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Houston Breakthrough 1977-02
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Houston Breakthrough 1977-02 - Page 8. February 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 21, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4451/show/4437.

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 1977). Houston Breakthrough 1977-02 - Page 8. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4451/show/4437

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 1977-02 - Page 8, February 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 21, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4451/show/4437.

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 1977-02
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date February 1977
Description Vol. 2 No. 2
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 21 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 8
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_525h.jpg
Transcript state of women in community PHYSICAL SAFETY: RAPE Rape is increasing more every year than any other crime of personal violence. Although the Houston Police Department reported 588 founded rapes and assaults to attempt rape in 1975, local hospitals report treating 88 rape victims, and there is no way of determining the number of women who did not even seek medical help. One of the major problems with rape, besides the commission of the crime, is the community's treatment of the victim. In July of 1974, the Mayor appointed Ms. Linda Cryer as Administrator of Rape Treatment, Detection and Prevention Program. This office has since brought about major improvements in the handling of rape victims by the community. The City of Houston has developed a system of procedures that standardize the collection, routing, and analysis of medical evidence used in prosecution, and law enforcement has assumed responsibility for the costs and assemblage. Increased public pressure has encouraged more involvement by private physicians in the medical treatment of rape victims. In June, 1975, the City and County Health Departments jointly began offering a free public health nursing medical/psychological follow- up service. Houston Rape Crisis Coalition, a community sponsored organization, offers informational and counseling services. The following recommendations would greatly enhance a comprehensive community assistance program: a 24-hour, 7-day- a-week crisis line, a personal safety program in the school system that provides information to teachers, administrators and students on sexual assault, statewide victim compensation legislation, definition of the crime of sexual assault in non-sex-specific terms, education programs throughout the community and low-cost comprehensive psychotherapy services for rape victims. WOMEN AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN HOUSTON AND t HARRIS COUNTY The average number of women incarcerated in the Harris County Jail is 115-125. They range in age from seventeen on up, with the majority being in their low twenties. Most are poorly educated, underprivileged, and many are members of minority ethnic groups. Those in jail for crimes of violence are in the minority and many, if they could afford it, would be free on bond rather than in jail awaiting trial. Several programs operate to help these women. Women in Action's Jail Committee helps in contacting families and attorneys, and provides basic education opportunities in civil law and family planning. Houston Community College offers certain courses and New Directions operates a halfway house for women released from jail. Prisoners' Personal Aid offers help in finding employment and housing and Women in Action's Criminal Justice Division offers similar support. There is still a great need for additional halfway houses, adequate and affordable child care, low rent housing, counseling, education and training opportunities. RESPECT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL The homosexual woman in a heterosexual society is doubly oppressed. Although some large urban areas have passed city ordinances prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual preference, Houston is not one of them. It can be estimated, on the basis of studies done elsewhere, that Houston has 50,000 lesbians — about eight percent of the adult female population. Homosexuals are often denied access to the media. A few years back the Houston Chronicle repeatedly refused to print a small paid ad announcing a gay community; recently, the Houston Post refused to print some panels of Doones- bury that dealt with a gay character. Access to public meeting space is also frequently denied to lesbians. The gag on female homosexuality allows the myths and stereotypes to continue. The myths are then used to "justify" economic, legal and social discrimination against lesbians. Negative attitudes among the general public are slowly changing. In fact, a poll taken by the New York Daily News last May showed 63 percent thought that gay people "should be accepted in society and treated the same as anybody else/7 The Chronicle and the Post have printed positive articles on gay women and men, and local TV and radio stations are now beginning to include gays in their community ascertainment process. On the political front, lesbians have worked with gay men to establish the Gay Political Caucus. In a short year- and-a-half, GPC has become a political force to be reckoned with. In September, Pokey Anderson ran for public office, probably the first self-acknowledged lesbian in Texas to do so. Although she lost the election, she gained 41 percent of the vote as a late-entry write-in candidate. However, many important court decisions, such as the Matlovich case, the Supreme Court anti-sodomy decision, the Mary Jo Risher child custody case, have not been in favor of the rights of homosexuals. It would seem that the courts, in this area, are lagging behind public opinion. ( STATUS OF WOMEN IN THE MEDIA Employment For 25 years a woman's voice kept her off the air. Only five years ago, Houston's station managers publicly expressed fears that their ratings would drop if anything higher than a baritone delivered the news. One television executive conceded that if a woman were pretty enough she might get away with a feminine voice on television, but on radio, never. From the appearance ot more women reporters and now anchors in television news, one could conclude that women have made great progress in the media during the seventies. Women, today, are more visible on the air, but almost all management or decision-making positions in Houston broadcasting are held by males. As of January 1977, there are no women station managers or news directors, no women operations managers and no women chief engineers. Due to strong pressure from the national NOW Media Reform Task Force, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a ruling in December 1971, adding women to the list of groups that the stations must actively recruit for employment. While women now hold 30 percent of all jobs in broadcasting, almost half (45.5%) of those jobs are in the lowest paid clerical area. Until women themselves are the station managers, news directors, program directors — the decision-makers — women employed in the media will continue to be dependent on the decisions men make. Image The broadcasting media are one of the most powerful forces of socialization today. It has been established that broadcast programming gives an unfair and distorted view of women and women's role in society. In 1974, a Houston chapter of NOW undertook the first area study on the image of women in television programming. Their findings included: [In] Advertising: ...90% of the voice-overs [were] male; of the female product representatives, 37.5% were unpaid household workers [and] less than one percent were in traditional "male" professional roles. [In] Children's Shows: 75% of all characters were males; 54% of male characters instigated action — only 15% of females did; 85% of adult females were portrayed as household workers. In Quiz Shows: MC's [were] all male; female contestants were frequently patted or kissed by the male moderators; hosts asked married female contestants what their husbands did, but married men were not asked what their wives did. In Drama Shows: 75% of all leads were males; 15% of female roles were as victims [usually rape victims]. In News: [In 1974], 100% of the anchors were males, as were 86.8% of reporters; of 435 newsmakers, 57 were women (30 of these stories involved Patricia Hearst, then believed to be a victim); the leading occupation of female newsmakers was as victim (40.3%), followed by political relatives (for example J ulie Nixon Eisenhower's ovarian cyst operation), [while] politics was the leading occupation of male newsmakers. We want a positive and diverse image of women. As long as the stereotyped image of women in the media prevails, women will continue to experience social, economic and political discrimination. NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVITIES Diverse women's groups in Houston that share a mutual concern for women's rights have united in a coalition called the Women's Rights Coordinating Council. In 1977, the Council plans to form alliances to tackle specific problems, assess the needs in the Houston community, set priorities, and act to effect change. The Women's Information, Referral, and Exchange Service (WIRES) [is currently being] established by Women In Action. A steering committee has been formed and task force chair- people have been selected to form individual committees to research needs and available services in areas of vital concern to women. The system will be located in the Women In Action offices at 3317 Montrose. The steering committee plans to have the service in operation by April first. Houston has been selected as the site for the National Conference of International Women's Year. The National Conference will be the culmination of 56 state and territorial meetings on women's rights. The purpose of the National Conference [is] to review the status of women in this country, arrive at resolutions for achieving equality for women and to present these resolutions to Congress. Two of the reasons Houston was selected were first, because of the active and well- organized women's groups in the city and second, because the city •government had shown its sensitivity to women's issues through the creation of the Office of the Women's Advocate. I what do you do when you need an ad that gets the readers' attention or a brochure that sells what it's supposed to sell or marketing advice that really works? So you have this little business you're operating on a shoe string and you're looking for more effective ways to attract more people and earn more profits. You need a good marketing plan. And professional implementation of that plan. Or maybe you're in a corporate situation which calls for reliable "outside help". You need someone to write a story. Arrange a sales meeting. Complete some research. Produce a slide show. Or a good ad. Or a good brochure. With 16 years experience, Ruth Barrett has provided budget planning, creative concepts and a wide variety of special services for all kinds of clients. If you have problems related to marketing and business communication, chances are, she can help you. Call Ruth Barrett/664-8055 «== zsamsammmmm Houston Breakthrough • February 1977 • Page 7