Sunday, 7 February 2016

What is Marie Henein's end game?

The trial of the former Q host on CBC is well underway. Five days so far of mediocre prosecutorial presentations while on the adversarial side, the best Grand Guignol cross-examination that defence lawyer Marie Henein is capable of executing.

What if Henein's agenda were to expose how the Canadian (in)justice system, with regard to crimes of sexual assault and trials, is fundamentally patriarchal?


Here's one account of the grim proceedings.  As well, _Chatelaine_ has produced formidable coverage of many aspects of the trial.

This insight into the first days of the trial came from a surprising source.
Though she was roasted and toasted in cross-examination by the former broadcaster’s lead lawyer, Marie Henein, it’s important to note that for all the inconsistencies in the woman’s evidence — some significant — a constant in her police statement, many media interviews and testimony this week is her claim that Ghomeshi struck her hard, with a closed fist she thought, on the side of the head.
[..] Her difficulties arose, in my view, in part because it appears her allegations weren’t as thoroughly investigated by the police as perhaps they should have been and because prosecutors didn’t thoroughly examine her or re-examine her at all.
The blow of those terribly damaging emails and the bikini photo she sent Ghomeshi, for instance, a year after the second alleged assault where he purportedly smacked her in the head, would have been mitigated had she been asked follow-up questions when she mentioned, voluntarily in examination-in-chief, that she had “a vague memory” of writing a note to him, in anger, but wasn’t sure she’d sent it.
“You aren’t trying to hide the fact that you might have written Mr. Ghomeshi?” prosecutors could have asked.
The question alone would have diffused the impact of Henein’s revelation.
I'm not the only one who is wondering, WTF game is the prosecution playing?  Why are the Crown lawyers throwing the complainants under the bus?  This from Jane Doe, provides illumination.

On the other side, my daughter - a decade younger than Ghomeshi or Henein - loathes what the former did as well as his lawyer's antics.

She has nothing but contempt for the high-stakes histrionical performance the latter is currently offering.  She thinks the lawyer is an opportunist who will leverage a spectacular win to catapult herself onto a larger and more lucrative stage.

The Ghomeshi trial could indeed do for Henein's reputation what OJ Simpson's did for the Kardashians: transform her into a minor US celebrity.


This is the Toronto Life article about Henein that gave my daughter pause, with regard to Henein's professional choices.

Perhaps her perspective is lopsided.  After all, she's a mere physician in a demanding specialty.  In her line of work, individuals who apply such rigour and dedication to the pursuit of excellence _only_ save lives.  They don't destroy them.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Push Back Time: Mock #40DaysOfPreyers

Among animals, predators seek the slow, the old, the sick. Among humans, street criminals target the frail, the encumbered, the solitary. Child sexual predators look for the lonely child, the "odd" child, the neglected child. Sexual predators focus on people they figure will be manageable, quiescent, compliant.

In short, predation requires vulnerability.

Of course, all predators make mistakes and take on "prey" who turn out to be stronger, louder, faster, and smarter than they thought. (The Ghomeshi trial comes to mind.)

The spring session of 40 Days of Harassment is set to begin on February 10. (It took me years to figure out that there are TWO of these bunfests a year. There's another in the fall.)

Organizers target particular abortion facilities (or non-abortion facilities, see Guelph below) for "prayer vigils," which amount to 40 days of non-stop harassment of clients and staff at often already-beleaguered clinics.

Let's call it what it is: bullying.

Let's refine that: it is self-righteous bullies preying on vulnerable people at what may be major crisis points in their lives.

Or in the case of abortion providers, preying on healthcare providers who daily face stalking, surveillance, and violence just for offering a safe, legal, common medical procedure. (See the recently published Living in the Crosshairs for first-person stories of what these heroic people go through.)

All predators expect a reward. Lions get a meal. Muggers get a wallet. Sexual predators get orgasms.

And anti-abortion predators get what we call martyrgasms. A strange satisfaction from shrieking epithets and threats at ordinary people going about their personal business.

Back in November, I said that here now in Canada we have the perfect opportunity to secure reproductive rights and access once and for all.

It seems to me this year's first anti-choice martyr-fest would be a good place to start.

Beginning with social media, let's use the tag #40DaysOfPreyers. (I'm not the coiner of that one; I'll reveal the author after I've gotten permission*.) Other suggestions are welcome, like #StayOutOfMyUterus, #HandsOffMyCunt, #NoBullyInMyLadyBits, and the one I and others have been using for years, #40DaysOfHarassment.

Let's take photos of them and their dumb-ass signs and post them on social media and/or dedicate a Tumblr or somesuch to the effort.

Let's counter-demonstrate. I love this story from a couple of years ago about a couple in North Carolina who made witty and weird signs to mock regular preyers at a local clinic.


In Canada, Campaign Lie has targetted clinics in nine cities:

Edmonton.

Vancouver.

Victoria.

a hospital in Guelph, where apparently no abortions are performed.

Oakville.

Scarborough.

Windsor.

Montreal.

In Saskatoon, they don't seem able to muster 40 days' worth of bullying and so are going for "40 Hours for Life in front of Saskatoon City Hospital."
The times will be from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon Monday to Friday, and 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm every day. Call 1-800-891-2070 for more information.

In the UK in 2011, pro-choice people responded with 40 Days of Treats. Bring snacks or little gifts to targetted clinics, donate to pro-choice causes. In short, respond to cruelty and bullying with kindness and support.

Let's push back. Let's reveal and mock these bullies for what all bullies are: pathetic losers with a weird hobby.


Who have no damn right to prey on vulnerable people.

DJ! will stay on this for all 40 days. Send photos, links, suggestions for hashtags.



* Coiner of phrase is modest, declined acknowledgment.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Guerrill-Anne: A Beautiful Corrective


This is genius, taken both at face (heh) value and a little deeper.

In an article titled "Anne-tagonizing posters connect icon to P.E.I. abortion debate," The Guardian says:

P.E.I.'s most famous fictional character has become part of the province's ongoing abortion debate.

The next paragraph refers to Anne of Green Gables.

But the anonymous person or group, who goes by the handle Karats, has made no such claim. I find it interesting that probably only in PEI (and maybe Japan) would such an image be assumed to be the "feisty" red-haired character created by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

In fact, a commenter called "J" at the Guardian link says: "Who said it's Anne? Maybe it's Wendy? LOL."

Here is Karats's manifesto, if it is such:
Karats is the voice of a community calling for justice.

Karats sees the effects that the lack of abortion access has across PEI, in particular for low income individuals, and other vulnerable populations.

She sees the denial of access and upholding of barriers to abortion services by the PEI government as putting the kibosh on an opportunity for gender equality across our province.

Karats is trying to generate conversation on the topic and encourage the Premier and the government to enthusiastically concede the pending court case brought forward by AANPEI and LEAF. [link added]

“#HeyWade - Take this opportunity to not only bring access to the Island but to proudly show you support Island women gaining control over their health and lives. Be the Premier who brings PEI into the 21st century!”

For more information, please contact:
Karats
Twitter- @iamkarats

The guerill-Anne asks that people look for the poster and snap photos to be sent to an Instagram account. If you visit the site, you'll see that Karats gets around a bit.

Posters started appearing on January 28, the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, R v Morgentaler, striking down Canada's existing abortion law in 1988.

The upcoming court case in the manifesto was announced on January 5, by the newly formed group, Abortion Access Now PEI.
Abortion Access Now PEI says it is taking the province to court to force it to provide full and unrestricted access to publicly funded abortion services on the Island.

The group says it has filed a notice of application in the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island against the P.E.I. government. Under the Crown Proceedings Act, any group filing a lawsuit against the province is required to provide notice of 90 days.

"For over two decades, we have advocated for on-Island, safe, legal access to abortion," Ann Wheatley, co-chair of Abortion Access Now PEI, said in a news release.
DAMMIT JANET! has been covering this stupid situation for years. Some background can be found here.

Of course, the fetus freak reaction was completely predictable. In an article that starts off "Yuck!" LieShite misrepresents the character's background (ooo, lying again???) to make its glurgey point, stating that Anne was "unwanted," adopted, yet "life-loving." So, according to "pro-life logic," all unwanted, adopted children will grow up to star in famous fictional series.

(Anne was not "unwanted," by the way. She was orphaned because her biological parents died.)

In addition to the photos at Instagram, the campaign has generated lots of interest. Here's Karats responding to a question about the bandana.



When the analysis gets literary, it gets even more interesting.

(Full disclosure: I was not a great Anne-fan. My mother was, and that was perhaps enough to turn me off.)

At Vocative, Tracy Moore quotes a fetus freak calling the choice of Anne ironic "because she’s the epitome of the unexpected blessings of choosing life even in challenging and non-idyllic circumstances," and continues:
But literature professors who focus on children’s lit and are familiar with the series and character say it’s not quite so obvious. “Yes, she had a pretty tough childhood,” says English professor Philip Nel at Kansas State University, who has taught the books. “She’s orphaned when she’s young; her parents die, and she ends up having some bad early experiences. She initially works for people who exploit her and use her to raise other kids.”

But, he adds, there are a lot of ways you could use her as a feminist icon for your cause, also. “She’s outspoken, she’s independent, she competes with Gilbert Blythe in school and is very smart.”

Another professor of children’s literature on the East Coast who didn’t wish to be identified [????] said it depends on the interpretation of both the books and the abortion issue. Even though Anne is orphaned in the book and taken to live with the Cuthberts, her background doesn’t figure as tragically as it sounds, nor does she fit a standard narrative of the unwanted child typically presented as a candidate for abortion in the language used by the debates.

“Her parents die of an accidental illness, but they weren’t impoverished or indigent,” he said. “Eventually in the series, she finds their house and some of their things, and discovers they were a loving couple with a home, and she was wanted and loved.”

He says a so-called militant feminist interpretation of Anne isn’t off the map, though. “Anne makes her own choices. She puts off marriage. There’s a romance plot, but she spends a lot of time putting it off to pursue things she’s interested in—education, friendships, work, writing. No, she’s not radical about it, but she’s very self possessed and very self-assured.”
At BookRiot, Brenna Clarke Gray says:
First, while Anne exists in a world before feminism, she’s a strong proponent of women having agency in their own lives. Her decisions — to be educated, to teach, to write, and to marry — are all her own choices, made freely. And Anne loved babies and cherished her own children, to be sure, but she also knew what it was to be unloved, unwanted, and abandoned. She knew pain and tragedy and she sought to limit both in the lives of people around her. Her face makes perfect sense in a campaign that, at its core, seeks to do the same thing.

Second, as scholars such as Herb Wylie have pointed out, PEI (and Atlantic Canada as a whole) is trapped by the expectations that narratives like Anne of Green Gables create: when tourism depends on a version of yourself that is trapped in a quaintly backwards time, social progress becomes undesirable. To co-opt an image like Anne that has been tied to one particular version of what PEI can be, and to use it to agitate for a more progressive society, is a beautiful corrective.

As I said at the start, the campaign is genius.

Simple enough to get fetus freak knickers in knots.

But nuanced and rich in more intelligent interpretation.

May it succeed and prove "a brilliant corrective" to an idiotic situation.












Friday, 29 January 2016

Not all harassment victims are viewed or treated as equal.

The journalist Ashley Csanady currently has a PostMedia piece that addresses Twitter harassment in general and in particular what happened when Michelle Rempel filed a complaint with the police.

Her excellent article provides a short account of the Rempel case as well as an overview of recent events, viz. the GAE trial.

It is factual and clear.

It doesn't editorialize or misrepresent as Blatchford is wont to do, when the demands of click-bait reporting or sob-sister sensationalizing gives her the cover she needs to champion the MRA cause.

Further to what Csanady wrote, there are points that bloggers and op-eds can raise.  This is where DJ! weighs in.

Last week I posted this about the sleazy grease of GAE's triumphant sneer.

The main difference between GAE and Damany Skeene is that the former oozes the slimy CONjob smarm that allow him and Ezra Levant to enjoy notoriety.  Their venal vituperation is widely disseminated and cheered by right wingers, racists, homophobe and misogynists.  In addition, GAE walks and talks the MRA/PUA philosophy. His entourage enables his narcissism and promotes him within the audiences of gynophobic orcs that slither at the edge of the world wide web.  He scored a point for Rape Culture!  His victims were not really victims because they had the NERVE to fight back against his vile invective!

Skeene, it would appear, is not supported or validated by any group.  In fact most people recoil from him.  One assumes the only compassionate attention he's likely to receive is administered by healthcare professionals.  He had used Twitter promiscuously to vent fury and hatred against a variety of targets.

The difference between Rempel and the women that GAE harassed, threatened, stalked and abused — online and "in real life" — is obvious. She was a Minister in the Con government when Skeene directed vile threats and verbal sexual abuse at her Twitter account.  Her complaint was legitimate and important because she was an elected official.  Police allocated the required resources to investigate, document, and prepare a case for the Crown to prosecute.  Her squadron of RCMP body guards was likely doubled.

But as Csanady points out, the trial unfolded under the media radar.

This gave me pause. Why did the PMO not seize this opportunity to demonstrate how their government was *tough on crime* and violence against women?

I suspect that if Skeene had been an individual who clearly associated with any left wing or progressive group such as anti-pipeline activism, or had expressed agreement with LPC or NDP policies, the PMO would have gleefully exploited the opportunity to smear the Harper regime's opponents.

But the truth is: deep down, Harper Reformist Cons never really gave a damn about Canadian women or even those prominent in their party. PMSHithead was a spiteful opportunist who attacked women who challenged him, and ditched or undermined those who became politically inconvenient: Deborah Gray, Belinda Stronach, Bev Oda, Helena Guergis, Beverley McLachlin, Cindy Blackstock ... a never-ending list, really.

Which is why Rempel was circumspect, and kept a low profile. There was no advantage then in using the criminal harassment trial to score political points for herself.  The PMO, or CPC HQ would have ground her into the dust.  She noted how the party destroyed Eve Adams because she wouldn't stick to the PMO script.

Nothing about Rempel's circumstances could be framed as a narrative that might enhance public sympathy in Harper's favour.  In fact, it was probably flagged as a potential nuisance and diversion from the grand election campaign plan.

But now.. Rempel is jockeying to gain an advance on other putative candidates for the CPC leadership.  I predict she will judiciously exploit the Twitter harassment trial, to establish credibility and to leverage whatever is beneficial to the image she is carefully crafting.


Update: As the tweet below points out, online campaigns that embolden threats of physical violence against Premier Rachel Notley in Albert keep escalating. The Wildrose Party leader has mildly spoken out against his supporters using these tactics that replicate the worst of US right-wing political dumpster fire rhetoric.

Alheli Picazo rigorously screen caps and archives evidence of online political incivility of all stripe. She documents what she has observed and caught before the thuggish authors delete them.  She regularly posts them in her Twitter line to remind partisans of that "people in glass houses.." thing.

Kathleen Smith has also noted and confronted those who instigate explosions of aggressive attacks against Alberta political figures.

Some journalists have reported on the scurrilous and terrifying threats expressed on Facebook, Twitter and in the comment threads at Levant's monetizing project, Rebel TV.  It is claimed the RCMP is investigating.

Yet NO charges of criminal harassment against the alleged RWNJ *rebels* have been filed yet, even though campaigns of online hatred against Notley have been encouraged and fed by Levant and his goons for over a year, now.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Burning the Wrong Witches

Too exhausted from trip to Florida to move mother to assisted living to blog, but just had to report this.

Sure is tough to be a rightwing “pro-life” full-of-bull propaganda machine these days. On Monday, we learned the sleazy jizz rags behind the “gotcha” videos of Planned Parenthood doing “crimes” to “baby parts” have been indicted in Houston, Texas, for being the real crimers, ACTUALLY. And we laughed and chortled and guffawed and feminist fist-bumped and happy-danced naked in our living room and said, “That’s what you get, motherfuckers!” And it was good.

Too tired to happy dance, but I did chortle.

This is simply delicious.

And it happened in TEXAS.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Marcel Aubut, Sean Penn & GAE

What do they have in common with each other?

All three have been exposed as men who harm women, along with their histrionic narcissism and their inability to grasp why their actions are violent.


Exhibit 1: Marcel Aubut: our DJ! blogpost on complaints lodged against him.  For decades people working with Aubut tolerated his preening ego.  They were also conveniently indifferent to his sustained sexual harassment of hundreds of athletes, journalists, officials, lawyers, staff members, etc. etc. 

After an investigation that unfolded quickly and efficiently, the Canadian Olympic Committee recognized that Aubut created a toxic environment through his abusive actions, and that its organization was negligent in not addressing the issue judiciously.

Three senior staff were punished for not handling the Aubut situation correctly.  However, the abuser himself has yet to suffer any consequences for his behaviour, nor has he taken responsibility for the harm he did.

Exhibit 2: Sean Penn 

Though Penn has been indefatigable in his efforts to establish himself as a saviour and a serious thinker, most recently as putative writer for Rolling Stone - he's still the same poseur previously known as a really *bad date*. Like George C. Scott, Penn has physically and mentally abused his partners. His explosive, violent temper and eggshell ego are epic. But he always gets a pass, because he's a privileged white man with connections and admirers.  

One hopes when Charlize Theron abruptly ended their relationship, she made the point that she doesn't suffer violent men gladly and that he got off relatively lightly, having dropped the mask and ceased to amuse her with his malignant charade. 

Exhibit 3: Gregory Alan Elliott

This summarizes why charges of criminal harassment were filed against him.
Now, let's get a few facts straight: Elliott is not on trial for having a difference of opinion with someone. He is on trial for criminal harassment. He tried repeatedly to contact Guthrie even after she had explicitly asked him to leave them alone. He monitored Guthrie's movements via Twitter, shadowed events she attended, and flooded any hashtag she participated in. He made it clear that he was following her every move by publicly commenting on her tweets, even after she had blocked him. He sent messages to people who interacted with her online, making it clear that he was observing everything she did.
Though the judge found the complainants' testimony honest and credible, the bar for proving malice aforethought and deliberate criminal intent was set very high because the women fought back against the bully's campaign of harassment.  The tweet below addresses that perception; click on link to see how GAE supporters aka Men's Rights Activists and crusading gamegaters, responded.



His defence argued *honest* belief with regard to GAE's entitled sense that what he did was not wrong.  That bar is set low, as with many sexual assault cases. Also, GAE's complete pattern of harassment and incitement to others to do the same, could not be entered into the record.



When he was acquitted, the judge made it clear the decision did not mean GAE was innocent of wrongdoing as charged.  Yet, to borrow the words of Anne Thériault, GAE "mobilized his mob" to attack anyone who wasn't bellowing for his glorious vindication.




A reminder that, like predators Aubut and Penn, it's likely GAE's abusive actions won't be his last.  This exposes what he does: he harasses women and claims that he is the victim.

It's also a chilling warning to women: patriarchy may appear to be in its death-throes, but men who have enjoyed privilege or aspire to it, will do anything to crush those they view as insubordinate or unwilling to meet their demands, and those who have the temerity to challenge them. 

As some of us at DJ! painfully learned, this type of malevolence is not limited to a specific political ideology.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Anti-Choice's Desperation to Avoid Responsibility

Nah, fetus freaks aren't desperate to avoid the stink of pro-life terrorism atall atall.

In the Fetal Gore Porn Guy's second kick at the no-connection-between-violent-anti-choice-imagery-and-language-and-Colorado-Planned-Parenthood-murders can, there is this jaw-dropper.

The pro-abortion worldview is one based on the very simple premise that violence—the physical destruction of a human being developing in the womb—is the answer to virtually every imaginable situation.

Ah, yeah. It's pro-choice who thinks violence* is the answer to everything. After all, it's us pro-choicers who murder, assault, fire-bomb, send death threats, post "wanted" posters, harass people outside medical clinics. . .

Wait. No. That would be the anti-abortion gang.

After the Colorado rampage, Bryn Greenwood, who goes by @clinicescort on Twitter, devoted her timeline to the various acts of terrorism she experienced as a clinic worker. Here it is in Storified form.

If you have the stomach for it, read the whole thing, but here's the nub.



In addition to being absolutely incapable of detecting irony, Fetus Freaks also have an extraordinary ability to avoid introspection. Witness this from Fetal Gore Guy's first kick at the no-connection-between etc can.
It’s interesting, isn’t it, how the Left functions. If an Islamic terrorist shoots up a theatre, he is “not a real Muslim” and “not following the peaceful tenets of True Islam.” However, if some strange nutcase opens fire outside a Planned Parenthood and proceeds to murder a pro-life pastor police officer, immediately we are all to assume that this person is definitely a Real Christian, and represents All Christians.
And then he goes on to twist himself into knots trying to show there's no-connection-between etc. All a terrible coincidence.

Well, golly. Today we learned that the Colorado shooter asked for directions to the clinic.

Yep. Pro-life terrorism. This is on them.

And they know it.


* Here's an example of pro-choice violence: assault by chocolate milk. And, gee, it was perpetrated against the Fetal Gore Gang. Have a read of what drove the passer-by over the edge from the Fetal Gore Gang itself.




Wednesday, 2 December 2015

White Male Pro-Life Terrorism

Anybody who has watched a single episode of "Criminal Minds," or read a news story about serial killers knows the profile. White male between the ages of 18 and 55. Childhood bed-wetter. Criminal escalation through animal torture, arson, increasing violence against women. Then, murder.

Now a profile of the Prolife Terrorist is emerging.

White male between 18 and 55? Check.

Bed wetter? Jury's out.

Animal abuser? Check.

Violence against women? Check.

New wrinkle: Vandalism against abortion clinics? Check. Both Dr George Tiller's murderer, Scott Roeder, and the recent Colorado Planned Parenthood murderer, Robert Dear, glued locks shut on women's clinics.

Here's a thought-provoking article about "white male terrorism", which, while long on white entitlement and rage, is rather short on the "male" part.

Another based on court documents submitted by an ex-partner of Dear's is rather more forthcoming about the "male rage," misogyny, and religion parts.

By January 1993, she had had enough. In a sworn affidavit as part of her divorce case, Ms. Micheau [the ex] described Mr. Dear as a serial philanderer and a problem gambler, a man who kicked her, beat her head against the floor and fathered two children with other women while they were together. He found excuses for his transgressions, she said, in his idiosyncratic views on Christian eschatology and the nature of salvation.

“He claims to be a Christian and is extremely evangelistic, but does not follow the Bible in his actions,” Ms. Micheau said in the court document. “He says that as long as he believes he will be saved, he can do whatever he pleases. He is obsessed with the world coming to an end.”
In short, these are men motivated by rage and religion.

And oddly, or not, both the rage and the religion are focussed on women.

So, not surprisingly, but critically, they are finally mobilized by the relentless, violent, misogynist rhetoric from right-wing nutbars, who in the United States are terrifyingly mainstream, represented by Fox News and every Republican presidential candidate, perhaps most notably Carly Fiorina, who not only clings to her lies about the discredited Planned Parenthood videos, but who is now attacking the "left" for suggesting she played a role in the Colorado massacre.

Also among the terrorism enablers and mobilizers are every anti-choice individual and organization that repeats the hateful lies that demonize abortion providers and the people who need them.

And now this kind of terrorism has a name: stochastic terrorism*. (This piece is from 2011, but the term is cropping up again now in light of the most recent example in Colorado.)
Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf.
Here is Valerie Tarico on the Colorado murders.
The formula is perversely brilliant:
1. A public figure with access to the airwaves or pulpit demonizes a person or group of persons.
2. With repetition, the targeted person or group is gradually dehumanized, depicted as loathsome and dangerous— arousing a combustible combination of fear and moral disgust.
3. Violent images and metaphors, jokes about violence, analogies to past “purges” against reviled groups, use of righteous religious language — all of these typically stop just short of an explicit call to arms.
4. When violence erupts, the public figures who have incited the violence condemn it — claiming no one could possibly have foreseen the “tragedy.”
Use of terms like "Nazi," "genocide," "holocaust," and "slavery" abounds, in addition to the usual "killing," "murder," and "dismemberment."

Here's the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform's (yep, that's the name, though I call them the Fetal Gore Porn Gang) "Genocide Awareness Project", a gory duplicitous display trucked around to university and college campuses, as "a powerful way to compel thought and dialogue."

Its spokesthingy, Jonathan van Maren, wrote a beaut of a piece at LieShite, denying any responsibility on the "pro-life movement's" part, while simultaneously demonstrating how stochastic terrorism works.

Joyce Arthur, of Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, gives his brain-fart a thorough fisking here.

Sample:
“We will not allow Planned Parenthood and the abortion movement to climb atop a ‘moral high ground’ created from the chopped-up body parts of human beings they have dismembered…”

You’re inciting violence, right there. Also, please stop erasing women and the fact that they need abortion care, which is why abortion providers are there, to protect women’s lives.

I share this blogger's question: Why aren't the inciters of crime -- the radicalizing mobilizers -- prosecuted?

Or as is said in another context: Let's shut down their churches, dismantle their funding networks, block their websites, arrest the ringleaders, and discredit their parrots and followers.

White male prolife terrorism. It's real and way more likely -- seven times more likely -- to kill us than any other religious fundamentalist terrorism.

[Reality note: I said much of this about Bill O'Reilly after he successfully incited the assassination of Dr Tiller. So.]




* Of course, in Canada, we had another recent and vivid display of stochastic terrorism. The mindless, relentless repetition of "jihadi terrorists" hiding behind niqabs at citizenship ceremonies backfired spectacularly on the loathesome Conservatives, but resulted in some real violence and terror for Muslim Canadians.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Abortion: Once and For All

My entire blogging career -- if you can call something that doesn't pay a "career" -- has been conducted during the Dark Ages.

It started back at Birth Pangs, now sadly gone but snippets have been saved at the WayBack Machine (hours of fun!). Birth Pangs was focussed on reproductive rights just about exclusively.

We created DJ! in 2009. Our birthday was yesterday.

With DJ! we spread our focus, but I -- and deBeauxOs to a lesser extent -- stayed on the repro rights beat.

I've been thinking about what I want to do now that the Dark Ages are over and we don't have to remain constantly on guard for sneaky fuckery from Conservative misogynist nutbars.

I've decided to go on the offensive.

According to the fetus freaks, we now have the most "pro-abortion" PM EVAH! Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) reckons the anti-choice brigade in the House of Commons has been halved, from 38% to 18% and ALL of them are in minority opposition.

The Liberals ran on some pretty big promises to women, specifically on abortion access.

I propose we not only hold the government to those promises but push for more.

Here is ARCC's list of demands.
• Enforce Canada Health Act against NB and PEI – i.e., arbitrate to resolve access/funding issues, and if the provinces still don’t comply, withhold federal transfer payments.
• To reduce abortion, fully fund most contraception through Medicare (the Pill, IUDs, Depo, emergency contraception, etc.).
• Increase number of hospitals that provide abortions outside major cities.
• Increase medical school training in abortion; provide continuing education in abortion techniques to existing doctors.
• Incentivize and support doctors to provide abortions in smaller communities.
• Prohibit so-called “conscientious objection” in reproductive healthcare, or at least require referrals and discipline doctors who disobey.
• Screen out anti-choice medical students before they enter the Family Planning program or Obstetrics/Gynecology specialty (inability to fulfill job requirements should make them ineligible).

To which I would add:
• Require comprehensive sex ed, including consent and gay and trans rights, in every publicly funded school.
• Regulate and license so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centres to ensure they are telling the truth and treating "clients" respectfully and responsibly. Shut them down if they don't.
• Create a media climate in which any reporter who goes to a fetus freak for a "balancing" comment on a proposal that should be judged on its own merits gets laughed out of the room.
• Crowdfund as necessary to bring suit against organizations and pundits that tell outrageous lies about sexual health and reproductive law.

Of course there are other important things on the feminist agenda that we will continue to work on, like violence against women, child care, equal pay, decriminalizing sex work, and so on.

But I think we have a historic opportunity to get this one done. Once and for all.

Canada is a pro-choice country. We have the chance to move our institutions, media, and culture to the point of no return. Where it will become simply unthinkable for anyone to question a woman's right to make her own decisions on her own life.

We can discredit, delegitimate, disrupt, and demoralize the anti-choicers so that only the most insane of them think it's worth their time to continue.

We can do this. And serve as a beacon of compassion and sanity to the world.