that some religious women had offered a counseling service, where women could just go
and talk about their feelings, over at the Albert Thomas Center. How wise they were to
provide. Indeed one woman asked me where it was just as you might ask for an aspirin
for a headache. Good that she could state her need. When the Reproductive Rights
resolution passed, a young woman next to me began to weep inconsolably. She saw "all
those babies who would be murdered." I felt powerless to comfort her and her grief got
to me and I tried to tell her that if she could see the poor women locked into ghetto
life with their already born children, she would grieve for them too. She said, "But
we are the richest country on earth. We should be able to provide for our babies." What
would YOU say? There was so much more that was left unsaid.
I am glad that we are forming a consciousness-raising group for older women because I
need to find my way through some of the issues which were highlighted at the Conference,
among them the lesbian life style with which I feel more uncomfortable than not.
CAROLYN WADDELL, Career Counselor, UH/CLC,and a member of the Texas delegation to the NWC.
(paraphrase of telephoned report) In forty years of life, in many years of serving
on all types of committees and conferences, I have never come away from any meeting
before where my body had experienced every emotion that I know - anger, frustration, joy
and all the rest. I came away feeling very good because of having worked with women from
all walks of life - all salary levels, geographical locations, ethnic and religious groups.
I think that there was a very genuine gathering of all types of women at the Convention.
And even though there was much disagreement about some issues, I know that there was a
strong underlying feeling that we all wanted to work for the betterment of women.
The two resolutions that I experienced the greatest emotions about were the ERA and Minority
Women resolutions. In working on the caucuses concerned with the minority women's resolution,
it was very rewarding for me to work with the blacks, the Chicanas, the Indians, the
people from the territories, and the migrant and rural women. It was a real learning experience
for me to find out how so many of these people are actually living, and to discover
the double-bind situation of a minority woman - having to overcome being both a woman and
a minority member in a society oriented to males and "majority" members, but also having
to overcome the specific cultural pressures which her minority group may impose on its
I spent much of my time working on the Pro-Plan caucus and on the Higher Education sub-group
of the Indian Women's caucus which eventually fed its resolutions into the combined output
of the Minority Women's caucus. From its position on the floor near the stage, the Texas
delegation certainly had the feeling that some Commissioners were engaged in ramrodding
through the "cabinet position" resolution that was a creation of the Commission and not
of the state conferences. I was glad to see that resolution fail, and regretted that the
Conference could not have ended with the unity of the Sunday evening session, rather than
the controversy of the Monday morning session. But the overall positive feeling of being
a part of that Conference is one that is difficult to express.
NORA MERTZ, Bay Area NOW, Bay Area Task Force on Rape....As a participant in the Seneca Falls
Torch Relay, I ran with the group that met at Junior's Barbecue, on McCarty. Junior's is
what I'd call a Texas-style family bar. It has a counter, a couple of tables by the open
windows, and a couple of pool tables in the back room. A sign over the pool-room door reads:
"Next time bring your wife." Our host seemed a cordial soul, if not particularly politically
aware. Said a neighbor of his was involved in that NOW stuff—a woman by the name of Wanda
Schultz. (I just said "Oh?")
I got to Junior's at 8:30 a.m., half an hour before the scheduled meeting time. Dr. Virginia
Currey was there, sitting with c few young men who had come in for their before-work beer.