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Salient. Newspaper of the Victoria University Students' Association. Vol 42 No. 8. April 23 1979

Discrimination Even Here?

Discrimination Even Here?

A second gripe rising out the "Women and White Racism" workshop was over the predominatly white middle class nature of the convention. That the women concerned were able to express their view at all was due to speaker Charlotte Bunch (not the organisers) handing the microphone to Rebbecca Evans, spokesperson for Maori and Polynesian women, for five minutes to detail their position.

The convention organisers seemed afraid of any sort of confrontation at all. Not just radical confrontation but any distrubance that threatened their dream world of a homogenous, peaceful women's movement.

This was unrealistic. In the first place women are no more a homogenious group than any other in society. Even in a predominantly middle-class group there exist different perspectives about women's liberation. At least four main catagories exist: reformist feminists, radical feminists, cultural feminists and lesbian feminists.

The first group is convinced that working through the existing system, through the [unclear: ch] channels of parliamentary reforms, will go a long way towards the emancipation of women. The latter three groups share one idea in common — they believe that the women's movement should be fighting against male supremacy — "The Patriarchy" There are combinations and sub-groups including the lesbian separatists, who advocate complete seraration from the male society,

Another significant group whose presence cannot be ignored was the socialist women. They believe that while a separate women's movement is necessary to continually fight against sexism, the main oppressor is not man but the capitalist system, and women and men must unite to overthrow capitalism, then the basis for women's true liberation can be laid under socialism..

As for peaceful, the very nature of opppression is not conducive to peaceful rebellion. The women's movement has never been a homogenous peaceful movement — a more militant form of feminism that that of the suffregettes would be difficult to find.