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Houston Breakthrough, February 1980
Page 7
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Houston Breakthrough, February 1980 - Page 7. February 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 19, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/371/show/347.

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.

(February 1980). Houston Breakthrough, February 1980 - Page 7. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/371/show/347

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, February 1980 - Page 7, February 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 19, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/371/show/347.

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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Title Houston Breakthrough, February 1980
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date February 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Texas
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 32 page periodical
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location Call # HQ1101.B74
Original Item URL 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 UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 7
File name femin_201109_557ag.jpg
Transcript Eleanor Tinsley, councilwoman-elect in front of 8th floor council offices in City Hall. You are where you sit BY MARIANITA PADDOCK 'The people who write those best sellers about power and status in organizations would have a field day watching the Houston City Council begin its new life as a 9-5 system." That's what Susan Wright, host for Friday Local on Channel 8, had to say about city council's first meeting for 1980. Indeed, last month's debate over Councilwoman Eleanor Tinsley's office space would fit perfectly into Jane Trahey's Women & Power. You are where you sit, says Trahey. Last November, Tinsley defeated 20- year incumbent Frank Mann for the at- large position two seat. Tinsley assumed that she would occupy Mann's office, on the eighth floor. Tinsley and the other councilmem- bers were sworn in on January 2. At the meeting that day, she proposed that the five at-large councilmembers as well as the two senior district members, remain on the eighth floor. The seven remaining district councilmembers would move in on the ninth floor. Tinsley felt that there were several advantages to this Marianita Paddock is a free-lance writer, and a journalism graduate from Texas A&M University. She works for a local company in public relations. kind of move. "It seemed to me that to put seven people on each of two floors would give the at-large members the protocol rights of running a city-wide race, because they all have the same constituency. It protected the seniority rights of the two remaining district councilmen, Larry McKaskle and Frank Mancuso, who would stay where they were or move to another office on that floor." Originally, Tinsley had started a petition supporting her stand for an eighth floor office. Lance Lalor, District C councilmember, was the first one to sign it. So did four other members, said Tinsley. She also had verbal support from Anthony Hall and Christ- in Hartung. She had seven votes and needed one more, at which point she said, "I didn't pursue the petition any further." A week later (January 9), the proposal was defeated 9-6, which included Mayor McConn's vote against her. Tinsley is now the only at-large member on the ninth floor. Before the council meeting where her proposal was defeated, Tinsley had spoken with Mayor McConn. At that time he stated that he supported her position. The next day, McConn told Tinsley that he couldn't vote on the issue. "He had had a lot of pressure from the old council and said that he was going to 'unmeddle' in council business," Tinsley said. "I talked to him two or three times about it and the last thing he said was 'I'm going to the bathroom when it comes up. I'm not going to vote.' " Tinsley wasn't totally surprised when her proposal was defeated. She was surprised at the count—9-6. "I thought I would lose, but with seven votes," she said. "I thought it would be a 7-7 tie with the mayor walking out." The mayor, the six incumbents and new councilmembers Lalor and John Goodner all voted against her proposal. However, Ben Reyes, councilmember, District I, said voting for Tinsley's proposal was the "only fair and practical thing to do. Most of the city council people were in at-large positions, and certainly there is a difference between at-large and district, and I felt she should be there (eighth floor)," he added. When Lalor was asked why he signed the petition and then voted against the proposal, he said, "I told her that although I disagreed with the petition, I'd be glad to sign it and help her get an eighth floor office . . . "Subsequently I told her I'd be glad to have her on the eighth floor, but I thought both the petition and the motion she made in council were both dead wrong and I wouldn't support them. "Lalor took issue with Tinsley's coun cil motion for two reasons. "It said that all the at-large councilmen (sic) are different from the district councilmen (sic) and, therefore, ought to be officed on the same floor. Second, we should turn this all over to the mayor and have him choose. "I don't believe the at-large people or Eleanor Tinsley are better than everybody else and deserve special treatment," said Lalor." "My point from the beginning," said Tinsley, "was that a normal procedure for any governmental unit is for all of those who represent the same area to be housed together." (A fire marshal found in December that the eighth floor could safely house only six offices- there are six incumbents. The ninth floor was not surveyed. "Politics," said Tins- ley. Although her proposal was defeated, Tinsley feels she won in other ways. "Standing up on an issue that didn't affect the public said something to a lot of people—to fellow councilmen (sic) and to other women who've been through similar experiences of discrimination and to many minorities. "Minorities have experienced paying the same fare and yet being told to go to the back of the bus. And that's essentially what happened to me because I paid the fare of running at-large and was told to go upstairs." Battering is a household word BY SANDY LONG Domestic violence has come of age as an issue. That was the message at a conference on "Family Violence: Action for the '80's" sponsored by the Houston Area Women's Center in January. About 250 workers in the field from a five-state region gathered to hear speakers and attend workshops during the conference. "Studying domestic violence is an evolutionary process but we're moving at revolutionary speed," declared Kathy Fojtik, executive director of the technical assistance centers on family violence. "One year ago there were about half a dozen shelters for abused women. Today there are 392." "We've come a long way in our willingness to confront the problem of family violence," said Barbara Star, an associate professor of social work at the University of Southern California. "Ten years ago it wasn't an issue at all. We now recognize that the violence of the '80's will include child abuse, spouse abuse, and sexual abuse as well as parent battering by teenage children and 'granny bashing' where adults batter their elderly parents. "There's usually an inappropriate role structure within the violent family. Children ofien gain power when they are too young to handle it. It is a matter of the weak wielding power over the weaker. And the children who grow up in violent families repeat the cycle." Experts estimate that 70 percent of batterers experienced abuse as a child or saw their parents abuse one another. Diane Hamlin of the Center for Women's Policy Studies said that a recent study in Washington, D.C., showed that much arson is the result of domestic violence. "Everybody has always thought that insurance was a prime motivating force behind arson," said Hamlin. "Now Sandy Long works with the Houston Area Women's Center. it looks like a lot of it is persons getting even with their families. Destruction of property and pets has come to be one of the definitions of battering. The more common definitions are physical assault, sexual violence, and psychological battering. According to Hamlin, battering does not include the broad and vague area of emotional abuse. "When we talk about psychological battering we're talking about brainwashing, the limiting of physical movement, and the interruption of sleeping and eating patterns. Women in shelters often come in suffering from sleep deprivation and malnourishment. Also, over half the women have been victims of sexual violence. "Our goal must be singular—to stop the violence," said Hamlin. "First we must focus on the violence rather than trying to get batterers to be good employees or nice guys. "Our society provides a lot of socialization and rewards for men's reaction to violence. We must stop complacency toward the issue. Batterers must be made to realize that they are responsible for their own violence." Nikki Van Hightower, executive director of the Houston Area Women's Center, said that what is needed is no less than a change in this society's economic, social and political ideology. There's this attitude that a man has a right to beat his wife if she nags him. It's a license being issued to males at birth. In order for a change to take place, we must alter our ideas of masculinity and femininity." All the experts seemed to agree that the next step in domestic violence work must be in counseling and therapy for the batterers. Hamlin cautioned, though, that there is an increased potential for violence when work is started with batterers. The HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH FEBRUARY ISST)