In which we enjoy temporary celebrity.


After a report on the international situation, which was desperate as usual, it was our turn. "The next story is a little closer to home," the Famous Moderator's serious voice intoned into millions of American households. "In Portland, Oregon, the women of the city have taken a singular action which is causing quite an uproar. In order to protest sexual violence, they have declared a strike--in more ways than one." At this point the serious voice took on more than a hint of laughter. "John Cake has the story on that."

The scene switched from the national news studio, as familiar to millions as their own living rooms, to a pan of the Portland skyline, familiar to millions as well, but few outside of the greater Portland area. John Cake's sensible, calming voice introduced it to the millions who didn't know it.

"This is Portland, Oregon, home of Nike, the Rose Festival, endless rains, and now WAR--Women Against Rape. The leaders of the action have declared 'war' to right wrongs done against women every day, but it is a peaceful war they are waging. Originally, the movement was conceived as a protest against sexual violence, but from the first it began expanding to all issues of sexual inequality, everything from ERA and abortion, to cuts in federal spending for day care centers and 'overtime' in the home." The quotations marks were audible in the obviously ironical tone. "This is more than an ordinary protest movement, however. The women involved aren't limiting themselves to rallies and demonstrations, they are also promoting a sexual strike--the complete abstinence of those involved in the action. Jane Kirk spoke with some of the participants."

Jane Kirk appeared on the screen, Hawthorne Bridge spanning the Willamette behind her. "I'm here in Portland's Waterfront Park with Lyssa Strutter, one of the initiators of the strike," she told the viewing public. Lyssa looked nowhere near as tidy as the broadcaster, strands of her permanently unruly hair blowing around her face. The audience in the lobby of the Portland Building cheered wildly, drowning out Lyssa's few sentences. "Hopefully somebody had the presence of mind to set their video recorder," Deborah said.

"I did," Marty reassured her.

Lyssa smiled. "What would I ever do without you?"

"I'm indispensable," Marty said. "Just remember that."


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