The Women's Center of Radcliffe College this fall implemented a program to "build women's awareness and strength" in the male dominated society of Harvard, Mary Sue Henifin '77, a member of the Women's Collective, said yesterday.
The newly opened Women's Center, founded last year and now located in a large, poster covered room in the Aggassiz Theater, is funded primarily through a grant from the elected Radcliffe Union of Students, and by $5 admission fees charged by the group for its courses, Henifin said.
The Center is staffed and run by a group of 20 women calling themselves the Women's Collective, Margaret Hunt '76, a member of the collective, said.
Policies adopted by last year's collective which, Henifin said has no internal hierarchy, but reaches policy decisions by the general consensus of the group, included the support of women's right to have abortions, lesbian liberation, and affirmative action policies.
Henifin described the Center as being both involved in political activities, such as pressuring the administration on women's issues, and in building a community of women at Harvard.
Implementation of the latter objective, Hunt said, includes a class in "Basic Feminist Theory," a self-help seminar, and consciousness raising groups. Planned for the future are a self defense class, a poetry workshop, and a lesbian study group.
Ann Merrill '77, a member of the Basic Feminism class, said that the class, of about 15 or 20 people, was one of the most popular programs at the Center. The Center has experienced some difficulty in recruiting students for other programs, Merrill said.
Merrill said the topics covered in the course included menstruation, rape, and lesbianism. She cited the lack of attention given to socialist feminism as a fault of the course.
The courses have thus far excluded men, Merrill said, because women would be "out of their minds to share their gains with their oppressors."
Henifin said the stress was on courses for women, rather than courses excluding men.
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