Monday, June 22, 2009

Kudos to the French

French president Nicolas Sarkozy took a courageous step forward on Monday in French legislature. A parliamentary commission is being proposed by French legislators, which would seek to address the growing trend of women wearing burkas in public.

Sarkozy told legislature,
"We cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity...I want to solemnly say that it will not be welcome on our territory."

If approved, the commission could propose legislation aimed at "banning the burka in public if it is found to be degrading to women," said government spokesman Luc Chatel, Friday.

This announcement by Sarkozy should put Canada and the West to shame. Our leaders are so concerned about offending the diverse electorate that they are unwilling to take a stance on issues of equality.

Maybe thats not the only thing holding Canada back. When the government pulls back funding from courts that hear pay equity cases, cuts a massive amount of funding to the Commission on the Status of Women in Canada, and allows for pay inequity in the name of economic stability (Bill C-10), one has to wonder whether they themselves even believe in equality for women. Heck, even the Globe and Mail admits that of the 125 workers who are to receive pay cuts in the coming months, 70% of them are women in female-dominated work areas.

Maybe the simple answer to why Canada is so unwilling to take a stance on women's rights, whether it be subjugation through wearing the burka or a general acceptance of pay inequity, is that Canadian politicians really just don't care about women. Period.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

so I guess Ted Bundy had two working parents...

Call it a nail in the coffin or career suicide; either way, Iris Evans' comment on child-raising is sure to see some swift repercussions.

The Alberta finance minister made her controversial comments this week at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto. She told the crowd, "when you're raising children, you don't go off to work and leave them for somebody else to raise."

It gets worse.

"The huge failure of Canadians is not to educate the children properly, and then why should we be surprised when they have mental illnesses or commit dreadful crimes?" she said.

Let me get this straight. So if someone has a mental illness or is psychopathic, its their mother's fault for not staying at home to raise them?? I guess Ted Bundy and Paul Bernardo and Vincent Li would all be happy, loving people if their mothers had cleaned and cooked and tucked them into bed every night, right?

Who cares about hormonal imbalances, sexual abuse, and other factors that drove these individuals to commit their horrific acts when its just oh so easy to blame the problems on having a working mother? Apparently misogynistic behaviour would not exist if only mothers would stay at home with their children. Because that doesn't encourage sexist, irrational, stereotypical notions of aggressive masculinity at all.

Note to self: if you don't want your child to grow up to be an axe-murderer, you better quit your job and be a nice quiet housewife.

...Screw that.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

its about time she stops running

I have nothing but praise today for the Supreme Court's 8-1 decision to restore Kelly Ellard's second-degree murder conviction. The B.C teen was convicted in 1997 for her part in the drowning of Reena Virk.

Her trial and subsequent appeals are an example of the outrageous liberties that Canada allows to its convicted criminals. She has been allowed to appeal her case not once, not twice, but three times, each time pulling the Virk family over daggers as they are forced to relive their daughter's death. Ellard should have been allowed one appeal until the time came that she was eligible to apply for parole. Convicted criminals should not be allowed to continue causing pain to their extended victims, as Ellard was permited to do with the Virk family.

Unfortunately, having already served roughly seven years in prison, Ellard may soon be eligible to apply for parole. At the discretion of the Correctional Service of Canada it will be determined whether Ellard is eligible to apply for parole. Personally, I strongly feel that one year should be tacked on to Ellard's sentence to compensate the Virk family for each painful process of appeal. In Ellard's case, the three appeals would add up to three additional years in prison. That should be the case with all convicted criminals...the process of appeal, which can cause so much pain to extended victims, should be balanced by retribution on the part of the criminal for the continued suffering of families such as the Virks. If this were the case, maybe we would see a decrease in the number of appeals put forth by convicted criminals.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

PETA is trying to ride both sides of the debate

I think that at this point, the only suitable thing to say about PETA's proposed new ads is what the heck are they thinking?? The organization announced plans to launch these ads on billboads in Wichita, Kansas. This is the same city where Dr George Tiller was assassinated while attending church on May 31, and is a blatant attempt to capitalize on the tragedy of Dr Tiller's death.

The animal rights organization has overstepped its bounds and has feminists across the blogosphere in an uproar. Lindsay Rajt, campaign manager for PETA, says that the billboards were prompted by the recent shooting death of Dr George Tiller.

"The discussion of the value of life is front and centre right now in the public conversation," Rajt told reporters. "We think we would be irresponsible if we didn't talk about how we're all guilty of extreme cruelty to animals every time we sit down to a meal that includes meat."

PETA's enthusiastic response to Dr Tiller's assassination puts them in the same ballpark as radical conservative pulpits. The animal rights organization laments the slaughter of animals for corporate gain, but how do they feel about the slaughter of a human being for ethical imperialism?

I think we have our answer.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bill 44

Buckle your seat belts everyone; we're about to blast back 100 years.

Alberta's recently introduced Bill 44 is the latest attempt by the Canadian government to intercede in the education of young people. The legislation gives parents the right to pull their children out of class when controversial subjects such as sex, religion, and sexual orientation are to be discussed.

The last time I checked Alberta was above the 49th parallel, so I am shocked to find that one of our own provinces has suddenly transformed into a macrocosm of hillbilly southern America. What good can possibly come of giving parents the 'right' to make sure that their child is removed from any and all thought-provoking discussion in the classroom.

Is school not supposed to be a place of learning, a place where students can develop critical thinking skills and learn to interact with others of different backgrounds? What Alberta has done ensures that dogmatic parents can indoctrinate their offspring and be guaranteed that their hard work will not be challenged by the process of group discussion and critical analysis. Christian parents can sleep easy knowing that their children can grow up to be conservative homophobic Creation-ists. Muslim parents can rest assured that their children will be able to escape discussion of Christian and Jewish histories, and can grow up to be faithful fundamentalists who live in a society within a society. Members of the queer community can go to sleep knowing that their rights as equal members of Canadian society are less than a generation away from being trampled by this fresh crop of 'educated' evangelicals and fundamentalists.