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UBC Publications

UBC Reports Nov 5, 1975

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vol. 21, no. 12, nov. 5, 1975, Vancouver, b.c.
ubc reports mail edition
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How Women are Excluded
e Long Route to Equality
Liberation of the Black Woman
IWY in Mexico City IWY at UBC: Who Got It Together
In the late summer of 1974, Dr. Walter Gage, then
president of UBC, and the new Dean of Women,
Dr. Margaret Fulton, put their heads together
to talk about International Women's Year on the
UBC campus. They agreed that the Year was too
important to go unheralded and the president asked
Dr. Fulton to set up an ad hoc committee to
look into the feasibility of planning and producing
a celebration.
In October, Dr. Fulton called the first of what were
to be many meetings of the Ad Hoc Committee
for Planning IWY at UBC. During the past year
over 30 women (faculty, staff and students) have
been members and contributed to the production of
One of the first projects to surface from the
committee was the Women's Pavilion. The idea
to create a "space" for women, built by
women — a room of one's own — came out of
early discussions about what kinds of things should
happen and where they could happen.
Members of the committee took the idea to
Catherine Wisnicki, assistant professor in
UBC's School of Architecture, and she responded
enthusiastically. Almost overnight, Mrs. Wisnicki
drew together an interested group of architectural
students and women working professionally in
architectural firms. The group created an
imaginative design and drew up plans for a high-
quality, demountable pavilion which would house
meeting rooms, a theatre, and full facilities for
audio-visual presentations and films and exhibitions
of women's art.
Funding the pavilion was another matter. A number
of institutions, public and private, expressed
enthusiasm for the design but the "first" dollars
did not materialize and time began to run out to have
the pavilion functional for Women's Year. The pavilion
design is alive and flourishingjn the hearts and
minds of the interested women and if talent, energy
and conviction mean anything, the pavilion will one
day be actualized.
Meanwhile, back in the ad hoc committee, a program
of events for the first four months of 1975 had
been planned and produced — not without a certain
amount of struggle. It was a good program, with
interesting guests speaking on topics fairly relevant
to women's interests.
But the committee had begun to feel that they wanted
to create programs more directly related to new
concepts that have surfaced in the '70s — ideas that
relate directly to women's immediate problems in
this society.
A philosophy was worked out that defined the goals of
the committee and criteria for selecting programs
were agreed upon. Four themes were chosen as guidelines
within which projects would be considered: Women
and the Money Society; Women, Children and Men;
Women in Motion (health, sport and recreation) and
Woman, The New Person. From this planning base,
chairwomen were proposed to co-ordinate each section
and the fall program was on its way.
It would take far too much space to review the
complete program of IWY events. But it is not too
early to report that the lectures, workshops, panel-
discussions, films, exhibitions of women's art, sports
and theatrical events have been very well attended.
For instance, over 500 people attended the opening
event. Hundreds of women — fcom both on and off-
campus - participated in Women in Motion, the first
women's sports festival in UBC's history,
magnificently organized by Marilyn Pomfret,
chairwoman of the Women in Motion theme. Smaller
events drew capacity audiences. In short, the 98
individual events produced by women working on IWY
at UBC were definitely successful and reached many
women off campus as well as students.
Perhaps even more important for the future of women
on the UBC campus was the development within the IWY
committee during the last few months. Disparate though
the opinions and stances of the committee members
had been - the voices ranged from traditional to
militant — a growing understanding and sense of unity
had evolved over the year. The women appreciated that
the process of working together, of making sincere
efforts to understand alien points of view, had raised
every woman's consciousness of women's problems,
organizational problems of working together, as well
as existing problems within the society. To shelve
this body of.awareness, to terminate this shared
concern, to allow the dissipation of the energy
that had been created, would be wasteful in the
extreme, the women agreed.
The committee, therefore, has agreed to study
the possibilities inherent in continuing the group's
activities and to further explore the nature and
extent of their function. International Women's
Year will be officially over in December but the spirit
and interest of the women who celebrated ft will
continue for some time.
DAWN An Exhibition of
B.C. Women Artists
Dawn, the second of a series of showings
featuring women artists of British
Columbia, will remain on display
until the 7th of November. It hangs,
stands and flows in the Student Union
Building Art Gallery. It's a good
show and well worth a special trip.
I'm never sure when I see a show of
"all women artists" whether there
is something distinctively womanly
that unifies the various parts or
whether it is the power of suggestion.
But I came away with a sense that
this was a show of many powerful,
personal statements, more creative
than critical, more contained than
There is a particularly elegant group
of soft sculpture, wall hangings and
three-dimensional objects. Setsuko
Piroche shows a trio of hand-holding
figures tied to each other by string
of red, blue and yellow that resemble
oversized, stuffed paper dolls. A
cheerful, lively and appealing work.
Lea Bickford has sewn a teasing green
corduroy people-filled bush, The
People of Whimsey. Ann Gustafson shows
a gay garden of canvas lilies in orange
and red. Female and joyous,
Chagall-like, is Jean Knaiger's spirited
portrayal of the bounty of birth. No
pain here. And Doris Ludwig's Comma,
a composite ceramic sculpture,
casts an undulating spirit.
I was less moved by the technically
excellent but familiar pieces in
stone and metal but stopped to laugh
at Wendy Davis's Ice Cubes and
Gathie Falk's ceramic television set.
The Ice Cubes were ready for an
evening "on-the-rocks" special except
by Harriet Miller
that each contained batches of open
pins. Hers was a strong statement for
prohibition. The television set was
cast in an old-fashioned radio spirit
and reminded me that television has
been with us three decades now. A
very original statement.
Lillian Broca shows two very impressive
hard-edge figurative works. She has a
distinctive color palette and sense of
design. Multiple Choice, a lacing
of figures, generally simulates sexual
intent without the participants having
too much affection for each other.
Carole Thompson uses muted acrylic
colors to convey a sense of the
composition of the layers in the
earth in her very strong painting,
Clinton Hills, 1972. I would like
to see more of her work. Mona
Goldman's professional melding of
the hard-edge style in a mystical
mellow Aries comes together as a
very lovely work: This large, sensitive
painting seems to be a creative synthesis
of earlier periods. Vivianne Wong shows
an ink and water-color painting,
Persistant Bones, that is a lovely
landscape. Pat Martin Bates's projecting
canvas, Silent Mandala for the Gravel
Gardens of the Mind, had the simplicity
and power of a Zen garden and was very
stirring. There were other interesting
works by P.K. Irwin, Ann Kipling,
Susanna Blunt, Pegi Eccleston and
Helen Piddington. Almost all of the
photographs exhibited were top notch.
Lynn Phipps's group and Olga
Froehlich's serigraphs were outstanding.
A good show. If you arrive on
November 8 you will have missed
2   ubc reports, nov. 5, 1975 by LISA HOBBS
Only an optimist would believe that International
Women's Year has not been a limp and baleful substitute
for the radical changes that are needed to make equality
between the sexes a taken-for-granted fact of
Canadian life.
But then, all feminists are optimists. Like all
groups whose moral consciousness presses for changes
that appear to break with the continuity of the past,
they have to be optimistic to survive.
In measurable terms, however, good things have
happened this year. I would like to mention a few
of them briefly, but wish to devote most of this
space to some seldom discussed, but formidable
problems that arise when women finally achieve some
degree of success in a working situation.
The most significant legislative event relative to
women's rights in Canada this year has been the
introduction of the new Human Rights bill to replace
the old Bill of Rights which, tested up to the
Supreme Court, failed totally to protect women
from discrimination on the basis of sex.
The new bill will bring all institutions which
operate under federal jurisdiction under control
— banks, insurancecompaniesand airlines, for
example, where women traditionally work in a Tower
capacity with little chance for upward mobility.
There have been other legislative changes, all
necessary, but essentially of a housekeeping nature
— the type of action the government should long ago
have taken.
These include the amendment of the national housing
loan regulations so that a married woman can
be considered an equal or principal purchaser; the
inclusion of volunteer experience in evaluating the
qualifications of federal employees; the amendment of
the Fair Employment Practices Act to protect
pregnant women from dismissal; and the amendment
of the federal Adult Occupational Tra ining Act so
that full-time household responsibility is equated
with participation in the labor force in so far as
eligibility for training allowances is concerned.
Progress, yes. But not until houscwivesare included
in the Canada Pension Plan can any claim be laid to
equality in our federal laws. The nature and function
of the present pension plan represents an outstanding
The plan offers no protection to the woman who has
devoted her life to "home-making" and child-raising.
This, despite the government's rhetoric about the
importance of these functions to all of society.
Although women live about a decade longer than men,
their share of the plan comes solely through their
husbands — if they have one — and ceases at his
death, throwing his widow on the mercy of old age
assistance. The widower, on the other hand, on the
death of his wife, can be buttressed financially by old
age assistance, the Canada Pension, and perhaps other
annuities resulting from employment.
The Long
Route to
In regards to these legislative changes, it should be
noted that they paral lei a new awareness that the
ability for women to shape their own future lies in
their own heads and hands in the political arena. Nine
women in the House of Commons half a century after
all Canadian women received the right to vote is
scarcely material for the optimist: nonetheless, it
is four times the number than was there three years
ago. And on a constituency level across the country,
women have never been more involved planning a new,
high-profile role for themselves in future provincial
and federal elections.
There are few illusions; it is appreciated that many
of the old obstacles— such as the difficulty of
obtaining financial support from downtown male
groups— will remain, but they will be fewer and less
"The walls," as one seasoned female political
worker said, "are beginning to crack."
Many forces are combining to produce this crack:
increasingly, these forces are becoming freer from
the strictures of rigid social institutions. 1 or
instance, some major Canadian companie s
such as the Bank of Montreal and MacMillan
Bloedel, are engaged in programsof actively seeking
and training women for middle and top executive
One older president of a large Vancouver corporation
added another dimension to the particular
problems that attach to the woman executive: "We
have weekend 'think tanks' three times a year for
our executive staff. A couple of the wives felt
so threatened by women staff being there they
refused to let their husbands attend. How do you
handle that?"
Small problems by themselves — but unless
techniques are implemented within a company
to handle this type of problem — they can add up
to a destructive drain of energy for the woman
in top and middle management. Such techniques
do exist and many large U.S. businesses which
employ women at the top level have found it
necessary to conduct mandatory sessions for
both husbands and wives at which these problems are
Another problem which I consider of considerable
importance. Many "seasoned" feminists - women
who have made their mark without the support
of the law, social attitudes, or even the understanding
of other women - are now dropping from any active
involvement in women's rights for the simple
reason they are exhausted.
The poverty of the Canadian woman left alone after 65
is such that the government simply cannot remain
silent on this issue. If some form of pension
sharing can be introduced for housewives before this
year ends, International Women's Year in Canada will
have been more than successful.
The main reason for this social change: there are
simply not enough young men coming on who are
motivated to accept responsibility and are
ambitious for "success" in the traditional
corporate sense. Nurturing suitable women as executives
will be the only way to keep the lop ranks filled.
What happens when women reach an executive level,
however? Perhaps the specific programs
mentioned above take care of this problem,
but, by and large, women promoted to positions of
authority find themselves unable to be assertive.
So thoroughly have they been socialized as women to
be agreeable and deferential, that even when their
expertise and authority is needed, the exercise of it
becomes a major psychic barrier to be overcome.
This is by no meansan insoluble problem: it is
mentioned simply because it has become
almost a leitmotif among upwardly mobile
women of my acquaintance, none of whom,
admittedly, have gone through a specific executive
course,'all coming up through the ranks.
What of the woman who becomes an executive? She
cannot join the Vancouver Club or the Terminal City
Club. Her male counterparts can, if they feel so
disposed, invite her to join them for lunch. Her
dependency is reinforced by the mere signing of
the tab: she cannot do that simple act. So where
does she take her out-of-town client for lunch?
Said one woman executive recently: "The worst part
of discrimination goes into effect after office hours.
Most of the men trainees are still single. They
drop by one another's apartments and talk the
program and our business problems over. But I
can't casually drop by like that - and they wouldn't
dream of coming to my place because I'm
divorced and everyone would know we weren't
talking business."
There is no mystery why. While women in their
forties and fifties whose families have grown,
are leaving home and entering outside fields
with great impetus and success, others who have
spent the same time outside their home — as well as
raising families and upgrading their own education
— feel disproportionately drained of their psychic
and creative energies.
There is probably no solution: it is, I suppose,
simply a fact of life. Yet it seems, to me
at least, a pity that so many of these women
— old now and never part of any system that gave
out perks — have not once been honored this year.
Why weren't our own suffragettes honored on, for
instance, a television special; or the women who
were ferry pilots in World War 11; or who were doctors
and nurses, or who worked unseen and unhonored
in the Arctic wastelands; or even a few of those old
ladies who, as secretaries, often made fortunes for
their bosses while they themselves now live on
soup bones?
A pity, now that the changes are coming, that the
path-finders are being so quickly forgotten.
That there is a monumental task yet to be done is
obvious. Anti-discriminatory legislation is now
being enacted and some of the most dramatic changes
are yet to come. Social institutions are changing
their structures to allow women in: business
corporations suddenly are finding they need women
at the decision-making level. Yet the fundamental
problem of the relationship between the sexes still
appears to me to be almost as intact as it was
a decade ago. The movement started with
"consciousness-raising" and the plethora of
confessional-type writing that followed has turned
many a woman away in fatigue. Perhaps now that the
movement is supported on a broader base, the
time is here to take a new, fresh look at these
old probfertft.     *~
ubc reports, nov. 5, 1975   3 DAYCARE
To Learn
by Kirstie Shoolbraid
Diane and Pendennis
Parent energy and drive has been
responsible for the growth of day care
at UBC, from one centre in 1967 to
the present eight, providing 148
full-time spaces - 48 for children
18 months to three years and 100 for
children in the three-to-five age
group. But the last centre was
opened in the summer of '73, despite
the steadily increasing need for such
facilities. This need wasdouble what
the centres could absorb in
November last year; there were at
that time 155 children on the waiting
lists. As of September this year there
were over 130 names listed. It is safe
to say that the waiting lists provide a
conservative estimate. Many people
who need the service are so discouraged
when they find they must wait for a
space, they do not bother making out
an application.
Furthermore there are groups of
people who cannot make proper use
of the centres. Many single parents
and UBC staff cannot meet the
demands of the co-operative system
— the heavy commitment in time and
energy is too much for them. Centres
which do not require such parent
participation are definitely needed.
In the past, funds needed to build
and maintain the-centres have come
from a variety of sources, but the
University has not been prominent
among them. The Department of
Human Resources has provided close to
50 per cent of the money needed to
modify the buildings and buy child
care equipment and the Department
presently provides, through
subsidization of day care fees, close
to 70 per cent of the centres'
operating revenues. Private foundations
have given about $19,000 to help set
up the centres; UBC graduating classes
have provided monies totalling over
$18,000 in the past few years; and an
LIP project of close to $20,000 is
primarily responsible for building
much outdoor equipment. To date
the University's contribution today
care has been to provide, rent-free,
indicated that it will no longer
provide large capital cost grants
to establish more centres at UBC,
and the University has taken up a
similar positiori. This situation has
to be resolved somehow. The sums
involved are actually not
exorbitant. Day care at UBC does
not need the huge capital expenditures
that entirely new centres entail, but
instead needs only comparatively    •
small amounts to convert each building
as it becomes available, and to
establish it firmly as a good
operating day care centre.
the huts which have been converted
into the centres; more recently the
University has provided funds for
the maintenance of these buildings.
In March 1975, a brief was submitted
to the administration by the
University Day Care Council (a
co-ordinating body of the existing
centres), asking for increased
University involvement in the provision
of day care and for the space
and funds necessary to provide an
expanded and more complete range of
services. The result of this submission
was the establishment of a
committee — The President's Ad Hoc
Committee on Day Care Facilities
— to study the problem.
More recently, the new administration
has made available more buildings for
day care and has given money
to upgrade the exteriors of all the
present centres. However, the
Department of Human Resources has
Many more mature students are
enrolling. In the 1974-75 session,
27 per cent of the total enrolment
were over the age of 25; of the
almost 9,000 women attending last
"session, 24.7 per cent were over the
age of 25. While the number of
children involved cannot be
ascertained with any accuracy, one
thing is sure: if the University
wants to reach out to these people,
it must provide the ancillary services
necessary to enable them to attend;
it must in some measure make itself
responsible for day care.
The Returning
Woman Student
The fastest-growing population at the
University since 1971 has been the
population of mature women students.
In four years the number of older
women coming to daytime classes at
UBC has jumped from 16 per cent of
the women's undergraduate total to
a significant 24.7 per cent of that
These figures do not include the
part-time, extra-sessional students,
who would reflect even more
significantly the increasing number
of mature women who are registering
for courses at the University.
What tjjese statistics show (older
students, male and female, are now
27 per cent of the undergraduates) is
a change in lifestyles on the campus.
The single student from 18-22 years
is no longer the typical student. Over
a quarter of the population has
financial, housing or family needs
which are qualitatively different
from those of the young student who
is living at home or in a single-
student residence on campus. Older
students seek family housing on or
near campus, and many seek day care
or baby-sitting services.
Among mature women who are
returning to the University each
year, one of the largest groups
comprises single-parent mothers
trying to further their education
while supporting anywhere from
one to five children.
The road of the single parent at
university is a difficult one-. Often
stigmatized in her own community
despite the large incidence of marriage
breakdowns in the 1970s, the single
mother who returns to classes must
4   ubc reports, ndv. 5,1975 IWYii
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Structures and How
Women are Excluded
Dr. Dorothy Smith, associate professor of sociology
at UBC, was born in the U.K.; know a Canadian
citizen. She received her Bachelor's degree In
sociology from the London School of Economics in
1955. Two children later, in 1963, she was granted
her Ph.D. from the University of California at
Berkeley, where she then taught for two years in the
Sociology department. Dr. Smith says she became actively
involved in the problems of academic women after
she became a faculty member at Berkeley and found that
there was active discrimination behind the scenes.
Following a two-year stint at the University of Essex,
Dr. Smith came to Canada in 1968 to join the faculty
at UBC. On the UBC campus she helped a large group of
women organize the Women's Action group and the
Women's Studies credit courses. Dr. Smith has
published widely; writes sociological works about
women, for women, "some pretty abstract, some less
Currently Dr. Smith is editing, with Sara David, a
book entitled Women Look at Psychiatry, which
will be produced by Press Gang, a local feminist press.
Royalties will go to help fund a women's research centre.
The following article is a shortened version of a paper
which will be published in the November issue of
Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology.
For a long time women have been deprived of
opportunity, skills, settings, and means, to produce
the images, forms of thought and symbols giving social
form to their experience. The world as it is, or could be,
known from their position in it, remains unexplicated.
Of course women have made use of a limited and largely
domestic zone of women's magazines, books, poetry, etc.
But it is a limited zone. The universe of ideas, images
and themes has been largely produced by men or
controlled by them. Women have participated minimally
in its making and insofar as their work has become
part of this general currency, it has been on men's
terms and because It has been approved by men.
This is a crucial problem in this kind of society -
first because it is a society in which much of the
administering, managing and governing is done in
words or other symbolic forms; and second,
because much of how we know it comes to us
second-hand via the media or in the endless
varieties of other documentary material.
This paper examines this aspect of the social
organization of contemporary society. It is
aimed at defining the distinctive role for women's
studies. Much of what I shall say is not new
as information. In fact what I want to
attempt is to make observable some of the
socially organized properties of what we already
know and to show how it can be assembled as the
social context within which I think the character and
objectives of women's studies may be conceived.
A word about how I'm using the term "ideology".
it follows from Marx and Engels' earlier use Jn The
German Ideology and points to the emergence of social
forms of consciousness which do not originate in the
everyday experience and actual working relations of
jjjeajjje going about their daily business.
s*       -■*■.-
-:^<^jogies are systems of ideas and concepts which are
produced by people specialized in the work of "mental
-jKrwjyctiort'' and who occupy positions in a "ruling class".
?jey produce for others the forms of thought in which
^ejiperienee can be made commynteable (hence
*K*etal) and legitimated. Ideologies actively shape   .
'^j*t«f can become conscious among people in the
■f.-icss of communication. They provide the
terms in which we can talk to others about what
~)ishappening, and the terms therefore in which
things can be acted upon. From within these symbolic
.4**<a&% we think the world and find out how to
-j    *5r it communicable and part of society,
t^yrogy m tms sense legislates reality. What is
e#3tiuded is rendered thereby impotent.
-(■Idon't mean to reduce the work of poets, artists
'  aijrJ-.others to ideology. But in providing ways-of making
tJspferience "social", they have an ideological
Dm$&X and that is what is relevant here.)
.*' y
Tk'i large extent the ideological forms of
-jifW society are produced by men. They are men
y, wRo occupy strategic positions in various types of
cprporate or professional structures or whose work
A' nctioned and distributed by these organized
•<      ', (which may be a TV network or a university).
(Pi »p1e who occupy such positions view the world in
teims of the relevances and interests of their
^enterprises and of the social relations and
communication networks they participate in. Since to a
(aAfrextent they monopolize the means of
>", JRtal production", what is produced are forms
""<** "bought, images, knowledge and expression which
take the relevances and background conditions and
understandings of their experience for granted.
Of course not all men occupy such positions. But
to a great extent it is men who occupy and appropriate
both these and other positions in the power structure of
-.contemporary.society. It is irnjrortatlttoJceep in mind
the class dimension of this. But it is ''important also
to focus on how the genera! currencies of thought and
expression originate in and express positions and
assumptions which are not women's and which also
stand in a relation of supcrordination over women's.
Women's exclusion from full participation in the making
of this universe of discourse has not been the result
of biological impairment. Women have been
actively excluded from access to the means of "mental
production" and from claiming the authority to speak
for themselves/Women who have attempted to make such
claims have in the past been burned, guillotined,
.exiled, and incarcerated in mental institutions, and
in the present they have been (and continue to be) t
ridiculed, reviled and insulted.. More powerful however
as a means of exclusion in contemporary society
are ordinary organizational practices. These do
the same work of exclusion but in a quieter, more  .
civilized, less observable fashion.
In education, for example, the familiar statistics
which show us again and again how women are
proportionately much more heavily represented
in the subordinate and lower levels, both in schools
and universities, are relevant here in terms of what
they tell us of the position of women in relation to
the ideological resources of society rather than to
the problem of discrimination alone. The system
works to exclude women from positions of influence
and authority in the institutions which create and
distribute forms of thought and knowledge.
We can examine also how this works in the ordinary
conduct of intellectual business — that is, in how
we, the intelligentsia, communicate in written products
or in meetings, seminars, conferences, conventions,
classrooms and the tike. Mary Ellman has observed:
In intellectual matters, there are two distinctions
between men and women, though only one of them
applies uniformly and consistently to all participants.
This is the first distinction, which is simple, sensuous
and insignificant: the male body lends credence to
assertions, while the female takes it away,  continued next page.
6   ubc reportsy nov^ 5,1975
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Hi   ill do: i wqocif Hi, »ra :<,, f 13C! !< • IIII
is Seeing that
Black is
Beautiful and
by Rosemary Brown
This article is an edited version of a much
longer talk given by Rosemary Brown on the
occasion of the National Congress for Black
Women in Canada, 1973.
All people depend
on all people
and unless all of us
are free,
none of us
will be free.
Whenever anyone (male/female, black or white) asks
me why I am part of the women's liberation
movement — I always reply "because I am a
woman". Then I wait for the significance of
their question to dawn on them — for in reality
what they have said to me is that since I am a
Black person — Black oppression is the only oppression
with which they expect me to concern myself.
But for me, to not participate in the women's
liberation movement would be to deny my womanhood
— for indeed I am twice blessed — I am Black and
I am a woman - and to be Black and female in a
society which is both racist and sexist is to be in
the unique position of having nowhere to go but up!
And to be in the unique position of learning about
survival from being able to observe at very close
range the Achilles heel of a very great nation.
Indeed, my Black friends who congratulate me for
speaking out on racial issues — chastize me for being
a feminist. And my sisters who love me for
speaking out on the issues of the movement
chastize me for being preoccupied with my race.
Add to all of this the fact that I am a socialist
living in a capitalist country and you will wonder
what worlds are left for me to conquer or be
conquered by. Yet, I enjoy a strange kind of
freedom — because in order to survive I have had to
learn and learn well about racists and about sexists
and about capitalists — and the wisdom that I
have gleaned from these studies is — that all people
depend on all people and that unless all of us are
free — none of us will be free, and that indeed when
I fight for your freedom I am also fighting for my
own and when I am fighting for my freedom
I am also fighting for my sisters and my
brothers and for all of our children.
I learnt, also, that this country — this Canada - is
beautiful and strong only because of the people of
both sexes, and of all races and political persuasion
who have lived in it and contribute to its culture and
its soul and its growth. And that its strength and its
beauty will increase only to the extent that it is
able to accept and respect all of its people equally.
But what did I learn of us? Of you and I - the Black
women who through choice, or luck or by birth
make this our home? Where do we fit into this space
and into the changes and developments that are
taking place about us? Well, if you read the
traditional history books you will find that we have
never been here and indeed are not here even now —
the invisible people — because where judicious
prodding might unearth the names of one or two of
the males who made contributions in the past —
the digging has to be deep indeed to find the
women. So, I left the history books and went back
to the school of survival, and there I learnt
that there are a number of liberation movements
sweeping this land - racial, economic and, of
course, the feminist movement. And I asked
myself, "Where do Black women fit into the
women's liberation movement?" And I learnt
something very interesting — namely, that unless the
women's liberation movement identifies with
and locks into the liberation movement of all
oppressed groups it will never achieve its goals...
that unless it identifies with and supports the
struggles of the poor, of oppressed races, of the old
and of other disadvantaged groups in society it will
never achieve its goals — since women make up a     •*"**
large segment of all of these groups.
The Black woman, like her brothers, learnt to be
intimate with death, yet never lose the respect of life.
Like her brothers, and her fathers, and her sons, she
learnt to accept the impotence of being unable either
to prevent or end the injustices being perpetuated
against her people in the name of racism, and not give
up the struggle. Through it all, she always
accepted the fact that she was put on this earth to serve.
To serve her race, to serve her children, her brothers, her
masters, and anyone, anywhere, who needed her. She
accepted the fact that she was never to ask for anything
for herself and that she was always to place everyone's
needs before her own. As Alice Walker said, she accepted
the fact that "she was the mule of the earth ... to be
handed the burdens that everyone else refused to carry."
In this respect, she was really not all that different
from her white sisters. They too were trained to believe
that their needs were secondary to other people's needs,
that their talents were inferior to men's and that
indeed, they too were second class - not as much so as
their Black sisters, true - but certainly in the
context of their reality and their world.
In the late fifties and early sixties, during the voter
registration push and the early civil rights struggles
in the United States, white women who participated in
these struggles began to see the similarity between
Black oppression and their own. They began to
recognize that even as they were participating in
these struggles on behalf of another people, they were
doing so as second-class citizens. They baked the
cookies, they licked the stamps, as the men designed
and directed the strategy.
And these women decided at that time, that if
they themselves were not liberated, it was ludicrous
for them to assume that they could liberate
someone else.
As more and more Black women thought about the
women's liberation movement, more and more of us
came to realize that our own liberation was indeed
a responsibility which we could not shirk. We   ,
realized that we were limited in what we could give
to others by the limits which we placed on our own
worth. We realized that indeed a world inhabited by free
white men, free white women, free black men and
oppressed black women was an unpleasant and unreal
world to contemplate. We realized that without our
liberation, we ran the risk of becoming the last
vestige of slavery to remain in existence in our times.
For these reasons, therefore, many of us, as Black
women today, add to our responsibilities to love, to
nurture, to support, to encourage and to work for our
race, the responsibility to respect, to value and to
liberate ourselves.
Liberation - quite simply - is having a choice. Having
our own individual choice to be treated with dignity
and fairness by people, as well as by the laws of the
landy Having the choice and the freedom to participate
in, and have some control over, decisions affecting our
own bodies and our own lives. Having the choice to
remain at home as full-time'homemakers, if that
is our wish, and to accept finally in our own minds
that we are persons of value to ourselves, with
valuable contributions to make to society
and to the communities in which we live.
So we see that the Black woman today has a moral and
political responsibility to ensure that the Black
struggle does not falter, and that the struggle
for the liberation of women does not fail.
As our achievements in one struggle grow, they will
benefit our struggle in the other. For indeed, what
others see as a double disadvantage, is really a doable
advantage, which makes us doubly equipped and doubly
experienced to participate in both struggles.
Many Black women around the world today have
confronted this challenge and have transformed it into
victory. As Cynthia Fuchs pointed out, "Given the
limits imposed by the current social structure, only (a
few) black women make it. ... It has become clear that
the elaborate filtering system which keeps elite spheres
clear of alien groups is costly and self-defeating and it
is rare that those who push through it remain
Even as I (as some may say, in my folly) attempt to
push through that elaborate filtering system, I am aware
of the scars that are being laid down; scars that will
remain unalterably, indelibly etched on my merrjpry and
on my psyche forever. But Black women have a
compelling responsibility to breach that elaborate
system and open up those elite spheres to all people.
Now how do we as black and white women in Canada,
equip ourselves for the future. How do we equip
ourselves to handle this responsibility. Two of the tools
available to us are education and politics. But before we
can use these tools effectively, we have to liberate
ourselves. Not all the education, nor all the political
support in the world, is going to benefit us, if we lack
the self-esteem and the confidence that will accrue to us
as a result of our liberation.
As liberated women, we will bring to the Black
struggle the confidence which we have in ourselves as
persons, as well as the respect which we have for
ourselves and for our abilities. Having done this, having
liberated ourselves, the onus then is on us to educate
ourselves, to develop the skills that we have to their
highest potential, and to ensure that our children, and
our men, do so too.
ubc reports, nov. 5, 1975   9
?S-?.f  .' vv« ,.'..(-ir»fKi )4<J   * Women's Studies
Educating Women
to Re Invent
the World
by Helga jacobson
The Women's Studies credit courses at UBC
are now being taught for the third year. The
interdisciplinary course has also been given
in Intersession (1975). The credit course grew
out of the very successful.evening norr-credit
program which had been offered for some
years prior to the beginning of the credit
program. The organization of the credit course,
initially, came about through energy, interest,
and work of a great many women faculty and
students who were concerned to extend the
range of offerings on the campus. The final
form which emerged from these discussions
is that which is being taught now. The credit
course is intended to complement, not replace, the
non-credit offerings.
The format of the courses being taught at
present is an interdisciplinary lecture course
and three seminars. Initially it was hoped that
students would be able to take six units of
credit in^Women's Studies. For the first two years
it was suggested that students take both the
interdisciplinary course and a seminar. Because
timetabling and the availability of credit
made this problematic for students, this year
there has been a separation. Students can enrol
for either the interdisciplinary course or a
seminar, or both if their timetables allow. The
courses are open to students from all disciplines
and, of course, to women and men.
The interdisciplinary course initially involved
four faculty members as teachers: Dr. Meredith
Kimball from Psychology, Dr. Annette Kolodny
from English, Dr. Dorothy Smith and Dr. Helga
Jacobson from Sociology and Anthropology. Dawn
Aspinall taught the English section in the second
year of the program. The choice of disciplines
grew out of the availability of faculty members
interested in teaching the course. There was,
and indeed is, no intention to restrict the
range of disciplines involved.
The course has no budget and where there are
gaps or additions we are dependent on people
(women) already on campus who want to join
the enterprise. This can also bej-ead as a call
to those with an interest in teaching in the area!
The interdisciplinary course has an analytical
and critical focus combining a critique of the
subject matter of the disciplines represented
and further analysis of the role and situation
of women in Western and non-Western contexts.
The seminars explore the subject matter in
greater depth. The range of topics covered is
wide but the focus is on critical analysis
and not on "problem solving".
This year the interdisciplinary course is
taught by Meredith Kimball and Helga
Jacobson; the seminars by Helen Sonthoff
in English, Meredith Kimball in Psychology,
and Helga Jacobson in Anthropology and
The Women's Studies Co-ordinating Committee
was chaired for the first two years by Jean
Elder, and is currently chaired by Chris
McNiven. The committee has had a varying
membership, including students, and deals
with any problems that arise in the
organization, as well as with finding personnel
for the course.
Student interest and energy in the course and
seminars is considerable, and there has been
interest throughout in establishing upper-
level courses in Women's Studies. With the
exception of the Psychology seminar, courses
are at the second-year level. The enrolment
in the interdisciplinary course has, over the
years, run from 50 to 70 students; seminar
enrolment has ranged from 10 to 25.
Some 25 students took the course at Intersession.
The seminar in Psychology (Psychology 310),
having a rather different status, has some
60 to 70 students enrolled. This difference
has come about because of the initial structuring
of the seminars into the curricula of the
various departments.
Report on
Interest within Women's Studies
classes runs high. Faculty
members teaching the courses
report the students are enthusiastic,
discussion is spirited and overall
participation is beyond the norm.
Because the course material has
not crystallized into a rigid structure,
students relate to it differently
than they do to more formalized
Dr. Dorothy Smith, who taught the
Sociology section for the first two
years of the program, said, "The
instructor is always in a position
of challenge ... is continually
developing the course. It is my
first experience with a real
The students feel the course is
theirs. They feel a common
responsibility to keep the
academic and discussion level
high. They feel actively related to
the course material and feel freer
to ask questions, to introduce new
material into discussion and to
challenge material presented. In
short, the student role becomes
active; rejects passivity.
The interaction between students
and instructors creates a situation
in which course material is
constantly changing and growing.
The instructors are constantly
searching out new material,
producing material where
none exists, constantly challenged
to think about course content.
The Women's Office
The Action! Camera!
The Women's Office collective is a
group of women students concerned
with providing women with the
support and energy needed to
realize women's full potential.
The Women's Office, in the Student
Union Building, Room 230, serves as
a place on campus where women can
drop irrfor a cup of coffee, rap with
other students about academic and   '
general problems, use the referral
services and help to provide a
support system for other women.
The office has a book library, a
research file, various publications
on topics concerning women and has
some publications by women for sale.
There is also an audio-visual, audiotape and music-on-cassette library.
In this area is the Women in
Focus audio-visual tape library.
The tape library is the result of
a concrete effect to fill in the
need for information and
communication on women. In 1974
an audio-visual Women's Office workshop was held under the direction of
Marion Barling to start training
women in the audio-visual skills.
These women were given the "
opportunity to produce a series
of programs with the co-operation
of Vancouver Cable 10. The series
continues this year and is broadcast
every Monday at 9:00 p.m. on Cable
10. Through the assistance of the
Secretary of State, the Women's
Office has been able to collect a
library of tapes from those
prepared for broadcast and these
may be rented by groups and
individuals. The tapes are created,
directed and produced by women.
A catalogue of the tapes may be
obtained by calling Marion Barling
at the Women's Office, 228-2082, or
by writing Women in Focus, Box 85,
SUB, University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C.
For the fifth consecutive year, the
Women's Office is presenting a non-
accredited, evening women's studies
program entitled "By Whose
Definition". This year's program
will consist of lecture/panel
presentations, tapes, and a series
of workshops. A few of the workshop
titles are: Emotional and Physical
Self-Defence, Women and The Law,
Consciousness Raising, Women's
Karate, etc. A full description
of the courses may be had by
calling-228-2082, or writing
Box 85, SUB, University of B.C.
This year the Women's Office
also organized a highly successful
Women's Week which presented a
variety of noon-hour events and a
two-week exhibition of B.C. women
Wi&tk&^$¥?iSi& Changing Roles of Nurses
Encourage your
Daughter to be a
Nurse. Why not?
Mary Greenfield, a 75-year-old former teacher, sits in her West End highrise
apartment, puzzled that she cannot concentrate or remember from one moment to
the next what day it is. She left the hospital a week before and no one thought it
necessary to mention that she resume taking her blood-pressure pills.
Roberto, a nine-year-old boy in East Vancouver, weighs 125 pounds and cannot
keep up with his schoolmates. His mother considers his large appetite an index of
good health.
These are examples of people who have
fallen through holes in the health
care system. Their health needs
require time and gentle guidance, and
they are being met by a new breed of
nurse whose skills include physical
assessment and case management.
In 1973, the provincial government
funded the UBC School of Nursing for
a two-year period for a Continuing
Education program to prepare nurses
to function in expanded roles in
primary health care. The rationale
for expanding the nurse's role is
that the nurse in collegial interaction with a physician can provide
comprehensive care to more people
thag either the nurse or the physician
could alone. Since the program's
inception in 1973, more than 200
nurses have participated in workshops
and preceptorship programs to prepare
them for expanded roles. The new
UBC baccalaureate program will
graduate nurses with similar
preparation, beginning in 1977.
The public, medicine, and even nursing
have all had difficulty with the
identity of nursing. Somehow nurses
are seen as a linear extension of
medicine; nurses are envisioned as
lesser prepared physicians. If
medicine is mind, intellect and
decisiveness, nursing is hands, emotion
and caring. Historically, nursing has
earned this dichotomy. Florence
Nightingale, its most famous
innovator, was a fugitive from the
enforced ennui of Victorian
ladyhood. She stamped nursing with
the mark of her class by schooling
her disciples in character instead of
skills. Her nurses brought the wifely
virtue of absolute obedience to the
physician, and the kindly but firm
discipline of a household manager
accustomed to dealing with servants,
to lower-level hospital employees.
In addition to changes in its educational philosophy, other factors
have hastened nursing's coming of
age in the delivery of health care.
Foremost is the women's movement.
The soap operas are outdated when
they show nurses using so-called
feminine wiles in the doctor-nurse
game; nurses have been in the
forefront of the development of
women's health collectives; they have
spoken out against the elitist power
of medicine to decide who shall have
abortions and who shall administer
powerful drugs. Economic factors have
also accelerated nursing's movement
away from its position as physician's
In 1968, health ca,re was the sixth
largest industry by percentage of the
gross national product. Today it is
the third largest. Already there have
been efforts to regulate the industry.
In Canada the Hall Commission on
Health Manpower identifies nurses as
the most appropriate health professionals to assume some of the
functions for which physicians are
over-prepared or even ill-prepared,
as in the instance of the two patients
mentioned earlier.
More recently, changes in the national
budget limiting the federal govern
ment's contribution to escalating
health care costs will force economic
cutbacks especially in acute care and
payments to physicians. Presumably,
provinces will need to develop
programs which keep stabilized,
chronically-ill persons out of acute
care facilities. Nursing has already
moved into this direct-care function
and has the potential to play a
leadership role in the initiation
of new programs.
Across the provinces today nurses
who have expanded their roles are
working in medical clinics and in the
community for agencies like the
Victorian Order of Nurses and Public
Health Home Care programs. Their
responsibilities include pre- and
post-natal care, screening
examinations, long-term counselling
and therapy and management of
chronic diseases in the elderly.
Across Canada and the United States,
the reaction to these nurses has been
favorable. In fact, sight unseen, most
people accept the notion of nurses
performing services which heretofore
have been the purview of the physician.
Interestingly, one study in Philadelphia
revealed that the presence of a nurse
was the reason why many patients
visited one pediatric clinic.
Physicians have had understandably
mixed reactions to nurses expanding
their roles. Those physicians whose
approach to providing primary health
care is family centred have been .
overwhelmingly enthusiastic about
working with their nursing colleagues.
Similarly, practices in which there
are numerous elderly patients requiring
continuing supervision have wholeheartedly endorsed expanded roles for
nurses. In situations where the
physician's income is threatened by
nurses expanding their role, endorsement has been less than enthusiastic.
These physicians charge, illogically,
that expanded roles for nurses is yet
another step along the path to
socialized medicine.
The reactions of the nurses themselves
have been gratifying. They have
identified for themselves in their
individual settings a responsive and
responsible role which they perceive
as nursing rather than an extension
of medicine. Perhaps the most difficult
converts for expanded roles for nurses
are the traditional administrators
who argue that nurses are abrogating
nursing responsibilities for the role
of a junior intern.
The First
A student in her final year of Arts,
Arlene Francis has won two awards at
the University this year.
Last spring the 20-year-old graduate
was elected president of the Arts
Undergraduate Society for 1975-76
and this month was named winner of
the Sherwood Lett Memorial
Scholarship, awarded annually to an
outstanding student at the University.
The scholarship is for $1,500.
Arlene came to UBC from John Oliver
High School when she was 17, with a
first-class standing. She has
maintained that standing throughout
three years in the Creative Writing
Department, and at the same time has
led an active student political life.
She won a by-election as Arts
representative on Student Council in
her first year at the University. She
was again elected to Council last
year, and also won a seat on the
University Senate as a student
This unusual young woman has
worked as a legal secretary and as a
secretary for Geoffrey Massey
Architects during one summer. Last
year she married D. Bruce Wilson,
a fellow student in the Arts Faculty.
They will graduate together this
Admittedly, target populations for
nurses in expanded roles are
"dropouts" from the present health
care system:  people whose health
needs are not met by one or two visits
to a general practitioner each month.
Perhaps in time this population will
expand to include the mainstream
of primary health care. But those
nurses who have initiated and
developed their own expanded roles
have demonstrated that they do have
an important space in primary
health care.
When I pass one of those posters
exhorting me to encourage my
daughter to be a doctor — Why Not?
— I wonder if we are not answering the
wrong question. Certainly medicine
has traditionally held the power
and the money in health care. But
nursing, is, by contrast, in a growth
phase. The question is not "Are we
as good as physicians?" but "Are
we as good as we can be?".
ubc reports, npv., 5,197£, , 11 Captains of
Industry Say
Women Took
Wrong Tack
The absence of women in the fields of
industrial and business management
in the future will not be due to a
lack of opportunities for women,
according to the president of
MacMillan Bloedel. "It could well
be the reluctance of women to
accept what many of them may
regard as not very attractive
opportunities," he said.
Denis Timmis, chief executive
officer of MacMillan Bloedel,
was speaking to the senior managers
of about 100 of B.C.'s leading
businesses at a conference on the
integration of women in the labor
force held Oct. 9. Those attending the
conference represented B.C.'s biggest
Mr. Timmis said that women
have to be shown the "attractions of
a career-oriented life, and those of
us already in the business world
must see to it that the attractions
are actually there." If the existing
senior managements do not
demonstrate to more women, as
well as men, the satisfactions of
a management career, he said, "it
will mean that as early as the next
decade some businesses will be forced
to curtail their operations, not
from material shortages but from
a shortage of people with the taste
and the talent for management.
"We need to determine the conditions
which would motivate more
women to strive for positions of
responsibility, then we must find
ways to help them qualify themselves."
The conference, sponsored by the
provincial Minister of Labor, the
Employers' Council of B.C. and the
Western Conference Committee,
Opportunities for Women, focussed
on the changing aspirations of
women and the resulting need for
positive action byemployers to
improve opportunities for women to
"Equality of opportunity for all people
has to be a priority for all
governments," said Labor Minister
Bill King in his opening address to
the conference. "There is discrimination
and I think we're all guilty of it.
We feel we are being benevolent,
we feel we are being protective towards
If the government is to set an
example to industry to open its
doors to women, he said, then "it
is imperative that the government
has its own house in order." He
cited the appointment of women
to cabinet, the developments in the
Human Rights Branch and Manpower,
and the numerous grants given to
women through the Department of
Recreation and Conservation as among
the steps taken by the provincial
government to develop equality of
The trend to greater participation
by women in the labor force is "an
industrial-world-wide phenomenon,"
according to Martha Darling, a research
scientist with the Battelle Seattle
Research Center who opened the
conference panel discussion. It is a
trend "reflecting fundamental
changes in the organization of the
economy, society and the family,
and calling for some major
adjustments in social and economic
The Women's
located on the 3rd floor of the
Downtown Library, 750 Burrard
St., offers programs and services
to assist women to meet new
expectations, to find new roles
and directions, to work out their
individual lifestyles in an
everchanging world.
Hours: 10am-4pm 6:30-9pm
Phone 685-3934 or 228-2181,
loc. 218
Coordinator: Anne Ironside,
Counselling Associate: Fraidie
Martz, M.S.W.
Volunteer Coordinator and
Special Projects: Eileen Henry,
M.A., Counselling Psychologist
policies and thinking." Ms. Darling
gave examples of how other countries
are dealing with these adjustments
to traditional situations in
education and employment.
During the panel discussion which
followed, John Ellis, a senior
manager with the Bank of Montreal
and a member of the audience,
suggested that the conference may
have been hitting at the wrong level
of management. Antipathy toward
women in management is found more
frequently among some of the older
men in middle management
rather than the top levels of
management. And women must work
up through the levels of the structure
just as men must, he said.
The Co-Respondents
For further information about
International Women's Year at
UBC, please call Lois Crawley,
Information Services at 228-3131.
The Changing Function of Women in
Modern Society
Dr. Jessie Bernard, internationally-known
sociologist, heads a panel discussion
with Drl Jean Lipman-Blumen, sociologist,
Stanford Research Centre * Freda Paltiel,
special adviser to the federal
government's Status of Women *Gene
Errington, B.C.'s provincial co-ordinator,
Status of Women. An outstanding IWY
Student Union Building Ballroom at
8:00 p.m.
Saturday, nov. 8
Follow-up workshops to the Jessie
Bernard panel. Topics: "Changing
Functions", "Career Opportunitie for
the New Woman", "Changes in Marriage
and Family Relationships" and "The
Power Structure". Registration fee
— $4.00— includes lunch. Register with
UBC Dean of Women's office, 228-3448.
Workshop at Cecil Green Park on UBC
9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
thursday, nov. 13
The Co-Respondents — Give 'Em An
Inch: Women and Equality
A professional-readers theatre group
which addresses some central issues of
the women's movement.
Student Union Building Art Gallery.
12:30 p.m.
Newer Trends in Patient Care and
Community Health Services
Dr. Esther Lucile Brown, distinguished
sociologist, lecturer, consultant, author,
talks about the psychosocial aspects of
patient care. Woodward Instructional
Resources Centre, Lecture Hall 2.
12:30 p.m.
friday, nov. 14
Nursing Reconsidered: A Report of
Evening lecture by Dr. Esther Lucile
Brown on an area in which she is an
expert. Woodward IRC, Lecture Hall 2 at
8:00 p.m.
12   ubc reports, noy. 5,1975


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