It's not the first time feminists have been told to "shut the fuck up." If we had listened women would still be in the kitchen
Nancy Ruth is a great pro-choice supporter but she is also a Conservative Senator. Her advice to feminist leaders to "shut the fuck up about abortion" so as not to threaten Harper's initiative on maternal health is no doubt her honest opinion about how best to advance women's rights under this profoundly anti-feminist, anti-choice government, but she is very very wrong.
With abortion back on the front pages, I am reproducing here a tribute from legendary feminist columnist Michele Landsberg to a hero of the pro-choice movement Norma Scarborough. It was delivered at a recent memorial to Norma, who died last year,
"Our dear friend Norma was the queen of the unexpected, the doyenne of the doubletake. When I first saw her on the television news, in the mid-‘80s, I was astonished by the vision: in defiance of a mob of yelling protesters, mostly male, all looking as thuggish and menacing as Mike Harris, there stood Norma –calm, sturdily mainstream, unflustered, with her crown of glistening white hair, introduced as a mother of five and a grandmother of multitudes. She spoke in cheerfully moderate tones about a woman’s right to reproductive choice, as though it were the most natural and sensible thing in the world, which, of course, it is.
Like almost every woman and many men I know, December 6 1989 was a day I will never forget. I heard the news on the radio in my car. I guess I was driving home from work. It was that time of day.
If you need a dose of inspiration and belief in humanity's ability to save itself and the planet, go to see Fierce Light this week-end. The beautiful and moving film about what Velcrow Ripper calls "spiritual activism" opens this week-end in Toronto at the Cumberland, Vancouver at the Fifth Avenue Cinema and Montreal at the AMC. I am also in the film.
One of the most talented young activists I know, Jessica Yee sent me this inspiring declaration from Rio entitled "Engaging Men and Boys on Achieving Gender Equality. Excerpt and full text here too.
We are here because we know that the time when women stood alone in speaking out against discrimination and violence – that this time is coming to an end.
We also know this: This belief in the importance of engaging men and boys is no longer a remote hope. We see the emergence of organizations and campaigns that are directly involving hundreds of thousands, millions of men in almost every country on the planet. We hear men and boys speaking out against violence, practicing safer sex, and supporting women’s and girl’s reproductive rights. We see men caring, loving, and nurturing for other men and for women. We see men who embrace the daily challenges of looking after babies and children, and delight in their capacity to be nurturers. We see many men caring for the planet and rejecting conquering nature just as men once conquered women.
Poster banned at Carleton
Freedom of speech is at serious risk in Canada today. First Carlton University banned this poster on the grounds that it might promote hate. Since when does an anti-war poster promote hate in the human rights code meaning of the word? Criticizing Israel is not anti-semitic.