Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Harper's new anti-terrorism strategy

Harper's new anti-terrorism strategy (ie. his plan to protect corporation's profits based on Canadian oil) is very worrisome. I'm not sure if it is any different from the old strategy, insofar as all of this stuff was in place around the G20 and whatnot, but the boldness with which he is announcing these "anti-terrorist" tactics and the scope of who is considered to be a terrorist is disconcerting.

For example, the Public "Safety" Minister announced that they will not target "not only known terrorist groups, but "vulnerable individuals" who could be drawn into politically inspired violence."

My first question is with regards to this guy's title... which public and whose safety is he concerned about?

Also, they are vigilant against extremism based on causes like "animal rights, white supremacy, environmentalism and anti-capitalism"

As an anti-oppression activist, I love seeing my work thrown in with white supremacists... it seems to be a very common strategy to discredit a movement. For example, I was having a facebook argument the other day, and was told that "to carry a label like feminist, [I] may as well wear the great dragon's cloak from the KKK because its no different.... feminism is associated with anger and hate" It seems as though people think that they can immediately discredit an entire movement comparing it to hateful movements (without knowing what you are talking about, or doing it purposefully to influence people who don't know what feminism or anti-capitalism is about).

In the article, it was said that
Terrorist action occurs when an extremist ideological group plans to carry out a violent attack that reasonably can be expected to kill people or destroy property,” Michael Patton, Mr. Toews’s director of communication, said in an e-mail Friday.
I guess Gandhi was a terrorist.

And why isn't Harper under arrest for terrorism?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

We don't need feminism anymore!

I was listening to CBC radio the other day and they were doing a special show on the 40th anniversary of Ms magazine. They interviewed one of the founders of the magazine, Letty Cottin Pogrebin and her daughter, a journalist named Abigail Pogrebin.

At first, I was kind of excited to be listening to a feminist story on the radio while I drove, but I ended up getting more and more irritated with it. It gave the impression that everything is fine right now, thanks to people like the founders of Ms magazine. While I appreciate how much things have improved in a variety of ways, I really get annoyed when people try to make it seem as though we no longer need feminism because men and women are equal now.

Abigail said that she doesn't feel that her life or her daughter's life are constrained by being a woman because we now have choices that weren't available when her mother co-founded the magazine. Then she went on to say that she used to work for 60 minutes, but found a new, less prestigious, job closer to home when she had children because she wasn't able to travel all the time anymore... and that she couldn't travel for work regularly because her husband had a job that required him to travel for work. She also said that he would not consider compromising his job to stay home with the kids. Now, this sounds like one of the reasons we still need feminism... women's choices are constrained in ways that men's choices often are not.

So, she quits a good job to take something closer to home in order to stay home with her children while her husband travels for work, but we don't need feminism anymore. Hurray for choices!

I hate this "I choose my choice" feminism. We do not have choices, in a lot of cases. The decision to participate in the nuclear family, to work in the waged labour force, to make sacrifices in one's career for the sake of raising children, even the decision about what kinds of clothing to wear are constrained by material circumstances, they are not made in a vacuum.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Not to be racist but....

I've said this before and I will say it again... if you have to say something along the lines of "I'm not racist but..." THEN YOU ARE ABOUT TO SAY SOMETHING RACIST. I cannot stress this enough.

If you need to preface what you say with telling people that you are not a bigot, then you should not say it and think about why it is that you had the thought in the first place.

Also, I hope these are meant to be ironic or something, and I'm just not getting the joke

Also, I did get one laugh out of this at my friend's response on facebook, which was "not to sound racist but I'm wearing a green shirt"