Thursday, November 26, 2009

Apples Meet Oranges

Transcript from today's Question Period.


Nicole Demers (Laval, QC, BQ): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister responsible for Status of Women refused to denounce the unacceptable statements made by a Conservative MP who implied that abortions contribute to the development of breast cancer. Besides being wrong medically, this assertion is meant to make women feel guilty. We would expect that the minister would defend women and the right to abortion with vigour rather than saying things worthy of Sarah Palin. When will the minister stop protecting the dinosaurs in her party to the detriment of women's right?

Hon. Helena Guergis (Minister of State for Status of Women): --Very clearly in the house yesterday, this member is actually fully aware that there are elected members in this house who have said very similar things at different times. Members in this house represent their constituencies and they are free to have any opinion that they choose to. It does not mean it represents the government. But please let me highlight one of our most recent achievements to protect women across the country. Recently we revised our citizenship guide. I would like to recognize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for the great work he's done in specifically outlining that barbaric practices like female genital mutilation are not tolerated in Canada.


This is ten levels of wrong.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So Many Stories, So Little Time

It’s been an incredibly interesting news day, today. So interesting that I could easily write 4-5 different posts. Instead, I’m going to do a round-up for you.

“Calgary Family Negotiates Homework Ban” – Headline pretty much says it best. A two child household was tired of spending hours on what they saw as “busy work” and so they negotiated with the school to only have them be marked on work they do in class. I think occasional homework is fine but only in high schools. Children need to be engaged in life and homelife in particular and so I say, go Calgary family!

Better family planning could curb climate change: UN”- A new report by the UN Population Fund suggests making condoms and other family planning services more available will help combat global warming by reducing the world's population. Sex education around the world needs some serious, serious love (pun fully intended) and so whatever the reason, I say bring it on.

“Florida snowbirds take risks with HIV: study” - One more time with feeling, we need better sex education. A recent study has found Canadians age 50+ have skyrocketing rates of HIV, in particular those who vacation in Florida for the winter. The reason being that many of them go down to Florida and live the swinging single life, getting it on and being carefree without protection and thus end up with HIV. The rate of condom use for this age group is dismal. But part of the reason is that if you don’t get quality sex education when you’re young, you probably won’t get it all and yes, people over 50+ still get laid.

Add on that most people only use protection to avoid pregnancy and you’ve got menopausal womyn thinking “I don’t need protection now; I’m good to go!” They’re good alright; at getting the HIV.

And finally,

“McGill anti-abortion student group suspended” - Now, let the record state that I fully support an anti-choice organization's right to express their viewpoints. FULLY. However, in the case of McGill and other similar incidents, the anti-choice organizers were willfully spreading medical misinformation and postering campuses with graphic images in places where people had no choice but to see it. In McGill’s case, after many complaints from students, the McGill student association has suspended their official club status until they can reach some sort of resolution with the student council. Squashing freedom of expression? Not in my view.

Mmmmm.... Controversy, Part II

So back in May, the Governor General created an international raucous when she ate raw seal meat at an Inuit ceremony in the North. Canadians, including myself, applauded her while anti-seal hunt folks were up in arms.

Well, let’s put one more point towards the seal hunt camp because Parliament’s fancy, mucky-muck restaurant has added seal meat to the menu. This new item will join already existing meats like beef, pork and bison.

It’s a seemingly small gesture but it’s very impressive when you consider how controversial the whole issue is.

Once again, Michaƫl Jean for the win!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Racism is Child's Play

A new study looks at how aware children are of racism. And their conclusion?

By age 9, children are well aware of the existence of racism. "I think that would be surprising to many people, that by second or third grade a lot of kids get it, they get that there's racism in the world and they understand what it is", says one of the researchers involved.

Probably not surprising to the 9 year old kids who are the target of racism and prejudice...

Female Ski Jumpers vs. The IOC

So I've already hashed out on here my opinions regarding the Olympics. But I will say again that I want to believe in the Olympics because having been an athlete most of my life and coming from an athletic family, I really do believe that sport has the ability to bring people together.

As a feminist, I've also seen the way girls/womyn getting into sport helps them build self-esteem, often (but not always) improve their self-image and learn life skills like how to be a team player, sharing and the importance of losing as much as winning. Important stuff.

And so even though I have mixed emotions about the Olympics, I've got very strong feelings about the International Olympic Committee shutting out female ski jumpers. Apparently, so does the BC Court who have actually stated that the IOC's decision to not allow female ski jumpers is discrimination however it is not within the jurisdiction of the BC Courts to change the IOC's position.

So Canada will be hosting Olympics that they know full well and have admitted go against its Charter of Rights and Freedoms and yet, the show must go on. Keeping in mind of course that the Olympics are being held on stolen Native land, but that's another story completely (according to the Press).

I call bullshit on the whole thing. The female ski jumpers have shot down all "reasonable arguments" for their exclusion and they're still not allowed to compete. Oh and I also call bullshit on the language being used in so many of the articles on this. Just as I think ski jumper Lindsay Van was out of line for comparing the International Olympic Committee to the "Taliban of the Olympics", I'm also sick and tired of people referring to adult womyn as "girls" and "ladies".

Monday, November 9, 2009

News Roll

In surprising news, a reserve in British Columbia is hoping to become “delisted” and remove its Indian Status.

In mildly surprising news, talk show host and Media empire Goddess Oprah Winfrey might be switching her show to her own new television station. This means leaving Chicago and no longer being accessible to the general public (since her station is not offered with standard cable).

In not-even-remotely-surprising news, the Catholic Church is not changing its stance on priests and celibacy.