Letter from Gordon Meadows-Hills to "Feminist Studies," October 23, 1971, page 2

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          J [inc /osonve

_ 311 Coryell Court East
’ - Seattle, Wn. 98102
October 23, 1971

Michell Rudy

1403 Le Gove Lane

Manhattan, Kansas 66502

Michell Rudy:

I am writing you in your position as head of the ALA SRRT on
Status of Women and Women's Liberation. Enclosed is a copy of my
thesis announcement. If you have any suggestions as to how most
effectively to approach this subject, I'd appreciate hearing from
you. I have already received a number of good ideas, and with them
I am only just_starting to clarify the scope and plan of the thesis.

It will be, I think, a comprehensive bibliographic review of
worldwide resources or collections pertaining to women. An ultimate
goal Ifidmlihgigpssee realized someday is an international union
catalog pbftaining to women, or at least a very comprehensive biblio-
graphy as a preliminary.


The other matter I'am writing you about is this:... I am pursuing
a special project here currently that involves a comparison of subject
headings used in the U.W. Library under these designations, and their
"see" and "see also" references: man,men,male masculine,mankind:::
woman,women,female,feminine,womankind:::(plus3 Human(N.),Vumanity,Sex.

One idea, or purpose, is to construct a set of headings which would
enable a woman to most efficiently discover library resources of int—
erest to women, assuming a society characterized by full equality for
both men and women, as individuals with life experiences full of common-
ly shared potential( and where the special burdens of child—bearing
and child-rearing would be adequately assumed by society at large.)
This is an experifimental project, and I am not exactly shre how to do
this. Another idea is to run a text to illustrate the male supremacist
bias in currently used headings in subject classification. This would
be to simply reverse the references for both sexes. For example, under
"Man", one would find "See also boys, human(n.),humanity, fathers,
single men, widowers, young men, also men as artists, men as authors,
men as physicians and similiar headings, also men in astrflfinautics,
men in literature and art; men in the US and similiar subjects. XMen,
XX Anthropology, family, boys, young men." we

‘ee“h” .At any rate I have looked in vain in the library literature for

studies on sex—designations in subject headings. Anita Schiller briefly
touched on this some time ago. Maybe I should write her also. Do you
know of any? Or lists of descriptors used by feminists? Erom the Women's
History Research Center in Berkeley I find in their catalog of materials
a lot of "Women as——-", "Women in —-—"-and "Women and-——", but not a
very effective classification scheme, as far as I can Tell.

I would first compare, side by side, what one finds new under each
designation above. Then, to expose the sexist character of this, I
would reverse, as closely as possible, the references (see my example
above). I might then show the new scheme to men and women, to get their
reaction. (Maybe the men would be disconcerted and frustrated; maybe the
women would be pleased and stimulated:::both might obtain thereby a new
grasp of sex discrimination in this country. Anyway it's one experiment.)

Or we would make them both the same, as under the male headings.
There would be changes for general headings like "Man", which would be

' "Human"(n.) (?), "Mankind"—-—Humanity, etc. And "Prostitution" would also