Is rape a justification for murder?
Can an alleged rape victim get a fair trial in a judicial system
dominated by men?
Can minorities get a fair shake from the criminal justice
system of the United States?
What is the legal definition of 'self defense"?
These are vital questions posed by the explosive rape and
murder trial of Inez Garcia, which will be presented as a 90-
rninute courtroom drama on Channel 8, Wednesday, May
25, at 9 p.m. and Saturday, May 28 at 9 p.m. The program,
titled The People vs. Inez Garcia, was produced by San
Francisco's public TV station, KQED.
The Pride of Inez
By Maria Del Drago
Inez Garcia has become a public figure, yet to most people, she
remains an enigma. Beautiful and
flamboyantly dressed, with a
toughness born of the barrio, she
still behaved like an innocent; a
child-woman who at first could
explain her rape only in the sanctity of the confessional.
An illiterate, unable even to tell
time when her trial began, she
nonetheless tried to control and
around them, and they are treated
by it with the same misunderstanding and prejudice. My vision
blurs as I force myself to remember what it is like to grow up Latina
in an Anglo world.
We look different, yes. But
there is a greater difference than
our brown nipples, the shapes of
our faces, and our Indian eyes
From the moment of our birth, we
are thrust into an extraordinary
patchwork quilt of contradictions.
We combine witchcraft comfortably with blind obedience to
permission ®Ms. Magazine, 1975
When I was born, my grandmother expressed her disapproval
by going into deep mourning for a
month: as a first-born child, I
should have been a macho. Then
she arranged to have masses celebrated each week to ensure the
future birth of a male heir. To
make doubly sure, she also called
in the local bruja to bless my
mother and remove the evil spirit
that had given her a female child.
Our position within the family
circle is learned early. At the table,
the men and boys are served first,
"I believe that no man or no person has the right
to take over a woman's body because they feel like
it. I believe if a woman wants to be with a man,
shell be with that man."
— Inez Garcia
affect the politics of her trial and
the kaleidoscopic realities around
it. A minority woman with an
instinctive fear of authority, especially of police and the courts,
she ended up defying both — not
only on her own behalf, but, quite
consciously, on behalf of all women.
This contradiction, this enigma
of passivity and defiance, may survive the possible appeal of her
case. It may remain the public's
view of her — unless she is understood as a Latina. I know, for I am
There is pain and anger between these lines — as I try to
explain Inez for what she is, I am
also trying to explain myself. We
are not exactly the same: I grew
up in Brazil and now live in California, where Chicanos are the
main Spanish speaking group;
Inez was born to Cuban and Puerto Rican parents in New York,
married to a Cuban, and has also
spent her recent years among Chicanos in California. But the varieties of Latin culture share far
more basic values with each other
than they do with the Anglo world
Brecht Drama at Main Street Theater
By Kathy Clifford
As a Marxist, Bertolt Brecht recognized women as a vital part of
any revolution, As a playwright,
he wrote several plays emphasizing women and women's roles,
one of which — The Mother — is
on stage at Main Street Theater
May 5-7 and May 12-14.
Written in 1930, based on Gorki's novel of the same name, The
Mother is about one woman, Pel-
agea Vlassova, and the Russian
As the play opens, Vlassova sees
herself simply as "the mother of a
worker and the widow of a worker." She complains bitterly about
poor living conditions and her
son's low wages, but feels that she
is powerless to effect change.
She is drawn into the revolution, reluctantly at first, and finds
herself rapidly politicized. Gorki
killed his heroine, but Brecht preferred to have Pelagea Vlassova
survive, to transcend physical abuse and the loss of her son, to
carry the workers' flag.
This play is a prime example of
Brechtian epic theatre, the so-
called "theatre of alienation." Titles and captions, slides and minimal sets keep one intensely aware
that this is a play and not reality.
Brecht did not want his audience
to sit back and get caught up in a
plot, only to forget the play as
soon as they left the theatre; he
wanted them to listen and re
member a message. And although
it is sometimes disquieting, this is
precisely what happens.
The ambience of the Main
Street production is not necessarily Marxist, but definitely revolutionary, an allegory of the
struggle of the politically oppressed everywhere.
Actors, technicians, designers
and musicians at Main Street have
actively collaborated in artistic
decisions, addressing both the
complexity of the play and the
challenge of a provocative theatrical experience.
Directed by John Houchin; original score by Michael Skupin;
Main Street Theater at Autry
House, 6265 South Main, 524-
3168; $2.50 general, $1.50 student.
the Catholic church, going to
mass each Sunday, yet calling a
bruja (witch) to our house to remove the "bad eye" an enemy has
put on us.
We are bilingual in a world
where most children imperfectly
master one language only, yet
Anglo cultural standards may
judge us illiterate or backward.
Our own cultural behavior, casting our eyes down when talking to
authorities as a sign of respect, for
instance, may cause us to be judged shifty, dishonest.
If we are women, we are taught
to be gentle, quiet, and shy, yet
men do great violence in defense
of our "honor" — our virginity as
girls, our fidelity as wives - and we
ourselves are taught to resist such
"dishonor" to the death.
get the best cuts of meat (or the
only meat), the freshest fruits, the
strongest coffee. Sacrifices are
made for a boy's education, but
rarely for a girl's. We wear a small
silver medal of the Blessed Virgin
and often make do with hand-me-
down dresses, but a true macho
has at least one suit of spotless
white and wears a bright religious
medal on a gold chain.
Girls become more and more
subject to church dictates as puberty approaches;, the very time
when a macho's growing male
prowess begins to replace his dependence on religious authority.
Latinas are taught to observe all
the sacraments, beginning with
In the poorly lit bowels of our
parish church, we kneel uncom-
New Dimensions in Health Care
The Total Approach
June 11 - 12
Rice Rittenhouse Hotel
The enormous power of the mind to affect
physiological functioning has only begun to
David Bressler, Ph.D.
Center for Integral Medicine
Presenters will include:
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D.: "Death and Dying"
Hans Selye, M.D.: "Stress Without Distress"
Stephanie Matthews-Simonton and
O. Carl Simonton, M.D.: "Cancer and Visualization"
Marguerite Abell Nakles, R.N.: "Techniques of
Humanistic Nursing Care"
Karl Pribram, M.D.: "We Are What We Do"
and many more leading authorities.
Come participate and meet them.
For more information, call 713-795-4263 or write to P.O.
Box 61426, Houston 77028.
HOUSTON HOLISTIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION
PACE 12 • MAY 1977 • HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH