My Day

Today was my last day before I go back to work. I had some errands to do and needed to get some stuff ready to go to work tomorrow. I finally managed to get myself to the lab to do blood work. I have been horribly negligent about doing my blood work. I think after a year of going every week I rebelled. I have been feeling fine so I don’t think it will be a problem. However, if anything is out of whack my GP may yell at me. Honestly, I felt like I didn’t really have the energy in August. Plus it was hotter than the hubs of hell out there. Still, I should have gone.

I went to the hardware, which was uneventful. Then I had to go to Save-On to get crack, lettuce for the guinea pigs. They scream so loudly I could hear them from the kitchen. The brain trust at Save-On has decided to rearrange and renovate the store. I don’t understand why. It took me a long time to learn the layout of that store after Extra Foods was shut down due to a strike. Apparently the changes all come down to peanut butter. Yes, you read that correctly, peanut butter. Did you know that peanut butter resides in 3 places in most Save-Ons. Yes, you can find large containers in the bulk food section, regular peanut butter with the jam and natural peanut butter in the natural food sections. They seem to think this is a bad thing. Personally, it is a bad thing for me when I can’t find anything! Perhaps they hope if their customers walk around in confusion long enough they will buy more food.

Wait, there’s more to the Save-On story. As I was leaving, I entered a cross walk and some old man in an old sedan tried to take me out. I am not sure if he saw me but he seemed to speed up as he came towards me. I had to run. When I called 9-1-1, she asked me if there was a chance he didn’t see me. I laughed and said no. The RCMP was going to go and make sure he is ok and maybe have him retested by ICBC. It was a little scary!

Things that seriously annoy me

I ended up in a discussion on Facebook about Apple products. The person who originated the discussion believes that Apple is evil. He did concede from a previous debate that they were innovators as well. So in his mind, Apple are evil innovators who just want to get our money. He posted a graphic that ostensibly compared an Asus computer to a 17-inch MacBook Pro. When I asked him for some evidence to support his statement he did not provide any but kept on bashing Apple. I don’t care if someone does not agree with me. However, what kept happening in this ‘discussion’ was a level of condescension that was completely unwarranted. They behaved as though I was stupid because I didn’t agree with them.

I am not going to replay the discussion here because it really does not matter. What is important here is the attitude that is displayed by at least one purportedly enlightened man. This kind of thing happens to me with alarming frequency especially when it comes to discussions about computers. Some men1 seem to look at me and assume that I know nothing about computers. Once we talk for a few minutes usually they come around and stop acting like know-it-all buffoons.

It is in situations like these that we see that women are still struggling to be on equal footing with men. Once we venture into territory they deem is theirs look out because they can’t stand the competition. Instead of treating us like the equals we are out come the assumptions. And this folks is the patriarchy in action.

Patriarchy as defined by Wikipedia:

“is a social system in which the role of the male as the primary authority     figure is central to social organization, and where fathers hold authority     over women, children, and property. It implies the institutions of male rule     and privilege, and is dependent on female subordination.”

We still live in a society where men are still seen as the primary authority figure. We see these systems throughout our society. Because men have control over the reins of power they set up systems that benefit themselves and exclude women. There is still a dearth of women politics and government because the atmosphere of competition is valued and compromise and conciliation is not.

What needs to happen in our society to finally allow women to be equal players? We would need to change the way we value people. Currently those who are white, male, heterosexual and educated are the most privileged people. Doors open easily for them and they can succeed without much effort. One only needs to look at George W. Bush for proof that this happens. Aggressiveness must never be rewarded instead we must seek to educate the next generation to be inclusive of all people regardless of gender, race, creed, religion, colour, sexual orientation and culture. We can all stand up and say: “I’m not a _____!” But how many of us will say yes I have ____ thoughts and this is how I am trying to educate myself. We all must acknowledge our privilege. Our experiences in our predominantly white, Protestant culture is much different than people who are visible minorities. If we can all become more engaged with what is going on around us perhaps we will finally start to see the demise of the patriarchy.

Unbelievably Ridiculous

So, let me see if I understand this properly: Jeffrey Paul Emery was arrested and charged with aggravated assault for lighting his common-law wife on fire. He sprayed her with hair spray and used a barbecue lighter to set on fire. In a report I heard on CBC  Radio One today, the first fire was put out so he did it again and a fireball was the result. Apparently, she lost all of her hair and suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns all over her body. Oh, and to add insult to injury, he was released on bail to visit family over Christmas and he disappeared. He has been convicted in absentia.

Where to start? There are so many things wrong here. First of all, why was he only charged with aggravated assault? It seems to me that if you are going to light someone on fire you probably mean to kill them. I am sure that the woman involved felt like he was trying to kill her. If you light someone on fire, especially using a highly flammable accelerant like hairspray, I am fairly sure that you mean to kill someone. If reports on CBC Radio One are correct her lit her on fire twice. How can this be aggravated assault? There must have been some planning going on.

Why on earth any judge would think that this man deserved leniency is beyond comprehension. This is the problem with our judicial system which is mostly populated by straight, white men who do not understand the experience of minorities in the justice system. Here is a man who has shown, at the very least, that he has serious tendencies towards unthinkable violence, but we think he should spend time with his family. Perhaps if there had been an adequate charge laid, for example attempted murder, then maybe they would not have let him go.

He has been convicted in absentia but what does that really mean? He is living somewhere, free for the last 4 years while the woman he tried to kill is still trying to recover from her injuries. Her name has not been released. I wish her the best in her recover. I hope they catch the bastard who did this and lock him up for a very long time. However, I suspect it will not be nearly long enough given what he did. The even worse prospect is that he will do it to another woman.

Our Justice System – Redux

I have a lengthy comment from Mike which you can go and read in the original post. I was going to answer him in the comments section but I think it would be better served as a post of its own. So here goes.

Mike says:
“I don’t think justice was served here, but I disagree with feminists who use such allegorical “evidence” as proof that western political legal system treats women like chattel. Thats quite a stretch. By in large western legal systems take domestic violence seriously.”

It is in no way allegorical. Our laws our based on English commonlaw which viewed women and children as chattel.There is nothing allegorical about that. Altough laws may be updated, here and there, they are still largely written by men for men. The old boys network is alive and well and protects men like Scott Young.

Mike Says:
“People, especially people in power, get away with doing bad and illegal things all the time. Maybe Scott Young knew the right people, had a good lawyer, or just was lucky. By your line of reasoning I could look to OJ Simpson and argue that black people in the US can get away with murdering white people. I strongly disagree with feminists who use incidences like this to push their narrow self-serving agenda.”

Perhaps rich black men do. But this is not about race – this is about domestic violence. There is no ‘narrow self-serving agenda’ here. Unfortunately, the problem of violence against women, in all its forms, is so pervasive that dismantling it would shake our society to its very core. It is seen in the discourse of advertising, our jokes, our culture, our religions, the way we raise male and female children differently. We are not even aware at times when violence is being perpetuated against women. Open your eyes and look around. It is on tv, on the radio, in the locker room and in our homes.

Mike says:
“No society has ever tolerated violence against women. This is feminist historical revisionism. Rapists in medieval Europe were flayed alive (had their skin removed). The ‘rule of thumb’ myth was taken from a misquotation of statement made by a US judge in the 19th century who actually sentenced the male abuser to jail.”

This society sure as hell does!!! It goes on all the time. Many women don’t report rape as they will just be assaulted again when they come up against the male dominated justice system. Forget history, look at the situation today. Look at the murder suicides where men kill their entire families and then themselves. And before you trot Andrea Yates – she was mentally ill and had had so many children and sufferred such horrific untreated post partum depression that she went crazy. What is the excuse of the men?? Look at the honour killings in the South Asian community in BC. I could go on and on. These are not feminist revisionist events. These are real women dying every single day.

Mike says:
“Women are abusers in relationships as well as men. Domestic abuse has less to do with ‘Patriarchy’ and more to do with disfunctional partners and drug and alchohol abuse. Women stalk, kill their husbands and kill their children too. There are bad people of both sexes the same way there are bad people of all races. Just because in general men are capable of inflicting greater injury on women does not mean that men are the only sex capable of commiting evil, or even that society is run by men.”

Yes, some women might hit some men sometimes. Boo fucking hoo. Look at the stats – men kill and beat women at much higher rates then the reverse. Really, this is just a straw man argument to take us off course. Many men are conditioned to believe that they can treat women anyway they want. Furthermore, they have seen that the consequences are a slap on the wrist – conditional sentence with an 8 pm curfew? What the hell is that about? If this is what our justice system is doing to women when we are watching what is it doing when we are not?

Mike says:
“Society does not treat women worse than men. Men have always been the greatest victims of violence in war, genocide, and crime. The vast majority of victims of violent crime (murder and assault) are men.”

Sorry Mike another straw man argument. Who starts the wars? Who keeps them going? Certainly not women. Yes men die in war. But so do women, civilian women. Rape is an instrument of war and I am pretty damn sure that most of the people being raped are not men. Civilian women and children suffer the most in war. The soldiers have a choice. At least in the case of the US – they signed up for it this time. (This of course would be different if concription were in place as it was in other wars). However, the men are still paid to go to war. Even the women working for the international companies in Iraq are not safe from rape. So, tell me again how it is that men suffer? Oh ya, they get to carry big guns, shoot people, and get paid. Sounds like the wet dream of many a teenage boy.