27 June 2009

Language Matters

Mother-blaming is a major problem in our society. Mommy-bashing, Mommy-drive-bys, and my favourite, "But she's a mother!" as a horrified gasp at a woman's behaviour.

Lately, one of the themes seems to be shots at mothers for drinking alcohol. A woman in North Dakota was arrested for breastfeeding while intoxicated. A felony arrest, I might add. She was charged with neglect. Okay... here's the thing, the amount of alcohol in breastmilk is the same as in the blood. So, assuming she was flat out loaded, her blood alcohol was maybe .2%. There's more alcohol in Gripe Water! (yes, there is alcohol in Gripe Water unless otherwise indicated). So why in hell can she be arrested fro this?! Because Moms shouldn't drink, of course.

Right. So I was reading the cbc.ca site and ran into the article about the racist whackjobs who drew swastikas on their daughter's arms and sent her to school. Now it seems that the woman has been charged with fraud, for impersonating her mother and using her credit cards to the tune of $20,000. And how did cbc phrase it? (Emphasis added)
The mother in a controversial Winnipeg custody trial, involving a girl who was sent to school with white supremacist symbols drawn on her skin, has been arrested.

The mother has been in jail since Thursday, charged with a number of fraud-related crimes, news that came just as the custody hearing was set to resume with lawyers for Child and Family Services wrapping up their case.

According to court documents obtained by CBC News, the mother is accused of stealing her own mother's credit card last fall and racking up charges of more than $20,000. It is also alleged that she impersonated the woman for a few days last October in order to commit the fraud.

The court worked Friday for several hours to arrange to get the mother transferred from the remand centre to the courthouse. The judge in charge of the hearing wanted her present but it took some time for bail to be granted.

The mother appeared in court in shackles Friday and testified in the custody case that she wants a relative to get custody of the child, not the father.

Okay, the first one makes sense. She's the mother in a custody case. But after that? It's just another case of Mommy-shaming. She's a woman, first. Then a mother.

I think that's what so many forget. Women aren't people in the eyes of a lot of people. At church, on Father's Day, a man in my congregation got up and said, "Happy Father's Day! I think just about everyone here is a father!" Um... So one of the women hollered out, "I'm not!" There was an uncomfortable laugh. And here's the thing, the congregation is about 75% women. He just simply didn't view us as people.

You hear about murdered prostitutes, school teachers, mothers, etc. When it's a man, it's a murdered man. When it's a woman, it's about her job, her profession, her choices. Never just about her. Because women just don't seem to matter.

h/t on the arrest to Jill at Feministe

24 June 2009

Booze on the bus

So Mr.FCS and I rarely disagree on political issues. Today we found ourselves arguing loudly about the Victoria Regional Transit Commission's decision to not allow alcohol (open or otherwise) on buses on Canada Day.

His take is that it's only for one day, and will save a number of people bringing booze downtown to the fireworks display. No big deal, and might prevent some drunken idiocy.

My take is that the drunks will get loaded before going, that the cops tried this shit last year, and were told it was illegal, that there is nothing illegal about transporting alcohol, and that giving up your rights for perceived safety is idiocy. Furthermore, the people who want to get shitfaced later, should be the ones on the bus!

Your thoughts?

Compassionate Conservatism... until a recession

Then we can fuck 'em good. They're just whores, right?

The van that patrols Vancouver's downtown east side is at risk of losing their funding. This van provides condoms, clean needles, coffee and juice, and an ear to bend for the people, primarily women, who are prostitutes in that area. These extremely vulnerable people live on the edges of society, and work in a very risky profession. They are beaten, raped and even killed in record numbers. Rapes and beatings are considered to be just par for the course. "Bad dates", i.e. rough johns, and johns who don't pay, are reported to the people in the van. Then other workers can look out for these guys. This is practically an essential service! It costs about $265,000 per year to run. Practically a drop in the bucket in the BC budget.

So what gives? Why are they cancelling this program? Would the upcoming Olympics have something to do with it? Can't have it look like the province condones this, can we? Such bullshit.

I hate Gordon Campbell. I fucking hate him and his ilk. Seriously, what kind of a fucking scumbag do you have to be to cut this service? And stupid too! Without the free clean hypodermics and condoms the AIDS rate will jump. Even if 3 people per year are prevented from contracting HIV, this service pays for itself. So it's clearly not money.

Too infuriating. I cannot believe the assholes in this province voted these fuckers in again.

21 June 2009

As you all should know, I was in Saskatchewan for the last couple of weeks. I took my camera, because if nothing else, it gives me something to do other than keep my kids out of trouble. I find the prairie and small towns to be remarkably beautiful. I tried to capture some of that on this trip, and I think I got a bit of it in these pictures. They're unretouched.

20 June 2009

Rape is not something to feel flattered about - Duh!

A dangerous offender is released, pending appeal, and this is the comment the cbc lets through, regarding a woman who is scared that the guy is living in her neighbourhood:

"the guys more than likely innocent and either way wouldn't be interested in this lady anyway,,,typical liberal skank"

ARGH! I don't know where to begin with this. How about let's boil it down to this:

Rape is not about finding someone attractive. It is not about "being interested" in someone. It is about causing pain, misery and humiliation. It is about power. 90 year old women are raped. 5 year old girls are raped. Fat women, thin women, disabled women, fit women, redheads, blondes, brunettes. Rapists may have their "preferences", but rape happens to women of all categories. All.

What does this asshole think? That a woman should feel flattered that the guy found her hot enough to rape?! Probably.

15 June 2009

Jon and Kate Plus Cameras

Okay, I confess, I've seen this show. I find it repugnant. My daughter, OTOH, watches it like the trainwreck that it is. She also reads People magazine (I know, what kind of kid am I raising?! But she says, "Celebrity gossip is my guilty pleasure", so at least she isn't trying to defend it). So, being stranded in Central Hell, I decided to read the latest People. Now, I don't let too much offend me (many things annoy me, but few offend me), but Jon's description of his kids was fucking disgusting.

Joel: "He's the youngest of the six and a womanizer. He's like, 'Oh, ou smell nice. I love your hair.' ...

A womanizer? Seriously? WTF kind of thing is this to say about a child? It's repulsive. The kid says something nice to someone, and he's a womanizer? He's trying to use her? WTF?! Would he say something like this about his daughters? Well yes, he would.

Cara: "... She also has a lot of boyfriends, which I don't agree with."

Uh, wtf, dude! The little boy is a "womanizer" and you clearly find that cute. The little girl has boyfriends, and that isn't cool with you. Double standard much?

Why are you sexualizing your kids? It's icky. Stop it.

Still in Hell...

At least the temperature makes it feel that way. Gah. So hot.

I'm in Regina, back in the land of internet access, and I'm trying to figure out what to write about, as all that's been on my mind lately is how annoying my in-laws are, how I suck for thinking that, as really, they're pretty decent people, how frustrated I am with my Mom and her demonspawn doctors, how worried I am about her (holy shit, she's thin!), and how fucking much I hate traveling with Celiac Disease. I am so sick. What's worse, so are my husband and my kids.

I did see something that I thought, "WHOA! There's a blog post". Well, a few things, but I haven't managed to download my pictures to make fun of some of it. Seriously, I mean, "World's Biggest Paperclip"? Lame. However, what I was thinking of was how a very nice Catholic lady reacted when I asked her opinion on the new legislation in Alberta. She's a teacher, so I thought it was a gimme. Apparently, I was picking a fight. Oops.

First of all, she hadn't heard about it. So I explained it as neutrally as I could. I said that the new legislation allowed parents to take their kids out of classes that were considered controversial, and that teachers were required to send notice to the parents when any of these topics were coming up. Also, that students who were pulled out wouldn't be required to learn the material, and therefore couldn't be tested on it. Fair enough?

No. Certainly not. First of all, she said that it clearly wasn't Christians who dreamed this up. It was the Muslims. (Now, remember, she hadn't heard about the issue before.) Oh, and the Hindus. Seriously. Hindus. Where she came up with this, I have no idea. I suspect her ass though.

Then, she said that evolution is only a theory, and shouldn't be taught as fact, and that the Christian view should be taught along side of it, like they do at her school (!). I said, "But there's no scientific evidence for that side. So why should it be taught in science class?" That shut her up. She sputtered for a minute, and I knew perfectly well that it was a good thing I said "evidence" and not "proof" because I could totally see where her mind was going. Ha. Point for me.

Then she said that people were welcome to take their kids out of classes anyway, so why was this a big deal? I said that it was because students wouldn't have the same education, that Christian kids wouldn't have to take tests on certain topics, to which she had the fucking audacity to say that it was the Muslims again, and that students aren't tested on these subjects anyway. Bwuh?

I said that teachers were worried, because topics can come up in class without being scheduled, and that they were worried they'd be in trouble if they talked about it. They were worried about the definition of "controversial". She didn't know what to say about that. She is a teacher, after all.

Oh, and you know what? She only stopped teaching The Lord's Prayer to the kids in her classes 3 years ago. Wow.

Batshit crazy. I'm starting to understand why some people think religious people are all batshit crazy. I'm religious. Please, if I start sounding like her, TELL ME! :)

Here's the thing I really don't grok: the Catholic Church isn't anti-evolution. Why is she doing this? Why would she roll her eyes when I said, "Well, I'm certainly Christian, and I don't see any problem resolving Christianity with evolution?" I can't figure that one out at all. I mean, the Pope says the same thing, so again, bwuh?

Anyway, pictures of the amazing prairies and silly shit along the way to come when I get home.

04 June 2009

Off to visit Hell. I mean, Saskatchewan

Gonna be gone for a couple of weeks. My SIL is getting married, and we figured we'd do some family visiting. I'm going to try to update the blog a bit, but for the first week at least, there will be no internet access. I know... how do they live like that?! After that, I'll be back in Regina, and can update from Mom's house.

So, off to Hell... er... Saskatchewan I go. I'll be sure to give Delisle the finger as I drive through it. :)

Wish us luck! Travelling with two autistic kids (one with ADHD as well) and an infant. Fun.

01 June 2009

Not so skin deep

Humans really are just skin-deep: "Buddy, it's just skin. Whether it's on my hands or my shoulder blades, it's still only dermal. Whether it's the new mocha or the old speckled white, it's still just presidential skin."

No. It really isn't. It's a collection of experiences. A background. A heritage. He grew up differently than a white kid. With racism and the knowledge that if he'd been born a hundred and fifty years earlier, he'd have been enslaved by whites. It's growing up invisible to popular media (how many black faces did you see on TV before the Jeffersons?) It's growing up afraid of the police. It's growing up with a different culture in the same society.

It's not just skin.