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NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 10, [No. 4], April 1982
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NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 10, [No. 4], April 1982 - Page 3. April 1982. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. July 6, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1197/show/1192.

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.

(April 1982). NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 10, [No. 4], April 1982 - Page 3. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1197/show/1192

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.

NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 10, [No. 4], April 1982 - Page 3, April 1982, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed July 6, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1197/show/1192.

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 NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 10, [No. 4], April 1982
Publisher National Organization for Women, Bay Area Chapter
Date April 1982
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • National Organization for Women
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .N682
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332563~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.
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File Name femin_201109_251c.jpg
Transcript Caught in the middle Mother often plays operator in her family's overloaded switchboard /The Houston Post/Tues., Feb. 23, 1982 BOSTON - The little girl doesn't understand. A boy in her first-grade class has selected her as his recess quarry. All week he has pur- sued her, capturing her scarf, circling her with it, threatening to tie her up. The look on her face as she tells us this story is puzzled and upset. She has brought home similar tales of playground encounters since Monday and had laid them across the dinner table. My (rlend, who is her mother and amused by it all, explains again to the girl, "That's because he likes you." But she still doesn't understand. Finally, the mother turns to me, because I have been through it before, seen the tears of another first grader, offered the same motiva- tions. "Tell her," says the mother in. frustration. I BEGIN TO FORM THE ANALYSIS in my mind, I will tell her how the boy wants attention, doesn't know how to ask for it, only knows how to grab for it, confuses aggression with affection. . . Then suddenly I stop. I hear an odd echo from the words inside my head. What is it? An echo of a hundred generations of women interpreting males to their daughters? An echo of a hundred generations of women teaching their daughters the fine art of understanding human behavior? All at once I find myself reluctant to pass on this legacy. I am wary of teaching this little girl the way to analyze. I am not so sure at . this moment that we should raise more girls to be cultural interpreters for men, fpr families. I LOOK AT MY FRIEND. This wqman is admirably skilled in the task of transmitting one Women's issues AT LARQE/Ellen Goodman person's ideas and feelings to another. Indeed, she operates the switchboard of her family life. The people in her home communicate with each other through her. She delivers peace messages from one child to another. Softens ultimatums from father to son; explains the daughter to the father. Under her constant monitoring, the communication lines are kept open; one person stays plugged into the next. But sometimes I wonder whether she has kept all these people together or kept them apart? Does she make it easier for them to understand each other, or does she actually stand between them, holding all the wires in her hands? LAST WEEK I WATCHED Katharine Hepburn play the same role magnificently in On Golden Pond. She placed herself between the angry, acerbic, viciously amusing husband (Henry Fonda) and the world. She was his j buffer and his interpreter — to the gas station attendants, the postman, the daughter. ! "He wasn't yelling at you," she tells the boy j who comes to live with them. "He was yelling1 at life. Sometimes you have to look hard at a person and remember he's doing the best he can . . . just trying to find his way, like you." I Her caring was wondrous, inspiring, full of energy and love. But it was only when the boy confronted the old man, dialing directly, short- cutting the switchboard, that the man changed. IN GAIL GODWIN'S NEW NOVEL, A Mother and Two Daughters, there is another aging mother, still negotiating between her two "children" who are now turning 40. She is like the woman in many of our autobiographies — the mother, or grandmother — behind the scenes. How many families only know each other through these women? Some mothers, like the one in this movie and this bocfr, have been forced to occupy the shaky fulcrum of family life, and others have chosen to be the power broker of human relationships. Some actually keep people at peace, others keep them at bay. Sometimes the endless interpretation, especially of men by women, keeps couples together. Other times it keeps men from explaining themselves. I KNOW IT IS A SKILL TO BE able to understand and analyze one person's motives and psyche to another. It requires time, attention, emotional dexterity to run these switchboards. Yet it can also overload the operator and cripple the people from talking across their own private lines. Today, anyway, I feel peculiarly unwilling to explain the first-grade boy to the first-grade girl, peculiarly unwilling to initiate the 6-year- old into this cult of communication. I offer only friendship and sympathy. These are things she doesn't have to struggle to understand. Gaadman Is • columnist far tha Bastan Glob*. 4B /The Houston Post/Sot., Feb. 20, IS The Houston Post Hormones no deiense, excuse Some feminists are short-sightedly cheering two recent decisions by British courts that let two women go free — one after killing her lover and the other after threatening to kill a policeman — on grounds they were suffering from premenstrual tension. One of the women, Sandie Smith, a 29- year-old barmaid, was already on probation for stabbing another barmaid to death and had already been convicted of more than two dozen other violent acts — all of which occurred just before a menstrual period. The other, Christine English, 37, smashed her lover to death with her car while suffering from "an extremely aggravated form of premenstrual physical condition.'' The decisions are blatantly wrong. It's bad enough they add premenstrual tension to the arsenal of unjustified, emotional excuses de- fendents can try to use to escape responsibility in criminal cases. What's worse is they give new legal credence to premenstrual tension as- a pretext for keeping women out of good jobs. It hasn't been more than a few years since a high federal official in Washington publicly said women shouldn't be allowed to hold responsible jobs because of their monthly emotional instability. This same handy canard is still being used, although far less openly, as a pretext for denying promotions to women. Now, the British courts have made the idea legally respectable. The issue of periodic menstrual problems has always been a double bind for women. The feminists who applaud the British decisions are well aware that for centuries physicians, most of them male, have brushed off the complaints and symptoms connected with menstruation as psychological. Since the problem was all in their heads, women were patronizingly told, they would have no more discomfort if they would just accept the fact ot their femininity, or if they hadn't been Joan Beck conditioned by female friends and relatives to expect to suffer, or if they would just stop trying to get sympathy. That attitude added psychological guilt feelings to the real physiological distress millions of women feel and left them with little recourse except aspirin, heating pads and gritted teeth. Accepting the idea menstrual problems — and premenstrual tension — are real can also make women seem like poor employment risks. There are studies that show, for example, menstrual misery is the leading cause of absenteeism from work for women, probably - accounts for the loss of more than 140 million hours on the job every year and lowers national productivity by at least $5 billion annually. * How can women make claim for equal treatment in the workplace with a biological handicap like that? The way out of the bind, of course, is to consider the problem real, to investigate its, origins as objectively as any other medical,' malady and to look for effective ways to treat it, just as any other physical ill. That this obvious tack has been taken only in recent years Is evidence, many feminists say, of sexist prejudice against women by a medical profession that preferred, perhaps often still does, to assume women were unstable emotionally rather than to take their "female problems" seriously and try to help. This approach is already showing some successes. New prostaglandin-inhibiting drugs now relieve pain and discomfort for about nine out of 10 women who have tried them. Oral contraceptives taken to suppress ovulation reduce or eliminate painful cramps for many others. Better methods of diagnosis are finding other physical problems like endometriosis that can often be treated by new kinds of drug regimens or, if those don't work, by surgery. Treatment isn't as successful yet for premenstrual tension, although several drugs are now under study. Dr. Katherine Dalton, who testified for the defense in both of the British trials, said in court the hormone progesterone almost invariably prevents premenstrual synfptoms, although other studies don't give it as clear an endorsement. Dalton had been treating one of the dependents, Sandie Smith, who wa& J described in court as turning into "a raging- animal each month" unless she takes progesterone. Several other possible therapies — a drug to inhibit the body's production of prolactin, vitamin B6, diuretics and others — are also under study, although results are still ambivalent. Women — even the two British defendants — aren't werewolves who uncontrollably turn into beasts in lunar cycles. For the courts to accept this theory as a successful legal defense not only makes a mockery of justice and may encourage others, adolescents, for example, to plead hormonal imbalance as an excuse for violence. The most serious harm may be done, though, to women's fight for equal treatment not only under the law but in the workplace. Back It a columnist with tha Chicago Tribune.