Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Wednesday, September LETHBRIDGE HERALD-37 Tea-sipping days are over Clubwomen attuned to core problems New York Times Service NEW YORK There was a time when the mere mention of the word "clubwoman" brought snickers of derision from some quarters, along with visions of flowered hats, tea and cookies, idle chatter and canasta. Some clubwomen, of course, still do chatter idly while playing canasta in their flowered hats, calmly sipping tea and munching cookies. But, according to the new president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, more and more clubwomen are getting involved in more serious things. Such as conser- vation, voter registration drives, rape prevention, justice for juveniles, fighting alcoholism and drug abuse, and reducing crime. "Clubwomen today have a greater awareness of the country's Mary Katharine Miller said in an interview. A lively woman with blue eyes and taffy colored hair that she wears in a buffant style, Mrs. Miller came to New York from her head- quarters in Washington armed with documents to show how the clubwomen she has presided over since she took office in May are "changing their image." Mrs. Miller said the two main programs of her ad- ministration, the theme of which is "sea to shining sea are a campaign against alcoholism and drug abuse, first, and, second, a project to familiarize women with investment and securities. She said the federation had recently received from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Part of the grant will be used to bring 200 club leaders to the nation's capital in October for a seminar on alcoholism and drug abuse. There, in meetings with experts, they will try to learn how they can fight the problems at home. "We're not in the habit of using federal Mrs. Miller said, somewhat apologetically, "but I do think we can do a better job spending it at the grass roots level." The investment and securities program is be- ing undertaken in cooperation with the New York Stock Ex- change, Mrs. Miller said. "Women handle most of the money in this- country, but most of them can't even read a stock market she explained. "Lots of women who are left widows don't even know what they have in the way of investments." Federation members across the country are also working for the ratification of the equal rights amendment, Mrs. Miller said, as well as registering voters and seeking qualified women candidates to run for office. The federation's crime reduction program. Mrs. Miller said, includes a "brighten the night" cam- paign in which members work for improved community lighting as a deterrent to crime: and a new nationwide effort by members to "put more teeth" into state rape laws. "In she said proudly, "clubwomen have a program in which hundreds of women go to court whenever a rape victim's case is being tried, in order to give her moral support." The federation is a bit more conservative, however, on the issue of abortion. "We have passed a resolution favoring therapeutic abortion, but not abortion on she said. Like many other volunteer organizations, the federation has steadily lost members over the last 10 years. In 1964, the organization had members; in and now it is Federation THE BETTER HALF officials attribute much of the loss to the fact that many former members have gone to work. And speaking of working women, Mrs. Miller, who is unsalaried, takes a very dim view of the feminist argument that, because volunteers are not paid for their efforts, volunteer jobs are a waste of time for women. "Volunteer work has helped make this country the greatest country on she asserted. "When the time comes that everything we do in this country has to be paid for, and we've lost our concern for each other, then we're really in sad shape." By Barnes "1 would have had this stupid thing assembled by now, if I'd recognized a grooved cotter pin and a wing-flanged Ann Landers Your Problem Girl is in China as a member of the American Medical Association's delegation. There is so much to tell, I could become a crashing bore on the subject. But I'd like to share some insights about the human side of these incredible people. Ann Landers is asking the questions, for a change, and the answers are being supplied by physicians, nurses, shop clerks, hotel employees, interpreters anyone who can understand my frightful Chinese. Imagine my embarrassment when I butchered several sentences of Mandarin and a physician responded in perfect English, "It isn't necessary to speak in Chinese. I spent two years at the University of Chicago." My question to a 35-year-old Chinese professional woman one of the most attractive and articulate peo- ple I met on the entire trip: "I understand there is very little premarital sex in your country. Is this Answer: "Yes. And there are good reasons for it. Nearly half of our country's popula- tion is under 30 years of age. This means 400 million of our people have been reared under Mao's teachings. To keep the birth rate down, the Chairman has suggested 25 as a good age for a woman to marry, and 28 for a man. Sex before marriage is considered highly immoral and completely un- vr This tovely new tall style has cov- ered heel natursi Opm and Pit A 9 fJN. Camm's Shoes acceptable. Our young people are taught at a very early age that all their time and energy must be spent in self- improvement, study or work." Question: "But how do they keep their normal sex drives under control? Isn't it natural for members of the opposite sex to become attracted to one Answer: "A child whose thoughts are condition- ed from birth grows up to believe as he has been taught. We teach our young children that sex before marriage is a shameful and disgraceful thing. A young couple who strays from these teachings is looked down upon by their peers. The Chairman's motto is, 'Serve the and young couples who spend their time amusing themselves with sex are not serving the people. They are selfish, and they are taking time and energy from study and work." Question: "Are you saying there is NO premarital sex in The People's Republic of Answer: "Such a statement would be ridiculous. In a country with 800 million people, there must, of course, be exceptions. But I am sure we have less sex before marriage as well as OUTSIDE of marriage, than any country in the world. Adultery is quite uncommon. It is considered 'boo-how' (very bad) by relatives, friends and fellow workers." Question: "From my conversations with both women and men here. I'm beginning to get the impres- sion that there is also less sex INSIDE of marriage. Am I Answer: "Probably, as compared with other countries. And there is a reason for this. In Old China, concubines and prostitutes were part of the culture. They provided the sexual enter- tainment. Wives were not ex- pected to be sexy. They were childbearing. Today, con- cubines and prostitutes are against the law and most wives look upon sex as their mothers did. Also, they are too hard-working to be sexy. After a woman has produced one or two children, she has done her duty. There are many of csarse. but JIM-SI Chinese women con- sider sex a chore." I replied. "You have 890 million people in your country. This suggests to me !hat SOMEBODY around here must be interested in sex." Answer; "Surely you know a large family is mrt proof of sexiness. It i? more often a sign of poverty and ignorance. 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