LOOK I A, IT'S GONNA ELY
HAFFCU, the Houston Area Feminist Federal Credit Union is about to become a reality.
Lore than the requested thirty thousand dollars of seed money has now been pledged, and
a Charter meeting was held on June 23rd in the Student Center at University of Houston.
About thirty area feminists representing a number of organizations elected interim officers
and filled out the necessary forms to obtain a Charter from the federal government. Marjorie Randal attended this meeting on behalf of Bay Area NOT and accepted a slot on the
credit committee until election of officers in January. After the credit union office is
opened, volunteers to staff it will be needed. Interested persons please call Laura Oren
at 528-3631. For information on the status of other feminist credit unions in this country (obtained at the meeting), call Harj at Li88-U396. HAFFCU maintains a box at the Women's Center, 3602 Milam, Houston 77002.
C-R in Academe
The sound and slide show on sexism in textbooks which will form a part of our program meeting this month, "Boys and Girls Together," by Hattie Thurlow and Kay Whyburn,
was recently presented to a graduate class in selection of materials for school libraries
at the University of Houston in Clear Lake City. In her thank-you note for the occasion,
Professor Lea-Ruth Wilkins has written, "All of us were left with some very thought provoking ideas which might have been left out of the course had you not brought them to our
attention." HLUS QA CHANGS....
"The French Revolution was thus anti-feminist a priori. In this it followed the princi
pies of Rousseau, who was against allowing women any place in public life. The first manifestoes
of the Revolution hardly nention women. The Droits de lfhomme et ducitoyen# proclaimed by
the Constituent Assembly three weeks after the storming of the Bastille, is sometimes translated "human and civic rights,1 but a more accurate rendering would be f the rights of men and
citizens,1 for women were excluded from most political rights. They were neither actively nor
passively enfranchised, and they could not hold any high office. The women of the people who
filled the galleries of the popular assemblies, parliament and the courts, and made themselves
conspicuous by their violent interruptions, were regarded by the politicians only as unwelcome
spectators. In the National Convention special posters were pasted up enjoining the women in
the gallery to keep quiet.
Nevertheless, the turbulent and amorphous mass of the tricoteuses produced one of the first
political womenfs associations. In order to win the men's ear more easily, it called itself
the Societe Fraternelle des Deux Sexes. Its founder was a provincial actress, and it had something SJ the air of a melodrama, its members ran about in men's long trousers; many of them,
to show their fighting spirit, stuck pistols in their belts. Their behavior in their political demonstrations was also extremely radical. The men of the Revolution, however, mis-trusted
these street-Amazaons, especially when they saw that the women of the upper and middle classes
who tried to take a hand in politics were becoming increasingly the mainspring and tools of the
reaction. Madame Roland, a Republican of Roman stamp, linked up with the Girondistes, the Party
of the Right. Charlotte Corday, also at first an enthusiastic revolutionary, murdered Marat,
the President of the Jacobin Club, to avenge his attacks on the Girondists. Both women ended
their lives under the guillotine in 1793 •
About the same time, that fate also overtook Olympe de Gouges, the authoress who had championed equal rights for women at the very outbreak of the Revolution. She had drawn up a Declaration of the Rights of Women, modelled on the Declaration of the Rights of Man, but this hud
found very little resr/nse in France. Her ideas did, hox-iever, influence the movement for women' s
rights in England. In 1792 Mary Wollstonecraft, the spiritual ancestress of the English suffragettes, published her subversive book, A Vindication of the Rights of Women. In the same
year the burgomaster of Koenigsberg, Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel, a friend of Kant's, wrote e
treatise On the Position of Women in Bourgeois Society. He did not go so far as the chamrdon*
of women's rights in west Europe, but it was a beginning. It is true that these beginnings
never led to any tangible result, after political feminism had been nipped in the bud in 1793
by the prohibition of the Paris Women's Club."
—Richard Lewinsohn, A History of Sexual Customs, 19^6, pages 220-???.