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September 02, 1970 - Image 22

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-09-02

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Page Ten-Student Activities

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesdgy, September Z, 1970

Page Ten-Student Activities THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednes ,_Seer be_ 2..197

Women's Lib: Abortion and day care centers

F,

appear in need, .

By HESTER PULLING
"Women's Liberation helps 'you realize
that you are a woman and makes you more
aware o' yourself as one," says Women's
Liberation member Beth Schneider.
,Women's Liberation has been active in
Ann Arbor for about two years, but only in
the past year has the group become a co-
hesive force. Small groups of women had
been meeting periodically, but it was not
until last January that a steering committee
was formed with representatives from each
of the smaller groups.
Although still an amorphous organization,
group- members organized several actions
last winter term.
The group's major effort has been directed
towards a University-sponsored child care
center-a proposal which the group has
been working on since early March.
According to Marty Lowry, a member of
the Child Care Action Group, "The Univer-
sity has buffered us about and shifted us
around to different people all of whom said
they are interested and sympathetic-but?
their hands are tied.
"Everyone -agrees there is a need for a
center, but no one was willing to find us a
place," she added.
When finding "no one receptive to our
need for a center," the group contacted John
Feldkamp, director of University housing in
late June. Feldkamp conducted the women
on a tour of three possible day care sites
and the group chose a Mary Markley din'
hall for their center. The ceiiter opens J

SI

6, but will only operate for the sumner
term.
Another group within womens' liberation
is working for abortion law repeal and free
availability of abortions for all women re-
gardles of financial'status, marital position,
race or age. This group has gone to several
state legislative hearings, making statements
and presentations.
Women's Liberation has also supported the
strike against Detroit's Fruehauf Trailer
Corp. in an attempt to unionize clerical
workers, most of whom are women.
While working to "free" women, ideas on
what does constitute a "liberated" woman
vary throughout the group.
"Women coming in jeans and clenched
fists are letting themselves be used as gross
examples," Nan Byam, a 1member of the
group, says. "They just seem to be parroting
grubby 'movement' men, something we need
to get away from."
Despite differing views on what a "liber-
ated" woman is, members of the group have
united to work on educating the public to
the plight of women.
Some Women's Liberation members are
involved in research projects at the Uni-
versity.
"We have started on a general survey of
internal and external conflicts among sexes
and races," Roz Daley, a psychology student;
explains.
Also connected with -,the University is a.
three-credit hour course on "Women in
America" taught by Miss Byam.

"The course involves a lot of academic
work-it has an extensive reading list, guest
lectures, projects and papers concerned with
women," Miss Byam says.
In addition to organized academic educa-
tion, Women's Liberation distributes liter-
ature and talks in dormitories, sororities
and other organizations..
"Many people just don't realize the extent
of the oppression women face," Gail Rubin,
a member of the group says. To substantiate
her statement, Miss Rubin points to a docu-
ment from the U.S. Department of Com-
merce stating that white women earn $2,600
'less- than white men and $1,500 less than
non-white men, while black women earn
$1,200 less than white women.
"When the liberation movement started
two years ago, it was sort of spontaneous,"
Miss Rubin says, adding that most of the
women had initially been involved in some
radical group.
"We became dissatisfied with our role in
these groups, wanting to be more active-
to do more typing and mimeographing,' she
says.
In March, 1969,"Women's Liberation, join-
ed by some graduate students and staff of
the social work school, picketed the Miss
Ann Arbor Beauty Pageant and followed up
their protest with an education i rogram.
"We were objecting to'the way avomen are
treated as objects, as commodities, to make
themselves beautiful for men," Miss Rubin
says. "What would people think of a men's
beauty contest?"

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GLF: Fighting the social stigma

I

-Daily-Jim Judkis
Educating the U' community
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One Wheel
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An Exciting
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By HESTER PULLING
Charging repression by so-
ciety at large - and specifical-
ly by the University-Gay Liber-
ation Front (GLF), a newly
formed student group on cam-
pus, has organized in an effort
to remove t h e social stigmas
about homosexuality and t h e
resulting social harassment of.
homosexuals.
The group, recognized by Stu-
dent Government Council
(SGC) last March, has no uni-
form ideology yet, although sev-
eral members have participated
in local political actions a n d
the group came out in support
of the BAM strike.
Presently, GLF's major issue
concerns their demand f o r a
Midwest conference on homo-
sexuality at the University - a
demand Piesident R o b b:e n
Fleming h a s consistently de-
nied.
The issue over the proposed
conference was first raised last
April when GLF approached
the administration 'for permis-
sion to hold a conference in
University facilities.
In a 'letter to Will Smith, as-
sistant to the Vice President for
Student Affairs, GLF stated
they were "concerned about the
problems of the homosexual and
seek to improve the self-con-
cept of homosexuals and their
relationships with e a c h other
and with t h e community-at-
large."
In an attempt to deal with
these problems, the group hop-
ed to sponsor a conference that
would "offer workshops on ho-
mosexuality, public lectures and
panel discussions by such out-
side specialists as jurists, doc-
tors and religious leaders who
would speak to homosexuals
and to the public at large on
legal, medical and religious as-
pects of homosexuality."
Fleming responded to tGLF's
request with 'a letter to Bar-
bara Newell, acting vice presi-
dent for student affairs, stat-
ing that "in order to qualify for
the use of University facilities,
any conference on the subject
of homosexuality ought, in view
of the law, to be clearly educa-
tional in nature and directed
primarily towards those people
who have a professional inter-
est in the field."
Because the proposed confer-
ence "does not qualify under
these criteria. University facili-
ties will not be available,"
Fleming' stated.
Protesting the president's de-
cision, GLF - joined by several
other student, groups and sev-
erai facuity members - demon-
strated in f r o n t of Fleming'
house during a presidential tea
in early May.
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"Fleming reiterated his prev-
ious position about the confers,
ence but suggested, when we
asked him about the possibility
of a dance, that we talk with
-the Office of Student Affairs,"
GLF member Larry Glover said.
"It's a dilemma to me what's
in Fleming's head," GLF mem-
ber Genie Linzer said. "It seems
to me that Fleming would more
readily approve of us having an
educational conferepce than let-
ting us dance together."
GLF members also objected
to Fleming's criteria that the
proposed conference be directed
towards "people who h a v e a
professional interest in the
field."
"We don't want to continue
the professional exploration of
homosexuals - we are not case
studies," Glover said. "We are
asserting our humanity and our
right to assemble."
Later in June, SGC co-spon-
4----- --- - --

sored a' letter w i t h GLF de-
manding that Fleming reverse
his April decision.
"If the University is to be
more than an extension of so-
cietal repression toward homo-
sexuals, then the University
must stop bowing to the sick
threat of bad publicity, and be-
gin to defend, not suppress, the
rights of homosexuals," the let-
ter to Fleming stated.
Emphasizing the possibility
that a conference would have
an adverse effect on legislative
appropriations, Flemifig again
refused University facilities for
the conference.
Despite Fleming's veto, how-
ever, GLF has decided to pro-4
ceed with plans for holding the
conference., According to Jerry
De Grieck, executive vice presi-
dent of SGC, Fleming has no
role in the jissue because of a
1965 regental decision giving
SGC the power to recognize, ap-

prove and schedule events of
student organizations.
"I don't agree with their in-
terpretation of the Regents' de-
cision," F le m i n g countered.
"The bylaw dealt with the eli-
gibility of_ University facilities,
not With, their assignment."
However, commenting on what
action he would take, if any,
to stop the proposed conference,
Fleming said, "I have enough
problems at any one time with-
out worrying about those in the
future."
The issue is now at a stand-
still until GLF actively starts
making plans to hold their Mid-
west conference in University
facilities.

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