Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kids, Cars and Drive-Thrus

Back in the summer of '08, when summer was actually hot in June and we weren't contemplating building an Ark, I wrote a post about drive-thrus and how they are slowly murdering Mother Nature. I chalked them up to laziness and couldn't understand how anyone could see them in any other light.

Well, I stand corrected.

There is an excellent Blog post on the Ottawa Citizen website where a womyn (and mother) responds to the story of another mother in the Ottawa area who left her child in the car during 42 degree weather. Yes, 42 degrees. Then she left the car unlocked, which in this case was a positive thing because someone was able to retrieve the baby. The mother then came out and accused the other womyn of having kidnapped her baby. Oy vey! THEN it was released that the womyn was inside getting herself some ice cream.

I know.

So a journalist for the Citizen wrote a really interesting blog post about how she praises drive-thrus for helping mothers get things done while not having to leave their babies in the car or taking forever and a day to take the baby out and then putting the baby back in. This is particularly tricky if you've managed to get the baby to fall asleep and then you have to wake them to pick up a coffee. Even things like paying at the pump of the gas station allow mothers to keep their babies safe and in eye sight, while making the whole process speedy.

An FC kudos to the womyn who used her common sense and saved a baby from a sweltering car.

And thank you to journalist Melanie Coulson for correcting me in thinking that drive-thrus only benefit the lazy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Because You Can't spell "Blame" Without "Lame"

Now it's time for my favourite part of the evening: The Blame Game!

First on the list, Carleton University and their epic fuck-up: "Carleton University Accused of Victim-Blaming"

Next up: "9 year old initiated sex acts, child molester claims". He claims that she came on to him and he didn't want her to feel "rejected".

And finally: A cab driver in the city of Ottawa has been charged with sexually assaulting a passenger. The driver claims the womyn, who had 10-12 beers before getting into the cab, "came on to him" and he didn't want her to tell his boss that he had failed to "please her". He was given a whopping 2 months of house arrest. The sentence was so low because the judge "considered" that "the sexual assault Majli was convicted of was not the most serious"' and because she was drunk, they couldn't "prove" that he had not only kissed her, but penetrated her as well.

And the winner is... The City of Ottawa! The Capital of Canada; bastion of all things democratic. Yet in the past 2 months, all of these amazing victim-blaming stories have come out.

Studying at night? To blame
Being a regular 9 year old in the presence of a child molester? To blame
Taking a fucking cab home because you're aware that you're too drunk to drive? To blame.

In the City of Ottawa, that's how we roll.

Knocking the Spoons Out of their Mouths

Having been involved in activism surrounding public education and in having spent 3 years marking the papers of undergraduate students, I very enthusiastically applaud Ms. Caroline Orchard.

Caroline is an Ottawa high-school teacher who is pushing for a removal of Ontario's current "no-fail" policy. "Accrording to the policy, aimed at improving student success, students who fail to hand in assignments or engage in plagiarizing or cheating are no longer awarded a mark of zero and must be offered one or more chances to recover their endangered credit." (Citizen)

Caroline and others are calling the policy out for how it may not be failing students in school but it sets them up to fail at life. There are no second, third, fourth chances in life. There are certainly no second chances in university or the corporate world. So why would we tell young people who are professionals in training that the world will wait around for them until they're "ready" to hand in their work?

Having been a teacher's assistant in an Ontario university where naturally, most students are Ontario grads, TRUST that this policy has serious, serious effects.
I'm constantly fighting against the stereotype of youth being apathetic and entitled because I'm constantly dealing with engaged and interesting youth. But the reality is that most aren't and quite frankly, can you blame them? They've spent the last 12+ years being told that they call the shots.
So a major FeministCatalyst KUDOS to Caroline Orchard. In being involved in this type of activism, I understand that speaking out from within the system itself is not always welcome and easy. So here's hoping other people jump on board and support her on this.
Although internet petitions are not recognized officially recognized by Government, they are still good at sending a message. So if you think that spoon-feeding Ontario youth has nothing but detrimental effects, sign her petition.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Update on Judge's Comments

My statement that sexism is alive and well in Canadian politics still stands but here is an interesting development in the story of Ms. McLeod.

So, were Ms McLeod and Jane Taber just looking for an opportunity to plug themselves? Or did they honestly believe that's how it went down?

I don't know but it's interesting nonetheless and ultimately, unfortunate because it feeds into the anti-feminist rhetoric that womyn "play the gender card" when things don't go their way.

For the record though, let it be known that FC still very much believes that sexism is rampant in politics, at every level.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Old Boys Club, Indeed

In case you really didn't believe that politics was an Old Boy's Club that was less than keen to ladies, here's more to convince you otherwise.

An Ottawa Conservative MPP had her evidence dismissed in the trial against Ottawa mayor Larry O'Brien because, and I quote, "the defence was able to demonstrate that there were a number of rather significant things going on in her life when she gave her statement to the police. … ” “She was commuting regularly to Toronto for her work, leaving her husband and child in Ottawa". (source)

To add insult to injury, this dismissal was overlooked in the reading of O'Brien's sentence of not guilty and according to the MPP in question, her supporters were hard to come by. Once the news became public however, Equal Voice and others came out to dismiss and criticize the 69 year old judge's decision.

I'd add comment on this but I think it's rather obvious at this point: The idea that evidence from a female politician is invalid because she was busy being a politician AND a mother when she gave her evidence to police is beyond fucking insulting; it is sexism in the purest form. It is the reason why so few womyn enter politics and it is the reason why Canada is far from the beaming democracy it claims to be.

So if you still need evidence to believe the sexism in Canada's politics, there's no hope for you and you might as well join the commenters of the original Globe and Mail article. They are spewing such "clever" quips as "To all of the male posters here, every had a woman tell the truth in divorce court? Story is settled." (Great use of the word "every" kept from the original posting).

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Good: Article remembering Eunice Kennedy Shriver, member of the Kennedy dynasty and founder of the Special Olympics, who passed away at the age of 88.

Bad: Same article referring to the intellectually and physically disabled as "mentally retarded", "retarded" or "suffering from mental retardation".

Reuters = Fail

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mark My Words

And the war on womyn continues. This time in Pittsburgh, where a man entered a fitness facility and opened fire. A website, said to be in his name, stated his hatred for womyn and his wanting to target them specifically.

But come December 6 when people across the country mourn the 1989 Montreal Massacre, you wait and see how many op/eds will claim that Marc Lepine was one crazy bastard and in no way an indication of society as a whole.