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About The North Coast times-eagle. (Wheeler, Oregon) 1971-2007 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 12, 1979)
THE NORTH COAST TIMES EAGLE, FRIDAY, 12 OCTOBER, 1979
by Leonora Murray
2 6 th
The summer is gone but August 26 was not just a
summer day. It was a day of rememberance, a special day
honoring three generations of American women who suc
cessfully campaigned for 72 years and finally won the basic
right of citizenship-the right to vote.
One wonders how long it will take to pass the Equal
Rights Amendment. Susan B. Anthony went to jail because
she attempted to vote. A federal judge told her “citizen” did
not mean woman, “if we meant woman we would say
woman” (so who says we don’t need the ERA?).
I think all of us on the coast have feminist ancestors who
endured ridicule, derision, distortion, verbal and physical
assaults to gain equality. We all have grandmothers, mothers,
aunts, sisters, wives, daughters, sweethearts and cousins,
women who got thrown in jail for joining strikes, who got
fired when asking for equal wages, who were denied access
to training and education on the basis of sex, who marched
and demonstrated-who still march and demonstrate, did
you remember them August 26?
Let’s remember our folk heroes, the women who attended
the first equal rights conference in New York and published
the Seneca Falls Declaration 1848.; the women who joined
the Women’s Party that Alice Paul founded, the women who
were blue-collar workers and union organizers; let’s remem
ber them all with love, let’s celebrate!
Let’s celebrate the gutsy Dr. Mary Wright, Congressional
Medal of Honor Women, she was a battlefield surgeon for
the Union Army. (Fifty years ater Congress decided she
hadn’t been brave enough, so they requested the medal be
returned; she refused, so Congress denied her military pen
sion, unfortunately nobody bothered to take down her
exact words but they must have been dillies to make Congress
take such strong action against her, after all she was still
a veteran, still entitled to her pension.
Let’s celebrate exslave Sojourner Truth. Her speech “Ain’t
I A Woman” made history when she asked, if women were
frail and weak, how come nobody kept her from working as
a field hand? And if motherhood and women’s sensitivity
precluded them from public life-then where was everybody
when her five children were sold into slavery, nobody wor
ried about her sensitivity, and ain’t I a women? She sure
was, and in another instance she faced down a bible-quoting
mob saying she did indeed believe in Jesus but you men
didn’t have nothing to do with Jesus-that was between God
and Women, no men anywhere . . . A very nice lady. A
very tough lady.
And let’s not forget Sacajawea, pathfinder for Mr. Lewis
and Mr. Clark? or Luch Stone who made up her own wed
ding vows and kep her own name; or Jane Adams, not only
a great humanitarian but FIRST American to win the Nobel
Prize, and who insisted that her husband realize that more
than just men were equal; and Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
Abigail Adams; or Amelia Bloomer, who tried so damn
hard to make sense out of fashion (now that lady would
be in rat heaven to see jeans an acceptable garment.) I
think our libraries need at least one set of American Women
of History, without it the women I mentioned are just a
splash in the ocean.
And most of all let’s celebrate the grand old lady, Susan
B. Anthony, who said “ Failure Is Impossible.” We believe
it! If it takes us another 72 years to get women written into
the national Constitution (and consciousness) we’re ready,
but I don’t think our politicians are. She didn’t forget the
men, either. On men’s liberation she said, “Of course, for
are not all men the children of women?” , and most hearten
ing and solemn of all, Susan B. Anthony said, “ Until women
have the same rights as men on this green earth, there shall
never be another season of silence.” Amen.
Let’s all support our local day care centers, join the local
chapter of National Organization for Women (NOW), sup
port our Women’s Crisis Centers and best of all, celebrate
our gallant women.
Next year—August 26-celebrate!
I. After centuries of individual and preliminary political
struggle, women are uniting to achieve their final liberation
from male supremacy. Redstockings is dedicated to building
this unity and winning our freedom.
II. Women are an oppressed class. Our oppression is total,
affecting every facet of our lives. We are exploited as sex
objects, breeders, domestic servants, and cheap labor. We
are considered inferior beings, whose only purpose is to
enhance men’s lives. Our humanity is denied. Our pres
cribed behavior is enforced by the threat of physical
Because we have lived so intimately with our oppressors,
in isolation from each other, we have been kept from seeing
our personal suffering as a political condition. This creates
the illusion that a woman’s relationship with her man is a
matter of interplay between two unique personalities, and
can be worked out individually. In reality, every such
relationship is a class relationship, and the conflicts between
individual men and women are political conflicts that can
only be solved collectively.
HI. We identify the agents of our oppression as men. Male
supremacy is the oldest, most basic form of domination.
All other forms of exploitation and oppression are extensions
of male supremacy: men dominate women, a few men dom
inate the rest. All power structures throughout history have
been male-dominated and male-oriented. Men have control
led all political, economic and cultural institutions and back
ed up this control with physical force. They have used their
power to keep women in an inferior position. All men
receive economic, sexual and psychological benefits from
male supremacy. All men have oppressed women.
IV. Attempts have been made to shift the burden of
responsibility from men to institutions or to women them
selves. We condemn these arguments as evasions. Institutions
alone do not oppress; they are merely tools of the oppressor.
To blame institutions implies that men and women are equal
ly victimized, obscures the fact that men benefit from the
subordination of women, and gives men the excuse that they
are forced to be oppressors. On the contrary, any man is free
to renounce his superior position provided that he is willing
to be treated like a woman by other men.
V. We regard our personal experience, and our feelings
about that experience, as the basis for an analysis of ou
common situation. We cannot rely on existing ideologies
as they are all products of male supremist culture. We
Like the clack
The ceaseless keys o f typewriters clicking
You clip your head
In short convenient shreds
Small heads like quail
Disappearing in low scrub
Flatland bush, have you stepped
Inside an old clothing store
And seen the colors
The fine antique hues
Ambergris silk so thin
The slightest touch would ravel
Did you ever spend a morning
In old rosey satin
A taupe afternoon? Say,
a fog and brandy sundown
Some nights so deep
In black and bloody velvet
No, the colors o f your day
Are mohair pink and purple
Born o f vats o f dye
Your low-heeled slingback shoes
What harsh depression song
Was wrenched with the cord o f an iron
Drummed to the drone o f a television set
In the entropy o f your body
What made you fear to feel
Beyond the office panic
How fast you type or jump when he enters the room
How many times you lie behind
A Spick & Span brand-name smile
/ see your eyes, open and naive
A nd weep for both o f us, and all
Cemented in this masonry together
Chattels o f co-partnership and gold.
WOMENS CRISIS SERVICE
OP CLATSOP COUNTY
A VO LU NTEER O R G A N IZ A T IO N
H eLP A N D
P R O V ID IN G
F O R V IC T IM S O F
FAMILY VIOLENCE AND RAPE
• E M O TIO N A L S U P P O R T -
• R f P E R A L S TO A G E N C IE S A N D S H t L lC f l H O M E S -
• C O M M U N I T Y E D U C A TIO N A. SPEAKERS'
• O N G O IN G S U P P O R T
K A r GROUPS»
S 3 2 5 -5 7 3 5
C latsop co unty w o m e n s c r is is s e r v ic e
by the Redstockings
question every generalization and accept none that are
not confirmed by our experience.
Our chief task at present is to develop female class
consciousness through sharing experience and publicly
exposing the sexist foundation of all our institutions.
Consciousness-raising is not “ therapy,” which implies the
the existence of individual solutions and falsely assumes
that the male-female relationship is purely personal, but
the only method by which we can ensure that our program
for liberation is based on the concrete realities of our lives.
The first requirement for raising class consciousness is
honesty, in private and in public, with ourselves and other
We also reject the idea that women consent to or are to
blame for their own oppression. Women’s submission is not
the result of brainwashing, stupidity, or mental illness but of
continual, daily pressure from men. We do not need to
change ourselves, but to change men.
The most slanderous evasion of all is that women can
oppress men. The basis for this illusion is the isolation of
individual relationships from their political context and the
tendency .of men to see any legitimate challenge to their
privileges as persecution.
VI. We identify with all women. We define our best interest
as that of the poorest, most brutally exploited woman.
We repudiate all economic, racial, educational or status
privileges that divide us from other women. We are determin
ed to recognize and eliminate any prejudices we may hold
against other women.
We are committed to achieving internal democracy.
We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that every woman
in our movement has an equal chance to participate, assume
responsibility, and develop her political potential.
VII. We call on all sisters to unite with us in struggle.
We call on all men to give up their male privileges and
support women’s liberation in the interest of our humanity
and their own.
In fighting for our liberation we will always take the
side of women against their oppressors. We will not ask what
is “revolutionary” or “reformist,” only what is good for
The time for individual skirmishes has passed. This time
we are going all the way.
7 JULY, 1969