Archive for the 'womens rights' Category

Well, that happened (Part Duh)

Motion 312 (aka Woodworth’s Wank, aka The Men Who Stare At Zygotes Motion) finally got its much-anticipated 2nd (and thankfully, last) hour of debate yesterday.

I had hoped to be all over it in Real Time, but as luck would have it I was waylaid by Real Life and away from my computer most of the day — in retrospect probably fortunate from a blood pressure point of view.  Through the miracle of modern cell phone technology I was able to keep track of the frenzied online response to the debate, but my participation was limited because I was preoccupied and I really hate typing on my phone, and frankly, after weeks of following this thing, I needed a break.  There’s a limit to how much idiocy one can endure, and the tsunami of stupid from Motion 312 supporters far exceeds it.

The debate itself started about 10:30am (Pacific), but the Twitterstorm raged all day and well into the wee hours of last night.  “#M312″ quickly became the 2nd-highest-ranking trending topic on Twitter in Canada, so furiously were people on both sides of the issue tweeting. I mostly just observed, other than a mocking tweet to USian fetus fetishist Lila Rose.  Her cataclysmic dumbness was irresistible: she seems to think that a deluge of letters from Americans is just the leverage our Parliament needs to pass Motion 312.  If anything, more foreign letters compromise the fetus fetishists’ already-compromised letter campaign, but hey: it works for me.

The actual debate went about as expected, from what I saw. The motion’s sleazy sponsor, Stephen Woodworth, made his last stand, referring to non-sentient, non-autonomous zygotes as “people” while not granting women the same courtesy.  Maybe thoughtless, badly-written prose is to blame; or maybe women really don’t count as more than receptacles for the Almighty Fetus in Woodworth’s antiquated view.  (I’m pretty sure anti-choice women, quislings all, are by now immune to such contempt since their churches have been laying it on them for thousands of years).  Woodworth and his small cadre of supporters performed as expected, obfuscation, wordplay, sophistry and dishonest rhetoric about fetuses as a “class of people” being the order of the day.  Nothing new to see here.

Then the opposition rebuttals: I was impressed with the NDP’s Irene Mathyssen, who hauled Woodworth out to the woodshed for a well-deserved spanking…:

“This is quite literally a slap in the face to women who have fought long and hard for the right to control their own bodies and their ability to determine for themselves when they wish to have children,” NDP MP Irene Mathyssen said Friday during the final hour of debate.

“The member for Kitchener Centre’s desire to open up this debate has an end goal of changing the legislation to enable the fetus to be declared a human being,” Mathyssen said. “We are all very aware that such a change in the definition will directly place Canada on the regressive path to banning abortions.”

…then kicked his flabby fetus fetishizing ass around the block:

She slammed Woodworth for suggesting a “fertilized egg” is a “class of people” and cited case law that says otherwise.

Criminalizing abortion, she added, is only going to drive it underground, the consequences of which can be deadly.

Hear hear. I’m definitely non-partisan, but as fern hill tweeted earlier this week, I know who’s got my back when it comes to reproductive rights.

That Motion 312 is doomed by virtue of being a dimwitted and dishonest scrap of pious reproductive tyranny with little support among Canadians is a foregone conclusion, and yesterday’s debate did nothing to change that.  But I have to say: after all these years, seeing womens’ liberty re-litigated in Parliament (and so disingenuously at that) is somehow a little nauseating — even from the winning side.  I look forward to Wednesday’s vote, a short celebration, and then back to the barricades.

P’wndering the Non-Debate Debate & Subsquent Foolish Fallout

So that happened.

I was unfortunately waylaid by a flu bug of such savage magnitude that I was unable to participate in any bursting of blogs, but it seems to have all worked out for the good.  Motion 312 was exposed for the sleazy little fetus-humping sham it is, an attack on womens’ rights unworthy of the time and taxpayer dollars wasted on debating it.

The highlight was MP Stephen Woodworth, the source of this demented irritant, being given a top-drawer pro-choice asskicking by his own caucus whip, Gordon O’Connor, while the world watched.  Among other things, O’Connor reminded Woodworth in no uncertain terms that the House is neither a medical nor religious body:

The House of Commons, however, is not a laboratory. It is not a house of faith, an academic setting or a hospital. It is a legislature, and a legislature deals with law, specifically, in this case, subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code.

Woohoo!  Go Gordio!  But this little nugget was my personal favourite:

The decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is essentially a moral decision, and in a free and democratic society, the conscience of the individual must be paramount and take precedence over that of the state.

Hear hear!  And here here!

But predictably, in the wake of the M312 debate we’ve been beset by a frenzy of furious pearl-clutching over Canada’s lack of legislation governing this personal medical decision.  Apparently “Canada needs a proper open debate on abortion policy” because the status quo isn’t what the Supreme Court intended.

Well guess what: the status quo isn’t what anyone thought would happen.  Back in 1988, even I assumed that eventually abortion would be codified in some kind of law.  I doubt anyone could have imagined that Canada was about to embark on a 24-year experiment in glorious “lawlessness” that would work out so incredibly well.  An experiment in which women and doctors proved themselves more than capable, thankyouverymuch, of making these kinds of decisions and regulating themselves without the long hairy arm of the State reaching in and using its coercive power to manipulate private lives.  An experiment that concluded with a lower abortion rate.

Could it be that women and doctors know better than government bureaucrats?  Say it ain’t so.

In fact, our “experiment” worked out so fantastically well that the only answer to the suggestion that Canada needs abortion legislation is…

Why?

(h/t AntoniaZ)

Vaginia, I mean Virginia, backs off on State-Enforced Vaginal Probe Law

Apparently a law mandating non-consensual (ie. forced) vaginal probing isn’t something a Vice Presidential hopeful wants on his resume.

Accordingly, Virginia Governor and Vice Presidential wet-dreamer Bob McDonnell has backed away from the bill that’s come to be known by names like “The State-Enforced Transvaginal Probe Law”.  Because, well dangit, who knew just how invasive it would be to have a blunt instrument jammed up your hoo-haw by Order of the State.  I wonder what part of “forced transvaginal probe” McDonnell wants the public to believe he didn’t understand?:

Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said on Friday that he changed the terms his support for a controversial GOP-sponsored mandatory ultrasound bill at the last minute this week because he didn’t realize until that point that the law would require an invasive, transvaginal procedure.

The demented GOP lawmakers responsible for this reprehensibly intrusive and misogynist piece of legislative feculence then celebrated the return of Small Government by amending the “forced vaginal penetration with blunt instruments” aspect of the bill:

Instead, he and a few Republican delegates rewrote the bill to mandate regular abdominal ultrasounds before an abortion, even though they are ineffective during the earliest weeks of pregnancy.

…but not much else.  So it’s still the State Up Your Quivering Mound of Love Pudding; just in a slightly less painful and humiliating way.

Give it up, Woodworth

When you’ve lost the National Post, it’s Game Over:

Anyone paying attention over the past few weeks would have spotted the most unlikely of Canadian events: a debate over abortion.  [...]

Mr. Woodworth’s quixotic campaign — and the P.E.I. activists’ failed attempts — prove that a broad debate in Canada on abortion is almost incapable of lasting more than a few weeks.

And it’s not just the National Post pronouncing that Woodworth’s sleazy little campaign to make Abortion the Canadian Political Topic du Jour is stillborn, DOA, pining for the fjords, etc.:

Even the Catholic bishop of Calgary, Fred Henry, agrees there is more to what Mr. Woodworth is proposing than meets the eye, even though he is sympathetic with what the MP is trying to do.

“He’s reaching for straws,” said Bishop Henry. “He’s grasping for anything that will open any kind of debate on abortion.

Bishop Fred Henry… gee, that name sounds so familiar.  And who exactly is Bishop Fred Henry?  One of these radical pro-choice Catholics?  Not exactly:

Calgary’s Catholic bishop said Tuesday he’s prepared to order Calgary Separate School Board officials to ban Progressive Conservative Leader Joe Clark from its schools.

Calgary’s Bishop Frederick Henry told a local radio talk show Tuesday that it’s “scandalous behaviour” for a Roman Catholic politician like Clark, MP for Calgary Centre, to declare himself pro-choice on the abortion issue.

Much as I support your right to talk and tweet and write little pressers about whatever tickles your fetus fetishizing fancy, if I were a friend my friendly advice would be to drop this particular crusade and move on to something that’s less likely to end in crushing, psychologically-debilitating disappointment.  You lost this one years ago to the side of liberty; it’s probably a bad idea to invite the public humiliation of losing it all over again.

Also, I don’t know if it’s occurred to you, but in this Foul Year of Our Lord 2012 Canadian taxpayers would no doubt prefer that the hard-earned money they’re paying their elected representatives is being spent on something a little more pressing than revisiting some long-dead Culture War issue.

Ya think??

You go, girl

Bwahaa!:

A 20-something Saudi female stopped and questioned by a religious policeman as she strolled through an amusement park with a young man apparently had enough and punched the officer repeatedly until he had to be taken to a hospital, the Jerusalem Post reported Monday.

Fetus fetishists and other assorted ass-backward religiofascists who come in their pants at the thought of rolling back womens’ rights: take note.  If this is what’s happening in an atavistic theo-shit hole like Saudi Arabia, you don’t even want to imagine what would happen here.

UPDATE: On the serious side of things, I hope that human rights groups will be prepared to defend this young woman, who may end up paying some heavy dues:

If the woman is charged with assaulting the officer, she could face a lengthy prison term, or a lashing, or both.

(Thanks to RB in the comments.)

Hey ho way to go, Canada

Hey, what happened to Canada’s imminent new Culture of Fetus Fetishizing that started The Year “Abortion Politics” (whatever that is) Shifted In Canada?  Does that whole 500 extra Catholic school kids who were bussed in to Fetustock (on the taxpayers’ dime, no less) count for nothing?  What happened??

Duh.  I think it’s called “sober second thought”:

A new poll suggests that a majority of Canadians opposes the Prime Minister’s refusal to fund safer abortions in developing countries, even as international concern grows about the state of his G8 maternal health initiative.

The Canadian Press-Harris Decima poll found that 58 per cent of respondents oppose Harper’s exclusion of abortion funding in his drive to improve maternal and child health in poor countries.

That’s up from about 46 per cent in March, when a similar question about aid for abortion access was asked. The increase suggests people are taking their time to think through the complex pros and cons before making up their minds, said Megan Tam, vice-president at Harris-Decima.

I have to admit that even I am a little surprised that the opposition is so high — this is about the funding of a foreign aid program and an issue that barely registers on the average person’s radar even as far as our own domestic policy; fairly boring stuff.  Frankly, I’m surprised that people would even bother to think the issue through, let alone all its implications.

If that happened because a lot of righteous people didn’t shut the fuck up about it, I may be posting a humiliated mea culpa.  (But still, tread carefully.)

(h/t DJ)

Aborting Health Care reform (or “Why Bart Stupak Should Be Savagely Violated With A Rusty Coat Hanger”)

AllUrUterusRbelong2usLast night after 12 hours of feverish debate, our neighbours to the south finally got the health care reform they’ve been waiting (and in some cases, dying) for.   In spite of overwhelming public support for the public option included in the bill, the vote was a squeaker:

The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a massive health care reform bill late Saturday, legislation that, if enacted, will extend coverage to tens of millions Americans who are currently uninsured.

The bill passed with a 220-215 vote tally and will now head to the Senate for what will no doubt be more heated debate.

But after months of wingnut gibberish and incoherent fury at town hall meetings and teabagging parties, it wasn’t the GOP that almost scuttled the health care bill , it was the Democratic Party’s own wingnuts, the notorious “Blue Dog” caucus.

Led by C-Street fetus fetishist Rep. Bart Stupak, the Blue Dogs refused to support the bill unless Stupak’s creepy and draconian anti-abortion amendment was added.  And dig this:  to make sure the amendment was sufficiently punishing, Stupak ran  it by some Catholic bishops for approval — NO, I’m not kidding. Because all amendments dealing with womens’ reproductive issues should be okay’d by a bunch of old men who’ve never even gotten laid, let alone pregnant.  If the wall between church and state is crumbling, it’s simultaneously finding new life as the wall between women and access to abortion, thanks to Bart Stupak.

There is, however, a bright side to all this.  Like the notorious Rick Santorum before him, Stupak’s anti-abortion fetish has earned him a place in the Urban Dictionary:

Urban Dictionary: stupak_1257742592105

 

We’ve come a long way, baby…

… sort of.  Maybe.  Or maybe not?

Salon’s Broadsheet points out something interesting that happens when you google “bad fathering” — the ever-helpful Googles automatically inquire if you meant to search for “bad mothering“.  I just tried it and got:

bad fathering - Google Search_1256415817004

I’m not suggesting there’s a hidden culture of misogyny on the internet (where it exists, it’s usually right out there in the open), and obviously Google searches have more to do with algorithms, most common searches and assorted mathematical weirdness that’s way over my pretty little head.  But I couldn’t help wondering why there might be 189,000 hits for “bad fathering” and a whopping 845,000 for “bad mothering”.  Hmm.

Shirts for industry!

Make a Political Fashion Statement!_1253680669962Whoops, I got a little carried away after watching that Bonzo Dog video.

There really are shirts, but they aren’t for industry but rather the industrious LEAF, the Women’s Legal Education & Action Fund, who do all kinds of wonderful work on behalf of that left-wing fringe group known as “women”.   The fundraising T-shirts are the brainchild of Antonia Z, and feature the logo in my  sidebar with the caption: “Proud member of that ‘left-wing fringe group':  Women”.  (The caption originates from a disparaging comment our wonderful PM made about women’s groups — details at the Facebook Group here.)

DammitJanet has more info on styles available and how to get one of these shirts to help support a great cause.  Woohoo, shakin’ the shirt!

Crimes of opportunity

Attention ladies:  don’t let this fat little beady-eyed fuck   DAMMIT JANET!_1250734127921

buy you a drink.  Not even a coffee.  If you see his smirking visage nearby, run.

The asshole in the picture, Fernando Manuel Alves, has a right to smirk:  he beat the system:

The former owner of a Burnaby, B.C., pub has been handed a nine-month conditional sentence after pleading guilty to sexual assault in a case that prompted criticism of the police from the convicted man’s lawyer.

Fernando Manuel Alves, 46, had faced four charges of sexual assault and one charge of administering a noxious substance.

His arrest two years ago prompted police to warn the public about drink-spiking.

Alves ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault after the other assault charges and the administering charge were dismissed following a preliminary hearing.

His lawyer, Lawrence Myers, maintains that Alves couldn’t possibly be the kind of man police have made him out to be,

myers

(write your own caption), which might prompt one to wonder exactly what kind of man he thinks routinely drugs and rapes women… just a “regular guy”?  Why not?  With Myers’ client list, Alves probably is a pretty regular guy.  But that’s to be expected when your business is criminal law.  However, the sleaze shouldn’t extend to the judge, who callously dismissed the assaults as a “crime of opportunity” and allowed the creep to walk without a day of time.   Does that make sense?  (Or cents?  Or maybe $en$e?)

It would be interesting to know who the judge was, and what other cases he’s presided over.  Dr. Dawg is on it:  this ain’t over.

UPDATE: Details from the victim’s best friend; original post from 2007 here, reaction to verdict here.

A Question of Honour

Honour%20KillingsYesterday, Dr. Dawg commented with a link to an article about a country that outlawed honour killings.  The story, from almost 20 years ago, wasn’t about a Muslim country, but the very Catholic Brazil.  From March 29, 1991:

Brazil’s Supreme Court has ruled that a man can no longer kill his wife and win acquittal on the ground of “legitimate defense of honor.”

The ruling ends a 10-year legal battle. “It’s a historic decision,” said Jacqueline Pitanguy, a Brazilian women’s rights leader.

Although never part of the legal code of Brazil, the “defense of honor” strategy has been used by lawyers to win acquittals in thousands of cases of men on trial for murdering their wives. According to a study in Sao Paulo State for the period 1980-81, 722 men claimed defense of their honor as justification for killing women accused of adultery.

As in most countries where this hideous practice exists, those dwelling in isolated areas were most vulnerable:

In Brazil’s large coastal cities, juries have increasingly rejected the “defense of honor” as old-fashioned, but the strategy has continued to sway juries in Brazil’s interior.

“In the interior of the country, it is easier and cheaper for a man to hire a gunslinger to kill his wife than to get a divorce and to separate the property,” said Rose Marie Muraro, a feminist writer who lobbied against the honor defense.

The article makes a point that’s been lost in the paranoid post-9/11 world: honour killing is a phenomenon that seems to cross many cultural and religious lines, the common thread being subjugation of women.  The first such killing I ever heard of in Canada involved Punjabi Sikhs,  yet Canadians don’t consider honour killing a “Sikh Problem” any more than Brazil considered it a “Catholic Problem”.

Interestingly, I remember a flurry of anti-Sikh/Hindu sentiment out here following the Air India bombing and some politically-motivated murders.  The media had just dipped its toes into the “honour killing” issue in that community when 9/11 rocked our world.  So, when Dr.Dawg asks in his comment, “How did the phrase “honour killing” become Muslimized?”, I can only speculate that it’s because that’s where the media spotlight has been focused for the last 8 years.

Your thoughts?

UPDATE: Robert got there first, with another example of the cultural diversity of honour killing.

Damn fine rant

Bene D speak, you listen.

Now is the time at UOH when we…

…juxtapose!!!

Fox News, then:

fox1

and now:

fox2

The one heckling fetus fetishist who attempted to disrupt the ceremony actually made it into the White House’s official transcript… as did the booing and “Yes we can!”-ing audience who shouted him down.  Sweet.

Notre Dame Protester's Shouts Included In Official White House Speech Transcript_1242851810344

Can you say “marginalized”?  I knew you could.

Obama at Notre Dame

Against the backdrop of outrage generated among extreme anti-choicers by the prospect of President Obama’s commencement address at (the very Catholic) Notre Dame University, a lot of people were wondering what would happen today, what the freaks would do, and how Obama would follow their act — by ignoring the issue causing all the furore, or addressing it.  How does one respond to the ongoing psychotic episodes and intimidation tactics that characterize extremist anti-choice nutbars like Randall “Fetus-in-a-Jar” Terry?

The verdict is in:  Obama hit one out of the park at Notre Dame today.  The threatened “circus” didn’t materialize, no pickled fetuses were thrust in anyone’s face, and though spittle-flecked shrieks were heard in the distance, none disrupted the proceedings.  Not only did Obama address the controversy, he did it in such a positive, upbeat and rational tone that he effectively turned it back on his opponents, who ended up looking petty and ridiculous (not to mention several parts crazy and stupid).  Pwn’d, as they say.

There can be no doubt about it — Amateur Hour is over and the grownups are back in charge.

Transcript here.

Why don’t anti-choice marches get much coverage?

antichoicenuts

Totally not about tyranny.

Now there’s a question.

It’s not often that I agree with the fetus fetishists, but on the issue of media coverage of their March for Reproductive Enslavement, they might actually have a point.

Going back to a previous post about the March for No Choice, I’m totally unsurprised to find out that my Prediction #6 was a dead-on bullseye — the griping and whining about lack of media coverage started before the last forced pregnancy marcher had packed up his dead fetus porn and called it a day. But googling for news on the event, I think for once (maybe the first time ever) they’re not lying or being paranoid or just babbling and writhing in the ecstatic throes of a persecution high: apart from the Ottawa Citizen, it looks like hardly any trad media covered the Fetus Fete. (I heard the Globe & Mail ran something about it, but was unable to find the article.)

While I’m not unhappy about this cold media shoulder, it seems a little odd. No, 10,000 isn’t massive (I’ve been to hockey games that drew more), and it’s a long way from being a game-changer as far as abortion rights go, but I wonder if the media would be so apathetic if 10,000 of anything else besides fetus fetishists showed up en masse on Parliament Hill.

Or maybe it’s not so odd. This thing is an annual event that’s been going on for over 10 years, and it’s the same thing year in and year out: a few thousand people swarm the capital, twitching and jabbering in a delirious Jesus-driven frenzy about abortion and the sanctity of embryos — it’s been done and done and done again, nothing new to report. Or possibly the media’s realized what many of us have long suspected… that this isn’t a protest as much as an astroturfed fauxtest, with the numbers of the piously brain-damaged and clinically psychotic padded by schoolkids bribed into attending. (Where were all “da yoot” last summer when Dr. Morgentaler’s Order of Canada was being lamely protested?)

Or it could be something else. Interestingly, the fetus fetishists weren’t whining (much) 3 years ago when CTV covered their little shindig. It was 2006, the Harper conservatives had just stumbled into power and anti-choicers wanted their pound of electoral flesh in the form of an overhauled abortion policy — something many, not just the media, wondered if Canada’s (scary) New Government might actually do. Now that we all know this issue is something that even the CPC won’t touch with the proverbial 10-foot pole, the media has lost interest. It seems that an event is only as newsworthy as its potential to actuate change — and that’s bad news for anti-choicers, because the media doesn’t set trends, it reflects them.

To paraphrase McLuhan, the media is the message and the message is: it’s over.


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