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Voice of the Women's Liberation Movement-
(June, 1968) 8 pages total

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by Sarah Boyte

Approximately fifty members of the five Chicago radical women's groups met on Saturday, May 18, 1968, to hold a citywide conference. The main purposes of the conference were to create and strengthen ties among groups and individuals, to generate a heightened sense of common history and purpose, and to provoke imaginative programmatic ideas and plans.. In other words, the conference was an early step in the process of movement building.
The plan of the day-long conference included the following: an historical analysis of women's movements in the U. S. , and impressionistic sketch of the women's liberation movement in Vietnam, workshops on "our identity as a movement", followed by a general meeting and workshop reports, and workshops on various program and action project ideas.
The "identity" workshops dealt with such questions as, How does the women's movement relate to the larger movement? How can we build a broad women's movement? Throughout the day, the need for historical research, and for women to do more writing, was brought up. Also discussed was the problem of analyzing women as an oppressed group, and the class differences in women's oppression.
There was some difference of opinion on priorities, with some favoring action projects (such as organizing university students and employees to demand a daycare center for their kids) now, and others feeling more research and discussion should precede any action. No conclusions were reached, and the dialogue will continue.
Reactions to the conference varied. Many of the negative reactions served to point up the limits of a one-day conference-e. g. too little time to relax and make friends resulted in people talking mostly to those they already knew. Many tired people left at 5:00 though the conference was planned to last until 8:00. Nevertheless, Chicago women have gotten together, and the experience has encouraged us to plan for continuing citywide programs as a base for a more cohesive women's movement.



In the hospital
they moved systematically
down the rows of babies
and on me finding
lack of the male
tied into my mind
the roadmap lined with pink.

I learned to walk
along its path
feet not heeding
the brown terrain
of actual and uncharted
ea rth.

Enduring alike
hardships and the pretty -
eyes straight ahead
between tall flowered hedges
watered with advertising,
watered with fear,
to the ultimate
plastic cartoon
of a lying fairy-tale's end
covering the horizon
overcoming the whole sky
at the end of the road marked—

                      —Jean Tepperman

The Chicago women's coordinating committee has planned a series of forurns. The purposes of the forums are: 1) to encourage deeper study of subjects such as the history of women's movements, and the treatment of women by the social sciences; 2) to give women knowledge of these aspects of women's roles; 3) to provide a chance for women in the different groups to meet regularly, and 4) to reach new women.
The first forum will be: "Women in the Labor Movement since 1920'' and will be held July 12 at 925 Diversey. Subsequent forums will be held every six weeks. For more information, call Amy Kesselman.


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