December, 1980 Home   Newsletters

January, 1981

February, 1981

President's Message (Barbara Farwell)
Lunch with Archibald Cox
General Meeting
Fair Housing Bill Dead
Program Committee to Meet
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You...
What Makes the City Run? DHCD (Astrid Monson)
Housing Coalition
Consumer and Housing (Vi Gren)
Potpourri of Women's Issues
From National
January Units
League Looks at Kakaako

A Potpourri of Women's Issues

From menopause to child care to legislation on spouse and sex abuse to financial planning for women -- a tossed salad of women's issues was served at the December luncheon mtg by four highly qualified, interesting speakers.

DR. MADELEINE GOODMAN, UH Professor of General Science and Director of the Women's Studies Program, discussed menopause and estrogen replacement therapy, a subject familiar to at least half of the audience. We were both amused and appalled to learn that until recently the medical profession treated menopause as a "deficiency disease." The older woman was a "creature who had outlived her ovaries," in "living decay," a Freudian concept that a woman's sexuality is related to reproduction.

Dr. Goodman focused on the pros and cons of estrogen replacement therapy and stressed that you must separate the fact of being 50 from the symptoms of menopause -- hot flashes and sweating. Most of the others are probably psychological and related to aging.

LT. COMMANDER HELEN SMITH, Director of the Family Service Center at Pearl Harbor, pointed out that 20% of all households in the U.S. are supported by a single woman; in 65% both parents work; only 15% of all U.S. families are 'traditional" -- where only the father is employed. Child care is everyone's problem, she said, and our policy makers should get into step and enter this decade. Cdr. Smith also discussed the importance of quality day care center teachers who should be adequately recompensed, which they're not. "A dog pound employee gets more than a pre-school teacher," she said, and questioned the logic of that.

REPRESENTATIVE KATHLEEN STANLEY, recently elected Majority Floor Leader, gave a legislative update on spouse and sex abuse. Although no big policy changes were made, many little things were done to strengthen existing legislation, such as allowing arrest and investigation without actually witnessing the abuse, extending restraining orders, and increasing witness fees for court cases. She is also interested in legislation that would make a sex offense an "assault." She remarked that policymakers generally tend to be responsive rather than creative.

CAROLE GIBBS, Ass't Vice President of Hawaiian Trust Co., is a certified public Accountant with a firm handle on financial matters. Women have very little control over wealth, she said. As consumers, women purchase perishable goods while men make the major purchases. She pointed out that women never shop around and buy the family car as a "surprise" for their husbands. Men frequently do -- or the couple will shop together.

Ms Gibbs is actively involved in helping non-working women understand that marriage is a contract that should include arrangements that give equal control and financial security to both partners. She is also currently working to establish centers to help women interested in getting into business.

The lively panel was ably moderated by EVIE CHAR, Executive Director of Alternatives for Women, a State program under Mental Health. JEAN KO was in charge of the program -- a super job!

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