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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 8. December 1976. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 22, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2526.

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.

(December 1976). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 8. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2526

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, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 8, December 1976, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 22, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2526.

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, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date December 1976
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 8
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  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_523h.jpg
Transcript Wor<N appear outsult- lol>t>\ elevator in Ot\ Hall Dr. Nikki van Hightower, City of Houston Women's Advocate, was the keynote speaker at the annual AAUW Outstanding Women of the Year reception last month. Her edited text appears below. One of the nicest things that can happen to me these days is to have the opportunity to participate in honoring women. So this is a very good night. Tomorrow I will go back to my job where men are honored on a daily basis. I seem to be one of the few flies in that ointment. There seems to be a great deal of curiosity about the person who holds the position of Women's Advocate. One of the things I am asked most often is, 'What did you do before you took the job?' When I respond that I was an assistant professor at the University of Houston, the reaction is usually, 'Wow, you left that Utopia, that mecca of egalitarianism for the ugly world of politics?' I still have to struggle to keep a straight face, even though the response is anticipated. I daresay, the universities and educational institutions in general have done an expert job of perpetuating the myth of egalitarianism and the idea, at the university level at least, of a Utopian working environment. Well, let me tell you, it is no Utopia for women. As a matter of fact, I find the nasty world of politics far less nasty than the academic world. I find politics far more open and honest. Most of the people I have run into have made it quite clear how they feel about the women's advocate and women's equality—they don't like it. But at the University I was told by my male colleagues that they strongly supported it. However, they just had extreme difficulty finding qualified women and most of their wives, it just so happened, preferred the full- time role of wife and mother, which then freed them of all family obligations so that they could single-mindedly pursue "higher" intellectual endeavors with a little time off, of course, for a few "innocent" games with the young and impressionable female students. In the city, I knew what was going on immediately. Those intellectual giants on City Council left me with little doubt where I stood. Not so at the University. It took me almost a year to figure out what was happening. Of course, it is very difficult to discern the patterns believe that Santa Claus will visit us on Christmas Eve. And while we are struggling for the freedom of our minds, they will be as vehemently defending the status quo. Yes, I have heard the arguments over and over again. First, women prefer their role as mother and homemaker and in support of this are such facts as women's higher drop-out rate for marriage and/or child- rearing, their failure to apply Conference that was held in Houston. Pity the educators that Twiss Butler goes after- she really knows her business. She challenged their assertion that they were really concerned and truly wanted change in career education of women. She leveled her attack upon the hypocrisy of Kenneth Hoyt, the director of Career Fducation. He vigorously defended his forth- rightness and was strongly supported by some of the other " . . . This is a very good night. Tomorrow I will go back to my job where men are honored on a daily basis." —City of Houston Women's Advocate addressing AAUW Outstanding Women of the Year VAN HIGHTOWER [center] with BARBARA STRONG [I.], Press Secretary to Mayor Fred Hofheinz andMERELYN WHITEDHEAD [r.], Administrative Assistant to City Comptroller Leonel Castillo. when there are so few women with whom to compare experiences. Incredible deceit! But then the stakes are very high. Next to the family, probably no other institution in the country has more impact on our thinking than our educational system, and if we think for one moment that this control over our minds is going to be relinquished without a bitter struggle, we probably also NOW OPEN SOUTHWEST TEfcCHER SUPPLY Educational and creative aids for teachers and parents • Learning games • Art materials • Bulletin board aids • Transparency-duplicating books • Learning center ideas • Bi-lingual materials • Educational toys 7497 SW Frwy at Fondren 771-8506 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH - DECEMBER 1976 PAGE 7 for admission in male-dominated fields. Second, a variation of the first argument, higher education, it is maintained, merely reflects the outside discriminatory world. Because of pre-college discrimination, women have been conditioned to drop out for marriage, to prefer women's fields. A third argument more openly concedes discrimination but defends it as rational and justified. Women, according to this argument, are simply not qualified. Finally, there is the argument of insufficient evidence to identify and prove discrimination. Much effort has been put forth by advocates of equality to refute the tired old arguments. I think a classic example of this academic hypocrisy is the refusal by the State University of New York at Buffalo to grant tenure to Jo Freeman. If you read the feminist literature, you know that Freeman is a prolific writer in the -area of women's rights. The excuse given was that what she did was not political science, it was not scientific. Now that is a value judgment based on male chauvinistic values if I ever heard one. Recently I testified, along with Twiss Butler from Bay Area NOW, at the public hearings of the Career Education males on the panel who were helping to look after women's interests. After they were through, one of the two female members on the panel took the microphone and asked why, if they felt such deep and honest concern for the career education of women, there was not one woman on the steering committee of the conference. Nothing more was said. Stripped of their rhetorical robes, nothing was left but naked chauvinism. They looked much more natural in that condition. The failures of career education to provide equal treatment are also the failures of higher education. Women represent approximately 45% of all undergraduate students. The extent of women's underrepresenta- tion as college students is greater when one considers women's superior high school grades. Consistently since 1929, women's high school grades have been appreciably higher than the grades achieved by men. In higher education, the representation of women decreases as the status level increases. Women make up only 37% of graduate students, 24% of the faculty and less than 9% of full professors. As for college administrators and presidents, women constitute too small a percentage to warrant calculation Women maintain their higher academic achievements, throughout their postgraduate studies. The Carnegie Commission concluded, "Most of the available evidence suggests that women who receive the doctorate are more able, on the average, than men who receive the doctorate." Women are less represented among faculty than they are among students. Like the student pattern of representation, the proportion of women decreases as the status increases. While women as an average comprise 24% of the faculty, they are concentrated in the lowest, non-career rank of instructor. Their representation declines with each higher rank. Tenure is also male-related. They are less likely to hold tenure and more likely to receive tenure at a later age than their male co-workers. This battle for equality is a long and draining one. It is easy to sink into frustration and question our methods. However, on these special occasions when we have the opportunity to be exposed to and think about such outstanding examples of womanhood, there can be no doubt that we are on the right track. It only makes me wonder how much potential is undiscovered and undeveloped, what potential we would have as a society if all people were really free. It's an exciting prospect! THE BOOKSTORE Specializing in Feminist Books Unforgettable gifts in all price ranges Mary Ross Rhyne 1728 Bissonnet 527-8522