November 09, 1995

        Men's fear of latex condom allergies is almost completely unfounded since the way (even where) condoms are manufactured is more stringent than the way latex gloves are manufactured. It is the poorly manufactured gloves that are causing allergic reaction headlines.
      What is going on, really? Isn't latex latex? Not really any more than pasteurized milk and raw milk are alike. Read the full dope and not the tales of fear that are passed around the bar or locker room.
      Most of the latex gloves are made out of the country (Asia) where manufacturers, in order to cut costs and up production, have decreased the manufacturing purification process of latex. So, the gloves, etc., that they manufactured there contain large dosages of the protein antigen. It is protein antigen that causes the reaction.
      That allergic reacting protein antigen is washed away during the manufacture of condoms made in the U.S. The process is completely different.
      Let me repeat, the condoms manufactured in the U.S. are washed clear of the protein antigens which cause the allergies.
      In other words, condoms are made to much more exacting standards than latex gloves...
      There is an antigen test. Any male partner who refuses to use latex condoms because of a fear of allergic reaction should be refused sex unless he tests positive to the test.
      Remember, condoms are a woman's BEST and usually her ONLY protection against AIDS in vaginal sex. It is a FACT that women face being infected by AIDS from an infected man at almost three times the rate that occurs in vaginal sex from woman to man.
      Use of latex dental dams in female oral sex is not recommended because it is manufactured under the less stringent way that gloves are, and the dust can be inhaled or ingested - and that dust is highly charged with the protein antigen. Latex dental dams should be replaced with ordinary plastic film such as Saran Wrap or Handi-Wrap, but make sure it is the non-porous variety.
      However, stats on woman to woman transmission of AIDS through oral sex is very, very slim to almost negligible. That's according to the CC although there are some groups who are disagreeing, but they aren't producing stats.
      Washing the latex products and rinsing them well is one way to limit the allergic reactions.

      Several women have written me lately asking what to do about filthy stuff about women that is being passed around the net, usually by high school or college-age men.
      Personally, I write the systems manager of their college or school and enclose the article and then forward any subsequent articles to them. Most responsible systems managers take action but if they don't, send copies to the president of the university or to the school principal. Just make sure you are dealing with really offensive stuff and not just some sophomore trying to make himself feel important.
      Remember that most of the guys who do this sort of thing are outcasts who can't get dates and are using Internet as revenge against women they feel are unjustly ignoring them. Popular, well adjusted men don't do Internet flames.
      Always remember and if you must answer (and we don't suggest it) make sure you treat them like the maladjusted, sexually impotent children they are.
      I don't believe in censorship but I do believe in the sender having to take responsibility for what they do. If a man is distributing porno, HIS name, address, and phone number should appear on each piece of "art."
      Let him distribute it, but MAKE his responsible for what he does. Report him to his systems manager and if any threats are made, turn him over to the FBI - it's interstate communications - it's FBI.

      "Government has a final responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. If private cooperative effort fails to provide work for willing hands and relief for the unfortunate, those suffering hardship through no fault of their own have a right to call upon the government for aid. And a government worthy of the name must make a fitting response."
            -- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his State of the Union message, 1938.

      "Blackmail is not the way to do it, and I am not going to be blackmailed. And I am not going to just sign a budget that I know will put people out of nursing homes or deprive people of the chance to go to college, or children the chance to be in Head State, or compromise the environment. I'm not going to do that: I'm just not going to do that."
            -- President Bill Clinton, 1995.

      According to The Washington Spectator, a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll put public disapproval of the Republican plans for slashing Medicare and Medicaid at 58 percent - and 67 percent said they opposed cuts in Medicare even if it means higher deficits - and some 69 percent said "Leave Medicare Alone!"
      The innate compassion and decency of the American people is coming out and the pendulum is swinging back towards social responsibility.
      Unfortunately (trust me) the Republican religious right will be looking for some violence or dramatic way to reassert bigotry as a way of political life.
      Ben A. Franklin, editor of the Washington Spectator, said in the November issue, "By the year's end, the outcome of such setbacks, any Clinton vetoes and the Republicans' fixation on poll results may begin to tell us whether, as foreseen by some political historians, we are in for the decades-long struggle with a reactionary majority in Congress or whether the G. O. P. Contract With American is itself history."
      As Catt's Claws' author said more than TWO MONTHS ago, Clinton is a certainty for reelection because of what the Republicans are going and what they stand for. We doubly stand behind that prediction, the waving of Colin Powell as a potential Republican candidate not withstanding. Any man who believes in what Powell says he does and would consider running under the banner of Newt Gingrich, Phil Gram, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Dick Armey, and Strom Thurmond would be too much of a hypocrite for my stomach.
      FLASH - Colin Powell, as we expected, announced today that he will not run for any political office in 1996.
      BTW, most of the press is, of course, ignoring the women's issues inherent in all the Republican cuts; older women are more likely to be poor and need Medicare while the mothers of small children are most likely to be poor and desperately need Medicaid. Thank G,AWD Clinton is NOT forgetting.

      What many had called the Republican take-over of the New Jersey NOW is over. A new president, not so enamored with Governor Christine Whitman has just been elected and the deep rife between the NJ NOW and several of its chapters is being mended.

      The Women's Bean Project is a non-profit organization which employs homeless women and women who live in poverty. The women learn skills and receive training which assists them to become self-sufficient, according to the project. For a free catalogue with hand-made soup mixes, pasta, salsa, gourmet vinegar and more, write the Women's Bean Project, 2347 Curtis, Denver, Colorado, 80205.
      This is the type of thing that women's organization MUST start doing - raising money to help themselves, not just mailing out letters asking for donations and donations and more donations. The leaders of our organizations have to be more than just takers - they have to start leading. They have to come up with new ideas; they should start inspiring.

      Is your community being twisted by a so-called renegade Roman Catholic Bishopry who are setting up "monuments to the unborn" which is against the millennia teachings and rulings of the Roman Catholic church.
      There appears to be some revisionism going on regarding the lack of historical consideration of what the modern-day Roman Catholic Church insists on calling "unborn children."
      According to a comment in Ms. Magazine, the "Catholics for a Free Choice and two priests, including Father John Clemont of the Chancery Office/Archdiocese of New York - says there are no OFFICIAL rites or rituals for baptizing or burying miscarried fetuses. They are not aware of any official practice EVER being established for miscarriages. Daniel Maguire, professor of moral theology at Marquett University, confirms that "fringe" elements of the Catholic Clergy do promulgate bogus ceremonies for the baptism of miscarried fetuses."
      The comment was made in reply to a woman who had suffered years of "anxiety and guilt" regarding her miscarriages. She wrote, "The writing of these men are the writings of woman-haters. The rules and rituals are steeped with female loathing."
      Here in my adopted home of Hot Springs, Arkansas, the Bishop of Little Rock (why didn't he do it in Little Rock????) arrived on All Soul's Day to join with members of the Knights of Columbus and local priests to dedicate a monument to the "unborn," at a local cemetery. On the monument is inscribed the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: "Abortion is a crime that kills not only the child but the conscience of all involved." (Obviously she want all the world to be like Calcutta since she opposes birth control as well.)
      But what is REALLY insulting and DISGUSTING to me is that these MEN (and they were almost all men) made it an anti-abortion monument while totally ignoring anything about the so-called "unborn" who are lost through natural miscarriages. Look, if a soul comes with the conception than millions of "unborns" die each month through natural selection. I had a natural miscarriage but according to these church FATHERS, that embryo is not worthy of a monument in their cemetery ... only those who were aborted. Isn't a soul a soul?
      Boys, I, for one, am offended.
      You turned around collars (this includes the Religious supremacists of all religions) are so busy being butt-ins that you never learned the realities of life. You see things through the pin-holes in your heads. Why the hell don't you ask women about conception, miscarriages (natural abortions), and pregnancy.
      You might ask medical science about it also - that milions upon millions of fertilized embryos naturally abort every single month. Either a fertilized egg has a soul or it doesn't - you can't have it both ways.

      "I found god in myself and I loved her, I loved her fiercely."
            -- Ntozake Shange

      I could not believe the catalog of cards and note stationary being offered by the Sisters of St. Joseph of La Grange, 1515 West Odgen Avenue, La Grange Park IL 60526-1721 - telephone 708-354-9200, fax 708-354-9573.
      Honey, these ain't what you have been taught to believe coming from religious women's orders: stern, staid, and unimaginative waiting for direction from the guys in the tight collars.
      These cards and posters are beautiful, modern and spiritual - almost new age. Maybe more than just a touch. And they are FEMINIST! For example, one note card reads: "The Song of peace is woman's song. She sings the song of life's seasons - rhythms of birth and death, receiving and giving, times of waiting and fulfillment, suffering and joy. She sings a gentle song of listening and hope, of wholeness and unity, of harmony with Earth and reference of Earth's gifts. Her song is compassion; her song is love. If nations would be healed, woman's song must be sung. If there would be peace, woman's song must be heard." The artist is Mary Southard, CSJ. Another example, one Christmas card reads: "Mother of the Universe, Mother of the Stars and Sun, make space in us for wisdom."
      There is hope in the Catholic church and that hope is woman.
      Those old men whose minds are rooted in the Stone Age can't live forever. Yes, I was once-upon-a-time a Roman Catholic.

      Although we are once-burned and twice wary of Senator Arlene Specter who was one of the U.S. Senators who attempted to discredit Anita Hills' charges of sexual harassment by confirming Clarence Thomas as U.S. Supreme Court Judge, but we now have to give him some benefits of the doubt.
      Perhaps he has finally got it.
      His staff has put together a excellent essay entitled "Dismantling a Woman's Right to Choose... From A to Z" which he has been distributing to pro-choice publications for their use.
      Specter is one of the few Republican U.S. Senators who OPENLY CAMPAIGN for a woman's right to choose...
      Anyone wanting a copy of this essay, please email Catt's Claws. It is too long to use in the column, but here's a couple of examples: A is for "Amend the Constitution to abolish a woman's right to choose; K is for "Kill nominations of pro-choice government officials; W is for "Whitewash the true political agenda - eliminate access to abortion for all American women."
      Specter, a pro-choice Jew, stands no chance of winning the Republican nomination.

      William Hodgman earns a $120,000 annual salary and Marcia Clark $96,828, the same as Christopher Darden. Clark received no extra money for being the head prosecutor. On the other side, several of OJ's attorneys received in excess of $1 million APIECE.

      In words directed to the state of Israel, President of the United State Bill Clinton said, "Just as America has stood by you, we all stand by you in this moment of grieving and loss....
      "The world has lost one of its greatest men - a warrior for his nation's freedom, and now a martyr for his nation's peace... I admired him and I loved him very much. Because words cannot express my true feelings, let me just say, shalom, haver - goodbye, friend."       Sadat and now Rabin... the forces of evil and hate in this word never rest. Both Sadat and Rabin were war heroes who believed that peace was our only option.
      How sad that right-wing religion supremacist who supposedly believe in god don't trust god to solve our problems but go out and murder those who think a different way. Shalom.

      Excuse me for cross-posting from Women of Achievement:
      "Event Nov. 9, 1938: Crystal Night in Germany when Hitler's men raided Jewish homes and synagogues. The name is derived from the broken glass that covered the streets. Lest we forget...More than four million women and children were killed by Hitler. He abolished abortion and birth control. The Nazis held contests and awarded medals for women bearing the most children. There were no women among the leaders of the Nazi party. In addition to sharing *all* the horrors that the Jewish men suffered at the hands of the Nazis, the women were also raped and sexually tortured."

      A 1993 survey - the first in China on AIDS and prostitutes - found that few of the women sold sex full time. They resorted to the trade to augment meager incomes or, for the nearly one-fifth unemployed, to make a little money to survive.
      Few require their clients to use condoms seeing AIDS as a foreigner's disease. Health experts say they are playing a crucial role in carrying AIDS between city and village in soaring numbers because so many are from the provinces and the go home to the villages as soon as they make some money.

      We don't know when the whipping will occur, but Sarah Balabagan, the Fillipino girl nearly executed last month in the United Arab Emerates, for the murder of a man who attempted to rape her has received a one year in jail and 100 lashes instead. The Emerates officials are trying to say the whipping is "usually done in a very light way." Another report said that the whipper has to hold a book in his arm pit, as if that means anything.
      Any golfer, baseball player, and mother knows it's all in the wrists - the snap - less than 25 lashes can cut the skin and flesh off that child's back.
      And we fought to preserve THEIR way of life in the Gulf War

      With apologies to Denis Miller:
      "OJ vowed to spend the rest of his life searching for the killer of his ex wife Nicole - he must think it's a caddie."

Women's rights are young and tender and we must protect them from the plagues of holy hypocrisy and newts.

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