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Houston Breakthrough, January 1980
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Houston Breakthrough, January 1980 - Page 12. January 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 13, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2148/show/2128.

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 12. 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/2128

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 12, January 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 13, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2148/show/2128.

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.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 12
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File Name femin_201109_556al.jpg
Transcript I moved (to New York) because I would rather work than languish in Texas. - Sissy Farenthold II Frances T. "Sissy" Farenthold President, Wells College You have asked me to push a decade back —push it back in a personal way. To look back from western New York where I work and live now, to south Texas, to a trek that began with the opening of the decade in Corpus Christi. In January of 1970 I announced my candidacy for reelection to the Texas Legislature. My husband had asked me not to run for a second term and I had responded that if I did not run, I would be nothing more than a dilettante. I remember thinking as my second term began in 1971 that I would be spending my time principally on environmental matters. But that was not to be, for soon the Sharpstown scandal began to unfold and it was to be a focal point for the 1971 season. I remember very clearly, exactly where my desk was in the House Chambers. I remember the wonderful days of camaraderie with Ed Harris and Nick Nichols who sat directly in front of me, with Rex Braun on my left, and nearby Curtis Graves, whom we called Stokely, and behind me Charles Patterson, the youngest member of the House, who insisted on calling me 'The Countess." He was bright and conscientious and willing to be more outspoken than anyone I have ever known. We were all old hands from the session before. In mid-session I remember the let- ers I started receiving from people—handwritten and caring, caring about the state and the kind of government it had. I remember our hopes that reform would come. We were by then called "The Dirty Thirty." Later, there was the dream of fielding a ticket of statewide candidates that reflected Texas-with blacks, browns, and women, as well as white men on it. And then we came upon reality—the costliness of statewide campaigns. After the 1971 session, one by one, our group decided against a statewide race. In February of 1972 I announced my candidacy for governor. Five months of unremitting effort. A campaign comprised of a wing and a prayer and people, people everywhere, working and helping in this nation-state of ours. I remember my surprise on finding people at the Democratic National Convention in July 1972 who had followed that primary in Texas. I clearly remember my hesitancy in having my name placed in nomination for vice president. And being firmly talked to by Larry Goodwin. I remember that thought I had just be,-' fore the balloting started, "Well, Sis, you may not get a vote," and I remember the strong and forceful lobbying of Mickey Leland and Pancho Medrano with the Texas delegation and others. The challenge for the vice-presidential nomination was based in equal measure on a woman being nominated and pushing for an open convention on that nomination. I remember February 1973 in Houston and the insistence of Gloria [Steinem] and Bella [Abzug] and Midge Miller that I run for chair at the first convention of the National Women's Political Caucus. I remember the Texas Caucus filled with friends from the primary, urging me not to run for the harm that it would do me politically in Texas. 1973 was really the beginning of a nomadic life for me, as I began to criss-cross the country, speaking on college campuses, at YWCA's, at town halls, and in the meeting rooms of a few churches and synagogues. I remember seeing and listening and talking to women all over this country as they struggled to organize, to identify, and to cope and educate themselves. I searingly remember the Democratic primary contest of mine in 1974 against an incumbent governor, the campaign disarray of my efforts, the loyalty that springs from incumbency. In 1973 I started teaching a course at Texas Southern University. I remember the first thing I had to do after that primary in 1974 was to get my grades out for my students at Texas Southern Law School. I often thought that my students taught me a great deal more than I taught them. Later, I taught a course on sex- based discrimination at the University of Houston, a course I had to teach myself first, since we had no such field of study at UT in the 40's. During 1974 and 1975 the nomadic and seasonal work of lecturing continued for me. On one of those trips in '75 I spoke at Wells College in Aurora, New York. It is an area of haunting beauty. Soon thereafter, I was asked if I would be interested in the presidency of the College. Yes, I agreed to accept. Usually, when I was asked why I made the move I would respond that I would rather work than languish in Texas. And work it was— a great deal of on-the-job training, to be specific. Soon after I came to Wells, Kingman Brewster [president of Yale University] remarked that I had left the overt world of politics for the covert one of education. Indeed, it was that. But it was a great deal more than politics. No longer can my friend Ronnie Dugger [publisher of The Texas Observer] question my lack of administrative experience. Soon it will be four years that I have been here, and now that my time is coming to a close I am dwelling on various aspects of life here that I will miss. There is that haunting and ever present natural beauty. I will miss observing the extraordinary development of young women in four years' time in this institution that is committed to preparing them for the^ 21st century. I will miss the friendship of many Aurorians, both those in the village and those in the college. Frankly, I will miss both the authority and autonomy that has been part of my life here. I am leaving behind the Texas flag that has flown for years here on my office building when I return home in June of this new decade. EA T RICE HA VE FAITH IN WOMEN WHAT I DO NT KNOWNOW I CAN STILL {EARN IF I AM ALONE NOW I WILL BE WITH THEM LATER IF I AM WEAK NOW I CAN BECOME STRONG SLOWLY SLOWLY "I have just read the most remarkable book about women, it is called The Fern- nine Mystique and reminds me of an article I read about 'clicks,' the sudden awareness women have about the way men treat them-it's overdue but I am going to finish it anyway." PAO'K, diary entry, January 18, 1970. IF I LEARN I CAN TEACH OTHERS IF OTHERS LEARN FIRST I MUST BELIEVE THEY WILL COME BACK AND TEACH ME THEY WILL NOT GO AWA Y TO THE COUNTRY WITH THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND SEND ME A LETTER SOMETIME WE MUST STUDY ALL OUR LIVES WOMEN COMING FROM WOMEN GOING TO WOMEN "Dear Ellen, I am finally getting used to being in France and these wretched French men and metros. I sometimes think (just between you and me) that my parents see my M.A. as something nice to include in my wedding announcement ... I'm sure there could be worse uses for it... I'm lonely and want to be back in the U.S.A." PAO'K to EF, December 10, 1971, Paris, France. TRYING TO DO ALL WE CAN WITH WORDS THEN TRYING TO WORK WITH TOOLS OR WITH OUR BODIES TRYING TO STAND THE TIME IT TAKES READING BOOKS WHEN THERE ARE NO TEACHERS OR THEY ARE TOO FAR AWA Y TEACHING OURSELVES IMAGINING OTHERS STRUGGLING "Some of the more militant 'women's libbers' in this class may take objection to my use of the phrase 'the reasonable man test' but of course, as we all know, there is no such thing as a reasonable woman." Law school lecture, September 1972, Houston, Texas. / MUST BELIEVE WE WILL BE TOGETHER AND BUILD ENOUGH CONCERN SO WHEN I HA VE TO FIGHT ALONE THERE WILL BE SISTERS WHO WOULD HELP IF THEY KNEW SISTERS WHO WILL COME TO SUPPOR T ME LA TER "Austin Women's Brigade, a women's collective which is concerned with aligning itself with other Texas groups has just been organized. We invite all our Houston sisters to join with us in organizing women's liberation groups. Our meetings are every third Wednesday." Second Coming Newsletter, April, 1973. WOMEN DEMANDING LOYALTY EACH WITH OUR NEEDS OUR WHOLE LIVES TORN BY THE OLD SOCIETY NEVER GIVEN THE LOVE OR WORK OR STRENGTH OR SAFETY OR INFORMATION WE COULD USE NEVER HELPED BY THE INSTITUTIONS THAT IMPRISON US SO WHEN WE NEED MEDICAL CARE WE ARE BUTCHERED WHEN WE NEED POLICE WE ARE INSUL TED IGNORED WHEN WE NEED PARENTS WE FIND ROBOTS TRAINED TO KEEP US IN OUR PLACES WHEN WE NEED WORK WE ARE TOLD TO BECOME PART OF THE SYSTEM THA T DESTRO YS US HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 12 DECEMBER/JANUARY 1980