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June 15, 1976 - Image 7

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-06-15

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Tuesday, June 15, 1976

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Seven

Women: Making gains at 'U'

(Continued from Page 1)
"I sense a great progress of
awareness not only because
women are more assertive,"
says Jean Campbell, Director of
the Center for the Continuing
Education of Women (CEW),
"but there are more women in
the work force, greater expec-
tations for smaller families, and
an increased emphasis on self-
fulfillment."
This exciting upheaval of ac-
cepted norms first overwhelmed
the women in the early 70's who
,tepped up the feminist move-
msent. They were like adoles-
cents (male or female) facing
their first love affair. While
they had learned manyorganiz-
ing skills from their activism in
he anti-war and civil rights
movements of the late 60s, they
were overcome with new feel-
ings and ideas, and unsure of
how to put them into action.
Claire Jeannette, Executive
Director of the Women's As-
sembly and former Women's
Advocate, sees three fairly dis-
tinct groups of women in Arn
Arbor in 1970, although each
group faced the same problems
and issues. One category was
comprised of pragmatists who
were concerned with employe-
oriented problems. These wo-
men, such as members of
PROBE, were concerned mainly
with improving the work' situa-
tion on campus and are now
involved in such institutionalized
groups as the Affirmative Action
Office, the Commission for
Women and clerical unions.
THE SECOND category, the
liberal and intellectual aca-
demians, focused on problems
within the departments. These
women today, primarily grad-
iate students, are instrumental
in the Women's Studies Pro-
gram.
The third, the "gut feminists,"
were largely "purist" under-
graduates who stressed service
and counselling, and reached
out beyond the University to the
entire community of Ann Arbor.
These women are currently in-
volved in organizations such as
the Women's Community School
and the Free People's Clinic.
At present, there are more
organizations available for wo-
men run by women in the Uni-
versity community. Th e s e

groups are both stronger and
more viable than in the past.
In several departments, women
are forming their own commis-
sions or caucuses to use as both
support and grievance mechan-
isms. In the larger community,
a women's newspaper HERSELF
and the Feminists' Credit Union
are just two elements facilitat-
ing women's economic indepen-
dence.
"WOMEN ARE learning to
work together and trust one
another," says University Re-
gent Sarah Power. "They are
taking pleasure in working co-
gether. They are becoming less
isolated and more able to take
action."
"The Commission for Wo-
men," whose members are ap-
pointed by the president of the
University upon recommenda-
tion of the Commission, has
played an important role on
campus as achannel for com-
munication and a force for
change. It has been instrumental
in getting the file review and
the changes in the University's
nepotism policy and maternity
leave policy. In addition, it has
acted as a core group, sponsor-
ing activities for women on
c a m p u s including assertion
training groups, women's health
information days, special wo-
men's programs during summer
orientation and helping other
women in units around campus
in setting up commission in their
own departments. The Commis-
sion onerates with a number of
committees which deal with
problems in personnel, athletics,
returning women students, se-
curity and academics.
"The Conmission is not a radi-
cal organization; it is part af the
University structures and acts
as a watchdog advocate, ' states
B a r b a r a Murphy, Assistant
Chairwoman. "We need oo'side
groups. We all have different
information, power bases ,tnd
points of view."
"MORE WOMEN are calling
the Commission about disrim-
ination problems in their de-
partments," explains Murphy.
"People are asking what they
can do about it. They are no
longer submitting to disc.im-
inatory behavior."

The Cimmission works closely
with Gail Resnik, the Women's
Program Coordinator (previous-
ly known as the Women's Ad-
vocate). She provides ifforma-
tion, referral, advocacy, pro-
gram planning and consultation
related to the interests and
needs of women through the
University.
"I work with organizatio:s cnd
individuals to enable them to
use the University to the best
of its potential," said Resrikt
"I work to help women to or-
ganize and create power sources
to reach their goals."
ELIZABETH. Davenport, Di-
rector of Student Programs said,
"Women are now more atle to
ask for what they want, both
legally and emotionally. They
go after what is healthy for
them.
"Women are more able to
make decisions about them-
selves and men," she adds. For
example she noted that "women
students have better skills in
how to chair a meeting. They
now assume the responsibility
with comfort."
With women asserting their
new positions, many men are
also facing the need to qu:stion
thir sexual roles. Many feel
their sexist attitudes are no
longer legitimate and so they
are developing a greater sen-
sitivity to women's issues and
problems.
"SOME MEN are not realizing
that they are part of the prob-
lem," explained Ed Egnatios,
Field Sttdies Co-ordinator at the
Residential College. "Others are
facing the need' for a self image
which is not macho, not based
on political and economic roles.
Their self-confidence, which has
always been invested in mAle
chauvinism is now decreasing,"
he adds.
"They have no feminine mys-
tique.Consequently, they are
confused, excited and less sour-
ketable " he remarked. "They
don't know how to act, or what's
going on."
In 1966 University Natural Re-
sources Professor Peter Sand-
man,.might have been called a
male chauvinist. He wrote
Where the Girls Are, a dating

guide to women's colleges. The
book looked at women as a
"scarce natural resource which
Bsth men and women experi-
a man seeks out like Itiush-
rooms."
"The book was explicitly sexist
and demeaning of women," said
Sandman, taking a retrospective
look at his work. "It is an em-
barrassment. I can't say some
of the things now that I said
then. To be sure, there are
women all around me to set me
straight."
BUT UNIVERSITY President
Robben Fleming explains that
he, as well as men, in general,
often discriminated against wo-
men without realizing it in many
instances.
"It was part of our whole
culture," he said. I didn't think
much about it. Now, I am more
conscious and sensitive."
"It's funny, I have three child-
ren-two daughters," Fleming
said, "and I now see ways in
which I discriminated, but didn't
realize it as discrimination
(then) and in fact it was."
Men in general are more sen-
sitive, but some men," he mus-
ed, "are just insensitive, to other
males as well."

ence a greater sensitivity to the
problems which woisen have
faced, and continue to face.
However, increased awareness
about these problems is only a
beginning.
"We are in the process of a
complex social revolution," .aays
Regent Power. "Changing at-
titudes are most important. We
have more options and oppor-
tunities to lead full lives. We
must talk about our new needs
and options. There is no turning
back."
Tomorrow: Is Affirmative
Action Really Working?
HODGE
KEL LE
5 cENr nWORS
June 1-30
WaIt tFNS, 12-6
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