ICall: 222-5411 City of Houston Fair Housing Division
A comprehensive listing of
Houston area businesses which
are managed by women or at
least 50% owned by women.
Listings are now being gathered and verified. If you
would like to be contacted, fill
out the form below and mail.
Or jot down someone you
know, and we'll contact her.
There is no charge to be listed.
Thanks to continuing support
from the women of Houston,
we anticipate publishing the
guide in the near future.
Watch for the announcement
in your local feminist media.
Name of Woman
Air conditioning repairpersons
Child guidance counselors
Doughnu t makers
Family Relations counselors
Name of Business..
Type of Business-
Address of Business
Business (or home) Phone
^ Mail to: 1531 Maryland, No. 4
O Houston, Texas 77006
Texas targeted for texts
By Marjorie Randal
Two little boys and a man
fish from a motorboat. A small
girl wearing a ruffled nightie
stares wistfully alone at a window. A woman uses a magnifier
to apply make-up. A man uses
one in an experiment.
Enter the world of Texas
schoolbooks. It is a world where
men and boys move, create, fix,
work and achieve. But women
and girls watch, wait, seek help
Texas may be the most important state in a national fight
to rid children's texts of this insidious view of "the way it's
spozed to be." That's because
Texas is one of only about a
dozen states to adopt a list of
approved public school texts at
the state level. And since it is
one of the most populous states,
Texas is a pretty big schoolbook
So what goes on at Texas
Education Agency (TEA) hearings like the one set for August
16—18 in Austin is very important to the big publishing
houses. Failing to get a third
grade arithmetic text approved
in Austin can have more impact
on a New York publisher than
anything any reviewer could ever
Sexism in American textbooks is rampant. We all looked
at these books for years, but few
of us could see that. As youngsters we read of male characters
doing practically everything that
was successful, fun, or even interesting. Maybe we thought
that women and girls would have
their turn on another page. But
page after page, book after
book, year after year, we never
got our turn.
Joy Senter of Friendswood,
a collector of old textbooks,
wrote an article last year detailing her findings that the frequency of male representation
and pre-empting of active roles
has increased from the 1940's.
Only recently has the trend
started to reverse with the rising
consciousness of sexism generally.
Since the early 1970's,
feminists have been publishing
studies of sexism in teaching and
library materials and lists of non-
sexist books for kids. Texas has
been the scene of increasing activity in reviewing of texts for
sexual bias during the past five
Texas has maintained a
long-standing process for citizen
input into textbook selection.
The TEA requires each publisher
who submits a book for adoption to put a copy in each of
20 cities around the state for
public inspection. In TEA jargon, a person "protests" a
book's adoption by filing a "bill
of particulars" by a certain date.
The publisher must then respond
in writing to each bill. Finally,
the TEA conducts hearings before the State Textbook Selection Committee-15 teachers,
most of whom were appointed
for their honor, not their expertise.
Texas feminists first testified before the TEA on
the level of sexism in
textbooks in 1972.
After the committee makes
its selections, the individual
school districts make their
choices of specific titles. Any
books a district wants which are
not on the list must be bought
with local funds.
Texas feminists first took
advantage of this input procedure in 1972. Women including
Kay Why burn of Houston wrote
bills of particulars on American
history texts. The next year,
some 25 women and a handful
of men from Houston, Dallas,
San Antonio and Austin wrote
bills. And nine testified at the
By 1974, a "Continuing
Task Force on Education for
Women" had been formed by
some Houston area members of
NOW. Some 150 persons wrote
more than 400 bills, and 24 per
sons testified. It was a big year
for textbook adoption-more
than 700 items.
But 1974 was also the year
Linda Eichblatt opened her
newspaper one December morning to discover that she was
named a defendant in a $30
million suit by Economy Publishers of Oklahoma City.
Economy alleged Eichblatt conspired with a member of the
Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and an independent witness to criticize the publisher's books for too much
violence. The brief said that
Economy's suit had nothing to
do with their criticism of sexism.
Four months later, Economy
dropped their suit but only after
attempting and failing to get defendants to agree not to counter-
Last year, the Task Force
first presented college professors
as "expert witnesses"-lucky tactical development, since the publishers also first introduced their
Last year, a significant reduction could be seen in the
level of sexism in the books up
for adoption. By then, three of
the big publishing houses-Holt,
Rinehart and Winston, McGraw-
Hill and Scott, Foresman-had
issued guidelines on reducing
sexism in their products. But
some firms were still sorely lagging on making revisions due to
the sizable expense.
This year some 275 books
are up for adoption. They cover
several high school subjects, languages, dictionaries and one
category labeled "fundamentals
of the free enterprise system."
NOW has again co-ordinated
a comprehensive review of the
list, this time with 133 persons
filing 277 bills, by July 9. Some
reviewers found their books non-
sexist and did not write bills.
Others discovered new permutations of sexism.
There are some publishers
being criticized for the first time
this year. It is hard to predict
the flavor of the coming hearing.
But NOW will be prepared. Its
Task Force will rendezvous in
Austin the night before the
opening to map strategy.