Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I Wish I Hadn't Done it; Therefore, No One Else Should Have That Option, and other sad moments from The March for Life

They're probably the only anti-abortion group that gets to me: average women, sombre faces, black signs with white writing that proclaim "I Regret My Abortion".

And my first thought is: Dude, that sucks.

And my second thought is: That's not a valid argument.

And my third thought is: Why have you gone to the dark side?

Let's deal with those thoughts one at a time, shall we?

First of all - that really, really sucks. I can't imagine how much stress, depression, insomnia, and wordless rage that kind of regret must generate. Every day, every smiling family, every child, every parent, must provoke a numb hollowness that is unbearable.

BUT - and this brings us to thought number two - that is not a valid argument. You made one of the most difficult decisions any person will ever be faced with, and now you regret your choice. You have my sympathy. But you don't know better than I do what's right for me and my body. I'm sorry that you regret your abortion, and I'm interested in your story, but you don't get to make that choice for me.

Laws don't exist to protect me from making decision I might regret (hello, grade six perm), they exist to protect my fundamental human rights and freedoms. They exist to create a society in which fully autonomous citizens are informed and aware and capable of excercising free will.

Which leads me to my final point - these woman have(unwittingly, I like to think) gone over to the dark side by endorsing the same social factors which likely contributed to their regrettable decision in the first place: the systemic devaluation of women, their intellect, their contributions to society, and their intrinsic worth.

Did these women abort because of pressures from their partners, parents or peers? Were they made to feel selfish for considering what was best for them and not the interests of others? Were they threatened with financial abandonment, physical violence, or moral judgment?

Abortion wasn't, and isn't, the problem - it's a society which consistently undermine women's rights. And that is why, when I look at these women, I want to extend my arms and invite them over to this side of the fence, where they belong, where every woman can choose what is right for her and her alone and not fear retribution for daring to presume to act like a full human being with the rights and privileges thereby accorded.

Friday, May 26, 2006

It's only fun if she can be arrested

Originally posted on The Fetal Position:

As a woman, prostitution has always been somewhat of a puzzle to me. The thought of paying someone for sex is so strange, so alien - like, I will give him money? And he will have sex with me? - just doesn't compute in my brain.

Whether this is a sign of moral superiority of my sex or the complete and total absorption of patriarchal hegemony that turns the female body into consumer wares, I don't know.

But I do know that Geoff Matthews needs to spend a few years being a sexually abused drug-addict living off the avails of prostituting himself before anyone should take him seriously when he spouts drivel like this - his recent story talking about why the legalization of prostitution is bad.

Which it is - but not for the reasons he gives, which are:
making prostitution legal would take all the fun out of it.

I dare say that most people who patronize prostitutes now don't do it because they can't get sex anywhere else -- from wives, girlfriends or people they meet at the neighbourhood bar.

They go to prostitutes because it's a thrill ... a chance to walk on the wild side ... to do something because it's against the law and there's a possibility of getting caught.

Well, he's sort of right - men do go to prostitutes because it's a thrill. The thrill of owning another person, of subjecting them to your will, of taking the single most victimized and powerless group in the world and lording over them, like a REAL MAN. Nothing more thrilling than making a drug-addicted teenage runaway give you a blowjob in a back alley. And of course you could have asked your girfriend/wife/stranger at a bar to do that, but then she might have asked you to wear a condom/expected something in return/kicked you in the balls. Ooops, I mean, "it wouldn't have been as thrilling". Riiiiight.

Legalizing prostitution is a terrible idea, though, but not because it would destroy one of the treasured benefits of the patriarchy, as Matthews claims, but because it would normalize what is essentially an abherration in our society born out of inequalities of power. If being a prostitute is legal, then wouldn't the next step be having pimps and madams at high school career fairs? Or a woman being denied social assistance because she refuses to take a job offer from a brothel?

The obvious solution, and one which is usually ignored because it is reasonable, practical, and unpatriarachal, is to target the real criminals in this situation, like they do in Sweden. There, the government has stumbled upon the fact thatthe abused single mother trying to support her children is not so much a threat to society as she is a victim of that society:
In Sweden, prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children that constitutes a significant social problem, which is harmful not only to the individual prostituted woman or child, but also to society at large.
OMG! It's not those wanton harlots tempting otherwise good and honest hard-working family men with their irresistible charms, it's a patriarchal society commodifying the female form to dominate and exploit it? That's kah-razy!

And the best part of that solution is, not only does it allow the state to protect and assist those who are forced to prostitute themselves, it also lets Matthews and their ilk enjoy the thrill of being criminals. Everybody wins!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Discovery of the Week

Oh oh oh soooo exciting! So, I've been reading up more on this eating local, 100-mile diet DD and I found our way to the local farmer's market on opening day last week. And there were organic tomatoes and cucumber and asparagus and radishes and spinach and all the ususal suspects. And then there was (drumroll, bated breath, please): A LOCAL ARTISAN CHEESEMAKER AIEEEEE!!!!

So. Exciting. They were all sold out of everything but feta, but we sampled their blue cheese (divine) and a couple other soft cheeses and oooooohhhhh so good. So I'm thinking maybe this summer I'll try going full-out some week on a local diet, and see how it goes. I was sure about it, but at least know I know that, if nothing else, I can eat cheese all week.

In other news, the garden, she is growing - we've had over 3 inches of rain this past week, so the plants and veggies and lawn are just sprouting up like crazy. I mean, they are doing that because I am such an excellent gardener!

And - in work news - I guess I lost the bet I had...with myself. It wasn't Maurice Vellacott who introduced the first fetal rights bill, but his friend and party-member Leon Benoit. There'll be a post on this later at The Fetal Position, 'cause I'd like to go in-depth on this one. It is a very particular issue. But I'm still holding out for good old Mauriiice in the anti-abortion bill area. Don't let me down again!

Oh, wait - please do. Please let me down, now and forever.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

That Was Fast! US Solves Infant Mortality Rate Problem declaring that all women of child-bearing age treat themselves/be treated as "pre-pregnant".

Read the article here, read Amanda' Marcotte's excellent post on it here (and check out the comments too), and then, if you're a, I mean "female", go enjoy that pack of smokes and dry martini while you still can, before the government decides that it could harm the unborn child you may or may not be carrying to term within your body.

THIS IS FUCKING SICK. What's next? "Gee ma'am, I'd love to get you a beer, but first you need to pee on this stick and wait 5 minutes." Or maybe they'll just go one step further, and ban anyone without a Y chromosome from drinking, smoking, eating sushi, dancing, riding horseback, watching violent TV, standing, sitting, thinking, etc.

It's like the fucking twilight zone. Am I actually reading this correctly? The US is getting its fucking ass kicked in infant mortality rates, but that's not the fault of the corporate-controlled private healthcare system or the religious right's takeover of reproductive information...nooooo. It's those goshdarn ladies not devoting every aspect of their lives to being the best baby-machine possible!

How about giving women accurate, correct, scientifically-sound information and access to quality healthcare if and when they choose to have children? HOW ABOUT CARING ABOUT WOMEN'S HEALTH BECAUSE WE'RE PEOPLE WITH OUR OWN INTRINSIC WORTH AND NOT JUST FETAL-INCUBATORS?

If these mysoginistic wackos have their way, it'll only be a matter of time before us womenfolk learn that our place is in a Matrix-like compound of goo-pods, pumping out infants from puberty to menopause.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

March for Life? Fuck off and die

Thank Jebus it only comes once a year, or my head would asplode faster than you can say "Get your own damn uterus!"

Yes, it's the effin' March for Life on Parliament Hill.

I haven't dared do much more than peer out my window, lest I be overcome with the temptation to bash their stupid faces in with their "yes, of course an 8-week old fetus has arms, legs, and eyes, as you can clearly see in this totally accurate photo of a helpless aborted baby" signs.

I just...I can't. I just can't face these people. There is no reasoning with someone who believes that they are divine champions on a holy quest to be saviour to zygotes cannon-fodder adorable little cherubic angels trapped inside an demonic incubator-thing that ridiculously purports to be an actual, living human being with, like, "rights" or something.

What drives me bonkers is that these people are trying to frame the argument in that if you support abortion rights, than you despise babies. Well, I've always known I wanted to have kids. I want to have kids because I want to experience the full power of my body, a woman's body. I want to have kids because I've always loved kids. I want to have kids so that when I grow old I'll have people to nag about not calling me who'll listen 'cause they want whatever's left of my wealth that didn't go to feeding, clothing and educating them.

Whatever the reason - I WANT to have kids. But I want to have them WHEN I want to have them, under the circumstances I choose, with whom I choose, by whatever methods I choose, and that means controlling my reproduction by contraception, emergency contraception, or abortion, and it doesn't matter how much of a sinful whore you think I am, random old guy with a sign, because there's all of four men whose advice I would seek on pregnancy, and YOU ARE NOT ONE OF THEM, and it doesn't matter how fervently you pray, scary young woman my age, you are not going to influence my decision on whether or not to abort, and angry little grandma? Congrats on your daughter's fertility, but fuck off about mine. And fuck off about everyone woman or man out there who DOESN'T want kids, for whatever reason, because it is none of your GODDAMN BUSINESS.

These people, with their righteous anger and their holier-than-thou smugness, and their, "Big Daddy and the sky loves me more than you, nya nya nya" make me physically ill. How they courageously speak up for non-sentient blobs of tissue while ACTUAL, HONEST-TO-GOD children are being starved, beaten, abandoned, abused, exploited, and so forth; how they act like they are all "pro-life" for wanting to impose motherhood on woman, even though pregnancy is more dangerous than abortion; how they probably pray every night for this to be invented...

There are six billion people on this effin' planet. We are not likely to die out any time soon. We are likely to kill each other in a variety of increasingly diverse ways and poison our environment beyond habitability. Drop the anti-woman, anti-choice, anti-reason argument and go and do something that God ACTUALLY CARES ABOUT.

Maaaan...would you believe me that today's post was originally going to be on the suckitude of Hollywood Homicide and the awesomeness of my high school rugby team? See? The fundies RUIN EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Onion Gets It

Today's lead article at The Onion is fan-TASTIC. I wonder how many uterus-covetors are nodding their heads in vigorous agreement.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

New blog, and other things...

Wow, this is an entry-riffic day so far. Coupla things; I'm gonna start with the small stuff first and work my way down to the heavies:

1)I have an rss feed now. I think. Maybe? Also possibly an atom feed, but I'm not 100% sure. It is so funny how my boss thinks I am some sort of Internet whiz...

2)I've started posting on a new blog called E-Parliament. For you political junkies out there...

3)I've also started a new blog called Fetal Position, at It's still under construction, and it's mostly there because to give me place to vent on issues surrounding reproductive rights. Maybe it's all the freakin' right-wing, pro-life, "fetuses are more important than woman" crap I get in the mail, maybe it's the creepingly regressive movement that's pushing back women's rights, maybe it's the time that I once sat at my computer typing with my 50-year-old mother of two co-worker doing the same while our boss was lectured on the pro-life agenda by a 23-year-old boy and the full assbackwardness of that fact finally surfaced in between thoughts on Bill Napoli and Canada's own uterus-covetor extraordinaire, Maurice Vellacott, but the last month or so I've found myself driven to the point of wordless rage more times than I can remember over the holier-than-thou crap that spews out of pro-lifers mouths as if recognizing women as full human beings is the single most immoral thing they've ever heard of.

SO! If that's your bag, check it out. And I'd like to thank everyone who spends their valuable time travellin' with Floyd. And also to those who shared their gardening stories/suggestions/memories of the time I killed their plants. I will try and have herbs and edible flowers to go with my radishes. Gambia. Yes, while the Gambia. Yes, while the beacon of democracy and freedom that is the US continues to tighten its grasps on the the uteri of the nation, there are still some countries in the world actually progressing towards the recognition that there's a woman surrounding each uterus!

National Assembly Members (NAMS) on Tuesday unanimously ratified Articles 5, 6, 7, and 14 of the Protocol on the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of the Women in Africa.

Dota Kamasso, NAM for Wuli East; Netty Baldeh, NAM for Tumana; Halifa Sallah, NAM for Serekunda Central; Sedia Jatta, NAM for Wuli West; and Nyima Sata Sanneh Bojang, a nominated member, all spiritedly defended the motion. Mr Sheikh Tijan Hydara, Attorney General and Secretary of State for Justice, who tabled the motion before the NAMS argued persuasively why the motion should be ratified.

In respect of Article 5 of the Protocol which deals with the elimination of harmful practices against women, he said popularly, women are referred to as being the weaker sex and if it is true, the strong therefore are expected to protect the weak. " Women are the object of love and affection. They are the mothers of mankind, the salt of our world and the inspiration behind many lofty achievements. They not only nurture children, but also nurture adults, male, and female alike and including their husbands as well. Therefore, whatever concerns them should actually not be taken lightly but very seriously," he said.

Progress! But there's still a ways to go, and judging by the whole "pregnancy is a punishment for being a dirty slut" mentality of allowing abortions only for victims of rape (emphasis mine):

"[...]victims of rape, incest, or other sexual assault be given the opportunity
to rid themselves of the consequences forced upon their lives, just like where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health of the mother or the life of the foetus."

So - every time a woman consents to sex she is implicitly consenting to pregnancy, and therefore ineligible for abortion because a woman can't have her cock and eat it too. But at least it's a step in the right direction. And with any luck they won't look to Bill Napoli to define rape.

Why You Do Me So Wrong? Episode II redux

Dear contributor to my already obscene amount of personal wealth,

Here you go. Now shut up about it already.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

It takes a village to raise a child, but just one idiot to write a budget

Oh, Jim Flaherty. Jim jim jim. Jimmy jimmy jim-bob bobby jim. What are we going to do with you?

I know, I know, you've got it tough. Minister of Finance for an entire country. The first budget for a party that has not held power in over a decade, and, technically, never governed really governed this country in its current incarnation. No matter what you did, somebody was bound to complain. I hear ya!

And really, I shouldn't be complaining about you. It's not your fault that your so-called economist boss put forward two of the most economically unsound campaign promises since...well, okay, since the Liberals promised to cut the GST. But at least they had the good sense to not follow through with it.

'Cause here's the thing, Jim. This whole 1% GST cut? Is awesome - for you. And your golfing buddies. And all other high-income earners in Canada. Here's some simple math for you (and it'd better be simple, for the guy who thought that 15.5% was a smaller amount than 15%).

Last year's income tax cuts put around 1$ back in taxpayers' pockets for every 100$ they earned between $8500-34,000. It also, by raising the basic personal exemption by $500, gave an automatic $75 back for everyone earning at least $8500. If you made $34000 or more, it meant savings of between $250-300.

In order to get the same savings out of a 1% GST cut, someone earning $34000 would have to spend $25,000-30,000. Yes, that's right - THEY WOULD HAVE TO SPEND ALMOST EVERY SINGLE PRE-TAX DOLLAR THEY EARNED. Genius! Spend to save! Brilliant:

Person 1: Love the new car!
Person 2: Thanks! It cost $50,000. I was going to buy the $25,000 one, but I realized I could save twice as much on the GST if I bought the more expensive one. Now I have an extra $500 towards retirement.
Person 1: But...couldn't you have an extra $25,000 by buying the cheaper one?

And don't even get me started on your Universal Child Care Benefit. Oh, too late! So, let's after study comes out showing that early access to educational and developmental programs is the key determinant in future success. Countries around the world (and Quebec right here at home) progress towards universal daycare. The former Minister of Social Development and Making Hockey Dads Stare in Awe manages to pull a goddamn miracle out of his ass and get ALL 10 provinces to sign Childcare Agreements whereby they will receive federal funding to creat childcare spaces that meet the QUAD criteria of Quality, Universal, Accessible, and Developmental.

And then your boss says, "Fuck that! $1200 taxable bucks a year per kid under six! For everyone! No matter if you're barely scraping by, or if you wipe your kid's ass with hundred-dollar bills!"

And you're all - fo sho, dawg. I've already helped out my privileged male friends with stay-at-home wives earning more than $100,000 grand once - why not do it again?

Because, here's the rub: those are the people who will benefit most. Well-off, single-income families (and not to make this a gender issue, but...OH WAIT. THIS TOTALLY IS A GENDER ISSUE. 'Cause the number of stay-at-home dads is about as high as the number of female heads of companies or states. WHAT A CRAZY COINCIDENCE. But now, thanks to this extra taxable $1200 a year, moms have a choice! They can choose to stay at home with their kid(s), or they can choose to...stay at home anyway because the real problem is that it is almost impossible to find quality, affordable daycare outside of Quebec!) will keep the most of the benefit. Lower income, two-earners households will keep the least. Plus, some of their other benefits are being rolled back. Oh, yes, Stephen Harper, champion of the working Canadian family - the way he wants it, with Dad off to the office and mom making dinner and babies.

Dammit, Jim, I'm a spin doctor, not an economist, but even I can see that your plan sucks. It sucks so much that even light cannot escape its swirling vortex of doom. Now, to be fair to you, I can hardly claim full non-partisan status. But, to be fair to me, the budget sucks. I don't want to save by spending, I want to save when I earn. I don't want you to throw spare change at parents, I want you to give them real choice. I don't want a transit tax credit, I want a bus with brakes that don't squeal like a group of teenage girls at a Simple Plan concert.

I don't want a paltry cheque, a slap on the back, and a hearty "Here you go - now fend for yourself!" I do want a village, a community, a country that grows and prospers together.

And at the end of the day, all I can do is rally the villagers. Normally that means pitchforks and torches and I guess that explains the extra 1,000 RCMP officers.

Maybe you're not such an idiot, after all.