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Houston Breakthrough, September 1980
Page 27
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Houston Breakthrough, September 1980 - Page 27. September 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 5, 2015. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6082/show/6078.

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 1980). Houston Breakthrough, September 1980 - Page 27. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6082/show/6078

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, September 1980 - Page 27, September 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 5, 2015, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6082/show/6078.

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, September 1980
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date September 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 30 page periodical
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location 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 27
File Name femin_201109_563t.jpg
Transcript Nordic women made a plea for peace and an end to the arms race, and turned in a petition for support with 500,000 signatures. women through the PLO, and the wording on the apartheid question, the U.S. was forced to vote against the entire World Plan of Action adopted by the conference delegates. Canada, Australia, and Israel also voted "no", there were 94 "yes" votes and 22 nations who abstained. Sarah Weddington spoke for the many who were concerned that women's issues had been usurped by global politics—"We are denied a consensus by those who want to focus a statement against Zionism, by those who want to advance their special interest in the Middle East. . .They have denied women—whatever their race, religion, or national origin—a unique opportunity to contribute solutions to their own issues in their own way." In the past 20 years , the focus of UN debates has shifted from East-West to North-South. As many colonies in the southern hemisphere have struggled for self sufficiency, they have gained political independence, but economic independence has not followed. They have also become the largest voting block in the UN system, and for many, the PLO's quest for an independent homeland is a kindred struggle. . . . The conference women from the northern industrialized countries were basically concerned with the feminist issue: sexual equality. In contrast, the women from the developing world, in their different context, were not willing to settle for"equality of poverty" with their husbands. Their concern is less with fighting male chauvinism than with "bringing about a new international economic order involving more equitable distribution of the world's wealth", wrote Rubina Khan, Inter Press Service (IPS) correspondent. Khan reported that most of the developed countries favored inclusion of sexism, along with racism and colonialism, as factors explaining the underdevelopment of women. The developing countries, though, focused on poverty resulting from colonialism, and generally denied sexism as a fact in their societies. Some of the developed countries recognize the oppression of women by men "as the result of cultural values which can be changed" once the problem of poverty is solved. As Khan points out, however, the developed, capitalistic countries effectively demonstrate that "materially improving the life of women will not remove the root cause of sexism." Some of the people in developing countries were concerned that the issue of sexism was being raised to divide women from men in their struggle against historical poverty. Despite difficulties and slow progress, official delegate Virginia Allan saw such discussions as positive. "In Mexico City, everybody laughed when you mentioned sexism," she recalled. They claimed it was untranslatable. This time, "sexism" went in as a footnote to the main document. "So not much," she concedes, "but at least people are going to look at that word, they're going to think about it." On Women's Equality Day last month, Allan reflected on the Copenhagen Conference at the Clearinghouse for Women's Issues in Washington, D.C. It had pleased her to find women she had met at the last conference introducing themselves as feminists, a label they wouldn't touch five years ago. She was also pleased by "the very fact that the UN made a declar ation on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women! I'm really surprised that such a document could come out of the UN, that we can agree on that." What bothered Allan most about the conference was the way the UN rules were violated. She'd been to many UN conferences and to several seminars and had never seen that happen before. "It was almost like a circus atmosphere", she recalled. Some women were disillusioned by the manipulation and stung by the anti-American sentiment they had heard about but never felt. Some of them don't want another conference. But many agree with Virginia Allan and the priority she has proposed, that we set up a strategic planning committee right away for 1985. She feels that we need to have people who are specialists in the rules of the UN "so we don't get taken by surprise by what happens", that we must find out why the US is isolated, what the true criticisms are. As Americans, we feminists have some problems in the world beyond our domestic borders. One is our continental isolation between two oceans. We seldom cross national boundaries or come in contact with different cultures. As Charlotte Bunch observes: "while many women outside the US are forced to know something about our culture because it is exported everywhere, not many women in the US know much about other countries." (Quest, winter '78) Another problem is the imperialist/ colonialist historical role our country has played, and our fearsome strength as a dominant world power. Women from less open societies are sensitive to our relative aggressiveness. And our (often) moralistic (usually) ethnocentric atti tudes towards other cultures and customs are offensive to those struggling in their own (a different) reality. We must learn to listen to women from other parts of the world. They are grateful for our activism and concern. They use our movement publications and literature for inspiration and information, said Madhu of India's feminist journal Manushi, but they find our habit of condescension very difficult. Egypt's Maria Assad credited western women with focusing attention on the issue of female circumcision, but asked that we slow down now and not push too hard. "We want your help, but please let us ask for it," she said. A group of African women determined to call on the expertise of their own women, "and not to keep begging to foreigners." But they also encouraged the U.S. women's movement to keep strong, because as a British activist said, "Many of us from around the world are looking to you for ideas and to keep it going, so we can come along and make our contributions." Women who attended the Copenhagen conference say that it made them into international feminists: they can no longer ignore the international perspective, and it has served to put their own national priorities in perspective. There's a strong feeling that we must educate women in the international women's movement as we educate in the domestic women's movement. "If feminism is to be perceived globally as a viable concept," wrote Charlotte Bunch, "it must not limit itself to a narrow definition of women's concerns. Feminism is not a list of issues. Rather, it is about developing a particular perspective on all matters which touch on our lives." SEPTEMBER 25