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Montrose Voice, No. 318, November 27, 1986
File 017
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Montrose Voice, No. 318, November 27, 1986 - File 017. 1986-11-27. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. July 15, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/189/show/180.

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.

(1986-11-27). Montrose Voice, No. 318, November 27, 1986 - File 017. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/189/show/180

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.

Montrose Voice, No. 318, November 27, 1986 - File 017, 1986-11-27, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed July 15, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/189/show/180.

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 Montrose Voice, No. 318, November 27, 1986
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
  • Wyche, Linda
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date November 27, 1986
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 22329406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 017
Transcript 16 MONTROSE VOICE / NOVEMBER 27, 1986 Division in the Feminist Ranks Court Weighs Views of Women's Equality Commentary by Mary Ellen Gale Pacific News Service Four different views of women's rights clashed hefore the Supreme Court recently when it took up the case of a California receptionist who wanted to bear a child without losing her job. In choosing among these competing visions of equality, the Court wil] inevitably channel feminist debate and activity lor years to come. The Court is being asked to endorse or reject a California statute that guarantees women workers incapacitated by pregnancy or childbirth the right to return to the same job after up to four months of unpaid disability leave. The case began when Lillian Garland took three months of childbirth disability leave in 1982. When she was ready to return to work, her employer, California Federal Savings and Loan Association in I_os Angeles, told her the job was tilled. She was out of work for seven additional months until Cal Fed rehired her as a receptionist. Garland charged that Cal Fed had disregarded the state law Cal Fed retal- attacks, broken legs, or any other health problems. The federal trial court agreed, but the appeals court reversed, ruling that Congress never intended to invalidate state laws that provide greater job protection for pregnant workers. When the Supreme Court rlecided to hear the case, it touched off an explosive debate among feminists, "Trad it ion al" feminists, including the National Organization for Women, the League of Women Voters, and the American Civil Liberties Union, insist that Cal Fed is right: the state law unfairly gives women "special treatment." Tbe traditional feminists see the statute as the illicit granddaughter of discredited "protectionist" laws they have struggled to overturn— laws that, for example, by forbidding employers to require women to lift heavy weights or to work long hours, in practice reserved tbe best jobs for men. They argued that such laws "reflect an ideology which values women most highly for their childbearing and nurturing roles" and st split—division in the ranks tyf women's ■men! iated by suing the state of California in federal court, arguing that the state sta tute violates federal laws forbidding employment discrimination because it treats .women better than men. Cal Fed based its argument on wording in the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, an amendment to the 1JM.4 Civil Rights Act. which directs employers to treat pregnant employees the same as other workers "similar in their ability or inability to work." According to Cal Fed, that means California cannot guarantee job rein statement for pregnant workers unless it does the same for victims of heart "reinforce invidious stereotvoes" of women as dependent, family-oriented and noncompetitive. By contrast, California's attorneys took what might be called the "realistic" feminist viewpoint. They urged the Court to focus on the biological tacts of life. Since men do not bear children, they do not need pregnancy disability leave. The statute simply ensures equal job opportunities for both sexes A third position - hoi directly represented before the Court—could be described as "neof eminist." These self styled pro-family, born-again feminists argue that feminism took a wrong turn in seeking to integrate women into a man's world. Neofeminists believe tht most women's priorities center around home and family life and that California's statute is a small step in the right direction —towards providing special benefits for women workers because of their special role as mothers. One more group of feminists- including organizations of women workers such as 9 to 5, labor unions, Inadequate leave policies send a double message to women workers: that neither the work they do nor the children they bear are really important. Hetty Friedan, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (disagreeing with the national ACLU)—has staked out a fourth position. Rejecting the traditional feminists' devotion to formal equality and the neofeminists' celebration of Conventional domesticity, these feminists are more closely allied with the realists. But they would carry the argument further. In a brief filed by thead hoc Coalition for Reproductive Equality in the Work place (CREW), they point out that inad- quate disability leave forces women to choose between keeping their jobs and- having children, a choice no man ever confronts. The California statute promotes sexual equality by enabling most working women, like working men, to exercise their fundamental right to become parents without losing their jobs. The fourth group might be described as radical feminists, because they seek to uproot social practices that devalue women's contributions to both worlds— public and private, work and family. Inadequate leave policies send a double message to women workers: that neither the work they do nor the child ren they bear are really important. In an attempt to redefine equality between men and women, these fem- nists argue that California's pregnancy disability law increases women's freedom and the capacity to make the kinds of choices men take for granted—to be parents and workers, equnI participants in tbe home and workplace. The Supreme Court, however will have the last word. PNS nommenlator Mary Ellen Gale is an associate prolessor at Whitlier College of Law in Los Angeles and presidenl of the American Civil Liberties Union ol Southern California In Montrose, Nearly Everyone Reads the Voite GREENWAY PUCE APARTMENTS 3333 CUMMINS LANE HOUSTON (713) 623-2034 Under New Management $100 off First Month's Rent with this Ad Office Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30-5:30 Saturday 10:00-5:00 Sunday 1:00-5:00
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