January 16, 1996

      Sorry but I've been in the doldrums - somehow got off my Vitamin D and big doses of "A" supplements - Makes a helluva difference. I know, "D" is supposed to be a given in our diets, but for women, it ain't and especially for us who spend long hours INSIDE and in front of Vitamin-A-draining monitors and fluorescent lights - and who gets sunshine in the winter?
      And women naturally NEED MORE Vitamin D than men - but of course the government standards are set up for the guys.

      And while I'm doing the housekeeping chores, let me make something PERFECTLY CLEAR. Catt's Claws and Women of Achievement and Herstory are linked on Internet to a number of pages run by organizations. They did it. Many have never notified me.
      That is fine, but being linked does not mean membership or support, and there is one group that is implying that I BELONG to them. It is a good group, but I'm not one of them.
      My memberships are with the Virginia Clinton Kelley Democratic Women's Club, the League of Women Voters, and the National Organization for Women - PERIOD. I have been a member AND AN ACTIVIST with a number of other national organizations, but I dropped them to concentrate on online services for feminists which I began with more than six years ago.
      I am a member of NO online organizations. I refuse to belong to any organization in which I can never have a voice.
      At the end of Catt's Claws since issue #1 (and I think we're the oldest with the largest readership of any online feminist newsletter) we have plainly stated that Catt's Claws is beholden to NO organization.
      Those who wish to link or re-use Catt's Claws or Women of Achievement and Herstory for NON PROFIT USE are encouraged to do so. HAVE AT IT !!!
      The point of all of this unpaid work on my part is to educate, to spread the word, to join hands, to cut through the bull and get to the cows who, of course, do all the good stuff.
      Why can't we stop these attempts at self-aggrandizement (don't you just love that word? Can't you just see the ego seeping into a room three minutes before the body?)
      We're in this together.
      Let our WORK speak for us...

      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 Ms. Magazine, the "Catholics for a Free Choice" and two priests, including Father John Clemont of the Chancery Office/Archdiocese of New York, say 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."
      Those who have drifted away from Ms. Magazine (as I did) might like to revisit it. Under the new editorship, Ms. appears to be more grounded in reality and less concerned with self-effacing theorists.

      Barbara Cochran Berry and writer-collaborator Joanee Parrent have come out with a MUST READ book Life After Johnnie Cochran (1995-Basic Books) about the PHYSICAL ABUSE and adulteries she had to tolerate during the 18 years of her marriage. No wonder Cochran and OJ got along so well.

      In the Sept./Oct. issue of Mother Jones, it was reported that in 1967 barely a fifth of Brazil's women worked outside the home; now more than 70 percent do - and even so, abuse has risen. We have heard that although Brazilian women have obtained rights for child care leaves, breast feeding times (as reported by MoJo), the Brazilian woman's civil rights still leave her in the fifth century... in other words, have kids, take care of them by working for money outside the home, but don't expect anything from the machismo society.

      Jlerner wrote: "Parade Magazine on Dec. 31 had a photograph of 189 "leaders of nearly every country on Earth" who had gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UN. I counted SIX women in this group (approx. 3 percent). Yep, we've certainly come a long way."

      CC: This is a pop quiz: Name the country and/or names of the six women leaders. (One, I believe is already out.)
      And a SECOND pop quiz: What two leading "democracies" have NEVER had a female head of state?

      President Clinton's coup in taking over Haiti and returning Jean- Bertrand Aristide to power without the lose of life is NEVER, but NEVER mentioned in daily macho press/media. Did you know that the infamous Quartier General, the military headquarters that masterminded some of the worst atrocities in Haiti, has been turned into a ministry for women?

      My GAWD (God, a Woman Deity), how can anyone stand around feeling content when so much offal is coming down on women?

      A Nazi Swastika was painted on the door of a Jewish page of the U. S. House of Representatives (Newt Gingrich, speaker). The area is open to authorized personnel only. Yep, the kids do as the elders do.

      Regarding the murder-rape of Kimberly Ernest, 26, whose body was found at the intersection of 21st and Pine in Philadelphia, Tom Menner reports that her killers have been caught. According to news reports, two men went out that early morning with the expressed intent of stealing a car (which is apparently something they did on a regular basis). While breaking into a car Ernest, on her morning run, apparently saw them and shouted at them to stop. The younger man attacked her to shut her up; according to the account, though, she more than held her own and in fact was besting him when the other man came up and hit her with a tire iron. They then raped her and beat her to death. They were caught because the younger man told his stepfather (who himself was already in prison) who promptly turned his stepson in.
      HELP - Can anyone explain why men rape like this? What is wrong with these guys? Why are we raising our boys to do such things?

      A Gallup poll found that 1.3 million children a year were sexually abused. The poll did not ask parents whether they had sexually abused their children, but rather whether, as far as they knew, their children had been forced to have sex with an adult or older child, had been forcibly touched sexually by an adult or older child, or had been forced to touch an adult or older child sexually.
      The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in its most recent report (1992) said ONLY 130,000 children are victims of sexual abuse, one-tenth the Gallup numbers.
      The difference is, of course, that the government figures are based on REPORTED abuse or abuse discovered by police and other agencies.
      One point three million and there are those who claim, from their knees in church, that sexual abuse of children doesn't exist and fight any attempts to do anything about it.
      The NUMBER ONE priority, of course, is to TEACH young children that a person touching them in certain ways - even their daddies - is wrong and then having some place for them to go to and report the evil being done them.
      With all our "gender" blindness propaganda, we fail to realize that we are talking about MOSTLY GIRLS who are sexually abused - only a relatively small number of boys are, although even one of either sex is too many.
      So these figures translate to 1.18 million girls and 117,000 boys.

      In the late term anti-abortion bills both the House and Senate bills exempt abortions performed by Caesarean section or hysterectomy. But once that fetus, even though horribly disfigured and unable to live on its own, gets forced into that "birth canal," namely the vagina by a woman's own contractions, it's MURDER.
      What is so sacred about a woman's vagina?
      Ummm... And why the hell can't they call it a vagina and not "birth canal." Sounds like a scene with gondolas and singing men with large mustacheos instead of screaming women going through a pain that is worse than ANY other kind of human pain. The only thing similar is the passing of a LARGE kidney stone.

      Well, well. The boss of the Central Florida's largest "Christian" TV station WACX in Orlando is paid the holy sum of $119,550 a year and is one of the reasons the station was refused a religious tax break on its land.
      It is seen by the county authorities as operating like a commercial broadcast station.
      Ah, could this be a precedent?
      These multi-millionaire enterprises with their air-conditioned dog houses are allowed to get away with hiding behind religious exemptions while condemning welfare mothers and the working poor who need help with medical and food.
      When we lived in Florida, the LARGEST SINGLE LANDOWNER IN THE STATE WAS THE MORMON CHURCH- TAX EXEMPT, of course - and it is probably the largest in your state too.

      One of the saddest news releases we've gotten recently is that Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions are backing a series of conferences set up by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.
      According to *their* release, "False Memory Syndrome (FMS) is a condition in which a person's identity and relationships are centered around the memory of a traumatic experience which is objectively false but the person strongly believes it to be true."
      CC: Note that they don't QUESTION whether the memory of childhood rape is false; they DECLARE it false. Almost every speaker or sponsor of the conferences which has dragged Johns Hopkins reputation into this mess is a member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, many of whom are accused of abuse by their own children, or are making a hell of a lot of money attacking a woman's ability to suppress bad memories. (One of our readers, Lynn writes: "the False Memory Syndrome Foundation or as I prefer it: Frightened Molester Security Foundation.")
      It amazes us that a woman is not considered capable of suppressing bad memories but men subject to "flashbacks" 30 years after a war incident are treated with respect and given treatment.
      The FMSF is re-raping the women/girl by a medical field that should be helping her. And now Johns Hopkins' reputation is brought into it.
      One question: Have Dr. McHugh or anyone very close to him been accused of molestation? What is his political and/or religious affiliation?

      At the age of 96, Vi Brewer, even though in good physical condition, and even after eating about a pound of chocolate a day for most of her life, has retired at a chocolate dipper at the Idaho Candy Company where she worked for 72 years. "She's got the most nimble hands of anyone I've ever seen," said John Wagers, owner of the company. "She was the best dipper of anyone they had."
      She started when she was in the eighth grade making $5 a week for nine hours a day, six days a week because her father had abandoned the family, her mother was sick, and there were three younger boys. She took a break from 1927 to 1937 to have four sons.
      (One news release said 1927-1937 to RAISE four sons - GAWD, I LOVE men reporters...)

      A recent Newsweek poll showed that 21% of all Americans and 43% of evangelical Christians believe that the gay rights movement is an "incarnation of Satan."
      Observers fear this preaching of hate will lead to wide-spread violence in the "Name of God," as was recently seen in the murder of Itzak Rabin.
      Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays is a national organization that wants to expose the connection between hate rhetoric and anti-gay violence. Recently, the organization produced two 30-second TV spots that take aim at just this combination, showing the Revs. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are heard spouting their messages of hate.
      We don't have the address... anyone out there?

      Well, well, well. The British are designing laws to punish the organizers of child sex tours. It would target people in Britain who arrange foreign trips on which adults commit sexual offenses against children, and those who encourage others to travel to sexually exploit children.
      Other Western countries have introduced such legislation. Earlier this year, a Swedish pedophile was jailed for having sex with a child while on holiday in Thailand.
      Thailand has been a center for such exploitation of girl children for decades. The head of the International department at NOW would was released because of budget problems was one of those who were VERY aware of the fact that up to 90% of the girl children in Thailand are forced into prostitution as early at SIX.
      We have been pained to find out that NOW president Patricia Ireland AGAIN made a pleasure trip to Thailand... Please, V. This is not a good thing to do, like Thai things or not.
      And, V, IF we have your attention, we'd like to know whether NOW still employs the exploitive organizations to sort the returns on the membership mailings.

      From: Mary Kay: Subject: Re: China's orphanages - killing fields for (girl) babies
      "I don't know how many of you might be aware of this, but China dominates U.S. toy sales these days, so far as I can tell from the consumer end of things. Littlest Petshop and Polly Pockets come immediately to mind. So now, does one supply these products to one's children and if not explain the terrible reasons? Why is there no press coverage of these matters? U.S. parents might be able to make a difference in this tragic situation. How to do something?"
      Mary, of course is referring to the death by starvation or killing by abuse of thousands of girl children A YEAR in China in orphanages.
      Another reader wrote: "We have two (single women) friends who just adopted babies from two different orphanages via a Chinese lawyer in Los Angeles. They were told that there were only girls available."
      The 331-page report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch/Asia group supports its findings with figures published by the Ministry of Civil Affairs which show that in the Shanghai Children's Welfare Institute the annual death-to-admission ratio was 77.6 percent in 1991.
      In orphanages in eastern Fujian province, 109 children were admitted in 1989 - and 109 died. That far exceeds the notorious orphanage death rate in Romania, which was about 40 percent in 1989. (Romania, if you recall, had strict anti-abortion laws with state inspectors questioning and examining any married women who did not conceive.)
      Sun Zhu was admitted in June 1989 and died two months later "so hungry that she was trying to eat the flesh off her hand."
      The report says one orphanage director raped young girls. It alleges torture, as well as physical and mental abuse, while children who misbehaved were certified as mentally ill and transferred to psychiatric hospitals.
      China only admits to a 100,000 orphan population - in a nation of 1.8 billion and which is now limiting families to one child. The number of girl children murdered at birth or thrown away staggers the imagination since the entire Chinese ethos is tied to males.       Stop buying ANYTHING made in China - the pocketbook is the only way to stop them.

      "We know, as do most NOW members and Americans in general that domestic violence, and all violence against women, is color blind," Tammy Bruce said in a statement following her censure by the national Board of the National Organization for Women.
      "Speaking on the horrors of domestic violence does not make one a racist, and ... not speaking against this epidemic is abandoning thousands of women who are (at) risk in this country, including women of color," she said.
      Flo Kennedy who is celebrating her 80th birthday soon said it back in the 1960's: "The man does it to us all, honey."

      A reader sent this in: Thomas Paine writes "I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible)." "Among the most detestable villains in history, you could not find one worse than Moses. Here is an order, attributed to 'God' to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers and to debauch and rape the daughters." "It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible."

      Nikki Craft writes: "I had just gotten a quote that I added to the America On Line women's section censored. I didn't know how restrictive the lists were.
      "Btw, the AOL quote was John Wayne Bobbitt who said: "I've had many intuitions since I got my penis cut off." I thought it was a very insightful quote, and since it was originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle (Dec. 31, 1995) I figured it would be good enough for the women's section at AOL. I was wrong. They yanked it the next morning. I put it back and they yanked it again. I was told in email later that children read the women's board and they have to be very careful."

      Catt's Claws Monthly Reminder

      Medical authorities are saying the use of two already approved drugs that induce abortions when used in combination has produced a surge in abortions but no one will realize it for several years because they are being prescribed quietly and in private in doctor's offices.
      Dr. Richard U. Hausknecht of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York published a study of the use of the combination of methotrexate and misoprostol to induce abortion in the Aug. 31 in the New England Journal of Medicine. In years past, several doctors, including a woman doctor released the same information and after the first news story, it was quietly ignored/suppressed.
      Catt's Claws vows this time the information will stay available.
      Methotrexate is FDA-approved for use against cancer; Misoprostol is FDA approved to treat ulcers. Because both are FDA-approved, they can be prescribed by physicians today and together, they produce abortions at a better rate than the RU-486 pill.
      Available today at your friendly M.D.
      Also available for many years and never brought to women's attention, the drugs that produced abortions in women with ectopic pregnancies.
      Hey NOW and Feminist Majority Foundation - How about spreading the news. Although, we guess, if the two M's become well known, the Feminist Majority's big fund raisers on behalf of an abortion pill to be approved sometime in the future will not raise so much mulla...
      Hey, wake up and smell the roses. It's here now.

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

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Irene Stuber, PO Box 6185, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71902.
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