Dammit Janet

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Mocking the Predators, Day 1

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 06:41
From Calgary. Countering #40DaysOfPreying, aka #40DaysOfHarassment, #40DaysOfBullying.

Apparently only three people are allowed on the sidewalk at any time and these two shit-disturbers snuck in during shift change for the fetus freaks.


If you can't read the signs, they say: "We love you and support your choice," and "Belieber."

What is Marie Henein's end game?

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 14:48
The trial of the former Q host on CBC is well underway. Five days so far of mediocre prosecutorial presentations while on the adversarial side, the best Grand Guignol cross-examination that defence lawyer Marie Henein is capable of executing.

What if Henein's agenda were to expose how the Canadian (in)justice system, with regard to crimes of sexual assault and trials, is fundamentally patriarchal?


Here's one account of the grim proceedings.  As well, _Chatelaine_ has produced formidable coverage of many aspects of the trial.

This insight into the first days of the trial came from a surprising source.
Though she was roasted and toasted in cross-examination by the former broadcaster’s lead lawyer, Marie Henein, it’s important to note that for all the inconsistencies in the woman’s evidence — some significant — a constant in her police statement, many media interviews and testimony this week is her claim that Ghomeshi struck her hard, with a closed fist she thought, on the side of the head.
[..] Her difficulties arose, in my view, in part because it appears her allegations weren’t as thoroughly investigated by the police as perhaps they should have been and because prosecutors didn’t thoroughly examine her or re-examine her at all.
The blow of those terribly damaging emails and the bikini photo she sent Ghomeshi, for instance, a year after the second alleged assault where he purportedly smacked her in the head, would have been mitigated had she been asked follow-up questions when she mentioned, voluntarily in examination-in-chief, that she had “a vague memory” of writing a note to him, in anger, but wasn’t sure she’d sent it.
“You aren’t trying to hide the fact that you might have written Mr. Ghomeshi?” prosecutors could have asked.
The question alone would have diffused the impact of Henein’s revelation.I'm not the only one who is wondering, WTF game is the prosecution playing?  Why are the Crown lawyers throwing the complainants under the bus?  This from Jane Doe, provides illumination.

On the other side, my daughter - a decade younger than Ghomeshi or Henein - loathes what the former did as well as his lawyer's antics.

She has nothing but contempt for the high-stakes histrionical performance the latter is currently offering.  She thinks the lawyer is an opportunist who will leverage a spectacular win to catapult herself onto a larger and more lucrative stage.

The Ghomeshi trial could indeed do for Henein's reputation what OJ Simpson's did for the Kardashians: transform her into a minor US celebrity.


This is the Toronto Life article about Henein that gave my daughter pause, with regard to Henein's professional choices.

Perhaps her perspective is lopsided.  After all, she's a mere physician in a demanding specialty.  In her line of work, individuals who apply such rigour and dedication to the pursuit of excellence _only_ save lives.  They don't destroy them.

Push Back Time: Mock #40DaysOfPreyers

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 07:47
Among animals, predators seek the slow, the old, the sick. Among humans, street criminals target the frail, the encumbered, the solitary. Child sexual predators look for the lonely child, the "odd" child, the neglected child. Sexual predators focus on people they figure will be manageable, quiescent, compliant.

In short, predation requires vulnerability.

Of course, all predators make mistakes and take on "prey" who turn out to be stronger, louder, faster, and smarter than they thought. (The Ghomeshi trial comes to mind.)

The spring session of 40 Days of Harassment is set to begin on February 10. (It took me years to figure out that there are TWO of these bunfests a year. There's another in the fall.)

Organizers target particular abortion facilities (or non-abortion facilities, see Guelph below) for "prayer vigils," which amount to 40 days of non-stop harassment of clients and staff at often already-beleaguered clinics.

Let's call it what it is: bullying.

Let's refine that: it is self-righteous bullies preying on vulnerable people at what may be major crisis points in their lives.

Or in the case of abortion providers, preying on healthcare providers who daily face stalking, surveillance, and violence just for offering a safe, legal, common medical procedure. (See the recently published Living in the Crosshairs for first-person stories of what these heroic people go through.)

All predators expect a reward. Lions get a meal. Muggers get a wallet. Sexual predators get orgasms.

And anti-abortion predators get what we call martyrgasms. A strange satisfaction from shrieking epithets and threats at ordinary people going about their personal business.

Back in November, I said that here now in Canada we have the perfect opportunity to secure reproductive rights and access once and for all.

It seems to me this year's first anti-choice martyr-fest would be a good place to start.

Beginning with social media, let's use the tag #40DaysOfPreyers. (I'm not the coiner of that one; I'll reveal the author after I've gotten permission.) Other suggestions are welcome, like #StayOutOfMyUterus, #HandsOffMyCunt, #NoBullyInMyLadyBits, and the one I and others have been using for years, #40DaysOfHarassment.

Let's take photos of them and their dumb-ass signs and post them on social media and/or dedicate a Tumblr or somesuch to the effort.

Let's counter-demonstrate. I love this story from a couple of years ago about a couple in North Carolina who made witty and weird signs to mock regular preyers at a local clinic.


In Canada, Campaign Lie has targetted clinics in nine cities:

Edmonton.

Vancouver.

Victoria.

a hospital in Guelph, where apparently no abortions are performed.

Oakville.

Scarborough.

Windsor.

Montreal.

In Saskatoon, they don't seem able to muster 40 days' worth of bullying and so are going for "40 Hours for Life in front of Saskatoon City Hospital."
The times will be from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon Monday to Friday, and 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm every day. Call 1-800-891-2070 for more information.
In the UK in 2011, pro-choice people responded with 40 Days of Treats. Bring snacks or little gifts to targetted clinics, donate to pro-choice causes. In short, respond to cruelty and bullying with kindness and support.

Let's push back. Let's reveal and mock these bullies for what all bullies are: pathetic losers with a weird hobby.


Who have no damn right to prey on vulnerable people.

DJ! will stay on this for all 40 days. Send photos, links, suggestions for hashtags.

Guerrill-Anne: A Beautiful Corrective

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 10:57

This is genius, taken both at face (heh) value and a little deeper.

In an article titled "Anne-tagonizing posters connect icon to P.E.I. abortion debate," The Guardian says:

P.E.I.'s most famous fictional character has become part of the province's ongoing abortion debate.
The next paragraph refers to Anne of Green Gables.

But the anonymous person or group, who goes by the handle Karats, has made no such claim. I find it interesting that probably only in PEI (and maybe Japan) would such an image be assumed to be the "feisty" red-haired character created by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

In fact, a commenter called "J" at the Guardian link says: "Who said it's Anne? Maybe it's Wendy? LOL."

Here is Karats's manifesto, if it is such:
Karats is the voice of a community calling for justice.

Karats sees the effects that the lack of abortion access has across PEI, in particular for low income individuals, and other vulnerable populations.

She sees the denial of access and upholding of barriers to abortion services by the PEI government as putting the kibosh on an opportunity for gender equality across our province.

Karats is trying to generate conversation on the topic and encourage the Premier and the government to enthusiastically concede the pending court case brought forward by AANPEI and LEAF. [link added]

“#HeyWade - Take this opportunity to not only bring access to the Island but to proudly show you support Island women gaining control over their health and lives. Be the Premier who brings PEI into the 21st century!”

For more information, please contact:
Karats
Twitter- @iamkarats
The guerill-Anne asks that people look for the poster and snap photos to be sent to an Instagram account. If you visit the site, you'll see that Karats gets around a bit.

Posters started appearing on January 28, the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, R v Morgentaler, striking down Canada's existing abortion law in 1988.

The upcoming court case in the manifesto was announced on January 5, by the newly formed group, Abortion Access Now PEI.
Abortion Access Now PEI says it is taking the province to court to force it to provide full and unrestricted access to publicly funded abortion services on the Island.

The group says it has filed a notice of application in the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island against the P.E.I. government. Under the Crown Proceedings Act, any group filing a lawsuit against the province is required to provide notice of 90 days.

"For over two decades, we have advocated for on-Island, safe, legal access to abortion," Ann Wheatley, co-chair of Abortion Access Now PEI, said in a news release.DAMMIT JANET! has been covering this stupid situation for years. Some background can be found here.

Of course, the fetus freak reaction was completely predictable. In an article that starts off "Yuck!" LieShite misrepresents the character's background (ooo, lying again???) to make its glurgey point, stating that Anne was "unwanted," adopted, yet "life-loving." So, according to "pro-life logic," all unwanted, adopted children will grow up to star in famous fictional series.

(Anne was not "unwanted," by the way. She was orphaned because her biological parents died.)

In addition to the photos at Instagram, the campaign has generated lots of interest. Here's Karats responding to a question about the bandana.

Hey! @DaybirdElyse No significance to the design on my bandana. I just wear it to stay fresh while I kick up a stink. ✊

— Karats (@iamkarats) February 1, 2016

When the analysis gets literary, it gets even more interesting.

(Full disclosure: I was not a great Anne-fan. My mother was, and that was perhaps enough to turn me off.)

At Vocative, Tracy Moore quotes a fetus freak calling the choice of Anne ironic "because she’s the epitome of the unexpected blessings of choosing life even in challenging and non-idyllic circumstances," and continues:
But literature professors who focus on children’s lit and are familiar with the series and character say it’s not quite so obvious. “Yes, she had a pretty tough childhood,” says English professor Philip Nel at Kansas State University, who has taught the books. “She’s orphaned when she’s young; her parents die, and she ends up having some bad early experiences. She initially works for people who exploit her and use her to raise other kids.”

But, he adds, there are a lot of ways you could use her as a feminist icon for your cause, also. “She’s outspoken, she’s independent, she competes with Gilbert Blythe in school and is very smart.”

Another professor of children’s literature on the East Coast who didn’t wish to be identified [????] said it depends on the interpretation of both the books and the abortion issue. Even though Anne is orphaned in the book and taken to live with the Cuthberts, her background doesn’t figure as tragically as it sounds, nor does she fit a standard narrative of the unwanted child typically presented as a candidate for abortion in the language used by the debates.

“Her parents die of an accidental illness, but they weren’t impoverished or indigent,” he said. “Eventually in the series, she finds their house and some of their things, and discovers they were a loving couple with a home, and she was wanted and loved.”

He says a so-called militant feminist interpretation of Anne isn’t off the map, though. “Anne makes her own choices. She puts off marriage. There’s a romance plot, but she spends a lot of time putting it off to pursue things she’s interested in—education, friendships, work, writing. No, she’s not radical about it, but she’s very self possessed and very self-assured.”At BookRiot, Brenna Clarke Gray says:
First, while Anne exists in a world before feminism, she’s a strong proponent of women having agency in their own lives. Her decisions — to be educated, to teach, to write, and to marry — are all her own choices, made freely. And Anne loved babies and cherished her own children, to be sure, but she also knew what it was to be unloved, unwanted, and abandoned. She knew pain and tragedy and she sought to limit both in the lives of people around her. Her face makes perfect sense in a campaign that, at its core, seeks to do the same thing.

Second, as scholars such as Herb Wylie have pointed out, PEI (and Atlantic Canada as a whole) is trapped by the expectations that narratives like Anne of Green Gables create: when tourism depends on a version of yourself that is trapped in a quaintly backwards time, social progress becomes undesirable. To co-opt an image like Anne that has been tied to one particular version of what PEI can be, and to use it to agitate for a more progressive society, is a beautiful corrective.
As I said at the start, the campaign is genius.

Simple enough to get fetus freak knickers in knots.

But nuanced and rich in more intelligent interpretation.

May it succeed and prove "a brilliant corrective" to an idiotic situation.












Not all harassment victims are viewed or treated as equal.

Fri, 01/29/2016 - 12:14
The journalist Ashley Csanady currently has a PostMedia piece that addresses Twitter harassment in general and in particular what happened when Michelle Rempel filed a complaint with the police.

Her excellent article provides a short account of the Rempel case as well as an overview of recent events, viz. the GAE trial.

It is factual and clear.

It doesn't editorialize or misrepresent as Blatchford is wont to do, when the demands of click-bait reporting or sob-sister sensationalizing gives her the cover she needs to champion the MRA cause.

Further to Csanady wrote, there are points that bloggers and op-eds can raise.  This is where DJ! weighs in.

Last week I posted this about the smarmy grease of GAE's triumphant sneer.

The main difference between GAE and Damany Skeene is that the former oozes the slimy CONjob smarm that allow him and Ezra Levant to enjoy notoriety.  Their venal vituperation is widely disseminated and cheered by right wingers,  racists, homophobe and misogynists.  In addition, GAE walks and talks the MRA/PUA philosophy. His entourage enables his narcissism and promotes him within the audiences of gynophobic orcs that slither at the edge of the world wide web.  He scored a point for Rape Culture!  His victims were not really victims because they had the NERVE to fight back against his vile invective!

Skeene, it would appear, is not supported or validated by any group.  In fact most people recoil from him.  One assumes the only compassionate attention he's likely to receive is administered by healthcare professionals.  He had used Twitter promiscuously to vent fury and hatred against a variety of targets.

The difference between Rempel and the women that GAE harassed, threatened, stalked and abused — online and "in real life" — is obvious. She was a Minister in the Con government when Skeene directed vile threats and verbal sexual abuse at her Twitter account.  Her complaint was legitimate and important because she was an elected official.  Police allocated the required resources to investigate, document, and prepare a case for the Crown to prosecute.  Her squadron of RCMP body guards was likely doubled.

But as Csanady points out, the trial unfolded under the media radar.

This gave me pause. Why did the PMO not seize this opportunity to demonstrate how their government was *tough on crime* and violence against women?

I suspect that if the online harasser had been an individual who associated with any left wing or progressive group such as anti-pipeline activism, or had expressed agreement with LPC or NDP policies, the PMO would have gleefully exploited the opportunity to smear the Harper regime's opponents.

But the truth is: deeper down, Harper Reformist Cons never really gave a damn about Canadian women or even those prominent in their party.  PMSHithead was a spiteful opportunist who attacked women who challenged him, and ditched or undermined those who became politically inconvenient: Deborah Gray, Belinda Stronach, Bev Oda, Helena Guergis, Beverley McLachlin, Cindy Blackstock ... a never-ending list, really.

Which is why Rempel was circumspect, and kept a low profile. There was no advantage then in using the criminal harassment trial to score political points for herself.  The PMO, or CPC HQ would have ground her into the dust.  She noted how the party destroyed Eve Adams because she wouldn't stick to the PMO script.

Nothing about Rempel's circumstances could be framed as a narrative that might enhance public sympathy in Harper's favour.  In fact, it was probably flagged as a potential nuisance and diversion from the grand election campaign plan.

But now.. Rempel is jockeying to gain an advance on other putative candidates for CPC leadership.  I predict she will judiciously exploit the Twitter harassment trial, to establish credibility and to leverage whatever is beneficial to the image she is carefully crafting.