with machetes & cameras.
B~ a women's news jour al
Vlm Number 24
ks ~gon, D.C.
Off our b ck
oob> back from cuba
1 1 t 4I
Our present printer, a charming Virgin-
ia gentleman, is terrific and not at all
like our previous printer, a Maryland ass-
grabber. But we have to leave him, we
think--his press is inadequate, you see.
We'd like to find a 6-unit web press so
we can bring you the new oob drenched in
color and marvelous in its quality of re-
.photos that leap off the page
.ink that lures your eyes
-paper that begs to be held
We may retain our "tabloid" format and
look. like..we' do now except with double the
pages (.a la youtbasic underground newspaper) b
or we may switch to "signature" format to
look -more like a magazine (keeping, of
course, our funky newsprint).. Nothing will
gjo from o~ur terrific repetoire of regular
features. :Watch for
*the Return of Chicken Lady
pricelesss Survival articles
-expanded Struggl~e news
*'Culture Vulture flies again ~ e ~ ~ CC
Meanwhile, while you're waiting ex-
pectantly for all these wondrous changes
-- .a.. ,to materialize, we'll be finding ourselves
Bay a new double-o b headquarters--
*brighter: out of the basement, into
satenbett mvlrer .reorganized and more efficient: you'll
<> t be able to get the newspaper quicker,
*fresher and the same month that you
send in your check
All of this will come to you for a
mere 354 cheap per issue at your local
newsstand or bookstore or on the street.
Or if you prefer to have your personalized
copy of oob hand delivered by a uniformed
emissary of the U.S. government, it'll
cost you LESS than it did last year. $5.00
gets you 112 issues and maybe an oob poster,
maybe an oob calendar an'd maybe an oob comic
book. Rea-liy, we haven't decided.
*We are asking our subscribers to pay a
little more than the newsstand price.
12 issues @ 35d/cop'y comes to $4.20.
But what with ~inflation marching on,
increased printing costs and the recent
hike in postal rates, we're again de-
pendent on subscriptions to support our
UNTIL SEPTEMBER, HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU.
GET ALOT OF SUN AND 00ON'T FORGET TO
SMASH THE STA~TE!i
Here we have the-old oob. We started
a year and a half ago at 25Q for 12 humble
pages and promised 24 .issues a year--one -
every two weeks. Well, 5 months behind
schedule, rwe give you this, the 24th issue,
a veritable 32? page behemoth. And as the
months -have passed we've outgrown our of-
fice, gradually given up trying to be a
timely- newspaper appearing every three
weeks, built up a dedicated and delightful
readership and decided to undergo major
Since we never managed to cover the
news much anyway and we always felt sneaky
dating the newspaper 3 weeks ahead, we'll
reappear come September as a MONTHLY. Not
a newspaper anymore, we'll be more like a
magazine and we'll have--
.twice as much copy
.thrilling and provocative features:
stuff to make women happy, stuff to
make women think
.short, short little goodies and long,
long profound pieces on the major events
and thoughts of the time
there'll be some changes made
cuba, que linda es cuba
Page.2/off our backs/Summer 1971
On the morning of March 22, 1971, sev-
en people boarded an American Airlines plane
-at Dulles Airport en route to Mexico City.
We were the Washington, D. C. region of the
4th Contingent of the Brigada Venceremos
and our journey was the culmination of
months of meetings, worries, hassles, Span-
ish classes, and money-raising events. That
day was full of bad omens, starting with the
drive to the airport when we were stopped
by the D. C. police and the driver had to
pay $144 in back parking tickets, and con-
tinuing through our nervous five-hour wait
in the Mexico Cit~y airport, where confined
to one small area of the airport we had
our pictures taken by Mexicans working for
the CIA as we prayed for our eventual re-
lease. 'Finally we were airborne on Air
Cubana and the pilot came over the loud-
speaker to say: "You can relax now; you
are among friends. Welcome to the first
free territory of the Americas'" We all
smiled real smiles for the first time that
The Brigada Venceremos has been in
existence for two years. The 1st, 2nd and
4th Contingents cut suger cane, the 3rd
Contingent picked citrus fruit. The format
of the 4th Contingent was to work for six
weeks ~in the cane fields, and then go on a
bus tour of Cuba for two weeks.
Our brigade was made up of 221 North
Americans; most of us were in our 20's, but
we ranged from 16 to 55. There were more
women than men, more white people than
third world people, more straight people
than gay people, and more people from the
northeast and west coast than anywhere else
in the country. Most of us were into some
aspect of movement politics. A small hand-
ful were freaks.
We cut cane for six weeks in 10 sub-
brigades which were organized by state-side
geographic regions. The brigades consisted
of 24 to 32.people; North Americans, six
Cuban university students, a defe (chief)
and a produc~tivo (person in charge of qual-
ity of production). All of the defes were
men, two of the produebivos were produe-
tivas (women). Our camp was located in
Havana Province, two hours from the city
of Havana, near a town called Aguacate.
We lived ten in a tent. The sexes were
separated, so were the North Americans and
Cubans. We worked five-and-a-half days a
week, had production meetings on Saturday
afternoons and then had the rest of the
day free,, There were a choice of several
organized trips on Sundays. We ate ade-
quately in a large dining hall; our work
clothes were washed b~y a laundry, every-
thing else we washed by hand in cold water.
People who wanted to sleep together did so
in the canefields surrounding the _camp..
Beginning the second week, we awoke
each morning at 6:00 a. m., had a break-
fast of a roll and coffee, and climbed in-
to trucks by brigade for the ride to the
cane fields.- We worked from 7:00 a. m.
until noon with a 20-minute break around
9:30 a. m. for merienda (snack). At noon
we would go back to camp for a large lunch
and free time until ~3:00 p. m. when we
would meet back at our machete racks and
depart for the fields until 7:00 p. m.
There was also an afternoon merienda.
Following a large supper there was usually
'a movie, Tecture, cultural activity, party,
or meetings. Getting enough sleep was
difficult, but necessary. We learned to
rest in the afternoons.
We were cutting burned sugar cane,
which is a new method being introduced
throughout Cuba. It vastly increases pro-
ductivity, but also creates fields full of
ashes so that you leave the fields each .
morning and afternoon totally covered with
soot. It took a week of hot showers back
here for me to get all of the little black
specks out of my pores. We cut with
machetes, and wore straw hats or scarves,
wire-mesh goggles, heavy work gloves, long
pants,-long-sleeved shirts, and work boots.
Strong North American macheteros on the
Brigada Venceremos cut about 1,000 arrobas
a day, an arroba is 25 pounds of cane. On
the best Cuban cane-cutting brigades, the
macheteros cut between 2,000 and 3,000
arro as a day.
The work was incredibly hard. Nothing
I had ever done before prepared me for
this kind of sustained physical exertion;
and the values which this society ~taught
me had nothing to do with placing so high
a value on hard physical labor. And yet,
I loved it. Our lives while we were in
Cuba were centered around this work. The
Cubans with whom we worked talked constant-
ly about the importance of the safra
(sugar harvest) to the building of the
Cuban Revolution. Grunma the newspaper
of the Central Committee cf the Cuban Com-
munist Party, was full of references to
the zafra. The entire island and its
people are involved in building itself
and realizing its vision--and at this
point that vision depends in large part
on the zafra.
To be a part of that process--to be
doing work that you know matters and that
cannot be twisted and made counter-produc-
tive is a feeling we've never experienced
in this country. It is impossible to ex-
plain what it feels like to do work which
is of gut importance to you and everyone
around you. It is truly non-alienating
work. I had never before understood what
that- term meant, I couldn't because it
never happens~ in our alienated society.
Even our movement work .is frustrating.
There is no such thing as life-giving,
growth-producing work in a culture motiva-
ted by competition and fear.
The Cubans we worked with were incred-
ibly supportive of each other and of us.
Everyone was urged to work as hard as they
possibly could, but within their own lim-
its. These were people who clearly trust-
ed and respected themselves, each other,
and their dedication to their collective
work. The demands were high, but they
were demands on all of us, and the expec-
tation was that we could meet them. With-
out competition, and without putting down
people who had trouble cutting cane, the
Cubans placed an extremely high value on.
work and showed real respect for strong
workers. This attitude is present in their
language--Cubans never use the term "good"
in relation to work, they use the word
fuerte (strong). Cuban men were also,uery
supportive of women who were strong mache~-
teras, it was only some of the*North Ameri-
can men who were threatened by strong wo--
This is not to make the Cubans out as
super-human, they had their foibles and
insecurities. But these were not in the
area of their work; they were clear about
it, their relationship to it, and their
ability to do it. And it was our work
which was ofprimryimportance during the
six weeks we sntcutting cane. Which is
not to say that we didn't have fun; when
you are satisfied with yourself about the
work which you are doing you are free to
play with the same total energy.
BACK IN THE U.S. OF A.
I returned to this country vastly
changed; I had discovered capabilities and
energies within myself which I had never
known existed. I felt a clarity and calm-
ness about myself which I had never before
experienced. But my energy is beginning
to ebb, I have begun to doubt my capability,
and I am once again confused. The reality
of this society, my reality which produced
the insecurity and confusion which is all
of us, is reclaiming me.
I went to a free rock concert in the
park last Sunday afternoon and fled in ab-
solute terror after 15 minutes; the total
lethargy and lack of positive energy were
horrifying. All of my friends are going
through incredible ~personal crises and are
confused about their lives and their abil-
ity to live them. I doubt my sanity at
the kind of simple joy which I feel, and
feel guilty for wanting to laugh and have
fun. I have spent ten times as much en-
ergy talking with people about personal
things in the three weeks I've been back
in this country than I did during the en-
tire two months in Cuba. Yet I feel so
much more isolated and alone here, so much
less cared for .and caring. It's almost
as if we use all of these words and we do
all this talking-because of our inability
to do anything for and about each other.
We use this verbal and inadequate substi-
tute because we are powerless.
I fear that the reality of here is
re-asserting its claim on me; I feel the
cynicism, confusion, and lack of energy
returning. I guess the word for it is
alienation. In the "free" communities
which we are building we have not managed
to free ourselves from it; I am not going
to be able to be free of it. It's one of
the oppressions which must fall when the
r~est of this oppressive system does. It
is incredible for me to remember now that
I lived for a while with that kind of in-
tegrity, intensity and joy.
by heidi steffens
There were things we saw and emperien-
ced in Cuba that disappointed us. We have
real criticisms about the way in which the
Brigade was organized and run by both the
North Americans and Ghbans. We didn't ev~en
try to deal with those things in these pa-
~ges; we will do it in the fall in ook: The
disappoin-tments and criticisms don't inuati-
date the incredible high we feet as a result
of spending nine weeks as part of the Cuban
Revuolution. And we wanted to sett you about
the high now, before it is dissolved in our
North American nightnere.
Summer 1971/off our backs/Page 8
Photos by heidi steffens
i r II I I ~ II I, I
Page 4/off our backs/Summer 1971
-.*,7:..,:.',;. : 2,*4; ..
SBoth hands bi~istered and the muscles sore; a Zit-
tZe stiff andrmcy consada (very tired? ) Third day of
ocutting.--it didn- t seem very- Zong but my hands are
tiery sore. I'm beginning to trust my ann not to out
-off mU Zag everytime I swing mU machete. I~t.s deeply
satisfying to woi~k Zike this--being outdoor, the hard
physical te~sting--but ~I -stiLZ feet weak. Oh wet1, 20
(-years of being sedentary--may the next 20 be physically
.Raphael, a Z3-year-old student at a boarding school we vie-
ited, said that he wanted to become a doctor. I asked if he thought
it would be difficult. reL said, 'In the revolution nothing is hard,
you hav~e the interest and you carry it out. "
Mzy Day.' We spent the morning outtsng menh our vsehnamese and C'uban brothers
and sisters. I was asked by a Vietnamese sister to sing a revolutionary song--I am
ashamed to say that she and the other Vietnamese knew more of our civil rights and'
labor songs than I do. I am constantly astounded by the warmth and easiness with
which the Vietnamese touch each other and us. '~They talk a lot about turning anger
into energy, about being optimistic and sure .that we will win.
notes from a cuban diary
spirit of grron
This statement was given to us by the
Cubins in our work brigade in our final week
of work. They wrote and translated it
~ themselves. It is something that we wiZ
remember as we make choices in our Zives,
~Y and we'd like to share it with you.
L~5?81~North American Comrades:
*r ~AAI~~PPrr~b 8lrIt has been only a few weeks since
you have arrived to the first socialist
.. country of America.Wekothttha
ii been a brief stay in our homeland, but we ex-
I 'pect that you have obtained a great number
i ~of experiences which are part of ~our histo-
:r. ry and our lives.
You have a his-toric privilege which
... is to be living in a period of great' revolu-
J~~p"Fl~rl I n~F~ti onary convo~lutions....
....you are participating in one' of
r 'our' battlefronts: our economy and at the
Justvisted he rackcan-cutingbriade j.Cba.same time your Oisit has a politicatslsig-.
Justvisted he rackcan-cutingbriade f Cba.nificance for Cuba,.the United States, and
These fierce looking guys out sometimes 7,000 arrobas of the world in general.
oane a day ( a good autter in the venceremos Brigade can Today you form part of the best rep-
out 2,000 a day ). Th2ey said they never got more than four resentatives of the Northamerican people
hours of steep a night. Asked how they did it, one man said, who have come to give your. effort to our
"We drYink a tot of beer. revolution as an example of international
solidarity but we cannot forget that many
years ago your own government named Kennedy,
Johnson, Nixon ordered the destruction of
our Revolut~ion and appeared in the world's
public opinion a new name: Giron .:.;
"JLL L- tron is not a cry, Giron is not a
1.ageslogan, Giron is the spirit of the Cuban
Revolutionary People that emerges as an
ib example for the three continents, demon-
feat of imperialism tn America, breaking
in this way the myth of indestructability
of imperialism. Now imperialism is not in-
vulnerable. We have found its Achilles
heel in Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and`
you should .also find it and this is the
lesson you must not forget.
You are committed as--revolutioqnaries
and as such: you must make the Revolution.
You should not deceive the revolutionaries
)P ~of Cuba, Asia, and Latin America.-
We are constantly being atta~ed.by~
imperialism through the CIA, the-gueanos
that left our country in~ order, to li5ve com-
.. fort~ably, abandoning their duty, the strug-
sgle against underdevelopment....They are im-
perialism's mercenaries and they should be
fought as such. Counter-revolution can be
From the children especially here I see the revolution as a way of Zife. I have fought in any part of -the world because -the
had passionate discussions with young teen-agers whose seriousness and-Ededication are revolution is only one. Imperialism shows
astounding. Over and over from than I hear the phrase 'I estZ go where the revolution tefnacoctewyscone-vou
needs me most. ti on genoci de,' monopoly ies di scri mi nati on ,
inequality. We know thi~s. Imperialism is
~ruel,! and struggles ,against all humanity,
especi al.ly Northamerican Imperialism. But
we also know that we, those revolutionaries
that want to construct socialismshoould be
Strengthened ideologically asca ndeta
scosesproblem as well as our revoluti nametlry con-
The Cuban people have shown t~his--in
your trip to Cuba, the demonstrations a-
gainst war, poverty, and: hunger;, the four
martyrs of Kebt and the "most recent event,
-the 6,000 prisoners of Washington' We can-
not fall asl~eep~, we cannot div~ide- ourselves
because in order to win we should unite
all progressive and revolutionary forces,
O .guiding them towards the same objectives
because our strength is given by our
we cannot underestimate Imperialism.
*~i~tiat. It is strong and powerful. In order to de-
stroy it, we fight it from the outside and
'you must fight it from the inside.
The only thing we have to say to you
now is that we are satisfied with your work,
with your participation in the problems pf
our economy and with the attitude of each
I~~ member of the brigade.
We congratulate you and wish you tri-
umps and victories. We hope to say some
4"~ day: United States, free territory of
Long live the revolutionaries of the world.
All power to the people'
Uriion is strength.
Patria o Muerte.
G~iron refers to the Bay of Pigs. Gu-
sanos Ziterally means "wodes"; it refers
~2~L to th-e Cubans who Zeft Cuba to come to the
U.S. .after the revolution.
Summer 1971/off our backs/Page 5 "
_ ~~_~ _~____
Page 6/off our backs/Summer 1971
When, a month or so ago, Viva was
questioned on the Dick Cavett show about
the "real identity" of the characters in
her new book, Superstar, she refused to
allow Cavett to qualifyl them as "freaks"
or to identify them with anyone she knew
or had ever known, living or dead. "It's
just a novel, that's all," she drawled,
in her upstate-New York-parochial-school
accent. "Just a work of fiction."
Of course everybody knows, I guess,
that Viva is the superstar who has been
in films by Andy Warhol, Agnes Varda,
and has long been involved in the world
of the fashionable underground. She has
come to represent a kind of leader of the
art-and-cinema groupies, perhaps even the
super-groupie of them all. Her book doesn't
disappoint, because despite all her dis-
claimers, it is indeed a thinly veiled
autobiography, concerning the life of an
underground superstar called Gloria (from
In Excelsis Dio) previously known as Janet
Lee Schumann, Faughter of an ultra-wealthy
ultra-Ca~tholic doctor in--guess where?--
upstate ~New: York.
From a ]Catholic girlhood, sexually
intimidated and surrounded by mad nunss
a raging father and a mother whose chief
preoccupation is persecuting Comnmunists,
Janet Lee drifts into the fashion world
of New York and Vogue, loses her virginity
(an ordeal which she claims takes 5 days),
screws models and photographers, and even-
tually achieves stardom as Gloria in the
films of the underground (and underpaying)
genius, A. .
Sooner or later, everybody who is
anybody shows up in the thinnest veneer
of a disguised name (A is Warhol, Jean
La Fonce--Jane Fonda, etc.,) so that any-
body who cares will be able to make instant
identification. There are as well numerous,
various, (and sometimes boring), sex-sceness
which involve females, males, animals,
children, nuns, priests, doctors, vibrators,
coke ,bottles, bananas, cucumbers, and speed.
And yet, despite the pervading eroticism.
Gloria keeps protesting that, all rumors
to the contrary, she herself is very vir-
gi nal and innocent. Which, touchingly,
often even pathetically, she is.
It's because of her own personal
appeal that the book is as readable as it
is. Viva has always seemed the most arti-
culate and self-knowing of the Warhol
heroines. For all her etheral beauty
there's an underlying sense of self about
her and like her, Gloria is a rare com-
bination of beauty, intelligence, sensitiv-
ity and toughness. Because of this, and
because she has a real sense of the comedy
of her own situations, Viva can let her
readers into the perception of what it's
like to be turned into an object of desire,
and what it's like to refuse to accept
the hypocritical moral values of our
Most disturbing about the book,
however, is that with all its themes
of liberation from conventional modes of
existence, GlorJ'a and the other female
characters are still forced to perform
the everyday shit duties of a group of
housewives from the suburbs. Despite the
fact that they often receive as much or
more pleasure and affection from one an-
other as from men, they all remain some-
how subordinate to men, and at their
mercy. Gloria is forced to cook meals for
ailing or psychotic .lovers. Gloria's
lovers always start b~y reminding her of
Jesus Christ and end by spurning her dinners
and her attentions, screaming at her for
not having orgasms, and leaving her to
cry her eyes out in an empty houseboat on
Gloria attends some Women's Liberation
meetings, but is turned off because she
believes in the vaginal orgasm and doesn't
like the importance one group gives to
teaching women to compete like men. (What's,
she demands, so good about competing?" What,
indeed?) At the same meeting she flees
after a woman makes a crack about dykes,
calling "But I am a dyke!" over her shoul-
der as she runs Eut the door.
At the end of the book she breaks
down because her husband has been out
screwing behind her back while she was
making a movie, "working her ass off!"
She receives no sympathy, not even from
herself. The book offers few answers,
generally because Viva's world (and
G~ora's isindeed a world of sophisti-
cated groupies, courtesans; seen from thr
quick grey eyes of a t~ourtesan inwardly a
powerful human being and sharp.
by mimi alberts
wants to have children but is not sure
she will ever marry.
Barbara, a black womanr introduced
in the fifth episode, is a young divorcee
with one child. She works in a factory
because she can make more money there
than at a secretarial job. Barbara
wants to remarry, but complains that men
take her out for one thing only.
The last episode shows the mother
of the three year old as she performs her
housewifely duties,~ doing her laundry,
cleaning up, chauffering her children,
waiting on her husband. Taking a coffee
break from her unceasing round of chores,
she says that if she had it to do over
again, she's not sure she would get married.
The film's a good one, well photo-
graphed and editted. All the episodes show
real women, who live around Yellow Springs,
~Ohio, not actresses. The movie is by and
large fairly low on rhetoric and editorial-
izing and is geared to women who don't
think they're oppressed or who don't like
tMomen's Liberation. It has been shown in
high schools and churches with a great
deal of success.
To get the movie contact Randolph Film
Libtary, 267 West 25th St., New York 10001.
By the way, this fall Jlulie and two
other women are going to make a second
film about high school women. They need
money -- so if you have any to spare, send
it to Julie Reichert, 528 Bordentown Rd.,
Trenton, N. J. 08610.
nursery school teacher tells of her
beliefs about the differences between boys
and girls. Boys, she says, are more
adventurous, better friends, less jealous,
have longer attention. spans and are less
The second episode introduces us to
.Janell, a twelve year old tomboy who likes
adventure, sports, messing around with her
friends, and resents boys whio think she's
weak. Janell's mother, however, is dis-
appointed that her daughter isn't more
feminine and doesn't like to wear dresses.
She makes Janell wear them a few times a
week because she "likes girls to look
Terry, a sixteen year old black
cosmetology student at a vocational high
school is the subject of the third episode.
She seems a shy, sweet, somewhat nervous
girl who says that the most important
thing in her life is her boyfriend. Terry
wants to go to California, but instead
goes to classes to learn, in her teacher's
words, "to make women look more feminine."
Perhaps the best scene in the movie is
a meeting of Terry and her guidance
counselor. The counselor rambles about
what a woman should do to have a happy
marriage, mainly never let your husband
do anything that might be considered
housework, while Terry smiles and nods
in agreement while clutching her stomach
The fourth episode is about a 20
year old "hippie chick," shown first
running through the fields in a Scarlet
O'Hara dress with her boyfriend. She
loves clothes and records. That's what
she spends her money on. When she shops .
she starts in the housewares. She really
sii) be (141fes (0E
After a couple of false startss, Juli'e
Reichert came over to the' oob basement to
show us her first movie, Growing Up Feale
as Six Become One. We liked it a lot.
The movie is divided into six episodes
that combined tell the story of female
socialization from nursery school to near
middle aged housewifery.
The first episode starts with a
mother taking her small daughter to
nursery school wearing identical dresses.
It follows the little girl to a nursery
school where the~girls play with dolls
inside and the boys play outside. The
superstar by viva
L I I
Summer 1971/off our backs/Health Supplement/Page 7
: H-E ALTH~
I I .1 .1 C . I
Page 8/off our backs/Health Supplement/Surimer 1971
Women who love have strong faces
Women who fight have strong faces
Women who sing have strong faces
Women who work have strong faces
Mosen who laugh have strong faces
Women who type have strong faces
Women who dance have strong faces
womapen who cry have strong faces
Our sisters are changing
our faces, our bodies
outr sisters are chranging our lives
Our straggle is banging
our faces, our bodies
our struggle is changing our lives
our love is changing
our faces, our bodies
our love is cha~ngin our lives.
a chant wre learned at the Women's
Health Conference in New York
We want to share this with other women through
health courses, health media shows, health
leaflets. We would like to open a women's
clinic. We want to rina ways or S;upper.LInY
each other when we go to doctors, clinics and
hospitals so that we can begin to overcome our
humiliating dependence on doctors. Some of us
would like to set up halfway houses for women
who are leaving their parents, separating from
men, going through abortions and pregnancies
alone, freaking out because they can no longer
contain their anger. Some of us would like to
live together in a health collective. All
this is very much in the fut-ure. Our-group
is very nw
We thought that doing a health supple-
ment would be a way of moving from just talk-
ing about health to actually doing a project
on health. We could learn more about each
other and how to work together. It also seemed
like a logical step in preparing to do a health
The supplement is heavily weighted in the
direction of women's sexual-reproductive health.
Most of our contact with the health system,
therefore most of our health experience, has
to do with gynecological check-ups and prenatal
care. We have bieen particularly humiliated
and misinformed about our sexuality, about
menstruation, about pregnancy and childbirth,
We want to start moving out of our
vaginas and start learning more about the rest
of our bodies. We want to learn more about
ways in which the health system is particularly
oppressive to gay women. We want to learn more
about women's occupational health problems,
about women and drugs, about the politics of
the health business.
This supplement represents some of our
first thoughts as a beginning women's health
group. If you want to learn with us, if you
have experiences, skills, questions, fears,
feelings, reactions that you would like to
share with us, please call us at 483-4632, or
write us at D.C. Women's Liberation Health
Information, Box 13098, T Street Station,
Washington, D.C. 20009.
Susan ~Abbott,- Ruth~ Barnes, Sally Benbasset,
Trudy Cox, Gabrielle Edgecomb, Gilda Fisch,
Marcia Heath, Liz Heddericg, Sandie Johnson-
Jones, Carla Knepp, Marcia Kopit, Barbara
Leckie, Esther Mitchell, Rita Poretsky,
Joyce Pulcini, Louise Rice, Sharon Rose,
Janet Simon, Judy Spelman, Robin Suits,
Conrad, Marian, Peer and Snee Vogel, Johanna
Vogelsang, Marlene Voorbees, Pat Webbink,
Ava Wolfe, Alice Wolfson
And many thanks to our off our backs
sisters, especially Liz Clanton, Kathy
Garner, Georgia Jones and Norma Lesser for
giving us skills, love and support.
than service. Millions of dollars are
channeled into researching and developing
technology for rare diseases and proceedures.
There is lots of money for organ trans-
plants, very little for ~dealing with the
VD epidemic. Medicine is big business...
there is profit in sickness. Doctors basic-
ally get paid for treating sick people not
for keeping people healthy. The drug in-
dustry and the medical hardware industry
all thrive on sickness. '
We are also beginning to see ways in
which the health system functions as an overt
form of repression. We are seeing how drug
company ads tranquilize the housewife into
calm, foggy acceptance of her role. We are
seeing how healthy hostility, resistance and
rage in children is being diagnosed as path-
ology (disease) and treated with drugs and
surgery to produce docile, compliant, co-
operative future citizens. We are seeing
how gay women have been crushed and scarred
by a psychiatric system which invalidates
our right to define our lives' and choices
and labels love for women as a sickness.
Our health system, like our society is
becoming increasingly fragmented. As medical
specialities proliferate, the person seeking
health care is increasingly objectified.
Doctors are becoming experts in smaller and
smaller parts of us...technicians who know
how to fix one broken part of the machine.
The medical system is a rigid class
system. The pecking order is clearly defined.
Doctors over nurses who are over aides who
are over ward clerks who are over housekeepers
and janitor's. Each profession has its own
hierarchy...neurosurgeons are above cardio-
logists who are above general practioners.
Nurses with administrative responsibilities
are above nurses who are primarily involved
in patient care. The system is designed to
maintain and reinforce privilege and power.
Any move to share skills and knowledge...to '
question -the motives or judgment of someone
on top...represents a potentially grave threat
to the system.
We need a new kind of health system
which deals with the whole person...even a
good family practioner is not enough. We
need doctors who feel that knowing about a
person's family, her nutritional habits, her
workplace or school situation is a necessary
part of good health care.
This doesn't exist because we have been
socialized in a system in which people and
their well being (health) is one of the lowest
priorities. Peoples' money is spent on
fighting a war that destroys our sisters and
brothers in Indochina and their land, not on
health, education and housing.
We are just beginning to work and learn
and grow together. There are many things we
want to do. We want to learn about how our
bodies work and how to keep them healthy.
There are about IS women the the D.C.
Health Group. We are interested in health
for different reasons and are interested
in different aspects of health.
Several of us came to the group be-
cause experience as abortion counselors
stimulated us to explore broader issues
relating to women and health. We are
nurses, nursing students, a doctor, re-
search chemists, nutritionists and just
your basic non-credentialed freaks, who
want to integrate our women's conscious-
ness and our work. Many have become in-
terested In nutrition, herbal medicine,
nursing, pediatrics and Taboratory skills
and plan to go to school to get these
Some of us are in the group primarily
because of frustrating and dehumanizing
encounters as women needing health services.
We had bad backs, needed abortions, had
stomach problems, had children, were going
through menopause. We were angry at the
way doctors objectified .us...treated us as
hysterical, dumb women. We were just bro-
ken machines to these doctors who never
explained what they were ~examining and
testing us for.. Many never saw us until
we were lying undressed on the examining
table. They always seemed so sure and
superior...never said they didn't know;
just took the money and wrote a prescrip-
tion for some drug that would then float
around in our bodies doing heaven knows
We came together out of a common con-
cern about the health care system in this
country. All of us have to deal with doc-
tors and/or hospitals at various points in
Health. is an issue that everyone can
relate to...black, white, men, women, old,
young, gay, straight...all are messed over
by the health care system .in different ways
and in different degrees. Almost no one can
afford medical care and almost no one gets
good health care. Women confront and inter-
act with the health system more than men*
Nomen see doctors, use clinics, and hospitals
more often~than men...they are responsible
for trying to meet health needs of children*
Most health warian s are women, and women are
the lowest paid health workers*
We have started to realize how much
health care in this country really means
sickness care. The medical establishment is
interested in curing people who are sick, not
in keeping people healthy. Insurance plans
pay for hospitalization, but not annual phy-
sical examinations. Although recently there
has been more talk about preventive care in
medical schools and medical journals, the
fact is that most people only go to see a
doctor when they are sick. The money and
status in medicine is on research rather
dr_ ie kv II R v~ur hide
- I I--
Summer 1971/off our backs/Health Supplement/Page 9
I have dismal, anxious memories of
lying on a gynecologist's examining table -
alone -. draped spread out on stirrups -
nervous, embarassed. Heart beating faster.
feeling ashamed, cringing as the doctor
walked in, turned on the bright light and
exposed my vulva withr his fingers. Feeling
something cold and uncomfortable shoved
into my vagina being ordered to relax
as he poked, prodded, pushed and pressed
with his fingers. Sometimes he would grunt
and miake little exclamatory noises but I
never knew what he was doing.
This fall some of us in the health
g ohp started lea ning to do pelvics on
looked at or to look at someone else with
honest curiosity and fascination. Soon
the tension broke, and we exchanged con-
fessional stories about how we had thought
our vulvas were weird, ugly, different or
deformed because we'd never seen any other
woman's genitals beside our own. We learned
to insert a speculum and were able to actually
see a cervix. We learned that the poking
and pushing was feeling the uterus and
ovaries. We felt much better about ourselves
and much more in touch with our bodies.
We also felt a deep surge of anger for
having lived so long without knowing about
and feeling proud of our bodies.
had a male gynecologist who lied
and said it couldn't possibly .be the
Ovu'len 21 that was making my hair fall
out in gobs whenever I brushed it. After
a few months of that I went to a derm-
atoliogist--a woman--who said of course
it was the pills and assured me all my
hair would not fall out if I stopped tak-
ing. them. She said she'd seen many such
cases in pregnant womeni and she pre.
scribed ferrous sulfate capsules to help
the hair grow back faster. After a year
my, hair was back to normal and I feel
much more energetic from taking all that
I had a pain in ager chest that had
been bothering me for some time. I went
to a specialist. He examined me and did
all kinds of tests. He said he could
find nothing wrong with me. His pre-
scription: "Just go home, Esther, and
scrub the floor."
Janet and I go to the same gynecologist.
As we were talking one day, she said she had
to make an appointment to have a Pa'p smear
and I said I was going to have an IUD insertedl.
He decided to make appointments on the same
day at about the same time and tell the doctor-
we wanted to watch each other be examined.
The doctor recovered fairly rapidly from
the shock of that suggestion and I saw a cervix
for the first time! Several thoughts flashed
through my head. was freaked. That was my
friend Janet. A cervix, which had always been
just a word or concept, really exists!
Then it was mly turn. The sounding instru-
ment the doctor used to measure the size of my
uterus made an incredible cramp. I'd never
had any cramps before. Janet stroked my arm
and helped me calm down. The doctor then
started tripping in his explanation of what
he was doing and I started getting panicked
that the thing was taking so long and that Ry
leg muscles were twitching in the stirrups.
I didn't feel the actual insertion of
the IUD because I was concentrating on Janet.
Having someone there you know and care about
and know cares about you makes a~ll the dif-
ference in the world. I don't know how I'
could have gotten home afterwards. I don't
know how 1 could have -done it alone.
Them I was 18, I began to have severe
pains deep in Ily abdomen during and after
intercourse; sometimes accompanied by vag-
inal bleeding. I went to three gynecolo-
gists in the next four years, while the
pain got steadily worse, making me fear
(and eventually abstain from) all sex. The
first two doctors gave me pregnancy tests
and sent me home with some Darvon. The
second doctor told me that unmarried women
frequently "imagine" pain with sex because
of their guilt feelings, and that perhaps.
if I got married or saw a shrink it would
go away. After getting married and seeing
a shrink, with the pain and the discharge
getting unbearable, I went to another doctor.
He was supposed to be my savior. He told me
I had a cervical infection and cauterized it.
In the next breath he explained that the
cervix has no nerves in it. When I
explained that whatever he had just done
was excruciating(and what was that smell
of burnt flesh) he shrugged it off and sent
me home with an $8 prescription. Severe
bleeding and pain followed. I couldn't
get out of bed for two days. He then told
me I had a period, something I know I'd
had ten days before. I was supposed to
douche every night with another prescription.
The next doctor I went to examined me and
told me to douche every other day with
baking soda, and to abstain from sex until
I saw him again.. The infection was gone
in a month and has never returned. It just
goes to show that if the first 3 doctors
don't kill you, the fourth might save you.
) 1 8)
The back specialist mly parentltook
me to when I was 15 was not the first to
examine me vaguely, take a series of x-rays
and order an expensive, useless brace for
my back, but he was the first to sexually
When I was 10 I broke three verterbrae.
That was'the beginning of chronic severe
,backaches. No doctd? ~I saw gave me infor-
mation or understanding about nor condition.
Treatment consisted of propping up- the back
with braces, weakening it by bedrest.and
wrecking ny digestive system with massive
doseschfasprgep enoEachutime my parents
This doctor did all those things but
also had me lie naked on an examining table
while; he. ran his hands over my breasts
and pelvis saying something about the re-
lationship of back problems to the sex
Over the next 12 years several more
specialists examined my back and ordered
several more $100 braces. And the back
continued to hurt a lot. By the time I
turned 27 one specialist was talking about
disinegrating cartilege, slipped discs'
major surgery, long bed rests, and never
again lifting my children..
But a friend with similar problems
pushed me to go to a physical therapist.
In 20 minutes this woman taught me the
structure of the spine, where mine was
weak, how the injury had been aggravated
by years of pampering and ~propping and
exercises to strengthen my abdominal
musclee m otheyhwopd ndo thetbacweekjobbe
pal)- wCas,:gone amd.has .not returned n
Page 10/off our backs/Health Supplement/Summner 17
We are crippled by our ignorance about
our bodies. Not knowing how our bodies are
put together and how they work means we have
no control over ourselves. Because of our
lack of information, we remain dependent on
men who claim to know about us and what is
best for us. In our passivity we allow
~ourselves to be defined by others and are
kept from ourselves. We do not know how to
demand good health care; in fact we do not
know what good health care is. We do not
know hm< to keep healthy and as a result do
not understand what is wrong when we are
We have been taken from ourselves in
another way. When healthy, our bodies are
sex objects to be used either as toys for
men or as commodities to sell products. In-
stead of discovering and celebrating what
we are, we have measured ourselves against
the sexist standards of beauty and sexual-
ity and have found ourselves to be inade-
quate--to tall, too short, too large breast-
-ed, too small breasted, too fat, too thin*
too hairy, too smart, too athletic.~ We
must begin to understand and love what we
are and what we can become. We must.1ook
at our bodies and understand their comp~lex-
ity, diversity and uniqueness. We must
find out what we feel like, look like,
taste like, smell like, We have to rede-
fine our womanhood and sexuality in our
We must learn that we do. not merely in-
habit our bodies--we are our bodies;lit is
importanfoto underst ndbthkm. de wns know
chemical form that our cells can use for
energy--to sing, dance, fight, love,work--
know how our bodies work In order, to make
them stronger and healthier.
We will begin by discussing the con-
struction and function(anatomy and phy-
stology) of the female genital (reproduc-
tive, sexual) system. For one way to be-
gin to overcome our alienation from our-
selves is to learn about our bodies.
Women's genital organs are described
by dividing them into groups: the vulva
(external genital organs which can -be e~as-
ily seen) and the internal reproductive or-
ganfat ohe term vubva includes thescu~oheed
with pubic hair and serves to protect.other
female reproductive organs and functions in
sexual stimulation (mons veneris); the other
lips (labia major) which unite anteriorly
(towards the ~front of the body) with the
mons pubis and continue posteriorly to sur-
round the vestibule; the inner lips (labia
igaye xtend ng a oond the veet buthe outer
the inner layer wrapping around the clitoris,
the clito sue a peaoshapedeprojection of e-
(orgasms are caused by the stimulation of the
clitoris by the movement of the labia minor
during intercourse, by direct manual stimu-
lation or by direct oral stimulation or
by bodies pressing each other, the vaginal
opening; the urinary opening; and the hy-
men, a sheet of mucus membrane of various
Fredl Psveh~c.gms s
shapes and degrees of thickness which sepa-
rates the vagina from the vestibule. (This
is what is "broken" the first time you have
intercourse, but can be entirely absent or
ruptured before this),.
Unfortunately most of us were never al-
lowed to look at our vulvas and observe and
explore our own anatomy. We are told that
boys have a penis and girls have a vagina
(not a vulva).
We are usually told that our
sexual organs-are hidden inside our bodies
and are for having abresanWe should states
that they san looelat and expltothethe r vul-
that feels good when you touch it is the
Some of us may never have examined our-
sel ves carefully. Muany have never seen an-
other wo meds dvuffa eSometimes weethune we
do not know what other women look like. Of-
ten the only other vulvas we see are those of
little girls who are not yet sexually devel-
oped. If we take this as a model we are
bound to think we are anatomical freaks. The
vulva of a sexually mature woman looks quite
different from that of a two year old. Be-
sides being covered with pubic hair,'the ex-
ternal lips are separated and do not comp'le-
tely cover the inner lips which are pigment-
ed and lie in delicate folds, In children
the inner lips are lighter in color and are
To learn about the anatomy of your vulva
you have only to take this diagram and exa-
mine yourself with a mirror--it is, after
all, your body and you should .know it better
than anyone. You will-notice that the inner
lips extend from the sides of the vaginal
opening up to the clitoris. At the clitoris
each 11p divides into tyo portions. One part
passes above the clitoris to meet the lip on
the other side, thuslforming the clitoral
hood. The other part passes beneath the cli-
toris and attaches.to its underneath surface.
The perineum or perineal region is the tis-
sue between the vaginal opening and the
anus. This is the area that is frequently
cut to ease the process of childbirth. (epi-
Internal Reproductive Organs
The vagina is located internally be-
tween the urethra and the rectum. It is po-
sitioned so that when you are standing, sit-
ting, or squatting, it extends toward the
.small of your back. (Think of the angle at
which you put in a Tampax). The vagina is a
tubular canal usually 4-6 inches in length
and is lined with mucous membrane and mus-
cle which produce a cleansing, lubricating
film of moisture.' The membrane and the mus-
cle form folds which allow for stretch.of
the vagina during intercourse and chi'ld-
birth. Feel your own vagina with your filo-
gers. At the end of it you will feel your
cervix It is like a hard nipple with a
small dimple in the center. The cervix.
the narrowest part or neck of the uterus, is
a tight muscle with a small opening into the
vagina--nothing larger than a straw will
pass through the opening easily. This
tight passage helps to keep the uterus free
of germs and the cervix secretes cervical
mucous which has a cleansing and lubrica-
Perhaps this is the place to say a
word about douching, The normal cervi-
cal and vaginal secretions constitute a
natural cleansing process. The vagina al-
so contains helpful bacteria which protect
against potentially harmful organisms,
which might be introduced into the va-
gina from the outside. Douching can kill
these helpful vaginal bacteria thus mak-
en tyonsmore susceptibse uo aiona wcin-
are too strong can easily irritate the del-
icate vaginal membranes. If you have an
unusually heavy discharge, or changes in
color or odor DO NOT DOUCHE. This can be
aemindideah ondobeinfectionb orodhetoprob-
Another misconception about 'douching is
that it Is effective as a method of birth,
control. THIS IS NOT TRUE, rather, it may
aid in conception.
Whly then have.we been told by cosmetic
and drug companies that "good feminine hy-
geine" requires that we douche regularly to
eliminate "embarasstang odors" and to feel
"fresh" and "feminine"? They are simply re-
inforcing and literally cashing in on our
bad feelings about our bodies'. We smell
like ~women--smell yourself--it is a good
rich musky small...(dig it). We do not
smell like perfume, pine forests, pepper-
mint orange blossoms or hospitals. Let's
start being proud of what we are, Lets stop
buying vaginal deodorants, sprays and
douches. We must fight against letting our
bodies be used for profit.
The uterus is a fina and muscular hol-
low organ 1975} between the bladder and .the
lower intestine which is often described as
being the size and shape of a small pear.
When a woman is standing it lies in a near-
ly horizontal position, with the large end of
the pear forward. It is about 3-4 inches
long and 2 inches wide at the widest point,
but enlarges slightly after each pregnancy.
Because of its elastic fibers and powerful
muscle tissue, it is capable of expanding to
many times its normal size to adjust to the
growing fetus during pregnancy. The inside
of the uterus is a narrow triangular shaped
cavity lined with a thick spongey tissue
called the endometrium, which is cast off as
the menstrual flow every 28 days if pregnan-
cy does not occur.
The Fallopian Tubes or oviducts enter
at the top of ti~he uterus,~- one on each side.
From the uterus these muscular tunnels,which
are about 4 inches long, and have an inside
diameter of less than 174 inch, curve to-
ward the ovaries. At the end near the ovary
the Fallopian tube has a wide trumpet shaped
opening with finger-like projections. An
egg coming from the ovary is pulled into
this wide opening by a natural suction.
Once inside the egg is:.moved.along -the evi-
duct by rhythmic contractions of the muscle on
in its walls. It takes about 6 1/2 days for
an egg to travel from the ovary to the ute-
rus through the Fallopian tube. The union of
egg and sperm (fertilization and conception)
usually takes place within the oviduct.
kb~ C ~3L--__~-1 I I I I I I I I
To give a few statistics a't this point:
1) Sperm live approximately 48 hours
2) An egg lives ~24 hours after ovula-
3) Sperm move i inch in 8 minutes.
The two ovaries lie cushioned and pro-
tected in a mass of ~fat on either side of the
uterus. They are about the size and shape of
unshelled almonds. The ovaries perform two
functions: they produce eggs and the two fe-
male sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
Each ovary contains thousands of follicles
(hollow balls of several layers of cells)*
Of these only about 300will become fully
mature egg cells after puberty (one each
month throughout reproductive years). The
rest will remain in an undeveloped state and
perform the vital function of secreting con-
stant low amounts of estrogen.
From puberty, uhti'l. menopause .every month
one of your ovaries produces an egg and the
uterus is prepared to receive and nourish a
fertilized egg; If pregnancy does not occur,
the unfertilized egg leaves the body in the
normal vaginal secretions and several days
later the uterine wall is sheq through the
cervix and vagina and appears as the menstrual
flow. Most of our cycles are non-pregnant
cycles either because we choose not to relate
to men sexually, because we choose'-to practice
some method of birth control, or because of
luck. The issue of control is crucial:` we
must assume responsibility for what is going
to happen to and within our bodies. This
may mean choosing .to be a lesbian, choosing
to relate to men sexually but not becoming
pregnant, or choosing to have children when
we want them. For too long women have been
defined by their potential reproductive func-
tinMenstruation is an extremely complex p~ro-
cess. To simplify, we will refer, in general,
to a 28 day cycle.~ However, we want to stress
that there is no "normal" period, Some women
have 24 day cycles, some have 30 day c~ycles.
The Imenstrual flow can last for three -days or
seven days. It can be very light or very
heavy. Every woman has a unique menstf$1
pattern which is regular~for her,
There seem to be two different kinds of '
myths about menstruation. One of these is the
"menstruation is a dirty, embarrassing, secret
e ven t" myth...Nlonsense!i Menstruation is a
healthy, naturally occurring part of 'being
feahe.p theoppositeamyeth se tes tcaptuT max
interrelated events mediated by hormones
resulting in physiological changes in the
ovaries, uterine wall and cervical mucus
throughout the cycle. Hormones are chemicals ~
produced by glands which travel through the
bloodstream affecting the functions of organs
in another part of the body. The two main
glands involved in the normal menstrual cycle
are the pituitary gland and the ovaries. The
pituitary is a small gland located below the
brain, often called the master gland since it
regulates many other glands in the body. It
secretes two main hormones which -are important
in the menstrual cycle: FSH (follicle stim-
ulating hormone) and LH (Lutenizing hormone).
The ovary, in addition to producing egg cells,
also produces the female sex hormones, estrogen
The normal menstrual cycle can be- divided
into 5 phases:
1) the menstrual phase (days 1-5)
2)the proliferatory phase (days 6-13)
3) the ovulation phase, (dy 14)
4) the secretary phase ( days 15-25)
5) the premenstrual phase (days 26-28)
On the day that you get your period (day 1
your body has already begun to prepare for a
new cycle. The pituitary releases FSH which
travels to the ovaries through the blood. FSH
stimulates one of the many ovarian follicles
to begin- to produce a fully developed egg cell'.
It also stimulates the ovart~an follicles to
produce, estrogen. From day 1 to approx-
imately day 12 ~(prior to ovulation), several
things are happening in your body, Within a
follicle on the outer wall of the ovary an
egg cell is -developing. Increased amounts
of estrogen are being produced and secreted
by the ovaries.
After* the mienstrual flow stops, this
increasing amount of estrogen causes the
uterine lining (endometrium) to proliferate
(thicken, grow). Estrogen also causes the
cervical mucus to increase and become `thinner
whi ch facilitates the sperm's~ entrance -into
the' uterus. The increased amount of estrogen
in the blood-also acts on the pituitary gland
to inhibit the secretion of FSH (which is no
longer needed since the follicles have become
active). ~The increased level of estrogen
accumulates until it stimulates the pituiitary
to release LH.
corpus luteam. While the egg is traveling
through the Fallopian tube, LH acts on the
corpus Tuteumn to stimulate it to produce an-
other ovarian hormone, progesterone.
Progesterone acts on the uterine lining
and causes it to secrete nourishing substances
for a fertilized egg. By the time the egg
reaches the~ uterus, the effect of progesterone
has created a uterine environment favorable
to implantation and growth of a fetus. In-
creasing levels of progesterone inhibit pitui-
tary secretions ofLH which in turn leads to
the disintegration of the corpus Tluteum, since
it needs these pituitary hormones in order to
The disintegration of the corpus luteum and
the accompanying decline in estrogen and pro-
gesterone levels marks the end of the cycle.
Because of this decline, uterine lining cannot
be maintained and its shedding constitutes
the menstrual flow. As estrogen levels decline,
FSH levels rise and the cycle begins again.
) Breasts are known as ."mamrmary glands"
tunctifoning t~o produce and secrete milk for
nourishment of new-born infants. Hormones are
intricately related to all areas of female sex-
uality. Estrogen and 'progesterone control
their development during growth years. Breast
size is determined by the amount of fat around
the actual breast tissue, which is the gland
itself. Therefore, it is interesting to realiz~.
that the shze of the breast does not determine
its ability to function well.
It is important for a woman to know her
own breasts since changes in them may- be s~ignif
icant. .The Sreast tissue is normally of a
thick or "1umpy" consistance. Sel f-examinati on!
of the breasts should be- performed regularly
(preferably at the same time each month, after
menstruation when swelling is reduced) to
determine any changes in this consistency.
Much of the area under the arm is, also considered
breast tissue as well. The nipples are of- a
darker pigmentation and of- varied shapes. A
very early .sign of pregnancy is a darkening
of their color and changes in their shape.
After childbirth, the breasts have an
important effect of releasing a~substance
known as oxytocin which stimulates contraction
of the uterus and helps to control bleeding.
There is much that we have left out which
ovulation relates to the female sexual system (birth
Around day 14, ovulation occurs, triggeredaond oen mD re wh h rinfection,thregnancofou
by LH. In a cycle which is not exactly 28 days bodi es. Some of .this will be covered in .other
ovulation usually occurs 14 days before the atclsnthsupentsoeftei-
onset of the next menstrual flow. Ovulation fraincnb on i h ito ore
can occur at irregular times and has been known at the end of the- supplement.. .much of i~t we :
to occur during menstruation. Younger women aeol einn olan
probably experience more irregular ovulations r ol eing ea;
than women in their 20's whose hormonal:balance
has become more. stable. The- egg, now fully
developed, breaks out of the follicle and
begins its journey through the oviduct. Reading...
..."when you use Tampax, every day of the month
is the same". This line ignores the fact that
the complicated hormonal changes involved in.
the menstrual cycle have real psychological
and physical effects,
Women may experience a variety of accom-
panying sensations before, during and after
menstruation. ..heaviness in breasts and/or
abdomen, cramps, increased or decreased sex-
uality...to mention only a few. Pay attention
to your body...get to know what is normal for
you9...be aware of variations in your individual
cycle. Any marked change in your cycle should
be checked by a gynecologist.
The menstrual cycle is .a series of .complex
secre agyl p ae
The rup~tired follicle from which the -egg
has been released becomes, under the influence.
- of LH, a hormone secreting gland' called the
Women and Their Bodice. The Bo~ston-
Womien's baZtek cottactive. Available
fraW N~ew Eagand &4ee P~eas,
791 2>renant E. Boston,-EL8 1hee 2Z8 ,:
(this has a good Zist~oF other sources I-;
let it be
What It Means To Our Bodies
Menopause is the gradual process that
culminates in the complete cessation of men-
struation. After a period of 30-40 years
(with wide individual variations) of men-
strual life, the cycle becomes increasingly
irregular and finally stops altogether. Al-
though many doctors and medical books are un-
willing to admit it, all the reasons why this
happens are not known.
The basic cause, however, does seem to
be failing ovarian function. It appears that
the ovary becomes less sensitive to FSH and LH
(please refer to description of the menstrual
cycle). The follicles within the ovary simply
do not develop to maturity, even under the in-
fluence of FSH, consequently they do not pro-
duce mature eggs. This means that a woman
does not ovulate (so she cannot become preg-
nant). Therefore the hormone progesterone, a
product of the post ovulatory follicle, isn't
produced. The incomplete development of the
follicle results in reduced production of es-
trogen. The absence or lower levels of these
ido hormones means that they c~n no longer ad-
equately stimulate the development of the
e~ndonetrial lining of the u~terus.
It seems clear that the lack of informa-
tion and research into menopause has sanething
to do with the fact that it is a woman's
"problem" and,therefore, not an interesting
research topic. The limited research into
menopauseohas brought us` only hormone therapy.
While hormone therapy makes the physical trans-
ition into menopause smoother, it pus'hes back
the aging process instead of acknowledging it.
Myths about the psychological and sexual
effects of menopause abound. Most women fear
that they will become depressed, be plagued
with hot flushes, headaches and an overwhelm-
ing apathy. Many women believe that meno-
pause leads to ~a decline in sexual interest
One of the few sources of information
about the sexual physiology of menopause is
found in the research of Masters and Johnson.
According to them, there are several physio-
Togical changes which are observed in women
1. It takes longer for lubrication to
develop in response to sexual stimulation.
2. The vaginal walls become thinner and
lose some of their elasticity.
3. Orgasm is' often accompanied by spas-
motic uterine contractions which can be pain-
4. The loss of fat
area and labia tends to lead to greater
clitoral irritation if the clitoris is not
Masters and Johnson stress that these
changes represent a difference in the nature
of the sexual response as a result of aging
not a decline. Women in good health can ex-
pect to have satisfying sexual experiences -
into their 80's.
We should be aware of what changes to
expect in- our bodies and ~adapt our love-
making accordingly. Because our bodies
change we will make love differently at 70
than we did at 17.
It is not clear in what circumstances
hormone replacement therapy should be used to
help alleviate marked menopausal discomfort.
However, Masters and Johnson feel that educa-
tion which carbats misconceptions about the
aging process may often be mpre helpful than
It is interesting ihat women who continue
to be sexually active after menopause and do
not take hormones experience fewer physiolog-
ical changes in their pattern of sexual re-
sponse' than-women whose sexual activity de-
clines sharply after menopause.
What It Means To Our Heads
Why has menopause come to be known as
"the change of life"? People's lives change
all the time. Some changes are related to
age and biology, such as going from crawling
to walking, getting teeth, reaching puberty
or getting sick. Even more changes happen be-
cause of social circumstances, such as moving
from one place to another, meeting or losing
Because so often as women we are defined
Page 12/off our backs/Health Supplement/Summer 1971l
was not a -traumatic event for the older
kibbutz women who were expected to work pro-
ductively into their late years. Women in
their 70's did physical work and seemed
vibrant and energetic.
In this country, many women who work are
also mothers and will carry both responsibil-
ities at the same time. The fact that a
woman may work and mother doesn't mean the
two roles are viewed as equally important,
either by the woman or society. Women's
work often "supplements" the "real" income
of a man. A single woman's work is usually
to service the important work of some man.
Women's work is less well paid and less
Menopause is the gradual process that
culminates in the complete cessation of men-
struation. It does not have to signal the
end of sexuality or mean becoming an "un-
person -That is, unless roles from the
beginning are completely one-dimensional.
Women have suffered a great deal from these
role 11mitations and society has lost
Masters & Johnson, B nan 18mxta Immisquacy
by our reproductive anatomy, when we stop men-
struating and ~are no longer able to have bab-
ies we face becoming an unperson. Because
-our roles are so circumscribed, so one-dim-
ensional, to begin with, this natural process
of menopause can be a catastrophic event.
Since we live in a culture -in which
women are seen primarily as lex objects, it
is no wonder that menopause, as a symbol of
aging and the impossibility of motherhood,
can induce a real "identity crisis"l. If you
are no longer seen as a potential sex' object,
if you can no longer fill your days with
motherly activities what are you? Nothing.
You don't belong. You don't fit.
In some respects the woman in her 50's
and the homosexual woman share.an outcast
status. 'A woman who feels emotionally,.
physically and totally identified with women
must, in effect, socially experience meno-
paude from the time she commits her life to
her feel wings. It seems that menopause should
not be such a dramatic and negative experi-
ence for gay women, since they have been
outcasts for years. We would like to learn
more about what menopause is like for gay
Women who work probably experience a;
less arastic personal/sexual identity crisis
than do heterosexual women whose lives have
been exclusively centered arollnd the home.
One of us who lived on a kibbutz in Israel
for several years tells us that menopause
m eno pa u se
my psychological facade. I am no better
than any other woman just because I had the
opportunity to achieve a "pedigree",
Instead of going to a nine-to-tive 30b,
which I tried for a while, I spend my days
seeing other women who want to get to know
themselves and their sisters. We sit out
on the grass in front of the river, or find
a place where we feel comfortable together.
We are struggling to find alternatives to
the uptight, shrink fuck-ups which oppress
people seeking help, especially women.
Being real and human` is risky' and ca..
be painful. Learning to feel good about our-
selves is a long slow process. -Sometimes in
the name of sisterhood we cover up hostility
and mask real differences among us. We have,
been taught that it is "not nice" to express
our anger. It is hard to be open about neg-
ativei feelings we have toward people we love.
All of this makes it hard to get close.
I feel that one of the jobs of radical
woman's therapy is to fight the notion of
MENTAL SICKNESS AND MENTAL HEALTH. There
ain't no such bird. Because women have the
experience of being put down, belittled
and oppressed in many ways, we share poor
self-images. This,however, does not qualify
us as "sick". If anything, "maladjustment"
is a step toward liberation. This is not
to say that some people do not have more
problems than others. To pin a label on a
woman, to see her in terms of a stereotype
or as mentally "sick" makes her into an
object and is oppressive.
B~y the same token, to dismiss all of
psychology as irrelevant is an oversimpli-
fication. I feel we must work together
to find alternative ways of dealing with
one another, new ways of making sisterhood
a reality, rather than an ideal.
I hope that we will continue to set up
groups where there are no therapists, but
where we share a desire to deal with the
feelings that women's oppression have led to..
I think that talking is only one way 'of
acheiving our goals of psychological lib-
erati on. Dance, drama and other art forms
afford us effective means of expressing our-
were certain things we could not do. If a
woman seemed to be seeking something that the
group could not define or could not provide,
then the initial reaction was to suggest
for her to talk alone with one of the few
trained radical therapists in town that
we knew. It seems to work.
I have been struck by the sensible
way women have explored solutions to im-
mediate problems by asking questions here
and there. Someone will ask quietly,
"But how do you feel about it?" After a
woman has factually described a situation
this is getting down to feelings. This
is the search for the honest emotion.
It's harder than it sounds after years of
hiding feelings, suppressing desires,
doing things others thought best for us.
In the group I have found these things:
non-interruptive questions, no simple
answers, no superficial display of friend-
ships, allowance for someone to cry, and
the space for someone to say an absurd
thought. The destructive ways in me have
not disappeared miraculously. It is the
long path back to where I left parts of
me. Often the road looks kinda scary and
I'm thinking maybe I will detour out some-
day soon. But no. This is the place for
the complex process of change to begin.
So here I am, a woman who has endured
six years of training in clinical psychol-
ogy, as well as two years of psychoanalysi-s,
the couch variety, with a little modern var-
iety therapy thrown in as well. It scares
me to present myself as a real person.
There's still that old prohibition in my
head that a psychologist must be guarded
The Women's Movement has radically
changed the way I think about myself as
a person and a therapist. I find I can only
give to another person from myself, not from
Somewhat consciousness-raised and
slightly counter-revoluti onary, I faced the
New Year this year from a hospital emergency
room bed that had grown straps to hold m;e
down while white-coated people cooly pumped
the suicidal' juices from my body. I screamed
obscenities in anger at- the world I despar-
ately wanted to cancel out.
But January came on straight, and sober
to bring the cold winter realization that
there was a kind of need in me that the
movement as I knew it was not meeting. Al-
most a year of consciousness-raising dis-
cussions had met an intellectual need that
was personal relief and readmission to the
land of thoughts that I'd left behind nine
years before to marry. But in the end, the
discussion group gave me only labels to tack
onto some frustrations.
I could identify sources of anger that
were due to female-cul tural-conditioning-
in-a-patriarchal -mal e-supremist-society ,
but I could not deal with the emotional
reality of that rage. Names for anger do
not dissolve that anger.
Late in the fall I began to drink again
during the day and to immerse my mind in
soggy fantasies. I wrote long letters to
old friends. Dreams at night somehow related
to discussions of lesbianism-feminism
thoughts that touched me while I resisted
a realistic interpretation to my life. Com-
pulsive eating alternated with taking
amphetamines (prescribed for weight re-
duction). Christmastime came upon me like
an ancient vulture and it was no struggle
to be consumed.
Dissatisfaction had given way to de-
pression which gave way to despair. All I
could see was where I stood and that
didn't appear to be too good. At the pre-
sent time, I feel that my l-ife-si~tuatiorr
is not TOO% destructive to me: yet then it
stood there...disorienting me.
Lately, I realize that consciousness-
raising can be merely an intellectual
exercise. When it is not coordinated with
the gradual development of skills, it becomes
easy to think, "I'm still the same old me.
Nothing will ever change."
I learned some skills during the year.
I faked my way through running a slide pro-
jector and tape recorder, and actually
learned to run a mimeo machine. I began
to talk to high school people about some
things I thought and felt. But I never
felt confident about any of it,
Perhaps general movement activities
can become random motion, relieving tension
temporarily for individual women. Working
in the office and helping publish the local
bulletin is necessary for inter-woman com-
munication, but it can become a liberation-
pacifier if we don't look inside at what is
hurting. For me that hurt is a little more
than a pricking diaper pin or a vague hunger.
I didn't know til I quit the pacifier.
I read the title of a book the other
day: Where Am I Now When I Need Me the Most?
I have n'o idaea watJ;Fit -the bookis bot b
the title fits.
It is the reason I have been participa-
ting in a women's group concerned with ther-
apy. I connot define the Why because there
are no basic goals or easy ways to say what
I expect to gain or expect to give or to
do or why -I feel the need to.
Within the circl-e of the group there
are times when I feel uncomfortable: some-
times I feel distinctly outside of the ebb
and the flow of group-talk. Yet there are
sometimes when I come home feeling good.
That's why I go on.
Many of us are seeing therapists indiv-
idually in addition to the weekly group meet.
ings. In my case, weekly I see a male rad-
ical therapist who is married to a sister.
On alternate weeks he spends an hour talking
with my husband and me "as a group" (as he
put it once). There is an acceptance in
that which seems to counteract the negativism
some sisters will see.
The group realized early that there
I\j--Y ~r~:a-na nFiv - :
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Page 14/off our backs/Health Supplement/Summer 1971
Read, find out as much as you can(see
reading list). Take a natural childbirth
course, if only for the education it will
give you about your body. The people who
teach them can be intimidating in pushing
their line, but in the end it is still you
who is in control, more so with the know-
ledge you have. "Natural childbirth" isn't
a good term for it anyway preparede" is
more li ke it. You learn to understand your
body and what happens during labor, to
anticipate the various phases in the labor,
and to have control through muscle relaxation
and breathing techniques over the labor
The more we' know the better we will
feel about childbirth and the more we can
control our bodies. Sharing with other
women is an important way to get informa-
tion,- to feel support at a time you need it.
The books listed help as a begin ng. From
then on, you will never stop finding out
things about your body.
Guttmacher, Alan, Pregnncyan Bith
Author is one of those population control
doctors, but the book is the best written,
most comprehensive on the physiology- of
pregnancy; complications, diet and delivery
procedures. Ignore the in bie~tween talk.
Awake and Awdre. A really good analysis
of na~t-uri~al childbirth* some far out pictures
and a really together history of woman's
socialization about labor. It start's out
with god telling Eve, that women will
have to bear children in, pain as punishment
forever. It also talks of how to change
Davis, Adele, Let's Have Healthy
Children. Has a lot of good things about
nutrition during pregnancy and lactation,
and what your body needs, even though it is
a lot more than I think we need.
Pryor, Karen, Nursing Your Baby. A fantastic
-help for breast feeding, but a little heavy
on the rhetoric and schmaltz.
).Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Thiis is
a manual put out by La Leche League and is
best for concrete informationn about the
physiology of breastfeeding.
Pregnancy, Childbirth ani the Newborn.
A Manual for Rural Midwives. First written for
Chinese women and-is really good on anatomy
and homes deliveries.
Even for those of us who looked
forward to and tried to get pregnant,
pregnancy is a time of total confusion.
Suddenly we don't know why we got pregnant,
and we suspect that motherhood might not
be all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes
we kid ourselves into believing that we want
to spend the next fourteen years waiting
on children. Our socialization has told
us that it's what we want: motherhood is
/so highly valued in this sexist society. .
We have kids for good reasons too.
the have a lot of creative love and energy
to giv~e, new non-sexist alternatives to
build; we accept children as a life process
th~at we want to participate in,
But when we get pregnant, we don't
have- the "at one with the earth", "mother
nature" feelings we expected. No one,
including ourselves understands our ambiva-
lence, -our feelings of isolation. We are
overwhelmed with talk about that "feminine /
~glow" of pregnancy. Try glowing when you're
puking after every meal, ~when you see the
body you've known change because o~f this
little thing inside of you over which you
have no control. While, we feel joy,we
sense entrapment, and that sense makes us
unable to deal honestly with the joy.
The health system in America deals
with pregnancy like, a disease (medical
texts define pregnancy as a disease).
A private doctor's fee is about $350
for~care up to and including delivery. .
Since pregnancy is a natural process there
isn't much the doctor does for that $350;
except prod your stomach, listen to the.
baby's heartbeat and take your urine.
You never even have the time or the boldness
to ask what he is looking for, and jus sure
won't tell yrou. Some doctors refer to de-
livery as an operation that they perform.
When their delivery is' over, we are
left with the bill and the baby. In
most hospitals you don't get the baby until
you pay the~bill. We must find the strength
to gain control over our children's birth
so that we don't need to depend on an exper-
tise which comes from our ignorance. The
more we know about our bodies, the more the
doctor's privileged position is in jeopardy*
We are taught to ,think of ourselves
as having only one sexual role intercourse.
During pregnancy though, our bodies actively
resist this myth, by going through stages
where intercourse is difficult and undesired.
Since men prefer to see women as non-men-
struating, non-pregnant sex objects, women
are confused and made to feel guilty by
their lack of sexual desire. Books written
by men doctors urge women to have "normal"
sexual relations during pregnancy, without
going into the effect of the hormonal
upheavals on ,libido. Intercourse is just
So during pregnancy our bodies are not
functioning in a heterosexual role. Our
bodies are preparing for childbirth, and
the fact that it shows is enough to alien-
ate men from us. Our ambivalence towards
our bodies is real: it is a reflection of
the social ambivalence towards us. The
usual earth mother roles we are cast in
oppress and debase us. We tend to encourage
these views toward us anyway in that we see
them as ego-boosting and "fulfil'ling"(you
hear a lot of that word). Often only when
the baby is there and screaming do we under-
stand the reality of it. Yobu thank the
obstetrician and go home with this stranger
and there you are alone. All the feelings
you were led to expect aren't there. You
only feel fear and isolation. The baby is
not a person it's barely a living thing
You have no mother instinct at all. Your
rel-linstinct is to ask someone to take it
away for a- while so you can think. But your
guilt keeps you fran doing that.
Not that everybody isn't understanding.
It says in all the books that you -can have
a day or two of "post partum blues", when
all new mothers break down and cry. Not
much word on the post partum blues you'll
be feeling intermittently for the next
We are depersonalized by pregnancy.
People who are eager to~help us through
childbirth may never see us after the baby
is born.. Some forget that we're women, and
relate to us as breasts that should be
lovingly offered anytime of day or night,
up to every two hours. During rry natural
childbirth course, plenty of fathers came
to tell us of the joys of natural childbirth
and breast feeding. I wonder why I never
asked myself where the mothers were or.
never thought they might: have a different
If you can, have your baby without
drugs.- It's better forethe child and for
you. You'll feel stronger sooner, more in
control,. But there are. plenty of drugs that
will make very minimal changes in the labor'.
The important thing is to learn about them
yourself, so you know what to expect and
what to ask for. For instance, the doctor
who gets impatient can order a spinal anes-
thetic so he can go in and drag the baby
out with forceps. This might be more
efficient for him, but it is also less
control for ~you(forceps are rarely nec-
essary medically and it just makes more
sense that the baby should be allowed to
come out at her/his own pace). Guttmacher
has a good section on all the alternative
medications you can have. Be in a position
to tell your midwife or doctor exactly what
you want. Often if you have another person
to help you push your demands- you can get
Tr'y to get together with a group of
women who are pregnant at the same time,
to discuss your feelings. You will all
be going through the same thing and can help
each other after the baby is born, the time
when you need each other the most. Later you
can share child care(if you're breast feeding-
your milk is no different than another womqn's;
Babies have a need to be around other babies.
The "devoted mother", staying at home alone
with her child all day is twisted and unnat-
ural. We need not to be isolated from each
other, and when we build up monogamous rela-
tfonships with our children we kill their
ability to relate to others equally.
off our backs, P.01. Box 4859 Cleveland Park
Station, Washington, D.C. 20009
This is a special supplement to
off our backs, a women's news journal.
Te welcome other women's groups to
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the pregnant glow?
Summer 1971/off our backs/Health Supplement/Pase 15
breast vs udder
Most women choose to breast feed their
babies because it seems to be the most natural
way.~ They look forward to a close relation-
ship between themselves and their babies.
For them, the dependency of the bq)~.v's body
on theirs for sustenance does not edwith ~
birth, but carries through thie first months
of life.. Many times there are good reasons
to bottle feed, and this article is not
meant to oppress those 'who did, but to talk
about the physiological benefits of Lireast
Vitamijns that are not present in breast
milk are stored in the baby's body from be-
fore birth, as is iron. This store is gen-
erally not used up until five or six-months
when the baby. begins on solid foods.
SThrough the breast miTk, the mother
also passes on many of her immnunities to the
baby, so the baby is protected from many
communicable diseases, like measles, or even
virus colds. If the baby is allergenic, breast
milk will keep to a minimumn the number of
sensitizing agents that the baby's immature
system comes into contact with. Allergies are
thought to be caused by proteins unfamiliar.
to the, body. Since allergic reactions
tend to decrease with age, it is natural to
hold off the introduction of unfamiliar pro-
teins until a later age. Bottle fed babies
are 20 times more likely to be allergetic
than breast fed babies.
Breast feeding gives us the opportunity
to know our bodies better, to see our breasts
as something other than sex objects. The
relationships we have to children seem more
valuable if we feel that closeness that comes
from breast feeding. One of the major reasons
women give for not breast feeding or early
weaning, is that they didn't have enough milk.
Many times doctors are complicitous in this,
encouraging mothers to adopt the "convenience"
of the bottle. Also, when you see six or
'eight measured ounces of milk go down, you Tecmoetpolm o usn
know its there. With our breasts we never m Ther commnes problem us for nursing
know for sure if the baby is getting enough. motbesg at ed plu gedbdutsan feln
However, if the baby is allowed to regulate Plugged ducts are s re, hard areas of the
her/his own schedule, as happens in most places breast where milk ducts have become clogged.
in the world, she/he will always ,get enough. This happens mostly during the.first two
months of nursing and will not recur. The'
worst advice you can get at these times is
to wean the baby. Only the continued sucking,
Every hour if necessary, will relieve the
pressure and start the free flow of milk.
If there is not sucking, mil-k will build up
and stagnate in the breast, causing infection.
""C Getting more rest helps, too.
4, Feeling tied to the baby is more difff-
cult to deal with. The La Leche League, a
q by making you fee? guilty if you spend time
away from the baby. You can leave the baby
with someone else, if you have some milk
you've expressed from the breast ahead of
time. This milk can be frozen for up to 6
Months. You can also find other breast
Feeding mothers who will exchange child care
with you...everyone's milk is the same. If
None of these things help, think a long time
Before you wean to the bottle. It's a pain
'4in the neck to always be sterilizing nipples
Sand remembering to bring the Similac where-
ever you go. But, it's better to bottle feed
than to feel guilt or resentment ~for the baby.
The main thing, if you decide to breast
feed is to relax and remember that mammals
have been doing it for a long time before
anyone made a cult of it.
Right after chi-ldbirth, the uterus
weighs two pounds. In six weeks, it must
contract down to its pre-pregnant size of
two ounces. If the uterus does not contract,
there is danger ofhemiorrhage. The baby's
sucking at the breast stimulates the pro-
duction of the hormone oxytocin, which makes
the uterus contract. When mothers do not
nurse their children, the doctor often gives
an injection of pitocin, a synthetic hormone
that does the same thing. Although milk
wiTT not come in for a~ few days (the more
breast produces colostrumth a~ d'cs h oAriforerunner o~f
milk. Some say that colostrum has no bene-
.ficial effect except to flush mucus out of
the baby's system (this in itself is ex-
tremely important)'. Others say..colostrum
contains many antibodies and is valuable in
protecting the newborn from infection the
first few days of life.
With breast milk the baby gets the vit-
amins that are meant for her/him. When
babies are fed cows milk they get the pro-
teins that are meant for calves. (Similac and
Enfamil are nothing but diluted cows milk.)
All protein is not alike. Cows milk,protein
is difficult for the baby's system to break
down. This is why the formula must be dilut-
ed; and why babies on formula can eat on four
hour schedules..it takes babies four hours .
to work through the tougher proteins and ex-
crete them. So although cows milk has twice
as much protein as human milk, since
the baby can't use them, she/he gets, less
protein. Casein is the most difficult
protein to digest. Cows milk protein is
mainly casein. Human milk is only a third
casein. The infant's body uses human milk
protein to 100% efficiency, almost none is
With carbohydrates, it is the same
story. The sugar in human milk is mostly
lactose, whereas that in cows milk includes
galactose, glucose and other sugars. The
presence of lactose makes it easier for the
infant's body to digest protein and absorb
calcium. Lactose creates an acid medium in
the baby's stomach, while other sugars cause
alkaline mediums. An acid medium kills most
harmful bacteria, while an alkaline medium
supports the growth of many organisms,
including putrefactive bacteria,
.Every woman is capable of producing milk.
In some societies, women who have never had
children nurse babies.
Oxytocin, the hormone produced by sucking,
makes the breasts let down milk. When milk is
let down, it becomes richer. The milk in the
front of the breast is thin, but once the
let down occurs, the fat in the hind milk
cones to the fore, and the breast is stim-
ulated to make more milk. After awhile, the
let down reflex happens automatically, like
clockwork,: anywhere, while the front of
your shirt gets saturated with milk. It
can be inhibited by emotional stress, fa-
tigue, or lack of fluids, but barring that,
anyone who wants to, can have more than
enough milk...the more the baby sucks, the
nore you have.
L I~....~~~~.~ ~~~I
Here's some herbal remedies for common
Jewelweed (rmpatiene oapenate)
--Found in danp woods and near streams
in the same range and in identical soil and
moisture requirements as poison ivy. Leaves:
eggshaped with a point at the outer end,
widespread serrations on the margins, silver
underneath, unwettable (water beads on them).
Flowers: yellow-orange, slipper-shaped.
---Crush some jewelweed in your hands
and rub on affected area. Or boil down a pot-
ful covered with water until the liquid is
about half the original volume. Put con-
centrated juice on affected areas. Freeze
left over juice in ice cube trays and have
on hand whenever needed. Jewelweed extract
is used in commercial poison ivy lotions.
Dock (Rwnerc aquatioue)
---Found In abundance on waste land and
fields. Leaves: lance-shaped and sparse on
stems. Flowers: pale-green, turning red.
brown in whorls.
---Apply fresh dock leaves on poison
Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagattie arvenate)
---Found on waste land and in fields. A
tiny plant, almost threadlike. Leaves:
simple, tiny, yellowish-green. Flowers:
solitary, rounded, open only in sunlight, and
---Crush the whole herb and apply
directly to the affected places.
White Oa Bark
;---Fke strong tea of equal parts white
oak bark and lime water. Apply a bandage
wet with this solution and change as often
as becomes dry.
Solomon's Seal (Cncnvataria polygonatem)
---Make tea 7from root andi wash over
affec rf d~ jli,_,atP~t~-~; . we a
~tIS-~.~n-r-spr~iiid;o ras ,-~; '~
UP Bora e (Borago officinatis)
J ---Found in fields and woods, likes
dry ground.. Grows a foot high. Leaves:
large, dark, green, hairy, obovate, rough.
b ~Fl owers: beautiful, star-shaped, brilliant
blu .---Make a tea. Drink to expel poison.
Witch Hazel (BanameZie vivinriana)
-- ---Found in woodlands and by streams.
Leaves: 3 to 5 inches long, oval with wavy,
1 .toothed margins. Flowers: small, bright
7- yellow; petals, slender,spidery and curly.
-lom io th fan.
---Distill twigs. Add one half cup
rubbing alcohol to 2 cups distillate. Dab
on skin with a cotton pad. (Cbmmercial
witch hazel is very cheap and works fine.)
Plantain (Plantago major)
---Found on waste land and in fields,
but will grow anywhere, even in the middle
of pathways. Leaves: in flat rosettes,
oval or lance-shaped and prominently veined.
'0 *Flowers: in narrow spike, brownish.
---Good for all kinds of bites and
stings including those of snakes, scorpions,
7, poisonous spid-ers. Make an ointment by
** pounding leaves and mixing into melted cold
Bo e cream or melted vegetable fats. Or make a
Brurg poultrice of either the pulped leaves or
crushed and boiled roots, hot, on peices of
linen and bind in place.
Cornflower (Centcaurea acyaus)
---Found in cornfields. Has narrow
leaves and brilliant, thistle-form, blue
---Make a tea of the flowers. Take
twice daily. Improved with the addition
of aromatic herbs such as rosemary, thyme,
etc. Also good for scorpion bi~tes.
Pennyroyal (Menthar putegiuwn)
---found alongside brooks and streams
andi th marshy meadows. Small plant. Leaves:
tiny,- stalkless, pointed. Flowers: tiny,
lilac, in clusters.
---Steep' the herb ini vinegar and apply..
Soo Pfo fa, tck ad mosquito bi~tes.
.-. habtat- and us~e, dink-las:;uibter Ri1~:
--aeS da at n apply.
Vinegar or fl9JeE
Insect Re ellant:
Pennyroya ---for habitat, see insect
bites. Rub fresh herb on skin exposed to
Insects. Effective as commercial repellants,
but smells pleasanter. -
Try un-dfTHted apple cider vinegar.
Sunthnl 0a ple cider vinegar and half
olive oil .
Bruises and Sore Muscles: ~
Soak a ~cloth i'n hot water. Put a
spoonful of dried wormwood herb on hurt spot.
I Wrap hot cloth around.
Witch H~azeZ I
Sources and Suggested Readings: ar
~-' ..r: 3bii^P
Mi nonette (Reseeda Zutea)
---Found in shady places, waste places
or cultivated in gardens. Leaves: smal1,
con pryuouslowebrow ish-yeesowminweetlin~
in namCutsupelargeehandeuwaof herb. Places
bo d water.eeHeea over gentapp oam mte almost
3 min., do not boil. Remove from heat, Steep
at least 3 brs., overnight is best. Do not
strain. Take 2 tablespoons three times a
day or use externally to soothe inflamed eyes.
Elecampane (InuZa Helenium)
---Found in fields and on hill slopes.
Leaves: bright green, rather sticky, of a
very pungent scent due to glandular hairs,
which protect against grazing flocks.
Flowers: bright yellow, starry, small.
---Cut up large handful bf dried whole
herb. Prepare as with Mignonette above.
Take 1 teaspoon morning'and night. Or as
nasal inhalation: steam herb in a kettle.
Hold face over the steam. Cover head and ,
spout of kettle with a cloth to retain
aromatic vapors. .
Salt Water Snuffing F
---DissoTve 1 heaping teaspoon of salt
in a pint of warm water. Gargle with solution
and blow nose entirely clear of mucus, before
snuffing up to clear nose.
Ba berry Bark
---'Take 1 hea ing teaspoon powdered
bayberry bark and pour over it one pint of
boiling water. Steep 20 minutes. Let settle
and snuff up the nostrils 4 to 6 times a
day. Also good to take internally, one
half glassful 3 or more times a day.
1) Bay Laurel, Alicia, Living on the
Earth. Avai lable: Community Bookstore
and Yes! $3.95.
2) Gibbons, Euell, Stalking the Healthful
Herbs. Avai lable: Community Bookstore.
3), Kloss, Jethro, Back to Eden. Available:
4) Levy, Juliette de Bairadli, Herbal Hand-
book for Everone. Available: Washing-
ton Cathedral Herb Cottage. $7.00.
Summer 1971/off our backs/Health Supplemen e
e gaP 1 6/off our backs 1
Sow-Thistle (Sonobus amensie)
I--Foun~d.on wasteland, in gardens ~and -
:in cUltivated fields. ~Leaves: !triangular
'lobeS and prickly edges. Flowers* small
yellow and of thistlefe,
the pp 12o ie "-expressed .from
White Pond ( I T *
76-unad on pands,aesndohrtll
waters,; ;Lea~ves: ovNery large and round, dark ;:
green-, float: flat on, the ssurfaceeoff the -water.
Flowers: beautiful large, solitar'ycprounded
in form sw$eetly scented and with prominent. ~
yellow stamens. -.
---Use. leaves.,raw straight from the.
water on sunburned areas.:, i:
Burnet (Sanguiso2*ba offictnalia)
;---FEund in' low-l~yng danp land. Has
tall, branching growthqrand crowded dark -
purple flowers, small.
---Make a brew by taking a large hand-
ful of shoots with or without flowers, cut-
ting them up and putting them in an enamel,
steel or earthenware pan with 2 cups of cold -
water. Heat over gentle flane until boiling
a nel is reached, Keepdonnheaboppproxemve
from the heat and steep for at least 3 hrs.,
overnight is best. Do not strain. Apply
lotion to affected areas.
Vineg r and Water
---Tryd to fast. Drink only fruit
~juices. If you must eat, have only fresh
frui ts and vegetables. Take3 lots of
vitamin C. Rose hip -jam would be a cheerful
sou rce. Res t. Drink lots of -water. If
your nose is stuffed, inhale steam. If
your throat is sore, gargle with 'salt water.
If you have a cough, make cough syrup:
extract juice of 1 lemon which has been
boiled for 10 min. Add 1 oz. glycerine and
1 cup honey. Take 1 teaspoon three times a
day. Stir well before using.
For reading, for cooking, for fun
Adelle Davis, LETs COOK IT RIGHT.
Beatri ce Hunter, THILI~LE NAT nAL _QQL;ggOKBO
Dorothea Jones, THE SOYBEAN COOKBOOK
-- AS-- check out the government print-,
ing outic eiolots of good stuff on food
Page 18/off our backs/Health Supplement/Slnrner 1971
milk, whole, skim
meat, fish, foul
It is hard to put what we know about
nutrition into practical terms, Doctors
are trained to cure diseases, not induce
health, and most of them know very little
about nutrition and virtually nothing a-
At first we will have to build on what
we know and add a little blind faith. For
a start we put together some information
on the nutrients our bodies need and what
we hope will be a practical guide to whole-
some food sources and where and how to buy
There are six basic classes of nutrients
which the body needs: carbohydrates, pro-
tein, fats, water, minerals and vitamins.
Carbohydrates are the chief source of
energy for the body. In food they occur as
starches, sugars, and cellulose. During
digestion starches and sugars are broken
down into simple sugars that are easily ab-
sorbed by cells. Cellulose itself is indi-
gestible but it is essential as bulk to
stimulate the muscular contractions of the
intestines and bowels. Carbohydrates are
some of the few nutrients almost every
American gets enough of--most get too much.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, and sugars are
all forms of carbohydrates. When too many
carbohydrates are eaten the excess glucose
is converted by the-liver into fats and
stored as fatty tissue. Fat can be convert-
ed back into glucose if more energy reserves
Fats are the most important form of energy
storage. Fats are broken down during diges-
tion into glycerin and fatty acids. The body
can make most of these fatty acids from su-
gar even if no fat is eaten but there are
three fatty acids which must be supplied
through th'e diet. The principle sources of
these are natural vegetable oils--corn,
Learning about foods and our body's
nutritional needs is an important form of
preventative medicine,~ Malnutrition is not
just a disease of poverty. Many people are
able to spend a great deal of money on food
and are poorly nourished. They eat refined
and processed foods which are largely de-
void of nutrients, but loaded with chemi-
caT additives-and preservatives, which may
be poisonous. Not only is the body deprived
of what it needs, but it has to expend ener-
gy neutralizing harmful substances.
In the extreme, a diet without enough
nutrients can lead to serious illness.
Young children, pregnant women and older
people show the effects of an inadequate
diet most dramatically. There- are many
people who suffer from chronic minor com-
plaints such as headaches, fatigue, stomach
and intestinal disturbances which can be
linked to poor diet, There are some who
say that any malfunction in the body can
be attributed to a poor diet.
Water makes up 60% of our bodies. We are
constantly loosing water through the lungs,
skin, kidneys and intestine which must be
replaced. -Normally, we ingest enough water
automatically. When we lose too much water
the sodium concentration rises, we feel
thirsty and drink. Dehydration is usually
only a serious problem when fluids are dras-
tically depleted as in the case of high fe-
vers, uncontrolled diarrhea or severe burns,
Vitamins are nutrients which perform vital
and specific functions in cells and tissues,
They cannot be synthesized by the body. Vit-
amins are usually grouped into fat soluable
(A,D,E,K) and water soluble (C and B complex)
vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins can be stored
in the body whereas water soluble vitamins
must be ingested regularly
Minerals comprise a small but essential per-
centage of body tissue.- The basic minerals
which- the body needs are calcium, phosphorus,
sodium magnesium, iron and iodine.
Protein is a basic component of the
body. Proteins are made of amino acids
which are nitrogen compounds. There are
twenty-two naturally occurring amino acids.
The body can synthesize all but eight of
these. These eight "essential" amino
acids must be supplied through the diet.
Proteins containing the essential amino
acids ini generous amounts are called com-
plete or adequate proteins. In the table
.below 70-80 gm. of protein a day repre-
sents a rich protein supply,
In the field of nutrition everyone
seems to have her own theory-- from
macrobiotics to anything goes. Somewhere
between these poles lies a health giving
diet. We do know that there is a mammoth
food industry which processes our food for
profit. Refusing to buy devitalized, plas-
ticized foods is a political act in itself.
America's agricultural-industrial complex
pours tons of nitrate fertilizers and hard
pesticides into the environment every year.
This pollution is stripping our soil and
choking our waterways, aside from direct
damage to our bodies. Our steers are fat-
tened on drugs and female hormones, our
chickens never touch the earth, much less
run with a rooster, The food industry
operates with total disregard for the bal-
ance of life on our earth, and to buy their
products is to be an accomplice in that
rape. Hit them in the pocketbook: if we
create a market for crops and meats grown
with respect for the rhythms of nature,
there has to be some response.
What do you eat?
Nhat do you think happens to what you eat?
We have begun to realize that our ig-
norance about nutrition is one of the most
staggering examples of the extent to which
we are alienated from our bodies.
Sometimes we eat whatever seems to be
fastest, cheapest, and most convenient. When
we have more time we are apt to think about
who we would like to share a meal with and
what kind of food would taste good, But most
of us have almost no~understanding of what
happens to food after we swallow It. Much
of the food we eat becomes part of our bodies.
After being chemically broken down by the
prcoss of digestion, the food is absorbed
by the bloodstream and carried to every cell
of the body, where it nourishes and repairs
tissue and provides a source of energy. When
we are asleep, and seemingly inactive, com-
plex chemical, electrical, and physiologi-
cal activities are still being carried out,
all of which require energy.
nut rit ion
- L~ I, I_
EATING FOR WHO?
For most of my life I've been preoccu?:
pled with foods as things that contain few
or many calories., For the past 15 years I veec
been on a diet or thinking I should be on:'
one. Needless to say this was motivated by
a desire to look more attractive to men.
I've started thinking about what I eat fn
terms of me---thinking that what I eat can
make me feel better, keep me healthier,
enable ine to do the things I want to bet-
I used to be very skeptical arf food.
,freaks because` I .suspected them of being
/cultish puritans.- I saw food freaks as
people who~ thought you have to eat to sur-
vive therefore' eat monk-like portions of a
chemically well balanced diet. Since eat-
ing is a sensual thing for me, I wasn't
about to l~et anyone take away that: pleas-
It was only when our health group
began to talk about food as preventive med-
icine that I became conscious ~of how my
eating habits have changed over the past
few years.; When I was living in New York
I felt :cheated if -I didn't have at least
one meat- meal a day. When I quit my job
and left New York my eating habits changed,
--meat was just too expensive to be a sta-
In the past few months I've discov-
ered how delicious vegetables; can- be--why
put ground meat i-nto an eggplant or lamb
into a yummy vegetable curry?- Yogurt,
honey, nu~tsr wheat germ and raisins makes
a l-ighter and murch more Interesting lunch
than a roast beef salndwich. A fruit salad
with coconut,- dates, berries and, melon has'
more tastes and textures than chocolate
I'm not sure what all of this~ means.
I.'m not convinced' that my new eating hab-
its are going to make a tremendous dif-
feren~ce, in how I- feel. I don't want to be-
come an elitist f~oodSnob who snickers
contemptuously at. anyone who has been to
McDonalds. I don't want to start popping
vitamin pills the way I used to pop diet
It turns out th't~ I'm looking forward
to the summer as a time when it will be I
easy' and fun' to be ~on an "eat healthy food
tri p I. fres h frui ts. and vegetables i. n .
gardens ~and markets--opportuni ty to exper-
iment with eiating wild foods. Hot, sticky...
weather makes~ yogurt and-cottage cheese more
appealing.-..ti'me to see if it all really makes
a difference in how I feel. Still, I must
confess, i~t has occurred to mie that I might
lose a few pounds in the process.
;h Jane t
EGGS AR BEAUIFUL
Fasting has great therapeutic
value. I know because I once did it
for two weeks. ,
At the time, I subscribed to what
a friend of mine calls the "rhudabaka
theory of politics", which goes some-
thing like this:. "One should do such
and such an action (e.g., plant thud-
abakas -on the White House lawn) be-
cause if everybody d$id that then. the
war would surely end." And so I agreed
to fast and march In front of the White
House handing out-leaflets against the
genoci de in' Vietnam. Those poli ti cs
were nonsensical, of course., and I'd
never do anythi-ng~like that again
publicly, but whdt the fast did to my
head was a whole- other beautiful thing.
SThe; first two days were very dif.
ficult, I got feverish and irritable
and just plain hungry.. I almost quit
then except that I had many friends
who held my hands and hugged me and
l ooked -worri ed. So I lied and said, I -
felt fine and slept fitfully.
Towards the evening of the -second
d~ay everything began~ to change: I got
high--bi~gher than I'd ~ever been--on
anything! Everyone around me was very
beauti ful Their bodi~es were beauti ful
and what they said was -beautiful. And
my own body was b auti~ful-. I was more
in touch with it than I'd ever been and
it was total~ly connected to -my head. I
stayed that way--just floating there,
about three feet off -the ground--for
tHe next twelve days.
I was not hungry. I felt and was
in love with all the good things on
the earth. The bare trees of winter,
the cold air on my face, the rain and
the sun and the bright colors in a
room that were reflected in the eyes
of my friends--all those things made
me smile. Then I thought about bad things
it was not with anger, but with total
detachment: war, hatred, greed, and
plastic and poisonous foods could never
be part of me.' I thought about food
in the abstract, about how.simple,
TURKISH MOTHER -
While living at home with my parents
food was what brought all of us together.ey-
ery night.for dinner. We were always free
to do as we pleased during the day, but no
excuses were good enough if one of us missed
dinner-and that rule even applied to my fa-
ther who acted out all the roles of a domi-
neering patriarch with his family. All my
friends were always enc'ourjaged to cane too,
and my mother would just pile their plates
with strange looking and smelling Turkish
foods, and plead with them to try it just
One day when she was trying to teach me
what it was to be a "good woman" (wife and
mother) she said that one of her real.hap-
pinesses in the world was to watch heryfam-
ily and friends sit around the table eating
the food she had spent all day cooking. And
it really freaks me out to realize how much
that is a part of me. The one night a week
that I cook dinner at our house (12 of us
live there) I generally enjoy it and feel
bad i~f people are away. It's funny too,
that though my mother can hardly relate~to
my lifestyle at all now, when I tell her we
all try to eat dinners together, she smiles
and I get the feeling that she is thinking
there might be some hope for me yet.
So it is really difficult for me to
connect the things about -nutrition that I
~.read and hear about from friends to the
Things I eat. Doing this supplement has
helped and slowly I am learning. I just
.hope that the next time I cook~soybeans for
'dinner everyone at our house doesn't sud-
r:_denly have a meeting!
ago. Kathp eaddatingemeandofertabeeaer
and mere energetic. She wasn t helping
.to kill animals which had eaten poisoned
grasses, been shot up with synthetic
hormones and antibiotics (to add fat
and water), and had excreted toxins
as it freaked out at slaughter time.
I'.d eaten meat all my life so I
was sceptical. But Kathy was right,
a week off meat and I felt better.
When I would occasionally eat meat
with friends, I would feel nauseous.
My last steak (7 months ago), I could
Only see as repulsive muscle tissue.
Vegetables are a real adventure now
that my body is rid of the grease of
meat. I can really taste good food.
I've been reading about why I
feel bet~ter. Americans eat far more
proteins than are needed by the body.
The excess must be burned up or stored
as fat, through processes which release
toxins that we excrete in urine.
Animal cells don't die when the
heart stops. Build up of metabolic
wastes and lack of oxygen kills the
cells. Rigor mortis sets in, then
the meat is made pliable by bacterial
decay, adding toxins and live bacteria
to the meat.
Uric acid from meat causes excess
mucous (bad for asthma sufferers)
which helps form chalkey deposits
in joints (arthritis). Gall bladder
and kidney stones result from extra
stress on these organs. Degenerative
diseases such as cancer are clearly
helped to develop by meat-eating.
If we choose to eat high protein
diets, our bodies react by needing
high proteins to replace tissue protein
destruction by uric acid in the tissues.
A low protein diet maintains the tissues
longer with less stress so we need
only a low protein intake.
Vegetables in the right combinations
do contain the essential amino acids
for building "complete" proteins
they just have smaller amounts of them.
natural things can ,sustain life. Eggs,
for example, and green things, and water,
seemed especially beautiful.
I broke my fast in the traditional
Jewish way: with pieces of apple dipped
in honey. Whoever invented that long
ago really knew what she was doing.
What better way to affirm life on the
Earth than -to eat its natural fruit
with natural sweetness!
Since my fast I haven't exactly
become a strict vegetarian, but I
find myself eating much less meat than
I used to. I eat a lot of salad, and
fruits, yogurt, cheese and grains like
~vigor, granola, and brown rice. And
I go hungry sometimes just to feel
the empty feeling that puts you in *
touch with your body.
Summrer 1971/off our backs/Health Supplement/Page 19
The tricky thing about yogurt is incubating
it at the right temperature. The pilot
light of a gas oven is a good temperature-or
you can preheat an electric oven on a low
temperature and turn it off when you put the
yogurt inside. You can fill an ice bucket
or the kitchen sink with warm water and put
the yogurt in, to incubate in its container..
The time needed for incubation varies with
the amount of starter yogurt used and the.
temperature. The more starter and the, warm-
er (but not too warm) it is, the less time
it takes. It's a good idea to prepare the
mixture before you go to bed and wake
up to fresh yogurt.
Spinach-Cottage Cheese Casserole
1 package chopped spinach--cooked briefly
and drained well--fresh or frozen (save
liquid for garbage soup, see 00B 2/26/71)
1. cup cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
Salt, pepper, nutmeg, curry or any other
Mix all together--put in pie pan,
cover with 1/4 cup grated cheese, sprin-
kle with chopped nuts, bake at 350* for
1 cake or T. baking yeast
1 qt. milk, lukewann
3 T. honey
1 T. salt
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
about 10 cups wholewheat flour
Soften yeast in 1/3 cup milk with
honey. Let bubble for 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients. Mix well
with a large spoon. The dough will
be thin, for bread~d~ou~gh. Spoon the
mixture into three oiled pens, filling them
one half full.
--Set in a warm place until dough has risen
almost to the top of the pans.
--Bake at 375' degrees for 45 minutes.
Nutritional yeasts including brewers
yeast are rich in minerals, B-vitamins and
are complete proteins. But they taste ter-
rible! Anyone who discovers how to.disguise
the taste wins a free Big-Mac---a .golden
---Buy wheat germ- eat it as a cereal with
milk or sprinkle on yogurt. .
---Some supermarkets are stocking familia-
this is good but expensive.
---Bran buds are also good for you.
---Avoid processed meats like hot dogs,
---Buy cheaper cuts of meat like chuck-
they are leaner than more expensive well
'marbled steaks once you trim away the out-
side fat. To get the most food value from
meat it should be cooked~ over low heat in
order to make the protein more digestable.
---Organ meats such as kidney, heart, brain
are often cheaper than muscle meats and
also more nutritious. But watch out for 11-
ver, which used to be considered a health
food. Some nutritionists believe it is the
storehouse for DDT and other toxins.
---Chicken is inexpensive and a lean form
of animal protein, however it is loaded
with hormones and chemicals
---The reason why swordfish and tunai have
such large concentrations of mercury is
related to the fact: that they are very
large fish- so- buy smaller fish such as
'sardines, trout, perch and flounder*
---Cottage cheese, yogurt and eggs are.
good cheap protein sources.
---Natural cheeses are better than -process-
ed ones and uncolored cheeses are better
than yellow or orange ones.
---Milk is a nutritionally excellent food
whole evaporated milk is cheaper,
powdered skim milk is, good to use in
cooking (use non-instant variety) but
should not totally replace whole milk.
How To Make Yoqurt
To make yogurt you need milk, a few tea-
spoons yogurt and a warm place.
Fitst, reconstitute non-instant powdered
milk or evaporated milk with warm water
to make about two quarts. (whole milk can
be used, in the same quantity, but it
must be boiled first)
Add three tablespoons of yogurt to the
milk, pour into covered containers like
cottage cheese cartons or plastic ice
SThis supermarket survival guide is ar-
ranged to coincide with the major supermar-
ket tions. As you can see from the gulae
there are many sections of the supermarket
that ygu can ignore.
---Fresh vegetables should be chosen over
frozen ones. Steam vegetables to conserve
vitamins and minerals. Don't add salt
to cooking water--better -yet, eat lots
of raw vegetables. In general, dark
green leafy vegetables have more food
value than lighter ones cabbagee is
an exception), instead of organ-
izing a salad around iceberg lettuce
(nothing much' but water and cellulose),
use lots of parsley, spinach, and water-
Canned Fruits and Vegetables
---If vegetables are not in season,
.buy frozen ones instead of canned.
Canned vegetables have the fewest nut-
rients- and the most preservatives. In
vegetable section of the store, your
one purchase might be canned tomatoes
and/or tanato sauce.
---Almost all canned fruits are packed in
sugar syrup and sugar represents non-
nutritive calories. One exception is
pineapple. Read the label for some
brands are packed in the natural un-
NOTE: Dried peas, beans, and lentils
are a good and cheap source of protein.
---Almost everything- here is bad for you.
Tr~y making your own bread and cookies.
If you must buy supermarket bread buy
whole wheat, wheat germ or oatmeal. If
you buy crackers, get rye crisp, made with
whole eye flour or triscuits, made with
whole wheat flour.
---Most cereals are just empty calories:
starch and sugar.
---Make your own granola, see 00B feb. 26,
super mar ket survival
Summer 1971/off our backs/Health Supplement/Page 21
touch them and observe them. Once we helped
a huge six-footer across the road by wagging
its tail to get it into the swing of things.
When friends braver than us picked up snakes
we touched and held them. Although some
fear still remains with us, we have comela
long way towards respecting and enjoying them.
May 12-- Our friend Janet visited after
an absence of two weeks. She noted that our
"house" ants had doubled in size. I felt as
proud as if she had been talking about my
children. But secretly, I am a bit worried,
If they keep growing at this rate they will
be as big as we ate by the end of the summer.
Miay 14-- With the help of friends, we
dug a circular herb garden in the center
of the yard and planted many herbs. We have
been gathering all sorts of wild medicinal
herbs this spring. The children love doing
this and have learned to identify many plants.
The other day Snee and Conrad spent an
hour or so digging up milk weed root (good
for "female complaints" and gall stones)*
and we are now drying it in a pan on the
porch. We have also gathered red rasp-
berry leaves, red clover blossoms, mint and
others. We found a patch of pig weed in
the center of the lawn and Peer carefully
avoids it when he mows the grass. We eat
pig weed in our salads.. A pound of pig weed
has more vitamin C than a pound of lemons.
May 20-- Driving to school this morn-
ing we passed a box turtle walking across
the highway. His head was up high and proud
and we wondered if he would get to the other
side of the road alive. "Anyway," said Peer
"he's certainly brave."
On the way home I stopped to look for
our brave turtle. As we feared, he'd been
hit by a car and 'thrown off the road. The
bottom of his shell was all bloody. I put
him in the car and took him home to Snee.
She found a cool place fpr him under a fern
and nursed him all day. Late in the after-
noon his shell relaxed and we realized that
he was dead.
Tomorrow we will have another burial.
The animal grave yard looks beautiful with-
its carefully painted stones and fresh flow-
ers stuck in the ground. Each animal is
carefully named and dated a turtle, a
bird, a baby rabbit and many more have been
ceremoniously buried this Spring. When I
die, I should like to be buried by children.
May 28_-- Conrad has begun performing
rain dances. He does this ceremony in a
circle backwards and forwards around the
herb garden, uttering powerful, inarticu-
late cries towards the sky. He claims also
to be able to get electrical power from
the lightening which he stores in his
closed fist for situations in which he
might need to suddenly turn out a light
or electrocute an enemy. -
June 1-- Peer is running a fever of 105
degrees. decide to try herbal medicine' and
brew up some raspberry tea.--a sort of herbal
cure-all, according to my books. :Peer is as
interested in the effect of the tea as I am
and he drinks willingly. Five minutes later,
he vanits. Did I give him an emetic by
mistake? Frustrated and frightened by the
high fever I rush him to the doctor and get
When we first moved to the country we
were numb from years of city living. We
had moved into the second story of a large
house and although there were trees out-
side the window and sun and leaf patterns
on the wall, I always felt as if we were in
exile. Accustomed to living indoors, we
never got our hands in the dirt. We picked
flowers, but never grew any. We got our
vegetables plastic-wrapped at the supermar-
ket. We sprayed bugs, dusted ants with
powerful insecticides. We had a mouse-trap
and a fly swatter. Every day I planned our
move back to the city where things were hap-
But days passed and one day we woke up
in a log cabin. When we walked out the
door there was grass and trees. Our living
space no longer consisted of the man-made
walls around us. It grew to b~e the garden
where we made our first clumsy attempt at
planting a seed, the woods where the birds
and squirrels lived, the Timestone quarries
where we swam and the hills around us through
which we walked.
Three years have passed since we moved
into the cabin. We're still here -- Peer
(10 years), Conrad (8 years), Snee (5 years)
May2- The first ants have appeared in
the house. TheyS are tiny, frail creatures.
We are glad to see them because we know it
means that summer is really here. It also
means keeping the house clean so that we
aren't over-run. This year we aren't kill-
ing any insects that come into the house
except ticks and fleas.
May_10-- A friend from Boston is visit
ing. We went into the woods to dig up a few
ferns for him to take back to the city. I
made him promise that they would be well
cayed~for.. How. that we .know that plants are
sensitfive to' human thought and emotion, we
hesitate to hurt them.
The-lawn is crowded with plantain and
dandelion this year. I still weed the flow-
er beds because I so love the flowers that
grow there,' but I do it with less and less
conviction. It's hard to kill, any plant
when you know that the effects of its death
must reverberate through the entire house
and garden. I remember once pulling up a
large plantain and discovering that if you
pulled on the cords(veins) that extended
from the end of the stem the leaf contract-
ed like the hand of a child.
The children and I talk about this alot.
The fact that plants understand us seems less
shocking to them than to me. They treat the
plants they grow with a sort of rough tender-
ness, the same way they treat each other or
the cat and dog.
When we got back from digging up ferns
my friend told me that he had been almost
totally preoccupied with the fear of step.
ping on a snake while walking through the
woods. I told him of my own fear of snakes
three years ago and of how, on our first ven-
turing into the woods, I would tensely ex-
amine the ground ahead of me for a diamond
Our first Autumn in the cabin, when the
weather turned cold and dry, a black snake
came into our stone-walled basement to hi-
bernate. I can't remember which of us dis-
covered the snake in the downstairs bedroom,
but I vividly recall the hysterical scream-
ing of the children, my own fear at seeing
the tensely coiled snake, and our mad dash
to a neighbor's house for help. Worst of
all I remember how the four of us watched
in silence while our neighbor chopped the
snake apart with a knife as it tried des-
perately to wriggle into a hole in the wall,
The children were as horrified as I. They
too were terrified of snakes, but the brutal
murder was somehow even more terrifying than
the snake itself.
We had all winter to think about that
death scene in the basement. We had time to
learn that black snakes eat mice and kill
From then on we began in ernest to rebate
to snakes. We took every opporttunity to
anti-biotics.I am upset by my first herbal
failure there is a lot to be learned about
sickness and medicine. I hate to be help-
lessly dependent on a doctor's decision.
June 7-- We've found many beautifuT in-
sects in the house this year. Snee and I
patted a large bumblebee we found in the
basement.' He was soft and fuzzy, like a cat-
erpillar. The little white moths with huge
bthaokghyehe wk lik pane aown ght.t y ee
opened the window to the insistent batting
of a large green luna moth the other ni~ght.
He flew crazily about the ceiling light and
then landed gently on Snee's blue pajamas.
We had a chance to really see his furry
pink body, large black eyes and yellow.
antennae with which he smells his mate.
He flew from one to the other of us, landing
gently on our many colored clothes-as if
he had found a garden of flowers.
June 10-- The huge woolly wood spiders
with beautiful'black and grey markings are
back in the house. The first time I found
one of these spiders crouched in the sink I
screamed. Now we are used to then and they
co-exist peacefully with us. There is one
living in my bedroom in the basement ( I pick-
ed up my pillow one morning and he jumped out)
and there is another living in the bath tub.
"Gzolly," shouted ,Conrad this morning as he
peered into the tub, "his legs are an inch
'loniji" -I- keep hoping the wood spider wfiTT eat
the centipede that also lives in the bath tub
but they too seem to believe in co-existence.
June 11-- Last night at the supper table
we were talking about becoming vegetarians.
"I like meat", Conrad said thoughtfully, "but
it really isn't fair." Peer insisted that he
still liked meat at all costs. "How would you
like it if someone ate you for dinner," said
Snee, whose sense of justice is sti-11 refresh--
ingly elanental. If meat grew on/trees,."
said Conrad, our wise one, "I'd eat it." And
they were off into a fantasy world where one'
could pluck chicken and steaks and hot dogs
June 15-- This evening I was thinking how
far we'v can~e in three years towards feeling
love and respect for all the life that grows.
around us. We've discarded the fly swatter
and the ant poison and the mouse traps. We
rarely pick flowers now we grow the an ad.1,et
them grow. We've learned the names and hab-
its of a lot of plants and birds and insects.
We experience sunsets and evenings that dark-
en without electric lights.
Country living is so romanticized that
it is easy to forget that there is still a
struggle here -- the struggle to live alone,
to live without movies, good restaurants,
meetings and other fillers of time so ac-
cessible to the city dweller, .is a major one.
The children, too, go through periods of
boredom when they wish for -the excitement of
neighboring children and the city streets.
But we stay on here because the gentle, grok-
ing life around us has so much still to teach.
us about each other and ourselves and the
reasons and ways that we live.
.by Mabrian -- drarwinge8 by' laee, Peer crul Conzad
We've come a long way from the time only checking whether it is particularly soft so
~two years ago (only two years ago!) when an that the doctor should be extra careful to
abortion meant $1200 and a trip to London. Now avoid perforation; and a blood pressure exam
some women can get abortions in New York and to anticipate any problems with anesthetic
in D.C. for $150. That sure beats $1200 or bleeding.
aboWe bateibestidoinaoutragonslceupseesng MEDICAL PRECAUTIONS
for two years, and see now that much more is
involved in the abortion issue than the slogan A medical history should also be taken,
"Free Abortion on Demand". We realize it is A woman with any of the following conditions
not just a matter of lower -prices and avail.- should report them to the doctor as they will
ability. It is also a matter of good medical require special care: tipped or retro-
ca~re,..agd good medical care within a supportive verted uterus (mpst instruments are made for
atmosphere. It is a matter of continuous pre- a normal uterus-); bad reaction to anesthetics
ventive and curative care. It extends into or antibiotics; complication with earlier
the matter of why some people have money for abortion, pregnancies. or childbirths; rare
health care and others don't. And into the blood type, clotting problems, or history of
matter of national priorities...where corpor- hemmorage; heart trouble, circulation prob-
ate/government needs come first, instead. of lems diabetes or past hepatitis (might
the needs of the people. influence anesthetic used); over 35 years
We have a long way to go in order to old (higher risk of complication).
create such a society. And in the past year, After the abortion the woman should be
commercial abortion referral agencies have given antibiotics to check against.in-
sprung up, most charging $50 to $75, b~ut fection and an ergotrate compound to help
some even $100 for their services. In prac- the uterus contract, unless she is allergic
tically every college and underground news- to the drugs. She should also be encouraged
paper there are ads for referral agencies to come back to the clinic for a pelvic
that claim to gene~ the needs of women. But exam and check-up, three weeks after the
when a weaan calls for the help advertised, abortion.
she is refused information and appointments We should start knowing what to expect,
until she wires. them money. what is minimal care, and what is good
Along side these commercial referral medical care, and start to make the medical
agencies, the "abortion market" is filled witt professionals very uncomfortable when they
wonderful, liberal doctors...dedicated to are not giving us good care. Instead .
women... who also make between $50 and $1'00 profusely thanking the doctor for doing an
per abortion, and do three .or four abortions abortion, we should start making our objec-
an hour in their clinics, That is a salary tions to poor treatment heard, right there
of $200 to $400 an hour! on the tab~le. An abortion is certainly
In order to protect ourselves against the not an, isolated event in a woman's life
abortion vultures...b~oth overpriced clinics and and should not be an isolated part of her
referral agencies...we all must become aware of medical history. ~Presently, however,
the medical aspects of ~abortion. We don't have having an abortion is a one shot deal and
the space here to describe the various methods hot part of continual comprehensive gyne~-
of abortion. (vacuum, D&C, saline, hysterotomy) cological care. At most abortion clinics
but that information is available. (see~ below). no follow-up care is available, even if the/
Page 22/of u ba ks Health Supplement/Summer 1971 """"""""'
few minutes before an abortion would n te
occur. Many doctors claim t ey mus givs
a woman an IUD or prescription t eof cer-s
right then. (IUDdinsertiaon athtie ut erusi
vloc l keleatio aause infection and also makes
it impossibleboo knowowhethelUany Beeed eg
the pill has so many potentially dangerous
side effects, a woman should wait until she
experiences her first normal period so that
side effects of the pill are not confused
with any problems from the abortion.) Doc-
tors do this because they think the woman
will be back for her next abortion in a
month or two. The underlying assumption
there is that women actually use abortion
as a kind of birth control. It is diffi-
cult for most doctors to understand that
if abortion were part of a woman's general
medical care, and if a woman felt cared for
in that medical treatment and trusted it,
she would come back for birth control if
she wanted it. The birth control discussion
at the time of abortion often becomes a form
of punishment only encouraging our guilt
A BAD -TRI.P
A woman's negative feelings about her-
self for having an abortion is .. trip laid
on her' and reinforced by the society. Wo-
men are made to feel guilty because they are
told abortions are anti-life, but ~in fact
it is our capitalistic society which is
anti-life. Women have no real options.
There is little support for women with child-
ren, particularly unmarried women. And yet
even in these new abortion clinics, ab-
ortions are expensive, discriminate against
the poor, not always as medically safe as
they should be,and rarely handled in a way
which is reassuring to women.
The abortion reform/repeal issue gets
sidetracked in so many ways; besides expense
and medical care. Women with "Free Abortion
on Demand" signs march along side women who
think of abortion as a way to keep the weT-
fare rolls dgwn,~ -lntiJlyhe reformers,.urr e~;,-p,
stand the realities of population control ,~
genocide, and forced sterilization, any changes
in the law are basically conveniences for
some and at the same time may be used against
third world and poor women by the government.
In the fall there will be a women's
march on the men'sgeatccinckow
as the Supreme Court rin orde t bring (na-
tionwide attention to the abortion issue.
It's very difficult for us to see the con-
nection between abortion and laws. Those
judges, legislators and lawyers are so in-
credibly isolated from women who need ab-
ortions that it makes us angry to think we
must waste out time asking them to change
their laws. After the revolution...
Cannercial abortion referral agencies are
invading Washington, charging7 women at
East $50 for a referral. D. C. Wan~en's
Liberaztion Bealth Information gives the.
sawe information for free,;and has ~been
doing so for 18 months. We also do~ preg-
nancy, rk, and usrine tests at aces. We
'desperaitely need money to continue.
Good medical care comes before, during and
after the abortion. Before the abortion,
lab work should~include: a urine sample for
1) a pregnancy test to double check pregnancy,
and 2) a dip stick test to check for diabetes
and urinary infections; and a blood sample
for 1) a- hematocrit to check for amenia, hep-
atitis, or the presence of internal infection
somewhere, 2) blood typing, 3) blood cross-
matching tp~see i~f the blood is compatible with
the blood supply on hand, and.4) Rh factor to
determine whether the woman is Rh negative or
positive. :(One New York clinic takes the
necessary urine` and blood samples, but then
sends- the lab work out to be done, so that the
results~ do not come back until, the' next day.)
The tests for indications of the diseases
mentioned are done because the presence of
diseasesinfluence the choice:of anesthetic.
If a woma'n is found to txa among the approx-
imately 10 to 15% of the population with RH
negative blood, she should receive a shot
of Rhogam after the abortion; unless it is
clear that the man involved in the pregnancy
also has RH negative blood.
The Rhogam shot works to eliminate the pos-
sibility of the blood developing antibodies
to the blood of the fetus in a future pregnancy
(We have learned how to do pregnancy tests
and Rh tests and so can everyone. see below)
Before the abortion, a woman should also
expect (and demand if it doesn't seem likely
to happen) a pelvic exam to determine the
number of weeks she is pregnant, the size of
the fetus, and the condition of the uterus,
woman lives in ~the same city. The doctor
has no sense of the woman'and she knows
nothing about the doctor. For the most
part, women nurses or counselors are the
ones w~ho explain what is to happen duFing
the abortion and the doctor is plugged into
the scene at the right moment only as a skill
producer. The doctor ~can only distinguish
us' by our uteruses.
CONTINUITY OF CARE
If there were continuity of medical
care, the present abortion clinic practice
of telling a woman about birth ~control ~a
rPie di c i ne i n 6hi na
Tht fotZcwing emerpts are fbom,
Away Writh AZt Peats by Joshua hmr.
ON DOCTOR/PATIENT RELATIONSHIPS
There is no room for a superior or -
patronizing attitude on the part of the doc-
tor and neither is there any room for the
bluff heartiness, false familiarity, or any
other of the devices which often masquerade
as bedside manner .
The doctor's job is unreservedly to
serve the interests of his patients. Chin-
ese .patients, like patients all over the
world, like to have things explained to them.
They want to know what they are suffering
from, and how long it will take to get bet-
ter, and what treatment they are having. It
is part of the doctor's duty not only to ex-
plain this fully when asked, but to volun-
teer such information even when not asked.
This takes time, but time spent in such ex-
planations is well spent, for reassurance and
the establishment of a bond of confidence be-
tween doctor and patient play an important
part in the cure .
In the wards there is an informal fam-
il-y atmosphere very different from what I
was a-ccustomed to in England and which at
first, I found disconcerting. Now that I
have got used to it, I find it natural and
The patients often select representa-
tives to convey their opinions and suggest-
lons to teams of doctors, nurses and order-
lies, who have day-to-day responsibility in
relation to specified groups of patients.
These teams meet daily to plan theday's work
Ambulant patients play an active part in ward
affairs. They take their meals in the ward
dining-room and many help patients who are
confined to bed, reading newspapers to them,
keeping them company, and becoming familiar
with their medical and social problems. I
conduct a ward round in a different ward each
day and as I do so, I usually collect a ret-
inue of patients who go with me, look, and
listen and often volunteer information. At
first I thought this was an intrusion on the
patient's privacy, but later I discovered
that they accompanied me not out of idle cur-
iosity but because of a genuine concern for
their fellow patients, and that it often a
helped to put me fully in the picture. Stan-
dards of privacy vary in different countries
and in different social systems; elsewhere
a woman's age and a man's income are close-
ly guarded secrets, but in socialist China
there is no reticence about such trivia.
ON DOCTOR'S MISTAKES
A doctor's attitude to mistakes has a
profound influence on the doctor/patient re-
lationship. In China the attitude to medical
mistakes is: prevent them,admit them, learn
If anything goes wrong, the duty of
the surgeon is to admit it frankly' and never
conceal it from the patient. It would be
considered shameful and a betrayal of trust
for a doctor to use his privileged position
to deceive a patient concerning a mistake in
treatment, and it would be still worse if he
rallied other doctors to join him in cover-
ing things up.
Complaints by patients are, therefore
dealt with very seriously, whether they are
made directly to the doctor or are written
in the 'Opinion Book' which is kept in e-
very ward and department. Letters of com-
plaint gb'oto a special office which deals
with some directly and passes others on to
the person concerned. Sometimes complaints
are made to newspapers, which either forward
them to the hospital concerned or publish ~
them if they have wider significance.
Litigation is very rarely resorted to
even though it is free of charge. It is un-
necessary in a situation where conflicting
interests between doctor and patient are re-
duced to a minimum. Hospitals accept re-
sponsibility for losses incurred by pat-
ients as a result of negligence and it is
not necessary to go to law about it.
RELATIONSHIPS .BETWEEN HOSPITAL STAFF MEMBERS
A1T~ important administrative decisions
are taken on recommendation of a committee
Summer 1971/off our backs/Health Supplement/Page 23
composed of elected representatives from e-
very department. Administrative workers and
Party functionaries, in accordance with regu-
lations in force throughout China, are ex-
pected to spend one day a week doing such
manual work in the hospital as sweeps g the
floors, stoking the furnaces, or serving food.
This keeps them in touch with the actual sit-
uation and is a powerful corrective for in-
cipient bureaucracy. When a hospital direc-
tor cleans a ward he does so under the dir-
ection of a ward orderly, who can fonn a
first-hand estimate of his attitude and de-
flate any tendency toward superiority.
Some regard it a waste of time for a ;
skilled administrator to clean lavatories or
shovel coal...The view of the Chinese Com-
munist Party, however, is that the main con-
tradiction lies not here but in the tenden-'
cy for those in positions of authority to
become bureaucrats who issue orders from
their offices without investigating the prob-
lems they are dealing with, and who gradu-
ally put their own interest first...
The relations between nurses and doc-
tors in Chinese hospitals differ striklngf
ly from those I encountered in England. For
one thing the sex relationship is different.
Whereas in the West many young doctors re-
gard pretty nurses as natural prey, this.
is not so in China. Many visitors to China
regard the Chinese as being puritanical in
their attitude to sex and this is understand-
able, for flirtatiousness is discouraged as
being out of tune with the new society. ThiS
is too big a subject to be discussed here,
and I will only say that there are very good
historical and social reasons for the Chi-
nese attitude to sex. Of all the tremendous
changes that occurred in China after Libera.
tion, the change in the status of women was;
~one of the biggest. From having no rights
they became politically, economically, and
socially equal with men, and this transfor-:
mation naturally has profoundly influenced -~
the relationships between the sexes.. A
loose attitude to women is regarded not
as a personal peccadille, but as something.
Many Chinese nurses are married and
have children, for nursing here is not a pre-
marriage interlude but an honorable lifelong
career. My hospital has a day nurse for the
children of all grades of hospital workers
LOTS OF FDOD AND LOTS OF HUNGER
Over half of the people on our planet
go to bed hungry every night. Five million
people, mostly children, starve to death
in a year, and 650 million of the world's
'billion children won't reach adulthood. Why?
The doomsday people say it is because
we can't grow enough food to feed every-
obe. To them "overpopulated" primarily
means "underfed". They show us pictures of
underdeveloped countries: people squashed
together in barren shanties. People who
were forced to come to the cities because
big landowners bought them out to grow a
few cash crops for profit.
If all the land of Latin America and
Africa now owned by U.S. and native Corpor-
ations (and devoted to extracting its re-
sources for profit) were turned over to the
people, there a uoddbd plenty cl oomsfor
But the squeezing together of people
is happening in developed and underdevel-
oped countries alike. In the United States
70% oacthespeoplethe e ane % ootthe land.
people for a lot more land in most under-
developed countries. Population density
hit Africuropd Latin Americah sd oarbelow
countries have a high population density:
India, Ceylon, the Dominican Republic and
a few others. But none exceed 450 people
pet isquaresmilef 9et2Holland wathe a popu-
populated, while countries like Venezuela
with only 27 people per square mile are
said to have a "population problem". The
difference is that there are no hungry
people in Holland.
Thinly settled countries witlh hungry
people have population explosions. Does
this kind of reasoning bother you? It bo-
thers us. The United States itself is a
perfect example. In 1968 the Citizens
Board of Inquiry into Hunger and Malnutri-
tion discovered that there are 30 million ~
hungry people right now in this country,
and 10 million of them live on the edge of
Page 24/off our backs/Health Supplement/Surmer 1971
Who are the people who answer "popula-
tion control" to the~iproblemrs of hunger?
Ruling class interests developed-the ideas
and sponsored the growth of population
control. The roots of this interest can
be traced at least to Malthus, the nine-
teenth century economist who said popular,
tion growth would outstrip food production,
and ran 'through Social Darwinism to the
~eugenics movement of the early 1900's.
Tilling the fertile soil of U.S. racism,
the early eugenicists were instrumental in
establishing the immigrant quota system
which was to end mongrelizinging" of the:
-In the post World War II years the Van-
derbilts, the, Rockefellers and the duPonts
became sponsors of Planned Parenthood-.
World Population, one of the "big 5" pop-
ulation organizations,(the others are the
Population Reference Bureau, The Popula-
tion Crisis Committee, The Committee to
Check the Population Explosion, and the
Yet, the plain fact is that the world's
richest nation, the U.S. worries about too
much food. In 1968 the government paid
big-time farmers $4 billion to take 35 acres
of good soil out of production, so the
world's agricultural prices would not fall,
In 1970, the Canadian government had their
farmers drastically cut their wheat crop.
In 1969 the United Nations Food and Agri-
Culture Organization (UNFA0) reported that
food surpluses-not' shiortages- are the loom-
ing problan for the near future. In 1970
American fanners plowed under thousands of
tons of potatoes in order to raise the
market price. As much grain sits in ware-
houses as was exported in all of 1969!
Why do governments limit production
and hold goods in warehouses in a world of
hungry people? A United States Department
of Agriculture ~(USDA) official answered
that: It is true that there may be a
greater need for food in some countries,
but there is not necessarily a market for
such food." TRANSLATION: In America food
is grown for profit, not to feed people.
The UNFAD has said: "There will be no dan-
ger of starvation in the next 10-15 years.
Whether or not people will have incomes
to buCy the food is a different matter..
TRANSLATION* Hunger is not lack of food,
hunger is lack of money.
Population Council). The organization had
been part of the feminist movement trying
to give women more control over their lives.
The new members brought their corporate in-
terests with them, and placed primary em-
phasis on bringing population control to
Fromt 1952 to 1964 the Rockefellers gave
$8.6 million, the Fords gave $9.4 md11)on,
and the Mellons $2.9 million to population
Laurence Rockefeller served on the
President's Materials Policy Commision,
whiS hhbd ahe rawsmaterheth necessnot the
"sustain i~ts civilization The commission
concluded that the U.S. had the necessary
resources---ut only if we could rely on
third world supplies." They warned that.
"populagainngreowh cesthese areas pressed
Around this time Ford and Rockefeller
gave out close to $11.6 million to univer-
sup es foe nee establishment on a less-elite,
wouldn't be so obvious.
By 1970, it seemed clear that gover7n-
ment as well as industry accepted the idee
thaouwoel population growth threatenedsthe
year, Secretary of Commerce, Maurice Stans,
said that one of- his prime concerns was the
unprecedented premium that the world's
rapid growth places on the limited resources
of the planet. (Predictably, his new commi-
sion would not investigate the difficulties
resulting from the fact that the U.S. with
6% of the world's population, consumes 50-
60% of the world's non-renewable resources).
Also in 19701 Nixon appointed John D.
Rockefeller as co-chairman of his Committee
on Population agd 'Family Planning, which
came to the cn'usion that "population
growth retards development and threatens
the peace of the world".
T00 MANY PEOPLE
The term population control is being
thrown around a lot these days. News pa-
pers writer about it, government officials
discuss it, advisory panels recommrend it*
They say there is a population explo-
sion: too many people, producing too many
others, too fast. They say we will be faced
with mass starvation. They say we will be
packed together like sardines by the end
of the century. 'We call these people the
It may seem perfectly reasonable to
blame people for this, but if we look
closely we can see that it isn't true.
Right now the world's population is grow-
ing at a rate that would cause it to double
every 37 years. That would pack the earth
in a few centuries, if it continues una-
bated. But certainly forces have always 11m-
ited the number of people Thivng on earth*
and will continue to do so. The lesson of
history shows us that population has not
grown constantly from the dawn of humanity.
It has grown in stages. Whenever a signi-
ficant improvement in technology came along,
the most dramatic being the Industrial Rev-
olution, population went through a growth
cycle: first it increased rapidly, then
growth slowed down and eventually tapered
off. 7- h s
YNO CONTROLS POPULATION CONTROL
SELLING IT TO THE PEOPLE
Within the ruling class, two styles of
population control promotion are apparent,
the humanitarians/educators and the crude
demagogi c.' ra cists .
Here's an example of the crude propagan-
dists. This full page ad appeared in the
New York Times, on May 11, 1969, sponsored
byr the Campaign to Check the Population
Explosion. "How many people do you want
in your country? Already the cities are
packed with youngsters. Thousands of idle
victims of discontent and drug addiction.
You go out after dark at your peril". Then
comes the punch line, "Birth Control is the
answer". The ad continues, combining racism
with fears of revolutionary upheaval. "The
evermounting tidal wave of humanity chall-
enges us to control it, or be submerged
along with all of our civilized values".
The implication is clear civilized values
belong to western Europeans and white Amreri-
cans, and third world people account for.
the "tidal wave of humanity".
The U.S. has made birth control devices
freely available throughout the third world,
within the ideological framework of "family
planning" and "freedom of choice". One need
only read the AID or Planned Parenthood
booklets to see that this is the official
line. By our own admission, we are "failing"
at the present time; our programs are not
Towering birth rates in the third world. The
question arises if the U.S. is willing to go
beyond these ideological limits to a more
There is a lot of evidence that the
answer is "yes". In this country there is
a lot of evidence of coercive measures. In
Tennessee, a bill has passed the lower house
pertaining to women on welfare. It stipu-
'8 eeg hamaany personmhaving moreothtwoone
things in order to be eligible for welfare:
give up the child to the state or be steril-
ized. In Prince Georges County, Maryland,
the head of welfare tried to get a ruling
that anyone wanting to get~welfare had to go
to the birth control clinic and accept birth
control. In Chicago and Washington, D.C.,
poor women complained that they wanted peo-
ple-to go into the operating room with
them or be around when they signed any
papers, because they said they were being
sterilized on the operating tables when they
expected an entirely different procedure. In
Kansas, women are paid $50 to have an IUD
inserted. The whole pill controversy in
this country is evidence of the fact that
the men who run the research and the so-
called "consumer protection" agencies, have
the interests of industry on their minds,
and not the lives of. women.
Summer 1971/off our backs/Health Supplement/Page 25
Some programs offer a woman a day's
wages for having an IUD inserted. There
are some women who are so desperate for
money that after having one inserted they
remove it themselves, an extremely danger-
ous thing to do, and then go to a different
clinic to have another one inserted. They
are forced by their poverty Into accepting
these measures, sometimes literally. tearing
their bodies apart to get a little extra
money. This is bad enough, but AID it-
self admits that the administration of these
programs is so poor that often payments
are not made or radios are faulty. Some-
times the fact that sterilization is a per-
manent procedure is not mentioned. Some-
times it is explained to a wife and not to
a husband or vice-versa. Another program
pays the person who brings in a new "case"
for sterilization. An advantage of this,.
says Aid is that it "creates a network of
informers and agents from among the people".
There were virtually no health or safety.
controls for the women tested. Five sudden
deaths occurred among women in their 20's
who were part of the tests and to this day
they go uninvestigated. In mnany cases women
do not know they were part of a test.
in many countries where we test new
methods of contraceptives, we offer inade-
quate general medical care. Total AID
expenditures on all health programs other
than population decreased from $126
million in 1966 to $77 million in 1969.
In Latin America alone, AID spent $2.1 mil-
lion on population in 1965 to $45.5
million in 1969 and $100 million in 1971.
U.SE. policies abroad are also evidence
of our willingness to be coercive and dis-
honest. In Chile, for example, all U.S.
foreign aid was tied to their willingness
to institute bt~rth control classes in the
high schools. The first birth control pills
were tested in a Puerto Rican clinic. They
were tested for one thing: whether the pills
worked. Did they prevent pregnancy?
In countries like India and Ceylon and
Taiwan, we have Introduced whag~we call
"disi'ncenti~e" programs. they contain such
measures as no free schooling, housing, or
even free delivery for the fifth child on.
Sometimes tax burdens for a family are
doubled after the fourth child, Sometimes
families become ineligible for public
We buy off native personnel in countries
where wage scales are below survival level,
offering higher wages for population con-
trol work. In India we offer a transistor
radio to anyone who will be sterilized,
People are so close to the edge o'f survival
that they are forced to do i.
When the government talks of population
control or "surplus population" as a "prob-
lem", what it means is that these people
are a problem for continued U.S. control
over world resources and world markets.. The
government is trying to divert attention
from a more adequate analysis of the paini
and poverty caused by U.S. imperialism. It
is trying to maintain a place for military
bases. It is trying to influence the
third world within its sphere of influence.
When the U.S. government says population
control it really means it,
Barclay, Enright & Reynolds, Population
Control In thle Third World. 'Available
through Women's..Health Information,
P.O. box 13098, Washington, D.C. 20009
The Earth Belongs to the People
Available at the Community Bookstore
The fottow~ing artioles are avaZable.
Please send postage and a contribution
to: D.C. Women's Liberation IBalth
2 Afornation, Bar 13098, T street, Wash-
ington, D.C. 20009.
--haL to do a. Pregnancy Test
-- Ib to do an R~h Test
--List of Low Dosage Birth Control Pitt
--0 IbIChina Rid Ieself of VrD
--Abortion, Population Care and Con~troZ
--Population Con~troZ in the Third World
-- Vaoutm Aspingtion Abortiona
-- g niisa Dndavaginal Infect~ions
girth Control amdbook ----
Page 26/off our backs/HeaTth Supplement/Sumner 1971
VDm he doeto should also tGONOR smear
Very few doctors do this routinely; others
only do it if the woman indicates she s
worried about it. Don't be uptight about
asking for a gonorrhea test. It is now
the NUMBER ONE INFECTIOUS DISEASE, and can
be very serious. A woman can carry it for
months without knowing it, while a~man
almost always knows he has it he has
symptaus of discharge and severe pain
when urinating. A woman often has no
If the doctor does do a test for
gonorthea-ask him whether it's a simple
gram stain or whether it's a culture
which is more accurate. This is so
especially when taken from several sites:
the cervix and vaginal or cervix and anal.
If you have been exposed to syphilis, then
a blood test (VDRL) should be done. This
is usually an accurate test.
After doing the tests the doctor puts
on a sterile rubber glove and with two fin-
gets feels inside for lumps and tumors.
why it is important to TRY and~brelaxth
doctohiseo rd preelingdopoyouyouacuppee .
abdomen feeling for your liver, spleen
an'd kidneys. If they are enlarged this
could be a sign of pregnancy or disease.
These organs are important in general and
especially when you're pregnant when they
have to work for you and the fetus, too.
Reprinted from the Health Organizing
Collective of the New York City Women's
Health and Abortion Project
weight 8< blood pressure
A sudden change in weight or rise in
blood pressure may be an indication of dis-
ease, and may affect the kind of birth
control we can use. Some doctors and
clini~cs- also measure your terkphrature at
general medical history
When you first visit a doctor or clinic
.a complete medical history should be taken.
Just as health care cannot be isolated from
your total environment, so gynecological
(gyn.) care may be affected by other health
problems. The health of our reproductive
and sexual organs is not separate from the
rest of our health.
If you're tired all the time you may be
anemic and too heavy periods may be the
cause. Tired feet and aching legs may
be the forerunners of varicose veins or
indicate you shouldn't take the pill..
Backaches and skin rashes may be indic-
Sations of a gyn, related problem. A
vaginal infection may be the side effect
of taking penicillin for a strep throat.
The doctor should also know about past
diseases, especially serious ones, even if
you've been completely cured. Meni ngi tis,
rheumatic fever, TB and hepatitis may all
cause major or minor damage that will
relate to your own gyn. care. They may
determine the sort of birth control or
medicine that is recommended. Current
diseases such as diabetes, diseases that
run in your family, allergies to drugs
or a history of them should all be reported.
These ar-e the questions you should
i. Is your period regular?
2. How long is your cyple?
3. Has it been changing?
4. Is your period heavy, medium, Tight?
5. Has that been changing?
6. Do you have cramps? are they severe
7. Have you ever been pregnant?
8. Did the pregnancy end in miscarriage/
9. If a pregnancy ended in abortion at
what month, what method, under what
ci rcums tan ces .( ill egal -lega l--you have
the right to refuse to answer questions
about illegal abortion, but if there
were complications it would be wise to
10.If a pregnancy ended in miscarriage, at
what month were there problems?
11.If a pregnancy ended in childbirth, at
what month, how heavy was the baby, were
there any complications during pregnancy
12.What methods, if any, of birth control
have you used? with what effect?
13.What method, if any, of biirth control
are you presently using?
14.Have you had any infections, diseases
a good examr should include
At an initial exam with .the doctor you
should have a general check-up, i.e. he
should listen to your heart and chest, check
your eyes, ears and throat. We know this
is not common practice*
After examining the upper part of your
body you will be asked to lie down on the
examining table and asked to put your feet
Most ofwhat weve learned aout our
sexual organs has been secret, whispered*
or private Many a woman has never explored
hersehf wt her fingers. It is therefore
pesed and eoameeed elxe a pgerbengerexpcally
the entrance, which are tight, and there-
fore mo~re uncomfortable for us. That is
Next, the doctor examines your
genitals. First he checks the outer vulva
that is, all the outer parts, the outer and
inner lips of the vagina, the clitoris, the
urinary opening, and the anus. He's looking
for: signs of infections, such as inflam-
mation, swelling en' sores, and for infected
glands and for growths (such as warts, cysts,
tumors or polyps) And also for signs of
After checking the outside, the doctor
places an instrument called a SPECULUM inside
you. This holds the wall of the vagina open
so that he can see the walls of the vagina
and the cervix.. He looks at ~the color of the
macus membrane to see whether there's a
discharge or signs of infection, growths, or
He also notes the position of the cervix
in relation to the vagina. In some women the
uterus is tilted. If so, he should tell you.
There's nothing unhealthy about a tipped
uterus, but some think ft can cause extra
problems in pregnancy or abortion, so it is
important for you to know about it.
Next the doctor may perfonn sohns tests.
The Pap Test: Using a flattened metal stick
or aglas~s tube, he'll remove some cells
from your cervix. These will be sent to a
lab to check for signs of cancer developing.
A Pap Test should be done ,approximately once
a year if a woman is over 30 and once every
two years between 20 and 30. If you are on
the pill, same doctors and c.11nics may do a
Pap smear every six months.
Va inal Infections: If you have a yellow-
~sh discharge .frohm the vagina and can-
plain of soreness or irritation, he'll
remove a sample and look at it under the
microscope. The two most common vaginal
in ect onshargemoniliarewh bh hascatge
inserted into the vagina and for tricho-
moniasis, it is gnerally fl I l
The BiManual or Two Handed Examination:
-The doctor places two -fingers against
the cervix and with his other hand feels
the top of the uterus through the lower
abdomen wall. He can feel how big the
uterus is, whether it is soft: and whether
it can move easily, and 'if there are any
obvious lunps. Finally the doctor feels
through your abdanen walls at the sides to
feel your ovaries and tubes. You may feel
a little twinge when he presses your
ovaries but this: is normal and if there
is pain it is usually a sign of infection.
At this point the examination is over,
and you get, dressed. If he writes you a
prescription for drugs, he should discuss
with you any problems or side effects -
but often he won't bother. Try~ and ask
questions even if they seet minor. At
the end, many women feel they shouldn't
take up arly more of the busy doctor's
time, anid feel stupid about asking ques-
tions so they get nervous and leave with
unanswered questions. If this happens,
when you come out of the doctor's offfkce,
you might; try and talk with the nurse -
especially a publicdhealabonurse. They
te nurses are often more sympathetic
and more in touch with the needs and
problems of the cannunity than the doctors.
i" rical exam
"the only good abortion law is no abortion law"
the issue of sexual expression deserved its
own movement. They called for an independent
gay movement, which straight women would sup-
port just.as lesbian sisters were supporting
other demands in the women's -movement.
The resolution of the "outside caucus"
failed, and they again walked out.
The gay sisters who left had stated
that their support of straight women had
never been reciprocated, and that they gen-
uinely doubted if any straight women would
show~ up at a conference on gay women's lib-
Those that remained were certain' of
the capacity of all women to struggle around
the 1ssue of freedom of sexual expression as
well as that of abortion law repeal.
omninterested in obtaining transportaio
to the July conference or in helping to
organize for it should contact the Metro-
olitan Abortion Alliance at 676-7564.
In a rare collective opinion (of at
least those who were around' on Zayout daby)
ob r g eted the deucison to have e ,fone-
government) are part and parcel of the desire
of eomen to have control over their on
L. Free abortion on request in your~
local, decentralized, non-government-contro t-
Ld weFredeh aof se~ua expression for gays
andbst aights -- nobody puts guilt trips on
ny3 .Sharing motherhood so that nobody
hastnages an abortion for econanic or social
4. Seize the aspirator factories.
We'd like more opinions, emotions, emo-
tions, perceptions, beliefs, and info on the
planning meeting, the conference, the "deis-
mands" made, and maybe on the whole idea of
"I have seen atrocities during medical school and in hospitals. I have seen
a woman with half her bowel hanging out of her vagina from a criminal abortion.
I have seen women in hospitals drunk, drug-addicted, suicidal. I have seen bat-
tered and burnt babies in morgues and emergency rooms. I have seen hysterical
women in my own office.,..4We must fight the sanctimonious friends of the fetus..
The only good abortion law is no abortion law."
--Dr. Barbara Roberts, Women vs. Connecticut
"80 to 90 percent of the deaths from criminal! abortion in Newj Inrk City were
BZack and Puerto Rican women."--at iaaThd odwmn
"There are so many unwanted Black and Third World babies in Boston....Wd're
constantly being told we're earth mothers, that we have to have babies for the
Revolution. The new male bullshit is that abortion is genocide....We have to
reach the women in Tthe churches. -I'm ready to tackle the churches."
--Reve'rend Kennedy, Boston Female Liberation,
Black and Third World Women, Gay Women
aWe need a women 's party. "
--Marsha Coleman, Michigan
"We must employ a multiplicity of methods and tactics -- lobby congress,-
present court cases, demonstrate in the streets."
--Cindy Cisler, NOW, New Yorkers for Abortion Law
n2The question is ~one of power -- power oVer our reproductive processes. We.
72ues work hard on one thing and get the power there. "
--Ev~elyn Frankfort, Women's' Iatth and Abortion
"Repeal all abortion laws, no forced sterilization, is a good demand. After
we wn i, w wo't ette bck~Dianne Feeley, New York Publishers for Peace
"When we ask for contraception, they ~tell us mincre aren't supposed to need
contraception. When we need abortions, they teZZ -ue we must havre parental consent."
--A high school sister
"The man doesn't stop to ask us if we are ga~y or we are straight before he
--A lesbian sister
"We're women struggling as women, not as something else. We 're women as
sisters. We're getting aZt kinds of women together to start the fight to control
our own Zives. We're getting it together, whatever we are catted."
r-Wipp Dawson, United Wanen's Contingent, 1Seialist
Workers Party, Christopher areet Gay Liberation
~lrmmpr 1971/nff our ~i~cks/H~alth SuPPlement/Paae 2
were taken. The feeling of the large major-
ity of women there was that the repeal of
abortion laws was the only legitimate demand
of this particular conference, that it would
take the undiluted energies of women to win
this battle, that this was an issue that
would draw thousands of women of all classes
and races as well as those who did not yet
consider themselves feminists but who would
likely emerge feminists, that this was a
mad around which effective actions could
ae planned and one that women would
win, and that having won, the
movement woutla -gather new _strength with which
to win subsequent fights.
The motions to include the demands -for
free abortion on demand and freedom of sex-
ual expression failed.
When the latter motion was defeated
about thirty gay women and straight support-
ers walked out. Their position had been that
the right to control our own bodies includes
freedom of sexual expression, that it was
time for straight women in the liberation
movement to vocally support their lesbian
sisters, that welcoming lesbians to join
the conference was patronization, that fail-
ing to include lesbianism msaeanu o tgral
voter tey na nf ihe ae ditoriuemstchoed
part of the agenda on conference structure.
Motions to hold separate workshops for high
s hool women blacks ad thirdsworld wom n'
suggested that leaflets should be circulated
callingeattenw kshtopthe fahe thnfe tere.
The group that had left returned during
thi rsea ndsroesd 1 vot h tandepresented
of the conference be modified to include
support of freedom of sexual expression and
that this demand be included in all printed
material about the conference.
Several gay sisters, who had not left
with the others, argued against this reso-
Tution. Their position was that such a demand
would cut across the repeal struggle and that
On Saturday, June 12, at 10 a.m., coe
to 200 women filled a room in a YWCA in New
York meant to accommodate 50. We had come
from Boston, Connecticut, Atlanta, C'leve-
land, Detroit, Chicago, Minnesota, Berkeley,
aqd Washington, D.C., in answer to a call
put out one week before.
Some of the women wore hanger pins--the
s mbol of the instrument of death for count-
less women driven to aborting themselves.
The purpose of the meeting was to plan
for a national women's conference to repeal
all abortion laws, on July 16, 17, and 18,
1971 (the anniversary of the 1848 Seneca
Famls Con evencm o organize the first U.S.
", had tra:le :: withaeigbtoroher wo anc.
The ttripu berono women hours.ou deassurprised
Northeastern section of the country who had
managed on short notice to get to New York
simply for a planning meeting and t at th
age dhadoshthe actaal mee ingtoch duupd for
12:3 twas decided that Delphine Welch of
Boston would chair the full meeting, that
oh d mauss one wouedwould p evail andhthat
the discusion would da frth wth 'th
goals of the conference and ten wit i s
organization and structure,
It was clear from the preliminary forays
into the goals of the conference that heree
wer ideas owast twther bjec~t vee and con-
cerns of a national abortion coalition
It was also decided that the YWCA aud-
itorium would be secured for the afternoon.
More than 400 women participated that
afternoon -- really participated. About half
the women there spoke. I, personally, was
impressed by the consistently well thought
out, articulate positions presented, by the
lack of superfluity, and by the abi-lity of
the chairwoman to establish and maintain
democratic procedures whereby everyone who
wished to had the opportunity to speak and
which enabled the airing of profound and
impassioned divisions without any disruptions.
The needs for safe, legal abortions,
for women to control our own bodies, for
the repeal of all abortion laws as a first
step toward achieving these goals, for national
coordination of individual local efforts, for
the demand along with every demand for abortion
that there be no forced sterilization, were
reog eds agreed. too, that the conference
would consist of workshobps, wjomen ~s theatre,
rock bands, and would be open to women only.
Men could participate in financial support.
The basic disagreement that surfaced
almost immediately was whether this should be
a multi-issu? or single-issue conference. As
the discussion continued, this difference
was refined to whether the demand for free-
dom of sexual expression~should be included
with the demand for repeal of all abortion
laws and no. forced sterilization*
Four motions and one amendment were
formulated. The four motions were to include -
the following: 1) emphasis that the abortion
issue is one part of the women's liberation
movement; 2)free abortion on demand; 3)free-
dom of sexual expression; 4)the statement
that we will plan actions around these demands
The amendment was to replace these four
motions with the inclusion in the call for
a national coalition to repeal all abortion
laws words in the beginning descriptive
paragraphs to the effect that women have
been fighting around.the issues of free
daycare, equal education, equal opportunity
and equal pay, free abortion on demand, and
freedom of sexual expression.
There were approximately four hours of
intense discussion before these five votes
-'''~- - 'r~ ~- ------I---------~ ----TT----
? 28/off our ba-cks/Summer 1971 :.. ;i -: :-
BLOOMINGTON, Indiana--The Yellow Cab Com-
pan~y refuses to hire women drivers, accord-
ing to Bridget McArdle, Bridget read that
Yellow Cab Company need full-time night
drivers. She went to their office to ap-
ply and was told, "Sorry, we don't hire ~
women." When asked why, they answered that
Bloomington is a rough town at night. Brid-
get told them she didn't care about that,
but they ignored her and added that they
di dn 't have 'f acili ti es for women. Bri d-
get is now working with Student Legal Aid
to bring legal pressure against Yellow Cab.
Another woman was also refused a job there.
She filled out a form for the Office of
Economic Opportunit~y and says they're com-
ing down to investigate soon.
-- Bloomington Women's Liberation
TURIN, ITALY--When Marta, an American-owned
company which makes items for exclusive wom-
en's boutiques, started drastically reducing
the work week preparatory to moving its fac-
tory 60 miles away wher-e the "cost's of pro-
duction" are less, 170 women workers fear-
ing that the delays of the mediation board
would allow a lock-out, occupied the factory
at quitting time. As of May 13, the occu-
pation had gone-into its third week.
When interviewed by the Collettivo CR
Torino,outside the factory gates, a woman
who is a member of the commission'of elected
workers representatives was quoted as say-
"Speed-up has tripled in recent months.
We asked for abolition of piece work. The
bosses wouldn't discuss it."
Her women consciousness is high:
"After 8 or 9 hours of sweat in the fac-
tory we have to go home and be the family
"Many women workers still buy the-capi-
talist conception of women's liberation,...
more clothes, change your blouse every day,
go to the beauty parlor every week. Elegant
career women are the liberated ones. Women's
liberation will come through working. Young
women don't want to be house servants or h use
angels anymore. There is also the problem
of not being paid for all our socially use-
ful labor in the home. It seems to me that
women like my mother [ a housewife] are even
more discriminated against than working wom-
edt, although discrimination hits us really
hard in- the factory. When I worked in a met-
al factory I did the same work on the same
assembly line as men, but I was paid a lot
-'-Europe America Communication Service
BIGGEST REASON OF THE MONTH TO READ THE
QA\ILIES--We've all suspected for years
the stuff that is being revealed by the
exposure of the secret documents. It's
fun to see all the big cheeses wallow in
their own vomit.
DROP-IN--Chicago area NOW conference, July
24th and 25th at Williams College Y Camp
off Williams Bay in Wisconsin. For more
info write Bette Vidina, 4445 N. Campbell,
Chicago, Ill. 60625--Mundelein College,
Chicago is giving a course on Women as
political activists. Interested call 312-
,262-8100.--Also in Chicago, the LIBERATION
SCHOOL, a project of the Chicago Women's
Liberation Union, 2875 W. Cermak, Room 9
927-1790, where women can learn about WL,
learn handy skills and be~involved in study
groups in such things as health, the family,
economics and American foreign policy.
MILE RECORD--Doris Brown of Seattle ran a
mile in 4:39.6. Record time!!
WRITE-IN--WATCH OUT, BROTHER, I'M HERE!'
A book of Women's liberation poems by Heather,
Send 704 to Heather, 2624 Regent St., Ber-
keley, Ca.94704. Printed by Shameless
Hussy Press--HOW TO PUBLISH YOUR VERY OWN
UNDERGROUND NEWSPAPER is a 16 page pamphlet
issued b~y Free Ranger Press, Box 26, Village
Station, NYC 10014. Send them postage for
your copy--WOMEN'S SONGBOOK, from Judy Busch
of the Women's Liberation Herstory Library,
2325- Oak St., Berkeley, Ca. 94708, $1--
WELFARE ADVOCATE HANDBOOK is now~available
~~for 504 from The Door, Box 2022, San Diego,
,;Ca. 92112_-SIREN, A journal of anarcho-
.feminism needs you. Sub rates, yearly $3,
'"lifetime, $10, forever $25. Mail to Siren
950 W. Wrightwood, Chicago, 60614--If you
:want to know more about women and health,
send 75& to the New Englan Free Press, 791
Tremont St., Boston 02118 for a copy of
WOMEN AND THEIR BODIES written by Boston
Women's Health Collective--Sasha Gregory
P.O. Box 8507, Stanford, Ca. 94305 has-
started a newspaper called MOTHER anld a
Gay Women's News Service (GWNS) to serve
both the gay women's and the "straight"
communities in the nation. For more info
write Sasha--Anne Grant West of 453 7th St.
Brooklyn, NY, 11215 can send you for $1
a copy of the NOW report on sex'role
stereotyping in elementary school readers.
This material was originally prepared for
t-he NYC Board of E'd.
TEANECK TO TOKYO!!!
.WOULD YOU BELIEVE--The Washington Post
ran an ad showing two little girls weaving
an oriental rug. The caption said "They learn
_quickly to make fine rugs with their small
:supple fingers." The last paragraph of
~the copy said, "An unusual opportunity
.will also be presented (at an auction that
this ad was advertising) to see small
children handweaving the rugs." I
suppose the Post advocates child labor.
LE MANS IS NO LONGER LE MANS--Marie-Claude
Beaumont is racing too.
MORE OF US ARE CRIMINALS--Statistics across
the country show that the female crime
rate for most offenses is rising faster
than the male rate. In L.A. County, for
example, male arrests went up only 10% in
1970 while female arrests rose 23%.
The heaviest increases in crimes by
women are those against property, such as
larceny and embezzlement.
The Sheriff of L.A. County blames
the increase on WL.
CONTRIBUTIONS WELCOME--Double-o-b is not
starving, but we are mighty poor. If, for
old time's sake, you want to send in $6
for your sub., we will be glad to take it.
We want to do some exciting things in the
Fall, all of which involves money.
So, if you have bread to share, spread
it around a little. Thank you contributors
where ever you are!!
SALE--Special offer. Send in 35t and we
will send you 8 back issues of oob. Our
We will also send you any number of
back issues if you send the cost of postage.
Live them away, sell them. We don't care
we just want to get rid of them.
If you want bulk copies of this super-
duper summer issue, they' are 15& each.
Take them and sell them on your summer
Write the Green Hairnet c/o oob
and enclose a gum wrapper and we'TT rush
out your order.
TELL YOUR MOTHER ABOUT 00B .
A POEM BY HEATHER--
Thinking that a man
Whoecomes on to you
And being touched
And flattered by it'
Afer years o
Screw and run'
One learns better.
CHICAGO--Because of the action by Florence
Dixon, a janitor at the Univ. of Illinois
at Champaign-Urbana, women janitors now re-
ceive the same pay as their male counter-
Moreover, women janitors at U. of I.
Congress Circle also have the same status.
Rather than going through the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission or through
the Department of Health', Educa'tion and Wel-
fare, Florence, who belongs to a male-dom-
inated union, took the matter up with: the
Department of Labor, which has a compliance
She was joined by 14 other women jan-
itors in a civil suit for back wage's that
The League of Academic Women and NOW
have filed a class action-complaint against
the University of California at B'erkeley
with the Department of Health, Education
and Welfare's Olffice .of Contract Compl iance:
The complaint could leadito the suspension.
of federal funds to the school because of ;
alleged discriminatory policies,
LAW is a group organized to rectify un-
iversity discriminatory practices. In ad-
dition to documenting -the discrimination
against women on the teaching staff, the
organization also found that university-
affiliated unions discriminated against
women in recruitment and training prac-
tices. Women are excluded from appren-
ticeship and training programs for min-
orities, and the unions are not recruit-
ing women from special sources.
The Univ. of Michigan complied by
adopting a stringent affirmative action
plan which included salary equity in ev-
ery job category, back pay, employment
of women in academic positions equival-
ent to their availability.
Although the trend toward class ac-
tions is encouraging, the usual pattern in
plants and offices still is for one woman
to initiate a complaint.
A complaint against Loyola Univ. of
Chicago has been filed with HEW by Eliz-
abeth Fariens charging discrimination in
the non-renewal of her teaching contract,
with the support of NOW.
--The Alliance Link
1.MPROYISATIONAL Cal~l 547-5248. Learn how to improvise and
DI\INA how to lead groups. Espec-
:I ially good for teachers. 4
sessions/$15.00. Experi enced
teacher, limited enrollment.
iTHE GREAT Box 54495Amntebstudgond
SPECKLED Atlnta Ga newspapers. Make check pay-
BIRD 0308able to the Atlanta Co-oper-
ative News. Project, $6.00;,
3.50 (student or G.I ; give
name of school or base).
ed sentence." Tucker said
In October, 1970, she joined J0OM--a
militant black organization based in Florida
and working in several Southern communities.
She joined tOMO, she said, because"it is 'the
only organization in the South that has con-
S-1stently demonstrated a clear ideology and
program. Thanks to JOMO I got nmy head
together., and I realize that there can be
such a thing as functional black nationalism.
JOMO is the only black organization in the
country that I am aware of that speaks from
an African perspective, that speaks to the
needs of black people, and in 1971 that's
saying a lot."
A month later, she was arrested in Day-
tona Beach while covering the black rebellion
there for JOMO's publication 'Burning Spear '
The car she was riding in was stopped and
Tucker and the other passengers were charged
with possession of concealed weapons. A
state-wide effort to raise her $10,000
bail set her free four days later, but the
charge is still pending.
She stood trial on the ~"possession of
marijuana" charges bujt the trial ended in
a hung jury, so a new trial was set for !Feb-
ruary 3. This trial lasted three days and
ended with a conviction--even though the
police were unable to produce any marijuana.
They claimed it had all been used up in tests.
No one could explain why only Connie Tucker
and Sharon and Otha Favors were arrested--
although there were nine people in the house
during the raid.
Only one of the six jurors was black;
all were middle-aged. Twenty armed plains-
clothes deputies were present during the trial
and every black person and "radical-looking"
white person who entered the courtroom was
searched. Metal -detectors scanned every
National Committee. to Free Connie Tucker has
asked for contributions to help pay for the
transcript. They are also circulating pet-
i~tions. For information write to the Committee
P.O. Box. 12792, St. Petersburg, Fla.
--the southern patriot'
With our September issue, when we go
monthly, we will be running modest, non-
exploitative display ads, clustered to-
gether in small boxes (2 1/2 by 3 1/2).
While still committed to low-key ad-
vertising, we think advertising can be
attractive without being garish or man-~
ipulative, yet not be dull or austere.
Our rates our $15.00 per box, but
we'll bargain. (We discriminate in fav-
or of craftswomen, women's groups, and
feminist media and publications.) Ad-
vertisers are invited to submit camera-
readyr ads, subject to our approval, or
we will design your ad for you. Be
sensitive to sexism.
- Summer 1971/off our backs/ Page 29
~:ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.--Connie Tucker, 20-year-
old Flori~da State Chairman of the Junta' of
Mi~litant Organizations (JOMO),' has been con-
victe~d of possession of marijuana. Presently
free on a presentencing investigation, she
faces a possible five-year sentence.
She has been the target of police
harassment ever since she started doing
political work in Florida. That was in
Tamp969ashthenUn versit yoosSourth Florida.a
student at~ the university, founded Black
Youth for Peace and Power (BYPP).
In February, 1970, Tucker was arrested
,in a large Tampa department store and charged
with shoplifting. Sharon Favors, Otha's
.wife, was also charged. Although Tucker
was able to produce a sales ticket for the
merchandise she had~ purchased at the store,
,-and even though the store detective testified
during the hearing that she was innocent,
the judge placed her on probation for 90
While the two women were being booked
on the shoplifting charges, Detective Alex
Taylor of the Criminal Intelligence Division
,of the Tampa Police Department had told
Sharon Favors that he was going to see that
Tucker did time in a women's prison.
On February 16, 1970, Tucker and the
Favors went, to see a lawyer about the police
.h rssment directed against them.~ A few
..s,.. es after they arrived home, their -
houlse was raided and the three were arrested.
In a.statement about the arrest, Tucker
said: "We requested to witness the search
but were refused. . After the kitchen was
searched, Otha and I were notified that we
were under arrest for possession of mari-
juana and amphetamine. Taylor handcuffed
me and put the handcuffs on too tight.
When I flinched from the pain he just stood
there and grinned."
"A day after we were arrested for
'Possession,' a series of arrests of BYPP
m abers was made," she said. "Spitting on
the sidewalk, using a bullhorn, making noise
In June Sharon Favors and Cohnnie Tucker
were arrested for probation violation. "I
got a 90-day sentence; Sharon got a suspend-
A handbook of human resour-
Ecs. Dedi cated to serving
you through the exchange of
information on Washington a
area resources. Published
by the WASHINGTON AREA FREE
UNIVERSITY in co-operation
with NEW HORIZONS.
.1724 20th St. NW
A socialist publication
dealing with the problems
of the movement. $6.00 for
6 issues or $1.50 per issue.
1445 Stockton St.
Monthly action bulletin for
women's rights from "the Court-
house to the Whitehouse." Sub-
scriptions: $2.50 (student),
5.00 (individual), 10.00
(group), 25.00 (sponsor).
2310 Barbour Road
Falls Church, Va.
Page 30/off our backs/Sumner~l~
you as attorney
To the Editor:
Divorce has caused emotional strain and
a financial burden to many people when they
are poorly prepared to deal with either.
The new California Family Law Act greatly
reduces these hardships by eliminating fault
finding as a basis for marriage dissolution
and by providing for equitable division of
community property. In some cases it may
be feasible for an individual to act as his
own attorney and thus save the cost of at-
torney fees. Under the new California Fam-
ily Law Act the on1y grounds for marriage
dissolution are: (1) irreconcilable differ-
ences that have caused the irremediable
breakdown of the marriage, and (2), incur-
Professional marriage counseling is
available at no dost in counties having a
Conciliation Court. This counseling is
available either before or after dissol
ution proceedings have' begun. It is ne-
cessary to file a Petition for Conciliation
with the Superior Court Clerk.
To act as your own attorney in a mar-
riage dissolution start by asking the Sup-
erior Court Clerk for the Dissolution Pack-
et. Then locate the nearest law library f
for reference material. The new California
Family Law Act and appropriate court pro-
cedures can be found in Deerings Civil Code
4500 to 5000 and Rules of Court 1201 to 1290
(in the 1971 Pocket Supplanents) and other
references that may be available. The
court clerk can not help you in any way or
give advice. You will be on your own.
I hope concerned people in other states
will work for similar improvements in di-
Es, and some of us should work for
getting the noses of.the government and
Legislators out of our sexual business
and stop legitimizing some sexJual prao-
tices and orientations over others. Why
the bias towards monogamy, long-term com-
mitments, and heterosexuaity?
Sisters in the struggle:
In reply to "what would madam binh
think?" Veterans, Nam vets in particular,
suffer many physical and mental problems.
Trying very hard not to be defensive I be-
lieve-that many points in this article were
unfair. To say that vets are "total male
chauvinists" is a gross generalization. Be-
cause of the racist training one receives
in the amerikan society sexism exists. With
vets this sexism is compounded by the Pay-
lovian training of the military. We are
trained to believe we are john wayne, sadly
enough the military is so thorough that with
many of us they succeed. But that is not
to say we are unaware of thi-s problem. We
realize thbt racism must be searched out and.
destroyed, but criticism as unfair as this
does not help.
The authors of the article seemed sur-
prise'd that to vets "the army and Viet Nam
were the most significant things in their
lives." It is blatantly naive to think that
it should not. The seriousness of our re-
adjustment problem is made worse by the
fact that people do not attempt to under-
stand us or our problems. Whether or not
army life fosters lengthy adolescence I
have no idea, but please hote that the Nam
definitely does not. For some strange rea-
son combat matures one very quickly. 3
I will never be able to forget what we
did to the people of Vietnan, I will never
be able to forget that Vietnamese women were
raped, tortured, and had "bottles stuck up
their cunts." Nor will I ever forget that
it was the amnerikan people, men and women,
that sent us over there in the first place.
All love and success in
Vietnam Veteran~s Against
the War, Inc.
You talk about a women's movement on
all fronts, yet you've consistently ignored
articles by lesbian sisters. -- why do you
think it is a restriction to work with wom-
en exclusively~? -
We think you should be aware of how
divisive that article was to us, in the
We feel you cut us off... from what
you consider the women's movement to be,
by attacking those women's ideology. We
feel~ your excuse of calling them "dif-
ferent" whatever that was supposed to im-
ply hardly follows through when you say in
the end that you respected, admnired &
What else can we say... your whole ar-
ticle was offensive to us, and your paper
Ain't l a Woman
Ain't z A Woman is published by the
Angry Ind'spendent Amazon Women, P.O. Box
ZZ69, Iowa City, Iowa 52240. Sbsoriptions
are $4.00 to individuals, $25.00 to ins~ti-
tutions and Libraries; bundles (minimus 20
copies ) cost Z5C per copy in advance.
a month of 016).$( 16
Onka, Norma, Bobbi, etc. etc. etc.--
Sorry I didn't say good-bye to ylall
before I split -- I was pretty much immob-
ilized the last couple weeks in D.C. Hope
to be moving toward something soon. Julie
and I and a couple other women are hoping
to start a day care center. It's become im-
possible for any of us to work for anyone
el-se ever again. Hope to find a house in
the country where we can all live together
and have the day care there.
No real news to tell you right now.
It's nice being with Julie. Madison is qui-
et and nice (meaning I can walk in my bare
feet without having to stop to dig out
I ~its of-glass every block), but am still
aTto ''s for that "place in the country."
ittoo quI`me you got a copy of Scarlet
Lettr. like it and it should get better.
Probably I will end up working on it. Peop-
le are indeed impressed that I used to work
on oob which everyone here loves. Speaking
of such: enclosed find $6.00 for a sub for
my little (?) sister who is graduating dr.
I haven't mailed this for lack of
$6.00--- but since page 1, I've been getting
a feeling for the women's movement here--
it's all too reminiscent of D.C. that it's
a drag and a pain to go through it all again
(I wouldn't go through it at all except that
J. 1s upset by it all -- unlike me, she is
unable to withdraw and walk out of those '
horrible meetings.) She and a few other wom-
en from our group (rap grouplmostly) went
to a meeting of March 8 (the larger women's
group from which they seceded because noth-
ing was happening, no one was coming to
meetings, etc. March 8th proposed that
a coalition of all "political women's groups
in Madison" be formed. They never got
around to the how and why; of this coalitions
but instead spent 4-5 hours on the politics
of it all'. Julie asked why the groups must
be. ,abeled "political" and what does that
mean? It all came down to that kind of
elitism we are all so familiar with: If
you're not political(i.e. if you're
concerned with day care,housewives, etc.
and not with smashing imperialism and
creating a solidarity with our third world
sisters, then you're not political) you have"
n't the level of conscience necessary to the
wanen's movement. Blah, Blah, Blah you
know the rest. The point is why fonn a coa'l-
ition why get together- as long as .there
are some who are more ~concerned with being
the vanguard than with creating sister-
So. . we make plans for the-day care
center, I'm trying .to get my unemployment trans
ferred, listen to lan and Sylvria and am
letting my hair grow and summer seems really
hesitant to come to Madison.
from the hexagram
Six at the
There is a
In the ends
S-- ~I Ching
blu 3 3.9)$>
To oob Collective,
Your last issue was a real disappoint-
ment -- because there are so few women's
newspapers, everyone is very special to us.
We sensed for a long time a s lit in your
collective ideology, but we t ought with
the last issue on class, (4/15/71) you -had .
resolved some of your conflicts -- then
this issue & the ruby tuesday article (5/g/71)
It was one of the most insulting ar_
ticles to come out in a women magazine we
have seen -- that'type-of slur, based around
a loaded term like heavy, defines for us,
your attitudes towards women-identified
women. It is despicable that you put down
women who want to work with women exclusive-
ly, defining them as heavies, and heavy is
a word you reject, thereby rejecting the
integrity of those women. You say they are
man-haters, lazy, insensitive to deadlines,
incapable of writing articles & enter the
women's movement through feelings of in-
You have defined the word heavy in
terms of your personal experience, yet you
seem to expect the article to have an ob-
jective analysis? In any other context
except a personal, soul-searching article,
would you have had the opportunity to call
women who relate t~o women exclusively man-
haters? What has your biography got to do
with the split i'n your collective?
You define your differences as being
that you feel differently about women's lib-
eration than they do 8( that they didn't
talk. Didn't the "heavies'' (as you des-
cribed) -- have a voice on the paper?
Couldn't they relate to women only, through
oob? What do you think makes oob a rad-
ical women newspaper? Why wasn't that
defined? Judging by the articles we read
in previous issues, they seemed to be con-
cerned with personal issues (as Tasha Pet-
erson's article about class).
womn' Cfic (Ch ) ) )<
The Women's Liberation office at 1840
Biltmore, N.W. will be closing at the' end
of July. Very little has been happening
in the office this year -- Magic Quilt is
no longer meeting and most women are invol-
ved in discussion groups or project groups
that don't use the office. (The health
collective including the abortion counselors
have been the only women using.the office
on a regular basis.) Paying the rent and
the other bills has become very difficult.
The- office collective is no longer interest-
ed in continuing to work on a project which
doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
There are still many unsettled questions,
which need to be talked about, however.
Outstandinng bills need to be paid. What
is-to be done with the physical contents
of the office and the maillist needs to be
decided. Women also need to decide if any-
thing should continue in the name of Women's
Liberation and how this should relate to
such on going projects as the health col-
:011ective, oob, and the Metropolitian Abortion
Alliance which also need places to work
A mass meeting about these questions
is going to be held on Tuesday, June 29th
at the office--Apt. 10, 1840 Biltmore.
All women are urged to attend and to send
money to pay the bills.
Summer 1971/off our backs/Page 31.
LA d t
The Washing~ton Saturday College. 942-
342 362o5192; 424s9221 wee days 581e9176;
cation in traditional- school subjects (math,
english, history etc.) plus black history
other current topics, open to high school
age and over. Classes Sat. mornings 9:00
Smithsonian Associates, Smithsonian In-
stitution, 381-5157. A place where Smith--
sonian scientists and curators will teach
you about antiques, archaeology, art, math-
ematics, science, and a host of other sub-
jects for $20 to $30 a course.
Hawthorne School, 501 I St., S.W., 554-
3144. This is a relatively expensive
"free school" (tuition is $1,705 for 9th
& 10th grade, $1,800 for 11th and 12th).
If your parents can afford it, they offer
college preparatory courses without all
the public school bullshit of rules and re-
New Thing, 2127 & 2335 18th St., N.W.
Wash,D.C. A workshop in dance, karate,- music,
painting, photography, etc. and its all free,
New Education Project, c/o Society of
Friends, 2111 Florida Ave., N.W., Recognized
as a high school by the D.C. Board of Ed-
ucation, they have no rigid curriculum al-
though they have resource people in many
areas. No tuition,
Uncle Grease Children's Community, 6430
01d Landover Rd., Landover,Md. contact Joe
Riener, 462-3990 Open to children ages 3-8
this is a living educational experience.
Growing out of a need of the .kids, and
relating to them as human beings. It dis-
regards any structured roles.
Some parents in Northern Virginia
are interested in starting a free-school
pre-school. They are looking for 4 & 5
year olds and they hope to expand into an
alternate school. Anyone who is interested
should call Laura Rinker at 522-5775.
People interested in working in the
art and publicity group of the Metropolit-
ian Abortion Alliance should call Pat Smith
at 751-4535 or leave a message at the Abor-
tion Alliance office 483-4632.
The Metropolitian Washington Medicial
Committee for Human Rights has a new address
as of July 1: 501 Aspen Street, N.Wl., Wash-
ington, D.C. 20012. The phone number is
the same- 654-3808.
208The Community Bookshppnis located at
~Sat., 10:00 a.m. to 10O p.m. For more infor-
mation call the shop at 833-8228.
GLUT, the food co-op is located at the
Grace Episcopal Church, '1014 Wi~scons~in
Ave., Thursdays, 4;00 to 8:00 p.m.
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 16th
& Newton Sts., N.W., Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.n
Georgetown University, White-Gravener
Bldg., Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Vittles, Unincorp. (Capitol Hill area
information) 315 5th St., S.E., call 544-0693
University of MaryTand, Newman Center
Knox & Gil'ford Sts., College Park, Md.,
Thursday, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
CalABORTION- COUNSELaNGointWomendur iberatior
following hours: Monday- Sats., 00 l
to 4:00 p.m.; Tues and Thurs nights 7:00
to 10:00 p.m.
FREE CLINIC---Open Mon.-Fri. 7-11 p.m.
and Sat., 9-5. The Free Clinic is located
in Georgetown Lutheran Church, -Wisconsin &
Volta Pl., N.W. Phone is 965-5476.
To support itself Washington
Area Free University (W.A.F.U.) has just
published The Red Pages, an area handbook
.of human resources. It has 300 listings
of area craftsmen, political groups, media
groups, rock groups, light shows, places to
go, places to eat, all of which are fr~e
or reasonably priced.' Everything listed
has been personally investigated by W.A.F.U.
The Red Pages are 25 cents. You can get
~copy from the W.A.F.U. office, 1724.20th
St., N.W. (387-5437) or ask for it in your
local news store or head shop. Bulk
copies are 15 cents.
An Education Weekend on Feminism,
Friday, July 9 and Saturday July 10, sponsored
by the YSA and SWP, will include: A Friday
night panel at 8 with Jeanne Walton on the
nature of black women's oppression, Kipp Daw-
son on the oppression of gay women, and Betsy
Whittaker on the historical roots of sexism
--a Marxist approach; and Saturday classes
on the first and second waves of feminism.
The cl-asses will be held~ at 2000 P Street,
N.W. roomi 413. For more information
A Women's Skills Center is now
established at 1861 ,Cali'fornia St.,' N.W.
Basic home repair, basic auto repairs, and
karate and self defense are the skills that
the Center is starting with. For more
information call 387-5503.
Th2is is one of a continuing series of
.ctiates on progrows and services in the
a~ishington~, D.C. area that affect women.
increasinglyy, there are educational
alternatives to the public school system
and the accredited universities. The fol-
.lowing list was prepared by The Red Pages:
Washingiton Area Free University, 1724
20th St., N.W., Wash, D.C. 387-5437. Free
education on a variety of subjects, catalogs
are available at the office. .
You and Me, Inc., 209 G St.,' S.W.,.
contact Bob Alexander.. A tutoring service
for children 5-10 years, old'
SEducation Liberation Front. (ELF), 2115
Sst., N.W., Wash,D.C. 387-5100 ext, 660*
Coordination organization involved with
alternate education system~s. Currently
planning an amazing mobile educational ex-
I ashinlgton Area Free School Clearinghouse
7~609 19th St., N.W. Exists as an aid to
I~ree schools and those interested in alter-
?ative education. They are working- to cor-
32tle infcormationN bwen s mt n8e shos=
hearing house for information on highcI *
school activist activities throughout the
ccountry, concerned with high school educat-
_lonal reform. Run by students and drop-
The Forum School, St. Alban's Parish
House, Mass. & Wisc. Ave .N.W. contact Jim
Wood, 265-5648. Open to children 13 and
younger, they work on projects that interest
then. Tuition is decided on the ability
of the parent to pay. 9:00-3:30
Washington Postal Academy, 1230 Taylor
St.,N.W. 961-7931, 291-5264. Open to high
school dropouts, 16 to 21, ,teaching in
~small edass the information needed to pass
a GED exam. Counseling and part time job
D.C. Dept. of Recreation, 629-7208 or
09. Free classes in various recreational
and creative subjects. A free nursery is
available for parents taking courses.
GUFU--Georgetown University Free Uni-
versity, Box 2121, Hoya Station, Georgetown
University, Washington, D.C. 625-4801
' Bethesda Chevy Chase High School, 4301
East West Hgwy., Bethesda, Md., 654-5264.
One of the few public schools seeking
change an~d experimentation within their
-siys~tem. Program includes students choosing
.courses to be taught, interaction between
students and teachers, related outside
The Nethers Community School, c/o Carla
FEugster, Box 41, Woodville, Va. Located in
beautiful mountainous surroundings, offering
an educational experience in song,dance,
painting, laughter and joy. Into whole-
i;some food and living the good life.
SMichael Waldorf School, 600 S. Carlyn
~Springs Rd., Arlington, Va., 671-1100.
Interested in the organic processes of
education as well as intellectual achieve-
iments. Currently they are involved with pre-
rschool and up to grade three, hoping to
advance up to grade twelve.
nirb gi re it home
lIoxj 85oev o a etton
4 ~i20\ 42 ~d
I I I I I I I ,
__ F _
iS Rt Dp ~n
Universities, coa leges, schools and libraries are
institutions. Our $15/year subscription rate
applies to them, as well as other businesses.
off our backs
Gleveland Park Station SUbseibe
Washington, D.C. 20008
alone, oob lowers rates) despite inflation,yet.
5.00 one year sub, Including a lovely free gift
$15.00 institutions and businesses
Frainces Chapmnanr Liz Clanton, Liz Crain, On~ka Dekkeris,
Taki'e Dejanikus, Margaret Devoe, Nancy Ferro,.Helene
Gardel, Kathie Garner, Bobbie Go~ldstone,` Chi~s Hiobbs,
Julie Huiffi Georgia Jones, Joanne Kovacs, Norma
Lesser. Jeann Malone, Fran Pollner, Mariette Wickes.
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