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Times Colonist from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada • 5

Publication:
Times Colonisti
Location:
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Issue Date:
Page:
5
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

VICTORIA TIMES. TUESDAY. AUGUST 9 MM 5 FEIFFER Women Libe ration a mm eor 3, so gvso mz ne $c-, A Failure in Japan MS I NEW YORK TIMES of U.S. occupation authorities). Now they are a majority of the electorate.

According to Japanese magazines, books, television, men and parents, a woman's place is to make tea and babies not a career or waves. After high school and, for some, college, a Japanese woman typically works in an office, factory or bank until perhaps her mid-20s, when she comes under the most intense parental pressure to marry and have children. 60 (J0O3T 'AMP I CAJ0T mm. CANT Germ ifieWttZT. we Wealth, Fame and Liniment Set ffp russell bi baker sent.

"You're a girl," he said, "get us some food." "I fixed them," the 19-year-old woman recalled later. "I made them the best plate of spaghetti they ever had." and she said that their praise made her feel good. "There is," Miss Enoki said in an interview, "a lot of consciousness-raising to be done here." To do this, Miiss Enoki's "Pink Panthers," women in white military-style uniforms with pink helmets marched, held sit-ins and protest rallies. Such confrontations focused on demands for women's rights to abortion, equal hiring, equal pay, equitable property settlements and alimony and easier access to contraceptive pills, which in Japan can only be dispensed as medicine, not as birth control aids by doctors, most of whom are men. The women gained their greatest publicity by storming some offices to shame philandering husbands with shouts and placard accusations of infidelity or delinquent support payments.

Miss Enoki felt that her groups, which claim 4,000 members, established a basic awareness of the liberation issue and showed that a woman could be a determined, assertive fighter yet remain beautiful and feminine, images that to the Japanese mind are contradictory. And she foresees future success as the working woman's economic power grows. Feminists Split But Miss Enoki's reform proposals have seemed increasingly radical to many of late, calling not for female equality but. for female supremacy in a future matriarchy. This split the feminine ranks between the conservative, middle-aged and elderly supporters and a more militant band of younger single women.

General support appeared to wane, too, and criticism of her leadership grew. She felt also that all the news coverage and notoriety had spoiled the movement's "naive anger" and that it was time for a retreat, to get back to basics in what she sees as a frustrating struggle that will last for generations. With other sympathizers, she plans to continue "liberation studies" while patching up the strains in her marriage and relationship with her parents. TOKYO Japan's women's liberation movement has folded. After enduring five years of frustrating struggle and ridicule, which can be immensely powerful in group-conscious Japan, the only major women's liberation group and its affiliates have shuttered their offices and admitted defeat at the hands of an overpowering male chauvinism and a wide generation gap among women seeking to change their social status.

The final straw may have been the nation-wide parliamentary elections on July 10, which saw the new Japan Women's Party get only 0.4 per cent of the total popular vote, thus electing nobody. "I am afraid the cause of women's liberation in Japan is finished," said Miseo Enoki. Miss Enoki, a 32-year-old pharmacist, led a fight to legalize birth control pills in 1972 that ignited the modern women's movement in this land where change comes slowly. The drive for women's rights in Japan may be revived some day if the maturing generation of young women breaks sufficiently with strong family ties to make the social soil more fertile for change. But without Miss Enoki, who has become a symbol to many through Japan's pervasive mass media, the women's liberation movement here is expected to virtually disappear for the foreseeable future.

Back to Housework Miss Enoki, who uses her maiden name despite her marriage to a physician named Natsuo Kiuchi, said she plans to spend the next few months in a hospital principally recovering from exhaustion. Then, as part of a bargain she struck with her husband when he lent her $38,000 to help finance her party's recent political campaign, she will return to doing the housework in their suburban Tokyo apartment. Her 36-year-old husband, who said he had gained a new appreciation for the rigors of homemaking during his wife's absence, has agreed to write off $2,670 of the loan for each month's housework. At that, Miss Enoki will be among the highest-paid females in a male-dominated country where women did not have the right to vote until 1946 (and then only at the insistence Social Shopping It is a rare woman who resists for long. Even the militant Miss Enoki felt compelled, as a sign of respect for her elderly parents' wishes, to get married eight years ago at 24.

After marriage, the typical woman's life revolves almost totally around the home and, subsequently, children. Only in recent years has it become less embarrassing for a husband to have a working wife, but only as long as there are no children at home. So confined is the average housewive's world here that even with the widespread advent of refrigerators to preserve foods, women still go shopping daily. Shopping is more a social occasion to get out and chat with other women than it is an errand. Japanese wives rarely go out with their husbands.

Vacations are often taken separately with friends of the same sex. When asked if they ever share their work or worries with their wives, male Japanese politicians, who hold 740 of Parliament's 763 seats, laughed heartily. When a foreigner makes a rare visit to a Japanese home, the wife stays in the background, quietly serving tea and cakes. When the visitor asks if the woman can join the group, typically both husband and wife appear stunned. "Somehow it doesn't seem right," one wife admitted.

Even many younger women, on whom the women's liberation advocates pin much of their hopes, seem unaware of what strikes Westerners as their subservient role. For instance, a half-dozen teen-age students were chatting in an apartment here recently when one youth addressed the only woman pre chiefly for their efforts to demolish themselves. The team on top of the league is the Orioles, an outfit so threadbare that, except for Jim Palmer, they haven't a single player anybody has ever heard of. Although one of their outfielders, Ken Singleton, is batting over .300, which is more than any of the free-auction millionaire players is hitting, he remains such a nobody that the baseball fans neglected to elect him to the all-star team. While pluck, grit, bad pay and the whim of destiny were keeping the Orioles at the top of their business, the rich bonus players were floundering everywhere.

Unkindly, the Boston Herald prints a special table on the group's weekly performance. A drab story it is. Not one is hitting over .300. Among pitchers no one is earning his pay except for Jim Campbell of the Boston Red Sox, who may already have been used up for the year on account of being the only pitcher on his team who can get anybody out. The story is much the same in the other divisions.

Two Chicago teams, also composed of players nobody ever heard of, are at the top of their divisions, while the Cincinnati Reds, loaded with big-salaried superplayers, flounder far behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team of merely good journeymen. Taken altogether, it is a persuasive argument for not paying talent what it's worth. This will doubtless cheer all who believe the best art derives from starvation and the most successful business ventures from hunger. It also gives the baseball fan grounds to nourish another delusion; to wit, that the gods really do punish the rich and famous. Sometimes, of course, they do.

But not so systematically as they punish the baseball fan. As every American knows, success is the greatest thing in life and a terrible thing to happen to the young and the beautiful. Why? Because it destroys them, erodes their talent, spoils their beauty, diverts them to vice, disrupts the liver function and leads to heartbreak, alcohol, corruption, pills, squalor and an early grave. How delightfully dreadful! How we enjoy it! How angry we become when these favorites of the gods refuse to wither in suffering and despair. Unfortunately, life fails to exact this satisfying justice from too many of its darlings.

When one of the more notorious, like Muhammad Ali, escapes to live healthfully and wealthfully ever after, the American senses a disorder in the cosmos and becomes uneasy, churlish and sour of spirit. And why not? We expect life to be fair, no matter what presidents tell us. It is not fair that we who are not beautiful, talented and millionaires should be denied the reassuring evidence beauty, talent and success must come to no good end. This probably explains why this is such a delightful summer for Americans who keep an eye on baseball society. Here at last is a totally satisfying epic of the youngest, the best and the richest all spoiling on success.

It will give new heart to all believers in the virtues of pinchpenny capitalism and starvation in garrets. The most encouraging example to life's underpaid men is afforded by the New York Yankees, known in baseball as the best team money can buy, a group of talented young men with salaries in six fugures. When the feudal system was abolished in baseball recently, it became possible for certain players to auction their skills on the open market, instead of having them traded among the team owners in company-store deals. Rich teams like the Yankees spent heavily to buy the best skills on the market, while poor teams like the Baltimore Orioles saw their talent gobbled up by the plutocrats. For the first time baseball skills were able to command a competitive market price.

To their dismay, the fans discovered that many of these young men were worth as much as corporation presidents. And why shouldn't they be? Hitting a baseball thrown by a big league pitcher may be the most difficult thing in the world to do. Playing shortstop for a pennant winner is certainly more difficult than chairing the board of General Motors. Baseball fans, being a gullible bunch, had deluded themselves for generations, however, with the notion that the players were simple lads whose chief joy was to sweat for the athletic aggrandizement of this or that dilapidated metropolis. Paying them $400,000 a year made it hard for even the simple minded to cling to this delusion.

As usual when change occurs, people devoted to the antique way of life predicted that the world was headed for ruin because the richest teams would now buy the finest players and destroy the competition. This is precisely what failed to happen. Despite cannibalizing the Oakland Athletics, the Chicago White Sox, the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees have not demolished the rest of the league. In fact, they are interesting WASH! UJlliuUr hm. IcLINICI 'Never Meet Your Heroes1 "BONUS" FREE WASH and WAX WITH PURCHASE OF 18-POINT OIL and LUBE $1588 VOLKSWAGENS ONLY Jl 1.88 18 point OIL CHANGE and LUBE WHILE YOU WAIT NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY ALL MAKES OF CARS, VANS and SMALL TRUCKS FULL NEW-CAR WARRANTY PROTECTION that this covered conversation about trifles with complete strangers.

He grew more and more distant. At one point he waved both hands like wands in a gesture of exasperation and said: "Waiting around is such a bloody bore!" "Gently, I introduced the theme of homosexuality, an issue of great important in his life as the memoirs of his closest friend, Christopher Isherwood, have recently demonstrated. Both Esquire and Life magazines had just that year published profiles in which Audcn's sexuality was stressed. I had assumed that these were written with Auden's approval, but he told me they were not, not at all. "Oh, they were very liberal, very tolerant, of course," he said, "but I don't like that sort of thing at all." He stared at me, great ancient eyes that dared me to disagree.

It was clear we were not to have Auden-on-homosexuality on this program. By ROBERT FULFORD Auden took a seat on a lumpy couch, the producer and I sat on kitchen-style chairs, and the three of us chatted for a few minutes. Then the lights blew out. The producer and the cameraman had expected the electrical wiring to be sufficient to support a small camera crew and it wasn't. It was an old, old building.

Auden expressed alarm and surprise. It was determined that an electrician was needed. No one knew where to find one. Someone suggested the Yellow Pages. An electrician was phoned and begged to come.

He promised to come, and we began to wait It took, in actual time, something like 90 minutes for the electrician to arrive. Making conversation with Wystan Hugh Auden made it seem about a century. Someone would make a remark and Auden would reply with two, perhaps three, syllables. Silence. Then another remark.

Then two, perhaps three, syllables from Auden. Then more silence. Plainly he was not warming up to the occasion. He was receiving $1,000 for the interview, but obviously he did not consider 1. CHANGE OIL 10.

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LUBE DOOR HINGES and LATCHES 9. CHECK BRAKE FLUID LEVEL 18. SAFETY CHECK FRONT WHEEL BEARING SERVICE "fl9)88 DRUM DISC TYPE TYPE HERE IS WHAT WE DO HERE IS WHAT WE DO PARTS EXTRA PARTS EXTRA His face looked like a dry valley through which a dozen powerful streams had once flowed. He wore baggy brown pants, floppy slippers, and a black turtleneck of some synthetic material. When he came to the door to meet us he left a half-finished bottle of Michelob on his dining table.

He shook our hands amiably and easily, bowing like the squire of a manor, though the tiny apartment he waved us into was perhaps the most squalid New York apartment I've ever visited. Now that W. H. Auden is a couple of years in his grave, the memoirs are starting to appear and his friends and enemies are busy describing what he was like in life. It seems an appropriate time to reveal, as a modest footnote to literary history, the details of my own meeting with the man whose work meant more to me than any other modern poetry.

My account is unique: Unlike all the other memorists, I didn't go to school or university with Auden, didn't collaborate with him on an opera, didn't sleep with him, didn't argue with him. I just spent an afternoon doing a filmed interview with him, in an atmosphere of (as the saying used to go) unmitigated disaster. It was the early 1970s. A CBC producer called me (let me say, early on, that this producer has not called me since). He suggested that, because of my publicly declared admiration of Auden, I might care to Interview him on TV.

I agreed with enthusiasm and we set the date for the filming. In preparation I re-read a great deal of his poetry and dozens of articles about him. The articles were from many different publications, but what struck me as odd was that they all seemed to be the same Interview. No matter who spoke to him, or for what magazone, he said the same things. Naturally I determined that my Inter view would break the pattern.

My questions would be of such striking originality that the answers, too, would be unique. The day of the trip to New York my questions were ready. They proved useless. My antagonist that's what he turned out to be was more than ready for me. Things started routinely enough, The apartment, as all who had seen It previously had remarked, was hovel greasy furniture, blackened walls, papers scattered everywhere, a few drawings and photographs.

It looked like the sort of room in which eccentric millionaires are found dead, their money hidden under the bed. REMOVE WHEELS AND CALIPER ASSEMBLIES REMOVE HUBS and DISCS and DISSASSEMBLE BRGS. and SEALS CLEAN and INSPECT OUTER AND INNER CONES and CUPS ANALYSE CONOITION and REPLACE OR REPACK AS NECESSARY REASSEMBLE BROS. IN HUBS ANO INSTALL NEW SEALS REPOSITION ASSEMBLIES ON STUB AXLES AND TORQUE WHEEL BEARINGS TO MANUFACTURER SPECIFICATIONS INSTALL NEW COTTER PINS OR LOCK PLATES CLEAN AND INSTALL DUST CAPS REASSEMBLE CALIPERS ANO CHECK FOR PROPER ADJ. INSTALL WHEELS AND CHECK FOR FREE MOVEMENT AND OUT OF TRUE CONDITIONS ROAD TEST FOR BRAKE OPERATIONS REMOVE DRUMS.

BEARING AND SEALS CLEAN and INSPECT OUTER and INNER CONES and CUPS ANALYSE CONDITION and REPLACE OR REPACK AS NECESSARY CHECK BRAKE COMPONENTS REASSEMBLE BEARINGS IN DRUMS, INSTALL NEW SEALS REPOSITION DRUM ASSEMBLIES AND TORQUE TO MANUFACTURER'S SPECIFICATIONS INSTALL NEW COTTER PINS OR LOCK PLATES CLEAN and INSTALL DUST CAPS OFFER EXPIRES AUG. 3177 c-CT' 1 And, further, we were not to have Auden on much else as became clear when finally the lights and the camera were turned on. My questions about his life and work, and the place of his poetry in the world, fell on stony ground. After about the third question I began to notice a pattern. No matter what question was asked, Auden gave me an answer that had already appeared in print, usually many times.

He would take my words, shift them this way or that way a bit, then rather like a tape recorder throw out a few well-worn phrases of his own. Next question. It was the sort of reluctant, grudging Interview usually given by politicians who have just been indicted or police detectives who haven't yet found any clues to the murder. Obviously Auden was a private man who had constructed an outline of a public personality. He had filled that outline with some words, and he was determined to go on repeating them as long as people kept asking him questions.

The producer confessed after the interview that he was suicidal; together we recovered, over martinis. The material went on the air, little slivers of film-time Interspersed with narration and old stock shots of historic events, plus a voice-over' reading of some of the poems. As I watched it In my living room my fingers over the arms of the chair. Back home in Toronto I gave my son a piece of strikingly unoriginal advice: Never, but never, meet your heroes. (We cannot learn this sort of truth too early, A year or so later I found I could once again comfortably read the poetry of H.

Auden. Toronto Star LC Come In and get straight answers about your car's condition. No guesswork, no obligation. Mora than 200 Individual tests by specially trained experts. Latest electronic equipment.

Written diagnosis and explanation on all findings. Knowing Is bettor than not knowing. an appointment today. 95 20 HERE'S WHAT TO DO: (isso)! Imperial Centre 1700 HILLSIDE AT SHELDOURNE S92-243S sso AUDEN 'a bloody bore.

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Pages Available:
838,345
Years Available:
1972-2014