TALIBAN, THE POPE AND STEPHEN HARPER
What does this unlikely trinity have in common? The first glaring commonality of these three that comes to my mind is their unhealthy concentration on controlling women’s most intimate body parts. First, our Prime Minister: While Mr. Harper appears displeased with his backbencher’s determination (Stephen Woodworth) to try to open up the abortion debate in Canada, Harper is, in my opinion, the architect of the planned proposed debate. Our Prime Minister belongs to a fundamentalist, literalist, Pentecostal church whose pastor and congregation are waiting along with our Prime Minister for the “Rapture” (when Jesus Christ comes back to earth floating through the sky). Until then, for these religionists, according to the Bible, men are the head of their households and women must obey their husbands. Birth control is frowned upon and abortion made a crime by association with women’s perceived inferiority. The Catholic Church?
Well, we all know Catholic popes have forever condemned birth control and abortion even as significant numbers of their priests have endured the priesthood by buggering little boys, or sometimes, depending on their proclivity, little girls. And the Taliban? Well, their holy book says husbands can beat their wives if they disobey, all four of them if need be. So according to their religious beliefs, Harper, The Pope and the Taliban are simply being true to their faith when acting out their sexist beliefs about women. They sincerely believe that women are not equal, and will never be, in fact have been put here by their various gods to have numerous babies, preferably sons, cook and cleanup behind the males while teaching daughters their job description. The problem is, all three of these categories of patriarchal male groups wield a great deal of power over women.
Of course Mr. Harper would have been better pleased, with increased confidence in eventually imposing his religious beliefs on all the women of this nation, had the Wild Rose Party succeeded in Alberta. I believe the Wild Rose people voice the same utter contempt for women that our Prime Minister dare not say aloud. And yes, I know the wildest wild rose of the Alberta Wild Rose Party is a woman. An ignorant woman in my opinion, as Danielle Smith doesn’t recognize science, evolution, or global warming. She doesn’t like other women, either, or she wouldn’t happily consign them to the hell of unwanted pregnancies. This doesn’t even make good economic sense.
There are now more women working in Canada than men. While the religious right wing is hell bent on women not having reproductive rights, they at the same time refuse to even consider affordable day care (Harper government). Day care in BC costs the equivalent of what a woman working for minimum wage would make in an outside job in many of the operating day care facilities in BC. Only the Quebec government has the attention span, or the slightest interest in women’s lives, to subtract these two numbers and realize that women will find ways not to obey such stupid, contradictory dictums from right wing religious fanatics who are not guided even by common sense, but by a delusional Biblical Armageddon Star Wars scenario.
I agree with Robin Mathew’s article: “Psychopaths in Power: The Fight for Democracy in Canada by Robin Mathews April 22nd, 2012” . We are not being governed by simple incompetence, or fiscal conservatives’, but by actual social psychopaths.
Monday, April 23, 2012
When a Partner is Unfaithful What to do, when your partner is cheating behind your back? Or, when your best friend spreads malicious gossip about you? Or, when your trusted boss hires a younger, better looking employee whom you begin to suspect is there to replace you? What happens to your sense of self when your own government, with whom you occasionally disagree, but nevertheless feel has your best interests at heart, sneakily double crosses you? And once awareness of such betrayal sinks in, how are We the People to manage our crushing disappointment in the institutions of government? I suggest that complete loss of faith in our federal and provincial governments may be as devastating as loss of trust in other valued or beloved relationships. The same emotional elements are there which include a deep, abiding sense of betrayal. And, in environmental circles I believe this is beginning to affect people like David Suzuki. David has announced that he is separating himself from his foundation so he can speak out more freely against the forces that are hell bent on destroying our earth without jeopardizing the charitable status of his foundation. It’s about time. I’m pleased, even if it did take the threat of losing the foundation’s charitable status for David to make the move. I’ve always suspected that a no holds barred activist (as opposed to, or in conjunction with David’s role as teacher, film maker, lecturer) lay beneath that learned heart. And there was another announcement this past week from another notable environmentalist, Valerie Langer from ForestEthics. I worked with Valerie from the beginning of the Clayoquot Sound Blockades of 1993 (she worked; I was promptly thrown into jail and stayed there for the duration). Valerie’s knowledge of the rainforest and her committed desire to save Clayoquot Sound from clear cut logging seemed marvelous to me. I was equally impressed by scenes from old films of logging blockades in Clayoquot Sound prior to 1993. These scenes depicted Valerie and a handful of other blockaders on isolated logging roads trying to slow the clear cutting of ancient public forests. There was nobody there to protect Valerie and her colleagues then, no police, no media, no protection of any kind, just a few young, environmentally clued-in young people, brave and heroic, as they stood up against the machines of the powerful. But later I did feel, and I still feel, that several of the environmental groups, including ForestEthics, put their faith, not in themselves, but in an unfaithful partner…the BC government. Governments, both provincial and federal, will try to explain away their past records and may proceed much the same as a lover bent on seduction when they go after environmental activists. Having chosen to lay the honey trap, so to speak, there will be many smiles, flatterings and promises of undying love. The seduced, the morning after, will awaken with more than a headache. They will awaken with trashed dreams. When ForestEthics, GreenPeace and Sierra Club BC signed onto a deal with the government in hopes of saving the Great Bear Rain Forest from logging they signaled that in exchange for the agreement there would be no more “war in the woods”. In my opinion they had no right to do this as these three groups didn’t own the war and they didn’t own the woods. However, this strategy did serve to badly split the environmental movement in BC and it didn’t necessarily do much for the rest of BC First Nations outside the Great Bear. And in my opinion if the ongoing destruction of BC lands and waters is slowed or finally stopped it will be primarily by the concentrated opposition of First Nations. I’ve always thought that depending on the government to give you the funds to oppose its policies is a sure way to water down your opposition. Now these three groups are complaining of increased logging in the Great Bear, increased depletion of Grizzly Bear populations, the refusal of the BC Liberal government to implement the full agreement they signed in good faith, and the lack of protections from the proposed Enbridge line, along with many other worries. In my opinion, there is only one group that fully acknowledges the perfidy of the BC government other than some First Nations, and refuses to make deals, and that isn’t an environmental group. It’s the BC Teacher’s Union. The BC Teacher’s Union recognizes that the strike is the only real weapon they have and have refused so far to give it up. Would that all environmentalists might equally recognize that peaceful civil disobedience is really the only weapon we have, like the strike, and not only refuse to give up peaceful civil disobedience, but also refuse back room deals that assume only certain groups count. And, while I hesitate to say this I believe it to be true... if Harper cut off all monies to environmental groups then the groups would either get radical or go under. At least we would know who was who and what their intentions were. I also believe that, at this point, we could regroup and start over. I do. I really do.