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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Women, go find another guy - Harper is no friend to women (3)

Being a friend to women is a long term commitment, not just an election fuelled booty call, like some desperate drunk dial in the middle of the night.

Mr. Harper is the kind of guy we warn our friends and daughters about. You know him. He's the self-involved, entitled guy who cleans up okay and treats women decently enough while dating, but as soon as we let him move in, he becomes a slob on the couch, won't lift a finger to help around the house, and still expects dinner and sex.

The worst part is, we know this guy. We've already dated him. He's a loser. He's proven time and time again that he doesn't care about us, that he'll ditch our interests for his own every single time and then blame us when it happens. After the battering women have taken, after everything this guy has done to shut us up, we're supposed to believe that he will change.

All I can say is, this is unlikely. All we've got so far is a promise to income split, a promise that won't help many families and is a not-so-subtle way to use the tax system to reinforce a mythical vision of family from Father Knows Best. (See this article in the Globe and Mail on why income splitting won't help.)

If they really wanted to help women, the Conservatives and Harper would not infringe on our reproductive rights. They would respect reproductive rights as human rights. They would make certain New Brunswick complied with the rest of the country on abortion provision and would not allow the New Brunswick provincial government to violate the Charter rights of New Brunswick women. They would ensure that access is available throughout the country, in all provinces, including rural areas and in the north. They would create policy that assisted families regardless of whether they are two parent, single parent, single sex or something else, both working or one working, and those who can't work at all. They would know that children are poor when their families are poor, and tackle the social inequalities that create poverty. They would reinstate funding to Status of Women Canada, even increase it and strengthen their ability to influence policy that affects women. Then they would reinstate the Court Challenges Program and all other funding they have taken away from progressive groups they have tried to bury. They would reinstate the Long Form Census so that they had accurate social indicators on which to base policy. They would base policy on what is real, not on conservative fantasies or on some crime bogey man that they use to keep women and everyone else in a state of perpetual fear.

Women, go find another guy, maybe even look for a woman. You deserve better.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Harper is no Friend to Women (2)

A theme is developing. Hopefully a meme is developing. Read Heather Mallick in the Star. Spread the word.
Lovely piece. Brave, as always, Ms. Mallick.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Harper is no friend to women

According to the Globe and Mail, Mr. Harper will court women in this election and try to convince us he is our friend. I almost spit my coffee out through my nose when I read that one.

But he needs us to win, apparently, so I'd say that puts the ball in our court. Spread the word to your women friends, post things on Facebook, do whatever it is you do best, and let the women know there is a pattern to his behaviour that is anti-woman.

For a complete run down on all Mr. Harper has done to roll back women's rights, I will advise you again to read Jill Arkles paper, The War on Women. Also have a look at the facebook page Canadians United Against Stephen Harper, which has a staggeringly long list of his various attacks on progressive thought and action that goes well beyond women and includes attacks on democracy itself. Sorry to be so blatantly partisan. But you already knew that.

If you're having trouble keeping up on the war on women in the United States, have a look at Mother Jones'
recent update. It gives you the most significant things to keep an eye on. Also, it's a good look at the kind of legislation that is in our future if Mr. Harper gets a majority.

Now someone needs to do the same article for what's going on in Canada. Again, I send it out there to the blogosphere and hope someone picks it up.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Guest blog on Abortion Gang

Cheery news today. Please, go visit my guest blog on Abortion Gang. Abortion Gang is part of a terrific network of blogs and pro-choice activist sites that provide news and perspectives rarely seen in the mainstream press. I know that sometimes I feel bogged down thinking nothing is changing. Sites like this remind me in a second that there is a new energy out there that is really going to change the world. They are a breath of fresh air. I have just a few sources listed on this blog, but if you want a really comprehensive list, check out Pegdehog's list on Anti choice is anti awesome. Also don't forget twitter. I signed up to follow quite a long list of twitter feeds that are feminist. It was easy and the links to other related news have helped me find things I wouldn't have seen otherwise. While I'm at it, I'll plug two of my fav magazines, Bitch, which is a feminist response to pop culture and Shameless, a progressive magazine for girls. There are alternatives to celebrity gossip and articles that teach young women to be conformist and less than what they are. Those of you with teenage girls, these will help them open their eyes. Happy Reading.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Anti-Choicers don't consider babies "People" during protest - Irony meter explodes

I love irony. As the forty days of harassment continues, my local abortion clinic finds itself having to continually remind the anti-choice bullies of the terms of their injunction against protesters, an injunction  meant to protect the patients of the clinic. Among other things, the injunction permits protesters, but only four at a time and they must stay on the other side of the street.

Yesterday, the clinic had to call the police (again) because the protesters had (again) violated the terms of the injunction. There were four women on the sidewalk and together they had three kids in strollers. In my world, four plus three equals seven. When told they were violating the injunction, they argued that "four people" did not include children.

Apparently, their actual children don't count  as people, but according to the signs they wave maniacally, fetuses do count as people.

Forgive me for enjoying the deliciousness of the irony.

The Abortion Monologues is available for purchase at www.abortionmonologues.com and in e-book format here at Smashwords.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Abortion Care Network pamphlet, "You Are A Good Woman"

Charlotte Taft and the wonderful people at the Abortion Care Network have released an affirming new pamphlet called "You Are A Good Woman." The text is available on a recent post by Abortioneers, and if you want to read it there, go for it. It is also available at the Abortion Care Network's store, as are all of their pamphlets. It mirrors what the play has to say, and next time I'm involved in producing the show, I'm going to make sure we have plenty of these on hand. If you are considering abortion or have had an abortion and are feeling worn down by all the name calling and the recent news, please read this. It's a good reminder that women who have abortions are good women and that the haters have motivations that lie outside of our personal well-being and the well-being of our families.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

US Senate rejects bill to ban funding to Planned Parenthood

Hooray! This is great news for our American friends and great news for Canada too.

For more on this, please go to the following link:
Planned Parenthood Federation of America Press Release

And isn't it wonderful that it is also National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers. Read about it at http://iamdrtiller.com/

I stand with Planned Parenthood, and with all of the abortion providers who work on the front lines of human rights every day. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Anti-Choice Virus

An interesting read in Campus Progress by Ryan Brown on how the anti-choicers are trying to go viral is a wake up call about the tactics being used in the battle for public opinion.

It is old news that the anti-choicers are running contests to produce the "best" YouTube video to convince congress why they should defund Planned Parenthood. The project is creating little rising stars in the YouTube/Right Wing/Glenn Beck world, Teary Eyed Teens, Wee Bastions of Intolerance, Children for Chasitity, Adolescents for Abstinence, the next generation of eroto-phobes who are also, coincidentally, the next generation of anti-choicers. I like Brown's take on it. She asks what we can really learn from a 14 year old's perspective on abortion. It is pretty much how I feel about the Biebs and his recent comments in Rolling Stone (see earlier blog on this.)  Brown says in the end, "Pro-choice or pro-life, I’m going to go ahead and say that if you’re prepubescent your opinions on reproductive health are about as meaningful as John Boehner bursting into tears—which is to say, not very. I’d like to check in with these kids again in 10 years once they’ve needed birth control, encountered a ripped condom, or had to get by without health insurance." Amen to that, Ms. Brown.

Time for a Pro-Choice YouTube campaign? I send it out there into the blogosphere, and hope that someone picks it up.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy International Women's Day

To all the women who are out there working to make the world a better place for everyone, thank you.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Annie Lennox on feminism today

Here is something better, much better, on feminism today, although it still resorts to using "the f-word." Have a look at Annie Lennox's interview of five good women in the Guardian Observer.

The issues are described in a more contemporary context and in greater depth. This is a much deeper piece and you will find it much more filling.

Friday, March 4, 2011

CBC Doc Zone piece about Feminism

CBC's Doc Zone broadcast The F-Word last night, a doc about feminism. Check the link if you want to watch it on line, but seriously, if you are reading this blog, you are probably way past what this has to offer.

I guess it was fine for those who are just happy to have women and what might be of concern to some of us show up ANYWHERE in the media, and I'll give it credit for explaining anti-feminist feminists, one of my favourite topics. I can see it being used in first year introductory women's studies courses, or probably more likely in high schools. But honestly, I felt tired watching it. And bored. Are we really back to explaining THIS? Are we really STILL trying, a little too desperately, to reassure ourselves that it's okay to call ourselves feminist? Is this REALLY where we still are? I don't blame the interview subjects. They were giving excellent historical context and telling the story of feminism in the west. And they did it pretty well. But hasn't it been done already? Haven't we already interrogated the relationship between second and third wave feminists? Isn't this ground so well trodden that it is bare of vegetation, devoid of all signs of life? Are we STILL reassuring ourselves that if we call ourselves feminist it does not mean we're ugly and can't find a man? REALLY?

It's not my style to simply complain and not offer an alternative. So this is what I want. I want to see a documentary detailing (that's "detailing" not merely mentioning) how the Harper government (and if you want to, insert your favourite woman-hating politician in to the Harper slot as you wish) has waged war on women in this country. The information is easy to find. It can refer to the war on women worldwide while it's doing so. Read Marci McDonald's excellent book "The Armageddon Factor" or look at a paper by Jill Arkles called the War on Women. (I know, I know, very academic and has the required explanation of positionality and methodology at the start which is enough to turn any general reader off). But get past this. I hope Arkles rewrites it for a popular audience, maybe even makes it into a documentary, but of course, there would be NO FUNDING for that because the Harperites would make sure anything that could possibly fund anything about women and anything that dissents with the party line is starved of cash and they are probably at this very moment trying to shut down the university program that generated her paper. But the facts are there. Somehow, a few brave women and journalists and students and dissenters have continued to get these facts out. Look for them. Read. READ and learn and make the connections.

When this level of depth is available, what is anyone doing making a doc called The F-Word? The title itself denigrates its subject. It's not cute. It's annoying.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Undercover at Pregnancy Crisis Centers

Here is a good article on what goes on at the Pregnancy Crisis Centres, you know, the fake "clinics" that lure pregnant women in with their false promises. Thanks to the writers for doing the undercover work needed to continue to expose these places for what they are - Christian missions.

Although this article is American, the same thing goes on here. In fact I passed one the other day in Vancouver and there was nothing on their signage indicating they were Christian or that they did not refer for abortions. There was plenty of signage that was indicative of a "medical" setting though. Is it too much to ask the Christians to just be honest?