30 March 2011

Poly want a ruling?

In my travels across the blogs of the www, I ran into this post and was instantly infuriated by the overstepping of the BC government into the homes of its citizens. Attorney General Jones wants polygamists prosecuted. Unfortunately, he's including polyamory in his definition of polygamy.

There is a considerable difference between the two. Polygamy (usually polygyny - having multiple wives) is usually a culturally dictated form of marriage. It often means that girls are married to older men in arranged marriages. It also means that boys are sent away, because there are too many of them. Marriage is a proscribed institution in which there is no choice, no power, no say for the girls.

A polyamorous relationship is consensual, always between adults, and isn't passed on through generations (necessarily). They may be polygynist or polyandrist. There is love between partners, and the relationship is not arranged. It's not hard to understand if you've ever had an affair with someone you loved outside of your marriage. I mean, imagine your partners had been totally cool with it, and that the three of you could hang out together, enjoy a movie, share a home? It could be magnificent. Or it could suck donkey balls. You know, like monogamous marriages can be magnificent (like mine with Mr.FCS) or they can be disasters (like so so so many out there).

If the ruling is made against polygamy, I understand. As a feminist, I'm rather against the practice. When children are marrying and girls are given no choice in partner, and boys are sent to work camps (or mysteriously disappear), this is not okay. But the Attorney General really should have distinguished between polygamy and polyamory. Because if the law starts getting into the homes of loving families, taking children out of polyamorous homes, that is so far past not okay, I don't even have a good word for it.

29 March 2011

June Cleaver, I am not. Despite my demographics.

I'm the June Cleaver that the Conservatards are targeting. (I don't know how to link to a tweet, but that's what I saw twice this morning).

Okay, first and most important: Income splitting would help my family ENORMOUSLY. We'd pay far less tax if we could split my husband's income with my non-existent income. But so what? We can afford to pay the tax we're paying now. Many people can't afford to pay for daycare, so the mom (usually the mom) stays home. The family makes far less than they otherwise would, and the family suffers. So Harper says, "let's give them a tax break so it doesn't hurt so much". Well, okay... but there's clearly a better way. In Harper's plan, the family still can't afford for one parent to work. The choice is made for them by circumstance. Giving families universal daycare would allow for parents who want to work to be able to do so, and parents like me, who'd rather stay home*, can choose to stay home. Add income splitting to that, and I'd be thrilled, but hey, you can't have it all. Mind you, I think that if there were universal daycare, a lot fewer families would have only one employed parent, and there'd be less income splitting needed. But that's just a guess.

Second, and less importantly, I am getting REALLY sick and tired of having my choice to stay home be denigrated by feminists. I don't know one single SAHM who is at home because that's what her husband wants or that's what's expected of her by the patriarchy. Every one of us that *I* know, stays home because (1) she can't find a job that pays more than daycare costs; (2) she can't find a job, period; (3) there is no room in any of the daycares; (4) her kids are special needs kids. And I know one whose husband makes so much money**, she said, "I'd be stealing someone else's job for no good reason. And besides, I like being at home with the kids." You know, here we are, trying like hell to do what's right for us, for our kids, and everywhere I turn in the feminist world, I get June Cleaver shots thrown at me. As one of my favourite bloggers says, "Fokk that in the ear!" How about instead of tearing us down, give us some credit. We're not vapid dupes of the patriarchy, most of us. Of course, there are exceptions. But I tell you what, there are at least as many of them in the workforce. Do you see the high heels in offices?

* I'd rather have a safe daycare situation, but even with universal daycare, that'd be unlikely given my son's conditions. I'm choosing to stay home to look after him in a way that no one else reasonably can. I am extremely privileged to have this choice.

** Seriously. Dude. You should *see* their house. OMFG.

21 March 2011

Dead women more valuable than live ones

Consider the difference between these two stories:

Corpse of woman assaulted - man convicted

Living woman, in hospital, assaulted by health care professional - man convicted

Guess which one got two years and which got 3 months. Go ahead. Guess.

It makes me sick. It's clear that in the case of the dead woman, the judge just couldn't find a way to say that she brought it on herself. It is completely evident that the lives of living women are not valued in Canadian law. We are treated as complicit to these crimes. Sexual assault is treated as an act of impulse control failure by men who just find women too beautiful to resist instead of the acts of domination and terrorism that they are.

09 March 2011

Let's screw over kids with Autism for money, again

Okay, so it has come to my attention that I did not adequately explain the title of my recent post.

What's happened is that on Vancouver Island, Speech Language Pathologists were able to refer children for Autism assessments. In the rest of the province, only MDs could. This was deemed unfair, and they removed the privilege from SLPs. Why is this a money issue? Simple. Because if your doctor won't refer your kid because your doctor is a moron doesn't know a damn thing about Autism except for what s/he learned in the 1 class in med school and is afraid of sending a bad referral, you'll be sent to a Pediatrician who "will know better if this should be done". It takes a minimum of 6 months to get into a Ped's office. This means that a referral process will start a minimum of 6 months later, which means, in cases where Autism is diagnosed, the province will have to cough up a minimum of $11,000 less money for the child's treatment.

It's all about money, and screw those damn kids.

IWD - a day late and a dollar short

Yesterday was International Women's Day, and my husband managed to piss me right off by doing what I perceived to be minimizing the effect of sexism in our society. He's a hardcore socialist, and fully believes that it is entirely capitalism that causes virtually every problem that women have, because men have commodified us due to rampant capitalism. Interesting thought.

Anyway, I was getting good and mad at him for constantly talking about how it's the poor that have problems, not women, all the while admitting that women are poor more often than men. I shot back, "Right. Because rich women never get raped or beaten." Ha. Take that, Mr. FCS! (He said something about that not being relevant to a discussion of glass ceilings - I think it's the very point. If women are things to be dominated, what difference is there between physical terror domination and systemic economic domination). Which reminds me, do any of you have stats on rape in socialist countries like Sweden or Norway? He's betting they'll be lower than here or the US. I'm betting no difference.

Mr. FCS readily admits that women have it worse than men in all areas of society. He thinks this is men's fault. He also thinks this is entirely capitalistic. However, he also thinks that the poor have it worse than women in terms of ever getting ahead. I don't think these things can be separated. We agreed finally on the statement: Our system is set up to fuck everyone but ruthless, privileged, white men.

So what do you think? Does capitalism cause more feminist problems due to making women a commodity? How about the issue of ruthlessness? If people striving for the top of our economic system have to use and abuse people to get there, is it any wonder that women, who are already objectified in the media, are pushed aside?

(Any misrepresentation of Mr. FCS's opinions is totally his fault for making me incoherently furious yesterday)

08 March 2011

Let's screw over kids with Autism - For MONEY!

In early January, I sent around a letter explaining why I was so upset that SLPs had been removed from the referral process for Autism in BC. I just got a response from the Ministry of Health. What. A. Joke. My comments are in regular. Hers in italics.

>Thank you for your email received January 27, 2011, regarding autism
>assessment. I apologize for the delayed response.

I think you mean letter, not email, but that's okay. :)

>I appreciate that your personal experience has provided a unique
>perspective on autism assessment and that you have taken the time to
>share your comments with the Ministry of Health Services (the Ministry).
> *snip* One reason for accepting physician only referrals,
>is care from one physician can only be transferred to another physician.
>The assessment reports often include recommendations for the child and
>family that are health related and that care can only be managed by
>another physician.

When my son was diagnosed, the doctor on the team sent the recommendations to our family doctor. My son was referred by the speech pathologist. It didn't make a difference. Those recommendations were still sent.
What you don't address here is what people can do if they don't have a family doctor. Clinic doctors are happy to send anyone for a referral to a specialist, esp. a pediatrician, who will take at MINIMUM 6 months to see the child.

>Enforcing the existing policy has had an impact on Vancouver Island,
>where speech language pathologists were making referrals and now are
>not. The reason the process changed was to ensure standardization and
>equity within the program across all regions.

Then speech pathologists accross the province should have been allowed to make the referrals. That too would have guaranteed equity and standardization. In fact, it would have improved access for more children. Especially in areas where there is only one doctor.

>I realize that going from doctor to doctor did not provide your family
>with a continuum of care.

Excuse me? Are you suggesting I was doctor shopping? We went from doctor to doctor because one doctor quit, one retired, and one died.

The province has made significant investments
>to strengthen and expand the role of primary care physicians and has
>funded a number of prototype integrated health networks across the
>province, all of which help serve as a foundation for the next phase of
>system planning.

Oh please. That does NOTHING to enhance their knowledge of Autism, which is limited to one class in one course. If the child isn't a textbook case, they'll be dismissed. Autism is a spectrum disorder. No two children present identically. Doctors do not have the same training or the same *time* with children. An SLP spends hours and hours with children. A doctor spends minutes. I have never yet been given more than 20 minutes by a doctor. Our SLP spent an hour per month with us for over a year.

>For many British Columbians, the first point of contact within the
>health care system is with primary care providers, such as family

Yes, and they send us on to someone else, like the SLP. If she has to send us back, it wastes valuable time. And if the family physician then in turn says "I don't know about Autism, go see the pediatrician" it wastes yet another 6 months - the most valuable months we have. I don't think you're seeing how this is hurting kids.

Regional health authorities are re-orienting their services
>around family physicians through Division of Family Practice and
>collaborative services committees. Division of Family Practice give
>physicians a stronger collective voice and more impact on health care
>services in their community while helping them work together to improve
>their clinical practices, offer comprehensive patient services, and
>influence health service decision-making in their communities.

That's utterly irrelevant to Autism referrals. Especially if the doctor is ignorant of the subject. What good does a stronger collective voice do if doctors are uneducated about Autism?

>Again, thank you for writing. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

I just wish it had done some good. :(

My Name

07 March 2011

This is getting a little random

Here's the thing. I hate February. And March. But especially January. My kids all have birthdays within a month of each other (WTF, body? Getting knocked up *3* times for Canada Day? Not cool. Patriotic, I suppose, but not cool) So yeah. I hate it. And then politics pisses me off. And people piss me off more.

I would move to Sweden in a heartbeat if Mom didn't live here. I am not impressed with the Harper regime Government. No, not at all. Nor am I impressed with the legacy of Gordon Campbell, and the inevitable cleanup that will be involved with that. I'm voting for John Horgan, though at this point, anyone that promises me that NDs will be allowed to bill MSP for testing will win my vote. Honestly, how irresponsible are the Conservatards Liberals for allowing NDs to prescribe medicine but not be allowed to test to see if patients need it, or if the med is working, or even if the med is doing damage?! It's CRAZY!

And then there's the OMGHeadEXPLODE Autism Funding Unit. Seriously, is that place run by trolls? Pop was dx'd in November. They still have no record of him in their computer. His service provider has not been paid. At all. Whenever I call about it, they accuse me of not sending in the invoice payment form. I inform them that I have, they say that I haven't. I tell them to go check the in-box. They grumble and bitch, then come back and say, "Well, we got it on Feb 8!" Yeah, a MONTH AGO! And furthermore, that was the second copy I sent in. They lost the first one. GRRR.

Also, can someone tell me why if I don't use all of their funding this year, I can't hold it over to next year? It's stupid. I mean, Snap's giving back $5000 of $9000 because I had a rough year and we didn't spend it all. Really? So now we can't use that money. Not her fault, but too bad.

And finally, if a politician will fix it so that NDs can be covered by MSP or Autism Funding, I'd not only vote for her/him, I'd fix every computer in the office for a year. That's right, a year of free tech support.

I'm tired, and I'm cranky. Pop doesn't think sleep is a worthwhile venture. Crackle does, but stopping at all for anything else EVER is not cool with him. And Snap is a teenager. It takes all my energy to just not strangle her. And dammit, my foot still hurts! /whining