Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

My best wishes to you and your's tonight as you do what you do to bring in 2008! As a child it was always important to jump off a chair or couch at the stroke of midnight to be in the air and leap into the new year... wherever I find myself you can bet I'll be jumpin' in at 11:59:59.
So Happy New Year, dear readers, and please come back in 2008!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Wow. If you have a few minutes now or later, please read this article by Courtney A. Martin: "Virgin or Slut: Pick One. Why teenagers are so screwed up about sex and their bodies"

The article speaks for itself and is worth the 3 minute read. An excerpt to convince you:

Here, the message to young women is also resolute: Your body is dangerous. Control it. Ignore it. Don't ask any questions. Teen girls are cast as asexual princesses happily trapped in towers, guarded by their Bible verse-spouting fathers. The message to young men is more subtle. In this fairy tale written, produced and directed by abstinence-only advocates, teenage guys are both potential villains -- the oversexed, hormone-crazed young men who must be refused continuously by good girls -- or potential knights in shining armor -- saving enough money from their summer jobs to buy sparkling rings that will save their sweeties from the hell of slutdom.

I grew up with some serious sexual expression and freedom issues. Although I didn't get an exclusive "abstinence only" education in school, church trumped all knowledge received in school with guilt. Wait till you're married. Just thinking about it is sexual imorality. Jesus can see you kissing your boyfriend. What would Jesus do? Jesus is in your bedroom watching you. Wear this purity ring. Save yourself. If you wait until you're married you'll have no other penises to compare to. Become a born-again virgin.

Become a born-again virgin. Someone actually recommend I do that... years back; bawling with guilt in a church after fucking my boyfriend. But that, THAT I could not do nor did I want to. First of all, it didn't make sense and sounded stupid. It was complicated; because I took responsibility for my actions but suffered the psychological repercussions that years of baptist rhetoric bullshit had infused into my sex-conscience growing up. I feel for our girls and boys searching for their blossom into adulthood. Martin's article is moving and important. Please pass it along and talk to a 12 year old about their dreams and challenges. Let's let the pre-teens and teens in our lives know that they are beautiful, lovely, sexual people and equip them with knowledge to make responsible decisions.

It's About Time!

I was wondering if the media would ever draw attention to this. Ezra Levant himself co-founded the Western Standard, which online edition (Paper version now in the ditch) has a hateful conservative racist blog which is nauseating. From the linked article: "Levant, who no longer owns the website or the Western Standard name, said he doesn't personally agree with the comments, but argued they should be protected as free speech." He may not own the website or blog, but he is a frequent poster and he defended a racist Article published in the Calgary Sun at the time of publication and outcry. You can read his grotesque accusation (not to mention poor writing skills and rhetoric) from the Calgary Sun here (Crash Detail Overlooked).

Finally there's an official human rights complaint filed. I took a look at the Western Standard's blog after the Calgary Sun published his despicable piece against the woman (she was wearing a head scarf so he blamed Islam for the tragedy) who was driving the bus that crashed on Crowchild Trail, killing a young Calgary girl. The comments were vitriolic and hateful, to which Levant defends with "free speech" and then says:

In Canada, when someone hurts your feelings, you can respond, write a letter to the editor, call a talk radio show, start a political campaign. But you don't go running to the government," said Levant. "Mr. Soharwardy has to realize he is in a free country now.

Ezra Levant can go eat a bag of dicks. For one, he assumes Mr. Soharwardy wasn't born in Canada. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn't. Does it matter? Anyone could have filed a human rights complaint. He assumes Soharwardy doesn't realize his freedom to Canadian values? To the contrary. Levant may host racist bigotry on his precious (former) website, but Canada does not host his (and his posse's) "rights" to say threatening and racist putrid.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Hijabs have been approved by the Alberta Soccer Association to be worn by players. Muslim soccer players may wear a "sports-friendly hijab approved by the game's referee". I really don't see this as a victory of any sort; I'd like to remind my dear readers that a) it is unlikely that a hijab is a serious safety concern in soccer; and b) there has never been a hijab-related sports injury in soccer nor has this been an issue in all the years that many of these very girls have been playing soccer in Calgary. Even still; the girls and women wearing such sport-friendly hijabs are still subject to judgement and scrutiny by the referee of the day.

Dud Poker.

As if Pink Boutique Monopoly didn't cause my gag reflex to go into overdrive, I just found this over at Feminist Law Professors. It's PINK POKER NIGHT: IT'S A CHICK THING. Wow. Here's how University Games describes the game:

O.K., ladies, don't listen if any knucklehead tries to tell you that poker just isn't a chick thing. Just toss him a piece of raw meat and tell him to go away, while you pick up the phone and call your friends to come on over, because you just got Pink Poker Night! With this fun, complete, and just-for-you poker set you have everything you and the gals need for a rollicking good girls' night in. Includes deck of playing cards, 200 poker chips, invitations and envelopes, party recipes, and rule book. We're betting you'll just love this game set! For 2 to 8 adults.

The manufacturing company, University Games, claims some contradictory things on their "about us" portion of the website. ". . . University Games has been creating educational board games designed so that players won't notice how much they are learning!" and "We constantly seek to keep our products contemporary through new product development". Educational? I beg to differ. This has nothing to do with education. Perhaps they are only referring their large inventory of award winning children's games, of which I would be curious to read the girls'/boys' game descriptions to rate the sexism saturation. How can UG boast "contemporary" games when this is the trash being marketed? And I have to ask, party recipes? Did I read that right? What exactly does that mean? Perhaps an hour in the kitchen beside the oven? Or maybe complicated cocktails! Amazon says this game is recommended for ages 21 and up, but I can't understand why University Games is talking to the "gals" like we (or should I say "they" because I really don't feel like an intended audience, somehow) are 10 years old! "rollicking good girls' night in"? Yeah, recipes and sexist stereotype bullshit sound like a real rollicking good time.

And "a chick thing"? I just can't believe that every sentence of this promotional paragraph is ripe with stomach-churning demeaning language (including tossing the "knucklehead" *man* a piece of "raw meat") as a marketing ploy to attract women (again, over 21) to buy this product.

I'm going to tell University Games what I think of Pink Poker. You can too, at this address:
University Games Corporate2030 Harrison Street San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 503.1600 phone (415) 503.0085 fax Email:

The War on Women

Last night a dear friend gave me a Christmas gift; a book, The War on Women. I was happy to hear that my overt feminism made her think of me when she read a review of it in the Calgary Herald. I'm very much looking forward to delving into it over Christmas. Not exactly cheery reading but why bury our heads in the snow? This with yet another news story headlining an assault on a woman. This man pleads guilty. No shit.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


A quick note to follow up on the murder of Jocelyn Dulnuan two months ago. Police have a 35 year old in custody; few details are available at this point.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Unions Stepping up to the Plate that Harper Hopped Off

There is hope.

Ottawa—Several major unions are stepping forward to give financial support to women’s organizations that have been punished under the Conservative government’s anti-equality agenda. Their announcement coincides with the 26th anniversary of Canada’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.
“This government’s decision to stop funding research and advocacy by women’s organizations was short sighted, and our unions will continue to push for its reversal,” says John Gordon, Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) National President. “In the meantime, it’s imperative these groups stay alive.”

Via Rabble.

Yes it is. And shame on Harper and his attack on women's groups. We will rise... we have to.

Plan a Party!

January 28, 2008 will mark the 20th Anniversary of the Decriminalization of Abortion in Canada. May we celebrate with our friends and family that day that we have a choice in Canada to access safe, legal, free abortions. And a toast to Dr. Morgentaler.

Crying Hijabs

This morning I followed up on a news story that a 16 year old girl in the region of Peel, Ontario, was taken to the hospital after a domestic assault that left her fighting for her life in hospital. Her father made a call to 911 that he had killed his daughter. Today it has been confirmed that Aqsa Parvez has died. I grieve for her; and her family and friends. Violence against women enrages me; but the media is enraging me more in this case. The family is Muslim and the Globe and Mail, CBC, the National Post, the Toronto Star; all major media sources are crying "Muslim, Muslim Muslim!" and smearing this tragedy with religious undertones. If you Google some murders, if you feel up to it, it's a challenge to find any news stories that highlight the subject families' religious beliefs. The Globe and Mail writes, "Students at nearby Applewood Heights Secondary School in Mississauga said the teen had recently clashed with her family after ceasing to wear a hijab and adopting a more Western style of dress." I'm curious, because with the recent and ongoing hijab debates in Canada (burn victims are not required to show picture ID but Muslim women are required to remove their headscarves in order to vote; and soccer associations are kicking girls off the fields for wearing hijabs), that here we have more racial profiling and politicizing of a "hot-topic" religious practice. The articles around Aqsa's murder are pointing fingers at the family's religion making an underlying assumption that Aqsa was murdered over her hijab. There are no facts being reported about the lead up to Mr. Parvez killing his daughter, just a quotation from a grade 11 student: "her family was really religious, and I think her dad was angry because she never wore religious clothing." The National Post headlines, "Friends believe Aqsa . . . was the victim of a dispute over the teenager's desire to be more western."

Aqsa was strangled to death by her father. Muslim or Buddhist or Christian religion aside, this is a horrific example of domestic violence and whether the argument really was over her hijab is irrelevant. It could have been over a channel change or allowances or doing the dishes or eating too many cookies out of the cookie jar for shits sake. It doesn't matter WHAT the argument was about, no one should be killed at the hands of our own family. It wouldn't matter if it was a Christian girl who didn't want to wear her wooden cross necklace anymore or a girl attending a school with a uniform and wishing to wear striped socks. These small side notes are not the issue we need to be focusing on when there's a body to bury.

Our media wants us to think that all Muslim women are oppressed by men and need to be rescued. Maybe that's what the writers actually believe themselves, I don't know. But Muslimah Media Watch has a brilliant piece on Danielle Crittenden's recent blog project "Islamic Like Me" at Huffington Post. Read the review; it's a smart and vicious attack on Crittenden's niqab 'experiment' and her Islamophobia.

Update: "Canadian Muslim girl not killed over hijab: report"
Update II: Listen to CBC's "The Current" program covering all sides of this tragedy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

On the Front Lines

Calgary's Radical Cheerleaders made another appearance last weekend at the YEAHNow! Youth Forum on HIV/AIDS!

You can also watch their debut at the Take Back the Night March in September!


Do you, too, find gender studies pointless and a waste of time and money? Today we read that women 'drive around' more and maybe men are MORE talkative than women. Wow! Interesting News!!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Behind the Bars on the Front Lines

I've become a fan of HBO series Oz. Compelling and sympathetic characters, it's extremely well written and carries some incredible criticism of the american prison system. This story on Alternet caught my attention this morning and it's worth the read. Written by a transgendered woman who has experienced the amercian prison system first hand, she brings up some important issues and offers insight to the problem of gendered prisons for a) men; and b) women.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

On Antichoice "Puck Bunnies" and Tax Dollars

A few weeks ago the Ottawa Senators' wives and girlfriends (The Better Halves hosted a massive Christmas Tree Raffle. Problem is, investigates Heather Mallick, "The Better Halves are giving a third of the proceeds of this year's $50,000 Christmas Tree raffle to First Place Pregnancy Centre, an Ottawa anti-abortion group run by Pentecostal Christians."

Read this Rabble Article by Heather Mallick to find out more about these anti-choicers.

One Giant Step Back.

This is exhausting to watch and so very very disappointing. There are millions of people who watch The View everyday and I can now confirm no that the women on The View are not chosen because they are intelligent individuals with the rhetorical skills to be able to discuss not only current events, but history. It's a wonderful idea to give women a forum to be able to reach the masses; but look at this failure! How and why is someone as ignorant as this being given a voice on national television; I don't care if her "views" differ from the other women and if she can argue effectively. But to support her religious ideas she says, "[The Greeks] had Christians 'cause they threw them to the lions" among other nonsense, and my stomach churns. Wikipedia calls her a comedian. Ha ha! If so, then this is frakkin' hilarious!

She also doesn't believe in evolution ("period") and isn't sure if the world is flat.

Watch the Jesus clip via Huff Post.

Remember what Martin Luther King Jr. said:

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous
than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007