Wednesday March 04 , 2015

Today’s Haiku

Her feet sink deeper

She stretches her arms higher

Outside men fire guns


My Book! My Book! Don’t Forget About My Book!

I’m back at my book, but I’m doing it differently. It’s a process. With one learning curve after another.

It’s kind of crazy, but I guess I thought I could write a book in isolation, as if life would stand idly by, waiting, and not go on happening all around and through me, not caring.

Even now I have a picture of myself sitting at the table tomorrow morning inside a wavy bubble of words.


And That Goes Double for Virginity

I just read what a gang rapist and murderer in India had to say about guilt, which is that it belongs to the victim for wearing the wrong clothes at the wrong time, and that if she’d just allowed herself to be raped as she deserved, and not fought back, she might not be dead, because they might not have killed her.

But that’s how it is for so many girls and women in the world, isn’t it.

Not allowed to be wherever whenever in whatever.

So as much as I support the right of Muslim girls and women here in Canada to wear the hijab wherever whenever, and think our government should be ashamed for ganging up on them instead of protecting their right to freedom of religion, I guess I do chafe at the implication that there is any particular virtue in covering one’s head with cloth.

And wouldn’t it actually be more modest (at this point, anyway) to not?

You know, just so we’re clear here on Sooey Says.


Two Posts Short

Okay, I’ve synthesized, and what I mean to say by the previous two posts (and subsequent comments) is this:

1) While I support the right of a woman to wear her hijab wherever whenever, and believe this right should be supported by the Canadian government as per its responsibility to protect freedom of religion -

2) I respect the right of a judge to preside over her courtroom as she sees fit -

3) If it were up to me, courtrooms would be entirely secular while the citizens who pass through them could wear whatever -

4) I think Conservative politicians and pundits pick on Muslim women in order to show up Muslim men, but instead, Muslim women fight back, showing up Conservative politicians and pundits -

5) A conspicuously white, male, Christian, Conservative demographic in Canada believes it should have a monopoly on rights, including the right to decide if/when other people can have them.

Anyway, if the Conservative Party cheats to win again, even after the Duffy trial exposes the PMO as a lair of unconscionable and self-serving liars, and Bill C-51 has become law, that’s it for me on the internet.

So yeah, fuck you, Liberals.


Catholic School Girl Uniforms Are Kinky

Interesting that it’s Muslim girls and women who are pushing back against the state to be allowed to wear whatever whenever wherever.

I remember my older sister and my mother both protesting for the right to wear pants to school, my sister as a student, my mother as a teacher.

My mom took to pantsuits like Hillary Clinton took to politics.

My older sister and my mother were protesting for the right to cover up, too, weren’t they. And after they won that right, it was only a short time before girls, at least, could wear pretty much anything to school, if they went to a public school, anyway.

I don’t recall Conservatives being particularly in favour of girls and women having the right to wear whatever whenever wherever. In fact, I recall it as being quite the opposite.

They like girls in little plaid skirts. And women in sleeveless form-fitting just-above-the-knee dresses.

Le barf.

But Muslim girls and women are protesting for the right to cover up for a different reason than my older sister and my mother were, and that reason is religion, and the freedom to practice it whenever wherever.

Does it matter why?


More freedom always equals more freedom.

Funny how it’s always Conservatives who want girls and women to have less of it.





The Trial, the Bitch, and the Wardrobe

I was wasting too much time with the title, so it is what it is.

Sexist, racist, homophobic, and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

File it under what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, which is kind of a conflicted statement if you ask me, but rest assured, no one who’s anyone ever does.

But I wonder, does the good judge allow men to wear religious head coverings like turbans and yarmulkes in her courtroom?

If not, then her ruling against a woman wearing a religious head covering in her courtroom seems fair enough (to me).

Would she allow a Catholic nun to wear a coif?

Personally, I like the idea of a secular courtroom.

I guess swearing on bibles is for symbolic purposes?

Does a crucifix hang in Quebec courtrooms?

Still, it’s the government’s duty to accommodate religion, isn’t it, and the current government is increasingly denying religious accommodation to Canadian women who happen to be Muslim, including fighting them in court, while it escalates our war on Muslims abroad.

I mean, either you believe that freedom of religion must be protected, or you don’t, and it seems to me that our government doesn’t.

No one is harmed by another person wearing a burka. You or I may not like it, but that’s our problem. A people who believe that it’s important for a government to protect freedom of religion and freedom to practice religion wouldn’t approve of our government.

And yet so many Canadians do, which says everything we need to know about our values, if that’s even the right word.

Meanwhile, if you ask me (and, once again, no one who’s anyone ever does, so rest assured) a courtroom should be so secular that religiosity can be paraded through it by citizens of all shapes and sizes and it doesn’t matter a whit – because man-made law trumps man-made religion in a courtroom.



Hm… Define “prosper”…

Ouch, baby. I think I may be in the process of learning that strangers know better than I do what’s best for my child.

I really didn’t want to blog that, but there you go.

So yeah, live long and prosper.


Why Hello There, Other People

Oh right, hey there.

There’s been a bit of a development, something beyond my control, and I don’t like to blog about it, but I don’t like to not blog about it, either.

So yeah, it involves a mental health issue, which, as a sister citizen to you, I don’t like to pretend isn’t all of my life right now.

You maybe know how it is.

I’ll share what I’ve learned in the past couple of days, but I think I may be internetted out for a bit. I’m kind of beat.

Yesterday, I read bits and pieces of the weekend Globe & Mail, including an article about the economic situation in Alberta. It was called “Oil slump puts diversification back in view” and ended with the sentence “Many are hoping, as the province faces deep deficits and debt again, that the lesson has finally been learned”. But there was nothing in the article to indicate that it has, or even what the lesson is that it’s supposed to have learned, so it was kind of weird.

Also, it struck me as impossibly stupid of everyone who’s anyone that this is how it is, but it also struck me that it doesn’t matter. I’ve seen this play before. It’s just about people living on more or less money and more money caused more problems for Albertans than it solved, really.

There are times in life when we are worse off with more money than less.

And yes, I’m thinking of Lindsay Lohan. She’s always in the back of my mind.

But I’m sure as heck not pointing any fingers about going ’round and ’round and ’round. I’m like the grandma character Scott Thompson plays in Brain Candy when his middle-aged son and his wife and kids stomp in to her house at the end of Christmas Day, grab presents, shovel in dinner, and stomp out again.

“That was lovely”, she says with her arms loosely crossed and a dreamy look on her face.

That’s me more than it isn’t.

So here’s what (I think) I’ve learned:

Family isn’t the best resource for mental health help, it may even be the worst. We can too easily see the source of the problem in each other and forget that we’re as unique within a family as we are outside of it.

Guilt is useless, blame is stupid. Anger is easy.

Love is hard but there it is. It’s okay to fake it ’til you make it. Just love and cross fingers and keep yourself/yourselves busy with whatever.

Jobs, sing-a-longs, it doesn’t matter, whatever.

Trust other people to help. Other people are good. Families aren’t islands.

Also, we can’t vote each other off them even if we wanted to and we don’t because love. But love is hard, too, so trust other people to help and get busy with whatever.

And repeat after me: Other people are good. It’s not all up to me. Other people are good. It’s not all up to me. Other people are good. It’s not all up to me. And so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

Repeating that last sentence is optional.


Such Is Life

Breakthroughs can come from surprising sources.

Do we all carry the guilt for breaking hearts? Or am I carrying yours, too.

Did you just toss your guilt over my fence and go on to live happily ever after?

The other day at work I was talking to an old hand and I told her about how I hate having to work for money, that I just wish a cheque would arrive in the mail so I could afford to feed and house myself and write and walk the dog and learn to knit and volunteer to help out where somebody’s doing something useful.

She said, “Oh my God, Sooey, that’s so arrogant. I can’t believe you said that. I had no idea you were so arrogant. Well, I did, but I’m still surprised you said it. I mean that in a good way.”

And I was all set to deny that I’m arrogant when I realized, “Oh. Right. I do believe myself to be too good for the workforce.”

But that’s not to say I’m lazy because I’m not. I work harder than anybody I know. I have a hard time not working at something, actually. I used to be able to just sit and stare out the window, but that was when the kids were very young and just being the only adult in the room was the job.

Anyway, we’ve received sudden and very sad news here, and because my kids are grown and not necessarily living with me, I have to leave it to others to deal with the fallout until we can get there and do what we can.

It’s death, though, and so nothing can be done, just a lot of it, I guess. Nothing. Another highway death in a Canadian winter that is sending shock waves of grief through his nearest and dearest and there’s nothing for it.

Nothing at all.

Humbling, isn’t it.



Don’t Ask

My friend tracks misogyny online and today she linked to a blogger who suggests that if rape was legal it would happen less often because women would take more responsibility for it by not putting ourselves into situations where we’re likely to be raped.

But really, that’s just an extension of an argument I’ve read in many mainstream newspapers these past thirty years, an argument typically made by Conservative men and/or the women who love them, that it’s up to women to prevent rape because men wouldn’t rape if women weren’t drunk or dressed wrong or alone and drunk and dressed wrong.

You know, like, if we weren’t there, not necessarily asking for it, although that, too, but if we just weren’t there at all, or if when we are there, we’re preventing rape by being sober and dressed right and in a group (of non-rapists, of course).

It’s possible they mean it to be empowering: Only Women Can Prevent Rape! but it comes across as excusing rape when it happens here as no big deal, even when women are raped and then murdered, as is in the case of so many Aboriginal women over the years.

Of course, now they argue that some of those murders happened at the hands of Aboriginal men, and so don’t count against…?

Who? Who is it they mean to excuse for rape if not themselves or their fathers and husbands and brothers and sons and Conservative family friends?

Because the argument is always directed at women who live here in this country, as if women here deserve to be raped because…?

Why? Why do so many of our Conservatives believe that women who are raped in this country were asking for it and deserved it and should have behaved differently in order to prevent it?

Why do Conservatives so often seem to be making the argument that when a man overpowers a woman here, and penetrates her with his penis, it’s really her fault, but they don’t make that same argument against women raped by men involved with groups like Boko Haram and/or ISIS.

(Or Kristen French. At least, not that I’ve noticed. Although Michael Coren once seemed to suggest that a child’s outfit was responsible for her rape and murder.)

Over the years that I’ve been online the rape threats against me have been a constant and they’ve been made by men living here. I’m asking for it because I’m a female expressing an opinion and I deserve it because I’m not expressing the right opinion. They’re insecure, they’re jealous, they resent having to share space that they think should be a male only preserve.

But that’s not what this entry is about because this entry is about the argument being made by Conservatives with regard to Bill C-51, and how it’s not so much an argument as a threat, that if we don’t let them have their way with us, ISIS will have its way with us.

Interesting, too, that our government denies us news about what it’s doing over in Iraq, supposedly on our behalf, while at the same time we bear witness to video after video of what ISIS beheading news gatherers.

A literal silencing of the press.

So do Conservatives believe that those  journalists were asking for it by trying to bring us the news about what’s going on in Iraq?

One wonders.

In the meantime, you’d think more Canadians would notice who’s making the actual threats against our rights and freedoms.