In January, I posted an essay about a word, and its use in the English Language, both Historically, and in the Modern Era of the late 20th Century, and early 21st.
It was not the first ime I'd posted it anywhere, over the years, but it was the most up to date version on the subject under discussion: The word PUSSY. ;-D
Before you go running off to hide in your Cat Tower, or screaming into the hinterlands (if you are a Human) in horror, please read it, and the updates about what followed later that month, and over the summer...correspondences of a most interesting sort, with some interesting contacts. ;-D
A lot has happend, since July, and I was not able to continue the campaign with new letters to new contacts...until now (No Pun intended!). ;-D
The following has been sent out to the Electornic Mail "General Correspondence" Contact, Say it, Sister! NOW'S blog for equality (Via the NOW Web Content Manager), and this post will be passed along to their Facebook, & Twitter, too.
Will NOW Prez Terry O'Neil, or VP Bonnie Grabenhofer, respond?
Who knows? I didn't expect the responses I got earlier in the year, but they came. ;-D
So here goes:
My name is Nikita...
I'm just an ordinary Guy Cat, nearly 13 years old, fixed, and declawed, living happily indoors all my life, with a Human Male who loves me dearly, and has encouraged me to share his passion for blogging for the last 8 1/2 years.
Your About, and FAQ, Pages say that you are "The National Organization for Women (NOW), the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States", "dedicated to take action to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society."
For the last 8 years one of MY biggest issues has been in the realm of Language Usage by Humans as it affects the Feline Community, especially in English Speaking Nations.
Words have meaning.
Words have a History, especially in Literature.
Some words, over time, have their original meanings perverted by succeeding generations of users, thus leading to their original meaning being nearly forgotten for lack of use in that fashion, and any potential users fear of being mis-understood when using the word in public.
One such word is the one at the center of an essay, the latest version (3rd in 7 years) of which I posted, on my blog, last January.
The word is "PUSSY", and its related words such as Pussies, and Pussy's.
Over the last decade some voices, including Human Women, have spoken out in defense of the original meanings of this word, and against its perversion.
I am just the latest to do so, and probably the very first Feline to go public with my concern, and part of my effort has been to continue to put a spotlight on those Humans who came before me in the fight.
My essay is here: May I Have a Word?
Your efforts on behalf of Human Women are to be applauded, even though I, and especially my Human, may often disagree with some of your stances on various issues, and the way you go about fighting the fight.
In modern day vernacular most Humans seem to consider the use of the word Pussy to be a vulgar slang, and find instances of its usage toward other Humans to be cruel, demeaning, hateful, and damaging psychologically.
As a Feline I consider the appropriating of this word for such purposes to be just as cruel, demeaning, hateful, and damaging to Felines the world over.
I searched your sites to find out where your organization stands on this issue, and was surprised, and disappointed, to find nothing at all.
Your "official priorities" do not include having any interest in fighting this fight.
You say you want to "end all forms of violence against women".
You say you want to "eliminate discrimination and harassment" against Women.
You say that you are "emphasizing that there are many interrelated aspects" to these issues.
Imagine my extreme disappointment when the only things even remotely related to Cats, on any of your sites, were the following:
Several Press Releases encouraging people to "Oppose the "Cat Food" Commission" that had nothing to do what so ever with Cats!
One piece entitled "Privatizing Social Security Will Hurt Women" that uses the following words to attack a Govt. Proposal: "like rescuing a treed cat with an infantry battalion—you end up with an injured cat and a whole lot of collateral damage."
One piece entitled "How the Media Treats Mothers and Caregivers Economic Rights Issues" that mentions "Cat Fights", yet is not about Cats at all.
A "Statement of NOW President Patricia Ireland On Social Security", from 1998, in which she irresponsibly predicts that if a certain political faction she disagrees with has its way, in the future "reports of grandmotherly women forced to eat cat food will be commonplace."
An otherwise fascinating report, of a 1995 symposium, called "Notes for Participants, National Forensic League's Lincoln-Douglas Debate on Feminism and Gender Equality", that quotes a Catharine A. MacKinnon in a debate with a Phyllis Schlafly, from 1982, as saying "The function of Mrs. Schlafly, Camille Paglia, and other handmaidens to misogyny is to allow men to misrepresent the fight for women's rights as merely a cat fight between women. Collaborating with the oppressor has always been a reliable strategy for steady employment."
Please, pray tell, how throwing the word "Cat" around, in such an attack, against women mind you, furthers the cause of Womens Rights without doing damage, and insult, to the good name of Felines everywhere?
A search of all your sites, including the NOW Foundation, and Press Releases, for mention of the following words - Pussy, Pussycat, Pussy Cat, Pussies, Pussy's - over the years, turned up just 5 hits for "Pussy", none of which addressed the issues of my campaign, and neither did the above listed items.
Whether it’s based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or species, prejudice is morally unacceptable.
Freedom of Speech is as important to us Felines as it is to you Humans but, just like Humans, we are offended by the way certain words are used, and feel it important to speak out about it, at every opportunity, so as to make the case for change, and hopefully be a positive influence on the evolution of culture, and society.
That such an important organization as yours has apparently found no reason to speak out, or take a stand, on this issue is extremely disappointing.
Where do you stand?
HAVE you spoken out in any way at all, at any time in your history, and I just can't find the information?
If you have not addressed this, ever, why?
Would you care to do so, now?
I would be more than happy to post any responses, to this letter, that you care to make, on my blog.
NIKITA CAT - Proud Pussy Pundit Since 2002!
Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat
Senior Journalist, & Correspondent: Feline News Network
Offishul Repurrter: The Cat Blogosphere Website
Professor: Nikita Institute of Pussydom Studies (NIPS)
The Most Opinionated Pussycat in America, with Talent on Loan from The Ceiling Cat
Creative writing, photos, experiences, observations, & opinions, on life, & the world at large.
MY HUMAN BEST BUD: Kiril Kundurazieff
Musings of a Mad Macedonian
WOW! That was quick!
I send out my letters just over an hour ago, to who I said I would, and just now did the blog post.
I just checked my e-mail, and...NOW can't wait for me to join!
In fact they are practically BEGGING me to do so!
3 e-mails, the last 2 just minutes aparts. ;-D
Well, OK, maybe it WAS just the AUTO response system, with all I'd need to know to sign up, and send my membership dues, but at least it appreaciated what I had to say!
I now have a new e-mail address to write to as well. ;-D