-The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, made by German filmmaker Fassbinder,
August 3-three short films, Silvhpoint, by Barbara Linkevitch, Patricia Nixon's
Wedding and I'm not from Here. The series will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Channing Hall,
First Unitarian Church, Fannin & Southmore. Series tickets are available in advance
for $6.50 from the church office or at Wilde 'n Stein Book Store, 819 Richmond.
Any remaining tickets will be offered for $2 each evening at the door. For further
information call First Unitarian Church, 526-1571.
Legislative Alert! Several amendments to ban or limit abortion funding will reach the
U.S. House and Senate floor this summer. Write your congressional legislators. They're
being swamped by anti-abortion forces. Don't take the right to choose for granted
Write today! "
Information for Network should be typed, double-spaced, on one side of the page and
sent to Houston Breakthrough, P.O. Box 88072, Houston, TX 77004. We regret we cannot take information over the phone. Announcements of events that are free and open
to the public are published free of charge. Be sure to send information early. For the
July-August summer issue, include events taking place 15-Sept. 1. Deadline: July 5.
Share your views with other readers in the Network. We welcome letters for publication.
Letters must be signed and marked with a return address. Mail to Letters, Houston
Breakthrough, P.O. Box 88072, Houston, TX 77004.
HOUSTON BAPTIST UNIVERSITY
ADVENTURES EM ATTITUDES
A 3-Day Seminar Nobody Can Believe
Ten adventures to unleash your potential
1. Effective Communication
2. The Dynamics of Attitudes
3. Managing Your Mind
4. Urxleretanding People
5. Developing Your Magnetic
July 24, 25, 26
6. Creating Good Human Relations
7. Attitudes & Leadership
8. Motivate Yourself & Others
9. Goals & Self-Management
10. Charting a New Life
8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
For information and registration, call
Division of Continuing Education
7502 Fondren, Houston 77074
communicate - to have a sympathetic or meaningful relationship
We must be careful not to forget how to talk with one another. I mean simply the
imparting of new ideas, the sharing of old cliches—not attempts at impressing each
other with meaningless words, name droppings, and "conciousness-raising" terminology.
Unfortunately, this latter lack of communication marked the "spontaneous
dialogue" sponsored by the Houston Women's Art Caucus in the backyard of radio
station KPFT on Saturday evening, May 26, 1979, between Jill Johnston, a radical
feminist author, and Deborah Hay, a dancer. There actually was little or no dialogue,
causing this purported free and natural event to be at first confusing, then boring,
and finally insulting.
In the inital confusion, to help guide this spontaneity, a member of the audience
asked Deborah Hay when she would dance for the group. Hay assured us, with her
carefully composed and blank demeanor, that she was at that very moment dancing
for us. It only appeared that she was sitting cross-legged on a folded chair in a semi-
Again, in an effort to spark some dialogue, my friend, who had brought her two
young daughters with the promise they would hear concerned women sharing their
feelings on various subjects, addressed Johnston with the question, "Can you tell my
daughters where they are going?" This seemed a valid and meaningful question at a
feminist gathering, but Johnston chose only to snicker at it with a lame and very
unfunny, "You want me to tell them where they can go?"
The evening proceeded with Johnston fending questions like "Where are you
now?", with brilliant repartee such as "I'm in a backyard in Houston now." When
asked about the composition of the audiences attending her various talks, Johnston
replied that they were made up of "nice people." This kind of spontaneous dialogue
seems best carried on at a sophomoric beer bust.
The write-up in the "Network" section of the May issue of Houston Breakthrough
described the Johnston/Hay events in Austin as a discussion of ". . . their new books,
the influence of the political forces of the 60's and 70's on their lives and work, reflections on dance, literature and art criticism." I imagine many people came to this
"spontaneous dialogue" expecting some discussion along those lines. There were
people who wanted particularly to see Deborah Hay dance—apart from her sitting
cross-legged in a chair—and were disappointed in that aspect.
One moment which could have redeemed the evening occurred when Johnston read
from an article she had written in Village Voice concerning the death of her mother.
It was about the difficulties she and her mother had with their relationship and how
she had not been with her mother when she died. These were feelings everyone in the
audience could relate to and identify with, but Johnston mugged her way through the
otherwise meaningful article as if she had never seen it before. She went as far as to
stop reading to point out a typographical error she hadn't caught earlier.
After suffering an hour and a half with this inanity, and after several concerned
attempts to make some sense of the evening, my friend and I were treated to some
"spontaneous dialogue" from Johnston about how she just knew Gertrude Stein was
the "femme" figure in the Stein/Toklas relationship, and that Alice was the "butch."
Anticipating from this a flow of Jew jokes, Polish jokes, and Southern Baptist stereotypes, my friend and her two daughters and I left this totally unpleasant, unsympathetic and non-supportive "spontaneous dialogue."
Marian G. Ganter
Editor's note: Thank you for your honest reactions. We were intrigued by your letter
and contacted Gertrude Barnstone, a member of the Women's Art Caucus and one of
the organizers of the event for her comments. Barnstone, too, felt frustrated and confused during much of the evening which she described as "very strange. "After a good
portion of the audience left, she said the remaining 20 or so began to discuss their
hostility toward both participants. Two topics predominated: one, the expectations
audiences have (Are they fair to artists?), and two, the desire on the part of the audience to be passively entertained. In the course of these discussions, a member of the
audience, Traylene Vassilopoulos, told Hay she wanted to see her dance. "I'll dance if
you will," Hay responded. Vassilopoulos eventually got up and touched Hay who
responded by moving slightly. There followed a "dance" of movements, countermove-
ments and responses for almost 10 minutes which Barnstone described as "very
beautiful." While the hostility toward Hay melted in the warmth of the dance, that
toward Johnston did not. According to Barnstone, Hay was quite upset by the evening,
and could not account for the marked difference between the audience response that
night in Houston and the previous night in Austin.
Breakthrough is the largest women's newspaper in Texas. Get your message to our
network of readers through the Breakthrough classifieds. Rates are 30 cents a word.
Enclose your check with copy as you want it to appear. Mail to: Breakthrough Classifieds, P. O. Box 88072, Houston, TX 77004.
An anatomical drawing of a woman showing where ionizing radiation collects in the
body is a graphic depiction of serious health threats presented by nuclear power. In
black on heavy buff paper, 18 by 24 inches, each poster is $1.25 postage paid. Order
from Mockingbird Alliance, 6441 Yi Mercer, Houston TX 77005.
Studio Space for Rent to Women Artists and Craftswomen. Contact Jeanne Davis,
524-7164 or 664-8633.
Mature woman seeks employment. Business background. Varied skills and interests.'
If you can help, call Fern, 486-4405.
Sirani Avedis has designed a four-color poster that not only tells people about Paid My
Dues but also expresses the spirit and struggle of women in music. The poster measures
17HW by 22V£" and is colored in tones of brown, gold, blue and lavender. The cost is
$4.50 per poster plus $1 to cover postage and handling. Please make check payable to
Calliope Publishing and send to PMD, P. O. Box 6517, Chicago, IL 60680.
Women's Music-Discover the Difference. . .Music for making love, revolutions, or just
merry. Written, engineered and distributed by women for women. Available in Houston
at The Bookstore, Wilde 'N' Stein, Cactus Records, and B.D. & Daughter. Take an album
home for a test spin from the new Women's Music Rental Library at B D & Daughter
(1623 Westheimer, 529-3609).
Christine Delmas, B.S.N., M.P.H., J.D. and Larry Delmas, B.A., J.D. announce the
opening of the law office of Delmas & Delmas, general practice of law. Evenings/Saturdays
by appointment. 19206 Eastex Freeway No. 109, Humble, Texas. Phone: 446-8148.
Wanted: Painters, carpenters, handy women for newly formed home repair company.
Only you know the right answers for you. We teach you how to find those
answers. ALTERNATIVES UNLIMITED 649-8559 (evenings)
A comprehensive, national, interdisciplinary Guide to Women's Art Organizations
has been published by Midmarch Associates in cooperation with Women Artists
News. The 84-page guide contains individual chapters on visual arts, architecture, design, film and video, dance, music, theater and writing. EacI ' apter includes information on organizations, performance groups, archives, registries, concerts, festivals,
and resources (legal, funding, etc.). The 5" x SVi" soft-cover volume also contains an
extensive bibliography. Copies are available for $4.50 for individuals and $5.00 for
institutions. Send a check to Midmarch Assoc./Women Artists News, Box 3304, Grand
Central Station, New York, N.Y. 10017.
"For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf," is currently playing at the Equinox Theatre, 3617 Washington at Heights Blvd., through
June 30. Performances are at 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
"For Colored Girls," by Ntozake Shange, is a choreo-poem using verse, music and
dance to examine black women's sensibilities, frustrations, loves, hopes and dreams.
Tickets are $5 general admission and may be reserved by calling 868-5829.