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Breakthrough 1976-01
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Breakthrough 1976-01 - Page 5. January 1976. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 17, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/303/show/291.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(January 1976). Breakthrough 1976-01 - Page 5. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/303/show/291

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Breakthrough 1976-01 - Page 5, January 1976, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 17, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/303/show/291.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Breakthrough 1976-01
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date January 1976
Description Vol. 1 No. 1
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 16 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332726~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 5
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_513e.jpg
Transcript Power—tool or weapon? Aileen Hernandez has said she feels like a senior stateswoman in the movement. I would describe myself differently. I'm a "VFR" - a Veteran of the Feminist Revolution. I hope it will never be necessary for any of us to describe ourselves as DVFR's - Disabled Veterans of the Feminist Revolution. Many of you know already that in the last year or so I have become increasingly preoccupied with concepts of power, its uses by the movement internally and externally, and the effects of all this on women. Simultaneously, it may or may not be worth noting, I have withdrawn from any position of power within the movement. I'm not sure what conclusion should be drawn from this, though maybe as I exercised it, I had the sudden realization that we were all playing around with what could be a deadly weapon if we turned it upon ourselves. I think we need to recognize, however, that power corrupts only the corruptible, who mistake it for an end in itself, instead of a tool to accomplish our goals. In Houston we elected Karen DeCrow our national president on a platform that commits us not just to get women into the mainstream of American life, but to change the very nature of that mainstream itself. I think what we are saying is that to achieve equality in a society that is fundamentally corrupt, compassionless, dehumanizing, and destructive is to stop short of realizing our own full potential for social change. I believe most of us have aspirations that go beyond. For the one equality women all over the world have already achieved is the Equality of Consequences. No inventory of the major challenges and crises of our times discloses any from whose effects women will be exempt by virtue of our sex. If "the boys" decide to have a nuclear exchange, it will do us no good to run outside waving our arms at *>" oncoming missile or looming mushroom cloud yelling, "Skip me-I'm a woman!" We know that poverty in this country is primarily the problem of all women-that most women are only a husband away from welfare. In the face of inflation (when we are paid 40 percent less than men), in the face of unemployment (when the rate is already 35 percent higher for women than men), with the prospect of recession or depression (when we know that like minority men, having been the last hired, we'll be the first to go), with energy shortages and soaring corporate profits (from which we-in our bottom-of-the- barrel positions-derive no benefits), with the threat of world-wide famine, while chicken and cattle are destroyed and milk is dumped, with the rape and poDution of the public environment, isn't it time to get in on the act, to make some of the decisions ourselves, to push for changes in this bizarre social order? Nothing we could do could possibly be any worse or more inept than what we see being done! We undoubtedly have to do a lot of heavy thinking about the design of a new mainstream and a lot more organizing to have power enough to press it into place. But I see the feminist movement as the only viable movement for social change left alive and flourishing in this country. And it has always been the only one that intended to exclude no one genuinely committed to our goals for membership and participation- not by race, ethnic origin, social or economic class, religion or sex. As an organization, NOW has no commitment to any "Ism" of the radical left or radical right- we have fended off all attempts to subvert us to so-called higher causes that will, as a by-product, solve our problems. With Aileen, I believe that all of the social issues of our time are feminist issues and that we ignore them to our peril. To implement the resolutions still on our agenda, we must make plans with full awareness of the social context in which we are operating. National problems like inflation, recession, the threat of depression jeopardize everything we have accomplished so far, and everything we have still to do in the future. A national depression would have a backlash effect on the women's movement that could set us back fifty or a hundred years. When budgets get tight in government agencies, corporations, educational in- stitutions-who's the first to go? The resistance to establishing child care cents, to implementing Title DC Guidelines, to adopting new credit policies for women stiffens and multiplies. If it's been tough raising money for our causes and candidates in these affluent years, what do you think our chances will be in lean ones? A collapsing stock market has already caused the Ford Foundation to consider cutting it's grants program in half- before we even tapped their till. As a speaker at the California NOW State Conference in October. 1973, I had said: "When we speak about redesigning society, we should be honest enough to confront the fact that such charity should begin at home. If we really intend to create a society genuinely different in quality from our present one. If we really intend to exercise power in new ways, we should begin within our own organization. The sudden acquisition of power by those who have never had it before can be intoxicating and we run the risk of becoming absorbed in petty power games that in the last analysis can only be self defeating. And sadly, the first impulse to some of us entrusted with this new power is to imitate the way we've seen men use it. We have to use the power we have within NOW in our relationships with each other, individually and structurally, in new ways. We must begin with each other to restore to power a necessary humanitarian discipline. I believe the state level of NOW is the most important level for organizational activities at this stage of our efforts. We need to commit ourselves to doubling the number of chapters in every state-every year. With or without the right to endorse political candidates, we need to become so pervasive in every state that we can build the discomfort of all candidates until they are responsive to our needs. We need to become an itch they can never quite scratch enough. With this kind of organization, we can proceed to build coalitions not only with all the dispossessed in our society-the women, minorities, the poor, the aged,-but also with the disen- chanted-those members of the middle class of our society who have in the past been manipulated into anger toward those below them on the~ economic ladder. Their anger and hostility should be redirected upward to the top 1 percent who should be carrying far more of the economic burdens of this society than they now do. By TONI CARABILLO. Reprinted with permission of electric circle. ON POWER ''Powerlessness is more corrupting than power. I hope power will change women and give them a sense of worth so they can fight the establishment and not each other." Flo Kennedy Bump a sticker Before feminists took up the issue of rape it was a sex-linked offense in the minds of the public and the courts. Today, the mere suggestion that a woman takes pleasure during an act of violence with her life at stake is sick. Yet, in early December,a novelty store in Memorial City displayed and sold a bumper sticker reading: HELP STAMP OUT RAPE—SAY YES. Gay Cosgriff, a member of Northwest NOW, discovered the floures- cent red-on-black item while shopping for a Christmas gift. She complained of its offensive- ness to the owner of the store in light of the recent rape-murders of eight Houston women, one of which occurred less than a mile from Memorial City. "Nothing doing, lady. We'd be out of business if we took things off our shelf because one person found something wrong with it," the owner said. Cosgriff called her Northwest NOW sisters and Linda Cryer, the city's rape expert. An action wasj)lanned. The media were called. "My intent was not only to remove the bumper sticker from this particular store but also to alert other shopkeepers who may unknowingly have bought this bumper sticker in a large lot. I also wanted to raise public awareness so that consumers would take the same action I did," Cosgriff said. On Friday Morning Dec.5th,three television stations and several radio stations were asked to meet the Northwest NOW members at the Memorial City store. "I was going to repeat my request to the owner. . . but this time—in the presence of cameras and tape recorders ,'' Cosgriff replied. The action was planned for 1 p.m. KILT Radio ran a newscast on the hour reporting the planned action. By. coincidence, the storeowner heard the broadcast and removed the bumper stickers. When Susan Wright of KPRC-TV, Nancy Carney of KHOU-TV and George Hatt of KXYZ Radio arrived in the company of the feminists moments later, the owner told them he had stopped selling the bumper sticker. ' 'Considering what's been happening in the news recently," he said, "I agree with them . . ."He added that he removed it after "a lady complained." Linda Cryer reacted by saying, ' 'The bumper sticker is a very careless statement. It sanctions by implication the crime of rape in our society without taking into account the brutality, humiliation, terror and disgust a rape victim goes through." "We are not through," says Cosgriff. ' 'Our next step is to get the manufacturer. Modern Card Company, to stop printing and distributing this particular stock item." "The media helped us bring it to public attention. We hope we will have public support," Cosgriff concluded. HBP STAMP OUT RAPE SAY YES