On Jian Ghomeshi and our Society’s Collective Amnesia

So how long do we think it will be before Jian Ghomeshi is back in the public sphere with his dignity intact? Most people, having heard Kathryn Borel speak the other day, think it will never happen. But happen it will.

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Our society has a unique way of forgiving men for sexual assaults. There is a whole long line of celebrities who continue to make films, sell music and do stand up comedy who are pedophiles and serial rapists. In fact, if you compare someone like Ghomeshi to Bill Cosby, the former is a minor player. Or look at Woody Allen – not only did he sexually abuse his children he married his adopted daughter and people still flock to his movies and other celebrities line up behind him. Or Michael Jackson who was charged with pedophilia and he paid off the parents of numerous of children for things that happened behind the closed doors of Neverland. He has now taken Elvis’ title as the King. There has even been work (and redemption) for Mike Tyson after he served jail time for rape.

What does this say about our society? Well clearly we value men far more than we value women. Men are allowed to get away with raping, assaulting and sodomizing women and children and they will still have careers. They may have to say a few mea culpas, appear to do the right thing (counselling anyone??) and then they will have their lives back.

I am not saying that Jian Ghomseshi is on the same level as the other so-called celebrities (or rapists as I like to call them). He is not as talented and he was in a small, backwater market. He will come out of this no doubt and we will all be there to welcome him back. Well, except me, I won’t be. I am pledging here and now that I will boycott anything and anyone who has anything to do with Jian Ghomeshi ever again in the same way I boycott Woody Allen, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Mike Tyson, Roman Polanski…

Are you with me?

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Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘this and that’ edition

 

Piles of granny squares

Piles of granny squares

I have been neglecting my blog as of late. I want to post about all sorts of political and feminist things but I am tired. I am tired of the governmental corruption, patriarchal bullshit and our politicians thinking we are stupid. The state of affairs for women is deplorable; the dominant discourse is doing its best to keep us in check. It seems that any ground we gain in one area is lost in another. All over the world, women are being raped, beaten and subjugated and I feel powerless. I am still fighting the good fight in my tiny corner of the world but it is not enough. We need a revolution.

Instead of political commentary, I shall regale you all with tales from The Swamp!

• Jesse is awesome! He is doing so well. We have started playing fetch in the backyard and he loves it. He is getting much better about actually bringing back the ball. He actually caught some air yesterday, jumping a foot off the ground to catch a ball. The downside is that he is obsessed with playing ball. He is now barking and whining at the pail of balls on the barbecue. He is a happy, happy boy!
• Gracie has also come leaps and bounds. Her anxiety-based chewing on herself has lessened a great deal. The key is to keep her brain stimulated and lots of love and attention. Luckily she landed at The Swamp where all of this is abundantly available. She loves to cuddle with us (mostly Deb) although I do get my daily cuddles too. This dog never stops moving. She wants to play all the time. Her toilet training has improved greatly and she seems settled for the most part. She still does not like going in the car. I think she associates the car with bad things although who can really know. She whines and cries the whole time. Hopefully she will begin to realize that trips in the car mostly end at the dog park and then she comes home.
• Everyone else is doing well. Zoe still has quite the spring in her step given her age. Piper has lost a little more weight and is looking like a skinny pug these days. I have been taking her to work once a week and she really enjoys it. She gets to be the centre of attention for a whole day. Sawyer and Kiefer are also doing well. They like to cuddle together in odd positions!
• I have discovered David’s Tea. Oh my god is all I can say! The Earl Grey is to die for; it is so full of flavour. I can never see going back to Twining’s. I doubt I will ever drink coffee again!
• We have been watching some outstanding TV as of late. The Americans, a new show on FX, is about 2 embedded KGB spies raising a family and posing as Americans. It really does a great job of capturing the Cold War and the tension of the 80s. Justified is another great FX show particularly if you like hillbillies and the American south. He is an unconventional US Marshall. I am still digging the Walking Dead, Deb not so much. Deb is now watching Weeds from the beginning, which has been quite amusing.
• I am making another afghan now. For some reason, I find it very comforting to make piles and piles of granny squares. Then I turn them into an afghan. This one will take a while as I am making it for our queen-sized guest bedroom.

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Finished afghan

Finished afghan

 

Great church you have there England!

So yesterday the Church of England decided that it would not allow women to become bishops. By rejecting the proposal to allow for the ordination of female bishops, the Church of England looks as archaic as the Catholic Church. The Church of England is casting its lot with misogynists and patriarchal forces.

The idea that men are somehow better suited for high religious office is contemptible. The days where having a vagina axiomatically makes you unsuitable are over. I am not sure that having a penis makes you a better decision maker. We all know what happens when you put a bunch of men in charge of schools and youth.

The fact that there is still a need for this kind of formal decision is disturbing. We are all equal. If there is any hope for organized religion in this world it is only going to come through balance; we are only going to achieve balance when women are allowed to assume our rightful place.

Published in: on November 21, 2012 at 8:40 pm  Comments (3)  
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Misogyny – Alive and Well

This graphic is making its way around social media today. It clearly demonstrates how misogyny and the patriarchy function in our society and why ‘equality’ is bogus. Women should be grateful and/or appreciative for being treated as full participating members of society?  What an absolutely insulting statement!

It is hard to believe that in the year 2012 we are still fighting this battle. What is it going to take for women to be treated as fully competent members of society? This is also insulting to men who recognize women as their equals. Imagine one of us going up to them to say: “I appreciate your effort in respecting me.” What a crap load of shit. Should we also thank them for not raping us at every meeting?

Here is the scoop (in case you have missed it):

  1. Women are fully equal to men.
  2. Women have agency over their bodies and lives.
  3. Women have agency over their reproductive health.
  4. Women can do anything she wants.
  5. Unless you have a vagina you have nothing to say about women.

Any questions?

Published in: on November 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Feminist Video of the day – the ‘Legitimate Rape’ edition

Following up on my latest post about Todd and his dangerous ideas about rape comes this lovely diddy by: Taylor Ferrara. She rocks!

Published in: on August 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Feminist Image of the Day – the ’75 cent’ edition

Still waiting for wage parity.

Published in: on August 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Feminist Video of the Day – the ‘swimsuit’ edition

As women, we are taught to hate our bodies from almost the time we are born. If a baby or young child is a little chubby, people[1] fret that she may grow up to be fat. We police each other’s bodies and being fat is the ultimate body sin. If you are fat, I can pretty much guarantee that you are going to be bullied all the way through school. I know I was. It was relentless. It reached a fevered pitch in about grade 6. We were at a new school and I just didn’t get the kids there. There was a boy who would wait after school to beat me up, just for the sin of being fat. Luckily, I befriended a young mother close to the school who would watch out for me and let me come to her house. I can remember the terror I used to feel as I tried to get out of the school quickly before he realized I was gone. It might not have been as bad as it was if I had not had a mouth on me.

In grade 4, groups of kids would get together with the goal of surrounding me and assaulting me. I could not take the short route home as they would get me in the alley and I did not have the protection the street afforded. I can remember one day when I did not feel well and I thought I would just duck down the alley to go home. They got me. I didn’t tell anyone. I just tried to outsmart them.

When I was 14, I ended up at the Children’s shelter in Calgary.[2] There was a group of girls who hated me because I was fat. One day, the biggest bully of them all got me in the front hall of the school. This time, I chose to fight back. I knocked her flat. I don’t remember what I did as I was in such a rage that I just lost it. None of them ever physically assaulted me again.

It wasn’t just the children that could be cruel. I don’t know how many times I heard: “You have such a pretty face,” or “You could lose some weight if you tried.” I would be have food rationed to me when I lived in care, lest I get even fatter. When I lived at home as a teenager[3], my step-father would weight me every morning and if I had not lost weight, I was beaten before I went to school. They also sent me to the doctor once a week to be weighed. All that taught me was how to forge notes. Even on their starvation diet, I didn’t lose weight.[4] Then, one summer, they hired a woman who took me and me sister on forced marches. This was in addition to weekend and weeklong backpacking trips where we would hike anywhere from 4 to 12 miles per day. I would do that with a 35-pound pack on my back. This is why, to this day, I hate hiking; I hate going for a ‘walk.’

As a society we need to come to a place where it is ok to be in the body you have. For the sake of our women, young and old, we need to feed our bodies healthy food and love ourselves just the way we are. I often wonder what would happen if we stopped dieting and obsessing about our bodies. We would have so much more energy for more productive pursuits, like say, bringing down the patriarchy.[5] This woman is so brave and really has it all figured out. Enjoy.

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For some reason the video won’t embed unless I get an upgrade?


[1] Usually women.

[2] Long, long story.

[3] I was in and out of care from about 12.

[4] They were convinced I was getting a lot of food somewhere else. While I did eat a friend’s house occasionally, it was not a lot of food.

[5] A woman can dream.

Feminist Image of the Day – the ‘Hilz’ Edition

The newly elected chairperson of the African Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Hilary Clinton.

Published in: on August 10, 2012 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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