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UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Mar 12, 1996

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Array women's Issue
MARCH 12, 1996 class
For Rent
Accomodation Available in the
UBC Single Student Residences
Rooms are available in the UBC single student
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applicants. Single and shared rooms in both
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Applicants who take occupanncy of a
residence room are entitled to reapplication
(returning student) privileges which will
provide them with an "assured" housing
assignment for the 1996/97 Winter Session
Please contact the UBC Housing Office for
information on rates and availability. The
Housing Office is open from 8:30am - 4:00pm
weekdays, or call 822-281 I during office
*Availability may be limited for some room
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Director for the Women's
centre just won't quit!
by Paula Bach
The director of UBC's Centre for
Women's Studies and Gender
Relations, Veronica Strong-Boag,
will be staying on for one more year
until the new director is available in
As the founding director,
Strong-Boag came to UBC from
SFU five years ago because she
saw the opportunity to work with
UBC's many professional schools.
She knew people here were doing interesting work, and she saw
"an opportunity to really knit together policy oriented units with
"scholarship in more conventionally academic departments." Accordingly, this was wanted by
UBC when she came in.
According to John Grace, Dean
of Graduate Studies, Strong-Boag
"has made it [The Centre for
Women's Studies and Gender Relations] the centre of not only academic activity, but also one that
has been supportive to the work
of women faculty members and
graduate students right."
The centre's goals, initiated by
Strong-Boag, include providing
opportunities for networking
among feminist scholars who
work in the area of women's studies and gender relations on cam
pus. Strong-Boag feels that the
centre is quite successful in fulfilling this goal, "link[ing] up academics ... in BC, in Canada and
beyond Canada's borders."
The centre also brings in
scholars from various departments who are released from
teaching obligations to pursue
different projects within women's studies and gender relations. This gives them an opportunity to touch base with interdisciplinary scholarship and to
network individual projects.
Grace praises Strong-Boag's
efforts in "foster[ing] interdisciplinary contacts and joint work
from people from a number of
disparate parts of the campus."
He affirms her merits and concedes that this work, in particular, "is near and dear to this faculty [of Graduate Studies.]"
The centre, a hub for women's knowledge, brings in people from around the world,
and as Strong-Boag says of
their visiting program, "we
regularly have people running
through the centre so that
sometimes one feels you have
a sort of international congregation over the course of various months."
Even off campus, Strong-
Boag achieves her goal -bringing the university and the community closer together- by establishing "a kind of dialogue,
or opening up dialogue, an opportunity for exchanges with
community people, many of
who are experts in their own
field and certainly their exper-
tise matches anything you can
find in the university."
Women's studies and gender
studies scholarships on campus
have established a national presence. Thanks to Strong-Boag
"People know UBC and know
we're here and contact us. We
regularly get letters from all over
the world, from both students
and faculty, and activists asking
us about coming here."
Unfortunately, the centre
acks money to support a graduate
program, although Strong-Boag
hopes to see one established in the
west sometime in the future.
(Graduate programs currently exist in women's studies and gender
relations at eastern universities). In
the meantime, there is interest in
providing a sort of tri-doctoral program with UBC, SFU and UVic,
that could possibly include UNBC
as well.
Ubyssey Publications
-board elections March 27-28
-board meeting Wednesday,
March 13, 5:30
Ubyssey Staff
Editorial screenings Sat.
and Sun.
Editorial elections March
Staff meeting Wed. 12:30
-chair and minutes
-special issues
-other business
Ubyssey Staff Voting List
Desire Adib                   Douglas Hadfield
Paula Bach                     Scoff Hayward
Federico Barahona         Rick Hunter
Andy Barham                 Mike Kitchen
Cris Brayshaw                Ben K0h
rtter, Chattaway             Megan Kus
Charlie Cho                    Richard Lam
Joe Clark                       John McAlister
Alison Coe                     chris Nuttall-Smith
rfan Dhalla                     Sarah O'Donnell
Wolf Depner                   Christine Price
Kevin Drewes                 Siobhan Roantree
Nathalie Dube               |_ucv shih
Kevin Drewes                 Matt Thompson
Sarah Galashan             Wah Kee f|ng
NoelleGayagher            Stanley Tromp
Jesse Gelber                Janet Winters
Amanda Growe
To make up for the financial
short-fall, Strong-Boag runs a
conference every spring where
graduate students present work
in the area of women's studies
and gender relations. Grace
says this has made a "major contribution to graduate students,
giving them an opportunity to
present their work to each other
and certainly an opportunity to
meet each other. For a graduate
dean, of course, that's something
that appeals to me in particular."
In her successor, Strong-Boag
would like to see some one "really follow up on issues that are
really germaine in the day to
day lives of women in this province and in Canada." While she
would like to have developed
more in the "creativity end," she
realizes that "there are only so
many things one can do in 24
After putting a lot of energy into this position, when
Strong-Boag leaves in 1997
she plans to fulfill her need
for solitary reflection and uninterrupted work to finish
two books. She plans to teach
for a year to remind herself
of "why we all do this, to
transmit knowledge, and
then [she says] I'm just going
to write."
"Clearly we will miss her,"
Grace said, "and we hope
that she will continue to be
involved in the centre, but of
course not as its director."
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'tween classes
Tuesday, March 12
Presents Donna Laframboise
as part of the "In Celebration
of Women" series. Peter Kaye
room at VPL, 7:30 pm.
Wednesday, March 13
General meeting presented by
Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals of
UBC. SUB 211, 12:30pm.
Organizational meeting.
GDC office, SUB 237B,
Presents Denise Chong as
part of the "In Celebration of
Women" series. Peter Kaye
and Alma VanDusen rooms at
VPL, 7:30 p.m.
Opening Reception for
Terence Johnson's exhibition
"New Work." 2321 Granville
St, 6:00pm.
Thursday, March 14
"Cafe Hillel" coffee night at
Hillel House 9:30pm.
Forestry Student's
Forestry Awareness speaker
series presents Bill Stanbury
(UBC Commerce) and
Mike MacCullum (Price
Waterhouse) dis-cussing
"Analysis of Recent BC
Government Forest Policy
and Land Use Initiatives."
McMI 166, 12:30pm.
First Nations poet and
activist will read from her
newly released book "Fire
Power." First Nations House
of Learning, 12:30pm.
The Ubyssey
Tuesday, March 12,1996 fighting
Unequal pay for women today
by Sarah Galashan
In a UN comparison of
pay equity, Canada ranks;
47th, far behind man)
Third World nations, and
women entering the work
force are becoming
increasingly concerned as
the wage gap shows little
sign of improvement.
The   highest   of   ah
Organization for Economic
Organization and De--
elopment (OECI
countries , Canada's total
income gap between men
and women in 1990 was
58.2 percent, and this has
not improved substantially
since. According to the
National Action Committee on the Status of
Women (NAC), women
make up to sixty percent of
all minimum wage earners,
Canadian women rise to power
by Desiree Adib
We have been oppressed, depressed, repressed,
squashed down, held back and we have hit the glass
ceiling. We are victims, disillusioned, wary, self-
conscious, unsatisfied, unhappy and entrapped. Yet we
are ambassadors, counselor generals, honorable
generals, diplomats, judges, senators, deans, professors,
presidents, CEO's, premiers and prime minister.
We are slowly creeping into important positions of
power and to celebrate the Women's Movement, we
recognize those Canadian women who have shattered
the glass ceiling.
•In 1958 Ellen Fairclough, a senior cabinet minister
who replaced John Diefenbaker, became Canada's first
woman prime minister for two days.
•In 1993 Kim Campbell was prime minister
•Since 1921 there have been 120 women MP's in the
House of Commons
•Currently, there are 22 women in provincial and
federal ministerial levels of government (cabinet
members, deputy ministers etc.) including Minister of
Environment Sheila Copps, Minister of Health Diane
Marleau, Minister of Natural Resources Anne McLellan
and Minister with Special Responsibilities for Literacy
Joyce Fairbain
•137 women hold subministeral positions
•45 women are MP's in the House of Commons:
Alberta (5), BC (5), Yukon (1), Saskatchewan (1), New
Brunswick (0), Newfoundland (1), NWT (1), Nova Scotia
(3), Quebec (11), Ontario (17), PEI (0)
•Nineteen women are senators
•Prince Edward Island's Catherine S. Callback is
currently the only women premier
•The Supreme Court of Canada has two women
judges: Claire L'Heureux and Beverley McLachlin
•Twelve Canadian women are ambassadors to Benin,
Brazil, Cote D'lvoire, Congo, Guiana, Estonia, Finland,
Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Poland, Portugal and Vietnam
•Eighteen women are honorable consuls
•The number of women granted doctorate degrees
in a major discipline rose from 783 in 1989, to 1000 in
•At UBC, seventeen percent of tenured faculty were
women and almost 32 percent of female professors were
leading to tenure
•There are almost 18,000 women professors in
universities and community colleges across Canada
•Nine universities have women presidents (Bishops,
Cape Breton, Carleton, Mount Saint Vincent, New
Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Wilfrid Laurier,
Winnipeg and York)
•Dr. Emily Stowe was the first Canadian woman
physician licensed to practice medicine
•Paule Gauthier is the first female president of the
Canadian Bar Association
Sources: Stats Canada 	
and as the country faces
economic decline, women
continue to deal with added
Federal employment
equity remains weak,
despite adequate research
in defense of inequality. A
Cooper, chairperson for the
North Shore Women's
Center worries that "the
gap is broadening rather
than narrowing".
"The rule of thumb for
the average female
university graduate is that
"This is clearly sex
discrimination, it has been for
a longtime."
Faye Cooper,
chairperson for North Shore
Women's Center
recently completed four
year study by unions and
the Treasury Board, comparing hundreds of male
and female dominated
careers, showed inequality
in the workforce that could
cost the federal government $1.5 billion. This
study, previously dismissed
by the Board, has now been
ruled by the Human Rights
Tribunal as 'sound and
"We're not sure what the
Treasury Board is going to
do in attempts to delay the
process, but you can bet
that if there is any legal way
to weasal, or delay, they
will do that," said Jack
Rudd, a regional representative for the Public
Service Alliance of Canada.
While there is a
substantial amount of
money owed in terms of
retroactive payments, it
remains the decision of the
Human Rights Tribunal as
to how much will actually
be payed.
While women wait for
the results of studies and
legal    decisions,    Faye
they make the same as a
male high school
graduate," claims Cooper.
"This is clearly sex discrimination, it has been for
a long time."
While the natural
sciences and teaching
careers are considered
relatively equitable for
women, other areas such as
managerial positions and
medicine do not fare as
While the situation may
appear grim, Cooper suggests that before choosing
a profession, women
should research the position in terms of payment
"Understand very clearly that some areas are really
hostile to women and
others are only moderately
hostile to women. Keep
your eyes open and know
exactly what your getting
into." She feels it is
important that women
realize before hand, the
kind of battle they may
the backlash Q9P
Fighting the Backlash
It seems ridiculous that year after year women must
continue to justify the need for International Women's
Day, the importance of a Women's Centre and the
relevance of an all- women voice for one issue of The
Ubyssey. However, sexist articles like the editorial entitled
"Why International Women's Day?" appearing in the
Vancouver Courier have made it clear that the arguments
need to be re-articulated.
The term "chilly climate" refers to the idea that a
learning environment and the policies that guide it are
unwelcoming or even hostile to certain groups. It is a
recognition that these hostile events are not isolated
incidents, but are part of a larger discriminatory
environment. Systemic discrimination may be subtle, but
it has most likely affected every woman on this campus
in some way, at one point in her university experience.
The events of the past year, particularly those
surrounding the Political Science department, have made
it clear that we must escalate our efforts against the oh-so
chilly campus climate. For example, the release of Joan
McEwen's report on the Political Science department
provoked a malicious and highly publicized response
which in turn sparked a lengthy debate on instructors'
right to academic freedom. Although academic freedom
is itself an issue worthy of some attention and a good
deal of debate, it only served to deflect attention away
from the real issues of systemic racism and sexism at the
heart of the Political Science investigation. The fact that
the chilly climate was forgotten amidst intense backlash
from members of the university community and the
mainstream media only reinforced the existence of such
a climate.
Fighting this backlash means women must work
together to stop the chilly climate. This issue of The Ubyssey
was created solely by women who wanted to give a voice
to women's experiences. For some, the crisis on campus
was the priority. Others felt it was important to discuss
the chilly climate experienced by women in all work
environments, including the media, the music industry
and universities.
Women were responsible for all the editing, placement,
writing, photography and graphics. This paper, created
by women, aims to address the issues of empowerment
(sistas are doing it for themselves!) and help offset the
male majority in the media (women, come join The
The answer to the tired question, "Why is there a
women's issue and not a men's issue?" is obvious. Men's
concerns are systematically voiced and heard; women's
aren't. Perhaps there will be no need for a women's issue
when people understand why women's voices need to
be heard clearly and when equality ofthe sexes is a reality.
Cover art design entitled:
X-Ray Woman
by Rima Sultan,
2nd year Genetics
March 12,1996
volume 77 issue 43
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press.
The Ubyssey is published Tuesdays and Fridays by The Ubyssey
Publications Sodety at the University of British Columbia. Editorial
opinions expressed are those of the newspaper and not necessarily those
of the university administration or Ihe Alma A/later Society.
Editorial Office: Room 241K, Student Union Building,
6138 SUB Blvd., UBC V6T 1Z1
tel: (604) 822-2301   fax: (604) 822-9279
Business Office: Room 245, Student Union Building
advertising: (604) 822-1654   business office: (604) 822-6681
Business Manager: Fernie Pereira
Advertising Manager James Rowan
Account Executive: Deserie Harrison
Canada Post Publications Sales Agreement Number 0732141
Once apon a time there was a strong and independent young women named
Sarah O'Donnell. She, along with other inteUegent ladies like her, Paula Bach,
Amanda Growe, and jenn Kuo, worked hard at the school newspaper. One
late night at the office, as cleaning-lady-extraordinaire Sarah Galashan was
rummaging through the stacks of old papers and pop cans, three singing angels,
Heather Hurmont, Karen Chan, and Lisa Freeman, appeared in the already
bright room. They sang a song about a girl named SiobhanRoantree and her
life as an activist for the rights of chickens. It seems that while co-ordinating
editor by day, at night she, along with Alison Cole, Sam Ladner, and Namiko
Kunimoto, fought for the hen's freedom. This inspired the other reporters,
especially Desiree Adib who had always secretly felt chickens were persecuted
unfairly. Suddenly the Angels were interupted by the laughter of Susan Cargill
and Lucy Shih, who were chasing a chicken, with cans tied to its legs, around
the room. Horrified by their cruel game Dawn Lessoway demanded that they
stop. The girls refused so Janet Winters took charge grabbing the bird and
throwing it off into the night. Unfortunately chickens don't fly very well but
luckily Nathalie Dube, Christine Price and Michelle Sturley happened to be
below and were able to catch the chicken. Lindy Newlove scolded the girls,
the Angels disapeared and the cleaning girl went back to the messy newsroom.
And they all lived happily ever AFAC.
Special Issue Coordinators:
Siobhan Roantree/Sarab O'Donnell
Coordinating Editor: Siobhan Roantree
Copy Editor: Sarah O'Donnell
News Editor: Matt Thompson
Culture Editor: Peter T. Chattaway
Sports Editor: Scott Hayward
Production Coordinator Joe Clark
   PhOtfl Coordinator: tenn Kuo
Tuesday, March 12,1996
The Ubyssey ^ 9P ubyssey women's issue
Court pops abortion clinic bubble and leaves
women vulnerable
by Amanda Growe
Women seeking abortions in
BC face a renewed wave of
harassment, says Kim Zander,
spokesperson for Everywoman's
Health Centre. This is seen as a
direct result of a Provincial Court
decision to strike down the
controversial "bubble zone"
The NDP government established the 50 metre buffer zones
around abortion clinics under the
Access to Abortion Services Act
in response to the anti-abortionist
violence that peaked in January
According to Zander, now that
the Access to Abortion Services
Act has been rendered ineffective, protesters have become
even more aggressive 'sidewalk
"They [try] talking to women
who don't want to have anything
to do with them. They are trying
to give them information," says
Zander. "They are carrying offensive signage with accusations
on it and, of course, statements
about their own religious beliefs
on abortion, which I believe is an
offense to other people who don't
have the same opinions."
The Provincial Court's ruling
came down during the trial of
Maurice Lewis, an anti-
abortionist arrested for tresspassing the access zone with an
anti-abortion sign, and later
refusing to leave when asked by
The Court ruled the Access to
Abortion Services Act violated
both "freedom of expression and
freedom of association" and
"freedom of conscience and
religion because protestors were
professing their faith at the clinic."
Since parts of the Act are
contradictory to the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms,
the charges against Lewis were
Kay Stockholder, president of
the BC Civil Liberties Association, says her organization
supported the access zone. "We
thought that though those issues
[freedom of speech] are real, they
were outweighed by the right to
privacy of the people seeking
abortions and their right to an
unimpeded access to their legal
right to an abortion."
Campaign Life Coalition, a
Canadian group active in the pro-
life (anti-abortion) movement,
The house of anti-abortionist Sissy Von Dehn situated next to the Everywoman's Health Clinic
approved of the court's decision.
"We are happy that justice was
served, and happy that we can
now have the freedom of speech
in Vancouver again," said CLC
president John Hof, "but we're
never happy with the outcome of
a trial that still allows the killing
of children to go on."
Prior to the decision in January, Hof says protestors were
allowed to hold prayer vigils
inside the bubble zones, but
could make no reference to
abortion. Since the verdict,
protestors are allowed to pray,
carry signs about abortion and
talk to women coming to the
clinic within the access zone.
"It's not really protest, it's
harassment," Zander says, adding
that other medical establishments
which provide services like organ
transplants, would never have to
deal with such intense protest,
even though the practice offends
some religious beliefs.
Historically, as in the case
against abortion doctor Henry
Morgentaler, the Supreme Court
of Canada ruled women have the
right to unimpeded access to
The BC government will
appeal the Provincial Court's
decision by May.
Accept the victims and turn back the torturers
by Susan Cargill
An El Salvadorian woman
fighting deportation has been
forced to take sanctuary within
the walls of Vancouver's Trinity
United Church.
Maria Barahona, who has been
under church protection with her
family for over seven weeks,
knows she cannot remain within
the building's walls forever.
However, she fears her return to
El Salvador will be met with
persecution and separation from
her family.
And Barahona may have good
reason to be fearful. In the past,
people gathering food, clothing
and medicine in support of the
FMLN resistance movement
have been punished by El Salvador's government. The FMLN
is a leftist political group that
opposes the dictatorship and the
daily injustices that occur
throughout the country daily.
Reports of flogging, whipping
and stoning are common.
Barahona's brother disappeared
adians of all different ethnic
backgrounds, was filled with
placards and candles in support
of Maria, her family and the
many other people seeking refugee status in Canada.
Placards carried such slogans
as "accept the victims turn back
the torturers," "last year 9150
were murdered by police in El
Salvador" and "government of
Canada let's show our compassionate face." To greet
immigration officials preparing
for a symposium on the removal
processes of Canadian immigration,    vigil    participants
"It is not an option not to
-Rob Johnson, Vancouver enforcement
manager for Citizen and Immigration Canada
THe United Church is giving sanctuary to El salvarorean Maria Barahona
after he was deported from the
US and not heard from for weeks.
Maria's sister was also taken as a
political prisoner, although she
has been released and received
refugee status in Canada.
On Thursday, February 29, a
vigil outside the Robson Media
Centre was organized in support
of Barahona. It's message:
politicians, immigration officials
and refugee boards alike should
stop deporting refugees to unsafe
and politically unstable countries.
The vigil, attended by Can-
brought their messages, ideas and
the song 'When I needed a
The symposium, sponsored by
Citizen and Immigration Canada,
aimed to create "awareness and
understanding of Immigration
Removals policy and process."
Rob Johnson, enforcement
manager for the Vancouver area
and Ken Lawrence, detentions
and removals officer, gave the
bulk of information. When the
speeches finished, people were
invited to write down their ques
tions, which were directed to a
panel of six people. Direct questions from the audience were not
Alicia Barsallo, member ofthe
committee for equality for immigrants and new Canadians and
vigil organizer, told the symposium that "Canadians need
refugees." She also brought to
light the rejection of legitimate
refugees and the consequent need
for new policies.
Although Barahona's case was
not directly discussed at the
symposium, it was clear that her
plea for refugee status in Canada
based on humanitarian and
compassionate grounds may not
be accepted. As Rob Johnson
stated at the symposium, at this
stage of the game "it is not an
option not to go."
Additional public support is
the next step needed to ensure
that the Barahona's are granted
refugee status and allowed to live
in Canada.
In the meantime, Barahona
still waits, hoping that the
deportation decision against her
and her family will be repealed
on the basis of humanitarian and
compassionate grounds.
For more information on this
particular case and other
organizations in the Vancouver area
contact Rev. Jim Hillson/Rev. Linda
Ervin (Trinity United Church): 736-
3828 or Alicia Barsallo (Committee
F. Equal. F. Immigration & New
Canadians): 879-32446 and
Fax* :872-6776.
The Ubyssey
Tuesday, March 12,1996 There's more than
one way to get a FREE
Neon ex.
The hard way.
Carefully cut around image of car, then fold tab 'A into slot 'A' and tab 'B' into slot 'B'. Insert tab 'C into slot 'C and tab "D" into slot 'D'. Fold tab 'E' and 'F'.
Then repeat the same with tabs 'G' through 'J' and finally fold tab *K' and tab 'L' into slot 'K' and slot 'U*
Engine, battery, elastic band, and all
other forms of propulsion not included.
Not recommended for use on dates,
formals. drive-thrus and other essential
college related activities,
The easy way.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that everyone could use a set of wheels at school but we'll go you one better. Just fill out, and mail in the
ballot below, or call 1 800 228-0559 and you could be the proud owner of any one of six brand new 132 horsepower Neon Ex's. But you have to enter to win.
Win a brand new 1996 Neon Ex.
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Ballots should be mailed to: Chrysler Student Contest, P.O. Box 452, Stn A, Windsor, ON N9A 6L7.
Hots must be received no later than midnight, April 8,1996.
1 Contest is open 10 all residents of Canada over the age of majority who are cuirently attending a post-secondary educational institution except employees 'and [Lose with whom they
are domiciled] of Chrysler Canada Limited, its dealers, their respective advertising and promotion agencies and the independent judging organization.
2 10 ENTER; Complete an official entry form (or hand drawn facsimile! and mail to Chrysler Student Contest. P.O. Box 452. Stn A, Windsor, ON N9A 61/. Entries must be received
by midnight, April 8, 1996. the contest closing date.
OR call I 800 223-OSS9 by midnight, April 8. 1996 to enter by phone
L>mif one entry per person.
Ihe contest sponsors wili not be responsible lor late, lost, illegible or wrongly addressed entries
]. PRIZES There will be six NEON EX vehicles awarded, one in each ol the following regions: British Columbia; Alberta: Saskatchewan/Manitoba; Ontario; Quebe;; Atlantic Canada. Each
NEON EX will be equipped with a 2.0L 16V 132 hp SOHC engine. $ speed manual transmission, Dual air bags, Side door impact beams, AM/FM stereo cassette with 6 speakers. Rear
.poiler. 14" deluxe wheel covers. Dual outside remote mirrors, [JIN Package). Prizes must be accepted as awarded and art not transferable or convertible to cash. Prizes will be
del vered to :he Chrysler dealership closest to each confirmed winner's residence. App rox. retail value of each prize: $14,095. Winner will be responsible for license and insurance.
■I CONTEST DRAW: The winners will be selected m a random draw from all eligible entries received from each region by the contest closing date The draw will be held m Windsor.
Ontario at 12 noon on May 6, 1996. In order to win, the selected entrants must fm correctly answer a time limned mathematical skill-testing question to be administered by mail or
by telephone and sign a standard ceclaration and release form.
5. All decisions of the independent conte.i-judging organization are final. The chances ol being selected depend on the number of eligible entries received from each region. All entries
become the property ol the contest sponsors and no correspondence will be entered into except with selected entrants. Entrants, by entering this contest, consent to the use ol their
name and/or photograph in any future publicity carried out by Chrysler Canada Um ted in connection with this contest.
6. Quebec residents may submit any litigation concerning the conduct or awarding cf a prize in this publicity contest to the Regie des alcools, des courses ei des jeux.
(M) ortid.ti SpoiiMir ol the 1W(> (..in.uli.ui (iKnipic Team.
Tuesday, March 12,1996
The Ubyssey ^ 9 P ubyssey women's issue
Blue phone advocates seeing red over safety plan
by Heather Hermant
Confusion surrounding UBC's
proposed emergency blue-light
phone system is making some
students anxious about the project's future.
According to Carmen Rida,
UBC's Urban Design assistant,
funding restraints have forced the
university to trim its initial seven
phone plan down to four phones
at most, and possibly only three.
Safewalk Director Christy
effort to address accessibility
issues on college and university
campuses. UBC received
$450,000 from the province for
a "minor capital safer campuses'
initiatives fund."
Campus Planning and Development Director David Grigg
says a bulk of the safer campuses
initiatives fund is being allocated
to over twenty lighting improvement projects across campus. In addition, several em-
This is not an issue that
can be delayed."
-Cheng-Han Leer
AMS Safety Commissioner
Doyle says the university's decision is disappointing. "When
only three phones are being
installed, it's barely a dent on the
campus," she said. "This is a far
cry from the eight to twelve
phones we were assured of some
time ago."
The university's plan for a
blue-light phone system began as
part of a provincial government
ergency telephones have been
located inside buildings heavily
used at night, such as the Bio-
Sciences building.
UBC initially set aside
$60,000 for the system, which is
also installed at campuses across
North America including
McGill, Queen's and the University of Western Ontario.
The original estimate acc-
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ounted for $5000 per phone plus
installation costs. However, Rida
says CP&D has now opted to use
a high-end emergency phone
design known as CODE BLUE-
a system with twice the purchasing cost per phone, and an
additional $10,000 for installation per phone. The CODE
BLUE system includes wiring for
closed-circuit televisions, a more
identifiable blue beacon, a more
vandal-resistant structure than
other options and "fits aesthetically with the overall campus design."
AMS Safety Commissioner
and Board of Governors' student
representative Cheng-Han Lee
says that despite the availability
of campus funds, the university
appears not to have its priorities
in order.
"You would think that the
presentation of the AMS Safety
Audit Report to the Board of
Governors in January would at
least ensure CP&D would stick
to their promises," Lee said.
"This is not an issue that can be
delayed as appears to be the
But Rida, who researched the
blue-light telephone project, says
that although the results of the
last November's AMS student
safety audit are being taken into
account, they are also contributing to some difficulty in
planning, given future campus
construction plans. It has been
difficult to locate phones at the
sites prioritized by the AMS and
UBC's Personal Security Coordinator Meg Gaily.
Student (Peer) Advisers
In a continuing effort to increase the level of service provided by Faculty
of Arts Advising Office, the Faculty intends to hire three to five students
to serve as the first point of contact for students attending the Advising Office.
Successful applicants must be entering third or fourth year in the Faculty of Arts
and have completed at least 60 credits at UBC. They must possess good
organizational and communication skills, and be reliable and conscientious
workers. Their duties will include offering assistance to students in finding the
correct path to resolution of their inquiries, referring students to appropriate
Advising Office staff, and scheduling appointments for Faculty Advisers.
Pre-employment training is offered and required.
Employment wil be 5 to 10 hours per week in regular 2.5 hour shift (9:30-12:00,
1:30-4:00). Payment is at the rate of $12.45 per hour. Term of employment is
September 1996 to April 1997.
Applications, including a resume, two letters of reference, and a statement
indicating the qualities the candidate would bring to the position, must be
submitted to Ms Wendy Trigg in the Arts Advising Office, Buchanan A207 by
March 31 st.
Is this telephone booth an example of
In consultation with student
leaders, Gaily submitted a list of
twelve priority locations in need
of safety initiatives based on the
feedback from both the safety
audit and suggestions to her
office from faculty, students and
Of the top five areas in most
desperate need of attention (the
IRC-Health Sciences area, International House-Gate 4, Place
Vanier, Forward Metallurgy-
Geological Sciences area, B-Lot
and Wyman Plaza) it appears
that the IRC-Health Sciences
area will be addressed as originally planned.
According to Rida, the region
near the Geological Sciences and
Forward Metallurgy buildings-
frequendy used as a travel route
by residents of Thunderbird
Housing and Totem Park-may
not get a phone because of plans
for an Earth Sciences complex
scheduled for the location in
several years.
A phone near International
House at Gate 4 is unlikely to be
installed until the construction of
the Creative Arts and Journalism
School begins some time next
year. A phone near Place Vanier
the darkly lit campus phones?
residence will be similarly postponed until the construction of
St. John's College.
B-Lot's blue-light phone may
be postponed due to some "confusion over whose jurisdiction is
whose," meaning that the Department of Housing has to be
consulted before tapping into
their telephone system.
"It's great that the results of the
AMS Student Safety Audit were
taken into account in setting the
priority locations," Safewalk's
' Doyle said, "however, it comes
off as nothing but a token gesture
when each of those priorities is
axed in consideration for buildings to be built five years down
the line."
Lee added that any student
with comments or questions
about the blue-light phones or
other safety issues should voice
their concerns at the next "Your
UBC" Safety Forum to be held
March 26. Students can also help
follow-up on November's safety
audit on Tuesday, March 19 from
7-9 pm. Contact Cheng-Han Lee
in the AMS offices for more
2nd Floor 2174 W. Parkway
Vancouver, B.C.
University Village
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The Ubyssey
Tuesday, March 12, 1996 fighting the backlash ,
The Eighteen Percent Majority: Changing
Canada's Electoral System
by Janet Winters
When challenging systemic sexism, institutional barriers are often overlooked. In light of this, some political
analysts are questioning whether our current electoral
process reinforces gender inequality.
While women's political representation in countries such as
Sweden and Norway hovers
around 40 percent, many Canadian women continue to be under-represented in the male
dominated House of Commons.
Only eighteen percent of our
MPs are women.
Some believe that if Canada's
current constituency system
switched to one of proportional
representation, women might
fare better politically.
SFU political scientist Lynda
Erickson believes that under this
system, parties would look bad
running men at the top of their
lists and women at the bottom.
An appropriate PR list system
would be able to expose such discrimination. "Parties have more
incentive to nominate women if
they have been nominated by a
list system and people look at lists
and think, 'Hmm, there's no
women, no people of colour,
they're all lawyers.' They're going to look at the make-up of the
"Proportional representation
systems tend to represent women
better than single member plural-
"Proportional representation
systems tend to represent women
better than single member plurality systems," said Janine Brodie,
a political scientist at York University.
In this system, each vote
counts towards representation in
the legislature. In addition, candidates are selected from a party
list; a higher position on the list
directly increases one's chances
of going to parliament.
Erickson agreed. "In single
member plurality systems, or sin
gle member majority systems, we
tend to find fewer women being
represented, all other things being equal."
According to UBC political
scientist Stephen Eggleston, "A
system of proportional representation would make for more
transparency. The elites, the back
room boys under the current system can say, 'Well hey look, we
did our best, we actively tried to
recruit female candidates...but it's
just the vagueness ofthe electoral
system...They just lost and that's
the way politics works.'"
Erickson maintains that in PR
systems, "parties go out and deliberately seek women to run."
The problem with the current
first-past-the-post system in
Canada, argues Brodie is it is "not
accountable to nominating
A system of proportional representation could ultimately expose sexist biases in political parties and confront them.
Men may also have an unfair
advantage in the nomination
process of our current system.
"There is some evidence women
tend to get those ridings where
process of our current system.
"There is some evidence women
tend to get those ridings where
that party is not apt to win," said
Paul Tenant, UBC political science professor.
Brodie attributes this to the incumbency advantage which favours veteran male politicians,
and to the lack of resources available for women to campaign as
effectively. "Men tend to have
more money and benefit under
the current constituency level
nomination process."
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Eggleston says the parties
themselves are as much to
blame for the current inequities
as the system itself. "The parties are dominated by an old
boys network. Those who hold
most of the key decision making positions are men...We're
talking about a patriarchal system that's been built up over
hundreds and hundreds of
He still believes electoral reform may speed up the process
of achieving equality, and adds
that more female politicians
could then bring more attention
to women's issues.
"The odds are female politicians on the whole are more
likely to be sympathetic to
women's issues than are male
politicians...There's no question
that as larger numbers of
women have been elected to
legislatures, women's issues
have acquired a greater sali-
ency" said Eggleston.
"If you have a parliament
"We're talking
about a patriarchal
system that's been
built up over hundreds and hundreds of years."
- Stephen Eggleston,
UBC political scientist
that has more women," Erickson
said, "you are likely to have a
parliament with different perspectives."
Although reforming the current system may result in more
female politicians, it is only one
of many factors to confront discrimination. Erickson points to
countries such as Greece and
Portugal, that have PR systems
but less female representation
than Canada. "There's a whole
lot of other things that go into
the pot in terms of women's
representation...levels of education, women's participation in
the work force and cultural history."
When asked about the odds
of Canada adopting a proportional representation system,
Brodie replied, "I would say
not a hope in hell."
"Why would the government change the electoral system if they benefit from the
status quo?" Brodie added.
This Message Could
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to Management
April 15, 1996: CMA Entrance
Exam Registration Deadline
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and only one program, the CMA Professional Program,
is devoted entirely to training in management accounting.
So, take the right step toward a career in management.
The Entrance Examination will be held June 18-19,1996.
The enrolment deadline is April 15.
For information call us at 687-5891
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Certified Management Accountants
of British Columbia
Tuesday, March 12,1996
The Ubyssey ubyssey women s issue
Basis of unity
The Alliance of Feminists Across Campuses (AtfAC) is a collecti^bf women,
women from many different social, economic aiyf political locations committed to working
across these differences.
AFAC members believe in the power of coalition politics. We see as our particular task
the development of integrated analyses of systemic abuse of power in academia. We offer
a political practice to address such abus^ based upon the understanding that specific
categories of marginalization and exclusion are interdependent and co-exist wherever
power without accountability is localed (ie. universities, the criminal justice system,
psychiatry, etc).
Our political goal is to expose an/confront the undeclared war against women, people
of colour, lesbians and gay men,/nd others who by their very existence on campuses,
challenge the power structure there. We are committed to and united within a political
revolution that aims to overthr/w individual and institutionalized abuses of power and
We share a radical vision of sdtial and political justice, as well as a commitment to
working collectively to achieve thislvision. While our goals are revolutionary, we see the
necessity of strategic, specific and lAeal institutional reform as urgent and as prerequisite
points of departure for systemic charf
"Addressing abuses of power often leaqs to acts of
retaliation. AFAC as an organization can speaR out in a way
that is not possible, indeed, is not safe for individual women
to do, given the established atmosphere of hostility.
[In] the words of Edmund Burke (a conservative political
theorist): 'the only thing necessary for the triumpr/of evil is
for good [wo]men to do nothing."
—an open letter to Joan McEwen froW°AJB\C, February
Collectivity t
It is consistent with our radical vision |hi£ welkganize as a collective. In the end, every
member is entitled to and responsible for our common files, finances and material goods.
We discuss and decide political goals, strategies and tactics by consensus.
No single woman in this collective controls any aspect of our work. Instead, she proposes
and answers to the collective as a whole. She relies on and can expect the support,
encouragement and critical assessment from all collective members.
Though we are separated by distance, we agree to strive for consensus within our
specific organizing groups and within the larger collective when possible, before taking
action. Because we recognize that some actions must ha^pen'quickly and consensus is not
always possible, we agree to thoroughly assess each political aclionin terms of our stated
political agreements.
Take Control of
Your Curriculum
Degree Programs
at UBC
^0/»menta\ *«**
Integrate social, economic and scientific
dimensions of contemporary environmental issues
facing human society.
Design your own curriculum of
environmentally related courses
Core courses bringing together students in
Arts and Science for project-oriented problem
solving in interdisciplinary teams.
Applications are due May 15, prior to
registering for second year.
For more information,
consult  the   UBC   calendar  or   contact
Dr. Kathryn Harrison
Chair, Environmental Studies
c/o Dept. of Political Science
(604) 822-2717
(604) 822-5540 fax
George Spiegelman
Chair, Environmental Sciences
Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology
(604) 822-6041 fax
fighting tlje backlash
a eSrnayhZhenany
9,7 /S ""free *
only wearYtmdr,
actions ojraieaias&alapCs. _ _
Understand tlratS^ting an equity issue on campus is part of a^figJrght. The nead/*w accountability and
effective collective action requires those of us on campus to offer our sj^pon"u»etii£rsengagejjGk differetfratrugsles
for social justice.
One key strategy used by those in power is to isolate, thefeb^
In academia, this means administrators (among others) will;
unique experiences that require unique solutions (if they are '
should use the public arena to challenge universities.
The university will want you to participate in processes that us^ their rules, their agenda and theirl
do not have to buy into their perspective.
lake an informed decision, examine thlfights that
i fought similar fights both on and off campus
rou are being offered,
cial that you work collectively with other women
You need to decide how effective their processes are. To
have gone before you. Connect with other women who havl
strategies and methods to analyze the complaints processes
If you do decide to engage in an internal process, it's c:
work against the university's strategies of:
1. intimidation through isolation;
2. of psychologizing you—that is making you the problem;
3. of miring you in a process that is lengthy, emotionally and financially costly, and is ultimately unlikel
result in individual compensation or systemic redress. ^B^*a!S'E*^s.
Know that because the university will try to wear you down to the point that youcJHrtfSlr^^uf acaclemic goals'
or give in to. their view of the problem, you must access support and work collectively so that you can g\the long
haul. Similarly, it is important that you share strategies and information with other women on campus
that we will not have to reinvent the wheel each time we enter into a battle.
Be aware that the university will attempt to redefine the problems we encounter as communication problemstfr'**\
mutually perceived gender biases-problems which can be mediated as though there were no differences in power
between those engaged in the process.
If you do participate in the on-campus process, know that you are unlikely to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion
to your complaint. Based on the experiences of women to date, it is even less likely to achieve any lasting changes
in how the university operates. Many of die changes that do occur are cosmetic-a new series of processes and
complaints procedures no more likely to result in change than the old procedures.
It may be that you decide to participate as part of a larger strategy (potential legal action) that requires you to
"exhaust all avenues of redress available," in which case it is crucial to DOCUMENT everything. That means
taping telephone conversations if possible. If you are unable to do that, keep complete and accurate notes.
'.  Documenting all meetings with administrators (department heads, faculty, equity officers, ,etc). Summarize the
meeting and include that summary in a letter which you send to the person involved in that meeting. Invite his/her ,,..
input as to what s/he understood the meeting-^© have been about.and~what was^acrjoTTipTighed.   / > S
Enter into these.meetings collectively if po^bJeaTJ»s*means you have more than just wur worcr^gass""i
frTresolve the issue with dates, times, names oj^^nduals invoi
results that arise from these attempts.
You may have to get BC Tel and the RCMP involved in documenting any harassing phone call, etc.
essentially, approaching the problem with a mindset that is conscious of the differences in power be:
institution and yourself. Be conscious of the fact that the university is engaged in maintaining the stai
regardless of appearances to the contrary.
Remember that fighting the system from the outside is often the most effective strategy. Don't settle for
within the same system that oppresses you.
Radical vision
We take risks in our work; we take unpopular stands. We understand and acknowledge
rat while we live in an unjust society, we cannot do social justice work and be socially
ic«£ptable at the same time.
\fur work is directed at all women and against all forms of discrimination and oppression,
because^NseJjeve they are interconnected manifestations of an unjust social and political
ft The connection amon^Sflfcese oppressionj-toirifoCrtbe context for the perpetuation of
male violence against womemii^Jiis^s/PweTy. We cannot work towards radical change for
Lkvomea unless we work towards ending racism, classism, s<3
herefosexism and homophobia.
, ageism,
*Feminists in universities an
alliances across British Colum
singled out and made to feel
us to be ignored. We will
You can expect to hear f r
will be speaking out jSnti
—an open letWfetdurflversi,
from AFAC, Dece®ffl&1994.*
fsi3>*'%:'V?'. *'
e be
zy. Thetaar^foo many of
be intimidate^ into silence.
cSP organized feminists who
take actiof\acjainst men's
Where do we fight? 'j--^-'
The primary locus of ojgf stgjiggle is in uni\ 11 itlfcA and*coBcges.|We have chosen these
sites of struggle becau^'^eH-eco^n'/f 11■ i idemy as a central site of knowledge
production. Because ,df diis privileged position, it has enormous potential to mediate
popular consciousness.' j
Universities and'colleges are expressions of the dominant cultural ideology, which
means that they work to maintain the status quo of power structures. At the same time, we
recognize that individuals within these institutions are uniquely positioned to use their
privilege to challenge the dominant ideology and revolutionize this status quo.
As women within acadenria, we are committed to using our power and privilege to
support the struggles of women who are situated both inside and outside academia.
Coalition politics        ■     s
' ^We, knojy'lbal (npre^wiJPbe struggle amongst us because of our different positions
within a white <^>itairsT netero-patriarchy, and because individuals bring specific skills,
ces to the collective. We are committed to working with and across
AFAC means action
• On Dec. 6,1994, AFAC participated in
co-authoring a BC-wide action
electronically aimed at university and
college administrators. This collective
letter was read out at December 6 rallies
across BC, including Vancouver, Victoria,
Prince George, Kamloops. It was also
posted on the internet where it received
responses from across North America.
• Storm the Tower, a conference on
political activism in the academy, was
organized in conjunction with AFAC.
When information about the conference
was posted on the internet, many women
in academia interested in issues of equity
and collaborative efforts to affect change
• AFAC has extended its support to
women involved in various struggles on
campuses in Vancouver, BC and the
broader national university community.
Members have also spoken about AFAC
and social justice issues at academic
conferences such as last year's Learneds
in Montreal and a conference on
women's health in Victoria.
mitment is both fundamental to the strengthening of our coalition and to
our political agendas. We also understand and challenge ourselves as both oppressor and
A few committed women working in coalition and in consensus with other women and
men in our communities can work towards radical social change. We will support them
and strengthen our alliances with them in whatever ways possible.
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The Ubyssey
Tuesday, March 12,1996
Tuesday, March 12,1996
The Ubyssey ubyssey women's issue
Nestle promotes more than chocolate bars
by Lindy Newlove and
Michelle Sturley
Alarming new evidence
suggests that an increasing
number of women in
Majority World countries
are choosing to bottlefeed
their children instead of
The use of expensive and
potentially life-threatening
manufactured formula is
spreading via the
manipulative techniques
used by public relations
firms like Olgivy & Mather
Public Relations, an
independent US firm hired
by the world's largest food
company, Nestle.
Since the 1970s, Nestle
has aggressively promoted
their infant formula and
baby food products
throughout Asia and other
poor areas of the Majority
Helmut Maucher, Nestle
chief executive officer,
reported    at    a    1995
shareholders meeting
that "Asia will, within a
few years, contribute
about 50 percent to
[Nestle's] global gross
product growth while
Europe's contribution
will not be higher than
about eleven percent."
The most common
tactic   employed   by
Nestle is to convince
mothers     to     forgo
breastfeeding with the
"help" of free formula
samples. Once a woman
uses formula too long,  -
she becomes unable to
breastfeed and is forced
to depend on Nestle's   *
product—a    practice   ,.
directly    linked     to
malnutrition and high
infant mortality.
According to UNICEF,
1.5 million babies die every
year because they are not
breastfed. A majority of
health professionals say
breastfeeding is not only
„>■:, ye -■»*. ■
•it""-""'   '     '■■■     :~
h'**&>.'- .'-
> i—
healthier for mother and
child, but imperative in
impoverished countries
where the scarcity of clean
water supplies is linked to
'baby-bottle disease' caused
by poor sanitation.
The   women    and
children most
vulnerable to Nestle's
attacks are those with
the lowest standard of
education; the same
women who tend to live
in regions with
inadequate drinking
Nestle is well aware of
the      danger     their
formula poses to infant
survival;  they  have
been both boycotted
and sanctioned by the
•; ■     World Health
UNICEF,   Save  the
Children, the
International    Baby
'«    Food Action Network
and numerous other
organizations of concerned
US activist group, Action
for Corporate
Accountability, called for a
second boycott in 1988
after Nestle announced its
decision to distribute free
baby formula to Third
World clinics and hospitals
of the multinational's
Despite protests, Nestle
continues with business as
usual. "We are already
firmly anchored in Asia
today," Maucher told
Nestle's shareholders.
"Through geographic
extension and through the
diversification of our
product range, we are
broadening the base of our
global presence. This
allows us to benefit from
population growth and
from the increase in
purchasing power."
It appears that as long as
Nestle's profits swell, they-
will continue to prey upon
the health of women and
their children by
convincing them to use
formula instead of the
healthy, logical alternative
of breastfeeding.
The Ubyssey
Tuesday, March 12,1996 No 2
«All protest has been
subject to the law of the father, to mere transgression.
Come on - we have to get out
of this infantile reactivity^
Avital Ronell
;:: I w$ch raen walpfg
itt \M$ depots withi&ticks
.   ., i watch the headlines
in newspapers
of rapes and murders
committed against my
your children
I walk by stores with
women's torsos and breasts
displayed in yearly
calenders for their staff's
I see films with
women working themselves
to the bone
j*$»uch me
he <3oesn*t kiss me
there^Jb* never has
le doesn't talk much,
he myer has
-but, he is a good guy,
he really is
he loves me, he really
dewy finish by Cur. e. Singhsong
Its a facsimile thing   comes out of your
and you hate it.
don't like it
I don't want to
look like you
you suck
you look like beige
you are a colour
that does not
you are a cool
polished beige
with a lovely dewy
you look like beige
red scares, black
scares, brown
no you prefer ice
cream pastels,
except for when
your wound bleeds
and your whole
sterile wrapping
gets angry red and
sticky brown
and sometimes
even coal tar black
no you prefer creamy
for your creamy neutered flesh
pink'n' pretty, prudish
and pasty
hear this warm
woman sing
burn bright woman
burn bright.
just to survive
I listen to the hearty
laughs of women and men
at the fat woman  .
running on the screen.
Twa l0v*ers locked themselves up
m the churcN one night,
took^eluge, deflecting the harshness of the stones thrown.
That night, as wax made pools on the floor,
they dug into the fault lines of each others bodies.
They whipped across one another like wind
As the strands of their coarse hair stood electric,
They were the explorers of their bodies' geography. To survey, to leave
a trace.
Testing the plains, savannas and deltas.
Dipping into to the endless oceans and forests of her
and her....oohhhh and she	
Mapping the vastness of that sensual geography of touch.
With eyes, tongues,  fingers and thighs as compass points.
And when next morning, the congregation arrived to worship.
As they flung open the doors wide,
Urgent those journeys came tumbling out,
Those whispers,  looks,  sighs, touches,
Each one a distance travelled.
They circled, fluttered
like a flock of black butterfies
and settled over that house.
That house built by human hands.
March 1996
VS. an Alternative ancoweir
What is whatY
Are you sick and tired of
expressing your sexuality
through sassy hair clips? Do
you want a gun? Do you have
nightly homicidal, terrorist
fantasies? Was tank girl to slow
for you? Are you tired of being
polite? Do you want to be a
member of the Barbie Liberation Front? If you do then you
probably are as bored as us
with the Ubyssey and want
your own paper.
The revolution will require
computer crime. So all girlies
should come and gather their
skills by creating and developing Vs. an alternative, a rag by,
for and about women. At Vs
you will acquire skills such as
hard driving for the 21 st
century, keyboard wizadry and
the ability to manufacture
This is the third issue of Vs. an
alternative. Vs was started in
the days when the Ubyssey
was shutdown and some girlies
felt there was a need to fill the
vacuum. Today Vs strives to be
less of a reactive paper and
more of a forum where Women
set the agenda for what they
want to talk about, how they
want to talk and why they
want to talk. This means at Vs
we question everything. At the
moment we are particularly
interested in how notions of
what is good writing, what is
good journalism and what is
good looking continue to
influence the writing and
layout of many feminist and
alternative newspapers and
zines. These notions are
constraining and keep many of
us from saying what we need
to say. We are also not interested in arguing with the boys
about their rules.
This issue of VS is an insert of
the Ubysey because we wanted
to reach a wider than usual
audience and becauce we are
looking for new women to take
over the paper. Otherwise Vs is
very independent of the
Ubyssey. Vs is presently
endorsed by Coca-Cola and the
UBC administration and operates out of the AMS women's
It has been a long and hard
struggle to create an alternative paper for women's voices
to be heard and listened to at
UBC. Whether Vs fulfills this
mandate is questionable.
However with the political
momentum of Canada moving
more and more to the right the
need for a paper that challenges mainstream media's
androcentric, eurocentric,
garbage presented in the guise
of objective writing is all the
more essential.
The present coordinating
editor of Vs will soon be
resigning from her post to look
for a real job(any offers ?).
This means the paper is
opened to either going defunct
or becoming the literary
arsenal you've been dreaming
about since the first time you
bought your pepper spray. If
you want your dream to come
true you should come to the
Women's centre collective
meetings on Tuesdays at
1 2.30, give us a phone call or
leave a note for us. We will be
hiring for a variety of volunteer
positions soon.
Remember only you can make
your dream come true.
©meet  ?
Annthea whittaker
The debate around the
Vancouver lesbian connexion
has been raging now for 2
months, 2 years or 1 2 years
depending on your perspective or involvement with the
center. The issues have
focused on accessibility and
more recently the process of
the old board leaving and
wanting to hand over to a
new board. A call for proposals was made but the problems involved in this process
includes another set of
barriers. Only certain women
know how to write proposals.
And what is the benefit of
another group of friends
taking over the center? Will it
necessarily ensure a more
diverse or accountable VLC?
In the last few months a paper
debate has also been waged.
Letters and articles have
appeared in the different
queer press, but even this
process has not been completely fair or above board.
One example of this is where
Nadine Chambers responded
to a letter from the VLC sent
to Angles. Angles later
allowed VLC board member,
Bet Cecil a chance to see the
letter Nadine had written
Exploring Goddess Power
by Lindsay Stephens
A striking contradiction has     wise insight into the power of
presented itself to me lately.
The contradiction is between
the awesome strength that
women can have
when they work together and
how infrequently they use
thispower. One of the
clearest cases of this is at
the UBC Women's
Centre where, though the
place is thriving with women,
there is no one to be part of
a functioning collective at
the centre. This
means the library doesn't get
opened,the phone messages
don't get answered, the
requests for special groups
do not get processed and
eventually the centre grinds
to a halt.
There are of course many
reasons for this and the most
pressing is that the few
women who have been
actively taking on the role of
running the collective are
justifiably burnt out from
trying to do all the work.
Work that could be done very
easily if it was split up among
the huge numbers of women
who use the centre.
Idon't mean this as a blame
thing, for I would not know
where to place it. But is
makes me wonder how is it
that we women so
easily loose sight of the
goddess power we can evoke
when we actually gather
together. It is true we are
bombarded on all sides by
ideas of competition and
isolation. The Western world
is not a place that encourages reaching out to strangers, but all the more
reason why we should.
Perhaps our persecuted
ancestors, the witches
were feared partly for their
a group. A witches' coven
both then and now is a place
where women
(and sometimes men) can
together evoke the power of
the goddess. Of course the
apparent apathy in the
Women's Centre collective
has made me wonder whether
that power really is all I've
believed it to be. Interestingly
enough my answer to that
question was also
found in the Women Centre
where I have observed the
most remarkable
coming together of women for
the most whimsical of reasons. In the Women's Centre
on an average afternoon the
magic of shared strength is
worked religiously. There,
problems are solved,prayers
are answered and friends are
made all because one woman
with a phone number overheard another woman with a
problem and a third joined in
because the conversation was
interesting. The enthusiasm
with which these strangers
weave out a connection is
uplifting and I've seen and
experienced it time and time
This is the goddess energy so
many women are thirsting for.
It seems, in these interactions,
to be so simple, why is it then
so easily forgotten? This last
question is one I still don't
have an answer for but
perhaps if a group of women
gathered we could all answer
it together. If you are interested in trying to recreate the
Women's Centre collective or
even in just talking about
what it is or could be leave
your name and number in the
centre and we'll see if we can
work some womens magic.
which then allowed them to
change their focus. The letter
from the VLC reappeared in a
revised form which meant that
Nadine's original letter seemed
ridiculous and to have missed
the point. Nadine was not
informed in the change of
letters nor was she allowed to
retract or change her comments.
Another focus and criticism of
the VLC has been its apparent
transphobia. In the proposal
package, requirements for
board members include that
they be born and raised
women. Myself, I always
thought we were born babies,
but I suppose some of us were
born women. The definition of
women used by the VLC,
however serves to exclude
transsexuals. The issue of
transphobia has become the
focus of debate around the
VLC. Transphobia is an issue
that needs to be addressed
and remedied. Nonetheless,
within the VLC restructuring,
the transgender issue is a bit
of a red herring. It is a written
policy that can be actively
criticized, but it is not the
core issue at the VLC. Yet, it
is what everyone is talking
What everyone is not talking
about are the core problems
with the VLC. Part of the
reason no one is talking about
them is that organizational
difficulties are difficult things
to talk about. Difficult not
only because they are complex, but also because the
actual information about what
is happening is obscure and
often only accessible to those
who have been there. This is
not the first time women have
tried to take control of the
VLC. This is not the first time
a public meeting has been held
to address some of the issues.
Women held public consultations two years ago and then
spent another year in working
groups. They presented their
recommendations to the VLC
board and were told the
recommendations were too
vague to implement. I would
be awfully frustrated if I spent
years trying to work out
tangible policy changes and
then was informed they were
too vague.
Women, Lesbians and Chicks
about town that I have been
talking to are also saying the
core issue is the money. As
the VLC receives core funding
from the Ministry of Women's
Equality, they are accountable
to a broader genereal public. It
is this public that they are
mandated to serve that
should be included in the
Being included is the other
piece. Who is at the VLC?
Who is not? Who feels welcome to use the facilities?
Who doesn't? Many centers
and organizations are considered racist or unwelcoming to
new members. Why and what
is being done to change this?
About membership. Is it
possible to have a broad
based membership make all
the operating decisions within
an organization? I would find it
nerve wracking to have to
have a meeting each time I
wanted to buy a new box of
paper clips. So where is the
line drawn? What kind of
membership will make these
sorts of decisions? What kind
of membership will make
broader based decisions or
policy decisions.
How does a center ensure
that a certain politic is met?
How do we keep out
REALwomen or Kim Campbells
in disguise far away from a
radical feminist organization.
Questions that need to be
Another interesting question
that has emerged in this
debate is where do men fit in
the picture. At a recent
discussion evening on Gender
Dysphoria a gay man spoke
and said it is often the
women's organizations that
are under attack, organizations that have been built and
survive on the backs of
women providing much
needed services and facilities.
How do men and especially
gay men engage in this
debate? What is their role. I
have a starting answer.
Fundraising would be my
For me this crisis at the
Vancouver Lesbian Connexiion
is an opportunity for mobilization. With the Reform party
gaining ground, and the Right
Wing organizing and gaining
force, there is so much work
for those on the progressive
side. We have to reorganize,
restrategize and be sure that
our centers, especially those
providing services to women.
The Vancouver Lesbian
Connexiton has existed for 12
years. It has a building. It has
core funding. It has a paid
staff person. It has an established phone number and
address in directories across
the country. It is the only
Lesbian Center in Canada. To
see it disappear would be a
disaster. To see it closed
down would be a sad and
unnecessary waste of time.
What we need to do as queer
women is mobilize, strategize
and get involved to ensure
that all the years of laying the
groundwork does not end up
in the bottom of a bureaucrats recycling box.
There will be a public meeting
on wed March 20th at
Brittania centre,room
Le. 166 i Napier
st(commercial Drive
VS. an Alternative
is published quarterly
by VS. Publications
Mailing address:
SUB Box 235,
6138 Student Union Blvd,
Vancouver, B.C.
V6T 1Z1
. Editorial Coordinator:
E. Centime Zeleke
. Production
Natasha Lana, K., Lindsey
Stephens, E.Centime Zeleke
. Contributors:
E.Centime Zeleke,
Lady Lanska,
Lindsey Stephens,
Natasha Lena,
Terra Poierier,
Annthea Whittaker,
Cruella Devilie
VS. an Alternative is a paper produced collectively by women primarily for
women that will strive to be representative of
the community we are in. Through active recruitment, we seek to have representation for
and from all different groups. Due to the nature of volunteer organizations, we recognize
the right of collective members to explore,
expose, express, inform and otherwise look
into issues they feel are of interest or otherwise relevant to our readership.
VS. an Alternative
March 1996 When
"Many of us have been
praised, honoured and
recognised for the
enormous contributions we have made to
the continued survival
of Black people in a
racist society- and
rightly so. Yet while we
appreciate the awards
and accolades we as
Black women recieve
from our coomunities,
thet do not always
compensat for the
sacrificises we routinely make on behalf
of others. The tributes
do not completely
soothe the deep
psycological wounds
we suffer beecause of
both our gender and
our race. As Barbara
Smith has noted, it is
not something we
have done that has
heaped this psychic
violence and material
abuse upon us, but the
very fact that because
of who we are, we are
multiply oppressed"
"During the slavery era
our survival often
depended on our ability to "stay mum" and
withstand the brutality
we experience every
day... In short, masking
our pain has helped us
survive in a society
that has done us great
physical and emotional
written and compiled by
E.Centime Zeleke and Kathleen.
"Many health care
professionals believe
that sisters are suffering from emotional
pain in epidemic proportions."
"The national[USA]
black women's health
project reports that
over 50% of Black
women live in emotional distress."
Excerpts from
Body and Soul: The
Black women's guide
to physical and emotional well being
cigarettes, alcohol,
prozac, cocaine,
psycological drugs,
ritalin. Are we addicted? How and why?
Are many of us continuing to smoke, eat,
pop and piss "the
man" just to survive.
Or is this about a war,
a war against us, a war
in which in which we
no longer have to die
but are in a continual
process of dying?
Physicians frequently
respond with a role-
defined view of the
world. They see sick
women's problems as
being psychoneurotic
in origin and men's
identical problems as
being related to work
pressures or due to
drug or alcohol addiction. Two-thirds of
these physician contacts result in a prescription of which one
third are for psychotropic (mood-»altering)
drugs.  Such" a "solution" is fast, and inordinately profitable for
the drug companies
which spend more
millions of dollars on
PR than any other
industry (and have
among the highest
profit rates of com-
companies listed on
the Toronto Stock
Exchange). Canadians
spend ari average
$13.5 million yearly on
antidepressants alone
(plus $20 million on
minor tranquilizers,
millions more on other
drugs). These trends
continue to dominate
the mental health
industry. While the
women's and related
movements have
resulted in the federa
government's warninc
in recent years to
doctors not to prescribe such drugs as
Valuim, drug companies have responded
with PR arguing that
mood-altering drugs
are now seriously
In western society approximately "twice as many women as men suffer from depression." Two-thirds of psychiatric
patients are women and when figures are looked at, it is revealed that women are the drugged sex:  in general drugs
are prescribed twice as often for women as for men; antidepressants are prescribed eight times as often for women
aged 20-29 as for men" of the same age group,  "women over 65 are the largest user group of tranquillizers" and- 23%
of women that age take sleeping pills . In Britain, the United States, and Canada, women are the main subjects of
electroschock treatment, psychosurgery, and psychotropic drugs.The opinion held by "traditional psychiatrists and
psychologists and people in general" in fact, regarding mental illness is that its causes are biological in nature - meaninc
women are thought to have a predisposition for. This way of thinking identifies mental illness as a problem restricted
to the individual and pretty well ignores environmental factors. While I don't dispute that some things may be a result
of something biochemical, I do not accept this as an explanation for why so many more women than men are treated
for mental illness. There is nothing inherently different between the sexes to account for such a large discrepancy, I
believe oppressive social conditions, such as poverty, violence, sexism, racism, agism, must be considered when trying
to account for the unequal numbers of women to men being treated.
March 1996
VS. an Alternative ,=Z^
(Mothering is a Women's
by Terra Poirier
When none of the "equal -
opportunity" training pro
grams provide child care that
is a women's issue. When I
can't afford a room of my own
to write in , that is a women's
issue. When I can't afford safe
comfortable housing at all ,
that is a women's issue .
Whan I am to ashamed to
ask for help because "good
mothers can handle anything",
that is a women's issue .
When I just dont have time to
express that feeling or idea on
paper because my kid wants
to know if red and pink make
yellow, and when am I going
to make dinner, that is a
women's issue . When I
suddenly have a memmory of
being sexually abused as a
child while I'm giving my kid a
bath and I get really freaked
out but I can't  "go for a walk"
or "take time out to process"
because my kid happens to be
sick that night and I still
haven't made dinner and I
have to be up for work at
6:00 A.M. tomorrow, that is a
women's issue.  When I'm too
depressed to keep livimg but I
have to anyway because my
kid needs me, that is a
women's issue.  When I simply
can't go crazy because there
are no noninstitutional treatment programs that provide
childcare, that is a women's
issue. When 1 go crazy anyway
and get hospitalized and then
my kid's father can use it to
get custody of my kid, that is
a women's issue . When the
only women who don't shy
away from my painfully need
are other single mothers
because they've "been there"
but they have the least
energy to spare, that is a
women's issue.  When I am so
depressesd and bitter that I
take it out on my child, that is
a women's issue . When
children whose mothers were
isolated and unsupported
grow up to be dysfunctional
and abusive, that is a women's
issue. When there are hardly
any mothers giving input or
being entertained at women's
events because there is no
childcare or they had no
money for admission or bus
fare or they were just too
tired to go out, that is a
women's issue. When there
are women who think ignoring
children is "women's liberation", that is a women's
issue. When all these women's
issues are never discussed in
women's culture-mmedia-art
etc., that is a womens issue.
When mothers are seen as
"not real  lesbians" and thus
excluded from lesbian culture,
that is a women's issue .
When there are never any
childrens activities at lesbian
events and spaces, that is a
women's issue.  When the
profile of a dyke is one who is
white, skinny , able-bodied,
not tired, not depressed, can
afford tharapy and Doc
Martins, and has the time and
energy for lots of radical sex,
that is a women's issue .
When the lesbians who don't
ignore or exclude me
altogether instead expound to
me the virtuousness of lesbian
mothers and say "how hard it
must be" without ever offering childcare, that is a
women's issue . When the
only time lesbian mothers are
recognised is if they are trying
to get a sperm donor or losing
custody of their kids, that is a
women's issue. When the only
time mothering issues get
brought up is when mothers
bust their asses in between
houshold chores and bedtime
stories to write embittered
exhausting pieces like this
one, that is a women's issue.
0^e  $°rf«VS    <^e_
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A Story by Lady Lanska
Three white middle-class lesbians are sitting around at their worker
owned organic food co-op, run by women and lesbians, helping raise one
other's consciousness....They don't want to dip into their inheritence too
much...One cries out, "its my money after all."
I know all this, because I was sleeping with one of them, and she
would tell me these things when she wanted to show me how she had
come a long way since she began sleeping with exotic fruit with male
Back at the lunchroom, another one talks of the children of lesbians. Especially the boys. She says their maleness interferes with her
healing processes from surviving incest. She says boys grow up to be
men and become rapists. Then, she starts to brag about her new lesbian
cock and how she likes to do her woman right with it. The other Ms.
Whatnot argues that fags are special.  But, she can't remeber that fags
are sons too, of mothers, of women, of lesbians too. These girls just
wanna have fun,  they tired of my struggles, of your struggles,  of the
struggles of your grandmothers inconveniencing their oh so radical psyches. It is bothersome to have the humility it would take to acknowlege
the deadly combination of privilege and damage.
They are at the end of their ropes. They can't take the accusations of superiority any longer. Maybe they just have to form their own
white and priviledged caucus to get support and understanding for not
But, I have to understand them, put my neck out,  and my pussy
out and get them zapped more times than I take out the garbage.  Deprivation seems normal,  fear is present, evr lingering in the bones of exile.
My shame of falling in hate with my selves is drenched with the simultaneous contempt and envy of these white sisters. No you can't even beat
it into me, I always stand up again. You would have to keep hitting until I
stop breath and all movement of life, so help me my grandmothers I'll get
up again. Your public silence is my private terror. Your desire to yearn is
my daily blind knot fisted in my throat.
I want to undermine the white,  christian, rich and male voice over
that instructs your pleasures and your histories or the lack of them.
If my cunt,  throat, tongue or sons are incorrect,  ill to you,  all the
better for I can't be licked locked in your cages or by your disgusted fist
and tongue. I am wary of your brand od decadence and SM, of your confidence and so-called friendship. I am wary of your lies and tidy language.
There is no safe place until we make one says this other white
sister dyke.  But I have received orders not to move, I tell her.
"I wish I could afford the non-desperate dreams that stir you,  but I wear
my nights as I wear my life" Audre Lourde
VS. an Alternative
March 1996 Anew focus in the
feminist movement
is being vocalized
loud and clear through the indy
music scene. Its message: Girls
Kick Ass.
The current wave of girl-
powered projects is proving that
women can rise above the
depressing stats and reject their
Victim Numero Uno role with
every mental, physical and
musical means available. The
idea is that we can help ourselves
and rock while we do it.
Free to Fight, an interactive self-
defense project put out by
independent Seatde label Candy-
Ass Records, has been one ofthe
most in-depth, radical fronts
against sexism and violence to
"This isn't one record, one
book it's over. This is one explicit
Renee of Ten Days Late at the N.Y. Theatre July 14,1995
fighting the backlash $ 9P
acknowledgment of something
that has been going on with girls
for a long time," as the first page
of the double record set's
booklet explains. "We are
making a pact to defend each
other, to verbally and physically
interrupt any kind of violence on
any level. So when we're walking
down the street
and we see
each other
we know
w e
r e
doesn't take that much money or
A&R to really get something
done," said Miko Hoffman,
program director of CiTR.
"When you get the Free to Fight
project, you know you are
supporting something worthwhile, and at the same time it is
personally rewarding."
Home Alive: The Art of Self
Defense was created by
Agnew of 7
same side.:
Women (WAVAW) held a benefit
this winter, attended by a mainly
girl audience. It featured bands
such as Gaze, Paizuli, Vico, Ten
Days Late, Wandering Lucy, as
well as spoken word by Trish
Kelly. Organized by Hoffman
and Megan Mallet of Gaze, the
show raised over $ 1100.
Hoffman   says   including
spoken word was significant,
perhaps the most  important
Created by women and girls
for women and girls, the book is
a collection of self-defense stories
from both victims and women
who help victims. Self-defense
teachers provide step-by-step
instructions on what to do when
you want to fight back. Girl
bands like The Lois, Team
Dresch, Heavens to Betsy and
The Third Sex contribute to the
album. Altogether, over 30
women were involved in the
making of the book.
Never before has a record
been so positive in its
information about girl
confidence-building and self-
defense. The best part is the
emphasis on the fact that each
individual girl or woman must
choose the best way for her to
fight back.
The Free to Fight project is "so
important, and for it to be on an
indy label makes it that much
more important. It shows that it
^^^ Agnew of 7     part of the     ^
i,   singer ^^     ■  ^M ^^^ toff€
Gretta Harley and others friends
of Mia Zapata, who was recently
murdered. They came together
and put their grief to work. The
result has been weekly self-
defense   classes,   numerous
by Namiko Kunimoto
benefit concerts and an album
featuring Exene Cervenka, Lydia
Lunch, Soundgarden—as well as
a few too many other well
established all male bands. Unlike
Free to Fight which is still radical
in its choice of including spoken
word elements like Lydia Lunch's
"Why Murder," Home Alive is a
major label product that includes
Here in Vancouver, local girl
bands are also focusing on the
fight for equality. Women
Against   Violence    Against
▼ word
helps tie
together the
emotional impact ofthe music to
the political weight ofthe issues.
It identifies the purpose of the
projects—be it a benefit, self-
defense movement or
compilation—and ensures that
the message is clear.
It's power time, girls. Grab
your guitar and be strong. Sexism
has met its match.
For more information on
feminist music, tune in to CiTR
for the following shows: Lucky
Scratch - Sundays 3:00 to
5:00pm, Mary Tyler Moore
Show - Tuesdays 4:30 to 5:00pm,
Girlfood - Wednesdays 2:00 to
3:00pm, Radio Free Women -
Thursdays 10:00 to 11:30am. To
get your eager hands on the Free
to Fight Compilation , send a
check for $11.00 US to Candy-
Ass Records, PO Box 42382,
Portland, Ore, 97242, or go to
Zulu Records in Vancouver.
& MARCH 21 FOR ONLY $15!
Tips for feminists on supporting lesbians
Heterosexual friends can afford to take a stand without facing the
same kinds of personal risks that lesbians do. Here is a list of what
feminists can do to support lesbians and fight homophobia:
1. Use the word lesbian all the time. Use it in conversations with
lesbians (helping them feel less invisible), use it in front of progressive
people (teaching them to use it) and use it in front of people who
would drop dead when they hear it (it's time they got used to the idea).
2. Work through your own feelings of attraction to other women.
Examine how you became heterosexual, since there is as much or as
little cause for another woman being lesbian. Think about making
love to another woman until the image doesn't freak you out.
3. Don't always claim heterosexual privilege by making it clear
you are straight. Try casting doubt in people's minds about your
sexual orientation once in awhile. Make it clear that it would be no
insult to mistake you for a lesbian. If people start asking you if you
are a lesbian, think of creative answers that teach people something.
4. Openly acknowledge the contribution of lesbians to feminism.
Support individual lesbians who are actively fighting for gay rights.
5. Don't assume that anyone is heterosexual. Use inclusive language
if you are asking someone whether they have any new romantic
interests. If they get offended, help them to look at why they consider
it an insult. If your friend is gay or bisexual, your choice of words to
them will be a sign that you are someone they can talk to.
6. Don't require your gay and lesbian friends behave like
heterosexuals to be accepted in your social circle or organization.
Welcome the flaming queen or butch dyke. Flamboyance is a part of
our culture and a strategy to affirm our right to be whatever we are.
7. Learn enough about heterosexism to make the connections
between the struggles of all women for independence and choices
and the struggles of lesbians. Use those insights in your political work.
(604) 280-4444
GROUPS: (604) 733-7469
subject to availability
Tuesday, March 12, 1996
The Ubyssey
11 12
The Ubyssey
Tuesday, March 12,1996 fighting the backlash <)9P
Shredding confidentiality
The Supreme Court allows sexual assault records into
by Heather Sokoloff
MONTREAL (CUP)-What does it mean
to be healthy? It's not just about a lack of
sickness, but a general state of physical and
mental well-being. With this definition, it
is not hard to see rape as a health issue.
Rape is an act of violence and hatred.
It is an infringement on a woman's physical well-being, and the threat of rape is an
infringement on her mental well-being.
But since trite and fabricated conceptions of rape continue to cloud its brutal
and degrading realities, it comes as no surprise that Canada's judicial system is confused about who to blame.
In the past decade of legal discourse,
there has been a constant debate about
whose rights should be protected: the victim's or the accused? Should the accused's
right to defend himself be protected at all
costs, even if this means jeopardizing the
victim's right to privacy?
Now, a recent decision by the Supreme
Court of Canada has pushed this debate
back to the forefront, and again raised the
question of how the courts should deal with
Records now permissible
On December 14, 1995, the Supreme
Court of Canada ruled that attorneys can
use confidential medical and counselling
records to defend their clients.
That means that defendants, including
accused rapists, need only show that such
private records could be 'relevant' to their
case for a judge to order them to be produced.
Alex Johnston, a McGill law student
who has done graduate work in women's
studies, sees the decision as a piece by
piece dismantling of the Rape Shield
Law. Passed in 1983, the law restricts the
questioning of a rape victim's sexual
history as part of the defense strategy.
Though the Supreme Court struck
down the Rape Shield Law in 1991 saying
that it infringed upon the rights of the
accused, civil rights lobbying managed
to bring it back in 1992.
But now the victim's right to privacy
may be eradicated completely.
Crisis centres tread carefully
Perhaps the most important ramification
of this ruling is its impact on sexual assault
centres and the records they keep.
Immediately after the ruling was announced, centres in Ontario and British
Columbia began shredding files containing
notes taken during interviews with clients
involved in sexual assault cases.
In fact, this process of file shredding has
been going on all year as many crises
centres had predicted such a decision.
Diane Lemieux, head of Quebec's
Sexual Assault Centres, said her group
concluded a year ago that it should prepare
for a ruling letting defendants use
counselling records in court.
The origanization told its members to
keep any potentially damaging revelations
out of their notes. "We consulted experts
and did some prevention," said Lemieux.
With the recent ruling, statements
commonly made in therapy like "I don't
know if it was really rape" or "i'm not sure
what happened," may be used by the
defendant's lawyer to try to invalidate the
victim's claims.
But such statements often stem from a
woman's reluctance to label their experience as rape.
Psychiatry professor Benjamin Sunders
is the co-author of a recent US government
study estimating the number of rapes or
attempted rapes in the US each year to be
According to him, "It's well known
among researchers that if the questioner
uses the word 'rape' instead of just physically describing forced sexual intercourse,
the number of positive responses goes
down by about 50 percent."
Who pays the price?
The Supreme Court's December ruling
has left advocates for the rights of rape
survivors reeling.
They forecast a return to an earlier era,
where women failed to report sexual assaults because the legal consequences were
so traumatic.
"For the accused to gain access to all of
that emotion-based information is another
rape in itself," said Diane Oleshiw, a lawyer for a Toronto rape crisis centre.
She predicts that rape victims may feel
they have to choose between pressing
charges and seeking counselling to deal
with post-rape trauma.
Oleshiw's reaction is echoed by other
workers in sexual assault centres, who fear
the Court's decision will de-legitimize the
woman's experience of rape to 'protect'
the rights of the defendant.
"It's a sad decision," said Anne Marie
Aitkins, a spokeswoman for the Ontario
Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, in an
Harrington stated that SACOMSS will
not be affected by this decision since the
centre offers a confidential telephone helpline system. Counsellors do not take names
or keep records.
Nonetheless, Johnston said the ruling
undermines our understanding of the notion of doctor-patient confidentiality.
She says the law also reveals that a double standard towards women is still present
"For the accused to gain access to
all of that emotion-based
information is another rape in
- Diane Oleshiw
Toronto rape crisis centre lawyer
interview with the Globe and Mail "I don't
believe that anyone really wants to see
these records-they just want to
disempower women and separate them
from their support services."
Sandra Gau, of Auberge Transition, a
Montreal shelter for female victims of
abuse, believes the police's treatment of
women is deterrent enough for those considering pressing charges.
"Once again, we are blaming the
woman. Her past medical history has nothing to do with the man. The responsibility
of the rape has to be the man. This is legislation that reinforces the fact that we are
living in a patriarchal society," she said.
Mixed reactions
Students at McGill working in the area
of sexual assault support services were also
worried by the Court's December ruling.
Referring to the implication of the ruling, Dierdre Harrington, external coordinator of the Sexual Assault Centre of
the McGill Students' Society (SACOMSS),
said "it's a scary decision, as anything can
be subpoenaed."
in the courts today. If someone claimed to
have been robbed or assaulted in the street,
she says, their credibility would never be
questioned by assessing their psychiatric
medical files.
"It's just a way for defense lawyers to
say to women, 'we know you must be crazy
because you saw a psychiatrist,'" she says.
Like other critics of the ruling, Johnston
also points out that the legislation is structured in such a way that it can only be
enforced on a case by case basis.
This means that judges are given absolute discretion in their interpretation of
when and where records can be accessed,
a fact which renders the implementation
of the legislation subject to the whims and
personalities of individual trial judges.
"I have a lot of trouble with the idea of
having judges screen cases. Most judges
who are white, middle age men may not
be able to empathize with the women's
Montreal criminal lawyer Suzanne
Costom agreed with Johnston's concern,
stating that, "The major flaw of the judicial system is that judges are human."
But unlike Johnston, Costom supports
the Court's ruling and says she thinks it is
restrictive enough to prevent abuses to the
victim while protecting the rights of the
"If the accused wants access to the
records, the defense has to be pointing to
something specific that they are looking
for. The Supreme Court does not allow for
a general fishing expedition into these
files," she says.
According to the process proposed by
Court, trial judges are to examine the counselling records in question to see whether
they pass the hurdle of probable relevance.
The trial judge must then weigh how
valuable the records are to the defense,
against the victim's right to privacy.
Lawyer Alan Gold told the Globe and
Mailthat counselling records can be a crucial aid in proving that a fragmented account by a vulnerable complainant had
been bolstered by overzealous counsellors.
Costom agrees that the decision is a
good one because it is based on the
premise that "it is better to acquit guilty
people than convict innocent ones."
But the reasons offered by Gold and
Costom in defense of the Court's ruling
suggest that some women are making their
accounts of sexual abuse up, in what some
call False Memory Syndrome (FMS).
Those who argue that FMS exists say
that sometimes therapists induce memories of sexual assault in their patients-a
claim that people working with sexual assault survivors, and survivors themselves,
According to Megan Ellis, a Vancouver
lawyer who represents many sexual abuse
survivors, "False Memory Syndrome is a
public relations coup for people who want
yet another so-called scientific theory to
buttress the age-old argument that women
who say they have been raped or sexually
abused are not credible."
As such, while some argue that private
records may be necessary in some cases,
many agree that the recent Supreme Court
decision points an accusatory finger at survivors of sexual assault and rape.
Tuesday, March 12,1996
The Ubyssey
13 Cj 9P ubyssey women's issue
Wonder women warriors:
Video games and cleavage
by Karen Chan
The female warrior with huge
pointy breasts on the video
screen unbuttons her top, smacks
her buttocks and teases a male
warrior, who has fallen down
after a fight.
This is not a sleazy joint in
New York. This is the SUB video
Shari Graydon of MediaWatch
explains that "female characters
are vastly underrepresented in
video games." Of the few women
that are represented, most are
"highly stereotyped." Although
women's liberation has come a
long way, the worth of a strong
warrior woman is still the sum of
her breasts, bum and exposed
legs. "The warriors, are dressed
in these Wonder woman suits,"
and all of them have "massive
Status even as a scantily clad
warrior is hard to come by. Most
female characters are "passive
victims," kittens up a tree
awaiting their rescue.
Eugene Provenzojr., echoes
Graydon's comment in his book,
Video Kids: Making Sense of
Nintendo. "In addition to
reflecting themes of violence and
destruction, video games have a
history of being sexist and racist."
His analysis is that women are
"often cast as individuals who are
acted upon rather than as
initiators of actions."
An extreme example is
Custer's Revenge, a home video
game reviewed by Provenzo in
his book. The player, after
successfully completing the final
round, is rewarded by watching
an officer rape a young Native
woman. The game was
eventually withdrawn from the
market, but not before a
significant number of children
had seen it.
Canadian statistics show that
one in four women will be raped
some time in their life, one in
eight before they reach the age
of eighteen. Every seventeen
minutes, a woman is raped.
These figures are horrifying and
alarming. While not all of these
abhorrent acts can be blamed on
the media, the correlation is
unquestionably there.
Young people who play video
games absorb the messages
constantly being thrown at them.
As Graydon points out, video
games are known to be addictive
and some players "tend to play
them to the exclusion of
socializing with other human
It isn't just male domination
that is fostered. From birth, girls
learn to be dominated and
passive. They also learn that to
be loved, they must be beautiful—
a definition that has now become
augmented and unrealistic.
Almost every female character
in video games bears an
exaggerated hourglass figure.
Their breasts are so large that, in
real life, they would topple over
(as Barbie would).
A quick browse through the
SUB arcade reveals that male
characters are exaggerated as
well. They are unimaginably
burly; bulging muscles and veins
are tightly bound to their
undersized frames. But the
difference between a burly man
and an hourglass woman is that
the woman's body does not serve
the supposed objective of the
games. If anything, her figure
only takes away from her
There is no good reason for a
warrior to have very large breasts
or be dressed provocatively
except that, as Provenzo writes,
"video games are designed by
males for other males." Catering
to a largely heterosexual male
audience, female characters are
tailored to be decorative and
sexually entertaining.
It is no surprise that very few
game players are female. This
may be a blessing in disguise,
since they are kept away from
this form of socialization.
But the drawback, Graydon
asserts, is "if there is one
redeeming factor about video
Jane prepares to intimidate the enemy...with her enormous breatsts?
games it's that they teach kids      of how young women  are
how to interact with computers      excluded from technology."
and   be   comfortable   with Either way, women don't win.
technology. It is another example
AMS Update -,
Be Involved, Be Informed,
Make a Difference!
harpen your management and organizational skills. Gain valuable
work experience and meet new contacts. Resumes are now being
accepted for the following AMS director positions:
New Student Orientation Program
Speakeasy Peer Counselling & Information
Student Discounts
Tutoring Services
Used Bookstore
Volunteer Services
All terms of employment begin on April 1, 1996 and extend for one year.
Preference will be made for returning UBC students.
Remuneration is on a commission or salary basis depending on the position. Salaries range from $5,000 - $12,000 pending final AMS student
council approval.  Assistant Director positions are also available.  All candidates who are not selected for Directorships will be automatically considered for the Assistant positions.
For additional information, please see the )oblink board, go to SUB
Room 238 to pick up a full job description or contact the AMS Vice-
President, Lica Chui at 822-3092 (SUB 248).
The deadline for receiving resumes is Monday, March 25th at 4:30pm in
SUB Room 238.   Please address all cover letters to Chair, Services and
Appointment Advisory Committee.
Paul Watson
Tuesday, March 12th, 1996
12:30 pm
SUB Auditorium
Absolutely Free !
Since 1971, Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation
Society has been using direct action, confrontational tactics to
enforce the protection of marine wildlife on the high seas.   From
ramming and sinking whaling vessels to destroying illegal drilt nets,
Paul Watson is renowned as a dramatic, controversial
and uncompromising eco-warrior.
For more information, please contact the Student
Environment Centre at 822-8678.
-' V;W
The Alma Mater Society is seeking YOUR input to improve AMS
Student Services, AMS Businesses, SUB Renovations, communications, academics, university policy — absolutely anything!
Email the AMS your views, news, suggestions, comments, questions, etc. to <feedback@ams.ubc.ca>.   Specific questions and comments will be directed to the appropriate university and/or AMS
department for action and a response.  All feedback will be published on a bulletin board beside Pie-R-Squared (south side of SUB).
Your email address will NOT be published nor released to other
parties, unless specified.
<feedback@ams.ubc.ca> is maintained by the Communications
Working Group.   If you're interested in improving communications
on campus, please contact Faye Samson, AMS Communications
Coordinator, at 822-1961, email <comco@ams.ubc.ca> or drop by
SUB 266H.
Also check out the AMS HomePage at:   http://www.ams.ubc.ca
Prepared by your student society
The Ubyssey
Tuesday, March 12, 1996 fighting the backlash ^?P
Grrls go on-line
by Sam Ladner
The Internet, like the rest ofthe
world, is generally a realm
dominated by the white male,
specifically by homo geekus on-
Well, hold on, netters because
a new, improved, web-blastin',
fire-breathin' cyberhorse of a
different colour is coming. It's
webgrrl—the net's answer for the
'90s woman.
Webgrrl is about freewheelin',
graphic-pumpin', gloriously self-
indulgent self-expression. If being
a grrl is about reclaiming the time
you thrust your chin out defiantly,
the time you proudly displayed
your skinned knees, the time you
said and did whatever the hell
you wanted, then being a webgrrl
is just that, to the power of ten.
Imagine proclaiming your
grrlness at the top of your lungs
to a room filled with millions of
people. Welcome to the world of
the webgrrl.
For those of you unfamiliar
with the 'net, a webgrrl is a
woman interested and involved
in the Internet. Also known as a
"netchick," she expresses herself
as all grrls do, in whatever way
she damn well pleases. This can
take the form of personal "home
pages" or sites on the World Wide
Web. These sites are a friendly
beacon to women in the chilly
climate of cyberspace.
When you ride with a webgrrl
be prepared to see the technical,
user-unfriendly Web in a totally
different light. It is the only place
on the earth today where women
can write, draw, talk and scream
about whatever enters their
You want to publish your
poetry but no publisher will let
sprouting up everywhere and
have become groups for women
to gather, share and reclaim their
grrlhood, all with a focus on the
net. The nearest organization is
located (she says proudly) in my
home town of Sechelt, BC, and
helps women learn about the
Internet and computers in
general. Located in the local
Women's Centre, Sunshine Coast
Webgrrls isn't just about surfin'
the net anymore. By necessity, it
is interconnecting with the local
women's organizations.
And the key to webgrrl
publishing, as Carla Sinclair tells
us in her book "Netchick", is to
getconnected. This means
networking, in the passe sense of
the word. Webgrrls are spreading
the news about domestic
violence, breast cancer, coming
out, women in sports and every
other issue that concerns women.
So besides being a fabulously free
forum for self-expression, the net
helps women get together and get
Even though it's sometimes
easy to forget in our privileged
Western society, most women in
the world lack a real voice. The
extension of the Internet into the
rest of the world will allow us to
connect and organize with our
sisters on a world-wide level.
Imagine the potential of a net-
savvy, cohesive, internationally-
wired women's movement. Move
over Bill Gates, webgrrls ofthe world
Sam Ladner can be reached at:
you in the door? You want to
write an article on your horrible
experiences in an Algerian hostel,
but the travel guides couldn't care
less? You want to send the
message out about your
organization's new centre but
don't have the money for an
advertising blitz? You want to rant
about nothing in particular but
you're overdue on last month's
therapist bills? Slap it on the Web
and join your sisters in a
collectivegrrrrr. That's
But being a webgrrl isn't just
about baring your soul to the
universe, it's also about helping
your cyber-challenged sisters.
The main webgrrl site
(URL*http://www. webgrrls.
com/) is the best place to start if
you are a woman, new to the net
and hoping to get involved.
Several local Webgrrl organizations are listed where you can
(gasp!) actually/a/A: to other
webgrrls about getting connected,
publishing your own page or
even about training. And get this,
there is even talk about advocacy.
Webgrrl's "Joborama" is
probably the best place to find a
job in the Internet industry.
Webgrrl organizations are
Webgrrl Sites of Interest
http//www.cybergrrl.com/   Cybergrrl
http://www.blarg.net/ ~ firegirl/webgrrl.htm
http://www.webgrrls.com/   Webgrrls Unite!
http://www.webgrrls.com/uk UK Webgrrls
Uniform Resource Locator, an address for the WebSite. Simply
type this address in the blank space next to "location" on
your web browser (e.g. Netscape, Mosaic, etc.) and press
enter. Your browser will take you directly to this site.
Your Future in
Professional Accounting
BCIT's two-year program in Financial Management
will fast-track you into a career in professional
If you have a University Degree in ANY field you
may be eligible for direct entry into the 2nd year of
Financial Management.
For future information please contact:
Margaret Briscall
Associate Dean
Finahcial Management
Tel: (604) 432-8898
If the romance ends where your acne begins, it's time to
take serious action. Your dermatologist has treatment
programs designed for even the worst acne conditions.
See your dermatologist today, or call I 800 470 ACNE
for free information about available treatments.
Tuesday, March 12,1996
The Ubyssey
15 9 9 9 ubyssey women's issue
8"wn Feminist Terrorist Speafe
and free, we shall
_._,.. ^. uiu. oi„ .,mo uook in my hand. It tells ofthe
conquering of your land. In this world, you must know that we
celebrate the victory of the white man d~   ■
forever stand.
Third World Woman, you still live in the past. Your traditions
possibly last. Your people still walk with bare feet. You can never go
forward no matter how great a leap. We brought you civilization and
taught you how to form a nation. With'"1-4- ■ •"
(A/- ' "" so hard to see?
can not
Wo* Woman, ^^ ^ »• ^^'Z^L
Old White Man, I won't apologize for being rude 'cause what you're
saying is damn crude. My history was not shaped by your victory. My
people fought for the land you stole, not bought. Our cultures are
alive to this day. Something you could never take away. And we are
not all the same as you so arrogantly claim. Old White Man, stop
telling me how to be. Take a closer look at your Western democracy.
You incarcerate those whom you fear will make reality all too clear.
Interfere. Exploit. Conquer. Control. Invade. All these words you have
made. So your power will stay day after day after day. The book in
your hand is just another way to command. You try to brush me off as
you listen to my words and scoff. Just another obnoxious brown bitch
trying to put you down. But look at the real fool admiring his PhD like
■— *~«i Vah vou may rule these academic halls. But you
a pre-clous tool. ^ V» ™^^ respec,s to your awe-inspiring
ISX-" * ^s ius*hatred and i9norance'
So, Old White Man, don't think your oppression means my
suppression. I'll scream loud. Won't shut my mouth. One day, I just
may rule these halls and you'll be running frantically, holding onto your
A Lovely Day For Sailing
—by Lisa Michelle Freeman
As if you feel that you can love
and feel a beating heart
And know that it is real
and did not need you to start.
You seem to think you feel
and know what's right for me
And act accordingly to that
without pausing to see.
Why is it that you assume
I live to see you smile
And only move my shadow
to please your shocking guile?
Whatever would you do
if I merely took a step?
Would you tie me as a dog
to a stake until I wept?
You've kept me this whole time
like a loyal pet-
Are my human tendencies
really such a threat?
I will only warn you once
I refuse to even bark
But if you doubt my bite
You best not fear the dark.
—by Karen B. K. Chan
Woman, why
do you torture your hair
caking with gels
scorching with hot irons
staining with slops of dye
picking and pulling and yanking
constantly on guard for split-ends
Woman, why
do you hide your face
covering with powder
that suffocate your pores
plastering with paint
encasing in muddy chalk
whitewashing and smudging and blotching
drenching your lips in pasty gloss
constantly on guard for lipstick on your teeth
Woman, why
do you mask your natural scents
cloaking your soft womanly redolence
with artificial emulsions
bought at the drugstore
ashamed of the delicate smells
that pronounce your humanhood
dabbing and spraying and misting
constantly on guard to disguise perspiration
and other offensive odours
making sure that you smell just the\»ay he likes it
Woman, why
do you trap your body
in corsets and form-fitting prisons
sucking your breath to fit into a size six
cursing the very structure that houses your mind and soul
squeezing and cinching and strangling
constantly on guard for every inch you gain
a slave to the measuring tape
Woman, why
do you force yourself into pinching high-heels
pushing all of your weight onto the tips of your feet
swaying feebly as Man strides by
journeying on your tiptoes during day
massaging sore and tender feet during night
constantly on guard for sewage drains and pot holes
Woman, why
do you cut yourself open
to tug your face in different directions
to stuff your chest with bags of jelly
to drain fat and nerves from your buttocks and your belly
do you disguise yourself
you were born beautiful
Residual Dreams
—by Michelle Sturiey
want to
warn to escape into the forest
And now that I am thinking-
why am I still here?
Do I really believe
that you will suddenly hear?
I will remind you that
you held my head beneath the tide
I warn you to watch your back
or I'll pull you over the side.
Climb out of my attic window
And soar with the wind
release myself
I want to crawl through the earth
Smell sweet sticky dirt under my candy nails
Hear my heartbeat alert r~
Forgotten instincts
Carved repeatedly out
Of my mother
Just a few small snips to
Her body pifed
,n my psyche
And while I'm on the subject,
whatever were you thinking-
Did you think I'd grab your arm I'll tie a weight to your ankles
whenever I was sinking? and revel in your screams,
I'll smile with sheer triumph-
I've learned to reach my dreams!
i ne remains of a thousand deaths
Weigh heavy on my small form
Stretched out on the earth
Like a child unborn
For the roots of my mother
To pierce my flesh
And purge the pain in her eternal strength
The Ubyssey
Tuesday, March 12,1996


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