  proposed management regime is still  vague.  Scab workers  in Ontario  The latest blow to workers in Ontario  from the right-wing government of Mike  Harris came in the form or legal use of  "scab" workers at a labour dispute at the  Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto.  Last fall, the Conservative government  lifted the ban on the use of replacement  workers in repealing most of the progressive labour laws introduced by the New  Democratic government.  The first big strike taking place under  the new labour laws is happening with 600  workers at the Westin trying to protect their  jobs and pay. Many of the workers involved  and most affected are women, particularly  immigrant women and women with children. Women form a significant number of  workers in jobs in the sendee industry, such  as the housekeepers involved in this strike.  At issue in the strike are threats to  measures guaranteeing minimum hours of  work, and management's desire to eliminate the wage rate for housekeeping duties, in favour of piece work. This could see  wages reduced by up to 50 percent.  Another recent labour dispute at the  Ontario Jockey Club, that also involved using replacement workers, ended only after  locked-out clerks agreed to take substantial wage reductions.  As the strike at the Westin continues,  it has taken on a greater significance.  Though the strikers are not members of the  Ontario Federation of Labour, the Federation has taken a particular interest in the  Westin dispute because it will set a dangerous precedent if hotel management defeats  the workers with the use of scabs.  SOURCES: The Optimist, Women's Legal  Education and Action Fund, and various BC,  Ontario and national mainstream newspapers.  the back hille guest house for women  Explore rural Metchosin. Picnic with a view on our  hillside acreage. Relax on the nearby beaches. Visit  the provincial museum. Walk the Inner Harbour or tour '  Antique Row.  Whatever your choice, the back hills is the place  to relax after a day of explorations...  Victoria, BC   (604)478-9648  email:  i 1 vP&J^fs  if  * Coming  Out  * Grief and  Emma  Tigerheart  Lw M  ir  Loss  * Relationship  M.S.W.  Issues  1        * Childhood  COUNSELLING  !             Trauma  THERAPY  Mi  J        * Family  CONSULTATION  yj» Wit  \Tm Ml  Issues  |             Sliding  J             Scale Fees  Inquiries  Call  [)i /I l_i   w mWH"  327-4437  Yyf^£im^F  i             Welcome  Vancouver, bo  IHtil '/?*? **£LT  n  JULY/AUGUST 1996 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.  by Joanne Namsoo  Prisoners' Justice  Day Memorial  Prisoners and their supporters gather  each year on August 10th to honour the  memory of the women and men who have  died unnatural deaths inside Canadian  prisons.  What started in 1974 as a one-time  event behind the walls of Millhaven Prison  in Kingston, Ontario, has become an international day of solidarity, when prisoners  around the world fast and refuse to work,  while supporters organize community  events to draw public attention to the conditions inside the prisons. The most recent  report from Statistics Canada indicates that  in 1994-95, murder, suicide and neglect accounted for 88 deaths in federal prisons and  57 in provincial prisons.  This year, the Prisoners' Justice Day  Memorial in British Columbia will be held  in honour of long-time prisoners' rights activist Claire Culhane, who died on April 28.  Culhane was a founder of the Prisoners'  Rights Group and helped to organize BC's  first Memorial. Throughout her life, Claire  Culhane worked nationally and internationally to bring about social changes, and  was an inspiration to prisoners and activists alike.  This year also marks 20 years since the  first BC Memorial was held outside the  gates of the old BC Penitentiary. A number  of events will be held in Vancouver to commemorate the day: programming on Coop Radio's Stark Raven on August 5th at  7pm; a rally on August 10th at 1pm, in front  of the Vancouver Pre-Trial Centre at 275  East Cordova St; and the Annual Rock  Against Prisons Memorial Concert at 8pm  August 10th at the WISE Club, 1882Adanac  St; which will include performances of  Daughters of the Wind, Elaine Stef and  Eileen Kage, Sandy Scofield and Kathleen  Yearwood.  For information, contact Prisoners' Justice Day Committee: PO Box 78005, 2606  Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5N5W1.  A room of their own  After two years of office hopping, the  Yukon's Victoria Faulkner Women's Centre has found a space that they can call  home. In October 1994, the drop-in centre  and resource service had to be shut down  temporarily so staff could focus on finding  a permanent and adequate location.  The drop-in centre is now once again  up and running, and the library will be  open in a month. Wheelchair access will  soon be in place. Upcoming activities include a series of workshops on Women's  Health covering topics such as nutrition,  body image, menstruation and ageing.  Meanwhile, The Yukon Status of  Women Council is actively pursuing the  idea of a merger with the Victoria Faulkner  Women's Centre, and if the idea gets the  go-ahead from members of both organizations, the Status could fold into the Women's Centre as early as this fall.  Ironically, the Women's Centre and the  Status started out as one group back in the  1970s. When they split, the Women's Centre focused more on being a drop-in, counselling and service oriented organization,  while the Status took on advocacy and lobbying work. However, recent funding  changes in both organizations have signalled the need for changes.  Pauline Au fights  for workers' rights  An important victory won by women  workers in Ontario is under attack.  Last November, the Ontario Labour  Relations Board (OLRB) ruled that Pauline  Au, a former social worker at Lyndhurst  Hospital in Toronto, could file her complaint of sexual harassment with them as a  health and safety complaint. Au argued that  sexual harassment and gender discrimination are just as dangerous to women workers as traditional workplace hazards are to  male workers. She won the right to a hearing in a precedent -setting decision.  Now, Lyndhurst Hospital has taken  both the Labour Board and Pauline Au to  the Divisional Court in Ontario, in an effort to block the hearing of Au's case on its  merits. The hearing in the Divisional Court  is scheduled for September 4,1996, and the  outcome will decide whether this important victory can be maintained.  The OLRB's decision made Ontario the  third province in Canada to accept sexual  harassment as a Health and Safety Act violation. Au's victory opened the door for  thousands of other women workers to obtain an expeditious and inexpensive remedy in cases of sexual harassment. Already  several other workers have filed similar  complaints.  A fund with a goal of $5000 has been  set up to ensure Au has a full opportunity  to defend this extension of women's rights  in the workplace when her case is heard  before the Divisional Court. To contribute  to this fund, send contributions, no matter  how big or small, to: The Pauline Au Defence Committee, 72 Kerrigan Crescent,  Markham, Ontario, L3R 7S7. For more information, call (416) 656-1778.  Unite against APEC!  A network of groups in Canada are organizing to oppose the implementation of  the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation  (APEC), a "free trade" agreement between  18 Asian and Pacific Rim countries: the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Hong  Kong, Brunei, Mexico, Chile, Papua New  Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Canada,  the US and South Korea.  The Network Opposed to Anti-People  Economic Control says generally, APEC  makes similar "promises" as the North  American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):  increased production, more jobs, sustainable development, human resources development and people empowerment. However, thee Network says, experience with  NAFTA has shown very contrary results,  including a decline in GNP, loss of jobs with  decent wages and benefits, cutbacks to social and health services, and privatization  of social programs.  "Free trade" is especially harmful to  women, as many are forced into working  in low-paying, unsafe, and exploitative  situations, and often have to leave their  homes to work as migrant workers abroad  in order to survive and support their families. The Network says growing protests  against globalization and the solidarity  among oppressed and exploited people are  a direct reflection of the intensification of  hardships under "free trade."  The timeline for APEC is to create a  "free trade" zone in the Asia-Pacific region  by the year 2010 for the industrialized  members, and 2020 for the less industrialized countries.  The Network is calling on individuals  and groups to say "No to APEC," and lobby  politicians to oppose the agreement. APEC  countries will be meeting in Manila, in the  Philippines, November 18-25 to further discuss the arrangement. The Network is encouraging people to participate in an alternative People's Conference Against Globalization, also to be held in Manila at the  same time as the Summit. (The 1997 APEC  Summit will be held in Vancouver.)  For more information, contact: Center  for Philippine Concerns at (514) 842-4047;  or PINAY: (514) 631-3898 or Montreal Coalition of Filipino Students: (514) 341-0977.  Bangladeshi women  continue protests  Women in Bangladesh are continuing  to call for justice for a 14 year old girl who  was raped and killed by three policemen  last August, and for several people who  were killed in a public protest against her  rapists and murderers.  The young girl, Yasmin, was raped and  killed by three policemen in Dinajpur, a  northern district of Bangladesh. Her rape  and murder ignited an explosion of public  demonstrations in the area, to which the  police responded by opening fire, killing  seven.  In October, the women's movement in  Bangladesh, represented by Sammilita Nari  Samaj (Collective Women's Front), held  country-wide actions to protest against the  rape and murder of Yasmin as well as the  killing of the seven demonstrators.  After eight months of lobbying for justice, in the face of constant administrative  road-blocks, the accused were finally  brought to trial. In the meantime, similar  incidents were reported in other districts  of the country such as Bhairab, Chuadanga,  Bagerhat and Habiganj.  However, the trial of Yasmin's murderers has not yet concluded. Since April 1996,  Bangladesh has been under a special nonpartisan government. It was expected that  the trial would have been expedited during the course of that administration, but it  was delayed throughout. Anew parliament  recently was elected and Bangladeshi  women will be pressing the new government to see this case is heard in a just trial.  They are also appealing to women outside Bangladesh to take action to support  their struggle against state violence and to  create the international pressure that will  help ensure justice for women in Bangladesh.  For more information on how to support  the campaign, contact: Farida Akhter at  UBINIG, 5/3 Barabo Mahanpur, Ring Road,  Shaymoli, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh. Tel:  329620, 811465. Fax: 880-2-813065. E-mail:,org.  Thai garment  workers form new  cooperative  Workers from the Eden garment factory in Bangkok met at a three day conference in late March to plan for their future  The meeting was sparked by the sub-contracting out of their jobs over the previous  month and, in the end, they decided, to  form workers' cooperatives.  Eden, an Austrian-owned company,  began the sub-contracting in February, and  50 workers were ordered to start work at a  "new plant." The company employed 2000  workers at the factory.  When members of the Garment Workers' Union, which represents the workers  in the Eden factory, went to see the the new  site, they found that it was a private residence where 50 sewing machines had been  transferred from the factory. The workers  refused to work in what they saw as a  cramped sweatshop. The union lodged a  complaint with the management and informed the government of the illegal operation.  The union also discovered that the  company was planning to lay off many  more workers, and force others to work in  a network of private residences as sub-contractors. The company later said that it was  facing bankruptcy, and would offer workers three months redundancy compensation—half the legally required amount.  A thousand workers held a protest outside the gates of the factory and petitioned  the Ministry of Labour to intervene. When  the Ministry refused, the workers took their  protest to the streets, during a meeting of  Asian and European countries, and blocked  the main highway from the airport into central Bangkok.  Following these actions, and after long  negotiations involving the union, management and government officials, the workers' demand for compensation—greater  than that provided for under Thai law—  were eventually agreed to by the company.  The three day conference organized by  the Eden Group Union, with assistance  from TIE (Transnationals Information Ex-  change)-Asia, focused on setting up a workers' cooperative, which would tender for  work contracts from the Eden Garment  Company.  Workers who lost their jobs at Eden  have agreed to invest part of their compensation payout to launch the venture. Working groups were set up to investigate the  logistical details of the new operation.  A food and consumer goods cooperative was established among the workers  and will continue to expand. An association of home-based workers was also organized to facilitate the organization and  mobilization of workers in the informal  sector of the garment industry, and to examine the alternatives to that situation.  The Eden workers are requesting international assistance from unions, community and church groups, and any other organizations with a commitment to the development of workers' cooperatives, particularly in the area of finding new markets and investors.  To support the Eden workers, contact: TIE-  Asia: 273/51 Soi Pongnivet, Prachachuen Rd.,  Ladyao, Bangkok 10900, Thailand. Tel/Fax: 66-  2-911 1499 Email: .  10  JULY/AUGUST 1996 Feature  A feminist analysis of DNA evidence:  Exposing the myths  and dangers  by Julie Kubanek  In 1995, Justice Minister Allan Rock introduced Bill C-104, the DNA warrant legislation. This bill permits courts to issue warrants  for the forceful seizure of blood, hair or saliva  samples from those accused of certain crimes,  to be used in DNA testing. Bill C-104 was voted  in by the House of Commons faster than any  other bill in Canadian history. It received all-  party support, and was accepted within one day.  This fall, Solicitor General Herb Gray is  planning to introduce another bill that will allocate hundreds of millions of dollars for the establishment of a DNA databank to permanently  store the DNA of convicted criminals, in case  they are suspected in a later crime.  Much to the surprise of the federal government, there is a strong feminist opposition to its proposed DNA databank. The primary objection to the increased focus on  DNA evidence in crimes of violence is that  there is no evidence it will increase the conviction rate or deter men from attacking  women. Most violent crimes that are not routinely "solved" are cases of sexual assault  where DNA evidence is indeed left at the  crime scene. However, in the vast majority  of cases of sexual assault, the attacker is  known to the victim. In these cases, it is not  the identity of the attacker that is in question, but whether or not the woman consented to sexual activity.  Generally, a man accused of sexual assault is not denying his DNA is on the victim; he is denying that she objected to it getting there. DNA evidence will not prove lack  of consent. In fact, heavy reliance by the  courts on DNA evidence may make these  consent-related cases look "unconvictable."  Crown prosecutors could decide to try fewer  cases where consent is the issue, and focus  instead on those with strong scientific evidence.  Feminist groups committed to ending  male violence against women have found  support on this issue from many diverse  women's groups. The National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC), which  represents 670 women's groups, passed a  resolution opposing the DNA databank. And  sixty women's groups that participated in  last year's national consultation on violence  against women with the Department of Justice also opposed this proposal. Unity on this  topic has been developed with Native women's groups, immigrants' rights groups,  feminist lawyers, groups that fight for the  rights of women prisoners, and reproductive  rights activists across Canada.  Increasingly, anti-feminist men have  been calling for "justice" and for the protection of "victims." But certain "victims" seem  to deserve more attention and protection  than others. For example, these men do not  defend the right of prostitutes, poor women  or Native women to live free of violence.  Equally biased is their demand that only certain offenders be treated harshly under the  law. In their eyes, those most guilty and deserving of punishment are men who randomly attack women and (especially) girls  previously unknown to them. Implicit in this  dismissal of wife assault and murder, and of  acquaintance rape, is the argument that  women who are attacked by men known to  them are at least partly to blame.  Cases where DNA evidence figures  prominently are popular with the sensationalist mainstream media, since they most often involve attacks by strange men on  women and girls who can more easily be  portrayed as innocent and vulnerable. While  these cases are not unimportant, it must be  emphasized that they are few in number and  that they are already those with the highest  chance of conviction. From the attention  given by the police and by mainstream media to the rapes and murders of Melanie  Carpenter in BC, Tara Manning in Quebec,  and Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffey in  Ontario, we might readily assume that these  women's and girl's lives are more valuable  than those of prostitutes killed by pimps and  Johns, or of the many women killed by their  husbands and ex-husbands each year.  A DNA databank could only be truly  effective if most violent crimes were committed by convicted repeat offenders. But  most sex offenders have never been convicted. Men with the most privilege in society are even less likely to have been convicted. However, we know from the experiences of rape crisis centres that they are not  less likely to have offended.  At present, Native men, men of colour  and poor men are jailed in Canada at a rate  way out of proportion with Canadian  demographics. Because their DNA would  dominate the DNA databank, using such a  databank to identify perpetrators of crime  would reinforce and even promote more inequality in our current justice system. Not  coincidentally, men who have successfully  eluded the justice system because of their  powerful positions in society would still be  out of reach.  Another negative consequence of increasing the weight given to scientific evidence concerns the notion of "reasonable  doubt." Reasonable doubt of guilt should be  assessed based on the combination of all the  evidence presented at the trial. Until now,  this assessment has not been quantifiable.  There has not been any declaration as to what  statistical likelihood represents the cutoff  between guilt and reasonable doubt. DNA  evidence now offers us these statistics for  comparison.  For example, in the past, blood type has  been used as part of the evidence accumulated against the accused. The prosecutor  might have argued that only 10 percent of  the population has the same blood type as  both the accused and the crime scene. This  was considered a significant piece of evidence against the accused that might convict him, given some supporting evidence.  DNA evidence has made 90 percent likelihood of guilt look inadequate. Juries may  want a 99.99 percent likelihood before convicting, since that is what DNA evidence  supposedly offers. This could mean that in  cases where DNA evidence is available, the  normal evidence accumulated against the  accused will look weak. This includes cases  where the victim did not receive medical  treatment in a forensic-equipped hospital  I've got the deal for you!  e'll get you a high interest return  by helping you get y  Deposit DNA with us,  and we'll throw in an extra bonus  man!! Waddya say?!  within 72 hours of assault (common with  sexual assault and with child sexual assault  by a family member), cases where the crime-  scene DNA is irreparably degraded, or cases  relating to consent. In the eyes of the judge  and jurors, verbal testimony of witnesses  (and especially that of the victim) cannot,  carry the statistical reliability of scientific  evidence. This can only work against women  in the majority of cases.  Conservative "law and order" groups  are makiing many demands on the subject  of violence: harsher prison sentences, abolishment of the parole system and of the  Young Offenders Act, reinstatement of the  death penalty. Widespread use of DNA testing to identify suspects is another such demand.  Many countries such as Australia, the  United Kingdom and the United States, have  already established DNA databanks, and the  Canadian government is eager to remain at  the "forefront" of law enforcement strategy.  The direction that other countries are taking  clearly violates individual rights. For example, in the UK, legislation paving the way  for a national DNA databank was initially  introduced as part of a larger bill aimed at  increasing police power. In addition to proposing the establishment of the DNA  databank, the bill granted police the right to  on-the-spot searches and the right to arrest  and detain without laying a charge.  In Canada, representatives of the police  have been among the loudest proponents of  the DNA databank. Police power is at the  core of this DNA debate, as was already illustrated by the wide scope of the 1995 DNA  warrant legislation. The list of crimes for  which DNA samples can be seized under this  law is long. It includes thirty sections of the  criminal code, plus all "attempted" versions  of the designated offenses. Among the  offenses listed are breaking and entering,  robbery, and failure to stop at the scene of  an accident. This wide range of designated  offenses counters the Department of Justice's  assertion that this bill is specifically intended  to reduce the incidence of violent attacks and  to aid in the prosecution of those cases.  This contradiction between a bill's supposed intention and its actual content is familiar to women's groups. The "anti-stalking" legislation of 1993 was another such  case. This bill was meant to deter men from  harassing ex-wives and ex-girlfriends.  Women warned the federal government that  a broad and degendered bill would result in  women being arrested, and this is exactly  what has happened. It is probable that the  DNA warrant legislation and the proposed  DNA databank will also be used against  women.  In Canada, there is already evidence that  DNA technology is being used dangerously.  SouthAsian and other women's groups have  revealed that samples are being taken for  DNA analysis from landed immigrants who  wish to sponsor relatives coming to Canada.  Contrary to federal policy, this is happening  in Vancouver and other cities even when  there is adequate documentation to prove  familial relationship. The sponsor must pay  more than $1000 per person tested. In these  cases, the biological samples are not being  returned, nor clearly destroyed.  All levels of government in Canada  have used the excuse of deficit reduction to  cut public spending. Nevertheless, the federal government is planning to establish a  national DNA databank with the public support of many provincial governments. The  DNA databank would be extraordinarily  expensive to establish and maintain. The reported cost of the storage portion alone of  the UK databank for the first five years is  more than $300 million (Cdn).  The advantages the DNA databank  would provide Canadian courts in prosecuting cases of violent crime are limited, considering the relative scarcity of cases where  identity is an issue or where other damning  evidence doesn't already exist against the  accused. Because DNA evidence will only  contribute to the conviction of a few men, it  is not worth the costs.  Police and courts can do their jobs without this technological tool. It has been the  lived experience of rape crisis and transition  house workers, and of the women who call  us, that the police and courts choose not to  do their jobs. Every assertion to the contrary  must be resisted. It would be wiser to spend  the hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for the databank on the investigation and prosecution of ordinary, common  and equally horrific crimes of male violence  against women, and on funding feminist  rape crisis centres, transition houses and  women's centres.  Julie Kubanek works at Vancouver Rape Relief  and Women's Shelter.  JULY/AUGUST 1996 Feature  Canadian Pension Plan:  Feds stealing our futures  by Ellen Woodsworth  The Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) is  "under review," or rather, it is under attack  by the federal government and the media [see  Kinesis June 1996.]  Legally, the CPP must be reviewed every  five years and receive the approval of at least  two-thirds of the provinces with two-thirds  of the population. The next review is slated  to be completed by January 1,1997.  In order to "consult" with the provinces,  the federal government organized three  months of public hearings. The committee  conducting the hearings consisted of federal  and provincial politicians. The committee  went to only one major city per province and  people were given little notice about the  hearings—in BC's case, at the most, four days  notice, at the least, less than two hours. In  many cases, organizations received no invitation to speak.  Due to the hysterical media hype about  the crisis that the pension plan is supposed  to be in, and due to the narrowly defined  areas participants in the hearing were to address, it was amazing that at the BC hearing, there was still almost total condemnation of the government's proposed changes.  The key proposals include: reducing the  amount given under the CPP; raising the age  of eligibility; limiting inflation indexing;  more than doubling contributions to the CPP  (which are paid equally by employees and  employers) from 5.6 percent of wages to 12.2;  rolling the CPP Old-Age Security (OAS) and  Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) into  one lump sum payment called the "Seniors  Benefit;" and basing it on combined family  income; limiting spousal pension benefits for  surviving spouses; and restructuring disabil-  ity benefits paid under the CPP.  The federal government has said it also  wants to create a huge slush fund that could  be invested to cover all future pension costs.  Young people are worried they will bear  the burden of the changes, since changes to  the Canada's public pension system will  greatly affect younger generations. Many  voung women also say they are afraid of living in greater poverty in their senior years.  Most young people say they are concerned  about how to pay for the system. But some  are buying the Reform and media propaganda that RRSPs—a privatized pension  system— are the solution.  The CPP is not in the crisis situation the  federal government and media would have  us believe. There is still a $40 billion cushion  in the CPP fund, which is enough to cover  two years' worth of pension payments. As  well, the government has known for many  years that there would eventually be a disproportionate number of seniors to people  in the paid labour force, but has done little  to address the real cause of this situation.  The problems facing the CPP at present  have occurred because the government has  allowed the jobless rate to soar—unemployed workers don't pay into the plan—and  because the government is not willing to increase the number of immigrants into  Canada to offset the increasingly aging Canadian population. (Are they hoping to force  women back into the home to work for free  producing more babies to replenish the labour force?)  At the recent Public Pension Forum held  in Vancouver, Monica Townson, a renown  feminist economist, gave her analysis of the  current situation of the Canadian public pension system. Townson referred often to her  two recently produced documents on the  pension system: Reforming the Canada Pension Plan: Implications for Women and Our  Aging Society: Preserving retirement incomes  into the 21st Century.  Townson said that "The federal government has produced no evidence to support  their claim that the CPP is in crisis. It is inexcusable that the federal and provincial governments are trying to push through changes  to the CPP which will have a major impact  on the lives of future seniors. It is inexcusable that they should be doing this without  allowing for a broader public consultation."  She outlined the proposed changes to  CPP and explained why they would be so  devastating to women. She said that all of  these changes would move us toward private pension plans and to the Chilean-type  system of mandatory contributions to a privately run RRSP system. These plans benefit financial institutions and wealthy people who can afford to contribute. (Those who  can contribute in Chile cover only one-third  of the population.)  Townson also said that the existing CPP  is a good plan for the paid work force for  many reasons. It covers everyone in the paid  work force; has very low administrative  costs; allows for up to seven years to be excluded from the average wage on which the  pension is based (which is especially critical  for women who most often must stay at  home to raise children); is completely portable [transferable from province to province];  is indexed for inflation; is both ?. retirement  and a disability benefit, and includes benefits for surviving spouses and dependents  of contributors upon their disability or death;  and because employees and employers both  contribute an equal, small amount.  Townson presented information showing that if one compares the Canadian system to other "industrialized countries," it  becomes clear that we contribute a smaller  percentage of gross domestic product to public pensions—even less than Americans [see  chart.]  Several proposals were put forward at  the forum to address the problem of shortfalls to the funding of public pensions. One  solution, raised by Steve Kerstetter of the  National Council on Welfare, would be to  increase the cut-off earning rate for contributions. Currently, only a maximum of  $35,400 of income is counted in calculating  contribution to the CPP Kerstetter suggests  raising that limit to $70,000. This would preserve safeguard for pensions and promote  further social responsibility for caring for  seniors. This would also mean that wealthier  people would contribute more than lower  paid workers and would would reverse the  current system in which poor people subsidize the wealthy who get substantial tax  breaks when they purchase their RRSPs.  Another solution was proposed by BC  economist Emil Bjarnason, who recommended increasing the contribution rate of  employees and employers to three percent  each. Currently the rate is 2.8 percent. (Even  the Chief Actuary, the person responsible for  reviewing the CPP for the federal government, has suggested a very graduated increase in the rates over the next 25 years.)  All of these proposals sound simple and  are based on the philosophy that the majority of Canadians want a public pension plan.  What we want is to decrease poverty, not to  increase it for either seniors or younger people. There are some real problems with the  current system that do need to be addressed,  but which are beyond the scope of the  present proposals being considered by the  government.  We know that most women are not covered adequately if at all by CPP, nor are they  able to save to contribute to an RRSP. Only  26 percent of women in the paid labour force  contribute to the CPP, and 56 percent of elderly women who live alone have incomes  below the poverty line (Statistics Canada  1993.) The average earnings of women who  worked full-time for a full-year in 1994 were  $28,423, and approximately 46 percent of  women work unpaid in the home and 40  percent of women work in non-standard jobs  (defined by Townson as part-time work, temporary work, own-account self-employment,  or multiple jobholdings.)  The CPP does not keep anyone above  the poverty line; it does not cover unpaid  work, like housework, child rearing, elder  care or farm work. It does not cover immigrants who have been in Canada less than  ten years.  Participants at the Public Pension Forum unanimously passed two resolutions,  which were: 1) To call on the provincial government to pursue a broader public dialogue  on public pensions, to oppose any radical  restructuring of the CPP, and to support a  gradual increase in the contribution rate, and  2) That "no changes be made to the CPP before conducting and publishing widely a  gendered analysis of the proposed changes,  and that no changes be implemented that  adversely affect women."  Until a gender analysis of the proposals  has been done and women's groups have  been thoroughly consulted, any changes to  the CPP should not go forward. And fundamentally necessary to eliminate poverty for  seniors is a class analysis.  For further information of for full copies  of the resolutions, which are available for groups  to add their endorsement, contact Kathleen  Jamieson at Social Policy and Research Council (SPARC) ofBC, 106-2182 W. 12th Ave,  Vancouver, BC, V6K 2N4; tel: (604) 736-8118.  Ellen Woodsworth is with the Greater Vancouver Seniors Coalition and works with seniors  in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.  Sahara J!e!BtaMux  cAffo-uL&L Bootteeping Swiaii  & Sd\£mJptoyid  • Monthly Financial Statements  • Government Remittances  • Payroll. A/P. A/R, Budgets  I Will Transform Your Paperwork!  (604) 737-1824 email:barb.l@deepcove.coi  Are we spending  too much on  public pensions?  Public pension spending as a  percentage of Gross Domestic Product  (GDP) among OECD (industrialized)  countries in 1991  Country:  Percentage:  Austria '  14.8  Italy  14.4  France  11.8  Sweden  11.6  Germany  10.8  Norway  10.1  United Kingdom  9.5  New Zealand  7.5  United States  6.5  Japan  5.0  Canada  4.2  OECD Average  Source: The World Bank, Averting the  Old Age Crisis, 1994  Bed & Breakfast  A Beautiful Place  Centre yourself  in the comfort and tranquility  of B.C.'s Super Natural  Gulf Islands.  Healthy Breakfasts  Hot Tub & Sauna  5 acres of forested  foot paths with ponds  ocean and mountain views  A Memorable Escape  (604) 537-9344  1207 Beddis Road,  Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 2C8  12  JULY/AUGUST 1996 Feature  Interview with NAC's new president:  A plan for the future  Joan Grant-Cummings as told to  Agnes Huang   On June 15, Joan Grant-Cummings was  elected president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) by delegates attending the organization's annual general meeting. She took over the presidency from  Sunera Thobani. During the past year, Grant-  Cummings was on NAC's Executive Committee as the Treasurer. She resigned from her position as executive director of Women's Health  in Women's Hands, a community women's  health clinic in Toronto, after she was elected  president. Kinesis had the opportunity to interview NAC's new president.  Agnes Huang: Can you talk briefly about  your background in terms of work within  the women's and other activist movements?  Joan Grant-Cummings: The first activist  work I did since moving to Toronto in 1985  was around Black youth and their access to  post-secondary education. That was with a  group called Ujamaa, Young People's Association, which was affiliated with the Jamaican Canadian Association. We interacted  with the Metro Toronto school boards of edu-  cation to get anti-racist curriculum in  schools, encouraged Black History Month  activities in schools, and initiated mentoring  programs for Black youth and other youths  of colour. I knew then that I wanted to work  on Black women's issues, so I tried to bring  a gender-perspective to the leadership of the  group, which wasn't welcomed.  I started working in 1987 at the Jamaican Canadian Association as an immigrant  settlement counsellor. Ninety-three percent  of those using the services were women. The  women coming in were largely concerned  with issues around family reunification, violence, health and racism. Some of them, if  they worked outside the home, were also  dealing with sexual and racial harassment.  Next I went to work with the Immigrant  Women's Health Centre, which was the first  all-woman work environment I had been in.  I was the reproductive health counsellor for  the Caribbean community, and eventually  for other English-speaking immigrant  women. I eventually went to work at Women's Health in Women's Hands.  I have also done a lot of volunteer work  with Intercede, a domestic workers' rights  organization. I have volunteered with the  Work and Skills Centre, a training program  for new immigrants and with a LatinAmeri-  can group called New Experiences for Refugee Women, a skills training program specifically for Latin American women.  Huang: That's a lot.  Grant-Cummings: It's amazing what you  can do in ten short years. But this has all been  difficult to classify as "work" because what  I've done is in agreement with my whole  philosophy of where women should be in  the world. I've had to learn to recognize that  this is work, and that this work—around  women's equality issues and the anti-racism  work within the women's movement and in  service organizations—should be remunerated.  Making the health system anti-racist  was another big piece of my work at the Immigrant Women's Centre and Women's  Health in Women's Hands—we were trying  to make it reflect the needs of women of col-  The day before she became president... Joan Grant-Cummings moves to  the rhythms at the rally and concert on Parliament Hill. Photo by Agnes  Huang.  our in this province. We started being contacted by women's organizations and health  services from across the country about the  kind of systems we were building, and our  anti-racist perspective in terms of the health  sector—how do we do our work from both  a gender and an anti-racist perspective?  Huang: How did you get involved with  NAC?  Grant-Cummings: In 1992, one of the  Women's Health in Women's Hands staff  members, Carolann Wright, started to participate in NAC on behalf of the Centre.  Carolann is an outgoing vice-president of  NAC and incoming regional representative  for Nova Scotia.  When you're doing women's work, you  need to network not only with people in your  local and regional areas but nationally too.  We had the idea of setting up a national  [women and health] network, and got involved with NAC because NAC plays a  major role in uniting women's groups nationally.  When Sunera became president in 1993,  we became more connected to NAC. [At the  time there were three women of colour on the  NAC Executive: Thobani, Wright and Fely  Villasin (who works at Intercede).] Sunera, Fely  and Carolann challenged us. They said, if  we're trying to work in the women's movement to make it anti-racist or relevant to all  women, we need to make concrete real action and involve ourselves in NAC.  The first International Women's Day  fundraiser NAC had in 1994 was the rallying point for women of colour, at least in  southern Ontario. At the time, it was particularly difficult for the three women of col-  our on the Executive. Fely was the  Fundraising Committee chair, but her work  was not really validated by the Executive,  only by the women of colour on the executive.  Having an IWD event was Fely's way  of saying poor women, women of colour,  women with disabilities also want to contribute to NAC financially, and that if we're  going to have a movement where everyone  is relevant, we shouldn't close the doors on  how they can involve themselves in NAC.  That fundraiser was the first event NAC had  held where, if you looked around the room,  it wasn't just food colouring over here or over  there, there was a strong representation of  women of colour and women with disabilities than ever before. It was more in tune with  what NAC was trying to do.  After that, I attended a NAC Executive  meeting in 1995 and was blown away by the  level of hostility and racism. It was then that  I realized women of colour had to increase  our numbers on the NAC Executive in order to be heard and to make this movement  more relevant. The women's movement is  just about the last place left where meaningful debates and resistance to the Rightist  agenda seems to be taking place on the open  stage at a national level. So I decided to run  for Treasurer of NAC.  Huang: What made you decide to take  what is quite a big step, and run for president of NAC?  Grant-Cummings: It wasn't something I  had thought about doing at all until I realized Sunera had really come to the end of  the line, and wanted to leave. The level of  racism she had to endure was taking its toll  on her. We began to ask, "Does Sunera have  to put herself through all this to work in the  women's movement?" Her challenge again  was that one of us had to take up the leadership in the organization. We had to think  about whether we were really committed to  making this feminist movement strong and  inclusive and resourceful.  Huang: Did you draw straws?  Grant-Cummings: [laughter] No, no.  When you work with Sunera, you realize  what a powerful leader she is, and thinker  and organizer. So you think, "Who can follow her, who can do this?" And you get  down to saying, "You can. You can."  I kept saying I wouldn't leave Women's  Health in Women's Hands. I was comfortable there and that's where I wanted to live  out my days until I decide to go home [to  Jamaica] and do this work there. But Sunera  kept on challenging us, saying, "What have  the last three years been about? Think about  it."  Huang: Shall I ask you in a year if you  regret your decision?  Grant-Cummings: Believe me, I won't.  No matter how hard it is, I think it's just too  important for women of colour, First Nations  women, poor women, lesbians, and young  women to risk going back to being "nice little girls", "diplomatic" and "non-confrontational," and (the other code words being  used) "more mature" and "disciplined."  It doesn't matter how many hits we  take, there has to be that voice out there now  more than ever because everything shows  we're losing it. Even if we may not win these  little battles, that voice has to be there so  when we look back in history, it will be recorded that women in this country resisted  the shift to the Right.  People can see what's coming down the  tubes, and some of us are already beginning  to experience this shift. A lot of "middle-class  women" are beginning to realize they are  only one or two steps above the poverty line.  Huang: What are the biggest challenges  for NAC, and for the women's movement in  Canada?  Grant-Cummings: Fighting for space to  be a legitimate voice in the face of this really  sweeping right-wing agenda, and a media  that's largely hostile. The Globe and Mail,  particularly since Sunera's tenure started,  has gone on quite a campaign to discredit  the leadership of women of colour and in the  process, NAC. I don't think they're going to  stop. It doesn't matter to them how qualified a woman of colour is, they're going to  discredit her. We know how people respond  to the media hype, and even though we believe they can read between the lines, it still  has an impact. So there's that still to deal  with.  We also have to find a way of ensuring  the energy that has been whipped up with  the mobilizing of women across the country  [with the National Women's March Against  Poverty], is maintained. We can't say, "Phew,  the March was a success; we increased our  membership, and now more women understand what NAC is," and then just sit back.  We have to continue doing the work of staying connected to women on the ground, lobbying politicians, and fighting the Right.  And we really have to listen when the  agenda shifts for women, because if we don't,  Continued on page 16  JULY/AUGUST 1996 National Women's March Against Poverty:  On June 15, 10,000 women, men and children worked their way through the  streets of Ottawa between Le Breton Flats and Parliament Hill chanting such  messages as: "Bullshit, get off it. The enemy is profit." " Sol-sol-sol..solidarite."  and "Hey hey, ho, ho, women's poverty has got to go."  The arrival at Parliament Hill marked the culmination of the National  Women's March Against Poverty, an action co-sponsored by the National Action  Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) and the Canadian Labour Congress  (CLC.)  The march was intended to send a clear message to the federal government  and to the right-wing that women are strong, powerful and united and "...will  never be defeated." The March caravans had made their way through more than  80 communities across Canada, bringing out over 50,000 women, children and  men to rallies, street actions, performances, educational workshops, tent cities,  and more.  The marchers were welcomed on June 14 in Ottawa by delegates to the NAC  AGM. The next day, 50 busloads of women arrived from Toronto to join up with  the March on Parliament. Over the two days, women participated in workshops,  networked and shared strategies, and enjoyed music and sunshine at a Tent City  at Le Breton Flats. The marchers shared stories of the various women,  communities and actions they had encountered in their long trek across the  country.  Tent City was disassembled on June 17 as the many women it had brought  together left for their home communities inspired and ready to continue the  struggle. [A 11 photos by Agnes Huang, unless otherwise indicated. ]  Fisherwomen from Burgeo, Newfoundland [pictured] made their way to  Cornerbrook to meet up with Eastern caravan.The caravaneers from  Labrador and Newfoundland brought with them a 60-foot banner, made  up of smaller signed banners created by different women's  organizations and women's rights committees across the province.  Photo by Jane Robinson.  $ The Halifax-based a cappella group, Four the Moment (with a  future group member), was among the dozen performers on centre  stage during the Parliament Hill concert. Other artists included  Jam Lauzon, Assar Santana and Chamel No. 5, Arlene Mantel,  Marie Claire Seguin, Djanet Sears and Lillian Allen, some of whom  are featured on the compilation tape made for the March—Songs  for the Journey: Music from Canadian Women. The tape is  distributed through Festival Records (1-800-563-7234). Part of the  proceeds go to covering the costs of the March.  Over 40 women made the one-month trek on both legs of the March—    d>  from the East Coast, starting in St. John's, Newfoundland and St. John,  New Brunswick, and from the West Coast, starting in Vancouver, and  Burns Lake, BC.The caravan arrived in Ottawa on June 14, the day before  the big march on Parliament. They were greeted by about 400 women  eagerly awaiting their arrival at Tent City. At the rally at Tent City, the  women on the caravan were introduced and presented with roses. One  caravaner, Vivian Seagers [pictured,] tells of how she was suddenly  inspired to jump into her car and join the March as it passed through her  home community of Nelson, BC.  The banner carries one of the 15 demands of the March.The women holding  the banner in front of the Parliament buildings are with the Toronto  Coalition Against Racism (TCAR,) which is calling on the federal  government to rescind its racist and regressive $975 landing fee imposed  on all adult immigrants. Other NAC/CLC demands include a national  childcare program, restoration of funding to social programs and national  standards, and $50 million in funding for feminist rape crisis centres,  transition houses and women's centres. Meanwhile, federal politicians were  nowhere to be seen or heard.  Boisterous sounds erupt from a crowded Francophone women's tent.  Women cheered, laughed, applauded the speakers, and chanted to the  accompaniment of makeshift noise-makers (tin cans with a stone  inside.) The Francophone women's tent was among constituency tents  set up on site. Others tents included those for women with disabilities,  Aboriginal women, Wiser (older) women, women of colour, young  women, lesbians and union women.  $ Women at the International Solidarity Tent made a multi-coloured  banner, with signatures and words from women who dropped into the  tent for workshops, networking and information.The banner carriers  included women invited to the Tent City as special international guests:  Farida Akhter from Bangladesh, Mmatshilo Motsei from South Africa,  Bella from East Timor, Tom Tong Pohivun from Thailand, and Amada  Villatoro from El Salvador.  Like with many of the issue tents, the Violence Against Women tent, organized by Vancouver's Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, was packed with  posters, photos, and eduational materials. Other issue tents included Justice, International Solidarity, Environment, Health, Anti-Poverty, Women and  Work, and Childcare. Sadly, while women were up at Parliament Hill, someone raided the Violence Against Women tent and stole its contents [some  pictured above] including t-shirts, posters, photos, and memorabilia from various rape crisis centres, transition houses and women's centres from  across the country. The items were to be donated to the Canadian Women's Movement Archives in Ottawa.  Photo by Julie Kubanek. Feature  Interview with NAC's new president:  Continued from page 13  our relevance and pertinence for women will  no longer exist. What NAC does has to be relevant and pertinent to our membership across  this country.  Huang: What are some strategies for continuing and maintaining that grassroots mobilization?  Grant Cummings: A lot of this work is  going to lie in the hands of the regional representatives. That's why the regional support  through financial and other means is so important over the next little while. There's going to be a lot of activity in the regions. The  demands of the women's march to the federal government are going to form the basis  for our political platform in the next federal  election. Regional reps will have to organize  women around pushing for these demands,  and coming up with an analysis of what is  happening in their regions and what the national executive should take with us wherever we go in Canada. There has to be that  two-way communication between the national and the 14 regions as much as possible  so women feel they are connected to some  centre that makes sense.  We also have to start to look at how NAC  facilitates the development of concrete programs within the regions that advance women  so they become economically independent.  For example, in 1994, we started a community economic development program. We  wanted to come up with a prototype of how  women could use information coming out of  that research to really build [alternative economic systems] in their communities, which  is a tool women are using in different continents. We need to pick up that work again.  Women are also saying we have to come  up with a credit strategy—a women's bank  or credit union. Those types of things speak  to the need to develop an economic base that  belongs to women and is controlled by  women, so they can have alternatives for surviving in this country. Women's economic  security is not going to be achieved through  the government job creation programs, especially if the government keeps up its present  trend, where a dependence on the whim of  transnationals seems to be the only thing the  government is thinking about.  Huang: Do you agree with what the  mainstream media tries to say, which is that  the women's movement in Canada is quite  fractious at this moment—that we're not very  united and there's a lot of dissent?  Grant-Cummings: I'd rather put it the  other way. For me, debate and disagreement  within the women's movement means there  is a lot of energy and activity going on. It is  only when we start to confront and challenge  one another on the various issues that we are  going to move forward. I'd be more disturbed  if we had a women's movement where everyone knows there are problems but it's never  put out there [on the table.] The fact there are  differences between us and that we are going  to deal with them is a demonstration of the  democracy within our movement.  Huang: Is anti-racism still a key issue to  be contended with internally at NAC? What  are some of the other internal issues for the  organization?  Grant-Cummings: As long as there is racism in society generally, anti-racism must be  an issue NAC deals with. Women on the Executive are not disconnected from society;  we're all part of society. It's not a 9 to 5 program—anti-racism is not something we do in  a three-day executive meeting. It's not some  thing we do for a three-year term. It's ongoing work and we're not there yet.  Another internal issue concerns ableism.  The voices and prograrnming around disability rights is something we have to pay much  more attention to. The formation of a disability rights caucus is going to push NAC to be  stronger on issues of women with disabilities.  There is the whole issue of young  women. For a number of years, some Executive members have been saying, "If we don't  pay attention to what is happening with  young women, this movement will become  defunct and obsolete in another five years."  As a first step, we started an under 20-  year group, which doesn't mean the 20-35  group isn't going to get any attention. There  is definitely a difference in the feminism of  women who are 35 and under and the ones  who are over 35. But there is also a difference  between teenaged young women up to 20-  years, and older young women. We need to  encourage teenage young women to start  thinking about how they are being socialized  within our society. They seem to be most at  risk in terms of socialization. But when you  look at that age group, there is quite a rising  involvement in the feminist movement. If we  don't pay attention to them, I don't see how  we're going to have a future movement.  There is also the issue of the involvement  of First Nations women. For the first time,  First Nations women are thinking they could  really work with NAC. There has been an increase of First Nations women on the NAC  Executive and within the indigenous women's caucus. With the constitution, self-government and self-determination issues, their  leadership within NAC is key.  Huang: Do you believe white women are  really feeling alienated by and unvalued  within NAC?  Grant-Cummings: I don't believe there  has been an exodus of white women from  NAC or a sense from white women that they  are feeling out of place in NAC. There is a  small group of women who see NAC as not  valuing them anymore. But there are a lot  more white women who are excited about  what NAC is doing and feeling, "Yeah, we  are really in it."  In terms of a wider community of  women, I think you can see the impact of  socialization on a lot of women. Many women  do not relate to the Royal Commission [on the  Status of Women] study that came out in the  1970s and which lead to the creation of NAC,  among other groups. There are women who  have overcome some barriers and have progressed, but they're not recognizing that a  whole group of women, in fact the vast majority, does't have that same experience.  I read a Globe and Mail article which said  that since Sunera and I have progressed to  the NAC presidency, it meant that "race"  wasn't an issue anymore. But does having  power for one Black woman mean all Black  women are successful? Or having power for  one Asian woman mean all Asian women are  successful? This is the face of racism. The  mainstream media doesn't question why it is  that NAC has had 13 presidents and only two  so far have been women of colour.  Huang: When you spoke following your  election, you talked about how it is necessary  for the women's movement to have a 20-year  plan—particularly, given that the right-wing  has a 20-year or more plan...  "If we don't pay attention to what is happening  with young women, this movement will become  defunct and obsolete in another five years."  Grant-Cummings: ...and they're implementing the plan they put in in the 70s, and  we're just like...ah! [laughter]  Huang: Can you talk about the need for  a 20 year plan and what that plan would look  like for the women's movement in Canada?  Grant-Cummings: What we need to do is  [identify] the major issues we agree with each  other on—things like childcare, pensions and  violence—and figure out our strategy of how  to protect them. Within that, we still have to  do the race analysis, the analysis around  ableism, and so on.  There are some other pieces we need to  work on, such as anti-racism, ableism, ageism,  and the relationship with First Nations  women. If we neglect those, our movement  is going to be weakened. Our strength lies in  the fact that we can unite sectors together  under a common banner.  That's what the women in the US are  now just beginning to realize. When we met  with them, they said they hadn't realized how  fragmented the various social justice or equality-seeking movements were until seeing in  the last little while the right-wing agenda in  the US playing itself out. The right-wing has  a lot of power. Feminists in the US are starting the process of uniting the various social  justice sectors.  That's what we have to do too. And we  have to do it globally. That's the only way we  will defeat this right-wing shift. We need to  concentrate over the next little while on the  things that make us the same across movements, [and look at building alliances] with  labour and other equality-seeking groups,  and within the women's movement itself. We  have to come up with ideas of how we deal  with our different issues, and figure out who  [among progressive groups] will take the lead  at different points to push for particular issues, based on the strength of that organization with that issue.  We also have to figure out things like, I  use the example of, "family values." Feminists have always had family values. But  somehow we convinced ourselves that it was  a dirty word. Our family values are human  rights values; it's the stuff that we fight for—  same-sex benefits, the right of single women  to have children and head up their households without being called a "dysfunctional"  family, the right of women to live free from  violence, and so on.  Our family values are wrapped up into  that, but we don't put that out on the stage so  that the vast majority of women can feel validated in terms of the way their family lives  are conducted.  The same thing with the church. The  Right has used the church beautifully to garner support. But with churches, no matter  what people think about religion or spirituality, there are women in ecumenical, non-  denominational groups who are fighting sexism, racism, ableism, et cetera. They were in  Beijing [at the NGO Women's Forum and the  4th World Conference on Women] front and  centre like the rest of us, but do we really give  them spaces in NAC in terms of valuing their  work within that sector?  There are all of these pockets where we  have people who have the same goals as us,  but in terms of doing the uniting at a national  level, it doesn't really happen. We need to  formally sit down with our partners and develop a 20-year strategy of how we're going  to wage this struggle against the Right.  The right-wing has over 80 think tanks  in the US alone, and if we add the Canadian  ones, it's over 100. We don't really have a body  where we can garner the resources of feminists or progressive thinkers around particular issues so we can have a platform that our  movement uses to propel the country the way  we would love to see it go. We need space to  do that kind of thinking.  We need to have a feminist think tank  that comes out with regular briefs. Right now,  NAC doesn't have a policy analyst on staff,  for example, who can do an overnight assessment of a particular policy or legislation. Instead, we call on women who have been  staunch supporters for years, who have to  drop their own work to do this stuff. We do  good work, but we have to scramble to do it.  That's where the NAC Educational and  Charitable Trust comes in. [The Trust is an endowment fund set up to assist NAC with its educational projects.] The Trust is supporting the  idea of a feminist think tank, and is making it  the focus of their work plan over the next little while. They have already contributed  money to NAC to hire someone to develop a  proposal of what the feminist think tank research body would do.  Valerie Oglov bswm a  is pleased to announce the opening of her counselling practice at  104-565 17th Street, West Vancouver on Fridays  Specializing in:  ♦ women's issues  ♦ injuries  ♦ illness and chronic conditions  ♦ grief  ♦ loneliness and isolation  JULY/AUGUST 1996 Commentary  Women and psychiatry:  Or rather, psychiatry and women  by Irit Shimrat  What is mental illness? Chances are if  you've ever thought about it at all, you believe it's an actual disease caused by a  chemical imbalance in the brain, possibly  genetic in origin. The media-fed notion that  science has "proven" that chemical imbalances cause mental illness is widely accepted as truth.  In fact, the research has been contradictory and open to interpretation, and much  of it has been financed by pharmaceutical  companies who have a financial interest in  the results. Tremendous profits are made on  prescription drugs targeted to people with  mental illness, which include lithium, antidepressants, and minor and major  tranquilizers (tranks.)  Lithium is prescribed for manic depression (bipolar affective disorder, or BAD).  The "therapeutic" dosage is close to a toxic  level, so frequent blood tests are necessary.  Lithium can cause nausea, vomiting,  diarrhea, tremors, weight gain, sexual problems, kidney disease, urinary problems, dizziness, weakness, liver problems, muscle  spasms, hallucinations, delirium, confusion  and seizures.  Anti-depressants can cause nausea,  drowsiness, weakness, constipation, sleeplessness, tremors, anxiety delirium, hostility menstrual problems, impotence, liver  and heart problems, weight gain, seizures  and stroke.  Minor tranks (such as Valium and  Rivotril) are prescribed for anxiety. They can  cause dizziness, slurred speech, seizures,  weakness, fainting, headache, confusion,  memory problems, agitation, hallucinations, depression, nausea, weight gain, fever, constipation, diarrhea, menstrual and  sexual problems, sensitivity to light, blurred  vision, excitement, agitation and anger.  They are extremely addictive and withdrawal problems can be severe.  Major tranks (also called antipsychotics  or neuroleptics—these include such drugs  as Haldol, chlorpromazine and Modecate),  prescribed for schizophrenia, can cause  tremors, lack of muscle coordination, stiffness, restlessness, sleeplessness, drowsiness,  blurred eyesight, constipation, confusion,  urination problems, anxiety, agitation., depression, weakness, fever, headache,  spasms, heart problems, immune problems,  liver disease, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,  impotence, bone marrow poisoning, convulsions and aspiration (vomiting into lungs.)  They can also cause exacerbation of psychosis (you get crazier), and withdrawal psychosis when they are stopped.  One of the most common effects of  long-term use of neuroleptics is "tardive  dyskinesia:" uncontrollable and grotesque  movements of the tongue, mouth, arms and  legs. This may only appear after stopping  the drug (hence "tardive," or late-appearing) and is likely to be permanent. Major  tranquilizers can also produce neuroleptic  malignant syndrome, which can be fatal.  And people who take these drugs are very  sensitive to heat and have been known to  die during heat waves.  But, you may say, all drugs have side  effects. The risks are worth the benefits.  Mental illness is a horrible scourge and must  be controlled with medications.  Undoubtedly, some people go stark  raving mad. Some experience alarming  mood swings. Some become so unhappy  they can't cope with life. (I have experienced  all these "conditions.") And it's a safe bet  that when these things happen, brain chemistry is affected, just as it is when you're  frightened, or angry, or in love. But to say  these conditions are caused by changes in  brain chemistry is exactly like saying that  fear is caused by adrenaline.  The concept of mental illness is a powerful and useful one. Besides generating  money—not only for drug companies, but  also for psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, social workers, mental health bureaucrats, hospital staff and community mental  health workers—it absolves people of unwanted responsibilities. Take, for example,  the parent who beats or humiliates his or  her child. The child eventually goes mad  and is labeled schizophrenic or attempts  suicide and is labeled clinically depressed,  and meanwhile the parent is let off the hook.  The problem, we are told, was caused, not  by ill treatment, but by bad brain chemis-  try!  The public, disturbed by some poor  bum or bag lady screaming in the street, is  off the hook too. No need to put up with  the annoyance or be offended by the unattractive sights and sounds—never mind  having to try and figure out what went  wrong for this person and how it can be  fixed. The problem is "solved" by calling  the police, who deliver the "nuisance" to a  hospital where experts will make the shouting stop with the forcible administration of  drugs.  And the person who flips out or is overwhelmed with misery can turn to experts  for chemical help for his or her chemical imbalance, and is off the hook for trying to  solve, or even recognize, the real problems  behind the extreme emotions.  I have done time on psychiatric wards.  They are humiliating, demoralizing, bad  places to be. My experiences took place long  ago, but people who get locked up today  otten receive exactly the same treatment:  solitary confinement, physical restraints,  and a shot in the ass with a dangerous drug.  It doesn't help to be brutalized like that  when you're already freaking out. In fact,  doing that to someone sane could drive  them nuts. Yet this is the kind of thing those  who provide professional help to psychiatric patients are often paid to do.  I have nothing against drugs, nor  against people choosing poison over pain. I  know for some people, psychiatric drugs alleviate emotional pain, just as street drugs  have often done for me. But with street  drugs, you know what you're getting into  There are reams of propaganda informing  you about the dangers to body, brain, and  life. With psychiatric drugs, on the other  hand, the principle of informed consent is  routinely violated. The number of people I  know who have been informed about all the  risks involved before being asked to agree  to psychiatric treatment is zero. And often,  of course, you're not asked at all, and are  told nothing. Fairly or unfairly, you're  deemed a danger to yourself or others, and  it's the good old shot in the ass for you.  Drugs are not the only weapon in psychiatry's arsenal. If they don't produce the  desired effect, you may end up getting elec-  troshock. Yes, it still happens today, all over  the so-called civilized world. People's brains  are burned with electricity in order to alleviate their supposed chemical imbalances.  This is likely to result in memory loss, often  permanent. Psychiatrists deny it, but people who've had shock, and those who care  about them, will tell you it's true.  Many people feel that psychiatric drugs  and/or electroshock saved their lives, and  perhaps this is the case. If you believe in  psychiatry, it can help you, just as believing  in God can. And that's okay. What's not  okay is that people blindly trust their psychiatrists, who don't tell them what they  need to know about treatments.  So, you ask, what's all this got to do  with women? Plenty.  Some of those who get the worst treatment in psychiatric facilities are Aboriginal  women, women of colour, women who  don't speak English, and women who reject femininity, especially if we're queer.  Women, and especially old women, are  electroshocked far more often than men, and  women are more likely to be given anti-depressants and minor tranks. Furthermore,  we are often brought up to doubt our own  judgement and depend on others, so we're  more likely to seek professional help when  our lives go awry, and to believe it when  we're told that the problem is an illness and  we'll be okay if we just take these little pills.  Psychiatric treatment is not just a matter of biochemical and electrical interventions. It's also about being told to believe  you're damaged goods; less than other people; defective. It's being told to believe  you're sick, and you're going to be sick for  the rest of your life, but the symptoms can  be controlled with drugs or by otherwise  zapping your brain.  This complements and exacerbates a  thousandfold the terrible things we've been  taught to believe about ourselves: that we're  stupid, incompetent, fat, ugly, bad, too sexy,  not sexy enough, and so on, ad nauseam.  We're hysterical and over-emotional and  untrustworthy at the best of times, right?  So once we're diagnosed, they've really got  us by the short hairs. Every expression of  emotion is suspect, and may pose a risk of  incarceration and drugging. And of course  our credibility goes down the toilet. No one  is as easily dismissed as a madman—except  a madwoman. Some women get beaten and  raped in hospital, sometimes by staff. But if  they complain about it, staff can say they  were hallucinating.  I'm not trying to put down the woman  who couldn't possibly get by without her  Valium or her Haldol or her Prozac. I myself have had times when I believed I  couldn't get by without my pot or my acid.  But please, if you're taking or thinking  about taking psychiatric drugs, get all the  facts from a reliable book like the CPS (the  Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and  Specialties,) which you can look at in  drugstores or at medical libraries. Your doctor probably won't give that level of information to you.  And think about starting a self-help  group with others who've been diagnosed  with mental illness. You might be surprised  how much good you can get out of talking  about your experiences with other people  who've been through similar stuff, who  don't have professional training and aren't  being paid to take care of you!  Irit Shimrat escaped from her third and  last psychiatric lock-up in 1980 and has not  seen a shrink or taken medications since then.  From 1986 to 1990, she edited the magazine  Phoenix Rising, The Voice of the Psychiatrized.  Between 1990 and 1991, she coordinated the  Ontario Psychiatric Survivors' Alliance, and  also presented two CBC Ideas radio programs:  "Analyzing Psychiatry" and "By Reason of  Insanity." She is currently working on a book  about the psychiatric survivors' movement in  Canada, to be published by Press Gang Publishers in 1997, and has recently founded an  information network called the Lunatics Liberation Front.  sjoroen in Music  Pres,  %*\e\e(c  • 30 hours of workshops  • 20 hours of musical performances  • market and networking area  • gourmet jazz Prunch  • over 200 women singers, musicians,  composers, scholars, and industry  professionals in classical, folk, pop,  country, jazz, rock, performance  art, and electroacoustic music  For tickets or information, call 684-9461  Call now! Early bird prices in effect until August 31  JULY/AUGUST 1996 Feature  Jewish women and political activism:  Feature  Drawing on our histories    with fresh eyes  by Justine Davis, Faith Jones,  Sarah Leavitt and Rachel Rosen  We met as members of a Jewish Queer  Women's group in Vancouver. We began to talk  about what our political activism meant to us,  particularly to us as Jews. When we decided to  write this article, Rachel, Justine and Faith met  and taped a conversation. In subsequent weeks,  Sarah joined us in editing and organizing the  material. Although Sarah's voice doesn't appear  in the article below, her suggestions helped the  rest of us clarify and strengthen what we needed  to say, so we asked her to be listed as a co-author.  As political Jewish lesbians and bisexual  women, we find strength and insight in the history of Jewish activism. Sometimes we look to  our family stories, sometimes to the history of  Jewish movements. Because the history of Jewish radicalism is often ignored in discussions of  both left history and Jewish history, we are not  as knowledgeable as we would like to be about  our own past. We know there have always been  Jews active in struggles for social justice; we  also know we want political Jewish identity to  be more visible. This article is our way of making that happen.  This conversation is a beginning for us—  there are lots more things we want to talk about  (like the connections between homo / lesbo /  biphobia and anti-Semitism; the role of "passing;" anti-Semitism in the left; Israel... as well  as many more!). We welcome other queer Jewish women—not only for talking, but for taking political action together! You can call us at  ■ (604) 253-4047.  Rachel Rosen: I think it is important to  understand our history. Our history and tradition give us strength and insight into the  political work we are doing now and the directions we want to go. By learning about  the work of radical Jews in the past, we can  see what's changed and determine what we  need to do in our work that will continue to  challenge the entire system.  When I was growing up ,all the stories  about my Jewish grandparents were about  them immigrating to Canada and being involved with the Communist Party and the  United Jewish People's Order. They died  when I was three, but more than anything  what they passed on to me was their political activism. I learned that creating a better  world and keeping cultural traditions alive  in a political sense was essential for the survival of Jews in North America. So whenever I think about myself as a Jew, it is as an  individual belonging to a culture of Jews  committed to working for social justice.  There's this great story about my great  grandmother in Poland before my family  immigrated to Canada. My grandfather  went out one day to see my great grandmother, Chaya. She was a practicing mystic.  She had this huge group of people in front  of her. Chaya was spitting on, or cursing, all  of the Polish non-Jews who were persecuting the Jews in the shtetls in Poland. Her  activism was cursing these non-Jews and  giving these great revolutionary political  speeches. To me, that was the kind of story  that always got passed down"and that was  the association with being Jewish.  Jewish Labour activists in New York, 1909:The sign on the left is in Yiddish, written in Hebrew characters.  Faith Jones: I guess we have fairly similar families, Rachel. I'm Jewish on one side  of my family, and my Jewish grandparents  were also in the Communist Party. They left  the Party before I was born, but I know for  them it was a huge internal struggle to decide if that was the right thing to do. When  they met, in the 20s, it was a very exciting  time to be political—and I think they lived  together before they got married, and did  things that were considered quite "fast."  They knew all the radicals of that era who  are quite well-known in Left history.  My grandmother was also an early feminist. She smoked and wore pants, although  later she told me she really wore pants because she didn't like her legs. There were  stories about my grandmother that my  grandfather used to tell with quite a bit of  pride. I remember one about my grandparents being at a demonstration in New York  in the 30s, probably about the Spanish Civil  War, and the cops moved in to beat up the  protesters and arrest them, which was standard procedure. Apparently my grandmother  mouthed off at the cops so loudly and so long  they figured it was more trouble than it was  worth and they left the protesters alone. I  also suspect from various things in her history that she had a bad abortion and that she  secretly helped women get abortions.  They were involved in lots of different  causes in their political work, but there was  always a sense of Jewishness about what  they were doing—there were so many Jews  in New York who were political, that it was  easy for them to become political and not to  lose any sense of identity as Jews. I think it  probably came quite naturally to my grandmother, because she came from a political  working-class family. I have a feeling that  there might have been either an older brother  or an uncle who was politically active back  in what's now Poland. Because in the family  stories you get the idea that they had to leave  the old country in some hurry. So this is now  over 100 years of political activism in my  family—and it just feels that that's so much  a part of who we are—I can't imagine not  having that.  Justine Davis: It's amazing to have that  strength of political histories in your families! My activism connects to my personal  history in a much less overt way Both my  parents are 'political' in a broad sense, with  a strong commitment to justice. They gave  all their children tools to work for social  change, as well as some sense of cultural  place. But they were not really part of any  community. That sense of being doubly outside—outside the 'mainstream' for being  Jewish, and outside the mainstream Jewish  community for being from a family that was  poor and progressive—has had a really  strong impact on me and on my politics.  It's been a struggle for me in lots of ways  to have a Jewish identity because I'm not  religious and because I'm not a zionist, and  in Australia, which is where I'm from, that's  largely what the Jewish community is. In lots  of ways I've felt more 'at home' in a 'Left'  culture than in a Jewish culture. (Often, in  my experience, these are mutually exclusive). So finding all this political strength and  all this stuff about social justice in Judaism  is really exciting, because it creates the possibility of being integrated and being able to  claim all the parts of my history and my identity—both cultural and political.  In Australia, and maybe here, political  activism has changed a lot. It's not focused  on political parties so much. It's become  much more issue-focused now. People are  much more focused on getting together  around something specific they want to  change—coming together, then moving  apart—so that even the sense of political  community is much more fragmented. I  know for me that definitely has a really big  impact in terms of feeling like I don't have a  political community at all, let alone a Jewish  political community.  Rosen: Even with the history of social  justice work in my family, I struggle to make  the connection between being Jewish and  being political. I grew up in Vancouver in a  fairly assimilated family. Being one of the  only Jews around much of the time, it was  often unsafe or alienating for me to be really 'out' as a Jew, either to myself or others.  For many Jews of my grandparents' generation, the work they were doing politically  was completely in a Jewish context. All their  Left cronies were Jewish, so doing that work  was an unquestioned part of their Jewish  identity.  Because there is a small Jewish community in Vancouver, anti-Semitism, and increasing conservativeness, it has been difficult to make these links with other Jewish  women. It is exciting for me to see my work  in a historical context and have the support  and involvement of other Jews in my community.  Jones: Do you think maybe our lack of  some kind of group or some kind of systematic way of coming together as Jews is connected to our sense that we are facing no  immediate danger?  Rosen: I wonder if that threat is one of  the reasons my grandparents, who were really active after leaving the pogroms in Poland and the Second World War genocide,  strongly made connections with other Jewish activists. Now people are saying, "We've  heard enough about the holocaust, it's in the  media all the time," or, "The holocaust is  over, what's your problem?" It is very easy  for me to take that and discount the long history of anti-Jewishness and anti-Jewishness  now.  Jones: As a lesbian, I have a lot more of a  sense that there is an immediate danger than  I do as a Jew. As a Jew, I have a sense there's  a more long term threat, which is the rise of  the Right and the rise of anti-Semitism and  racism in this country. But I don't see it as  very likely that someone will beat me up in  the next few weeks because I'm Jewish. I see  it as much more likely that I will be physically attacked, physically endangered because I'm a lesbian. Which is not to say the  former is impossible—there have certainly  been violent attacks on Jewish buildings in  Vancouver over the last 10 years...  Rosen: Just in Calgary in May this year  there was a letter bomb at the Jewish community centre and a woman was injured.  Jones: This may be part of my own internalized oppression, denying the danger  that I'm in. Perhaps it's because in my life  I've been threatened with physical violence  for being a lesbian but never for being a Jew.  Maybe it's also because in Vancouver, white  people are way more freaked out about other  racial groups, Native people and Asian people, that they don't see Jews as so much of a  threat because we're such a small group. I  also don't have a Jewish name, so I'm not as  identifiable as a Jew. Maybe I just don't want  to believe I could be in danger because I'm  Jewish.  Rosen: I have really similar feelings. I  find myself fighting inside about acknowledging or addressing anti-Jewishness that  happens, even understanding that it is  here—in the long term past and, I fear, in  the future. But it doesn't feel as physically  immediate in some ways. But when I heard  on the radio about this bomb at the JCC in  Calgary, I started crying. It made me realize  how much those feelings or fears of that  threat is there, but I deny them a lot of the  time. I think partly that has to do with the  fact that even progressive or radical groups  in Vancouver, in my experience, haven't acknowledged the anti-Semitism that exists.  It's completely minimized, ignored, or made  invisible. That affects me when I'm doing  political work to fight against injustice.  Davis: I think choosing to put our energy into anti-oppression work that is not  specifically about anti-Jewish stuff is not the  same as saying that anti-Semitism is not relevant or important. In working in solidarity  with First Nations people or poor people, for  example, we can still be aware of and work  against anti-Semitism, but it doesn't have to  be our main focus. As Jews and radicals, our  work is to make this world a better place and  to use the tools and energy we have where  they are most needed. This is not a way of  denying our Jewish identity, but celebrating  JULY/AUGUST 1996  Rosen: I think that anti-Semitism is systemic in Canada and this is important to acknowledge and fight. But for the most part  the way it is played out by institutions, organizations and individuals is not at a crisis  level right now, while a very real threat exists that it will be in the future. At the same  time, right now, poor people, First Nations  people, and people of colour are being killed  systematically through the prison system,  addiction, suicide, abuse, and so on. These  attacks are at a crisis point. My priority is to  do social justice work in these crisis areas,  and still acknowledge that anti-Jewishness  exists. This acknowledgment will sometimes  mean challenging anti-Semitism, working  politically with other radical Jews, or being  "out" as a Jew in order to be able to keep  doing the other work. On a personal level, it  is about seeing the complexities that make  all of us. I need to fight anti-Jewishness to  survive. I also need to take responsibility for  my class privilege and base my political  work in all of these complexities.  Jones: I want to reclaim the Jewish communist conspiracy—which is one way Jews  have been demonized for being political. It's  like being called a dyke—it's a term that gets  used against us but it comes from the fear  the Right has of us as political people. And I  think it's going to be hard for other Jews to  hear us reclaiming that. And it's scary for us  too, because Jews have lost their lives for  being political—like the Rosenbergs [Ethel  and Julius Rosenberg were U.S. radicals, convicted of spying on flimsy evidence and executed in the 1950s]. But we have been in  the world being political for a long time, and  have contributed to making social change,  not just in fighting anti-Semitism but in  many social movements.  Davis: Questions about how and where  we work, as Jews, as women, are really important to me. In Australia, which is similar  to Canada in terms of ongoing attempted  genocide of indigenous peoples, I feel there  is an obligation for me to work for justice.  It's not an option—it's something I have to  do. At every moment in Australia, I'm benefiting from that attempted genocide.  As Jewish activists, it's necessary to also  talk about Israel. As a non-zionist Jew, my  relationship with Israel is much more complicated. In Israel, what's being done is being done in my name. Land is stolen, people  are shot, human rights are denied—in my  name. But I don't feel like I'm benefiting in  any way from it. In fact, so much of what  happens in Israel is damaging to me spiritually, emotionally and politically. I feel it is  necessary to act in solidarity with Palestinian people, as with all oppressed people,  both as a Jew and as a human being, but I  still have a lot of questions about responsibility and where we work for change.  Rosen: Whatever radical political work  we are doing, wherever we are, there are  links to what's happening in Israel. We might  not be doing solidarity work with Palestinian non-Jews, but by fighting the attempted  genocide in this country, I see a direct connection. In fighting Canadian government  actions against poor people, I think there are  direct connections with what's happening in  Israel, in Guatemala, in Australia, in China  especially with NAFTA and increased globalization.  Jones: The other thing we need to do is  to be visible as non-zionist or anti-zionist  Jews, for other Jews to see. To me that's one  of the scariest things, but it's really important. Otherwise Jews who say things critical  of Israel get demonized as self-hating wackos  instead of as people expressing an alternate  Jewish viewpoint. The community should be  listening to us because we are also Jews.  Rosen: An important point is that while  we are highly critical about the state of Israel and the dispossessing of Palestinian non-  Jews, I think we need to be clear on the complex history of the area and the large numbers of Jews fighting the Israeli government  in solidarity with the Palestinian people. I  am wary of non-Jews who have stated policies of being anti-Israel when these same  people do not state themselves as anti-  Canada. It's such a glaring obvious hypocrisy—to be anti-Israel and not anti-Canada.  While I think the Israeli government has  committed horrible atrocities against the  Palestinian people, to be specifically against  all of Israel and hold all Jews in the world  responsible for the actions of the Israeli government reeks of anti-Semitism.  Jones: I feel we need a new language for  this—we don't even have adequate words  for what it is we want to express. What's the  difference between being anti-zionist and  anti-Israel? What is zionism? We're progressive Jews but we're stuck with a language  created by, or in some cases appropriated by,  right-wing nationalism. Lots of socialist Jews  were Zionists in my grandmother's generation—and they were bitterly disappointed  and angered by the way the state if Israel  turned out. Even among us now, we have  some empathy for people wanting and longing for a homeland.  Davis: Even if we don't necessarily agree  with or support it.  Jones: There's this wonderful Yiddish  song from the turn of the century—The Peat  Bog Soldiers—which was sung by Jewish  prisoners in work camps and concentration  camps from the time of the Austro-Hungar-  ian empire up through World War II, which  talks about the longing for liberation and a  homeland. I empathize with what they must  have felt, that a homeland would make us  safe, though of course I don't agree with it.  It hasn't made us safe and the cost of this  attempt at safety has been too terrible—that  we've turned to oppressing another people.  Even so, that song is a source of strength for  me, as are a lot of things in Jewish history. It  is wonderful and astonishing and beautiful  to be part of a culture in which our major  yearly ritual is about liberation. [Pesach, or  Passover, is a celebration of the Jews' escape  from slavery in Egypt in ancient times. Our  Jewish Queer Women's group celebrated it  together]  ' Rosen: This Pesach, sitting around the  seder table with 14 Jewish dykes and bisexual women, I just wanted to cry. It was so  powerful to celebrate our liberation as Jews  and to see this in context of the struggles of  many other people now and throughout our  history. It was a time that really made clear  to me the power and importance of all re  sistance movements: Jews in Egypt, First  Nations people—who face attempted genocide in this country—and East Timorese people who are fighting for liberation against  the Indonesian government.  Davis: And part of that is not just celebrating it as an historical thing but reaffirming our commitment to struggling for it now.  Until everybody is free, no one is free. One  of the things I love about Pesach is that it's  so strengthening to say this is something that  happened in our own history, and that this  is what we still keep fighting for.  Jones: I've read a lot of things by political Jews who grew up in religious homes and  are trying to reclaim parts of Jewish religion  from a political standpoint. They talk about  going back to the texts and the rituals and  looking at them with fresh eyes, trying to see  the historical and political meanings in them.  But for me, there only are fresh eyes because I didn't grow up religious. Whenever  I look at the texts for different holidays I'm  always amazed at how political they are!  Also Jewish culture—the interest in the  world, the passion, the interrupting each  other—all those things about how we act  feed into our political commitment. And our  nosiness! Jews are so interested in other people, in your business, in how you do things—  it drives you crazy! But the thing about Jews  is we're really connected with human beings.  For me it's never been a struggle to have to  say that this is part of the tradition—because  that really is all my tradition.  The struggle for me is to be willing to  share that with people who aren't Jewish. To  be willing to say this comes out of a Jewish  tradition, because that makes me feel vulnerable too—I don't want them to think  that's all we are. It's not like being political  is all there is to being Jewish.  Davis: I know that my sense of true connection with being Jewish is a sense of true  connection with social justice. One thing I  love about being Jewish is ritual and celebration—and community. And at the centre of  so many of those rituals is stuff about connection with each other, connection with the  earth, celebrating what's good and being  committed to changing what's bad, together  with other people. That's what social justice  is about too. It's not just big complicated  political theories—it's about things being  good in the world, and working with other  people to make sure that they're good...  Rosen: ...and always having hope. My  tradition as a Jew is that we need to keep  working until things are changed, until  things are different. With genocide, forced  assimilation, anti-Jewishness in North  America, and all different types of oppression , I think there's still hope. That commitment and vision of a just world was a part of  the union organizing that my grandparents  were involved with, as well as the many different types of organizing that radical Jews  are a part of. That's how I understand Jews  as a people—that we have in the past and  will in the future keep on struggling.  Jones: And let's face it, you can't really  change the world unless you're prepared to  be pushy.  JULY/AUGUST 1996 /feirWtf/Maidenhome by Ding Xiaoqi:  Multi-mirrored reflection  by Karlyn Koh  MAIDENHOME  by Ding Xiaoqi, translated by Cathy Silber  and Chris Berry  Aunt Lute Books, San Francisco, 1994  Maidenhome is writer Ding Xiaoqi's first  collection of stories translated into English.  It was first published in Australia (where  Ding now resides) by Hyland House in 1993.  Ding and one of her translators, Cathy Silber,  were in Vancouver in June for two readings  as part of the North American launch of  Maidenhome, sponsored by the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop and the Chinese  Cultural Centre.  The nuanced and uncompromising  writing mMaidenhome drew me into the stories Ding weaves of the lives of women in  rural and urban China. Apart from "The  Angry Kettle," the other four stories and two  novellas, written before Ding emigrated to  Australia, are set in China. There may be a  temptation to tie a collection like Maidenhome  together with the growing number of books  by and about Chinese women, which creates  a certain market-driven supply for the West's  consumption. This process in turn conjures  a spectacle of a China, and a sense of "Chi-  nese-ness" that can be pulled out like a calling card from the shallow pockets of a market-place hungry for recycled stereotypes.  My reading of female subjectivity and  sexuality and the overlapping of gender and  class as depicted in Maidenhome reveals an  uneasy understanding of the ways in which  nationhood and class are entangled in literary discourse in China. Often lost in the traffic of culture within the economy of the West  is precisely this literary and intellectual history. But struggles and debates about the role  of the revolutionary artist/writer, subversive  uses (and limits) of language, representation  and subjectivity are topics which continue,  in different ways, to be of no small concern  in the various efforts to articulate a national  literature. The writings of the pro-democracy May Fourth intellectuals (1920s and  1930s), and the voicing of suffering in the raw  and brief "literature of the wounded"  (shanghen wenxue) of the post-Cultural Revolution are but two different examples of the  multiple (and historically situated) forms of  engaging with the socio-political realm, China's past and modernity.  The point of the above preamble is not  to contain a writer like Ding within a specific narrative of history. Rather, I want to  allude to the unsettled politics of interpretation which confronts a reader like myself,  "seeing modern China" in the context of  what Rey Chow calls "ethnic spectatorship"  (Woman and Chinese Modernity: The Politics  of Reading Between West and East). Hence,  unresolved questions about the context of  my acts of viewing and reviewing haunt this  reading of stories translated and published  outside of China.  While the stories in Maidenhome are  culled from Ding's own life during and after the Cultural Revolution, the writing itself uniquely exceeds a simplistic autobiographical account of life in China, and subtly disallows an innocent distance on the  reader's part. What is exciting for me is to  continue to encounter the complexities of  different forms of cultural struggle, and the  challenging re-evaluations of the Cultural  Revolution along discontinuous trajectories  of the Chinese diaspora.  In "Black Cat," one of the stories which  Ding remarked as being close to her own life,  the writing assiduously traces the psychic  lives of a woman haunted by memories of  childhood alienation. This story mixes a  dazzling series of flashbacks (childhood  memories) written in the present tense, with  events from the narrator's recent adult life.  The narrator is looking after her neighbour's  cat and this triggers off deep-seated angers  and fears from her early years of being separated from her parents (sent away during the  Cultural Revolution to be reformed) and her  experiences of being bullied and persecuted  in school, as well as bearing a secret shame  and terror after being confronted by an exhibitionist. The emotional burden of the  story is harrowingly tangible even as the  writing itself is acutely surreal—I take this  to allude to what Ding calls "psychological  realism." Drawing the reader away from her  comfortable participation in reading, the second-person narration "highlights the alienation [the character feels from herself] at the  same time that it implicates the reader in  [her] experiences," as Cathy Silber writes in  the foreword. This second-person narration  is interwoven with the direct first-person  narration, which makes the story resonate  with questions about voice and the acts of  seeing and interpreting.  At the beginning of the story, the narrator describes the liquor cabinet in her friend's  apartment where  every horizontal surface is glass and every  vertical a mirror. So all those glittering crystalline bottles and stuff inside are multiplied so  many times it makes your eyes swim. You can't  tell which are real and which aren't. Think about  it: bottles reflected in the left mirror are also  reflected in the right, and the mirror in the back,  in addition to its own task of reflecting the bottles in front of it, goes on to reflect the images  reflected in the right and the left mirrors as  well—my god, I'm worn to a frazzle on behalf  of those mirrors.  Reality and a rationality that might tell  the truth of a self are brought to crises with  the sustained exploration of the idea of reflection and sight, putting into conflict the  normative ways in which the inner and outer  worlds are constructed. What is reflected in  this multiply mirrored text? What do you  see? You?  You're a cat. Curling up your four paws,  you lie languidly in the little bed you've made  for yourself from old newspaper. I'm not in the  mood for them. I'm a slovenly cat. You've given  yourself these attributes.  The disturbingly gripping scenes where  the narrator torments and enacts revenge on  her neighbour's cat, are juxtaposed with the  equally difficult living memories of fears  whose origins are pointedly confused and  confusing. Ding's disorientating and beautifully bizarre prose cracks the ways in which  reality and time are perceived. Her writing  suggests different ways in which trauma and  Ding Xiaoqi.  Photo courtesy of Aunt Lute Books.  psychic pain can be remembered and articulated, rather than pathologized. For example, the narration of battles—physical and  psychic—with the neighbour's cat, is continually enmeshed with the thoughts of the  child. At what point does the narrator turn  into a black cat herself? After her battle with  her neighbour's cat?  Listening to the cat's cries, now strong,  now faint, each one more wretched than the last,  my heart was so joyous it seemed to fly from  my body. Actually my spine was coated with  icy sweat, but I was body and soul positively  swimming in an utterly exhilarated bliss. You  have died. But more important than your sense  that your heart has long since left your body is  your unmistakable discovery that you are undergoing bizarre and monstrous changes. . . .  You want to shout, this isn't me! I don't want  to be like this! But what tears from your throat  is the yowl of a black cat. ... You have triumphed at last. You despise what you've become, but you are also delirious with delight  over your victory. Now you can stop fearing  the night, fearing the black cat.  Or is it when she is a child, just before  her mother returns to look after her when  she falls seriously ill:  You hear a voice from far, far away, a voice  familiar yet strange—is it calling you? . . .  That's right, you remember now, this is your  mama's voice. . . . So you want to cry out, to  tell Mama you are no longer her beloved little  one, you have turned into a cat. . . . She still  doesn't know that you've become a cat, a filthy,  stinking cat. You open your mouth but nothing comes out, for you know you can no longer  say Mama—any sound you make will be a  meow.  In "Killing Mom," Ding slices intense  humour into an emotionally charged and  disquieting text—this time focusing on the  relationship between a mother and daughter in the context of the one-child policy in  China [China rewards parents who only  have one child, and penalizes parents who  bear more than one child as part of its population control policies.] This story, which begins with the declaration "I killed my  mother," fuses intense love with hate. In the  process, Ding makes some uncanny and  troubling observations of the complex human aspects of official policies and of the  family as an institution.  "Indica, Indica" employs the second-  person voice to swivel around and  problematize the subject positions of writer  and reader vis-a-vis the inner life of an impoverished country girl who is married off  to a much older man from a more well-off  peasant family. The earlier sequences of the  story are told in a calm and observant tone,  for example:  That day, a man came to the house. He  didn't look much younger than Pa. Pa had you  call him Uncle. Right away, Ma calls you into  the kitchen, says that man lives in the northeast, he's rich, a good man.... You know that  if you assent to Ma, she will praise you for being sensible. She will smile, and she rarely  smiles.  In a sense, this intimate form of narration is double-edged—it draws the reader  into some form of identification with the  main character, as well as signals most palpably the impossibility of knowing the  "other," who is in this context the uneducated peasants, the symbol for various forms  of nostalgia and calls to arms for cultural  revolution in China. This contradiction is  sharply brought out at the end of the story,  when a girl student arrives at the country  homestead, informing the narrator that she  has come to "draw from life." The irony  bubbles up as the peasant girl ("you") turns  the gaze back onto the writer and reader, and  reflects on the confident and articulate student:  Ai, anyway, people like her are always so  good at asking questions. And you've never  liked answering them— "Are you used to it?  Are you homesick?" See, sure enough, she asks  another question, furrowing her brow, staring  at you intently, as if she knows what you are  thinking better than you do.  You and "you" are left losing the fingertip grip on the totality of the stable subject.  The astutely detailed observations of the  lives of women in disciplined Army units  and hospitals, coping with the banalities of  love and sexuality in situations where desires hide in unknown and sometimes forbidden places (for example in  "Maidenhome" and "The Other Woman"),  the strange relationship of unspokenness  between a man and a woman ("If You Were  Still Alive") and the witty critique of life in  Australia ("The Angry Kettle") are narrated  with uneven intensity. The latter story, for  example, is whimsical but lacks the twists  and emotional range in "Black Cat and "Killing Mom."  Ding writes with an eye to a world that  has not grown too small for creative as well  as political commitment. Her writing opens  up the multiple ways in which one may  question and challenge how we understand  and relate to ourselves in the world of others. The English translators, Silber and Berry,  have done a competent and sensitive translation of Ding's stories—no small feat in the  case of a writer with such imagination and  narrative scope. I look forward to Ding's  forthcoming novel.  Karlyn Koh is a graduate student in English literature and is trying to find a dissertation topic.  Thanks to Ding Xiaoqi, Cathy Silber and Shan  He for their generous conversations with me.  20  JULY/AUGUST 1996 Arts  Vancouver Jewish Film Festival:  Celebrating  cultures and histories  by Faith Jones  The 8th Annual Vancouver Jewish Film  Festival held in May, featured 11 films from  Mexico, Belgium, Israel and the United States.  Faith Jones viewed and reviewed a number of  films directed by women: Rhodes Forever,  directed by Diane Perelsztejn (Belgium 1995);  Havana Nagila: The Jews of Cuba, directed  by Laura Paull (USA 1995);My Knees Were  Jumping, directed by Melissa Hacker (USA  1995); and Like a Bride, directed by Guita  Schyfter (Mexico 1992).  Early in Like a Bride, one of the two  main characters tells the other that for her,  growing up Jewish in Mexico was "like  being at a party I hadn't been invited to."  The role of "tolerated outsider" is so common for North American Jews that when I  heard the comment in the movie I thought,  "you mean everyone doesn't feel that  way?"  Several of the films at this year's Jewish Film Festival deal with this precarious  balance: the tolerance in a good economic  and political climate which can so easily  turn to vilification, hatred and genocide  when the political mood changes.  The documentary Rhodes Forever  chronicles how the Jews of Rhodes [a Mediterranean island between Greece and Turkey]  lived with social acceptance mingled with  garden-variety anti-Semitism (schoolyard  name-calling, for example) until the fall of  Italy during World War II. When the Nazis  took direct control of Italy's former colonies, all of Rhodes' Jews were deported to  concentration camps. Those who survived  the camps—about 160—chose not to resettle in Rhodes. And so in the space of three  years (1943-46), the Jewish population of  Rhodes went from 1,700 to none. Their particular culture with its Turkish-influenced  food, Greek-inflected Ladino/f/ie language  of Sephardic Jews] and Sephardic traditions  will not survive another generation as  Rhodes' Jews assimilate to their new  homes.  Rhodes Forever is unfortunately not a  good movie: it has a confusing structure  and covers a great deal of ground in less  than an hour. It also glides too quickly over  some interesting topics that may not show  Jews at our best. A number of Jews from  Rhodes settled in the Belgian Congo. The  roles they found themselves in as part of  colonial rule, and later during the struggle  for independence should be investigated.  It does us no good as Jews to only tell our  stories when we are in positions of innocence. Our place in the middle-classes during much of this century and in many countries makes us complicit in many different  colonialisms.  In My Knees Were Jumping, Melissa  Hacker interviews her mother and others  whose lives were saved by the  kindertransport movement, a joint effort of  Jews and Quakers in Germany, Austria and  England to evacuate Jewish children to  England just before WWII. The fear of the  children separated from their families, their  anger at God for the Holocaust, and their  guilt at surviving, are all revealed unflinchingly. Most of the children were orphaned,  many were abused or neglected in their  foster homes or residential schools in England, and most were completely cut off  from Jewish life.  Hacker also interviews children of the  transported children, who come to realize  that their parents, even though they were  safely transported away from Nazi Germany and Austria, are nonetheless Holocaust survivors. Hacker's mother, Ruth  Morley died during the final stages of making this movie. Hacker did a mitzvah for all  of us by preserving her fierce, brave mother,  in this excellent film.  In Havana Nagila, a number of Cuban  Jews are interviewed about their place in  Cuban society. Cuba's Jewish population  was devastated when 90 percent chose to  leave after the revolution. Many of those  who remain express a love for the country  and the revolution. "I am not an extreme  leftist, but I am of the Left," one man says  in the film; "I thought it was the only logical thing for a Jew."  Another describes the lack of official  repression even during the most anti-religious periods of the revolution. Cuban Jews  have always received special shipments of  kosher food, for example. However, secular Jews have been more integrated into the  revolution than religious Jews. Fidel  Castro's was the first Cuban government  to give government posts to Jews, all of  whom were secular Jews. One young man  interviewed said he sees his socialist work  as more important to his identity as a Jew  than religion.  It is a strength of Havana Nagila that it  doesn't try to be definitive about the Jewish experience in Cuba. One man tells of  being denied university entrance; he suspects it was due to his stated religion on  the entrance form. Yet a woman tells of  choosing to stay in Cuba when her family  left since she knew she could become a  doctor in Cuba's free education system.  The question of popular anti-Semitism  is also left to the audience to figure out.  While one man describes a complete lack  of any oppression in his life in Cuba, others tell stories of casual, ignorant remarks:  "Everywhere I've ever worked I've been  called 'the Pole.' Even though I'm Turkish,"  one man says ironically.  Lesbian and gay subtext in Yiddish cinema:  Feygeleh in film  by Faith Jones  A Yingl Mit A Yingl Hot Epes A Tarn.  Photo courtesy of the Yivo Institute for  Jewish Research.  A YINGL MIT A  YINGL HOT EPES A TAM:  Lesbian and Gay Subtext in Yiddish Film  clips and quips by Eve Sicular  June 1996  Video In, Vancouver, BC  New York historian and filmmaker Eve  Sicular was in Vancouver in May to show  film clips and lecture on the lesbian and gay  subtext in Yiddish cinema from the 1920s  to the outbreak of World War II. While  Sicular is a tad on the academic side, her  exploration of gay and lesbian images, jokes  and subtexts holds a certain fascination for  those with an interest in Yiddish culture.  When my grandparents talked about  the heyday of Yiddish film, writing and  theatre in New York in the 30s, they never  mentioned the preponderance of feygeleh  (faggot) jokes in certain comedies. Sicular  showed clips from American Matchmaker, a  screwball comedy about an unfortunate  fellow whose fiancees keep leaving him at  the chuppa [marriage canopy] for a reason  which can't be named. Sincefeygeleh means  little bird as well as faggot, the gentleman  in question owns a canary. He also has excellent taste in home decor. This gay theme  is about as subtle as Edward Everett Horton  playing the sissy in Hollywood movies of  the same era, and just as much fun. There's  also a hint of lesbianism: the feygeleh's sister is very athletic and doesn't care much  for men.  There's also the classic of Yiddish cinema, Yidl With His Fiddle in which Yiddish  stage and screen star Molly Picon falls in  love with a man while herself disguised as  Like a Bride, a drama from Mexico, tells  the story of two young women as they  make life decisions in the early 1960s. Oshi  comes from a traditional Sephardic family  in which her main role is to find a husband;  Rifke comes from a more cosmopolitan and  more traumatized Ashkenazic family. The  two meet at a socialist Jewish youth group.  Rifke envies Oshi having grandparents,  since her own died in the Holocaust. Oshi  envies the dinner-table conversations about  world politics and zionism she finds at  Rifke's house. Oshi's desire to study art,  against the wishes of her family is placed  beside the casual assumption of Rifke's  family that she will be university educated.  This movie shows Jewish cultures and histories in all their complexity and variety.  Coming from a Left Jewish family, it  was a thrill for me to see that aspect of Jewish history celebrated, and sometimes sent  up. In one scene, the youth group leader is  giving a talk on Hanukkah. "At Hanukkah  we celebrate the class struggle of the  Maccabees against the Greeks," he intones.  Oshi whispers to Rifke, "I thought we celebrate the miracle of the oil." I could tell  which audience members came from families like mine by who was laughing.  It is rare to see Jewish women's lives  in a fiction film—that in itself was enough  to make me want to see this movie. I didn't  expect that the film would also cheerfully  explore the often strained relations between  Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews; the unexpected support of families when it counts;  and how women can find comfort in certain traditions, and at the same time find  freedom in breaking from tradition. Like a  Bride is the most brilliant, exciting evocation of Jewish women's history I have  ever seen.  a boy. Sicular was careful to point out that  since the audience knows Picon is a woman  all along, this is actually homosexuality  without the homosexual. Even so it's refreshing to watch a woman of that era  dressed in drag and speaking Yiddish. Even  more unusual was East and West, in which  Picon plays a tomboy rebel and her family  is furious with her.  There are certainly things to annoy you  in the texts and subtexts Sicular has identified—most of the characters associated  with homosexuality are cured or killed, as  in Hollywood movies, Sicular said. But I  was happy to have seen these clips, since  they show that Yiddish culture at least acknowledged the existence of lesbians and  gays, even if it didn't exactly like it.  JULY/AUGUST 1996 Arts  Three solo shows at the Richmond Art Gallery-  Sacred space in suburbia  by Lizard Jones  STONE. WATER. WOOD  by Karen Cain  REDEFINING THE ICON  Linda Anderson Stewart  APPLE PIE  Ka thy Ross  Richmond Art Gallery  Richmond, BC  There's no point in being a snob about  the suburbs, as I found out when I visited  the Richmond Art Gallery in June. For one  thing, the RAG (together the publicly  funded gallery acronyms make quite a list:  VAG (Vancouver), BAG (Burnaby), SAG  (Surrey), KAG (Kamloops))...sorry, the  RAG accomplishes a lot that other galleries could only wish for. It is right in the middle of a humming community centre, and  seems to pretty well thumb its nose at the  remoteness and elitism other galleries fall  prey to.  Also, you might think that a gallery so  firmly planted in suburban culture would  never question "family values," but the  show I saw there did just that. And though  there were comments in the visitors book  that said, essentially, "In Richmond?," the  overall response seems to have been one of  tolerance.  Tolerance of what? Let me backtrack.  There were actually three solo shows, by  three different women, up at the RAG when  I went.  Two dealt with the sacred, from two  very different perspectives. Karen Cain  showed a series of acrylic paintings of sacred sites, arranged around a hearthlike  centre. Called Stone. Water. Wood, Creating  a Sacred Place, this show draws on a host of  images from different cultures to explore  "the search for a personal centre."  In the next gallery were icons, or rather  iconlike boxes. In Redefining the Icon, Linda  Anderson Stewart reached into her childhood and assembled beliefs and images  lying there. "It was as if signals lay sleeping in my subconscious, causing me to re-  Apple Pie by Kathy Ross. Photo courtesy of Kathy Ross.  spond in ways that were not always expected or useful," she says in her artist's  statement. The boxes and frames are small,  beautiful, and strange—holding angels,  fish, photos, bones and thorns. The pieces  are as vivid and enigmatic as memory.  In the third gallery was a different kind  of sacred space—a "village "that makes up  Apple Pie by Seattle artist Kathy Ross. Apple Pie is as much a piece of research as it is  a piece of art. To put it together, Ross interviewed 18 "non-traditional" families from  the Seattle area. (I hate that the culturally  homogeneous nuclear family, which is a  relatively new institution in world history,  has now become the traditional family.) The  68 family members in the piece cover a  wide range of races, ages, sexes, sexual  orientations and abilities, and most importantly a wide range of family structures.  "We need to be free to choose who we are  intimate with," says Ross.  Ross interviewed all these people, cast  their hands in plaster, photographed them,  and collected their memorabilia and old  shoes. The final piece is a town square with  18 addresses and 18 doors. Each door has  photos and text on the outside and the in  side about the family that "lives" there, and  opens to reveal a sculpture based on the  cast hands of that family. Around the outside of this structure are shoes, and a  mailbox for gallery visitors to use to leave  their own stories. An audio tape with parts  of the interview plays from the middle of  the square.  The tolerance I referred to was a general acceptance of the people in the show.  The information Ross has gathered is important, and it was heartening to see that  people recognized this. "Thank you for  sharing this project. Very important and  wonderful," wrote one visitor. "I like the  house," wrote another. "It was really cool.  It was singing."  I was quite overwhelmed by Apple Pie.  I was very glad to see something so overtly  politically challenging in an art gallery. I  kept wishing the format were a bit different, though—a film, or a book—so I could  absorb everything. The depth of information on each family meant that I could only  take in the idea of a few of the participants.  So I can't tell you all about it, but there  were some stories that really stood out for  me. For example, the experiences with  Canada Customs of a lesbian and her son.  Also the story of Lamar, a white women,  who found the daughter she gave up for  adoption 26 years ago. "Why are you white,  Grandma?" asks her black grandson. "I  don't know," she replies.  And the family of young adults who  live together co-operatively and challenge  the notion that all adults have to live together in pairs based on sexual activity.  Apple Pie seems to be a very direct reaction to the stuff we've all been hearing  lately about the family, and Kathy Ross has  presented us with a series of positive and  uncompromising alternative visions. The  breaking of any silence is valuable, and I  was able to take strength from this one. It  was encouraging to see Ross' version of  "today's North American town in which  heterosexuals, homosexuals, blacks, whites,  and many others of differing age and ethnicity co-exist." It was thrilling to see so  many examples of not-only-nuclear families in one place, to know that my weird  model is not the only one.  However, I don't think people like me,  a lesbian parent of teens who live with me  sometimes, are the audience for this show.  The audience is the people who see only a  stereotype when they see me. The aim of  Apple Pie really seems to be tolerance, the  old "if only you knew me, you wouldn't  be willing to beat me up" idea.  Does it work? Certainly visitors to the  gallery were moved. For me personally I  wanted something more, at least from the  families with children. Apple Pie, Part II  maybe. I wanted to know that these people screw up sometimes, that they forget  to buy lunch food, or that their kids don't  have raincoats. I wanted to see some of the  cracks. It is not the fact that we (lesbians,  mixed race couples, people with disabilities) are perfect parents that means we have  the right to raise children.  I wanted to hear that these children  also say to their crewcut mothers, "Please,  just wear a hat!"  Maybe next time.  Lizard Jones is a writer and artist living in  Vancouver.  1#   1 l/« #  OUR COMMUNITIES!  OUR PUBLIC SERVICES!  LwME^   A me55a3e from the Public Service Alliance of Canada   •   (604) 430-5631  JULY/AUGUST 1996 Powell Street Festival:  Centre stage at last!  by Eileen Kage as told to Laiwan  Powell Street Festival is an annual celebration of Japanese Canadian art, culture and  history held in Vancouver at Oppenheimer  Park and surrounding venues. This year's festival will take place on August 3rd and 4th,  and will highlight the cultural work of Asian  Canadian women. Kinesis had the opportunity  to speak to Eileen Kage, president of the board  of the Powell Street Festival Society and former  coordinator of the Festival. She is also a member ofSawagi Taiko, an all-women taiko group  and Bamboo Triangle, a group for lesbian, gay  men and bisexuals of Japanese descent.  Laiwan: "Asian Canadian Women" is  the theme of this year's Powell Street Festival. What was the impetus for choosing  this theme?  Eileen Kage: At a board meeting three  years ago, we discussed ideas for possible  themes. One member suggested "women."  I remember enthusiasm from around the  table, the thrill of possibly initiating something controversial in our community. All  nine board members at the time were  women. We all felt it was time we formalized the honouring of women in our community. Informally, when you look at the  history of the Festival, women have been  and continue to be the driving force as far  as directing, coordinating and volunteering at the Festival.  We planned to celebrate "women" in  the 1995 Festival. However, by early spring,  we realized the Festival would fall on the  50th anniversary of the atomic bombings  of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so we decided  the theme for the 1995 festival should be  "peace." We agreed to postpone the theme  of "women" for the 1996 festival, 'which  would also be the Powell Street Festival's  20th anniversary.  Around the same time the idea for this  theme came about, we were also reviewing our mandate to come up with clearer  guidelines for participation at the Festival.  One purpose of the Powell Street Festival  Society is to organize, sponsor, stage and  otherwise promote cultural events involving Japanese Canadian and Asian Canadian  artists, themes and interests.  Although we have always had participation from people and communities outside of the Japanese Canadian community,  including other Asian Canadians, we have  never specifically incorporated their participation into our main theme. We decided  the theme, "women" should actually be  "Asian Canadian Women." It seemed appropriate; we would be highlighting  women as well as acknowledging the fact  that Japanese Canadians are part of the  broader Asian Canadian community.  Laiwan: Did many Asian Canadian  women express interest in participating in  this year's Festival?  Kage: In April this year, we held an  event called Fusions, a planning workshop  for Powell Street Festival 1996. We spread  the word through the grapevine and advertised in local Asian, community and art  magazines for Asian Canadian women artists to attend. We needed to find out how  The usually strong presence of women at Powell Street Festival is formalised with this year's theme of 'Asian Canadian Women' in celebration of the  festival's 20th year. Photo byTamio Wakayama.  women, many of whom were not yet familiar with Powell Street Festival, would  like to participate.  Fusions was a great success. About 40  women—visual artists, writers, performers  and musicians—attended. Several cross-  cultural and cross-disciplinary projects  were initiated, including an ongoing fabric  project, an outdoor art installation, a cabaret night, a performance art project, and  storytelling sessions—all of which will be  presented at the Festival this year.  Laiwan: By opening up the Festival to  include all East, Southeast and SouthAsian  writers, performers and visual artists, what  kind of alliances are you hoping will be created?  Kage: I hope this will lead to many  more alliances being built among the different Asian communities and individuals.  As well, I hope it will challenge stereotyped  images and biases some Japanese Canadians have about people outside the communities, as well as the sterotypes of Japanese  Canadians other Asians may hold. We hope  this year's theme will inspire people to get  to know one another, to relate and find similarities, discover differences and develop  respect for themselves and others, despite  our cultural differences. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of some of  these cross-cultural collaborations.  I also hope Powell Street will continue  to be a place where artists from different  backgrounds can collaborate together in the  future, not only at future Powell Street Festivals, but at other events in Vancouver, and  even internationally.  Laiwan: What kind of responses are  you getting?  Kage: Everyone seems very supportive  of the theme. Many are saying they believe  it is healthy for our community to work on  our connection with other Asian communities. They also consider the theme progressive and exciting because it is an invitation and an opportunity for everyone, including men, to celebrate and honour the  women, and not only Japanese Canadian  women but all Asian Canadian women.  Some members of the board have been  asked: "Why Asian Canadian women?"  and "How did this get decided for the 20th  anniversary?" or "Isn't this exclusive of  men?" The truth is, those men who feel  "excluded" do so because for once they are  not in the limelight and they think they  should be. The theme also challenges Asian  women who, for whatever reason, feel uncomfortable with this year's theme to think  further about sexism in our communities.  In fact I am pleased with the dialogue  that is occurring around this year's theme.  How else would we really get Japanese Canadians to examine the subtle and overt  sexism inherent in our community, as well  as in the broader community. My impression is that most of us, including the men,  are supportive of working toward equality. But I also know this is a challenge for  us all because it requires us to be self-critical of how we perpetuate hierarchical  structures, in terms of gender, that are ingrained in our cultures.  Laiwan: Some media have been critical of this year's theme, which shows how  challenging it is for conservatives within  the Asian community as well as in the general public to see women at the centre stage.  What do you hope this year's Festival will  achieve through celebrating, making visible  and raising awareness of the cultural work  of women?  Kage: at first the media did question  the so-called exclusionary aspects of this  year's theme. Even the Vancouver Sun mentioned this. But the Powell Street Festival  Society made it clear that we are inviting  everyone, including men, to participate in  this collective challenge of honouring Asian  women who historically have not been acknowledged. Now individuals as well as  leaders in our community are articulating  the value of this year's theme to the media.  With this focus on the cultural work  and lives of women in our communities, I  hope certain aspects of our community,  which have been silenced in the past and  present, will have the opportunity to surface and flourish.  There is already an example of how  this is happening. The Japanese Canadian  National Museum and Archives Society  (JCNMAS) has been doing specialized research on the role of sewing and dressmaking in the lives of many Nisei [second generation Japanese Canadian] girls in the  1920s and 1930s. It seems in those days that  attending sewing school was considered  much more practical than high school. This  was because Japanese women were rarely  hired by white-owned businesses. It was  also because the clothing that could be purchased did not fit our women well. I can  barely imagine what it must have been like  for those women.  One of our directors, who is involved  with the JCNMAS, says the project has been  met with so much enthusiasm from women  eager to share their often first-hand knowledge of this vital part of our history. We are  planning a display on the history of sewing in our community at this year's festival.  I am personally looking forward to  learning more about my community's history as well as about my own identity as  an Asian lesbian living in Vancouver in the  90s. For the last three or four years, I and a  few people involved with Powell Street  have been working hard to increase queer  visibility at the festival. Many of us have  volunteered and coordinated various aspects of the Festival for years, but there has  been little or no acknowledgement of our  presence reflected in the festival's content.  We are finally getting somewhere, partly  because of the regular presence at the festival of Bamboo Triangle, (a Japanese gay and  lesbian group), and ASIA (Asian Society  for the Intervention of AIDS). And more  and more queers, especially Asian lesbians,  are participating in other ways every year.  An unfortunate thing this year is that  the Vancouver Pride Society decided to  move the Gay Pride Parade from BC Day  Monday to the Sunday, thereby conflicting  with one of the days of the festival. Members of the Asian community wrote letters  expressing our disappointment at their decision, but they wouldn't change the date  back. Now there will probably be less queer  visibility at the Festival and less Asian visibility at Pride.  Laiwan: What can we look forward to  at this year's festival?  Kage: There are a lot of fun events, including a cabaret night with performances  by Asian women, including the Dim Sum  Dykes (Anita Young and Linda Chen from  Toronto) with storytelling and music. A  fashion show of dresses from the 30s and  40s is also being planned.  Other highlights are: a multi-disciplinary performance by artists from Los Angeles using liquid light projection, music,  dance, poetry, and video/film; a performance art piece by Jen Lam involving a  painter, a live musician and provocative  text; Kokoro Dance Theatre Society's multi-  disciplinary piece; performances by local  taiko groups, including the all-women's  group Sawagi Taiko; and traditional and  modern dance by women and children.  And of course, this is on top of the  usual exciting programming of the Powell  Street Festival, from the martial arts displays to the great food!  For more information about this year's Powell  Street Festival or to volunteer, contact Kathy  Shimizu, Festival Coordinator, Powell Street  Festival, 450-1050 Alberni St, Vancouver, BC,  V6E 1A3; tel: (604) 682-4335.  JULY/AUGUST 1996 Letters  dear   re ade r s  Kinesis loves receiving mail. Please  get your letters to us by the 18th of  the month.  If you can, keep the length to about  500 words. (If you go way over, we  might edit for space.)  Hope to hear from you very soon.  Love,  Kinesis  Disturbed  by images in Kinesis  Kinesis:  I was deeply disturbed and  disappointed with your item showing  photographs of two baby girls entitled  "Guess who these literary baby dykes are!"  featured in the February issue to promote  an Asian gathering. Apparently, you  obtained permission to publish the photos.  Nevertheless, labelling baby photos with  captions indicating their sexual orientation  is wrong. The sexualization of any child is  unacceptable. Please cancel my long time  subscription to Kinesis and donate any  remaining funds to the Vancouver Status of  Women.  Yours sincerely,  Virginia K.Walker  Sydenham, Ontario  The Editorial Board responds: The photos  were submitted to Kinesis by Asian lesbians  to promote Lotus Roots, Western Canada's  first Asian Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual  Gathering.  out west  Performance Society  presents  things  lesbians  do in  bed  a comedy  wy  Sonja Mills  coming  in August  Info/tickets:  293-4424  The photographs do not depict the babies in  any sexual way. We therefore assume that  your objection lies with the naming of the  babies as lesbians. Kinesis feels that  identifying sexual orientation is not  equivalent to sexualization.  The lesbians, who self-identified themselves  in the photos as baby dykes, selected  individual portraits from their personal photo  albums. They were used both in Kinesis and  at Lotus Roots, in part to make visibik local  Asian lesbian participation in the gathering.  Both women are well-known and proudly out  as lesbians in the Vancouver feminist, lesbian/  gay, Asian and artist communities. Both  challenge homophobia in society.  Kinesis stands by its decision to publish  the photos and caption.  Women with  AIDS live in poverty  Kinesis:  I would like to write about an issue  that's rarely discussed. It is an issue that  has touched my own life very personally. I  am speaking about women and children  who live their lives in poverty, who have  the HIV virus and AIDS.  Not only are these women facing the  realization of an early death for themselves  and their children, some are living in  conditions that are deplorable. Even if  these women have degrees, employment is  sometimes out of their reach due to  misinformation and discrimination. They  are subject to government red tape, and  live in situations that put them at even  greater risk of infections and early deaths.  On top of unsafe, unsanitary housing  conditions, they also often have to deal  with substandard medical practitioners  due to inaccessibility of ones who are up-  to-date on HIV/AIDS treatments.  I know of a woman who was told by her  male doctor that her T-cell count wasn't  low enough to justify social services  paying for medication to keep her count  from falling any lower. He neglected to tell  her about theAIDS society which could  have helped her, or about vitamin  supplements, the dangers of increased  stress, pet feces, and other very real  dangers to her health. Including poverty.  As I travelled across the country with  the [NAC/CLC] women's march against  poverty, I saw the victims and their  children in the creeks, streams, flowers and  birds that show themselves to us. I saw  their faces in the eyes of all women who  gather to create change. I see in my eyes  anger, frustration and grief. I'm angry with  the government for their lack of interest.  It's time for women to unite and rally  behind women who wake up to this  disease every morning—Make a difference  every day, not just today. I ask each of you  to get hold of your local AIDS Society and  ask what you can do, or make them do  something to help out women who have  this disease and live in poverty. Do  something, please.  Pam Branson  Kamloops Women's Resource Centre  We've got  a long way to go  Kinesis:  So here we are in 1996, with four years  to the year 2000!: I am told we've "Come a  long way, baby" (as the Virginia Slims  slogan would have us believe). In some  people's opinions, there are more perks to  being a woman than being a man in this  day and age. Upon hearing such  comments, I can't help but wonder how it  A GATHERING OF WOMEN  during the XI International Conference on AIDS  Monday July 8th, 1996 5-7pm  Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park  This social event will be an opportunity for women attending the  conference to meet and network with women working in the  community.  For information and to RSVP please call the Positive Women's  Network @ 681-2122 Ext. 200.  Hosted by the Positive Women's Network  PWN gratefully acknowledges the support of VanCity.  is then that:  ...One woman is raped every 17 minutes  in Canada (Canadian Association of Sexual  Assault Centers' statistic, based on  reported cases only!).  ...Women who are raped, often get the  response, "That's terrible, but she was  asking for it," based on what she was  wearing or where she was.  ...Teenagers (yes, those Generation X-ers  who are supposed to be free of all those  sexiSi pressures!) experiencing dating  violence often perceive violence in their  relationship as his indication of love for  her, which has taken the form of jealousy.  However, the truth is, assault is about his  power over her, NOT passion!  ...Women face resistance from those  around them when trying to leave abusive  and controlling relationships.  ...Police rarely act according to what is  required of them through the "Attorney  General's Policy Against Violence in  Relationships" to pursue perpetrators of  assault.  So the truth is that we've only begun  moving forward, and have yet to go a long  way. The sexist attitudes and power  imbalances still in our society are at the  root of the violent acts carried out against  women.  Recently, there have been demands  placed on the Canadian government to  fight violence agaist women through  providing $50 million to rape crisis centers  nation-wide. Our government has refused  to make a commitment (a mere $2 per  Canadian!) If you believe there is a need to  take action, write or call your local MP's  office (Vancouver's MP Hedy Fry could do  with a wake-up call!)  Gwyn Mcintosh  Vancouver, BC  you re in.  3 days °Fmu*ic  7  StageS all day long  .. then there's the Jericho Beach  sunset. Don't miss it!!  you can DANCE, you can LAUGH, and  you can just HANG OUT, and LISTEN  to Jane Siberry. Peggy Seeqer.  Kate and Anna McGarriqle.  unda Tillery and the Cultural  Heritage Choir, Kinnie Starr,  Mary Jane Lamond, Gwen Swick.  Ferron, Sharon Shannon,  Pele Juju, Sheila Gostick,  and lots more from Celtic music,  action poets, storytellers music from  around the world and right  out of downtown.  THE 19TH ANNUAL  VANCOUVER FOLK  MUSIC FESTIVAL  July 19,20 & 21  Jericho Beach Park  Tickets available at VFMF office  103-3737 Oak St.  Tel. 734-6543. Fax 734-4297  ill 1-800-883-FOLK All  rges may apply)  straight  JULY/AUGUST 1996 News   Sexual assault and the justice system:  Limits set for disclosure  by Ayes Huang  Feminists working to end male violence against women welcomed new federal legislation introduced by justice minister Allan Rock, which would limit access  to women's personal records in sexual assault cases.  The bill, tabled in the House of Commons by Rock on June 12 coinciding with  the second day of a national consultation  on violence against women, is being hailed  by women as a critical step towards ensuring that women's equality rights are balanced with the rights of the accused to a  fair trial.  For a number of years, feminists have been  pressing the federal government to introduce  legislation with clear restrictions on disclosure,  and last December, they stepped up their campaign, foUowing the SupremeCourt of Canada's  decisions on the O'Connor and Beharriell cases  [see Kinesis February 1996.] In those cases, the  SCC set out broad concepts of what kinds of  records could be relevant in trial, and essentially  said thatdefensecounsel only had to show "likely  relevance" to justify their disclosure.  Therxssiticnofwomen'sorganizationshas  always been that there should be no access to  womm'srjeiscff^recordsatanytime. However  asafallback position, says Karen Busby, the bill  essentially gives women everything they'd been  calling for, save some details. Busby, a law pro-  fessoratthe University of Manitoba andaspokes-  person for the Women's Legal Education and  Action Fund (LEAF),saysfhebillmarksacritical  shift from the guidelines set out by the SCC,  particularly because itis infused throughout with  the language of equality.  ThebiUprovidesaccmiprehereivedefinition  of "records, as any record containing personal  information, and not just restricted to those produced by professional record takers. Records  would include such things as counselling, medical, employment, and child welfare records, as  well as personal journals. According to Busby,  the records most sought after by defense counsel, are child and family services records, which  are intended to be used to challenge a woman's  credibility and character.  The disclosure legislation sets out 10  impermissable-rather than permissible-  grounds for releasing records to the counsel of the accused, including that the record  may disclose a prior inconsistent statement  made by the complainant or witness or may  relate to her credibility, and that the record relates to the complainants' sexual activity or to  her sexual reputation. Busby says the grounds  listed in the bill are essentially the reasons given  by defense counsel for seeking records in about  99 percent of the cases.  The new legislation also sets out factors  judges must consider before agreeing to allow  disclosure, including whether or not the production of the record is based on discriminatory  beliefs or bias, the impact of disclosure on the  reporting of sexual assault, and the integrity of  the trial process.  Women are also pleased that the bill requires judges to consider the grounds for disclosure and the factors before they can even  look at the records.  "The bill attempts to do what the SCC  failed to do which is to protect the equality  rights of women, and ensure that the accused's right to a fair trial-which we absolutely support-does not override women's  constitutional rights," says Busby  Anne-Marie Aiken of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres says the legislation is long overdue. Aiken knows well  the adverse impact of broad disclosure criteria on women filing sexual assault  charges and on rape crisis centres. In 1992,  the Barrie sexual assault centre where Aiken  works became the first such organization  tobesubpoenedtotum over counselling records.  Since then, she says, thecentre has been handed  over 50 subpoenas.  Karen Busby says the bill attempts to challenge the myths and stereotypes of women who  report sexual assault, such as "they are prone to  lie in sexual assault matters, and that counsellors have an agenda to push, and they illegiti-  mately influence women to haveunfounded be-  Hefsthattheyhavebeen sexually violated." She  adds that to date, every case on disclosure is  founded on one or both of those myths.  Thebill also affordswcnnmprotection from  Crownkwyeiswhostrikedealswimthedefense  and agree to disclosure certain records, says  Busby. ThebiUessentMy says the Crown cannot  use any records unless the complainant has expressly waived the rightto the application process. ''ThebiUmakesitdearthatthecomplainant  has the right to object [to disclosure,] so that  the records cannot be used without either her  consent or without this process of detenriining  admissibility beingused," says Busby.  Even though the bill isavictoryforwomen,  women should not rest easy. The bill has only  been introduced for first reading and still must  pass through all the stages of readings and committees and the Senate, before becoming law.  Busby says she expects defense counsel and,  particularly, advocates of "false memory syndrome" wiUtomountacarnpaign to waterdown  orevendefeatthebill. 'Tfsimportantweremain  vigilant"  Agnes Huang attended the national consultation  '.women in Ottawa.  NAC's annual general meeting:  Continued from previous page  did. The Reform has always said it would  not meet with NAC, but this year Reformer  Jack Ramsey said he would participate.  However, two days before the lobby, he  pulled out.  In the session with the BQ, women  applauded the party for their progressive  stances, but pressed them to take a stronger  role, as the official opposition, in defending social programs and not only when they  affect people in Quebec. The BQ was also  challenged on their position on Aboriginal  rights in Quebec.  The Liberals did not offer much for  women to celebrate, particularly as Finance  Minister Paul Martin kept quoting from the  "deficit bible." Martin was jeered for saying there was no room in the budget for  $50 million to fund feminist strategies  working to end male violence against  women, even after NAC delegates presented ideas on where the monies could be  diverted from.  All the political parties were asked to  support the demands of the March. Only  the NDP has given its endorsement.  No NAC lobby would be complete  without the recent tradition of spoofing the  right-wing parties which refused to participate—the Reform and the Conservatives.  NAC delegates staged the marriage of Conservative leader Jean Charest and Reform  Party leader Preston Manning. The wed-  During NAC's federal lobby, women held up signs listing each of the 15  demands of the National Women's March Against Poverty in French and  English. Photos by Agnes Huang.  ding was officiated by "David Frum," a  Toronto journalist and ardent proponent of  unifying the right-wing political parties.  After the  "wedding" ceremony,  Charest (aka Lorraine Michael) and and  Manning (aka Sarah Kreindler) broke out  into song: "Vote regressive conform/And  let's unite the Right."  The mainstream media reported that  women had "walked away empty handed"  after the lobby. But Joan Grant-Cummings,  whose first job as president was to facilitate the lobby, says the contrary was true.  She says NAC won some significant  victories, including an agreement from Paul  Martin to meet with women's groups to  discuss source-monies within the budget  which could be re-allocated to feminist rape  crisis centres, transition houses and women's centres.  As well, Grant-Cummings says she  was encouraged the Liberals agreed to the  idea proposed by women for a task force  to examine the federal-provincial jurisdictional barriers to the creation of a national  childcare program.  She adds that the large number of  number of federal politicians who turned  out to the lobby and the fact that no doors  were shut completely, are signs that NAC  is a strong political force in this country.  "The very next day, for the first time in  his tenure, the prime minister said 'eradicating poverty is a priority of this country/"  said Grant-Cummings. "That, for me, is a  clear demonstration that NAC has the ability to influence the government."  Agnes Huang attended the NAC AGM and  Lobby as a delegate for the Vancouver Status  of Women and as editor o/Kinesis.  JULY/AUGUST 1996 Bulletin Board  read    t h i si     INVOLVEMENT  Bulletin Board listings have a  maximum of 50 words. Groups,  organizations and individuals eligible  for free space in the Bulletin Board  must be, or have, non-profit  objectives.  Other free notices will be items of  general public interest and will  appear at the discretion of Kinesis.  Classifieds are $8 (+$0.56 GST) for  the first 50 words or portion thereof,  $4 (+$0.28 GST) for each additional  25 words or portion thereof and must  be prepaid.  Deadline for all submissions is  the 18th of the month preceding  publication. Note: Kinesis is  published ten times a year. Jul/Aug  and Dec/Jan are double issues.  All submissions should include a  contact name and telephone number  for any clarification that may be  required.  Listings will not be accepted over the  telephone.  Kinesis encourages readers to  research the goods and services  advertised in Bulletin Board. Kinesis  cannot guarantee the accuracy of the  information provided or the safety  and effectiveness of the services and  products listed.  Send submissions to Bulletin Board,  Kinesis, #301-1720 Grant Street,  Vancouver, BC, V5L 2Y6, or fax: (604)  255-5511. For more information call  (604) 255-5499.  DR. PAULETTE ROSCOE  NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIAN  HOMEOPATHY  COUNSELLING  DETOXIFICATION  HYCROFT MEDICAL CENTER  108-3195 GRANVILLE ST.  VANCOUVER, B.C. V6H 3K2  731-4183  WANNA GET INVOLVED?  With Kinesis'? We want to get involved with  you too. Help plan our next issue. All women  interested in what goes into K/nes/s-whether  it's news, features or arts-are invited to our  next Story Meetings: and Tues Aug 6 and  Tues Sep 3 at 7 pm at our office, 301-1720  Grant St, Van. If you can't make the meeting,  but still want to find out about writing for  Kinesis, give Agnes a call at (604) 255-5499.  No experience is necessary. Childcare  subsidies available.  CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS  Are you interested in finding out how Kinesis  is put together? Well...just drop by during our  next production dates and help us design and  lay out Canada's national feminist newspaper.  Production for the Sept 1996 issue-our  summer double issue-is from Aug 21-27. No  experience is necessary. Training and support  will be provided. Call us at 255-5499.  Childcare subsidies available.  ABORIGINAL WOMEN'S NETWORK  The Aboriginal Women's Action Network  (AWAN) holds regular monthly meetings at  VSW, 301-1720 Grant St. We work towards  equality and justice for Aboriginal women.  Workshops and projects will be developed for  Aboriginal women in the Eastside. All Aboriginal women are invited to participate. If you  have any questions, please call Terri at (604)  255-5511.   VSW PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE  All women are invited to join Vancouver Status  of Women's programming committee and  become involved in planning community  activities, such as the Women's Film Series  and Single Moms Day in the Park. It's fun. It's  important. It's cool. Interested? Call Terri at  255-5511. The next committee meeting is  Thurs Jul 11.  INVOLVEMENT  ABORIGINAL WOMEN'S DROP-IN  The Aboriginal Women's Action Network  (AWAN) will be holding a drop-in for Aboriginal women every Tues from 12-2:30pm at the  Vancouver Status of Women, 301-1720 Grant  St. Activities such as healing circles, traditional storytelling and workshops will be  featured. Come and find out what AWAN is all  about. For more info, call Terri at 255-5511.  VSWWANTSYOU!  Want to get more involved but not sure where  to begin? Join us--become a volunteer at  Vancouver Status of Women. VSW volunteers  plan events, lead groups, raise funds, answer  the phone lines, organize the library, help  connect women with the community resources they need, and get involved in other  exciting jobs! The next volunteer orientation  will be on Wed, Jul 17, 7pm at VSW, 301-  1720 Grant St. For more info, call 255-5511.  Childcare subsidies available.  EVENTS  WOMEN  IN PRINT  BOOKS & OTHER MEDIA  Discountsfor  book clubs  356<5 West 4th Avenue  4  Vancouver BC  Special orders  Voice   604 732^128  welcome  Fax      604 732-4129  10-6 Daily ♦  12-5 Sunday  THE KEEPERTM  (MENSTRUAL CUP)  3-month money-back guarantee  life expectancy of 10 years  no chlorine used in its produ(  over 97% satisfaction rate  Distributed In Canada by Eco I.oglque lnc  Fax (613) 820-1626 / lnternet:ciU59<S>fr<*nrt.carlelo  (Lowest Canadian Mall Order Price)  ~~"^-~«*tfii  1-800-680-9739  Relationship Therapy  DANA L. JANSSEN  R.M.T., M.Ed, psych.. R.C.C.  Counselling - Therapy  Integrative Body Work  Massage Therapy  Oak & W. 8th Ave. Vancouver, B.C.  Tel: (604) 731-2867  MALAIKA  Canada's hottest four women a cappella group,  Malaika, performs attheVancouver East  Cultural Centre, 1895 Venables St. Wed Jul 3  as part of their CD launch national tour.  Opening for Malaika is Vancouver's comedic  sensation, Janice Ungaro. Doors open at  7:15pm. For tickets call the Cultch at (604) 254-  9578.This is a BLT Enterprises Production.  FIRST NATIONS ARTISTS  art & aids: First Nation's Expressions, a  premiere exhibition of expressions by First  Nations artists and writers from across North  America sharing their feelings on the effects  of AIDS, will open Mon Jul 1. art & aids will  be shown daily during the XI International  Conference on AIDS at PoP's Gallery, 1134  Granville St, Vancouver until Jul 12. Featured  artists include Michelle Sylliboy, Margarite  Laliberte, Rose Spahan, Mary Longman and  George Littlechild. For more info call (604)  687-5557.   POWELL STREET FESTIVAL  The 20th annual Powell Street Festival, a  celebration of Japanese Canadian culture in  Vancouver, will be held Aug 3-4 from  11:30am each day at Oppenheimer Park (400  block of Powell St). The theme of this year's  Festival is "Asian Canadian Women." Featured  performers will include the Dim Sum Dykes,  Jen Lam and Sawagi Taiko. For Festival  details call (604) 682-4335.   PANCAKE BREAKFAST  The Positive Women's Network in Vancouver  is putting on a pancake breakfast Sat Jul 6  from 9am-1pm at Harry's off Commercial,  1716 Charles St. All proceeds to PWN. For  more info call (604) 681-2122 ext 200.  CO-OP RADIO OPEN HOUSE  Open house party "Across the Cultures  Info Blitz" to kick off "Walk In Speak Out" at  Co-op Radio 102.7FM. Jul 5 from 5-9pm,  337 Carrall St. Food, beverages, djs, art  displays, giveaways etc. Drop in and drop  off a Food Bank donation. All welcome. Call  (604) 684-8494.   NUESTRA VOZ  Nuestra Voz, a Guatemalan women's  organization based in Vancouver, is holding  a fundraising dinner and update on  women's organizing in Guatemala Wed Jul  Out and around the XI International AIDS Conference:  Calendar of events  The 11th International AIDS conference will  be coming to Vancouver July 7-12. [see  page 6] A number of public events being  held concurently are listed below. For a  fuller listing of the Satellite Symposia, which  are free and open to the public, call the XI  International AIDS Conference office at  (604)668-3225. We are unable to give info  on some free events because pre-registra-  tion deadlines have expired.  A Gathering ofWomen  The Positive Women's Network (PWN) is  hosting a gathering for women attending  the conference to meet and network with  women working in the community. The  Gathering takes place Mon, Jul 8, from 5-7  pm at the Vancouver Rowing Club in  Stanley Park. Admission is free. For more  info and to RSVP, call PWN at 681-2122,  Extn.200.  Women inTreatment Activism  (Satellite Symposia) This symposia will  follow the Gathering of Women on Mon, Jul  8. It takes place at theYWCA Hotel from  7:30-9 pm and is sponsored by PWN and  the European AIDS Treatment Group in  Berlin.  OneWorld Screen Festival  This film festival will highlight full-length  JULY/AUGUST 1996  feature films, documentaries, and short films/  videos on the many issues surrounding HIV/  AIDS. The festival will run for eight evenings,  from Fri, Jul 5, to Sat, Jul 13. Venues are  the Robson Square Media Centre's Judge  McGill and Judge White theatres, and the  Pacifique Cinematheque at 1131 Howe Street.  For info about ticket prices and programs, call  606-7812.  Public Forum Series  A working group at the International AIDS  Conference is holding six free, community  oriented forums which will be moderated by  CBC broadcasters. FORUM ONE on Mon, Jul  8 from 7-9:30 pm, is co-sponsored by AIDS  Vancouver and BC Peersons With AIDS  (BCPWA) and looks at "AIDS: Past, Present  and Future." FORUM TWO takes place on  Tues, Jul 9, from noon to 1:30 pm and deals  with "Sex, Safety and the Single Women." It is  co-sponsored by PWN, theYWCA, and the  Vancouver Women's Health Collective.  FORUM FIVE on Wed, Jul 10, from 7-9:30  pm, is co-sponsored by YouthCo, and is titled,  "Youth Talk to Youth about AIDS." FORUM SIX  is at noon-2 pm on Thurs, Jul 11 ,and is co-  sponsored by. AIDS Vancouver, St. Paufs  Hospital and the BC Medical Association. This  forum will give people unable to attend the  Conference an opportunity to hear "The  Conference Wrap-up: Key Research Results  presented at the XI International AIDS  Conference."  AIDS, Medicine and Miracles  This is the name of a US-based non-profit  organization that coordinates holistic retreats  for people living with HIV/AIDS. They will be  holding a retreat in Vancouver during the  Conference. For cost, registration or more  info, call 1-800-875-8770.  Indigenous Peoples'Working Group  (Satellite Symposia) A gathering for Indigenous peoples only, it takes place from 8:30  am to 3:30 pm on Sun, Jul 7 at the Sty-Wet-  Tan Great Hall, First Nations House of  Learning, University of British Columbia. The  Gathering will continue on Wed, Jul 10, at the  Robson Square Media Centre from 7-9 pm.  Call Linda Day at 666-1898 for more info.  A Dialogue between the Sexes  (Satellite Symposia) AIDSCAP/Family Health  International presents "Men, Women and  AIDS: A Dialogue between the Sexes" at 4:30  pm on Sat, Jul 6, at the Sutton Place Hotel.  The contact is Mary Kay McGeown, available  through Conference staff.  InternationalWornen's AIDS Caucus  (Satellite Symposia) International women will  meet at the Vancouver Public Library from 10  am to 2:30 pm on Sat, Jul 6 and from 10 am  to noon on Fri, Jul 12. The contact is Mabel  Bianco (Argentina) available through  Conference staff.  BC Coalition of People with  Disabilities  (Satellite Symposia) BCCPD will be hosting  a symposium on Fri, Jul 12 from 9 am to  4:30 pm at the Westin Bayshore Hotel. They  will be looking at "Strategies in HIV/AIDS  Prevention Education for People with  Disabilities." Call Geoff McMurchy at 875-  0188 for more info.  Asia Pacific Alliance Against AIDS  (Satellite Symposia) The APAAA presents a  symposia titled "Private and Public Partnerships for HIV Prevention in the Asia Pacific"  on Sun, Jul 7 from 8am to 1'30 praat the  YWCA Hotel on Beatty Street. Contact Ann-  Marie Kimball through Conference staff.  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Caucus  (Satellite Symposia) The International AIDS  Society Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Caucus  will meet to discuss "Multiple Risks, Multiple  Threats" at the Vancouver Library from 7-9  pm on Tues, Jul 9. Contact Clint Gould  through Conference staff.  Compiled by Nancy Pang and Fatima Jaffer Bulletin Board  EVENTS  EVENTS  GROUPS  GROUPS  10 at 7pm at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, 800 E. Broadway, Vancouver.  The event will include a delicious Guatemalan dinner, crafts, music, and a raffle in  order to support Nuestra Voz' work both in  Canada and Guatemala. Suggested  donation is $10. Please call to confirm your  participation at 877-8601 or 872-0297.  GATHERING OFWOMEN  Positive Women's Network is hosting a  Gathering of Women during the XI International Conference on AIDS in Vancouver  Mon Jul 8, 5-7pm at the Vancouver  Rowing Club in Stanley Park. This social  event will be an opportunity for women  attending the conference to meet and  network with women working in the  community. Admission is free. For more info  call PWN at (604) 681-2122 ext 200.  COMEDY FESTIVAL  The 10th Annual Vancouver International  Comedy Festival will be held from Jul 25-  Aug 4 in various venues on Granville  Island. There will be public outdoor events  and ticketed evening events, including the  premiere of a new bleakly humourous work  entitled Too Little, Too Late, Too Loaded by  Christine Taylor, author of Man on the  Moon, Woman on the Pill. For more info  call (604) 683-0883.   DYKEWORDS  Dykewords: readings by local dyke writers is  held every second Thurs at 9pm at The Lotus,  455 Abbott St, Vancouver. Jul 4 features  Nancy Richler, Russell Baskin, & Louie  Ettling. Jul 18 features Terrie "Cookie"  Hamazaki & Wendy Putnam. Admission $1-4  sliding scale, everyone welcome. For more  info, call (604) 685-7777.   QUEER WORDS  Queer Words, Gay Pride readings and  performances, will be held Thurs Aug 1 at the  Lotus, 455 Abbott St, Vancouver. The event  features Nadine Chambers, James C.  Johnstone, Darcy James McFadden & Helen  Mintz. For more info, call (604) 685-7777.  SEATTLE RUMMAGE SALE  Radical Women, a socialist feminist group  in Seattle, is holding a rummage sale Jul  20-21 at the New Freeway Hall, 5018  Rainier Ave, Seattle. Housewares, sports  equipment, collectables, furniture, books,  clothes, etc. Sat 10-6pm, Sun 10-2pm.  Goods half-price on Sun. To donate or for  more info call (206) 722-6057.   PARADE YOUR PRIDE  A celebration for gay, lesbian, bisexual,  transgender and transexual people, their  friends and family. Sun Aug 4 from  Denman St. to Sunset Beach, Vancouver.  Call (604) 73-PRIDE.  CARIBBEAN DAYS  The Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Society of  BC presents the 9th annual Caribbean Days  Festival Jul 27-28 in Vancouver. On Sat Jul  27 from 5pm-1am, the 3rd Annual Plazarama,  Carnival costume parade and dance will take  place at the Plaza of Nations and will feature  soca, reggae, steel bands, hot latin tempo  and limbo fire dance. Admission is $20  advance, children $10. Tickets available from  TicketMaster, 280-4444; Roots & Culture,  436-3992; or the Patty Shop, 738-2144. On  Sun Jul 28 from 11am-7pm, a free, fun-filled  Caribbean Festival will be held at Waterfront  Park in North Vancouver. The event will  feature arts and crafts, Caribbean food and  music, and rides. For more info call 303-1455.  RANDOM ORDER  Come groove to the energetic sounds of  Toronto-based Random Order Thurs Jul  11 at the Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir St,  Vancouver. On their first cross-Canada  tour, this upbeat and political band is sure  to inspire diverse audiences with the  eclectic mixture of ska, reggae and more.  The eccentric, confrontational and  extrememly funny Sheila Gostick will be  opening. Random Order will also be  perforning at the Harrison Festival of the  Arts. For more info call (604) 681-4374.  WITT POTLUCK PICNIC  Women in Trades and Technology (WITT)  is holding a potluck picnic Sun Aug 11,  1 pm at Trout Lake in Vancouver. Meet near  the concession. For more info call Lower  Mainland WITT at (604) 688-9499.   AMAZING GREYS GATHERING  The 4th annual Amazing Greys Gathering is  happening in Parksville at the Island Hall Oct  25-27. The event is a celebration of the  energy, creativity and wisdom of mature  women Willing to explore the opportunities of  age with joy, curiousity and openess. For  more info contact Shelagh Wilson at (604)  954-2395.   HARRISON FESTIVAL  Hear the blues of Swamp Mama Johnson,  the a cappella rhythms of Aya and Malaika,  the voices of Faith Nolan and Irene Farrera  at this year's Harrison Festival of the Arts.  The annual event is an intimate little  festival of theatre, dance, music and visual  arts on the shores of Harrison Lake in  British Columbia held this year from Jul 6-  14. A complete schedule is available by  calling (604) 681-2771 in Vancouver or  (604) 796-3664 in Harrison.  Want to see your services listed  on these pages?  Call (604)255-5499  So when is that  i  queer film/video  festival  anyway    4t  | August 8th-1 7th, 1996  the    8th    Annual    Vancouver  Queer Film/Video Festival  FOR VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES CALL 879-9296  NOW!  LESBIAN SURVIVORS  Looking to form a lesbian-only consciousness raising/discussion group for survivors  of girlhood rape. No s/m, drink, drugs  please. Contact Anne at P.O. Box 315 916  W. Broadway Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1K7.  BIG SISTERS  Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland and the  Positive Women's Network are looking for  women to become Big Sisters for children  of HIV+ mothers. You must be 20 years of  age or older, and willing to commit for a  minimum one year match with a Little  Sister or Brother, and be able to spend 3-5  hours each week with them. For more info,  contact Bronwyn at 681-2122 ext 200 orTai  Holley at 873-4525.   RAPE RELIEF VOLUNTEERS  Vancouver Rape Relief & Women's Shelter  needs women who are interested in  volunteering for their 24 Hour Crisis Line  and their Transition House for women and  their children. Training sessions Tuesday  evenings. For more info and a training  interview, call 872-8212.   WOMENVISIONS  Pat, Shauna, and Jan on WomenVisions  axe looking for more women to become  involved in producing this feminist show on  Co-op Radio, CFRO 102.7FM in Vancouver. Interested, call them on Monday  evenings 8-9pm or leave a message for  WomenVisions Mon-Thurs noon to 6pm at  684-8494.   UNDERTHEVOLCANO  Under the Volcano Festival, an annual  festival of art and social change held in  North Vancouver, is calling for coordinators  and volunteers for this summer's festival.  Under the Volcano relies on a volunteer  base of 150 people to pull this innovative  one day event together. If you want to learn  about festival production, meet and work  with great people in an atmosphere of  music and politics, then call 254-7057.  There are five areas in which we still need  coordinators: Environment, Craft Circle,  Food Services, Front Gate, and Bookkeeper. Honoria are offered for these five  positions.   POWELL STREET FESTIVAL  Powell Street Festival, an annual celebration of Japanese Canadian culture in  Vancouver to be held this year Aug 3-4, is  looking for volunteers before and during  the Festival. If interested call Kathy Shimizu  at (604) 682-4335.   WAVAW VOLUNTEERS  Women Against Violence Against Women  (WAVAW) rape crisis centre in Vancouver  needs women to do rape crisis work.  WAVAW offers extensive training in counselling & crisis intervention, advocacy &  liaison work, and providing information on  medical, police and legal procedures for  rape crisis work. The next training begins  on Sept 14 for 12 weeks, on Wed 7-10pm  and Sun 11am-5pm. Childcare and transportation subsidies available. Sign language interpreters will be provided if  needed. For more info, call 255-6228 or  TTY 254-6268.   WOMEN AND AIDS  A new women's support group in Vancouver  for women living with AIDS will be held every  other Sat from Jul 6-Oct 26 at the Downtown  Eastside Women's Centre, 44 E. Cordova St.  The group will be facilitated by Wanda from  Healing Our Spirit and Nancy from the  Positive Women's Network. The group is  confidential and attempts will be made to  ensure the group is safe and accessible.  Refreshments and snacks will be available.  For more info call Nancy at 681-2122 ext 200  or Wanda (604)-973-7282.  MABEL LITTLE LEAGUE  Outdoor games and sports for kids of all  ages. Facilitated and organized by queer  moms and other dykes too. Easy going,  non-competitive. Bring equipment if you  have it but no matter if you don't. Every  Thurs evening at 5:30pm at Grandview  Terrace School playing field at the corner  of E. 4th and MacLean (three blocks west  of Commercial Dr.) All kids, women and  queer dads welcome. For more info call  Maureen at 251-9063 or Terra at 254-1588.  AFRIKAN WOMYN'S GROUP  Womyn of Afrikan descent who are female  friendly are invited to meet for conversation, support and get togethers for mutual  interest and activities. For more info call  (604) 873-6069.   WOMENWITCHES  Cella Training Program for Women Witches,  an ongoing study circle in BC, is looking for  new members. Cella is an intensive yet  self-directed training and study program for  priestesses in one or more of six specialities. For more info call Karen at 873-6301,  Marga at 251-1142, or Jillyann at 929-  3342.   LEGAL CLINIC FOR WOMEN  Battered Women's Support Services and  UBC Law Students Legal Advice Program,  are co-sponsoring free legal clinics for  women to be held every Wednesday from  2-8 pm until Aug 14. For more info or to  make an appt, call (604) 687-1867.  APPREHENSION SUPPORT GROUP  Have your children been "apprehended" by  the BC Ministry of Social Services? If so,  you may want to find a safe place for you to  share with other persons who have or are  living a similar experience. An independent  peer group is now meeting on Mondays at  1 pm at the Carnegie Centre, 401 Main St,  Vancouver in order to give or receive  support and information around these  issues. For more info call Pat Biddau, 253-  2198 or Myles Macintosh, 254-9636.  BWSS TRAINING  Battered Women's Support Services will be  offering volunteer Group Facilitator, Peer  Counselor/Advocate training in the fall of  1996. If you are interested in working with  battered women as a volunteer at BWSS  and would like to be considered for the  training program, please call (604) 687-  1868 for an application form.  QUEER JEWISH WOMEN  Calling Nice Jewish Girls for food, socializing, politics, 'zine-making, and fun with  other queer Jewish women. For more info,  call (604) 254-6807.   LEARNING RESOURCES  Learning Resources Society (LRS) invites  women to participate in regular monthly  meetings held on the third Wed of each  month at 7pm at the Women's Centre,  Room 2730 at Douglas College in New  Westminster. LRS is a non-profit organization concerned with issues affecting  women's ability to make informed choices  about their education and work. For more  info, call (604) 527-5148.   GRASSROOTS WOMEN'S GROUP  The Grassroots Women's Discussion  Group in Vancouver has been meeting to  make connections between theory and  practice and to organize for change.  Women interested in joining the discussion  group, please call the Philippine Women  Centre at (604) 322-9852.  Want to advertise?  Call (604)255-5499  JULY/AUGUST 1996 Bulletin Board  The Winter 1996 issue of Canadian  Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme is  committed to an exploration and a celebration of women and spirituality. Submissions  should be typed and double-spaced,  maximum 7-12 pages (2500 words), and  include a short (50 word) abstract of the  submission and a brief biographical note.  Please include a disk if word processed.  We give preference to previously unpublished material. If possible, submit graphics  and photos to accompany submission. We  cannot publish fiction. Write or call ASAP  indicating your intention to submit your  work: CWS/cf 212 Founders College, York  University, 4700 Keele St, North York ON.  M3J 1P3. Call (416)736-5356, fax  (416)736-5765. Deadline is Aug 30.  BEIJING PHOTOS  The Vancouver Assoc of Chinese Canadians and the Burnaby Art Gallery are  collaborating on a photography exhibit of  the 1995 4th World Conference on Women  in Beijing. If you were at the conference,  and have photos you feel are especially  representative of your experiences, please  send a maximum of 10 b/w or colour prints.  Include a one page statement about your  experiences at the conference along with  contact information, and a SASE if you  want your prints returned. Contact Grace  Thomson, Burnaby Art Gallery, 6344 Deer  Lake Ave, Burnaby, BC, V5G 2J3, or call  (604) 291-9441. Deadline is Sept 27.  WOMAN/SISTER/FRIEND/GIRLFRIEND  A call for submissions from heterosexual  women who have friendships with lesbians  and lesbians who have friendships with  heterosexual women. Send testimonies,  essays, photos, recipes, interviews, poems  and stories to Sister Vision Press, PO Box  217, Stn E, Toronto, ON, M6H 4E2. Deadline is Sep 1.  HOT AND BOTHERED  Arsenal Pulp Press is accepting short short  fiction for an anthology of lesbian erotic  stories. For full guidelines send SASE to:  Hot and Bothered, 1036 Odium Drive,  Vancouver, BC, V5L 3L6; or e-mail Deadline is Aug  31.   THIN LINES OF COMMUNICATION  Women who have had anorexia and/or  bulimia are invited to submit poetry, short  fiction, personal non-fiction, and black and  white visual art to the anthology Thin Lines  of Communication, forthcoming from  gynergy books. Send up to 20 pages, a  brief biography, and a SASE to: Thin Lines,  PO Box 1164, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3N2.  Deadline is Nov 1.  barbara findlay  B.A. MA. LIB.  is delighted to announce  that she is now practicing law  with the law firm of  Smith and Hughes  321-1525 Robson Street  Vancouver  Tel: (604) 683-4176  Smith and Hughes offer a full range of legal  services to the lesbian, gay and bisexual  communities of Vancouver. Initial consultations  are without charge.  COUNSELLING SERVICES  FOR WOMEN  Offering group, individual and couple  counselling with a feminist philosophy,  Hakomi techniques, art and gestalt therapy.  Sliding fee scale. Please contact Miljenka  Zadravec, M.Ed, Sydney Foran, MSW, Fran  Friesen, M.Ed, or Elli Tamasin, M.Ed at  304-1720 Grant St, Van, or call 253-0143.  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.   KARATE FOR WOMEN  Karate for Women Shito-ryu karate taught  by female black belts. Learn a martial art  for self-defense, fitness, self confidence! At  the YWCA, 535 Hornby St, Van. Mon, Tues,  Thurs, 7:15-9pm. $45/month. Beginner  groups start Jul 4, Aug 1, Sept 5, Oct 2.  Call 872-7846.   CITYVIEW CO-OP  Cityview 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. Please send a business size  SASE to Membership Committee, Cityview  Housing Co-op, 108-1885 E. Pender St,  Vancouver, BC.V5L1W6.   GATHERING INTHE GREEN  Earth, Air, Fire & Water, an ecofeminst  camp deepening ecological awareness/remembering the Goddess, will take place  Aug 25-31. Various presenters, interactive  circles, ritual and more in rural island  setting! $350-$475. For info please forward  a SASE to Women and the Earth, c/o  Fireweed, Denman Island, BC, V0R 1T0.  COUNTRY HOLIDAY  An invitation to a country holiday. Affordable, safe and peaceful women's farm in  Coombs on Vancouver Island, BC. $7.50/  night for small cabin or exchange three  hours a day of labour for food/lodging. Can  arrange to meet Nanaimo ferry. Call 248-  8809. The farm gals are also looking for a  "hired hand" with animals/gardens. Inquire.  LOOKING FOR SPACE  Lesbian social worker and mother of one  great young adult is looking for 900-plus  square feet of living space in a house or  apartment with hardwood floors in East  Vancouver. We require 2+ rooms, and  either a yard or porch by Aug 1. Call Leda  Rose at 984-3232.  PRO-CHOICE PRESS  Subscribe to Pro-Choice Press, the BC  Coalition of Abortion Clinics' quarterly bulletin  with news and information on the fight for  abortion rights. $10 per year for individuals;  $25 for groups-includes membership in the  Coalition. To subscribe, write to 219-1675 W.  8th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V6J 1V2; call (604)  736-2800; or fax: (604) 736-2152.  WHO'LL BE AT THE FOLK FESTIVAL?!  Among over 150 performers coming from all over the world, the  Vancouver Folk Music Festival will include Canada's own Jane Siberry  (above left) with her brand of elusive songwriting, as well as LindaTiliery  (above right) and her Cultural Heritage Choir performing African-American  acapella.  Other highlights include Kate and Anna McGarrigle; Peggy Seeger;  Mary Jane Lamond; Sharon Shannon and her band from Ireland; dub poet  ahdri zhina mandiela; stand-up comic Sheila Gostick; Hilary Peach; Sheila  and Backwater Blues; Pele Juju ("the Bay area's hottest all-woman world-  beat band"); and many, many more.  So don't miss the Vancouver Folk Music Festival at Jericho Beach  Park on July 19,20 and 21,1996. Phone (604) 734-6543 for information or  tickets. Photos courtesy of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.  LAIWAN  small, medium and not large: books & collages   382 to present  From collecting bus transfers to painting books, to cutting up books, to  using lots of liquid paper — Laiwan takes het daubiing out from her suitcase  and into one room.  Laiwan is an interdisciplinary artist who was born in Zimbabwe of  Chinese origin. On display will be new work as well as pieces from the pasi  that show her interest in playing with language, structures and perception.  Come to the opening reception on Tuesday July 16th at Spm.The show  will run from July 16th to August 8th, 1996 at the grunt Gallery, 116—350 East  2nd Ave, Vancouver. The gallery hours are Wed to Sat: noon to 6pm.  This exhibition at the grunt Gallery is also part of this year's Powell  Street Festival whose theme celebrates the cultural work of Asian Canadian  Women.The Powell Street Festival will be held on August 3rd and 4th at  Oppenheimer Park.  For more information call the grunt Gallery at (604) 875-9516.  Photo by John Fukushima.  CLASSIFIEDS  CLASSIFIEDS  ONE BEDROOM BASEMENT SUITE   COUNSELLING FOR WOMEN  FOR RENT  Quiet, non-smoking, mature lesbian  preferreed for suite in older, well-maintained house and garden in the Mount  Pleasant area. Rent is $360 per month  including hydro. Call Diana at 876-1465.  A feminist approach to sexual abuse,  depression, grief and loss, sexual orientation issues and personal growth. Sliding fee  scale. Free initial appointment. Susan  Dales R.P.C. at 255-9173.  JULY/AUGUST 1996 One year  D$20 + $1.40 GST D Bill me  Two years D New  D$36 + $2.52 GST □ Renewal  Institutions/Groups D Gift  D$45 + $3.15 GST D Donation  Name.  D Cheque enclosed   For individuals who can't afford the full amount 3  for Kinesis subscription, send what you can.  Free to prisoners.  Orders outside Canada add $8.  Vancouver Status of Women Membership  (includes Kinesis subscription)  D$30+$1.40 GST  Address—  Country   Telephone _  Postal code.  Fax   Published ten times a year by the Vancouver Status of Women  #301 -1720 Grant Street Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y6


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