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Houston Breakthrough 1977-09
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Houston Breakthrough 1977-09 - Page 2. September 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 19, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3036/show/3013.

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.

(September 1977). Houston Breakthrough 1977-09 - Page 2. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3036/show/3013

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.

Houston Breakthrough 1977-09 - Page 2, September 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 19, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3036/show/3013.

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 Houston Breakthrough 1977-09
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date September 1977
Description Vol. 2 No. 8
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 25 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~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 2
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_531b.jpg
Transcript Texas: dumping ground for sexist texts "Who is Miss Josie?" "She's Miss Cunningham," Mary told him. "Judge Cunningham, really. But everyone calls her Miss Josie. She handles all the juvenile cases." McGraw Hill, Focus, p. 40 Should you or shouldn't you change your hair color? (p. 18) Wear fresh lingerie always, (p. 23) McGraw Hill, Applied Secretarial Procedures Synonyms for "woman": Lady, broad, dame, chick, hen. Silver Burdett, Contemporary English Frameworks, p. 267 Excerpts from texts submitted for adoption this year By Gabrielle Cosgriff Texas is becoming a dumping ground for sexist textbooks, warns the Texas NOW Task Force on Sexism in Education. "The State Board of Education has backtracked," says Marge Randal, task force coordinator. "Since they have backed off from the guidelines of two years ago, we are seeing books up for adoption in Texas that other states would automatically reject." Those guidelines said, in part, that textbooks should present roles "including women in leadership and other positive roles with which they are not traditionally identified." That requirement has been deleted from the present guidelines. Roger Moore, formerly a representative for Holt, Rinehart and Winston, said he agrees with the "dumping ground" allegation, but only in the sense that state policy demands it. "Texas has very conservative textbook adoption committee members," said Moore in an interview with the Austin American- Stateman. "The publishers are much more liberal." He explained that last year Holt had agreed to make changes in a book at the request of feminists, even though he claims it costs publishers $40,000 a line to change textbooks. "We were ready to go. We had the type set. Well, the word came down from the State Board of Education, in their redneck posture, that they sure as hell weren't going to do that." Textbooks are a multi-million dollar business in Texas and will cost the state more than $31 million this vear. So publishers have a lot to gain by selling their wares. They spend all year wining and dining the members of the textbook committee and turn up in force for the August hearings in Austin. This year was no exception. The Texas Education Agency's hearing rooms were packed with witnesses and publishers' representatives; For the fifth consecutive year, the Texas NOW Task Force on Sexism in Textbooks was there. They had spent several months preparing for this one opportunity to persuade the committee to reject sexist textbooks. Some 100 individuals had filed more than 130 written objections (bills of particulars) to proposed textbooks. Writing a bill of particulars is the first step in the adoption process. Objections must be specific and a reviewer may not praise the book. Only negative criticism is allowed. The publisher is then obliged to respond just as specifically to the objections. In August, reviewers may testify before the adoption committee of TEA. The committee then meets again in September to recommend books, V cut X up to five in each subject, to the State Board of Education. The board adopts books in November and sends the list of approved texts to local school districts for use in selecting classroom textbooks. The first witnesses for the task force were five expert witnesses, three of them professors, one a linguistics consultant and one an economics consultant. They testified on the influence of stereotyped sex roles, the economic impact of sexism, the linguistic mechanisms of sexism and on the validity of the system of content analysis used by the task force to enumerate instances of sexism. • Twenty-nine women and men then testified on specific texts. "If one were reading this book and knew nothing about the American economy or American life," said Dr. Nikki Van Hightower of Lufkin's Economics and' Freedom, "one could only assume that females were totally irrelevant to both." "One of the most sexist cases I have ever seen," said Rema Lou Brown of Delmar's Small Business Management. "The 'old boys' network' that keeps women out of top jobs starts when students are exposed to textbooks like these." Time was rigidly controlled. A large clock was projected on the screen in front of the room and an official timekeeper was in attendance. The efficiency of the NOW witnesses elicited a compliment from Robert Montgomery, chairman of the committee: "Ms. Butler, your presenters are very well organized," he told coordinator Twiss Butler. "You have had more than 30 presenters and five expert witnesses and you've given us back three minutes of your allotted time." "Three and a half," Butler corrected. "I can't entirely thank the agency for providing us with this challenge, but I'm glad we met it." While feminists were testifying before half of the textbook committee, other witnesses were testifying before the other half. "Eating babies is not funny," said Norma Gabler of Long view, in her 17th annual appearance. She was moved almost to tears as she protested Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal," a satire which suggests that one way of dealing with overpopulation and food shortages would be to breed Irish infants as delicacies for gentlemen's tables. Mrs. R. C. Bearden,Jr. of San Angelo, representing the Texas Daughters of the American Revolution, spent several hours objecting to various texts. She was particularly incensed by Introductory Biology published by John Wiley and Sons. "It should be kept out of Texas high schools," she said, because of its detailed discussion of birth control. "What about abstinence? This is not biology. This is a lesson on birth control," said Bearden. For whatever reason, members of the media who covered the hearings seemed more attracted to the Gabler/Bearden objections than to charges of sexism. The Houston papers gave approximately twice as much coverage to them as they gave to the feminists. KPRC-TV, the only Houston station with an Austin correspondent, did one newscast on testifiers, mentioning the word "feminist" in the lead-in, but devoting the body of the story to interviews with Gabler and Bearden. The Austin American-Statesman's Jane Daugherty provided the most balanced, detailed reporting on the hearings. While the outcome of this year's hearings will not be known until November, it is apparent from the textbooks currently in use in our public schools that sexist texts are still very much in evidence. Spring Branch high schools are studying Harcourt Brace, Jovano- vich's Men and Nations: A World History. In its 877 pages, one paragraph is devoted to Queen Elizabeth I, called "one of the greatest of English rulers." This contrasts with Five pages given to Emperor Napoleon III, described in the book as "the greatest unrecognized mediocrity in Europe." Ninety-six percent of the names listed in the index are male, four percent are female. Male pronouns are used 3,337 times, female pronouns 113 times. Women are only conspicuous in this history book by their absence. No mention is made of Mary Wollstonecraft, Abigail Adams, Jane Austen, Sojourner Truth, Margaret Sanger, Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Mier, Elizabeth II and all the women who have fought for equal rights with men in this country. One paragraph is given to women in the British suffrage movement. This book will be studied until 1981. Rand McNally's Word Book Spelling Program is currently in use in the Katy ISD. The junior high level textbook has only one illustration which shows a female working in other than a domestic setting — a woman and a man tilling the soil. It illustrates a story on "some early man who discovered that plants grow from seeds." The first story in the book begins "Our Boy Scout troop has been learning about the inside of the earth as well as about outer space." The second story in the book begins "During this past month, the Girl Scouts had a party project. First they made pretty aprons from large, strong paper napkins and bright ribbons. Next, they made delicious cookies." This book will be in use until 1982. All schools in Texas must display their textbooks for public inspection at some time during the school year. They are obliged to post notices to this effect. Individual school districts may choose from the three to five texts in each subject adopted by the state, which of these will be used in their own district. I ! i j^rrm^ f * can i The Task Force on Sexism In Education intends to be present at the hearings again next year and for as long as they feel it necessary. "When publishers have to write a response to a bill, they have to think about the objections raised," says Butler. " "This raises their consciousness. "While individual sexist pictures or statements may seem harmless, their cumulative effect delivers to students a distorted message of male dominance. Since wholesome human relationships depend on mutual respect, both girls and boys are harmed by textbooks that teach that one sex is superior to the other." ^Illustrations from J. B. Lippincott'sTo Read, Write, and Listen, currently in use in all H.I.S.D. kindergartens. HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH SEPTEMBER 1977 PAGE 1