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Houston Breakthrough, January 1980
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Houston Breakthrough, January 1980 - Page 10. January 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 8, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2148/show/2126.

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.

(January 1980). Houston Breakthrough, January 1980 - Page 10. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2148/show/2126

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, January 1980 - Page 10, January 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 8, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2148/show/2126.

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, January 1980
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date January 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
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.
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Title Page 10
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File Name femin_201109_556aj.jpg
Transcript mmmmmmmmmmmmBmmmmmm#M0m*m^ Nikki Van Hightower Executive Director, Houston Area Women's Center For some of us the women's movement created a revolution in our minds—a rebirth, I have heard some people call it. I, for one, was so primed for its happening that understanding of it was immediate, and adherence to its rationality complete. It has been in the decade of the 1970's that the contemporary women's movement has taken form and come into its own. I was a graduate student at New York University in 1970, working on a Ph.D. in Political Science. I became totally engrossed in this movement. For the first time something was happening on the political scene that was directly relevant to my life. The theoretical forms and images of politics and political structure suddenly took on a depth and dimension that they had never had before. Suddenly politics left the classroom and entered my home and intervened in every social relationship I had. I kept anticipating that the awakening would reach a plateau once the well-kept secrets were let out of the closet. I am beginning to wonder now if the gender- based secrets have not been compiled for so long that it will take generations to seek them out and air them in the light of reality. Whole social systems and political structures are based upon these secrets. Discovery could prove to be very disruptive. Uncovering the secrets of ourselves and our capabilities has brought about a new popular vocabulary that was once the private domain of sociologists and psychologists. Socialization and stereotyping are now familiar concepts. The 1970's has been an era of self-examination for women. We have diligently been involved in making the distinction between what being a woman means to each of us personally, and what we have been told that it means. In the course of doing this we have been faced with dilemmas. At what point do we stop excusing ourselves for our weaknesses and omissions brought on by discrimination and start taking it on the chin? By the same token, at what point do men take responsibility for the limitations placed on women's lives? After all, if we have been victims of socialization, so have they. If socialization has turned us into victims, so has it turned men into victimizes. Are we on or off the hook? For experience in emotional extremes there is nothing like being in on the ground floor of any movement. The women's movement is a case in point. It has been thrilling and exhilirating because of the discovery, creation, insight, and camaraderie it has brought. Laws have been passed, attitudes have modified. We have experienced the making of history. Our frustrations and disappointments have been equally great. We have been ridiculed, despised, misinterpreted and feared. We have seen our intentions deliberately distorted and have had the unpleasant taste of martyrdom, as women take advantage of the greater opportunities brought about by our efforts while at the same time they criticize us for our sacrifices. Few of those women who provided the impetus for change have been able to reap the benefits of that change. Some of the most important pieces of legislation have gotten bogged down or are losing ground (ERA, abortion rights, Title IX). In any event, the women's rights movement is a great deal more than pieces of legislation. It constitutes a revolution in attitudes about oneself and others and everyone is affected. The secrets which have been used to control behavior are slowly getting out and the myths are being destroyed, but our social and political relationships have been so closely linked to the control of male and female behavior that fundamental changes must occur before any real semblance of equality can appear. Looking into the 1980's the problems emerging on the horizon include linking the women's movement with a single piece of legislation—the Equal Rights Amendment—to the point that the movement's success or failure will be judged by the success or failure of passage of the ERA. Ironically, there may be more danger of this happening with passage than with non-passage. Already we hear people insisting that the battle for equal rights has been won. We should all go home and leave well enough alone. Any further developments must be left to individual ini- iative. Experienced leaders are burning out. The conflicts and need for continued pressure has extracted too much from their lives and they feel the necessity to turn away from political life and pull the pieces of their personal lives together. More and more the physical damage of sexism is beginning to be visible. Battered wives, rape victims, alcoholic and drug- dependent women—the uglier little secrets that were carefully guarded. When they slipped out, they were distorted in such a way that the victim became the perpetrator of the crime against herself. Big questions loom over the future of our society. Who will bear children, and how will they be cared for? Who will provide the labor that has traditionally been the unpaid responsibility of women? What will happen to our economy when women not only demand, but start receiving comparable wages to men? Will any of these fundamental questions be answered in the eighties? . ..*-„**» ,",r^*-,iniiiiiMM|||ii ijiiijumiiirTimiiiiTiirtni n Bruce Bryant Promotion Manager, KPRC-TV Ten years ago I liked playing telev^n friends old movies, telev.s.on, cold beer, e evis on dogs, talkin' television, gu.tars p yd without electricity, and te.ev,..on Today. I like friends, old moy.es. cold oeeldok talkin'. guitars P^-tho electricity, and television. Also, I st.l have a * le trouble explaining why my wi 's last name is not the same as mme. And, yes I like my wife-she's my best friend. ii I've been through high-rent Hollywood high life and low rent single motherhood. — Kay Ebeling Kay Ebeling Public affairs officer for NASA As man was making his first steps on the Moon, I was singing and dancing to space songs ("Walking in space you'll find the purpose of man") in the L.A. company of Hair. Now, 10 years later I'm a public affairs officer for NASA taking dance lessons at night. In between, I've been through high-rent Hollywood high life and low-rent single motherhood. It seems like the road here has been so direct. While understudying Hair, I started looking for another job; and ran into an old friend who was taking Yoga classes at a school in the Hollywood Hills. I went to one class, and then another, and soon moved into the house to learn to be an instructor. We were straight hippies—high on raisins, hilltop altitudes, and protein deprivation. The Yoga really worked, as long as you stayed in the cloister. That was a happy dreamlike period, and I was a succesc. After a few months, the school opened a branch in Dallas, and I came to Texas as a manager. I taught classes, led song sessions (the trained voice), and wrote ;jnd produced our radio spots. They gave me a nickname—"Sunshine." I beamed. But one day the electric bill and grocery reality clashed with the 6 a.m. meditation bubble. I threw it all away. Ran off with a director of the Dallas food co-op. We went to Colorado to do mantras on the mountain. I got pregnant. That led me and Alfie (imagine that: "Alfie and Sunshine") to his parents' house in Cleveland, where his mother was a very understanding grandmother. But she lectured me on scouring powders and spray polish; soon I was mopping our floors every other day even if we hadn't been in the room, wearing myself out over cloth diapers, and frazzling my nerves when the bread didn't rise. What is this? I asked myself. You're not a housewife. I took the baby and a box of disposable diapers and drove South. Had to get out of the cold. "I wanna go home to the Armadillo" came over the radio, and I got on 1-10 headed for Austin. It's not easy supporting a child on a secretary's salary, and since I didn't take shorthand, I was never going to reach those $700 a month ziggurat executive- type slots. So I moved into married student housing, which had just started accepting single parents, and started college —a 25-year-old freshman. With my freckles and curly hair hardly anyone knew, and once I got straight A's there was no stopping me. Midway through my sophomore year Alfie breezed through town with a new wife and I agreed to let him keep our son for a while. They still have him. That was a quirk. I went to college so I could afford to -support my son, and graduated (summa cum laude) free and single with no attachments. A whole world opened up. In my junior year I discovered astrophysics. The fascination of the cosmos. Grasping a physics concept did much the same thing to my head as those 6 a.m. meditation sessions, only this was so much more real. The solar system is within our reach. You can work out the propulsion and use the rotation of a nearby planet to swing your ship to a distant moon. And there's nobody else out there. The solar system is all ours. I wanted to work on that. I applied to NASA just as they were looking for a journalism graduate with an interest in science. Now I edit the Johnson Space Center newspaper—write about training astronauts, spacecraft design, and the industrialization of space that will come in the near future. Some of my friends have been to the Moon. I ride along as they test Space Shuttle equipment on a 747 that simulates zero gravity. And I keep learning physics: thrust augmentation, fuel cell electronics, solar ion sail ship concepts, remote spaceships and how they scan outer planets, life support for 100 on a three-year mission to Mars, ideas on faster-than-the-speed-of- light travel, which Jupiter moons may be habitable. . . And last week I started looking into theatre groups in Houston. HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 10 DECEMBER/JANUARY 1980