IWY: A Front for Radicals and Lesbians
All the State Conferences sponsored by the National Commission on International Women’s Year, and financed by some $3 million of your Federal tax money, have now been held. All that remains now is for another $2 million to be spent on the IWY National Convention in Houston, Texas, on November 18-21, 1977.
The IWY Conferences were designed as a charade to go through the motions of conferences where women would approve resolutions pre-written by women’s lib leaders, and then tell our legislators that these resolutions represent the views of American women. The goals and policies were all determined a year earlier in the 1976 IWY book called To Form a More Perfect Union. In addition, the IWY Conferences serve as a front to give media exposure and respectability to radicals, lesbians, and MSfits who want to agitate for their anti-family goals at the taxpayers’ expense.
Most of the IWY State Conferences followed the Federal scenario. Participants who were recruited from pro-ERA groups, and whose attendance was subsidized by taxpayers’ money, dutifully voted for the delegates to the Houston Convention who had been slated by IWY officials, and for the 16 resolutions pre-determined by the IWY. (These 16 resolutions include support for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), government-financed abortion-on-demand, and Federal child-care, and were discussed in the May Phyllis Schlafly Report. In a few states, family-oriented women surprised everyone by turning out in enough numbers to elect non-IWY delegates or pass non-IWY resolutions. In most states, family-oriented women refused to spend their own time and money to attend what they knew would be an unpleasant women’s lib “consciousness-raising session.”
Rigging, Ruthlessness, Railroading
The majority of the IWY State Conferences were characterized by rigged elections, ruthless parliamentary tactics, and the railroading of the prescripted IWY resolutions. The Conferences were easy to manipulate because the IWY National Commission consists of 41 members who are pro-ERA and only one opposed. The 41 pro-ERAers on the Commission include Chairperson Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem, and the chairpersons of NOW (the National Organization for Women), the Women’s Political Caucus, ERAmerica, and the Gay Task Force. No member of Stop ERA or Eagle Forum was permitted to be on the Commission.
The National Commission then appointed a Coordinating Committee with the same pro-ERA bias in each state to run the State Conference. For example, in Illinois the Coordinating Committee was 58 pro-ERA and one con-ERA; and this lopsided pattern was followed nationwide. The staff hired by the Coordinating Committees in each state was usually 100 percent pro-ERA, and dominated by NOW and Women’s Political Caucus officials or organizers.
The general session speakers at the IWY State Conferences were 100 percent pro-ERA and pro-lib, including Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem, Jill Ruckelshaus, Carolyn Bird, Shirley Chisholm, and Ruth Clusen. No speaker opposed to ERA was permitted to address any general session of any IWY State Conference. The speakers at the workshops were at the ratio of about 100 pro-ERA to one token con.
The hundreds of workshops at the State Conferences were permitted to discuss only the topics selected by the IWY such as ERA, abortion, Federal child-care, and lesbian privileges. In about three states, as a result of a tremendous protest, a pro-and-con workshop on ERA was reluctantly permitted. In all the other states, NO pro and con presentation was permitted on ERA or any other subject. Thus, a workshop on abortion was not permitted to debate pro-life or pro-abortion, but was required to limit the discussion to how to implement pro-abortion goals. No workshops were permitted on no-fault divorce, pornography, TV violence, moral education, and other topics of concern to women and their families.
After President Carter named Bella Abzug chairperson of the IWY National Commission and admitted-lesbian Jean O’Leary as one of the National Commissioners, their first move was to authorize lesbian workshops at the State Conferences. This brought into the Conferences large numbers of lesbians and their sympathizers whose obscene T-shirts and signs, vulgar language, offensive “entertainment,” and aggressive behavior were a source of shock and dismay to the non-IWY women who attended. In one state, the lesbians amused themselves throwing darts at a picture of Anita Bryant. The pornographic films on rape and on self-examination were also offensive to pro-family participants.
The disregard of all rules of civilized parliamentary debate and decision-making gave participants. an eye-opening look at the exercise of Federal power by pro-ERA women. The arrogant attitude of most IWY officials was: “If you are not for ERA, why are you here?” The hostile attitude was: (1) if you do not support IWY goals, you have no right to attend; and (2) if you are a member of a women’s lib organization you are welcome, but if you are a member of a church you are suspect.
The IWY officials ran most general sessions with an iron hand that allowed no interference with their steam-roller. The rules were kept secret as long as possible and then changed daily before the State Conferences, and hourly during the State Conferences, in any way necessary to elect IWY delegates and pass IWY resolutions. It was standard operating practice to unplug the microphones when any non-IWY participant tried to speak.
The IWY did not schedule an opening prayer or a Pledge to the Flag at any State Conference. After a vigorous protest, one state allowed one prayer. Despite the fact that the Conferences were funded by Federal money, the American Flag was not displayed on any platform (except in Mississippi where pro-family forces marched in and placed it there).
Manipulating the Elections
Two tactics were used to prevent pro-family resolutions from being considered at the general sessions in most of the states:
(a) Non-IWY resolutions were prevented from emerging from workshops by the MMOPP Strategy (Monitoring and Mobile Operation Partnership Program). This consisted of a roving band of women recruited from NOW, the Women’s Political Caucus and the Lesbian Caucus who monitored the workshops, alerted their troops by walkie-talkies and beepers, and crowded in just before any vote was taken.
(b) If perchance a non-IWY resolution was voted out of the workshops despite the MMOPP strategy, then it was blocked from consideration at the general session by the device of placing an IWY-approved resolution on the same subject immediately ahead of it, and then having the chair rule the non-IWY resolution “out of order” so that no vote could be taken on it. Even in the states where women’s lib participants had a clear majority, IWY officials resorted to this type of chicanery to avoid a record vote on any pro-family resolution. Easy passage of the IWY-approved resolutions was facilitated in most states by the device of voting on them as a bloc so that there could be no debate or discussion of individual resolutions.
The IWY officials in most states rigged the voting on delegates to Houston so that only pro-ERAers would be elected. Customary tactics used in most states included:
(a) Placing the election committee in the total control of pro-ERA, IWY-selected persons, usually chosen from NOW and the other lib groups.
(b) Refusing to allow non-IWY candidates to have poll watchers during the counting of the ballots. This was the most flagrant violation of fair procedures because there is no such thing as an honest election when candidates are denied the right to have their representatives watch the counting of the ballots. Yet, this basic right was denied in nearly all states. It was allowed in Kansas only after the non-IWY candidates went to court to get an injunction ordering the IWY to permit the non-IWY candidates to have poll watchers.
(c) The rules in regard to nominations and elections were changed repeatedly, secretly and arbitrarily, in order to elect IWY delegates and defeat non-IWY delegates.
(d) After the State Conferences finished their task of electing delegates to the Houston Convention, the IWY National Commission is now naming 400 additional delegates of its own choosing — just to make sure that the pro-ERA libs have a comfortable majority in Houston.
The Illinois IWY Conference
As a typical example of how the IWY State Conferences were run, let us look at the illegalities and irregularities at the Illinois IWY Conference:
1. IWY officials directed and controlled the entire election procedure, including the counting of the ballots. The IWY selected its own official slate of candidates for delegate, some of whom were on the election committee.
2. Non-IWY candidates were not permitted to have poll watchers when the ballots were counted. The representative of the non-IWY candidates was prevented from seeing or verifying the totals of the ballots cast, the number of ballots voided, the totals of votes for various candidates, or the transferal of totals to the tally sheets.
3. All kinds of irregularities attended the counting of the ballots. Some ballots were invalidated for arbitrary and inconsistent reasons. Because each ballot consisted of two pieces of paper and they were counted separately there was no way to determine which ballots were spoiled because of voting for too many candidates. It is likely that many invalid votes were cast because a slate called “The Right List” was widely circulated which contained 63 names, or 5 more than were to be elected. This list included 34 from the IWY Coordinating Committee, three State Representatives, and the head of the IWY election committee.
4. There were no secret polling booths, no sealed ballot boxes, and no checking of empty ballot boxes before voting began.
5. The rules in regard to who could run for delegate, when and where nominations would be taken, and who was qualified to vote were all changed in such a way as to alter the results of the election. Times and procedures for registration fluctuated at the whim of the IWY both before and during the Conference.
6. The microphones for addressing the chair were policed, preventing anyone from calling the attention of the chair and the assembly to the fact that votes on resolutions were not being counted. The right to express non-IWY viewpoints or to seek parliamentary information was forcibly violated by tight control over the microphones, unplugging the microphones, covering them by hand, and in one case breaking the microphone in half.
7. A motion was made to vote on 39 pages of resolutions as a bloc, without discussion or debate. The chair ruled that the motion carried and refused to allow a count of the assembly, although tellers were available and have stated that the motion failed. At that point, the non-IWY participants walked out. The 39 pages of resolutions were then passed with one vote, without debate.
8. Radical, lesbian and Marxist pamphlets were permitted to be sold at the conference. Titles included “Growing Up Gay,” “High School Women’s Liberation,” “Demand for Day-Care,” and “Wages for Housework.”
9. Betty Friedan, at her press conference the day the Illinois IWY Conference opened, said: “We’re planning ‘Days of Outrage’ … we’ve got to forget being ladylike … we’ve got to get off the defensive and low-key and get into an offensive position.” She urged Illinois women to picket the homes of Stop-ERA State legislators on Father’s Day, June 19.
Reports from Other IWY Conferences
California: There were about 2,000 lesbians in attendance, wearing all kinds of lesbian T-shirts and signs such as: “How dare you presume I am heterosexual?” “Lesbians fight for our friends.” “Anita sucks oranges.” “Warm Fuzzy Dykes.” “Let she who is without sin cast the first orange.” “Boycott Florida.” “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” “Hitler, McCarthy, Bryant, Schlafly.” “Stop Phyllis Schlafly.” Those holding non-IWY views were in fear for their personal safety. One man taking pictures was attacked by 75 lesbians.
A lesbian group targeted and monitored five leading conservative women, followed them from workshop to workshop, surrounded them and cut them off from the rest of the group, and threatened them with violence. The $5 registration fee was a hardship to many non-IWY women who attended, and kept many young mothers away; but many lib and lesbian women were admitted free when they said they “could not afford the $5.
Colorado: The keynote speaker, an IWY Commissioner, exultingly exclaimed: “This is the only revolution in history financed by the Federal Government. There were 12 workshops devoted to sexual matters under such titles as “Sexual Disfunction,” “Lesbian-Feminist Therapy,” “Lesbian Mother Defense Fund,” “The Affirmation of New Lifestyles,” and “Lesbianism as a Political Statement.” The lesbians had the voting strength to carry any issue of concern to them. Non-IWY groups were denied hospitality rooms, table space for literature, and invitations to speak. Those trying to discuss the rules on the first day were cut off at the microphones by a control switch operated from the platform. There were repeated references by speakers to “the old boy network and “those turkeys on Capitol Hill.” (That’s the way they referred to the Congressmen who appropriated $5 million for these IWY Conferences!)
Florida: IWY officials refused to allow more than 13 non-IWY candidates to be nominated for the 40 delegate positions, in order to make sure that a large majority of pro-lib IWY delegates would be elected. In order to accomplish this totalitarian result, the IWY Conference officials: (1) used up most of the nomination time to accept lib nominations, (2) refused to permit a vote on a motion to extend the time for nominations, (3) refused to permit write-in candidates on the ballot, (4) refused to permit any motion to appeal from the chair to the assembly, (5) disconnected the floor microphones of non-IWY participants, and (6) adjourned the meeting in order to preclude any non-IWY-approved action. The chair announced, “This is the way it is going to be whether you like it or not.” At all times in the Florida IWY Conference, the non-IWY pro-family participants had a clear two-thirds majority and could have passed any motion they wanted if any recognized parliamentary rules had been followed, or if any rules had been adopted, announced in advance, and consistently followed. Participants were required to stand in line for five and six hours to vote, and voting continued to 4:00 A.M.
Georgia: Bella Abzug’s speech was a rousing appeal for ERA and other lib goals. The Coordinating Committee was 36 pro-ERA, only one con. The results of the balloting on resolutions have never been announced. The shocking election illegalities included: (1) Ballots already marked were found in an open, unattended box on the day before the official voting. (2) After the voting was completed, an IWY clerk was seen for 30 minutes tampering with the ballots by erasing marks on the ballots and filling in other spaces. (3) No non-IWY poll watchers were permitted until half the ballots were cast. (4) Many sample ballots were distributed, but they were not marked as samples and could have been cast as valid ballots. (5) An open cardboard box was used as a ballot box, allowing ample opportunity for fraudulent voting. (6) Copies of the IWY-approved list of delegates were distributed to those standing in line to vote; this was stopped only after protest.
Hawaii: A workshop listed on the program as “Coming Together” turned out to be a lesbian dance performance that exhibited suggestive movements, self-examination of private parts of the body, and two lesbians making love in a pay toilet. Filthy-speech narrations accompanied this “entertainment.”
Kansas: The chairperson announced repeatedly that no more than 2,500 persons could be in the auditorium because of the Fire Marshal’s rule. Since 4,600 persons were registered, a couple of thousand persons who paid $2 each were excluded from voting on resolutions. ERA proponents were secretly identified by a little dot on their badges and were admitted by IWY doorkeepers, while ERA opponents were excluded because there was “no more room.” Afterwards, those who checked with the Fire Marshal discovered that the capacity of the Wichita Century II convention hall is actually 5,200. If all the registered delegates had been admitted, the IWY resolutions would have been defeated because the pro-family participants were clearly in the majority (as proved by the fact that pro-family women elected most of the delegates to Houston).
Kentucky: Pro-life literature was not permitted until protests were taken to the Washington, D.C. headquarters. Pro-life speakers were not permitted. All known anti-ERAers were asked to show their driver’s license to prove Kentucky residence; pro-ERAers were not asked for identification.
Minnesota: When the Pledge of Allegiance and opening prayer were requested at the second session, the lib participants chanted: “Two, four, six, eight; separate the church and state.” The pro-life booth was defaced. Although it was originally promised that pro-life and pro-abortion panels would both be offered, that promise was retracted by vote of the Coordinating Committee, and it was decided that no pro-and-con discussion of abortion would be permitted. The topic coordinator stated that “only the implementation of the Supreme Court abortion decision will be discussed, not the issue itself.”
New York: The lesbians were everywhere. The lesbians had three literature tables, but tables were denied to Morality in Media, New York State Right to Life, and Natural Family Planning. When registration was closed on Saturday evening, it appeared that the pro-libs and the anti-libs were about equally divided. On Sunday, busloads of lesbians and libbers arrived and were permitted to register and vote. There were only 33 voting machines for 11,000 people; so people stood in line up to seven hours to vote.
Pennsylvania: The lesbians were conspicuously present throughout the Conference. Their booths sold booklets such as “Women Loving Women” and a coloring book called “What Lesbians Do.”
Virginia: Nearly half the participants were lesbians, and another fourth were lesbian sympathizers. In addition to the usual lib and lesbians resolutions, resolutions were passed urging the economic boycott of Virginia apple-growers, and discouraging vacationing in Virginia — all because Virginia refused to ratify ERA. Money to pay for lib participants’ lodging and transportation was kept in a paper bag and given out without identification or receipts. In addition to all the usual lib and lesbian workshops, one workshop was entitled “Women and Spirituality: A Discussion Group on Witchcraft Led by Witches.”
The Joke is on IWY
The biggest joke about the IWY Conferences is the picture they paint of the pro-ERA and women’s lib movement. Pro-ERA women have been bragging that women can do any job just as well as men. The IWY State Conferences show that the women libbers can’t even run a fair and orderly meeting.
One of the traditional “stereotyped” differences between men and women is that a woman is supposed to have the prerogative to change her mind. The IWY State Conferences are a monument to the pro-ERA women using that female prerogative to the nth degree to change their minds about the rules. There was no uniformity, consistency, or fairness about the IWY State Conference rules. The IWY meetings were chaotic and confused, and revealed the officials as petty, intolerant, and vindictive.
The pro-ERA women claim to be as independent and self-reliant as men. Yet their IWY resolutions reveal that they are asking the Federal Government to solve all their personal problems. They want Big Brother to take care of their children, pay their bills, find them jobs, and give them a center to cry in when things go wrong. The demand for Federal funding appears dozens of times in the resolutions. The women libbers demand that the doors of education, employment, credit, and elective and appointive office be opened to them — not because they have talent or work hard, but just because they are female. By their own terms, they are the most “sexist” of all human beings. They even objected to men attending the IWY Conferences or being elected as delegates.
In a few states, non-IWY participants scored spectacular victories: Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah, Montana, Hawaii, Ohio, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, Nebraska, Kansas, Florida, and Indiana. In most cases, this was accomplished only because non-IWY participants hired lawyers and parliamentarians at their own expense and threatened legal action if they did not get fair treatment. Congratulations are due to the brave pro-family women who sacrificed a weekend and spent their own money to battle the IWY radicals.
Resolutions Passed by IWY State Conferences
Here are the resolutions passed by most of the IWY State Conferences and which will be presented at the IWY National Convention in Houston in November 1977, and probably passed. Nearly all the resolutions were pre-planned and pre-packaged by the IWY National Commission before the State Conferences ever took place, and were published in the IWY book called To Form A More Perfect Union. Most of the resolutions were railroaded through the State Conference in defiance of Robert’s Rules of Order or any other recognized rules of parliamentary procedure. The purpose of passing these IWY resolutions is to send the false message to legislators and media that American women support lib and lesbian goals. The quotations below are from the 39 pages of resolutions passed at the Illinois IWY State Conference.They are typical of most IWY State Conferences.
ERA: “…enthusiastically support the immediate ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.”
Homosexual Privileges: … all states and the Federal Government, both legislative and executive branches … prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation particularly in employment, housing, public accommodation, and education.” “…states to adopt legal measures to insure that sexual orientation not be a factor in determining child custody or visitation rights.” “…sexual orientation not be a factor in determining a person’s right to be a foster parent, to be a big sister or big brother, or to be an adoptive parent.”
Legalizing Homosexuals and Prostitutes: “…repeal all statutes prohibiting any sexual conduct among consenting adults in private.”
Abortion: “…reject all proposals for constitutional amendments and other legislation that would deny or limit the option of legal abortion services.” “…state governments bring their abortion laws into compliance with Supreme Court decisions.” “…Federal and state governments fulfill their obligation to provide abortion services under Title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act.” “…Federal and state governments require all health institutions receiving tax-generated revenues to offer comprehensive services for problem pregnancies, including abortion and appropriate counseling and referral.
Child Care: “…Federally-funded, comprehensive, daycare programs that meet Federal standards …” “The Federal Government should assume a major role in funding universal voluntary child development programs …”
Job Preference for Women over Men: “…support stronger enforcement of affirmative action guidelines, including specific hiring goals for women and minorities . . .” “. . . equal membership of men and women serving on all state boards and commissions.” ” … each state develop women’s advocacy positions to be utilized as vital and viable advocates …” ” … all of the women’s advocates be established as cabinet level positions with permanent staff and adequate funding.”
More Government Control of our Economy: ” … a legally reduced work week with no cut in pay … reduce the legal work week from 40 to 35 hours.” ” … EEOC concentrate its efforts in initiating more commissioners’ charges against major employers, public and private …”
Reduced National Defense: “…that (1) the military budget be reduced, particularly the nuclear weapons programs including the B-1, and that (2) these monies be transferred to programs which will further women’s equality and people’s welfare and help end the insanity of the arms race.”
Put Propaganda in Textbooks: “…schools shall purchase non-sexist texts and curricular materials, and that during the curricular transition, old sexist materials shall be used to raise the consciousness of students and to critique our sexist society.”
Abolish Robert’s Rules of Order: “…recognition of the basis of group dynamics in the problem solving process, we urge that a more empathetic regulator of communication be developed than the currently widely used Robert’s Rules of Order.”
Abolish Veterans’ Preference: “…state and Federal governments shall abolish laws allowing veterans’ preference …”
(Note: This resolution was not passed in Illinois, but it was typical of resolutions passed in other states. The above quotation is from the Oregon IWY resolution.)