I can be honest without using the word "lesbian," she said. Her advice about relating to women outside the women's movement is worth repeating: Talk about loves, don't talk about the issues of women's liberation. She is a teacher in a public girls high school where "girls who come on butch, don't stay in school," and there is little she can do to help them and yet keep her position.
Topic workshops included workshops on age-ism, how men keep women apart, trust between women, dealing with anger, oppression within the women's movement, women loving women, coming out, the revolutionary woman, a and black attitudes toward feminism.
I attended the workshop on asexuality led by Barbara Getz. According to Barbara, asexuality is an orientation that regards a partner as nonessential to sex and sex as nonessential to a satisfying relationship. ("The Asexual Manifesto" can be obtained from New York Radical Feminists, P.O. Box 621, Old Chelsea Station, New York 10011).
The conference drew a whole constellation of women's movement stars. In addition to Jill Johnston, in chevrons, and Gloria Ste i-Steinem, Barbara Love, author of "Sappho Was A Right on Woman," and Grace Atkinson, who now calls Joe Columbo "Sister," and KateM Millet were spotted.
The New York straight press didn't think the conference was a story. Maybe it wasn't for the male everydailies, but for women who survived the sexuality splits within the movement, an attempt to unify with allowance for sexual variety was a herstoric occasion. Why didn't someone think to rent a hall in Seneca Falls?
by frances chapman