Interesting Reading...review by Becky Christman
As I read Jo Freeman's book, The Politics of Women's Liberation, I began to see my
own participation in the movement in a perspective not available to me before. Many
questions I had were discussed and, for some, I even found answers!
The subtitle, a. case study of an emerging; social movement and its relation to the
policy process succinctly describes the scope of the book, originally a doctoral
tnesis. ,s. Freeman was personally involved in tne women's movement from 1967-69.
In the years between 1970-74, she followed the movement through friends, traveling,
lecturing, and publications. So, she writes from the benefit of this double experience.
After describing the dynamics which operated to originate the movement in the '60's,
she goes on to tell about the various types of organizations, how they differ and how,
in spite of differences, they or we work together. The history of NOW is presented
and then the other smaller groups are described along with the important functions
they have performed, and continue to carry out. The latter part of the book is devoted
to the relationship of the movement zo public policy. Ms. Freeman notes with us that
this aspect is complex and ongoing. She compares the women's movement to the civil
rights movement and notes that in matters of equal opportunity for women the federal
bureaucracy has moved more quickly than was the case regarding minorities. She sees
the national women's organizations such as NOW as currently viable influences on
It seems to me that this book is worthwhile reading tor all feminists because it is
written by a feminist and gives us a view of our recent history and an all-important
At the end of the book there is an excellent bibliography entitled "publish women or
perish," along with footnotes suggesting all kinds of additional reading.
Rape Crisis Task Force
Task Force sponsored training for rape victim advocates will begin in October. To
inquire about schedule, call Help Line (488-7222) or Evie Whitsett (488-1777).
The Task Force also provides opportunities for participants to do public education
work on this subject, or to work on publicity. Interested people are invited to
attend a Planning Meeting on September 22, at 8 pm. Check with Evie for location.
Susan Brownmiller - Right Again
In Brownmiller's Against Our Will: Men,.Women, and Rape,
there is a chapter titled "The Myth of the Heroic Rapist"
which examines the glorification of Jack the Ripper by
male writers, reporters, and critics. "Jack the Ripper's
grip on the masculine imagination is so,out of proportion
to the case of an unknown man who stalked, mutilated and
murdered five prostitutes in London's nast End in the
autumn of 1888 that we must wonder precisely what his
attraction holds," says Brownmiller. Her quote from
Colin Wilson offers a clue: "The sexual act has a close
affinity with murder...Murderer and victim are in the
same sort of relation as the male penetrating the
female." The item opposite (Houston Post, 7/25/76)
was headlined "Author claims Victorian conspiracy in
Jack the Ripper investigation" and offers an elaborate
theory that Jack "was a conspiracy at a very high level,
a sort of Victorian Watergate in which the cover-up
succeeded." Note the lyrical joy in the opening lines.
Chicago Tribune Service
LONDON - Jack the Ripper, that midnight slasher of 19th Century prostitutes,
long has been the world's most captivating killer.
He has become the very epitome of the
homicidal maniac, the untraceable
murderer who killed for his own demented kind of fun, terrorizing the population
and gleefully taunting the police with his
He has been made the subject of song,
movies, prose, poetry and even children's
rhymes. He was never caught, and despite hundreds of attempts he never has
been convincingly identified.
But now there is a new theory of Jack
the Ripper, one that advances him from