conference into a coffee klatch, there were some serious efforts to grapple with women’s plights. The U.S. Committee on Women in Power, a sub-committee of the the National Commission on the Observance of IWY, heard testimony from some 20 Texas women on the gains and gaps in the Texas power structure. Their recommendations will eventually be forwarded to President Ford. Sissy Farenthold charged that timidity plagues every woman, and she stood as an excellent if somewhat worn example of the audacity she advocated. For any woman even remotely considering running for office, U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes came forward as a perfect role model. “Don’t ever say you want to be the assistant to somebody. You want to be the person. Get into the arena and fight!” The “good ol’ boy” network that breeds incompetence and mediocrity was attacked by Travis County Judge Mary Pearl Williams, and a slew of women state reps testified on their experiences. All in all, the committee heard three hours of testimony from quite a band of determined women in the Texas power structure. Excuse, quite a band of women and one manTexas Supreme Court Justice Joe Greenhill. To evaluate such a sweeping and short conference on Women in Public Life would be as difficult as passing a new constitution. But some points do stand out. First, the women who. received all the standing ovations and cheers and applause were those who are already in the power structure. Their stories were fascinating, but despite their troubles, they succeeded. Who we didn’t hear from were the other nine-tenths who have failed. And thus we never knew why they failed and what is needed to change. Something elseat least some of those women on stage are the ones hurting other women. As Elizabeth Reid and several other participants pointed out, quite frequently a woman’s worst enemy is other women. Undoubtedly some of those women have allowed themselves to be used as token women, have refused to try to Cleansing the nation’s lakes and rivers of man’s pollution will cost industry and government between $97 billion and $130 billion by 1983, the staff of the National Commission on Water Quality has estimated. Washington Post 24 The Texas Observer change the power structure they fought hard to enter. Of course we must believe Jordan, Reid, Griffiths and others are quite sincere in their efforts to help the women’s movement. But there were others in attendance who weren’t quite so convincing, who if given a chance, might abandon the women’s movement to save themselves. But perhaps Lenore Hershey, editor-inchief of Ladies Home Journal, hit upon the real problem of such a conference. She told Lady Bird Johnson and daughters Lynda and Luci, all three sitting dead center front row, that they had received all the publicity and camera flashes for something they really had not participated in. The three Birds looked rather aghast that someone could say such a thing right here in Daddy’s library. IDialogue Wrong guppies That was a lovely story in the Nov. 15 issue on the Limits to Growth Conference. I agree with you that this conference \(and most important news of these times. One problem the conference didn’t address very well, although I guess it tried, was the disagreement between those who believe some action must be taken soon and those who see the problems working out by themselves. It seems to me to be most important that this matter be resolved in the near future. The conference was no place to try to pin down or refute any of the multitudinous ideas that seemed to come at you with machine gun rapidity. Whenever you formed a question it was time to move on to something else. The word dialogue was kicked around a lot, but there wasn’t even a multilogue. The disconnected fragments of conversations overheard interlarded in the story summed up the conference better than anything. Then there were the simultaneous sessions. Three talks being given at one; but only one M.I. Impossible! There is one little flaw in the story as printed. Someone lead the reporter astray regarding the mathematics of the exponential curve. If the guppies in the tank doubled their numbers every day and you started with two you would have four on the second day all right; but there would only be eight guppies on the third day, 16 What I hope Hershey was getting at was the few, and they are few, prominent women manage to undermine the rest of womankind by letting themselves be tokens. When someone asks why aren’t there more women in Congress, the men point to Barbara Jordan and say we’ve got her. But the point is 53 percent of the population is female, and if only one woman serves on a 30-member board, men think that should be enough. But it isn’t. The one thing agreed on by everyone was women must begin demanding equality. They must demand the simple things, like child care, rape crisis centers, equal pay, equal employment opportunities. Women must run for office every chance they get. They must demand to be placed on boards and commissions. As one summarizer put it, the conference will have been a success if the Texas Legislature creates a commission on the status of women, if the number of women running for office and winning increases multifold, and if participants return home and demand that local governments use funds for women’s social services. on the fourth, then 32, 64, 128; and there wouldn’t be 258 until the eighth day. But the conclusion is rightthat the tank would only be half full on the day before disaster. The drawing of the exponential curve cuts off before the real interesting part, that is, the part just to the right of where your illustration stops. You show disaster happening just past the knee of the curve where the true power and sneakiness of the exponential is just beginning to be felt. If you had shown the curve after a little more time had elapsed \(time running off the top of the page. The exponential demand for gas and oil means that in the next 10-15 years we will try to use as much gas and oil as the total amount we have used up until now. If population keeps growing on the present curve, and world population has shown no signs of slowing down, in 35 years we will have about twice as many people on earth as we have now. Just think, the Observer will have four co-editors, two at-large editors, innumerable contributing editors and will be as large as the Houston Post I hope your detractors do not seize upon your insignificant and quite excusable example of mathematical naviete to discredit the rest of the story which captures the essence and spirit of a tremendously complicated subject and presents it clearly and interestingly to those who need to know it, the public. Scott Royce, 211B Emerson, Houston, Tex. 77006. Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 600 West 7, Austin, TX 78701.
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