November 13, 1995

      Well, I got the flu shot - but not soon enough.
      Wheeeeee... that wasn't fun.
      Almost back to normal, at least I've stopped making out my will.

      Two examples of the mis-use of freedom of speech are in the forefront right now...
      One is what is being tagged as the Cornell-four. Four young men of Cornell PROUDLY put their names to a list of 75 insults to women, most of which had to do with non-missionary style sex acts as well as illegal acts such as rape, physical violence, and intimidation as well as just plain insults.
      You know, all that sophomoric stuff of guys who don't have a sex life.
      There has been much discussion about their right to distribute such filth under the First Amendment... which we think they have... but more and more women are not only objecting to the insults, but they are insisting that these boyz be held responsible for their actions ... again which we think should be done.
      If you want to distribute such s--t, wear it on your damned faces.
      One woman summed up the arguments: "substitute `nigger'for 'woman' and see if you can defend it as free speech without a riot."
      It is rumored that so many women at several colleges, led by Bryn Mawr sent so many objections to the Cornell-four and to the college's administrators and academic staff that the Cornell computer system went down.
      It is with pleasure that we report the boyz are going to be dealt with by the administration and their email privileges have been suspended.
      However, we MUST stay vigilant to what happens next. Too often in the past, things of this sort are allowed to be moved onto the back burner and disappear.
      There are too many apologists who excuse them as "boys will be boys."
      NO ! They were rude, filthy, nasty, ugly, crass, insulting, dirty - and if my son at five years old had acted that way, he would have been punished severely.
      What the Cornell-four incident brought out is that the WOMEN'S MOVEMENT IS ALIVE AND WELL, and as we warned leaders several years ago in an editorial in my state's NOW newsletter, the young women are going off in another direction, organizing themselves in a different way... perhaps returning feminism to its roots.
      The college women were DEFENDING themselves. They were drawing a line in the sand... And that is the difference that NOW headquarters and the controlling Feminist Majority should be aware of: these women ACT, they don't sit around tables discussing things to death, they don't pass resolutions at board meetings or at conferences that are never heard of again...
      They have confidence in themselves, their worth, and will be damned if they let a bunch of idiot children passing themselves off as men treat them with less than human dignity.

      The other point is not so good and it has to do with the prong in the side of NOW in the form of Tammy Bruce.
      I get a kick out of Tammy - and she has served a great purpose in the past in trying to get the NOW movement off its complacent duffs.
      Unfortunately, I think she's gone a bit off far in her campaign against OJ.
      According to CNN, L.A.'s answering machine is now giving out the home phone number of OJ Simpson's agent. He is complaining that he is being harassed and receiving death threats which I completely discount as the usual crap. I GET HARASSING MESSAGES ALL THE TIME FOR DISTRIBUTING CATT'S CLAWS AND YES, I'VE GOTTEN DEATH THREATS. So frankly, I don't have much sympathy for the jerk. Such cry-baby complaints are automatic with those who are trying to avoid the truth.       This guy hired himself out to a nasty human being in order to make a fast buck, and honey, when you play with those in the mud, you gonna get muddy.
      But I do object to his home number being given out.
      That is a terrorist tactic used by the Religious Supremacists, the anti- abortionists and has no place in the feminist movement. Aren't we better than them?
      Fighting fire with fire only burns civil liberties.
      Tammy, step back, take a deep breath, and get your anger under control.
      You have a great potential for doing good, especially in keeping track of OJ and letting the rest of the country know what he's up to. Please don't f--k it up so that the powers that be in the sedate officialdom can remove you and quiet any objections or objectors.
      You're wrong on this one, Tammy. Very wrong.

      This message from a NOW member: "... until we get some kind of national NOW listserv set up, Catt's Claws is the only place I think of as a "central meeting ground" for NOW folks. You should probably take no small amount of pride in that."
      You betcha I take pride in it, but I remain angry that NOW and its altar ego (sic), the Feminist Majority, control the news and views so that their opinions, and only THEIR opinions get out. We, foolishly, thought NOW was supposed to be a grassroots organization. By definition grassroots means direction from the bottom up, not dictatorship from the top down.
      I don't have time to set up a listserve and my system doesn't have the facility. The listserve would necessarily be moderated and limited so that ONLY subscribers would be able to post. Freedom of expression would be allowed and encouraged. But there has to be some was in determining if any subscriber has gone beyond the realm of decency or common sense in their posts.
      It's a HUGE project - anyone stupido enough to volunteer?
      The potential is for the RE-EMERGENCE of the Feminist Movement as a POWER in this country...and teaching more and more women that Cyberspace is women's space.

      On a listserve I subscribe to one woman asked with NOW's role was in the U. N. Women's Conference at Beijing. The answer is simple: Nothing, nada, zilch.
      Several officers attended but there was absolutely no publicity, no input, no recognition.
      We've read something like 10-20 million bytes of Beijing news and happenings so we're not speaking out of ignorance. As far as anything of value goes, NOW's input was nothing at Beijing or Huairou.

      Lthrdyke (Moonshadow) wrote (Salud y pazin):
      "Nicaragua is now the only country in the world which is governed by a woman president and a woman vice president. Following the recent resignation of Vice-President Virgilio Godoy in order to be legally eligible to run for President as the candidate of the Liberal Independent Party (PLI) in next year's elections, the National Assembly voted to name Julia Mena, also of the PLI, the new vice-president of the Republic. Mena is a school teacher and member of the National Assembly's executive committee. President Violeta Chamorro had wanted Fernando Rojas Zelaya of the `National Project' political group, to be voted vice-president. According to rumors, Chamorro then would have resigned from the Presidency leaving Rojas, a supporter of her son-in-law, Antonio Lacayo, in power. Then Lacayo, not having his mother-in-law in the presidency, would not be constitutionally prohibited from running himself for that office next year. The plan, however, backfired with the election by the National Assembly of Mena."
      Almost sounds like the deals that are made at National NOW to keep from having open elections... not all women who take power are nice, unfortunately.

      We can't think of the book right now that pointed out that English - although the most commonly spoken and written language in the world - is not one language. Recently we found a dictionary that explains English words to Americans. As a reader of English novels and mysteries, it has proved invaluable. No wonder I could never figure out who done it because I really didn't know who done what. But it takes a sense of humor and a vivid imagination to translate into American these signs found in various hotels. (Thanks to Ken Pope)

      In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk.

      In a hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.

      In a Yugoslavian hotel: The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.

      In a Japanese hotel: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

      In 1991, Irene Petroupolou, the editor of Amphi, a lesbian and gay magazine based in Athens, was fined and sentenced to five months in prison for indecent speech. She had placed an editor's note in the classified section asking heterosexual men to stop responding to personal ads from lesbians because they "have nothing in common in bed." The sentence was overturned on appeal and she served no time.
      But the case serves to illustrate the growing attempts at censorship against gay and lesbian publications world-wide. There have been 21 incidents of harassment, censorship, and abuse directed at gay publications and journalists in 14 countries - including the U.S.A. and Canada - reported recently by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

      "The average CEO "earned" as much as 41 factory workers in 1960, 42 factory workers in 1980, 104 factory workers in 1991, and 157 factory workers in 1992. Even Business Week editorialized that "disparity tears at the social fabric." The U.S. leads major industrialized nations with largest gap in CEO-worker pay. Japan's average CEO, for example, earns less than 32 factory workers. And U.S CEOs want us to think the problem is overpaid U.S workers."
      Author Holly Sklar didn't compare the average CEO's take compared to women's salaries - but it would figure out to be something like 260 women workers' salaries compared to 157 factory worker salaries to equal the average CEO's earnings...

      Catt's Claws and Women of Achievement have been recommended for members of the League of Women Voters. Thank you. One LWV listserve owner (name lost in the downloading) sent me the lowdown on that unbelievable mess that was supposed to be the Post Office's salute to the 75th anniversary of woman's suffrage in the U.S.A. and turned out to be a slap in the face. Many women have refused to accept the stamp (me included) - and many thought it was an accidental misprint that would be worth money someday, sure that no one would DESIGN something like that !!!!
      Hardly a misprint, but we do think - together with the Susan B. Anthony dollar that is so close in size to a quarter that it can't be used in circulation - that some people in the male-dominated government have an agenda that includes insulting women.
      The U.S. Post Office description: "The 1995 suffrage stamp is a montage of two photographs from the legacy of protestations in the long struggle for the enfranchisement of women. The design combines a 1913 photograph of a procession of women descending upon the White House during the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson with a 1976 photograph of ERA supporters marching to the Illinois State Capitol.
      "TECHNICAL DETAILS: Designer: April Greiman, Los Angeles, CA, Art Director: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC, Typographer: April Greiman, Project Manager: Elizabeth Altobell, Stamp Services, U.S. Postal Service, and Modeler: Joe Sheeran, Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd."
      We'd sure like to hear April Greiman's side of the story - did she realize what the end product would be or was it changed?

      A former woman prison guard at a men's prison in Lanchasire, England has won a sexual discrimination case in which "fellow" officers exposed their genitalia to her, another exposed his butt, but what is worse, also left her in isolation to lock up 48 male prisoners on her own. Not even the men guards do that.
      She was also ordered to search cells, and search male prisoners, but not strip search them. Authorities agree that cells cannot be properly searched without a strip search, but she would have been held responsible for any contraband later found that would have easily been found in a strip search.
      Male guards strip search female prisoners all the time, in fact, male police officers in the U.S. all too commonly strip search women who have been arrested for traffic violations. All they have to say is the poor darling was so despondent that they feared she was suicidal.

      A new WEB page, Women & Politics edited by Dr. Janet Clark with Amy Hembree as assistant editor looks really interesting.
      Their blurb sums it up: "Women & Politics is one of the select academic journals that encourages research and the development of theory on women's political participation, the role of women in society, and the impact of public policy upon women's lives. Women & Politics' home page provides links to other sites, instructions for article submission, and addresses for mailing lists. An archive of abstracts of papers appearing in past issues is also under construction."
      BTW, has anyone found an easy way to record WEB addresses? I have a little notebook that I jot things down in but surely in this computer age...

      A former Royal Air Force corporal whose husband refused to have sex with her for eight years after she had a secret abortion has been awarded 10,000 pounds by a British tribunal.
      Her husband, Peter, a Roman Catholic, was so horrified that he refused to either have meals with her or sleep in the same bed. She was also shunned by her sister. She had told everyone before the marriage that she was "adamant" about not wanting a family and there is some evidence that Peter impregnated his wife against her wishes.
      The tribunal in Leeds ruled that her claim for sexual discrimination against the Ministry of Defence warranted a payment of L10,000 plus interest. The tribunal chairman, John Prophet, said the unlawful policy of forcing pregnant servicewomen to resign had forced Mrs. O'Hare to decide between her career or her baby.
      Mrs. O'Hare left the RAF in August 1989 in the hope of salvaging her marriage. Her barrister, Dinah Rose, said: "The effect of the termination on her life and her previously stable and happy marriage has been little short of tragic. The couple are still together but there has been a severe, long-lasting effect on their relationship. Mr O'Hare is a Catholic and that may in some part explain the depth of his reaction."
      CC-->> Ah, the self-righteous: HE feels it is HIS privilege not to use birth control overshadowed HER right not to be a mother. And the British RAF thinks its OK for its service personnel to be fathers but not mothers.
      BAH !

      Catt's Claws salutes volunteers Jennifer Gagliardi for posting Catt's Claws through her listserv.

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

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