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M ay & June 2006

Educate • Enlighten • Empower Volume XXI, Number 3

Art By Sherren Guthrie-McMath

Inside: Women’s Community Center

Page 3
Use Native Plants
In Your Garden
Page 9
Cynic’s Corner
Page 5
NOW News
Page 4 Women Helping Women Part I Minding Your Business
Page 10 Page 5
Voices Around The Table:
Feminism Pages 6-7 Letter From Botswana Codepink
Page 11 Page 5
A Marriage Of Two Cultures
Page 8 Interview: Alexandra Sherwood Spirituality Matters
Page 11 Page 12
New Column:
The Wonder Of It All Community Bulletin Board Laura Hyde
Page 9 Pages 13-14 Page 12
Community Resources
Page 15
Women’s Press
Letters to the Editor

Hello, everyone... plan on keeping their babies will lose their rights to
I am still in Spain living and teaching English and make decisions about their own pregnancy and deliv-
loving every new moment. Saturday, I had a scare and I ery. Read more about it in this well-written article by a
Kathleen Deragon
Managing Editor, Women’s Press wanted to share it with all of you so that we take in mind Sioux Indian: that we can never be too sure or safe and that we still are cfm?id=1096412594
seen as ¨typical¨ victims. I just keep thinking about all the beautiful little girls I
Thank you to everyone who helped our first fundraiser
I was finishing my transaction at an ATM and a man know, and how shameful it would be for them to grow up
be such a big success. Anyone who has planned a big event
walked in and locked the door behind him. He pushed in a country that considers their rights less important than
knows how much work it is: meetings, publicity, docu-
me against the wall and stuck a knife into my stomach to a man’s. In my heart I believe we are better than that. I
ment preparation, facilities setup, event planning! And I
scare me. He demanded my credit card and my money. I hope you will do your part.
am humbled by the dedication and hours spent by all the
screamed and became hysterical. I told him flat out ¨NO¨ —Thea Deley
women who made our first fundraiser so successful.
and he insisted, but told me he didn’t want to harm me
Heather Mendel, who conceived of the event, held all the
and that he would put the knife away if I just took out the Thank you for selecting for publication in your March-
meetings at her home, headed the publicity committee as
card and money. I again said no and proceeded to shout April issue my brief response to Heather Mendel’s new
well as prepared the opening and closing remarks that left
at him that I would call the police and I would scream series, Spiritually Matters. I find her writing engaging and
us all with much to ponder.
harder if he didn’t leave me alone. He eventually just gave thoughtful—inviting a dialogue with the reader.
Barbara Atkinson, our registration maven, who took on
up and turned around and walked out. I would like to say I feel my reference to Martin Buber’s “I and Thou” re-
the thankless task of scheduling and recordkeeping for the
to all of you -- stay safe and be cautious. We are seen as ally needs a little expanding. His book has become a clas-
workshops and took care of the “housekeeping” on the day
victims even though, as in my case, we have the courage sic, used as an inspiration throughout the world. I studied
of the event.
to act out against the stereotype. I thank all of you and it in a philosophy class in 1964. Buber perceives “relation”
Kate Czekala, who decorated the main room, selected
especially my WC pals at Cal Poly and the Women’s Press as the primary process thought all life. He deals with two
the perfect background music, created signage, and provid-
and SARP and everyone in NOW for the training and the major ways human being relate—I-It and I-Thou: The I-It
ed a unique solution for guiding attendees to the workshops
talks and the support. This situation happened suddenly, refers to our need to “use” the other. We mostly take from
with the banners along the Avenue of the Goddesses.
but my reaction was based on my training and the many the other thing or person to meet our worldly needs. There
Janise Rennie and Alyson LeBlanc, who conducted the
stories I have heard. I don’t think I am brave or valiant, is a subject/object connection, a one-way, seldom-equal
amazing opening and closing ceremonies that gave us all a
I think I was lucky enough to know deep down how I exchange between them. It is required of us and appropri-
unique and powerful experience with the power of ritual.
should handle the situation based on my instincts. Because ate in the demands of existence.
Roberta Youtan Kay, who gathered literature related to
of that, I am writing to you all. Please take this seriously. The I-thou is more subtle, spiritual, with a subject/
organizations of interest to women for our Resources Table.
Besos y Abrazos, Tyler Aldrich subject dynamics. It is a give-and-take, a mostly equal
Beverly Engel, whose Sacred Circle was the ideal way to
exchange of their whole being. There is a transforming
reflect on our day and recall the power of women in a circle.
Regarding the South Dakota bill outlawing abortion, magnetic field “in between” both. When the relationship
Vidya Cicchini, whose playing of her Native American
- even in the cases of incest and rape, and the fact that is with God, Buber refers to it as I-and-The Eternal Thou.
flutes was the perfect background for our luncheon.
there are 16 other states considering bills similar to South I appreciate a chance to follow up on my earlier quote.
Simone Viola and Nancy Brown, who donated scholar-
Dakota’s: — Hilda Heifetz
ship money.
Aside from the obvious restrictions to reproductive
And all the workshop presenters, who also did their part
choices, there’s a frightening side effect to giving fetuses
in publicizing the event: Bailey Drechsler, Lorie Adoff,
more rights than grown women. Pregnant women who
Laura Hyde, Barbara Perry, Bonnie Sandecki, Kate Czekala,
Janise Rennie, Alyson LeBlanc, Kate Czekala, and Heather
I also want to thank local businesses and persons who Subscribe to the Women’s Press: The annual subscription fee for delivery of the Women’s Press by U.S. Mail is
donated or discounted goods for the event: Outspoken $20/year (six issues). Mail check to Women’s Community Center, 880 Industrial Way, San Luis Obispo,CA 93401. Write
Beverage Bistro, Susan Polk Insurance Agency, and Trader “Women’s Press subscription” on the memo line.
Joe’s; the Gryphon Society for help transporting and setting
up chairs; and Simone Viola’s daughter and friends for
directing traffic and generally being there to help out as Women’s Community Center Board
needed. Angie King, President
Your Opinion
What’s next … Wanted
Dawn Williams, Secretary
We will follow up the retreat with some discussion events
held at the same location as the retreat. Kathleen Deragon Send your letters to :
We hope to begin a film series this fall. Susan Howe Women’s Press–Your Opinion
We will be collaborating with Cal Poly Women’s Center Sue McMeans Women’s Community Center
on a fall event and begin having with them Intergenera- Andy McMeans 880 Industrial Way
tional Conversation sessions. San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Jan Potter
The Women’s Press website will keep you posted between Send eMail to :
Renee Sanpei
issues, so check there periodically.

Robin Werderits ( “Your Opinion” in subject line)
Karol Vogt

Women’s Press
Women’s Community Center
880 Industrial Way
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
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5000 free copies distributed in SLO County. Subscriptions by mail & by e-mail available.

Page  E-mail the editors: Women’s Press May/June 2006

Women’s Community Center
880 Industrial Way • San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 • 805.544.9313

Thanks for supporting Family Law Action Committee

Women’s Press!
Dealing With Divorce
3rd Wednesday of each month – 7 PM
Kaye Tift, Susan Rodriguez, Upcoming: May 17, June 21, July 19
Pat Soulliere-Ochylski Our mission is: Talk with other women who have been there, done that in a

• TO maintain an accessible center to collect and supportive, non-judgmental environment. $5 donation
exchange information of interest and concern to Self-Represented Litigants’ Clinic
Shirley Clark Herbel
women 4th Tuesday of each month – 5:30 PM
Wonder Woman x2
• TO organize and facilitate workshops, clinics, Upcoming: May 23, June 27, July 25
seminars, classes and support groups on subjects of Get family law advice from local attorneys and/or paralegals.
Chris Neiburger Reservations required $25 donation
interest and need

Adele Stern Call the WCC- for more information
• TO engage in and facilitate interaction among local,
state and national agencies and organizations working and to confirm dates: 805.544.9313
Margaret Hennessey to benefit women

One of the Women’s Community Center’s activities is courtwatching, in First Annual Women’s Press Retreat
which trained volunteers observe and document family law cases, building a
rapport with the courts with which we can advocate for change. Here is one Fundraiser a Success
person’s story, with names changed. Over seventy women gathered on Saturday, April 29, for the first
annual retreat fundraiser for the Women’s Press.
A Court Watch Sample Beginning and ending with ceremony, lead by Janise Rennie,
By Susan Howe Native American Spiritual Leader, and Alyson LeBlanc, African
The atmosphere in the courtroom was electric. Custody was reversed. Sangoma Healer, the day sought to bring women together to ponder
The request had been made to the judge by Steph, the divorced mother our roles as women in the world and the potential we have to
of Tanya, representing herself in family court, to have her 16-year-old change the future of the planet. Keynote speaker Heather Mendel
daughter back in her custody. The father, Angus, had had her for 8 years. addressed this topic in her opening and closing remarks, From the
He did not appear in court. Outer World, Inwards and From the Inner World, Outwards.
 Steph made charges that the father was unfit for several reasons Workshops during the day included topics such as Contempla-
including methamphetamine use and sale in the home, and possession of tive, Responsive Woman; Gentle Yoga with Quartz Crystal Singing
and involvement of children in pornography. Bowls; Reinventing Eve; Dropping Into Source, Embodied Sexual-
The court awarded Tanya to Steph and she could pick her up at school Check
ity, and Creating a Soulful Relationship with Yourself. Before the
as soon as she could get there. Angus had two houses at this point (would final ceremony, we sat in a sacred circle, a focused completion led by
hide from Steph where Tanya was located) and had Tanya in school in for upcoming events! Beverly Engel, noted author and co-creator with Dr. Jean Shinoda
Visalia. The court called the school, told them of the custody change, and Bolen of the “The Millionth Circle” movement.
they promised to detain Tanya under some pretense until her mom could Thank you to all who attended and gave us your feedback on the
get there. event. Be assured that we will have a Second Annual Retreat next
It all happened fast and was my first experience as a court watcher to year.
see such a dramatic outcome. I introduced myself to Steph and she was “...Wherever women with a sense of sisterhood and maternal concern
pleased to know that this service was available to her. I got her phone gather, the message will be received. This is not about replacing patriar-
number so that I could follow up. chy with matriarchy...women generally have a wisdom that is needed.
When I talked to Steph a few days later, she was distraught. The same It is time to gather the women and save the world.
judge had reversed the order and police had picked up Tanya after 3 – Jean Shinoda Bolen
days. Three policemen were needed to get Tanya in their car. Angus had
requested with a legal document that the child be returned. He alleged
various short comings of Steph, for none of which did he give examples,
just generally “being highly unstable.” Nothing could I find in my read-
ing of that document that stated a viable cause for the decision that was
At the next court appearance, I had an opportunity to meet Steph’s
mate, a woman, who had gone through with her the past 10 years of fam-
ily court struggles. She impressed me as warm, down to earth, and stable
with a history of long-time employment in a State job. However, I had to
wonder if this was the factor that had caused the court’s abrupt reversal.
Angus went to jail and is serving concurrent sentences for 8 months for
intent to sell methamphetamine to minors, drugs in the house, and child Applications Being Taken for When: August 12th, 10:00- 5:00
Where: Mission Plaza
porno. Steph reports that Tanya now has a chance to “be a teenager and
not have to take care of everyone around her. We take care of her. Her
32nd Annual
only concern should be school and friends.” She goes on to say that she Day With Creative Women Food, fun, music, entertainment, arts, and crafts.
is doing well in school, is adjusting and they started counseling together. Meet artisans, do early Christmas shopping.
Tanya earned a Varsity letter in swimming and is developing increasing To rent a space, call 544-9313 for an application.
self esteem. 

Wanted: Volunteer counselor

Cover Art
If you would like to see the women’s community served by a vital drop-in group for support and
discussion, call us.
The Women’s Community Center would like to offer such a group weekly at no cost so that
women with a need to be listened to by other women have a place to do that. It is a volunteer
evening spot, and may be shared by two women counselors who could rotate the responsibility. Sherren Guthrie-McMath has been working and
Please phone 544 9313 if you are interested. experimenting with aqua media for years. She doesn’t
start with anything in particular in mind. Her work
comes from her inner being, her soul brought to
Mark your calendar! live on canvas. Guthrie-McMath is known for her
Join us for some fun! texture, strong design, and vibrant colors. For more
information, go to
On Saturday, June 10, Sunset Car Wash on Broad Street in SLO
will donate 15% of its proceeds for the day to the Women’s Com-
munity Center.
We need people to make signs and be there for two-hour
shifts between 8 and 5:30.
Call us to sign up: 544-9313.

Women’s Press May/June 2006 E-mail the editors: Page 

By Angie King
You might have noticed that the phone
National Organization for Women
number for NOW hasn’t been operable The purpose of NOW is to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society NOW !
for some time. We apologize to those who
might have tried to contact the chapter.
Please contact us through our e-mail ad-
NOW’s Commitment to Same-Sex Marriage
dress: Or join us at our The primary relationship society has marriage equality and the legal fees often and their children. Also, same-sex partners
myspace account: http://groups.myspace. come to expect is committed sexual partner- make these plans inaccessible to poor and cannot draw on the Social Security of their
com/~slonow. ships between adults. This issue focusing on working class same-sex couples. deceased partner. For the average wage
Here are some random thoughts on feminism seemed like the opportune time to These are the rights LGBT couples lose in earner, Social Security insurance benefits
different topics “celebrated” at this time discuss some of the most blatant discrimina- the absence of legal marriage recognition: are equivalent to a $322,000 life insurance
of year. tory effects of denying same sex couples the • Right to cohabitate in public housing policy or $233,000 in disability insurance.
May 1, International Worker’s Day, benefits of a civil, state-sanctioned marriage. units; take family leave to care for a partner • Immigration benefits. A foreign-born
celebrates the beginnings of the modern The right wing has used equal marriage for during an illness; take bereavement leave if national has a right to a green card when
labor movement. On May 1, 1886 more same sex-couples as a wedge issue to divide your partner or one of your partner’s close married to an American citizen or legal
than 300,000 workers walked off their groups and further oppress women based relatives dies; access Social Security after a permanent resident. The spouse may then
jobs across America to demand an 8-hour upon gender stereotypes and fear. spouse’s death, disability, or retirement. obtain a work permit and eventually become
workday. NOW’s first policy statement declaring • Divorce laws that protect both mem- a U.S. citizen. These spousal rights even
May 6 is celebrated as International lesbian rights a feminist issue was in 1971. bers of the relationship and minimize the trump the United States’ ban on immi-
No-Diet Day, a time for women, in par- Our official support for equal marriage power of one partner to keep the other in an gration for HIV+ individuals. Same-sex
ticular, to re-think their relationship with came in 1995, when NOW launched a series abusive situation. partners are denied these rights under
their body and with food. One-third of all of Valentine’s Day actions around this issue. • Obtaining residency as the spouse of a immigration law.
American women wear a size 16 or larger, Here in San Luis Obispo, we invited the U.S. citizen without a long legal battle. • Economic and medical protections for
so why do models of women’s clothing all media to join us as we brought valentines • Adopting the children of their spouses children and families. Marriage protects the
weigh less than 100 pounds and wear a to the county recorder’s office and assisted easily and cheaply, which also increases the economic interests of children by providing
size 4? What does that say about who we a local lesbian couple asking for a marriage financial security of the children. them an economic safety net. Both parents
actually are and who the fashion industry certificate. We were, of course, rebuffed. • Tax-free dependent health benefits as have the right to make important medical
and their allies want us to think we ought Marriage is the least expensive option a married couple. An unmarried couple is decisions for their children in case of emer-
to be? couples have to gain access to the economic taxed on the value of the benefits. gency without written documentation.
Mother’s Day was originally conceived benefits of society. Spouses inherit each • Right to file jointly. Married couples • Death-of-a-spouse benefits. Spouses
as a day to honor women whose husbands other’s estates without the need for intri- in which one partner has a much higher in- receive some financial security through
and sons had been killed in the US Civil cate and expensive wills and estate plans; come pay significantly less tax than similarly inheritance laws, not only for the surviving
War, and soon became a protest against make medical decisions for a partner if situated unmarried couples. spouse, but for the children as well. Without
war in general. The relationship between s/he becomes incapacitated; live together in • Social Security protections. Social a will in a same-sex partnership, the inheri-
motherhood, peace, and social justice assisted-living facilities and nursing homes; Security protects married couples and their tance most likely will go to a relative or to
was clear to the women who began this make burial or other final arrangements families, including spouses and children, the state. The same-sex partner is treated as
movement. However, by WWI, the florist for each other. Same sex partners must against a variety of risks including disability, a stranger.
and card industry had successfully turned undertake specific and often, complex estate death of a working or retired spouse or par- For more details on this and related top-
the meaning away from that end towards plans to secure some measure of economic ent, among others. Yet no survivor benefits, ics, visit the NOW web page at
“motherhood.” However nice it is to and legal protection for themselves and their including spousal benefits and disability
receive flowers, poor, unemployed mothers families. However, this does not ensure full benefits, are available to same-sex couples
need childcare, job training, health care, a
higher minimum wage, and paid parental
leave a lot more. NOW News
Now about our NOW chapter. We have
been active this spring. We were present Campaign against Wal-Mart: The prescriptions. Maryland passed a law requir- outrageous that Tennessee politicians now
in numbers at the Code Pink action on lawsuit alleging sex-based job discrimination ing box stores to spend at least 8 percent of want the women of Tennessee to give up our
the 3rd anniversary of the start of the Iraq was certified as a class action and is proceed- their payroll on healthcare for employees. constitutional right to make private deci-
invasion. We had a table at Farmer’s Mar- ing. Demonstrations continue against spe- National convention: NOW is returning sions about our own bodies.
ket every week during March for Women’s cific stores. Wal-Mart recently was forced to to New York State, home of the movement NOW opposes bans on vaginal birth
History Month (except when it was rained agree to fill birth control and morning-after for women’s suffrage, for its 40th national after caesarean (VBAC): Last December
out) with a quiz to help enlighten the pub- convention, July 21-23. All members of the NOW National Board adopted a resolu-
lic about women’s history. I played Eleanor NOW, as of March 26, are eligible to be a tion supporting a woman’s right to make
Roosevelt for the Lucia Mar elementary
NOW Calendar delegate. Please contact us (at our e-mail) if reproductive choices including Vaginal
May 1: you are interested in attending. Check out Birth After Caesarean (VBAC), opposing
schools “Women in History” program
International Workers’ Day the programs of activities on the NOW web- legislation and public policy that would
through AAUW (to much critical ac-
May 1: site. There are scholarships for Young Feminists restrict women’s access to VBAC. VBAC
claim). We had representatives at the Cesar
Birthday of Mary Harris “Mother Jones,” (under age 30). The national convention has repeatedly been shown to be a safe and
Chavez Day fair in Santa Maria celebrat-
labor activist, 1830 adopts policy for the coming year. reasonable choice for women; especially
ing the diversity that is essential “not only
May 15: NOW activists on the front line in since unnecessary cesareans pose serious
to the workplace, but to life in the United
Birthday of Florence Nightingale, 1858 the fight to save women’s lives: Already risks to mothers and to the infant. Yet over
States.” “We just want to be a part of that
May 16: legislatures in many states are setting up a 300 hospitals within the United States have
diversity,” said NOW’s Sarah Bolin in the
NOW regular meeting, 6 PM showdown on abortion rights with the ulti- banned VBAC, and it has been reported
Santa Maria Times. Go Sarah!
May 22: mate goal of reversing Roe. South Dakota that some women seeking care in hospitals
On the horizon: Pride Day in the Plaza
Amelia Earhart flies Pacific Ocean solo, was simply the first. NOW leaders in states that ban VBAC have been forcibly anes-
(July 11); National NOW convention (July
1932 around the country are mobilizing activists thetized and C-sectioned when they try to
21-23); Day with Creative Women (August
May 23: and leading the fight in front of statehouses withhold consent to surgery.
12); Women’s Equality Day (August 26).
Birthday of Aileen Hernandez, former and inside hearing rooms. In Mississippi, NOW applauds reintroduction of Free-
See you out there!
NOW president, 1926 the legislature has added language to a dom of Choice Act: Sen. Barbara Boxer
May 28: pending bill that would effectively ban legal has introduced the Freedom of Choice Act
Equal Pay Act enacted, 1963 abortion in the state. Mississippi has only (S. 2593, H. R. 5151) to codify the holdings
one abortion clinic and some of the most in Roe v. Wade. The bill is short and to the
June is Pride Month restrictive anti-abortion laws in the country. point. “It is the policy of the United States
June 11: Activists are organizing visibility events, that every woman has the fundamental
First women promoted to Army general, maintaining a presence in the committee right to choose to bear a child, to terminate
1970 meetings, and mobilizing phone calls to leg- a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to
June 19: islatures hoping to keep the legislation from terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability
Juneteenth, anniversary of the going to conference committee, leaving it to when necessary to protect the life or health
Emancipation Proclamation die this session. of the woman.” The bill prohibits a govern-
June 20: Tennessee NOW is fighting a proposed ment from denying or interfering with a
NOW regular meeting, 6 PM amendment to Tennessee’s constitution that woman’s right to make these decisions and
June 22: would force women, including victims of prohibits discrimination against the exercise
Birthday of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 1933 rape and incest, to continue an unwanted of those rights in the regulation or provision
June 23: pregnancy. According to Cynthia Bennett, of benefits, facilities, services, or informa-
NOW Chapter # CA 565 Title IX, banning sex discrimination in Nashville NOW, “Tennessee’s Supreme tion. The bill creates a right for appropriate
PO Box 1306, SLO, CA 93406 education enacted, 1972 Court has ruled that the people of this relief (including relief against a government)
SLONOW @ June 28: state have an explicit right to privacy. It is in a civil action for violations of this section.
NOW founded, 1966

Every woman doesn’t have to join NOW, just the 125 million who are discriminated against!

Page  E-mail the editors: Women’s Press May/June 2006

Local Perspectives
By Andrea Zeller firms created over 65% of new jobs
Amy Kardel, a local business in the U.S. And, across the U.S.,
owner, succinctly said: ”Today’s the number of women-owned
global business climate is too com- firms has grown at twice the rate
petitive not to leverage everyone’s of all other firms. Even more im-
potential and enlist every bit of pressive, minority women-owned SLO Code Pink
talent it can.” firms have increased six times
Ten years ago the U.S. faster than the number of all U.S. By Dian Sousa Code Pink not-so-secret-word for 16 -18, and at Art in the Park,
Government’s Glass Ceiling firms (55% vs 9%). Additionally, SLO Code Pink takes its refrain May and for the rest of the millen- Dinosaur Caves (Shell Beach) on
Commission released its findings increases in employment and sales for May from poet/activist Julia nium is Matriarchy. the first Sundays of June, July, and
that while women had 46 percent are highest amongst women and Ward Howe’s passionate and Here are a few actions we either August. Please give her your sup-
of America’s jobs and more than minority owned firms. unfortunately timely Mother’s Day have or will be taking to help port and buy something beautiful.
half the master’s degrees being But are these women innova- Proclamation: “Arise then, women usher in the change: You can also find her work at
awarded, only 5 percent of all se- tors? Where are the womennova- of this day…[because] we will not The good news is that we now DolphinSmile Studio, Halcyon or
nior manager positions were filled tors?? have great questions decided by have our own website. contact her @
by women. And female manag- Statistics show small firms irrelevant agencies.”
ers’ earnings averaged a mere 68 are more innovative than large Cindy Sheehan, Medea It gives updates on all our May 14th —
percent of their male counterparts. businesses. Small firms produce Benjamin, Diane Wilson, and a actions, meeting place, dates and Mother’s Day we will meet in
Today, women are 47 percent of twice as many product innovations multigenerational tide of other times. Please check it out when the Mission Plaza at 5 p.m. for a
America’s workforce and 8 percent and 13 - 14 times more patents heroic, creative women and coura- you have the chance and as always, reading of Julia Ward Howe’s 1870
of senior managers. Females’ per employee than their larger geous men have arisen and are join us when you can. Mother’s Day Proclamation. Please
earnings average just 72 percent of counterparts. But what percent- arising daily to help reclaim our A Code Pink chapter is forming bring your family and join us in
their male colleagues -- with the age of these innovative firms is neglected country from the aging in Santa Maria. Contact: Chris- this short, but inspiring celebra-
wage gap even larger among highly women-owned? In 1996, only 9.2% claws of an increasingly irrelevant, tina Renfroe (805) 570-7533 or tion of the true power of Mother’s
educated groups. of patents issued were to women. senile, and hardhearted patriarchy. e-mail her @christinarenfroe@ Day.
Women hold powerful but It seems to me, women are way Our current administration rules This organization, like May 16th –18th
largely latent potential to sustain under performing when it comes with an archaic, Machiavellian SLO Code Pink, is a nationally Arlington West Comes to
and propel our regional economy to innovation. Is that a factor of machismo so bloated by money, affiliated group. Dexter Lawn on the Cal Poly
through today’s competitive the glass ceiling, or is it because power, and its terrible refashion- May 6th & 7th — Campus, sponsored by the Poly
global business climate. Innovation women are not as aggressive in ing of God as a narrow-minded, The artist Patty Mara Gourley, Greens. Code Pink will be there
combined with entrepreneurship promoting their ideas as men? I woman-hating, fascist ogre, it has the generous Matron Saint of SLO to help set up and take down the
offer women a solution to the believe many would agree there lost the ability to love and care for Code Pink will have a booth (#26) crosses. Speech and dedication will
glass ceiling and other economic lots of room for women to expand its people and its planet. (Been to at the Halcyon Craft Faire. You take place Wednesday May 17th
hardships, especially for those and be innovative!! Inventors need New Orleans or a public school? can also find her and her gorgeous at 7 p.m.
with good experience and educa- entrepreneurial skills. Women’s Seen any icebergs lately?) The SLO art at Live Oaks Art Walk, June
tion. There is absolutely no reason Business Partners exists to leverage
to be locked in below the glass resources and enrich lives through
ceiling today. In fact, we need to entrepreneurship, especially for Consider the Price of the Clothes on Our Backs
recognize and acknowledge that women, because we recognize
By Dawn E. Williams countries.” (emphasis mine) if you consider concentration-type
women’s potential is critical to that’s where our community’s
A friend recently forwarded to To quote again from the above compounds, barracks dormitories,
our economic survival! latent economic potential sits.
me an excerpt from an economic referenced letter, “Female work- twelve hour days/six days per
Over the last 12 years, small Give us a call today!
letter of eight pages from the web ers’ commitment to seek more week, and forced abortions to be
Andrea Zeller, Executive Director site of the Federal Reserve Bank education delays childbearing “good” treatment. Any young
of Mission Community Services, of Dallas entitledApparel Exports and lowers the incidence of child woman who protests is fired and
coordinates Women’s Business and Education: How Developing labor.” The complete report can be returned to her province or coun-
Partners (WBP) to ensure all Nations Encourage Women’s Edu- found at try of origin, where she cannot
community resources are lever- cation. This piece reminded me of search/eclett/2006/e10603.html. earn the $18 per month that is an
aged and optimized to support what I have been told often, that In contrast, an AOL search average wage in the sweat shops.
entrepreneurial women. WBP “statistics don’t lie, but liars can or a Google search for “garment Think of this the next time you
serves everyone interested in es- use statistics.” One quote from this workers in Asia’” will link you to shop at The Gap, Old Navy, Wal-
tablishing self-sufficiency through article is particularly disturbing: numerous articles and books by Mart, or any other international
small business ownership while “With the dismantling of the Mul- objective researchers that refute corporation outlet or buy Liz
primarily focusing assistance tifiber Arrangement in January the implied claim that young Claiborne or other designer label
towards socially and economically 2005, the last quotas on clothing women garment workers in clothing, or those expensive shoes
disadvantaged women. WBP exports were lifted-except against developing countries are well- assembled with noxious chemicals,
can take you step by step towards China.” (Italics are mine.) Further, treated, once you have scrolled which the child laborers breathe
success and can help those who in the World Trade Organization down past articles on fashion all day. For further information,
speak only Spanish. Visit www. “…negotiators are considering a and/or companies that sellwomen’s consult the Internet or back issues or call 595-1357 to proposal to lift tariffs on all ex- clothing. Well, garment workers in of Ms. Magazine at the library.
find out more. ports from the world’s 70 poorest these countries are “well treated’’

Cynic's Corner “They smile to your face… cameras are off and the curtain tactics to pervade your sense of
By Delores Del Rio falls; when the party is over and security; when they arbitrarily
the back-stabbers”*** the crowd leaves; when the ego change their direction without
stroking ends; … that is when your needs in mind due to their
Life was once easy. In the olden Occasionally, you might find ers, or worse, your employers. the “back-stabber’s” smile fades, apathy about you; when they
days on TV, I could count on the people driving sun-colored gas- You greet them in stores, places good manners fail, and avarice and refuse to give you what you need
good guys always wearing white guzzling Hummers or oversized of worship, political arenas and indifference become the norm. In and deserve -- that is when you
hats and the bad guys wearing Red-Baron Mercedes; they sport at social functions. As soon as the other words, the ‘black hat’ comes know that this is a more complex
black ones. I grew up thinking ear-to-ear smiles, and clichéd social rhetoric begins, their scowls on when in the company of those life than just the color of your hat
that people advertised who they good-Christian doctrine. You fade, and their public personas considered, by them, to be the or whether or not you have a smile
were. It was easy, and it worked for might think to yourself “These take over; the ‘white hat’ is thrown ‘disposable’ people. on your face.
me. Apparently, it worked for oth- people should be wearing white on for good measure for an in-  When the “back stabbers” take  Are these people evil? No.
ers, too. Doesn’t require too much hats.” Ah, but look again. Look stant, an hour or longer, if needed. away your money, your jobs, your The Bible says something like …
thinking, and takes the guesswork closer. Sometimes, insidious things Everyone leaves thinking ‘what a reputations; when they promote Forgive them, for they know not
out of living.   are going on beneath the ‘white great guy so-and-so is’. Even ’the their agendas at your expense; what they do. But, in general,
For me, life is more complicated hat’ veneer.   so-and-so great guy’ believes the when they use trickery to get what “They smile to your face … the
now. It’s all screwed up. Nice Sometimes these people are feedback, and is content that he they want; when they accuse you back-stabbers”. God love ‘em!
people wear black and white; evil your neighbors, your acquain- pulled off another ‘white hat’ trick. of being the reason for their bad  *** Excerpted from the song “The
ones also wear black and white. tances, your family, your co-work- Problem is this: when the behaviors; when they use scare Back Stabbers” by the O’Jays.

Women’s Press May/June 2006 E-mail the editors: Page 

Local Perspectives
Anne R. Allen
Get Beyond the Labels
Voices Around the Table A twenty-something’s thoughts on feminism
Jaymi Heimbuch
During the first blast of Feminism in
the early 1970s, I worked in a bookstore in
Cambridge, Mass., pining over Ivy Leagu-
The biggest challenge facing the women’s ers and writing bad prose in cafes. When
movement today is the biggest challenge
What does feminism mean to you?
a gorgeous Harvard man asked if I was
facing younger women activists – labels. writing The Great American Novel, I made
There is the tiniest bit of wiggle room an attempt at wit: “I don’t think Vonnegut
where we as feminists can squeeze in and or Kesey have to worry, but maybe it’s The
feel effective as activists. That space is where Great American Feminist Novel.”
we know what it is we want to do, how we The guy’s face crumpled like I’d hit him.
want to do it, and that what we are doing is Before I could speak, he’d evaporated.
right, necessary, and accepted. The chal- Since then I’ve been careful how I use the
lenge is hunting down this wiggle room. “F” word.
You know you have found it when you have Obviously, the word meant something
figured out how to be feminist without be- very different—and much scarier—to Mr.
ing a “Feminist.” Gorgeous than it meant to me. Now, with
“Feminist” is a shackle to wear – it is the radio shriekers polluting the airwaves
stifling and counterproductive because it with words like “Feminazi,” the scary mean-
shakes fear into the white and well-off, and ing may be all that most people know.
it entices anger in women of color because What the word meant to me then—and
it has historically been a label held by the still means—is the movement to recognize
white and well-off. “Feminist” is a label that women as the equals of men.
takes a lot of chutzpah and a specific set of Equals: Not identical. Not better than.
goals to wear. Not every female activist can Not lesser than.
adopt this label. Most don’t seem to want to. Feminism is the concept that we women
And there is such an array of new labels for are human beings—people in our own
women-who-want-to-help-women (ha!) that right—not creatures defined by relation-
go beyond “Feminist,” yet are still mystical ships to men, as mother, helpmeet, slave, or
and exclusive in their own right. whore.
It is human nature to name things in It means we have the right to choose a life
order to understand them. Younger women path for ourselves: to marry, or not; to bear
activists need to find comfort in naming children, or not; to wear silly shoes, date
just what it is we’re doing individually and awful men, run up our credit cards, vote
collectively in order to start the bullhorn up Republican—or not.
again and be feminist. This requires pushing It also means we clean up our own
Jacqueline Turner
from within the women’s movement, with messes. And protect ourselves.
Webster’s defines an ism as “an act or
the strength of the women’s movement In a world where most women are still
movement, doctrine or system of belief”;
behind us, outward into the hetero-sexist- considered property—to be controlled,
it defines feminine as “characteristic of or
racist-ethnocentric-anti-environmental-cor- used, mutilated and disposed of by anyone
relating to women.”
porate society in which we exist, pushing on with a penis, Feminism is not only still
 Therefore, feminism is a movement,
the women’s movement to expand itself, in relevant, but desperately required.
or belief system, which relates to women, Dawn Ortiz Legg order to expand our society to represent and Maybe it’s been misunderstood so often
and which advocates political, economic I see Feminism in a historical perspec- respect us all. by people like Mr. Gorgeous that we need a
and social equality of the sexes. When one tive. It was the necessary step in human The biggest challenge facing the women’s new word, but whatever we call it, we can-
combines a strong Movement with a power- evolution for women to regain their power movement is getting younger women to not lose it, or we lose everything.
ful Belief, one can get an understanding of and balance out the energetic levels of our understand that being part of the women’s
Feminism. universe. From centuries of male domina- movement is not a stigma. Being feminist
Am I feminist? Absolutely! The women’s tion, patriarchal rulers have left our world Fran Dukehart
is not difficult or scary or isolating. It is not
feminism movement has empowered and “out-of-whack.” Therefore, a bold and Feminism encompasses many subjects,
even based entirely on being female, on sex.
confused me throughout my life … it has liberating feminism had to be extreme. happenings, entities, identities, concepts,
Ultimately, all women’s movement labels
been hard being a woman who loves men. However, I see this phase now evolving into qualities, historic details, public events,
and actions lead both back to feminism
My Baby-Boomer generation expected a total matriarchal leadership because, for magazines, books, movements, press and
– which is ultimately female-oriented
women to embrace the idealized I can have me personally, feminism has limitations in non-press coverage, sacred circles, healing
thought - and away to a multitude of ever
it all and do it all- type of woman, and glori- that our greatest power - our femininity - is gatherings, rituals, movies, reference points,
more specific topics – environment, an-
fied the rejection of men as a group. That often excluded or denied. While I certainly adepts, essential nature, outspoken-public
thropology, sexology, psychology, race, civil
concept of feminism never made sense to appreciate the sacrifice and path of those figures, and quiet real people/teachers/fam-
rights, civility, civilization. The search for
me. I knew that, collectively, women needed who have gone before my generation, I do ily who have touched my daily life.
the wiggle room where we can be effective
to grow and develop healthier self-esteem, not like using the word to describe myself. Feminism means women are worthy to
as feminist activists starts with reminding
but without respect and love for all hu- In today’s world, I believe a feminine- be praised, valued, protected, empowered,
ourselves that we are part of a massive soci-
man beings, a person’s self-worth cannot based foreign policy is what is our country respected, educated, encouraged, supported,
ety, so far beyond labels it’s ridiculous to try
truly progress. In other words, to diminish needs the very most for its future. Not one valued and challenged. Feminism means ad-
and pin a few down, let alone be scared by
one group (men) is to diminish all groups that excludes men, but one that embraces vancing all of the basic qualities of freedom
them, and that any movement – the ability
(women). their strengths while we lead the way. The to women. Feminism means releasing old
to move – requires broadening that tiniest
I do not want to be treated like a man! I men are ready and so are we.  And so is the worn-out beliefs about women having any
bit of wiggle room into a more inclusive
love being a woman, and I love the dif- planet! kind of mental, physical or spiritual deficit
civilization, well away from labels. Because
ference in the sexes. Vive la difference! It in the fields of science, technology, politics,
feminism is beyond labels – it’s an explana-
is what makes the world exciting, sexy, leadership, finance, journalism, art, educa-
Heather Mendel tion. It’s beyond activism – it’s a movement.
playful and challenging. Men are big, hairy, tion and all professional fields. It means
I define feminism as the contemporary
lumbering animals who love/hate/need/want staying aware of and addressing the social
societal value of honoring ‘The Other’,
women from cradle to grave, and who want Susan Howe injustice and hidden agendas of prejudice
whatever ‘otherness’ may mean in terms of
to impress women for many biologically Feminism is the right of a female to be toward women.
gender, race, religion or creed. If one consid-
based reasons. The Lion as King of the held as an equal to a male.This is equality It is a movement that keeps expanding
ers the opposite (out of which this view
Jungle! Tarzan! Adam! Put me in a room of in all basic human rights and privileges, as the more I learn about the struggles that
evolves), the hierarchical patriarchy has been
women only, and I am intelligent, friendly, well as responsibilities. It is woman having women of all colors, ages and geographic
responsible for developing ‘societal norms’,
and kind. Throw me into a room full of all her decisions about her life respected as locations are healing and dealing with
which classify the white heterosexual male
men, and I become witty, raw, and some- valid, whether or not we agree with them. everyday.
as the standard. Everyone else - men of
what in charge of my physical woman-ness. Feminism encourages females’ accomplish-
color, homosexuals, and women, are strati-
So, to me … feminism means being a ments in whatever they can or wish to do or Corrin Langner
fied on varying lower and less significant
whole woman: sensual, exciting, interesting, be without being considered a threat. Feminism means valuing qualities that
levels of importance. With my definition of
creative, nurturing, hard working, respon- are typically female. For example, the ability
honoring otherness, anyone, male or female,
sible, assertive, attractive and powerful. to problem solve using EQ (emotional intel-
who is able to celebrate diversity instead of
It combines all the wonderful qualities of ligence).
fear difference, is a feminist. In a feminist Yvonne Helms
every human being, and all the rewards that
society, equal status, rights, opportunity Feminism to me means standing up for
should come to everyone … equally and
are universally open to all in a spiritually the rights of women and doing what we can
equitably. Period.
mature environment. to advance the rights of women, in all areas.

Page  E-mail the editors: Women’s Press May/June 2006

Local Perspectives
Rusty Zane Dawn E. Williams
Lisa Gonzalez
Feminism is a 1970’s word...It meant that
The Generations Need to I grew up in the 50s, influenced in ways My mother (now 96 years young) has
women had to believe enough in themselves Collaborate that girls born after the 60s just don’t always said that she is not a feminist; but she
to push for parity of legal, social, and Cal Poly student ponders the future of understand. I cut my teeth on fairy tales like was the first woman in the State of Califor-
economic opportunity with men. For some feminism “Cinderella,” where girls who were good, nia to earn both an amateur and a commer-
women today, it means “fighting men” and Ruthie Osorio fair, sweet, and patient would someday be cial radio operator’s permits. She was office
insisting they make-up for thousands of Last year, I marched alongside women to “rescued” by handsome princes on white manager for the State Board of Equalization
years of un-equal opportunity. I can’t go celebrate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It horses. But a “fiery” woman who showed (which issues, among other permits, liquor
with this approach, since it assumes that seemed natural, as a feminist, to rejoice in determination or temper was merely waiting licenses.) She organized and led a Girl Scout
all men have it “out” for women, and every my freedom of choice. But it soon became for the right man to come along to “handle” troop, and, when there was no Job’s Daugh-
man should make up for the thousands of evident that I was a minority in the crowd, her. When asked what I wanted to be when ters Bethel in our small town, she formed
years of social injustice. accompanied by only a handful of Cal Poly I grew up, I said either a “writer” or an one so that my sister could join.
 Life is unfair...that’s the way it is. Some students. Unlike the social movements of “actress. ”I didn’t even consider producer, But what does feminism mean to me?
people are smarter than others; Elvis was the 1960s that were dominated by college director, camera operator, publisher, editor... It means, among other rights, full access
more musical and charismatic than I will students, my generation remains absent those were “boy” jobs. And a girl should to “the pursuit of happiness.” It means
ever be; Martha Stewart has more drive, in local feminist activism. Have college never be good in sports: I vaguely remember full access with my brother to the love and
ambition, and imagination than I do. Do students detached from feminism, or has a “Father Knows Best” episode where the pride of my parents. It means: equal access
I think I should have a business empire feminism refused to expand to fit our needs? younger daughter – a tomboy – had her first to education and training; equal rights
equal to Martha’s? Of course not! She took While it is easy to blame college students crush on a boy. She learned to wear ribbons and responsibilities in my home and in my
herself to where she is, partly due to the for our absence from the political arena, a on her pigtails and lose at basketball so he workplace; equal pay and equal access to
opening up of opportunities for women (she recent Harvard study suggests that col- would notice her. promotion on my job; and equal treatment
was one of the first women stockbrokers on lege students are more active in their local  Fast forward to the early 70s. After a in the courts. In short, as Dorothy Sayers
Wall Street), but also because she is driven, communities than ever. Despite the low failed marriage, I went back to school and asked many years ago in an essay, “Are
focused, and ambitious. 14 percent of college students that have became the first female news anchor at my Women Human?” Feminism says, “Yes, and
 Let’s hope that “feminism” doesn’t insist participated in a government, political, or college TV station. My first job outside we expect to be treated as human beings.”
that everyone is equal, and we should all an issues-related organization, 61 percent of of school was as a “cameraman” – or, uh,
have the same money, clothes, house, or job. us perform community service annually. Al- “cameraWOMAN” – or, uh, “cameraPER-
Everyone isn’t equal: we all just ask for equal though my generation may feel disillusioned SON. ”I also recall a Sesame Street vignette The Two Feminisms:
by the political system, we are more engaged appearing like a scratchy old silent film An on-going examination of what stands
opportunity to make of our lives what we
in our local communities than previous from the 20s. A damsel in distress falls in a between white women and women of color
wish. To be a mother and staying home with
generations. Instead of attending rallies croc-infested river. She calls for help but no Bailey Drechsler
the kids is important to many women; for
about women’s political rights, students are one comes. She eventually figures out how Several weeks ago a writer for the Tribune
other women, it’s considered “selling out.”
collecting food for the Women’s Shelter and to SAVE HERSELF! asked a handful of local women to describe
 Women are asking for equality of op-
fighting to end sexual assault by fundrais- My daughters, in their 20s and 30s, were their reaction to the term “feminist.” The
portunity and the option to make choices
ing for crisis centers. Rather than gathering raised watching “Bionic Woman,” “Dr. results were published in an article entitled,
that they feel are best for themselves. If this
at the foot of city hall, students are on the Quinn, Medicine Woman,” and “Xena.” “SLO County and the F-Word.” Since you
is “feminism” - OK. But I fear that for some
street, raising awareness, food, and funds The differences in their outlooks finally are reading the Women’s Press, I’ll venture
women, this is not “feminism” but “accept-
for critical programs that support our local struck home recently when we watched a a guess that if had you read the aforemen-
ing the patriarchal model.” Provide me with
communities. movie about the famous match between tioned article your heart sank and/or broke
opportunities - let me make the choices.
Not only do students feel disconnected Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King and the when you read what the 18 - 23-year-olds had
from the political process, many students big impact it had. My daughters had trouble to say. The overall sentiment of these young
Barbara Atkinson perceive feminism as archaic. Explicitly accepting how things were back then. women essentially equated feminist/ism with
Not to be too dramatic, but feminism gender specific issues, such as abortion all things derogatory, foul, and militant.
saved my life! The movement reemerged at rights and equal pay, don’t affect women Anne Quinn Given all the progress made by our feminist
a time when I needed its strength to bolster students on a daily basis. Instead of women’s A core belief of the feminist movement is foremothers, how does the perpetuation of
my sagging self-esteem. I was 27, newly di- issues, female Cal Poly students have been that women should be given the opportunity stigma surrounding feminism continue to
vorced, depressed with my options, lacking actively protesting the proposed immigra- to be all that they can be. Like all human infuse U.S. ideology with the density of tulle
funds, with two tiny babes in tow and no tion policy and advocating for affordable liberation movements, feminism seeks to fog? Oh, how it pains me to see the insidious-
active role models in my life blazing a trail college fees. MEXA, a student organization remove barriers—in relationships, the work- ness of androcentrism and institutionalized
for me. I needed the ideals of this movement celebrating Chicano/Chicana identity, has place, sports, politics, and social mores. sexism at work!
to inspire confidence in what I already felt. actively opposed the proposed immigra- I’m 56. One incident I experienced in And yet, if the reporter had bothered to
I needed the strength of my sisters, and the tion policy with protests and informational the 1980s when I was in my 30s remains an include a broader representation of women’s
changes and programs feminism demanded. efforts. ASI Student Government continues example to me of how we women used to voices, one that significantly crossed ethnic-
When I say I am a Feminist, it has a two- to mobilize students to resist the rising cost undercut ourselves. ity, class, and sexual orientation, the tenor
fold meaning: 1) I am one who values herself of higher education. In both dialogues, a I remarked to a woman coworker who of the article would have revealed a richer,
and women of every race and creed and feminist perspective seems absent. Yet these was about the age I am now what a shame more complex and contextual perspective
believes in their fundamental right to equal are women’s issues. it was that a highly qualified woman we of feminism. In fact, the reporter’s own
status with men, which includes the power The concept of “women’s issues” needs knew got passed over for promotion in favor Euro-centric, middle-class bias prevented
of choice. 2) It means I do not hold men to to expand to include struggles students face of a man. The then-older woman’s response her from acknowledging that her “local
be responsible for me or to any dogma that on a daily basis. Undocumented women was that the man needed the promotion survey” was sorely lacking a diverse spec-
suggests they must behave in certain ways to workers face economic, political, and sexual more because he had to work to support his trum of American women’s perspectives.
affirm their manhood – that they, too, have exploitation, while Chicana students are family. I was single at the time, working to Instead, she portrayed women’s voices as if
the power of choice and the right to have often marginalized in the education system. support myself and I wanted to slap her! it were a homogenous generality. When our
their choices respected. The cost of college continues to increase to We’ve come so far from that now, haven’t differences are denied or not seen, we lose sight
When groups who have experienced unbearable heights, forcing more and more we? In fact, the liberated woman has become of individual identities and histories. And we
being “less than” first gather and collec- women students out of higher education a stereotype. I don’t know about you, but also lose the opportunity to make real human
tively become aware of disparages in equity and into a world of fewer choices. Both of now articles about a woman police chief or connections.
toward them and the injustices acted out these issues are fueled by student activism, a woman transit worker seem contrived. I That said, the impetus to write this article
upon them, there is often anger involved. yet a feminist perspective continues to be just don’t think it’s necessary anymore. OK, has to do with the continued marginaliza-
There are radical factions in all movements transparent. she’s a woman police chief, but is she a good tion/exclusion of women of color that occurs
(African American, Native American, etc.), My generation is not plagued by apathy, police chief? within mainstream feminist discourse. As
and I would suggest they are often necessary but affected by different conflicts. We are In the past it was important to show South Korean-American feminist Rebecca
to the whole. As a group’s esteem grows, the on campus and in communities, promoting women in different roles to create role mod- Hurdis noted, “[F]or a lot of women of
anger dissipates and they move, along with equality and identity through community els for younger women and to broaden our color, feminism is perceived as being a white
their ideas, into or near the mainstream. service. We are willing and ready to engage expectations. I think we went a little too far women’s movement that has little space
I bring this up because in its reemergence, in the feminist movement, but only if and made the women who wanted to stay or acknowledgement for women of color.”
some feminists expressed anger and were feminism can meet us on our battlegrounds, home and raise children feel ashamed. Now Accessing feminism for women of color,
cast as unfeminine. Our cause was noble such as the classroom. We have the energy there are a lot of children whom no one has finding a personal point of entry, has histori-
and the scope of change we produced was and spirit to force progress in our small spent enough time with. cally been problematic because feminism
broad and necessary, yet part of our legacy, community of San Luis Obispo, but we Another unfortunate downside of femi- is typically presented (in the academy;
for women frightened they will be cast as need an alliance with wiser and more nism for me is that it has resulted in the rise amongst white, middle-class feminists) with
man-haters, has been, “I believe that women experienced generations of women. Through of the stupid-white-man stereotype. People whiteness as its centerpiece; issues of race
should be treated equitably, but I’m not a this collaboration and expanded definition writing television commercials and sitcoms and class are relegated to the borders.
feminist.” It’s imperative we change this per- of women’s issues, feminism can morph into seem to be unable to do so without making I’m hoping you are asking yourself,
ception.Feminism is equality for all people; a more vibrant and collective movement, someone the dupe. Today it is always the “Why/How does this happen?” And, “What
it embodies tolerance and the strength of promising progress for future generations. white male. Really what it all boils down to
is that none of us can be free until we each CONTINUED ON
unlimited possibilities.
honor the other. DRECHSLER, Page 10

Women’s Press May/June 2006 E-mail the editors: Page 

Local Perspectives
Betty Friedan Died Today A Marriage of Two Cultures
By Barbara Atkinson She helped open the door in our minds By Renee Sanpei
February 4, 2006. for injustice to be exposed, then sparred Entering the world of Linda and Karma
Once when I was a little girl, my mother with Gloria and others about the details and Wolff is like walking into Eden. The beauty
went away for a few days. There were five direction of the movement. She fell out of of their garden courtyard is an expression of
kids: four girls and a boy. My mother gath- favor a bit, fading in and out of the feminist their loving-kindness. I breath it in and feel
ered us girls and gave us jobs while she was discussion. I saw her obituary buried on welcomed.
away. One of mine was to make my father’s page five of the Sunday Tribune next to that We sip tea and talk about what it is like
bed. What has stuck with me all these years of a TV character actor. How could they. I to have lived and raised children in two very
is a smaller me standing beside this very big lit a candle. I said a prayer of gratefulness. different cultures; Bhutan and America.
bed, leaning over trying to make it. I kept Betty Friedan died today. Linda was raised in a Jewish family from
wondering why a grown man couldn’t make Much change has occurred, and many this area. Karma was raised in the Buddhist
his own bed. It didn’t make sense to me. I women now take for granted the strides tradition of his country, Bhutan. Linda’s They have taught their two wonderful,
loved my dad; I wasn’t resentful. It was the that have been made in their name. Yet on parents were active in the community, as young boys, Mila and Shey, to honor both
logic of it I didn’t understand: I was a young this our Mother Earth, women can still is she. Karma’s father was a governor of a cultures. One way they do this is to encour-
girl and he was an adult. A small event. A be stoned, beaten, and raped at the will province and a journalist. age them to read stories from both countries
little memory. But one that never left me. of their father, brother, husband or son. Their paths crossed in Bhutan when that reveal different values. Karma points
Betty Friedan died today. They still make less money than men in Linda was working as a physical therapist out that being here has exposed them to
My son was almost a year old when I read the workplace. They are still battered. And with handicapped children, and Karma was more individualized, critical thinking. “In
The Feminine Mystique. My husband was while family values are touted by politicos, a beginning a career as a journalist. Linda’s Bhutan, one is not taught to stand out.”
getting his PhD. We weren’t in suburbia, mother’s work is still undervalued, wives are responsibility there was to educate the medi- As I listen to this couple share their story,
I didn’t have coffee with the neighboring still over-burdened with all the housework, cal staff and families on new therapies and I can see that their love of one another and
women discussing “the problem that has workplace day-care centers are still rare, equipment. Karma is grateful to his wife for their respect for what is essential, reflect
no name,” but I knew what she was talking and the issue of choice is once again under her wonderful contributions to the families beautifully in all they do. Linda shows me a
about. Suddenly that little girl wasn’t just threat. Still…a door has been opened and in his country. poem, written by her sister, and tells me an
leaning over an expansive bed, but a per- consciousness awakened. Ms. Friedan joins Since her return to the states, Linda has inspiring story of how they made this com-
vasive consciousness of accepted inequities, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stan- continued her volunteer work with Bhutan mitment going into their journey together.
and now she had a context for her problem ton, and countless other nameless women as well as becoming actively involved in I would like to close by sharing part of
“that made no sense.” A door was opened. A through the ages who have suffered, died, local community service. She directs the “Reaching for the Sky”, which was inspired
breeze blew in. Betty Friedan died today. and were forced to bend to the injustice and Bhutan volunteer program through Health as they hiked up the mountains of Bhutan.
NOW was born. Women gathered, unkindness of inequity. They stand now Volunteers Overseas. She also works with “Majestic and immense, the earth at that
shared their thoughts and organized for as invisible sentries holding the door open the SLO County California Children’s point simply engulfed me.
change: consciousness-raising groups; against all those who do not understand Services Clinic and supports the Farms to In those surroundings, I met Karma, and
women’s health collectives; an Equal Rights the real and present danger in allowing it to School Movement through the SLO Grown I saw that the life in those mountains had
Amendment movement. An articulate slowly shut. Kids organization (an effort by mothers to brought Linda and Karma together....
Gloria Steinem gathered the reins and led Betty Friedan died today. She dedicated a bring nutritious, organic, locally grown food I saw that he was not unlike the place
the way. A surge of feminine power brought good portion of her life to us. Light a candle into the public schools.) where he had grown up-full of spirit, kind-
inequities to light. Change began. Women and remember. Linda says that some of the gifts of ness and life.
had choices. Betty Friedan died today. Bhutan’s culture are that, “Life is less stress- I also saw that his love for Linda was
ful there. The families are close and always genuine and deep.
available to help.” Also as parents, they both And that their love for each other was like
value the respect for elders, harmony and the lines of the Himalayas, forever etched
compassion that is a way of life there. into the earth and reaching to the sky.”
Karma smiles and tells me that the “pace Linda and Karma have continued to take
of life is so much faster here! I was drinking people back to Bhutan on uniquely guided
4-5 cups a coffee a day to try and keep up at tours. If you would like to contact them
first. I don’t do that anymore.” Also, the lack about their work here or there, they can be
of diversity here concerned them. “Tolerance reached at karma@skykingdomadventures.
is important. Without exposure to different com.
cultures, you can become afraid.”

The Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County:

My Friend and Friedan Helping Children
By Diana Schmiett sion and a general feeling of “Oh my god, by Dawn Williams pairs of socks, five or six sets of underwear,
February 15, 2006 you mean everybody feels like this, like The Assistance League of San Luis and one pair of shoes, all new.
“You know, Betty Friedan died,” I said something is missing but ‘what is it?’ and ‘I Obispo County, established in 1996, is part • Books for Packs, which gives each child
to my friend Claudia as we were parting af- can’t put my finger on it’ and ‘there must be of a nationwide organization devoted to a new backpack with a book of her or his
ter an afternoon of birding in Morro Bay. So something wrong with me’?” improving the quality of life for those served choice; and
much for the goodbye. This was the opening “Before that book,” Claudia said em- by providing services based on their needs. • Operation Totes, which provides a
to a snapshot of life that needed sharing. phatically, “women didn’t have any idea that Ann Melvin is president of the local League, canvas bag with essential toiletries and an
After all, this was real news. you could be something more than a wife which currently has 90 members from all appropriate stuffed animal toy to children in
Claudia paused there near her apart- and a mother. Once women got married parts of the county. Publicity chair Karen the Women’s Shelter.
ment where she has made her home as a they never worked at a job again if they had Gould graciously invited me to tour their fa- The group also does several outreach pro-
single woman. I could see by the look on one; it just wasn’t done. And a lot of women cility in the former gymnasium of the junior grams during the year, taking the clothes to
her face that she was pulling up some rich had no clue there was any other choice. That high school on Lizzie Street, adjacent to the Nipomo, Shandon, and Cambria for those
old memories of both pain and joy. She told book, I’m telling you…it changed my life! current adult education offices. Access is by who may have transportation problems.
how reading The Feminine Mystique had That is when everything started happening appointment only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, The League, with an annual operation
changed her life and the lives of so many and changing. That was the beginning of and Saturdays. Families are usually referred budget of $100,000, serves from 1,000-
women around her. Hearing the passion in finding out who I really was, that I was a for services by school personnel or social 1,200 children per year. Funds are raised
her voice I could actually sense for the first person with my own needs and I could do service agencies. from grants, special events, and donations
time what it may have been like for those something about it…Well, I don’t mean it The facility, with its high ceilings, bright from private contributors, foundations, and
housewives in the sixties who dared to read just happened. It took years, years! But that yellow paint, neat cupboards and storage municipalities. Examples of special events
Friedan’s work. Their self concepts began was the beginning, right there, that book. I drawers, and racks of clothing, is a stellar are “A Touch of Magic” a recent year’s wine
exploding, their worlds began to rock, and don’t know, I wonder if she really knew, if example of conversion of a space to a new and art festival, and “Sock It to Them,” a
they couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together she really understood how much her writing use. The former showers are now curtained solicitation letter accompanied by a baby
again. The Feminine Mystique had pushed The Feminine Mystique changed so many dressing rooms where children may try on bootie.
the women’s movement through the starting lives. It certainly changed mine, thank god!” clothing for size. The current programs are: Persons interested in sending a tax-de-
gate. Claudia Sargent is a watercolor artist, • Operation School Bell, which provides ductible donation or in becoming a member
Claudia was more than amazed when grandmother, classical musician, and native of new clothing for students, K-6th grade, be- and volunteering time may call 782-0824,
she read the book she indicated to me by the Central Coast. Diana Schmiett once shook fore the start of school each fall and during or write to Assistance League of San Luis
dropping her jaw and demonstrating how the hand of Gloria Steinem but never met the school year. The program furnishes to Obispo County, P.O. Box 14904, San Luis
mouth-open-agog she had been at such Betty Friedan. each student referred, two pairs of jeans (or Obispo CA 93406.
ideas. There was validation and confu- jeans and a dress), two T-shirts, a jacket, six

Page  E-mail the editors: Women’s Press May/June 2006

Local Perspectives
Use Native Plants in Your Garden New Column! The Wonder of It All
By Hilda Heifetz
By Pam Thomas I am 92 and inspired to write a series of
The arrival of spring, and its longer days inspire me to spend more time in my own columns that would be the voice of someone
garden. As a horticulturist with my own landscaping business, I work with clients to develop at this very advanced age. Of course, since
and maintain gardens that work with their site, are environmentally mindful, and use appro- aging is a lifelong affair, I would hope they
priate plants in interesting ways. Here are a few of my favorite native plants that offer color would have broad appeal.
and versatility to your garden. After and during all these years, there are
true tales to tell and experiences to share,
Coral bells (Heuchera sp.) illuminating past, present, and future. I
Coral bells are an infinitely useful group am full of the wonder of human existence:
of plants that provide variety to your garden amusing, meaningful, and very often mys-
with color and textural effects. Between tifying. Most of the time, I wind up with
straight species and cultivars, gardeners are more questions than answers … more to
spoiled for choices such as solid green leaves learn than to teach. And I hope my columns
(ie: Heuchera maxima, H.elegans), purple appeal to readers as:
foliage (ie: H. ‘Obsidian’), silver foliage (ie: • An awakening for us seniors to vitalize
H.‘Mint Frost’, H.‘Velvet Night’), interest- very moment, even trying to feel good while
ing veination patterns (ie: H.‘Raspberry not feeling well
Ice’), and textured leaves (ie: frilled leaf • Sources of pleasure in thinking a little
edges ofH.‘Crimson Curls’). The foliage more deeply about their own lives and hu- ers, for instance, who want us to stay “in-
provides year-round interest in addition to man relationships formed” by dis-information (lies), so-called
its spring floral display. These flowers rise • An invitation to find meaning in their mistakes (crimes), and secrets (withheld for
in 1- 2’ wands covered with pink or white, own stories security reasons).
cupped flowers, that are small but collec- • A respite from the media’s typical focus I recall an interview on the Charlie Rose
tively create an airy, delicate touch to the on hard news, global violence, and cold TV show with an old-time newscaster who
plant. Coral bells grow best in free-drained factual data started his career as a journalist on radio.
soil given some shade or dappled light. I My best hope of all is that the columns Rose asked how he had been successful in
like using the more flamboyant cultivars be as enjoyable to read as I find them enjoy- transitioning to TV reporting. The news-
in containers or as accent plants, and using able to write. caster said, “Be sincere, well-informed and
the more naturalistic, green leaved species reliable … and if you can fake all that, you’ll
planted in groups, used under oaks, or at the Mixed Messages do okay.” Does it hurt to laugh?
edge of planting beds. Juggling mixed messages can begin at On a personal level, being 92, I should
a very early age. I think about when my act young, look young, and because death is
mother was teaching me about “life” as a not popular, I should live forever.
Hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) female. In her behavior, she personified the
Another plant for the shade or part-sun liberated woman—she had a business of From Hilda
garden is the hummingbird sage. This mem- her own (which began in Europe when she In my 92 years, I have found that the
ber of the mint family has long, triangular was 14). Here, in America, she ran a dress most significant events and relationships
shaped leaves that are hairy and textured. shop for “stylish stouts” and even made have some element beyond the “rational”
The plant blooms from early spring to sum- good on her goal to be listed in Dun and domain. While they can be described, they
mer with whorls of red tubular flowers offset Bradstreet. Ah, but in her advice to me, she cannot adequately be explained; while they
by dark maroon bracts growing up to 3’ emphasized the priority of getting mar- are never fully understood, they cannot be
tall. The flowers have a sweet fragrance, and ried. To accomplish this, I should be very denied. Though they remain unforgettable,
hummingbirds use them as a nectar source. pretty but not too smart (I would scare men people tend to dismiss them as a random or
Hummingbird sage is one of our showiest away!). I should learn to be a good cook for chance occurrence. But if we are aware, we
California native perennials, and is excit- the way to a man’s heart was through his can sense some larger Intelligence involved,
ing to see them growing wild in San Luis stomach. With her own freedom to roam collaborating in the shaping of our lives.
Obispo County as well as in garden settings. and prevail in a man’s world of industry, she My feeling is that I dance with the help of
Hummingbird sage grows in dry shade, and was instructing me to know that “a woman’s some superior choreographer—that I am an
looks striking planted in groups, or as an place is in the home”! How do we reconcile actor on a boundless stage, improving on
accent plant. the message with the model?! a pre-written script. It seems that, though
These days we are asked to bring together I am the main character in the story of my
all kinds of contradiction and paradoxes. life, I’m not necessarily the Author.
There are spinners and skewers and advertis-
Foothill Penstemon
(Penstemon heterophyllus) Let’s Get Organized
There are many choices for flower color
and size when looking at penstemons, or By Connie Winstead, Organizer
beard-tongues. Cultivars offer large, showy Extraordinaire
flowers in purples, reds, pinks, and white, Cluttered rooms, closets stuffed to the
but one of my favorites is the smaller flow- gills and piles of papers can drive a person to
ered, foothill penstemon. I like the sky blue, distraction – not to mention diminish pro-
purple, and pink color blend of its flowers, ductivity at home and in the office. If you’re
its prolific blooming, and open growth at the point where you’re so overwhelmed by
habit. This 2’ tall California native penste- stuff that you don’t know where to start, you
mon blooms spring to summer, and grows might want to bring in someone who doesn’t
best in sunny conditions with well-drained know you and your house can provide a very
soil, and good air circulation.It looks great good perspective on the problem and the supplies.
planted next to large rocks, in masses, or solution—a professional organizer. A profes- • Tackle one small area at a time. Work
combined with other perennials. sional organizer doesn’t tell a family what to that corner of the room or that drawer for
do or how to store their things, but rather just five minutes each day.
asks questions so they come to the right con- • Ask a friend or a relative to help. You
clusions, given their living space. Systems always do better if you have someone look-
are developed that work for the client and ing over your shoulder. It’s harder to throw
Pam Thomas is a Cal-Poly educated horticulturist with fifteen years experience working at are easy to maintain. everything back into a junk drawer when
public botanic gardens. Her new business, Paloma Landscaping (458-9207), provides consulting, Here are some tips for getting organized: someone is watching.
design, maintenance, and container gardens using California native and Mediterranean plants. • Start with what’s bothering you the • When you’re storing boxes on a shelf,
most, whether it’s toys on the floor, messy write an identifying label on all four sides.
kitchen cabinets, an overflowing garage, • When you’ve stored items, write in two
clothes closet or mounds of paperwork. places where you put them. For example,
• Put prime items in prime space. Have the back pages of the phone book and an
handy what you frequently use, pack away address book.
(or put in out of the way places) the things The Organizer Extraordinaire can be
you don’t use often. This applies to seasonal reached at 441-4601 or getorganizedSLO@
clothing, sports equipment and kitchen

Women’s Press May/June 2006 E-mail the editors: Page 

Local Perspectives
Women Helping Women
Part 1 of a new series Things to know…
If you want to intervene: Never intervene in front of the batterer. If you hear violence
By Evelyn Adams-Ryal Shoreline Occupational Training Center. taking place, call the police. Think first about safety. If you are alone with the victim,
In this issue, information about and Some with financial aid may attend Cuesta call the shelter crisis line - 781-6400. Call the North County Safe House, 461-1338, if
from the private non-profit Women’s Shelter College. Those with education, if they can that is closer.
Program of San Luis Obispo. The July-August safely keep their jobs, might not go home- When you intervene, you let someone know you care and are aware if their situation,
issue will feature an in-depth interview with less. that they are not all alone in this. That knowledge can often open the window for them
Phyllis Madonna about her volunteer work. “It’s so important,” Ms. Raub said, “to to make a lifesaving change. Remember though, that the person who batters is physi-
Beth Raub is the Volunteer Coordinator get involved on an intervention level. When cally dangerous and you need to be careful.
at the SLO Women’s Shelter Program and someone is being endangered, it’s not a If you want out: Look for the SAFE HAVEN sticker, which identifies a location
is often its public voice. She told me that private issue, it’s a community issue. Call that will provide you with a safe and confidential phone. It is a huge thing to be able to
about 900 clients a year are served through and find out what you can do. For example, talk to someone without fear. You can call family members, who may offer you a place
counseling, schools, legal clinics, the Safe I received a call from an uncle who was to stay. You can arrange medical attention if you need it. If you are still in the stage of
House, and transitional housing. The Safe concerned about his niece. We talked about verbal and mental abuse that precedes physical violence, you desperately need someone
House sleeps about 10-12 depending on the resources and the dynamics of how to plan to talk to. The SAFE HAVEN line is often that first contact towards getting counseling
mother to child ratio. Their Transition what she might do if she left.” and help before the violence begins. (Readers, you can get a SAFE HAVEN sticker to
House has 5 apartments. Outreach services “A society where intimate partners put on your window by calling Beth at 781-6401, extension 112.)
include legal aid and counseling, which can and family members treat each other with The Cycle of Domestic Violence
be accessed without Safe House services. dignity, respect and compassion; where Stage 1. Tension Building – Verbal and emotional abuse, often the longest stage.
Referrals are mostly through the SLO oppression is replaced with equality; where Stage 2. Violent Outbursts – Yelling until backed into a wall, slammed into a door.
Hotline 549-8989, which then pages the the expression of conflict and anger is non- Stage 3. Hearts and Flowers – What keeps victims in bad relationships: abusers can
on-call crisis worker who talks to the victim violent; where children grow up with their be very charming. They don’t mean to be bad people, or women would never go back,
about available services. Referrals are often esteem intact and are nurtured in such a BUT the hearts and flowers gets shorter and shorter in the Tension building stage.
made from law enforcement and social manner they recognize the value of speaking The Tension Building stage does escalate; it gets shorter and shorter. The Violent
service case workers. Sometimes a fam- the truth, welcoming diversity and practic- Outbursts get more violent. Then there is no more Hearts and Flowers. The worst case
ily member or co-worker tells them about ing cooperation. Our vision is a society free scenario after the black eyes and broken bones is murder.
services. Many come from the hospital from intimate and political wars.” In the first year, the cycle happens once. After ten years it takes 24 hours to go
when released. ­— From the Women’s Shelter through the whole cycle to the violence.
The average stay is about 8 weeks and Program’s Vision Statement Some history
sometimes less. Often clients go back to Evelyn is beginning a Women’s Creative The very first women’s shelter in the United States was founded in 1974, and our first
the situation because of they can’t afford to Cooperative (WCCo-op) to teach, mentor, and area safe-house shelter began shortly after in 1977. Six women in Morro Bay got to-
be on their own. If they have family and provide economic benefits to all women inter- gether, pooling their money to purchase a small house for women experiencing domestic
educational resources, some can stay away ested in creative self-employment, specifically, violence to flee to. By 1979, the grants were written, and a generous person donated a
from “the situation.” It’s hard in our area “women at risk”. Members of the WCCo-op plot of land establishing it in San Luis Obispo.
to find housing, especially with children. A plan to open their community-based Web cart Victim blaming
network of resources for the women in our in August, with other products on MadeIn- In our society we often do something known as, “victim blaming.” See “Sexual As-
community includes Department of Social Call 815-8700 or email sault: The Harm in Blaming the Victim” for an article about that problem.
Services for Cal-Works and Goodwill’s

Sexual Assault: Drechsler

The Harm in Blaming the Victim Continued from Voices, page 7 my membership with Euro-Americans; I live
am I going to do about it?” with a degree of societal acceptance because
By Gillian E. Cutshaw, Education ing this, we are dissociating ourselves from As I continue to examine my own relation- people who look like me are in positions of
Services Coordinator, SARP Center the victim and from whatever behavior we ship with feminism and social justice as a power, on the front cover of magazines, in
Sexual assault is a complex issue. There feel caused the assault. As long as we don’t privileged white, middle-class woman, my own the educational system, as newscasters.
are many misconceptions and myths sur- do what that victim did, we can continue sexism and racism surfaces—not a “pretty” White privilege means that I don’t have
rounding sexual assault, even in 2006. to feel safe and maintain the idea that “it sight. Nonetheless, I am compelled—indeed, I to think about racism like my sisters of
One of the most harmful and commonly won’t happen to me.” If the victim had been a passionately committed— to address my prej- color. Thus, it leads Euro-Americans to
perpetuated myths about sexual assault is drinking alcohol before the rape, then the udices, and examine how I might find ways to make statements like, “I don’t see color”
that it is the victim’s fault, or that the victim faulty reasoning is “I will be safe if I do not enter the great divide between white women and “I see everyone as humans.” If I were
“asked for it” in some way. This myth takes drink alcohol”. If the victim was raped while and women of color in an effort to be “a part told by my non-Jewish friends that they don’t
the criminal blame away from the perpetra- wearing a short skirt then the faulty reason- of the solution.” When I am truly present and see me as a Jew but “ just human” or “ just an
tor and shifts the responsibility for the crime ing is that, “I will be safe if I only wear conscious of my privilege (and honestly, as I American like everyone else,” how could I not
to the victim. So often, the victims who are pants.” Not only does this kind of thinking write this article my full consciousness fades in feel that a significant part of my identity was
courageous enough to tell their stories are excuse the perpetrator of the crime from any and out) a flood of feelings surface: white guilt, dismissed? While these statements may be
faced with questions and accusations like responsibility, it also does a disservice to all shame, sadness, anger, more sadness. I don’t intended to convey an ethic of fairness, the
“what were you wearing?”, “you shouldn’t people by providing a false sense of security. want these feelings to propel me into apathy IMPACT it has on our sisters of color is just
have gone out with him/her”, “did you No one wants to believe that sexual assault and hopelessness and stop me from looking at the opposite. Why? Because these state-
flirt with him/her, or act like you wanted can happen to anyone at any time, but the these issues. And these issues require on-going ments disregard, invalidate, and deny the
it?”, and “if you hadn’t been so drunk, it truth is that it can and people need to be exploration… If I am to address these issues fact that people of color ARE people of color
wouldn’t have happened”. Going through aware of that. with any emotional depth and understanding, who ARE NOT, as a whole, treated equally
that kind of interrogation can make any vic- Blaming the victim teaches people that I must do so with my heart in one hand and compared to Euro-Americans.
tim believe that they did cause the assault, if they are sexually assaulted, it is their my intellect in the other. Perhaps what can bring us closer together
and can make them less likely to tell anyone own fault. Self-blame for a sexual assault So, what is this gulf that exists between are not our similarities, but our willing-
else or make a report. This societal belief can contributes to the trauma experienced by white women and women of color? While ness to fully acknowledge our differences.
also discourage other victims from coming the victim. It is extremely difficult for a there is no one simple answer, white skin Creating an inclusive feminism begins by
forward for fear that they will be blamed survivor of sexual assault to place the blame privilege—the other side of racism—is a acknowledging that racism, like sexism, is
and made to feel more intense shame and on the perpetrator when all he/she has ever fundamental element. My white skin and institutionalized within our society; that
guilt. seen is society blaming victims for being middle-class status entitle me to unearned white skin Euro-Americans benefit, ipso
No one asks to be sexually assaulted, assaulted. The biggest factor in a survivor’s privileges solely because of my skin color facto, from racism; and that the margin-
humiliated, beaten, or killed. Nor does recovery is the support of those around her. and social class: I do not have to worry that alization of women manifests in degrees
anyone’s behavior justify or excuse the If those people the survivor comes in contact when I go shopping I will be followed by a according to the types of memberships a
crime. People have the right to be safe from with believe that he or she was assaulted and salesperson who is suspecting me of shoplift- woman identifies. Building bridges across
a sexual violation at any time, any place, and believe it was not his or her fault that, the ing; I can be relatively certain that I will not the two feminisms means that we must up-
under any circumstances. Yet our society survivor is more likely to recover quickly be asked to speak about whiteness as if I am hold a socio-geopolitical vision of feminism
continues to blame the victim and find and experience less traumatization. a spokesperson for white people; my indi- that is committed to resituating all women
reasons why he or she was assaulted. By do- viduality is likely not to be lost because of from the margins to the center.

Page 10 E-mail the editors: Women’s Press May/June 2006

Women’s Stories
A traditional doctor/sangoma shares her philosophy of healing
Letter from Botswana
An Interview By Alyson LeBlanc I can give her a muti, a medicine that the ‘50/50” and they won’t have that if they
My name is Sephone Mokgethi. Since I husband and the wife take together. These marry the man. Besides, it’s just paperwork;
was six, I was so strange; I was always sick are drinking medicines, and they must it’s just like that, it’s just like that.
with something. In 1994 I became very drink-drink-drink. Now if people decide that they don’t
sick. At night, I dream so many things! of Sometimes, it just depends on God. If want to have babies, they go to the hospital
big snakes, of myself inside of a big pail, of God likes, they will have a baby. Right now, and the women have their tubes cut. The
myself going down into a ‘big water’, like I have four patients I have helped, and they more traditional-minded, they just come
a river. Aiee! Big snakes! Big dreams! But each have a small baby. But sometimes they to the traditional doctor and they tell you
those snakes - they were okay - oh, I was can’t have a baby, because either the woman that they don’t want to have children for a
scared of them, but they were never doing has a problem in the womb, like a growth, certain period of time, say for five years. You
anything to make me honestly afraid - they so I tell them they must go to hospital and prepare a muti for just them, mixed up in-
were just always around me. there they must remove it. Otherwise, there side a bottle. The man takes that bottle and
Then, in 1998, it had gotten much worse is nothing that we can do. Sometimes the seals it up and puts it away in a secret place
and I was dreaming about big colors, too, problem is not from the woman; sometimes buried in the ground. It must be very, very Today some people just put on the
and I had become so worried that I decided the problem is from the man. So, I have to well hidden because if it is lost or someone beads (indicating our wrist beads, the sign
to do something about all of this. I con- tell him to go to the clinic or to a private takes it, well, then it’s all over for them hav- of a true sangoma) and call themselves
tacted someone in Johannesburg, South doctor to have his tubes checked. Having a ing children! When they do decide to have a sangomas. They are not all true sangomas.
Africa, Laplahte, who is now my Baba (elder baby involves two lives, you see. So if one of child, that bottle of medicine comes out of Sangomas are people who have had much
teacher). When I got there, she told me “You the lives cannot make a baby, I just can’t do the ground, the bottle is opened - and they training; and if you have had training, your
are not sick; the spirits of your Ancestors anything. But if it can be fixed, I can give will have their child. That is how the old trainer will tell you what you are supposed
want to train you to heal people.” them the medicine. If I do, then that baby is people have always prevented babies from to do and what you are not supposed to
So I began to train, from 1998 to 1999, going to come! coming. do. Most of the false sangomas just buy the
at Laplahte’s indumba (spirit house). Then In the old days, the people believed in big As for abortion, I really, really don’t even mutis and treat falsely. This is not a san-
I came home. The very same day, I began families. But in these days, people believe in want to talk about it. If they have taken goma! Those people are doing bad things.
treating people. I have many different kinds small families. Life is too hard, now. Every- abortion medicine, and come to my place, Bad things!
of clients that I help: they are sick with thing is very expensive - and there are too I just send them on to the hospital. I don’t We true sangomas are not killing people,
many different problems and I just help many diseases. Here, we are telling ourselves want, I don’t want. What I told myself, even because we are descendants (inheritors of
them. People come to you in different ways that we want to help more children - and when I was still training as a healer, “What I this tradition). Those people who are our
- with different symptoms and different to do that we must stay small - especially if want is ‘holy hands’ - I want to heal people. ascendants (our ancestors), they will not al-
problems. partners are not married. And if God can help me to do this, I want low us to kill. We sangomas, we are not after
For instance, for the woman who wants For me, I don’t know how to talk about to live a different life than that kind.” money: that means that when a sick person
to have a baby, it depends. Because you that. These days, many do not marry. Or Like most people now, they are thinking comes to us, they are not turned away. Our
see, sometimes it can be a problem of the they say ‘I’ll stay married for three or four that the traditional doctors and the sango- ancestors will not allow that; we just take
woman’s organs - sometimes her tubes years.” And especially for the younger ladies, mas, we who work with mutis, they think that person and we heal them. Then next
are blocked and I send her to the medical they don’t care about marriage. Because that we are all witches. We are not witches. time they will come and pay us - bring us
doctors, who can scan for this, and then if their man is ‘fooling around’, then he’ll Most sangomas are all Christians. We are a chicken, a goat, to pay. Then they have
they can choose the best way to solve the just bring it home. Then they will get sick not allowed to kill. And we are not allowed honored what we have done for them. It is
problem. When she comes back to me again, from it, if he’s sick. They want it to be more to cheat people. what we do, here in Africa.

Nonviolent communication: “A way of communicating that leads us to give from the heart”
Book Reviews
An Interview with Alexandra Sherwood
by Laura V. Hyde hand, have the largest hearts in the animal
Many of us have experienced frustra- kingdom.
tion while communicating with others: we Yes, and since they are very tall, they No. 1 Ladies’
either feel we’re not truly being heard or can see the “bigger picture.” Detective Agency
have difficulty expressing how we really feel. Yes. We’ve been speaking the jackal lan-
Review by Anne R. Dunbar
Yet there is a way to increase the quality of guage for 8,000 years, and are now learning
Alexander McCall Smith has taken the
communication and connection through the to speak the language of the giraffe.
world by surprise with his tantalizing series
techniques taught in Nonviolent Communi- How does NVC teach one to shift from
of books beginning with the No.1 Ladies’
cation (NVC). Alexandra Sherwood spon- the language of jackal to giraffe?
Detective Agency. One can hardly put this
sors classes on and is currently in the process NVC uses a four part process of speaking NVC, one must learn to listen and speak at
book down once beginning to read about
of becoming a facilitator for Nonviolent and listening. The formula is based on: the same time. It’s like a foreign language,
Precious Ramotswe in this absolutely au-
Communication. 1. Observation = Make a neutral observa- like an art. I’ve been studying for six months
thentic portrayal of African life. The reader
What is the background of NVC? tion... and am still learning the process.
is transported to sub-Saharan Africa, spe-
NVC was formed by Marshall Rosen- 2. Feeling = How does that make you How have you found NVC most help-
cifically Botswana, where Mma Ramotswe’s
berg, Ph.D., who grew up during the race feel... ful?
dream to open a ladies’ detective agency is
riots in Detroit, MI, and didn’t understand 3. Value = What do you value... With my family, my daughters. I’ve
funded with the sale of a few of her father’s
all of the violence or where it stemmed 4. Request = What would you like to learned to communicate with them in a
fine cattle, a portion her inheritance.
from. He sought to understand the paradox request to enrich your life... whole new way that has helped our relation-
The Agency is busy with varied cases
of loving human nature and how it could It sounds like NVC teaches one how to ship.
from disloyal husbands to witch doctor
become so violent. Marshall became a be both empathetic and validating. All of Any final thoughts?
abductions. Often sharing a cup of bush tea
psychotherapist but didn’t find it fulfilling, us yearn to be listened to, really listened It’s important that people remember that
with her clients, Mma Ramotswe handles
so he began investigating a compassionate to, from the heart. NVC must be practiced. It’s truly like learn-
each case with humor, compassion, and
way of communicating. He found that the Yes, we do. NVC provides a way to ing a whole new language.
grace. Her heart holds true in all difficulties,
reason people become violent is because they calm down someone who is on the defense. For information on upcoming local
as does her faith in the traditional values
have unmet needs. The whole point is not getting what you classes on NVC, visit
of her people.This detective is relentless,
What “needs” are met through NVC? want, but establishing a connection where com/group/SLONVC, or call Alexandra
intuitive, and down to earth in her approach
NVC is a process in which everyone’s everyone’s needs are equally met. Then at (805) 459-7453. Also visit The Center for
to the private lives of her clients. Any reader
needs are equally recognized. We come to there’s no longer the game of “who’s right.” Nonviolent Communication at: www.cnvc.
can relate to the gentleness and common
recognize our needs as well as the other When establishing a quality of connection, org
sense of our heroine, while enjoying the
person’s. For example, NVC is based on everyone feels safe. Alexandra offers intuitive healing
color and hilarity surrounding the agency’s
the theory that we are all jackals or giraffes. How long are the NVC classes and sessions, aura readings, spiritual counsel-
daily life.
Jackals are who we are when we’re being what could one expect? ing, and classes on intuitive development
manipulative, demanding, or guilt-tripping NVC is taught in either a six-week course in Avila Valley. Alexandra provides a
someone. If we’re doing something out of or weekend intensive. Classes are like learn- healing clinic open to the public every
shame, blame, reward, obligation or duty, ing a new instrument: they train the brain Wednesday evening at 7pm. Call her at
we’re being a jackal. Giraffes, on the other to do something it hasn’t done before. To do (805) 459-7453.

Women’s Press May/June 2006 E-mail the editors: Page 11

Body and Soul
Spirituality Matters
Being a Life Toucher
Ethics and Choice By Laura Hyde
Teach no one that [she] is what
you would not want to be. Your
By Heather Mendel angry or refrain from anger. We [sister] is the mirror in which you see
Religious traditions all speak of can choose to act with responsibil- the image of yourself.
a sense of Oneness and the unity ity towards ourselves (and others) — A Course in Miracles
from which we come and to which or not. While we do not have the Perhaps the most powerful way
we aspire. The physical world oper- ability to control external events, we can transform and achieve
ates on the paradigm of dualities, we do have the choice as to how to healing in our relationships is
and perhaps the mystics are correct respond. Harold Kushner used this to BE exactly what we WANT.
when they teach that we need to as a theme in his book When Bad Since like attracts like we can only Though the above may seem
learn to value both diversity and Things Happen To Good People. He benefit from thinking and behav- to relate to traditional teaching,
uniqueness at the same time. suggested that the question to ask which we all come. Here we recog- ing in ways that match what we it actually pertains to each of us.
How do we hold a position of is not why bad things happen, but nize one another. Our challenge is most desire. As we become more Becoming clear of the example
balance what at first blush appears how we respond. to take that sense of knowingness accepting of ourselves and others, we’re setting and taking responsi-
to be opposite ends of a spectrum? Such choices influence the back into our everyday experi- more willing to be truly honest, bility for it is essential if we desire
Either we value our individuality quality of our lives. Even in a Nazi ences. We can choose to use it as a and take responsibility for our to create healthy relationships
or we appreciate similitude. The concentration camp, evolved souls guide in our daily decision-making lives, the universe will send those rich with intimacy, joy, trust and
paradox is that we honor both - in like Viktor Frankel were able to that is the privilege of living in a whom mirror these same uplifting passion. Some soulful questions to
ourselves and in others. find things to appreciate in the free society. How do we show our and illuminating qualities. Thus consider are:
Without the dark can we ap- most dire of circumstances. appreciation for the unparalleled being a role model for others—be- 1) What kind of relationships
preciate the light? Until we know Irrespective of our religious, freedoms we in the US enjoy? ing the change—is a potent way to do you want and what is keeping
illness do we appreciate health? political or social beliefs, we intui- Perhaps we best show our maturity uplift and evolve our relationships. you from having them?
The Dalai Lama has suggested tively know when we do the right and gratitude by learning to listen So, right now, take a moment to 2) Are you ready to discover the
that until we have an enemy we thing. We experience a sense of joy to another’s perspective (especially visualize and feel the essences of more genuine “you”, and are you
cannot know compassion. Only in doing something that helps an- when the conclusion is not one what you most want in relation- willing to share your genuineness?
when we know the two polarities other; while diminishing some-one with which we agree) and in offer- ship. 3) Are you willing to embrace
of any situation, and can feel the in any way, or witnessing another’s ing the other, the same respect we In my own life, some of the a new way of living, one that
emotions that are part of the two humiliation, leaves us with a sense wish them to show us. qualities I appreciate in rela- completely honors who you are?
extremes. Then we are in a posi- of dis-ease. This knowingness goes Heather Mendel has focalized tionship are captured from the 4) Do you feel deserving of hav-
tion to make a choice. beyond the intellectual sense of women’s spirituality groups heartfelt words on a poster recently ing relationships that support you
Choice is the essence of creating right and wrong. As Rumi says: for the past 15 years. She can be given to me by a friend titled, “I’m in your highest good?
a meaningful spiritual life. In ev- “Out beyond ideas of right doing contacted through her website at A Life Toucher.” This enlightening 9) Are you willing to let go of
ery moment, in every opportunity and wrong doing, there is a field. I, e-mailed placard hangs in my office and was patterns that are keeping you from
we have the chance to choose a re- will meet you there.” at created by motivational speaker being the person you were born
sponse - or choose not to respond In this ‘field’ beyond dualities, or called at 544-4933. Bill Sanders. “I’m a Life Toucher” to be?
at all. When upset, we can become we re-enter the Oneness from demonstrates that all of us are 6) Do you believe the time is
teaching others in one way or now for you to truly be what you
another for we are always leading want?

through example. A dear friend once shared
Some of the differences between how she gave up an addiction
ordinary “teaching” versus being a by reminding herself to “never

“Life Toucher” include: quit quitting.” We can always
TEACHERS LIFE TOUCHERS start anew, right here, right now.
Push Pull Today is the perfect day for being
The TV show that inspires a Life Toucher—the ideal time for
Give examples Are the examples
awareness & growth taking an honest inventory of our
through relationships. Teach a Are subject to
relationships, letting go of past
subject touching lives while
resentments, asking for healing,
SLO Public Access, Ch 2 teaching lessons
and enjoying the rich rewards that
Hosted by national author, Try to change Change themselves result from having the courage to
speaker & counselor others do so. So go ahead, reach out and
Sometimes Get better and “touch” someone today…!
Laura V. Hyde
get bitter better Laura V. Hyde is the Spiri-
805.748.7506 Don’t like to Change what tual Leader of the Unity Church
change they don’t like (by - Five Cities, and offers numer-
Mon-3:30PM • Wed-7PM changing the way ous workshops and retreats for
Sat-4PM they look at it) awakening the heart and spirit.
Are interested Are interesting as and is a facilitator of A Course
in teaching teachers in Miracles. Laura is the host of
Talk the Walk the message
the show “Relationship Wisdom”
on Public Television. Please visit
her at
Tell Explain
Stephanie McMillan |

Page 12 E-mail the editors: Women’s Press May/June 2006

Community Bulletin Board
“Women’s Way DEMOCRATIC Safe and Sober
to Wealth” WOMEN UNITED Support Group
From Paycheck
Meets 4th Wednesday of each month at
6:30 pm in the Wayne McCaughin (GALA)
Starting Soon
 The Women’s Shelter Program of San
to Prosperity Community Center, 11573 Los Osos Valley
Luis Obispo County is offering a support
Saturday, May 20 Road (southwest corner of Madonna and
group for women who are survivors of both
1-5 PM Los Osos Valley roads)
domestic violence and substance abuse.
University Union, Cal Poly, Room 220 May 24: Primaries and Propositions:
The “Safe and Sober” group will be offered
PARKING FREE IN LOT AND learn about the primary election ballot
PARKING STRUCTURE issues and candidates GALA To Present An Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5pm in San Luis
Evening Of Wine, Obispo.
$5 for pre-registration and $10 at the door June 28: The Demise of the Plural Soci-
The Safe and Sober group focuses on
ety - How our first amendment rights to free Women And Song how to achieve higher levels of self-esteem,
Call Women’s Community Center 544-9313 speech and religious liberty are being eroded GALA (Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the to develop better coping skills, and create
by right wing Christian ideology. Bill Central Coast) will present an evening of healthy relationships. Women who would
This event is brought to you by local or- Lakin, of the National Advisory Council of Wine, Women and Songs on Saturday, May like to participate must have at least 30 days
ganizations that support women’s economic Americans United for Separation of Church 13th, from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm at the End of sobriety, must be survivors of domestic
independence. The day will consist of practi- and State of the Line Café, 1150 Laurel Lane in San violence, and must be willing to commit to
cal applications on a number of topics that Luis Obispo. attending at least 12 sessions.
are financially important to women. Free Real Estate The event will be an opportunity for To enroll in the support group or obtain
 Phil Cisneros, the keynote speaker, will women of the Central Coast to meet, build
address the issues of global gender inequality
Workshop for community, enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres,
more information about this or other agency
services, please call (805) 473-6507.
and relate it to local women. Younger Women  and listen to music provided by two of the
The afternoon’s schedule will include Many young women feel they don’t have Central Coast’s premier musicians, Carol
presentations on “Income Opportunities the financial resources or the knowledge Lowell and Kristen Black. After the duo’s Afternoon of
and Money Management,” “Credit: How they need to purchase a home at a young performance, at approximately 7:00 pm, Epicurean Delights
age. But Younger Women’s Task Force
Do You Rate?” “Consumerism and Spend-
ing,” and “Wise Retirement Investments.” Central Coast (YWTFCC) is working to
Deejay Mo of Mobile Music will begin spin- Returns to the
ning tunes for an evening of dancing.
The day includes women’s physical and empower younger women to pursue and Event coordinator, Ethel Landers, said Central Coast
mental well-being as well as financial health, achieve this same goal at a young age by “We want an event that will appeal to EOC Health Services is thrilled to
with a wrap-up on self-care, “Taking Care educating them about home-buying, and women of all ages and ethnicities both gay announce the 19th annual Afternoon of
of YOU.”  instilling the confidence in them to be and straight.” Epicurean Delights to be held on Sunday,
Other organizations that have contribut- home-owners now, rather than later. $12 in advance, $15 at the door, which June 4, 2006 from 11:30-3:30 at the beauti-
ed to the creation of this economic summit Five local real estate experts explain includes appetizers. ful Chapman House by the Sea overlook-
include National Organization for Women, everything from working with a realtor to For more information on this event, ing the cliffs in Shell Beach. Afternoon of
Democratic Women United, SLO Economic home inspections, from finding affordable please call the GALA Center at 805-541- Epicurean Delights is the only fundraising
Opportunity Center of SLO County, Cal housing to types of loans, from building 4252  or email your reservations to email@ event undertaken by the Economic Oppor-
Poly’s Women’s Center and SLO County credit to the escrow process. Also visit GALA on the web at tunity Commission (EOC) Health Services
Commission on the Status of Women, The May 13, 2006 Division. It supports the of many valuable
cost of the event is  11:30 – 2:30 PM FREE prevention services for women, men, and
Translation services will be available for Community Room of the San Luis teens throughout San Luis Obispo County.
Spanish-speakers and refreshments will be Obispo Library. Afternoon of Epicurean Delights guests
Women’s Creative Cooperative
served. Refreshments provided will have the opportunity to sample offer-
Registration Required: email Jaymi at Wild Craft Circles ings from an outstanding gathering of local with your name, phone Women who are interested in becoming chefs, restaurateurs, caterers, and food and
number, and names of any people attending members of a Women’s Creative Coopera- beverage purveyors. Joining them will be
with you. tive in San Luis Obispo are invited to call some of the Central Coast’s finest vintners
Evelyn Adams Ryal at 815-8700 for more and brewers. The vendors all generously
information. donate their talents and tasting samples for
Wild Craft Circles, now forming this popular annual event.
throughout San Luis Obispo to teach and EOC Health Services provides free com-
mentor women interested in learning wild prehensive reproductive health services and
craft and nature faux techniques. Craft education to underserved individuals and
teachers of other mediums are also sought families throughout the county. Last year,
for our exciting cooperative opportunity. Health Services provided 9000 reproduc-
Call Eve at 815-8700 tive health visits; 518 free mammograms;
prevention education to over 2700 middle
and high school students; after-school youth
Host Families development activities to over 100 Nipomo
teens; case management and advocacy to193
Needed! pregnant and parenting teens; removal of
Open your door to an international
unwanted gang-related and/or antisocial
exchange high school student
tattoos for more than 80 participants; and
July 5th-August 1
9000 senior health screenings to over 2000
Students form Austria, Hungary, Spain,
senior citizens.
Norway, Sweden, Russia, and Hong Kong
The Afternoon is a sellout event that draws
Contact Program Coordinator Jacky
over 500 guests each year. Tickets are $100.
Lopez 541-4492
For questions or more information about
the event, please contact Kayla Wilburn at
544-2498 ext. 21.

Friends and Families

of Military Personnel
Support Group
is a drop–in group to help people deal
with the stress of war, and the stress of
having a loved one serving in the military
in these troubled times. Brown bag lunch
group meets weekly on Thursdays, begin-
ning March 16, at Community Counseling
Center, 1129 Marsh St., SLO. More info call
543-7969. $5 per session.

Women’s Press May/June 2006 E-mail the editors: Page 13

Community Bulletin Board
June 17, 2006
A fund-raising event for
LifeSteps Foundations, a non profit
corporation that serves the devel-
opmentally disabled, the elderly,
“Strength is the and women in recovery. Event will
capacity to break a have art from LifeSteps clients and
chocolate bar into four employees as well as many local
pieces with your bare artists in an effort to raise funds for
hands – and then eat a struggling facility. We need art
Becoming a mentor takes just one of the pieces.” from your clients and from you for
only 6-8 hours a month for at — Judith Viorst this to be a success. contact Cherri
least a year. That time goes by
Neal at (805) 748-9172,
quickly. Many of our Bigs say
they get more out of mentoring “The connections
than the kids do. It’s the chance between and among
to be young again, to share their woman are the most
interests, and to experience their feared, the most prob-
favorite activities from a fresh lematic, and the most
young perspective. Currently we potentially transform-
have 50 children on the wait list. ing force on the planet.”
They range in age from 6 to 16 — Adrienne Rich
and in location from Nipomo to
San Miguel. For more information
please call Big Brothers Big Sisters
at 781-3226.
Prado Day Center, Della
Wagner, 786-0617. Center is open
7 days a week from 8:30 am - 4:30
Grover Beach Central Coast
Exploration Station is currently
seeking the following volunteers:
Teachers, Teachers Assistants,
Administrative Assistants/Data
Entry, Mentors, Docents, Public
Relations/Fundraising, Website
Development, andother volunteer
opportunities. Commitment
hours are flexible and unlimited.
Contact: Janaan Miles (805) 473-
1421; email: or
you can visit our website at

Saturday, June 24 – Sunday, June
25, 2006: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm (both
Creative Mediation, 265 South St.,
Ste. A, San Luis Obispo, CA
Newcomers or people with basic
ok ing for Then look to your good neighbor
knowledge of the NVC process
COST: State Farm® agent. Through an
Earlybird discount: $145 (by May
29) $175 after
unbeatable alliance with
Fortis Health*, I’m offering flexible
Annie Dunbar, 805-489-8864, and affordable insurance coverage.
send check or money order payable you’re looking
to “Jeff Brown” to: Jeff Brown, 1151
for, come see
 12th St, Los Osos, CA 93402
Based on the practice of Nonvio-
lent Communication (NVC) de- Susan Rodriguez, Agent
veloped by psychologist Marshall Call for details on coverage, costs,
restrictions and renewability. Lic.# 0D30697
Rosenberg, participants will learn *Coverages issued and underwritten 1317 Broad Street Suite A
by Fortis Insurance Company,
to create the quality of connection a Fortis Health member company,
San Luis Obispo, CA
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. No member 805-783-7050
where everyone’s needs -- even in of the State Farm family of
conflict situations -- can be met companies is
through compassionate giving, responsible for the

without the use of violence or

Individual Medical
Coverage product. Like a good neighbor,
coercion. This event is designed for
Fortis Insurance
Company is not an
State Farm is there.®
affiliate of
beginners and people with some State Farm.®
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
previous exposure to Nonviolent P01421 11/02 Home Office: Bloomington, Illinois

Page 14 E-mail the editors: Women’s Press May/June 2006

Adults Molested as Children Support Group (AMAC) Talk/Listen - Emotional support 544.1342 (SLO)
545.8888 489.5481 Planned Parenthood
Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence Transformations Counseling Center SLO 549.9446
781.6406 Free monthly workshops 541.7908 Stroke Support Group
North County Women’s Shelter & Resource Center, 471.8102 (SLO)
(inc. domestic violence support groups) FINANCE/BUSINESS Caregivers of Stroke Survivors
461.1338 Consumer Credit Counseling Services 544.2266 (SLO)
Rape Survivors Support Group, SLO 800.540.2227 Women’s Support/Therapy v (general)
545.8888 Mission Community Services Corporation 534.1101
SARP (Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention) Women’s Business Partners Women’s Healthcare Specialists
545.8888 595.1356 544.4883
Support Group for Sexual Assault Survivors
Women’s Shelter Program of SLO Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the Central Coast Code Pink
781.6400 541.4252
PFLAG.Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays Commission on Status of Women
ADDICTIONS 438.3889 545.8412; Dawn Williams
AA Meeting SOL (Single Older Lesbians) Democratic Women United
541.3211 Mostly socializing! Call 474.9405 541.4252
Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) League of Women Voters
595.2695 HOSPICE 543.2220
Cambria Connection (12 step support) AIDS Bereavement Group (Hospice) NOW (National Organization for Women)
927.1654 544.2266
Casa Solana Hospice of SLO County SLO Green Party
Women’s Recovery Home 481.8555 544.2266 and 434.1164 544.1580
Compulsive eaters Anonymous, H.O.W.Concept Younger Women’s Task Force
Drug & Alcohol Services AARP 788.2643
781.4275 Cal Poly Foundation READERS/WRITERS
NA 800.549.7730 Jobline 756.7107 Adult Literacy
Overeaters Anonymous Cal Poly University 541-4219
541.3164 756.1533 Nightwriters
SCA, SLAA & SAA (Sex, Love & Romance Addictions) Cuesta College 549.9656; contact Shirley Powell
461.6084 Jobline 546.3127 Sisters in Crime
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) The Creekside Career Center
929.1789 788.2631 or 788.2690
Women for Sobriety Department of Rehabilitation SENIORS 549.3361 Adult Day Care
215.536.8026 Mission Community Services Corporation 544.1414 (SLO); 748.9070 (Arroyo Grande);
Women’s Business Partners 434.2081 (Templeton); 927.4290 (Cambria)
ARTS 595.1356 Computerooters:
Mothertongue Feminist Theater Collective Private Industry Council (PIC) Computer help: 528.3892
For info call: 528.6827 788.2601 Department of Social Services:
In-Home Support to the Elderly/Homemakers
CHILDREN & FAMILIES LEGAL help with ADLs 781.1790
Childcare Resource Connection ACLU Helpline nursing help for the terminally ill 781.5540
541.2272 or 800.727.2272 544.0142 Equal Singles 60+ Meet Monthly
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Core Mediation Services 489.5481,
“A child’s voice in Court in SLO County” 544.6334 Foster Grandparents.Senior Companions
541.6542 District Attorney’s Office – Victim Witness Center 782.9200
Children’s Services Network 781.5821 Senior Peer Counseling
781.1847 Family Law Facilitator free, trained in.home counseling for 60+
First 5: Children & Families Commission 546.3769 547.7025 ext. 15
781.4058; ask for Susan Hughs Lawyers Referral Services/Legal Aid Alternative
Homeschooling in SLO County (HSC) 788.2099
Pro Per Divorce Workshop
462.0726; ask for Barbara A Course in Miracles
La Clinica De Tolosa 238.5334 544.9313 Mondays, 7 PM, Unity of SLO, 995.1390
La Leche League Senior Legal Services Awakening Interfaith Spiritual Community
489.9128 543.5140 Sunday service, 10–11 AM; 772.0306
Migrant Childcare Program Central Coast Jewish Historical Society
544.4355 and 466.3444 MEDICAL SUPPORT/SERVICES 543.9452
MOMS Club of South SLO county ALS Support Group (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Meditation Group
473. 2548 227.4785 Mondays, 7:30–8:30 PM; 772.0306
Partnership for Children Alzheimer’s Support New Beginnings Church
541.8666; ask for Beth 534.9234 (LO); 547.3830 (SLO); Every Sunday, Coalesce Bookstore, MB
Real F.A.C.T.S. (Forum on Abused Children) 226.8669 (Templeton)
460.9016 Caregivers of Early-Stage Alzheimer’s WOMEN’S CENTERS/SHELTERS
Social Services 547.3830, 534.9234 (SLO/Los Osos) Homeless Shelter
781.1600 American Cancer Society 781-3993
Support for Kids Coping with Domestic Violence Paso Robles 238.9657 Housing Authority
473.6507 Anorexia Nervosa & Bulimia Support Group 543.4478
541.9113 North County Women’s Resource Center, Shelter
EMERGENCY/CRISIS Arthritis Foundation 461.1338
Hotline 892.5556 Prado Day Center 800.549.8989 Cancer/ Breast Cancer Support Groups 786.0617
Sexual & Rape Prevention (SARP) 543.1481 ext. 3 for information Women’s Community Center, SLO
545.8888 or 800.656.HOPE (4673) Caregivers of Aging Parents 544.9313
Temporary Restraining Order & Victim Witness 547.3830 (AG); 927.4290 (Cambria); Women’s Shelter Program of SLO
Program 781.5821 226.8669 (PR); 547.3830 (SLO) 549.8989 (crises), 781.6401 (business)
Endometriosis Association
A.D.A.P.T. (Aid in Divorce Adjustment Problems Today) Enhancement, Inc.
(for breast cancer survivors)
543.0388 Altrusa International, Inc.
Alzheimer/Dementia Resource Center 771.8640 481.1039; Cici Wynn, President
434.3061 or 534.9234 or 800.443.1236 EOC Health Services Clinics Hadassah.SLO
CALL–Concerned Agoraphobics Learning to Live no or low cost reproductive health services 543.9452
543.3764 544.2478 (SLO); 489.4026 (Arroyo Grande) Women’s Network, SLO
Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) Healthworks of the Central Coast 546.3727
542.0577 (SLO) 481.5093 (Grover Beach) no or low cost reproductive health services
927.1654 (Cambria) 466.8600 (North County) 787.0100 (SLO); 773.4500 (Pismo); OTHER GROUPS & GATHERINGS
Community Counseling Center 610.8865 (Atascadero) Central Coast Peace and Environmental Council
543.7969 Long-term Care Ombudsman Services of SLO County 544.3399 or 783.2383
Eating Disorders Support Group 785.0132 Compassion & Choices (formerly Hemlock Society)
546-3774; free, meets weekly in SLO Lymphedema Education & Support Group 938.7853 or 458.5328
Hospice of SLO County (inc. miscarriage/stillbirth 2nd Monday, 4:00-5:00 pm
support) 544.2266 or 434.1164 782-9300 for info Please send additions, corrections or deletions to:
Senior Peer Counseling Parkinson’s Support Groups or leave a message
free, trained in-home counseling for 60+ 466.7226 (Atascadero/Templeton)
at the WCC: 805.544.9313. Last update 5/3/06.
547.7025, ext. 15 481.7424, 473.1714 (Arroyo Grande)
Women’s Press May/June 2006 E-mail the editors: Page 15
Women’s Community Center
880 Industrial Way

Back talk What was your most memorable Mother’s Day?

photos by Anne Skelton

Sonja Nelson — The one Anji Roeser — Every one Sue Moore — My most Nancy Johnson — As the Lily Demaree
I remember was when of my Mother’s Days is memorable Mother’s Day mother of three teenagers, My most memorable Mother’s
the whole family took my perfect.  It’s the one day was when my son took I often asked for peace and Day was when I won third
mother, Thea, to a fancy of the year my three girls me out for breakfast. It tranquility when they wanted place in a poetry contest when
buffet restaurant. It had a make wonderful for me. was so delicious. Just as to know what I wanted for I was 12 years old. The contest
fancy ice sculpture, cham- he opened the car door Mother’s Day. One year they was titled “Why Mom Deserves
pagne, and we bought her for me, I threw up all actually came through (sort A Diamond.” Third place
an orchid corsage. She was over him. He didn’t even of) and I received a selec- received a garnet from Mozam-
thrilled--her beautiful blue get mad. He told me he tion of herb tea and a can of bique, Africa. It made my Mom
eyes sparkled. loved me but please try whirled peas. They even made cry and she still has the garnet.
not to do this again. their own label for the peas.

Where to find Women’s Press

All SLO County Libraries
and the following exceptionally fine establishments!
NORTH COUNTY: Atascadero – Harvest Health Food Store, North

County Connection, Senior Center, Women’s Resource Center/Shelter Office;
Paso Robles – Community Thrift Shop, Paso Robles Health Foods; Temple-
ton –  Twin Cities Hospital
Peter J. Muran, MD
NORTHERN COAST: Baywood – Coffee & Things;
Board Certified in Holistic Medicine
Cambria – Cambria Connection, Gym One, La Crema, 7 Sisters, Azevedo
Chiropractic; Cayucos – Cayucos Super Market, Kelley’s Espresso & Dessert,
Lily’s Coffee House, Ocean Front Pizza; Los Osos – Baywood Laundry, Cad’s,
Integrated Medicine Specializing in Cardiac, Brain, Carlock’s Bakery, Chamber of Commerce, Copa de Oro, Garden Café, Los
Digestive & Immune Disorders and Healthy-Aging Osos Deli, Valley Liquor, Volumes of Pleasure; Morro Bay – Backstage Salon,
Coalesce Bookstore, Coffee Pot Restaurant, The Rock, Southern Port Traders,
Sunshine Health Foods, Two Dogs Coffee
SAN LUIS OBISPO: Cal Poly Library, Center for Alternatives to Vio-
Sexual Vitality lence, Chamber of Commerce, Cuesta College Library, EOC Health Services
Clinic, French Hospital, Garden St. Essentials, HealthWorks, Healing Alterna-
Menopause tives, Jamaca You, Karen Hale Chiropractic, Laguna Laundry, Linnaea’s, Mon-
Natural Hormone Balancing for Men and Women terey Express, Natural Foods Coop, New Frontiers, Nautical Bean, Outspoken
Beverage Bistro, Panache, Phoenix Books, Planned Parenthood, Rudolph’s
Chronic Disease Care Coffee & Tea, San Luis Obispo Housing Authority Office, SARP, The Secret
Chelation, Detoxification and Nutritional Therapies Garden, Sierra Vista Hospital, SLO Perk Coffee, Spirit Winds Therapy, The
Studio Fitness for Women, Two Dogs Coffee, Unitarian Universalist Church,
Uptown Cafe, Yoga Centre, Ahshe Hair Salon, Apropos Clothing, Soho Hair
Salon, Tom-Mel Beauty Center
SOUTH COUNTY: Arroyo Grande – Act II Boutique,
Andreini’s, Central Coast Yoga, CJ’s Restaurant, Country Kitchen, Curves-
Reversing the Underlying Cause of Disease, AG, Cutting Edge, EOC Health Services Clinic, Family Chiropractic, Girls
Restaurant, Grande Whole Foods, Hunter’s Landing, Kennedy Club Fitness;
Not Just Symptom Management
Grover Beach – Back Door Deli, Cindi’s Wash House, Nan’s Pre-owned
Books, Therapeutic Body Center, 20-minute Fitness; Halcyon – Halcyon
Store; Nipomo – California Fresh; Pismo Beach – HealthWorks, Hon-
eymoon Café, Pismo Athletic Club; Shell Beach – Seaside Cafe, Steaming
1405 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo Bean
805-548-0987 SANTA MARIA: Café Monet, Hunter’s Landing, Library, Loading
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