NOW at the University of Houston
Vol 3, #5
Vol 8, #5
President s Column.
In April, NOW at UH presented two programs: "The Nuclear
Freeze Movement" with guest speaker George Broze from the
Houston Coalition for Peace and "Insurance: Fair Discrimination?" with guest speaker Elaine Kinsey, past president
of Northwest Houston NOW. There is further information on
the results of these two program meetings inside the newsletter. I would like to thank both guest speakers for
their participation in making the programs a success.
On May 5th, Dr. Karen Holmes will speak at our program
meeting at 7:30 pm on Rape. She is a professor at the
Social Work Department at UH, has done extensive research
on this subject and has written "Justice For Whom? Rape
Victims Assess The Legal-Judicial System." Holmes is
co-author with Joyce Williams of The Second Assault: Rape
and Public Attitudes. This program will be held in the
Aegean Rim, UC and everyone is welcomed.
On May 10 is the NOW at UH business meeting. I hope everyone will try to attend. We will talk about the direction
NOW at UH will be taking in the future and input of all
members is greatly encouraged. Also, we have not yet
voted whether or not to renew our menfcership with Women
Lobby Alliance for 1983. We will also vote on whether to
join and/or endorse the Houston Nuclear Freeze Coalition,
which asks both the Soviet Union and the US to stop - to
"freeze" - all testing, production and deployment of new
On April 14th, I was present at the University Center
Policy Board (UCPB) meeting (see president's column in
March newsletter) hoping to discuss the passage of a NOW
proposal to "oppose the sale and distribution of literature and the showing of films that portray the torture,
rape, humiliation or sexual objectiflcation of women or
men or children," and request that the UCPB prohibit such
activities in the UC. When the magazine issue was opened
for discussion a motion which requested "the prohibition
of sales of Playboy, Playgirl, Penthouse and Forum" (which
are presently sold in the Candy Shoppe) was brought forward by Carol Cavazos. The motion was defeated by two
votes. I expected my name to be called after that first
motion was defeated so that I could introduce the policy
NOW thought should be adopted, but the chairperson ruled
that the issue was closed. The policy, (see above), refers to al_[ pornographic magazines not just the ones
presently sold. I felt it would not be possible to
re-open the issue at that time for further discussion.
Instead I decided to be present at the next XPB meeting
to have NOW's proposal discussed and voted on.
This newsletter, which is published every month, is of
great importance to the people who work to make it possible because it allows the feminist community to be in
touch with issues which affects us directly or indirectly.
We hope that it is of equally great importance to you the
reader. If so, we would like to see you get involved with
this publication. Feel free to contact us if you are
interested in any of the variety of work which Herizon's
publication entails. Little time is requested; we usually
get it done with a planning/writing assignment meeting and
a weekend of work, editing, typesetting and pasting-up.
Your participation is welcomed. Call Jeanne at 799-1234
X373 (Monday-Friday, 5-9) or X571 (Saturday and Sunday)
for information on schedule for June newsletter.
Our next meeting will be held at the Houston Area Women's
Cntr on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 8th, 5-7 pm. I thought
about changing the day but I then decided we could celebrate ourselves and our mothers at a NOW meeting better
than any other place. (Montrose NOW meetings are pot-luck
suppers and rap sessions.)
We are in the midst of a special membership drive highlighted by Kathy Webb's visit. We are close to the number
of members necessary for 3 delegates to the National Conference. If you have considered asking a friend to join,
this is the moment. National will give us 1/2 of the
usual $20 national dues until June.
Most people quickly learn that Montrose does not represent
mainstream Houston; I have always believed that Mon
trose NOW should be a haven for non-mainstream feminists.
Although I just this minute urged you to increase our
chapter membership, I havegrave misgivings about our expanding membership and enlarged budgets. Seme of the
growth is inevitable but "bigger is better" may prove a
poor model for an agency of social change.
I want "to end with a thought for the future. Do we want a
County Commissioner whose personal belief is that women
on AFDC should be forcibly sterilized? That "making a
living by having babies is a crime?" I suggest you review
the current (April *83) statements of Bob Eckels.
SELECTIONS IN HONOR OF MOTHER'S DAY
Mother's Day, declared by an act of Congress in 1914 to
fall on the second Sunday of May, falls this year on May
8th. The idea for a national day in honor of mothers
belongs to Jul a Ward Howe, the author of "the Battle Hunm
of the Republic", and a founding member with Lucy Stone of
the American Woman's Suffrage Association. She put it forward in 1887. It was proposed again by Ann Jarvis in 1907.
It is probably no coincidence that for the whole year before the act was passed, Alice Paul, the Chaiman (sic) of
the Congressional Committee of the National American
Women's Suffrage Association, had focussed her new committee's intense energy on the Congress, reviving the long
dormant demand for a federal amendment to secure the vote
for women. How typical for lords and masters to attempt
to fob women off with a mere courtly wave of the hand.
The "holiday" arouses great ambivalence in feminists, especially, I believe, in female feminists. On the one
hand, we are angered at the trivialization of motherhood
(and of women) that giving praise to mothers on one day of
the year reveals, and by the commercialization by florists, jewellers and candy sellers; on the other we wish
there were some easy, non-guilt laden, not-too-threatening
way to gracefully recognize the debt we owe our mothers.
Some may remember our mothers in bitterness and anger, yet
there wells up in us an insatiable, intractable, longing
for the love of our mothers.
continued to p. 4