The above passage,
written by Irene Stuber, marked the scratch heard 'round the world: the
debut of Catt's Claws.
Named for Carrie
Chapman Catt, the second (and later the fourth) president of the National
Women's Suffrage Association, which strove for the ratification of the19th
Amendment (that's the one that gave women the right to vote, for those
of you who napped through your American history classes), Catt's Claws
is a newsletter for all things feminist.
the president of the Arkansas chapter of the National Organization for
Women, began editing Catt's Claws in 1995.
wanted information to be disseminated among women about what is happening
to women throughout the nation - the world - information that women aren't
getting in their daily newspapers or on radio or TV," said Stuber
in a recent interview.
absolutely no idea of what methods are working in California - if they
live in Maine or Texas, or vice versa.They read about a rape or two a year,
perhaps in their daily newspapers and don't realize that thousands of women
are raped every day throughout this country and that it is not a rare thing,
but a national disgrace - and that something has to be done about it. It
is a GROWING sickness, or as I write often, there is something very wrong
in the way we are raising our sons.
Claws just sort of grew - and I found myself putting out information that
the daily papers/TV or magazines ignore such as birth control information,
or a medical breakthrough on abortions - information that is usually kept
very, very quiet," she said.
it's something that has been known to some and not passed around, then
I go into one of my rants. Catt's Claws was originally sent out to less
than 100 people whom I'd corresponded with on Internet. Each day would
bring in more and more subscription requests. It literally took off like
wildfire. I have never promoted it in any way. I simply say what I think
should be said. If you want to read it, fine, I'll send it to you. If you
don't, take care of yourself and goodbye."
subscribers hail from every corner of the globe, including many regions
of Africa, Asia, and Europe. "But as you know, the subscription
list is only the tip of the claw - almost everyone appears to be forwarding
the column to many other readers ... it seems to have a life of its own,"
Regardless of their
geographical locale, readers are "mostly women who have a great
deal of self-pride and confidence in themselves as women and are not shrinking
violets. Of course, there are also those who are 'tracking' me for the
right-wing righteous bigots."
Catt's Claws has
garnered its editor accolades and praise from feminist organizations far
and wide, but it has attracted some decidedly-unwanted attention as well:
Stuber has received death threats from several different men over the years.
an aching need for straight talk about good old fashioned feminism,"
she said. "Not theory, but action. And I have a tendency to be
very blunt and not get caught up in 'political correctness,' which I think
is an asinine way to handcuff timid women's thinking and actions even more.
women as red blooded human beings, not consumers of beauty products. Women
work hard every day of their lives, most with full time jobs outside the
home, then work as volunteers, and between exhaustion and total wipe-out
they maintain homes and families in 90 to 100 hour weeks while the men
in their lives stumble into couch potato modes after a 40-hour week.
individuals with their own dreams and right to live to make themselves
happy. They deserve equal pay for equal work. They deserve FULL HUMAN RIGHTS
!!! I don't know that I write a zine, but I do know that my 'in your face'
feminist attitude is not often seen or read."
Stuber also encourages
the submission of information pertinent to the struggle for women's rights.
Matters of politics, legislation, and international and consumer affairs
are continually welcomed. And if that isn't enough for you to sink your
claws into, Stuber has a literary endeavor in the works: a book on "Women
of Achievement and Herstory," due out this Christmas on Bluestocking
to get out and vote, have to organize to back women candidates and those
few men candidates who favor women's equality, and have to run for political
offices themselves," said Stuber.
have to start standing up and say loud and clear to the social structures
backed by the ultra-conservative right that their rules regarding women
have no logic - are not clothed in good sense. Society needs new guidelines
and a new center - and that center has to be decency and equality.
it is a felony to beat an animal and only a misdemeanor to beat your wife
... This is wrong and until my last breath, I will keep fighting - there
is no conceivable reason why a woman should not have the same equal human
rights as a man - and it is about time that some women stopped thinking
that they are not worthy to claim their spot in the sun."
can be found at: Sacramento.
This article was originally published at http://www.citizenmag.com/3.0/3.44/vpoint/states_030698_1.shtml