streetharassmentI’m curious as to how many times we need to see incidents like this.  Misogyny via the expression of normative patriarchal values at it very finest in dear old Cowtown.  Go take a look at the clip from CBC Calgary with reporter Meghan Grant.

“FHRITP — or f–k her right in the p—y — is a phrase men scream at (for the most part) female reporters. It’s rude, it’s degrading and it’s harassment. It’s happened before. It’ll probably happen again. But today was different.    Since the Flames made the playoffs, I’ve heard numerous stories from reporter friends of harassment along the Red Mile. So-called fans screaming obscenities at reporters. So-called fans trying to get women to show their breasts. So-called fans behaving badly in the name of the Flames.  Today, I’m doing a story on the #SafeRedMile movement. People doing things in an effort to discourage harassment (often sexual) along 17th Avenue during and after games.”

Well.

Two dude bros took it upon themselves to share their very important opinion (laced with male entitlement) with Meghan and the world.  And here is the very best part – when women complain about stupid misogynistic shit like this they are not taken seriously, or dismissed as generalizing.

Well.

 

Of course #NOTALLMEN! …  (warning on video for misogyny, harassment and language).

What many #notallmen defenders seem not to realize is that there is a critical mass of men out there that condone this sort of behaviour.  It may not be *you* personally or your mates, but this shit is prevalent enough that it still remains socially acceptable to do so.  So dudes, are you feeling unfairly accused, indignant even that you would be so slavishly generalized about??  Let me assure you, being catcalled and harassed like this is *far* worse than the righteous rage you may be feeling.

So suck it up, man up, and call this shit out when you see it happening around you because the female half of the human race should not have to deal with this kind of harassment (that happens daily).

We can see the #NotAllMen at work in the comments section, allow me to highlight a few…

  • morebeansplease

i am a man and i do not shout things like this at anyone, yet this reporter chooses to stereotype all men as engaging in this behaviour. this story is offensive to me as a man, and sexist.

Fascinating. Obviously if I am not doing it, it cannot be a thing. But my feelings are hurt because men as class tend to act this way toward women. We need to focus more on my manfeels and less on those women being catcalled and harassed.

  • Tape_to_Tape

The FHRITP is a small issue completely blown out of proportion by the media.

Is it crude? Yes. Is it considered unacceptable behaviour? Yes. Does it represent more than 1% of men or sports fans? NO.

It seems the CBC can’t get enough on this issue. Be done with it already and move on!!

Oh this is all just trivial shit as it never happens to me so can we please just move on as it clearly isn’t a problems for dudes…

  • cherry picker

Is it a remote possibility that somehow the “man” in truck collaborated with the interviewer?
Maybe just a strange coincidence?

 

*Cue X-files music* – It must be a conspiracy by those damn double XXers to make men look bad! Unpossible! Ibeing a man, am offended that people like me do this, thus rather than try to see the problem I’ll label a conspiracy so I don’t have to change one fucking iota.

Being female in our society presents a different set of challenging obstacles that women must face *every* day.  I suggest that we start listening to, rather than dismissing, what women have to say.

Religious fundamentalism of any creed, is a threat to peace, secular societies and evidence based decision making.  Lets take a closer look at one strain of the radical fundamentalism – radical Islam with the BBC as our guide.

Take the advice and do watch in full screen if you can.  :)

Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5, is a music piece by Sergei Rachmaninoff, completed in 1901. It was included in his Opus 23 set of ten preludes, despite having been written two years earlier than the other nine. Rachmaninoff himself premiered the piece in Moscow on February 10, 1903, along with Preludes No. 1 and 2 from Op. 23.

The Prelude’s taut structure is in ternary form, consisting of an opening “A” section with punctuated sixteenth-note chords (marked Alla marcia), a more lyrical and melancholy “B” section with sweeping arpeggios in the left hand (marked Poco meno mosso), a transition into the original tempo, and a recapitulation of the initial march.

There has always been a struggle by the people against the gratuitous accumulation of wealth and power.  So the inequality we live with today is a problem that humanity has been grappling with since is inception.  Tariq Ali explains how in this passage:

 

[…]

In Sparta in the third century BCE, a fissure developed between the ruling elite and ordinary people following the Peloponnesian Wars, and those who were ruled demanded change because the gap between rich and poor had become so huge it couldn’t be tolerated. A succession of radical monarchs, Agis IV, Cleomenes III and Nabis, created a structure to help revive the state. Nobles were sent into exile; the magistrates’ dictatorship was abolished; slaves were given their freedom; all citizens were allowed to vote; and land confiscated from the rich was distributed to the poor (something the ECB wouldn’t tolerate today). The early Roman Republic, threatened by this example, sent its legions under Titus Quinctius Flamininus to crush Sparta. According to Livy, this was the response from Nabis, the king of Sparta, and when you read these words you feel the cold anger and the dignity:

     “Do not demand that Sparta conform to your own laws and institutions … You select your cavalry and infantry by their property qualifications and desire that a few should excel in wealth and the common people be subject to them. Our law-giver did not want the state to be in the hands of a few, whom you call the Senate, nor that any one class should have supremacy in the state. He believed that by equality of fortune and dignity there would be many to bear arms for their country.”

Now if I can just find the the right people to negotiate with  in front of mysteriously bottomless pits, with a THIS…IS…CANADA snarly overture primed, I too believe we can punt our way to a better country. :)

I can see it now, a special guest Gerard Butler meets Steven Harper…

[Source: Counterpunch]

 

Probably not what you expected, but still accurate and interesting. :)

 

Vaccination is one of those medical topics in which people tend to lose their shit.  As it happens, you can also risk losing your children if you decide to embrace the foolishness that is the anti-vax movement.  Here is a story of a mother’s close encounter with easily preventable childhood diseases.

Learning the Hard Way: My Journey from #AntiVaxx to Science

“I’m writing this from quarantine, the irony of which isn’t lost on me. Emotionally I’m a bit raw. Mentally a bit taxed. Physically I’m fine.  All seven of my unvaccinated children have whooping cough, and the kicker is that they may have given it to my five month old niece, too young to be fully vaccinated.

We’d had a games night at our house in March, my brother-in-law had a full-blown cold, so when the kids started with a dry cough a few days later I didn’t think much of it.  But a week after the symptoms started the kids weren’t improving, in fact they were getting worse.  And the cough. No one had a runny nose or sneezing but they all had the same unproductive cough.  Between coughing fits they were fine.

Then a few days later at midnight I snapped. My youngest three children were coughing so hard they would gag or vomit. I’d never seen anything like this before.  Watching our youngest struggle with this choking cough, bringing up clear, stringy mucus – I had heard of this before somewhere.  My mom said I had it when I was a kid. I snapped into ‘something is WRONG’ mode.

I jumped on Google to type in “child cough.” My kids had all but one symptom of pertussis, none of them had the characteristic “whoop.” But they had everything else.

We had vaccinated our first three children on an alternative schedule and our youngest four weren’t vaccinated at all.  We stopped because we were scared and didn’t know who to trust.  Was the medical community just paid off puppets of a Big Pharma-Government-Media conspiracy?  Were these vaccines even necessary in this day and age? Were we unwittingly doing greater harm than help to our beloved children? So much smoke must mean a fire so we defaulted to the ‘do nothing and hope nothing bad happens’ position.

Symptoms and timeline of pertussis (whooping cough)

For years relatives tried to persuade us to reconsider through emails and links, but this only irritated us and made us defensive.  Secretly, I hoped I would find the proof I needed to hold the course, but deep down I was resigned to only find endless conflicting arguments that never resolved anything.  No matter if we vaccinated or not, I thought, it would be nothing more than a coin toss with horrible risks either way.

When the Disneyland measles outbreak happened my husband and I agreed to take a new look and weigh the evidence on both sides. A friend suggested I write out my questions so we could tackle them one by one.  Just getting it out on paper helped so much. I only ended up with a handful of questions. But more potent than my questions were my biases.

I just didn’t trust civic government, the medical community, the pharmaceutical industry, and people in general.  By default, I had excluded all research available from any major, reputable organization.  Could all the in-house, independent, peer-reviewed clinical trials, research papers and studies across the globe ALL be flawed, corrupt and untrustworthy?

The final shift came when I connected the dots between a small, but real measles outbreak in my personal circles this time last year.  But for the grace of God, our family was one step from contracting measles in our mostly under-or-unvaccinated 7 kids.  Maybe we could have weathered that storm unscathed in personal quarantine.  But in the 4 highly contagious days before any symptoms show we easily could have passed on our infection to my sister’s toddlers or her 34-week-old son in the NICU.

When I connected the dates for everyone involved it chilled me to the bone.  I looked again at the science and evidence for community immunity and found myself gripped with a very real sense of personal and social responsibility before God and man.  The time had come to make a more fully informed decision than we did 6 years ago.  I sat down with our family doctor and we put together a catch-up vaccination schedule for our children.

That schedule that was supposed to start the week after I found myself in the waiting room of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) with my 10-month-old son, waiting to confirm if he had whooping cough.

I said before that the irony isn’t lost on me that I’m writing this from quarantine.  For six years we were frozen in fear from vaccines, and now we are frozen because of the disease.  My oldest two are getting better, the youngest four are getting worse and fast.  Ottawa Public Health has been so helpful and communicative, trying to get us the help we need while keeping the community safe.  We are under quarantine and starting antibiotics.  Tonight, the baby started ‘whooping’.  I did the right thing going to the hospital when I did.  I can only hope this painfully honest sharing will help others.

I am not looking forward to any gloating or shame as this ‘defection’ from the antivaxx camp goes public, but, this isn’t a popularity contest.  Right now my family is living the consequences of misinformation and fear.  I understand that families in our community may be mad at us for putting their kids at risk.  I want them to know that we tried our best to protect our kids when we were afraid of vaccination and we are doing our best now, for everyone’s sake, by getting them up to date.  We can’t take it back … but we can learn from this and help others the same way we have been helped.

Vaccination is a serious decision about our personal and public health that can’t be made out of fear, capitulation or following any crowd.  No one was more surprised than us to find solid answers that actually laid our fears to rest.  I am confident that anyone with questions can find answers.  I would only advise them to check your biases, sources and calendar: Time waits for no parent.

– Edited by Leslie Waghorn

Rolling the dice with your children is irresponsible – making that choice for other children is reprehensible.

 

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