Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Does The CBC Give A Shit About Local Women?

A quick one.

The title of this post may be a bit confusing, but follow me here. If you're a Canadian citizen (poor you, I know, me too) your major news networks/news sites probably include the CBC and CTV. So, I invite you to click away for a minute and view the local news about your town or city on both those sites. Do you see any difference? I do. CTV local news usually makes it a point to report any kind of sexual assault or rape that happens in their local news. The CBC... not so much. Why is this? I can only speculate. When I Googled "CBC is sexist" or "CBC hates women" I didn't get much. But, take a look at the difference in local stories. Obviously there's a lot of overlap, but let's use our nations' capital as an example, especially due to the alarming number of sexual assault and rape cases in Ottawa.

While CTV, in their latest news column is helpfully making women aware of two daylight sexual assaults in as many days, the CBC mentions these attacks no where. This isn't the first time I've seen this trend. Unless a rape or sexual assault is unusually violent or involves a minor (and even this fact is debatable), the CBC won't bother with it. This is folly, at least, and dangerous omission, possibly fueled by misogyny and the "bro code" at worst. I believe the reasoning lies somewhere closer to the worse end of the spectrum.

Women have the right to know what's going on in their communities, and our news sources should be informing them about possible threats to their safety. Rather than the ever-increasing amount of fluff news garbage and entertainment and sports, the status of our communities should be priority one. Some regions of the country are in danger of losing local news altogether. It's hard enough to get straight answers about the city around you even with our so-so local news coverage. What'll happen when it's gone altogether? 

Monday, 18 July 2011

Like A Bicycle On A Treadmill, Watch Hudak Backpeddle

Hey all! I guess up until now I haven't really talked at all about my pal and yours, Tim Hudak. Yup, a friend to all out there, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, etc.... Tim Hudak loves you, especially now that it's nearing election time. See, Timmy's a true blue 'Tory. And since his overlord obtained his majority government, well Timmy's been just dying to suit up and run Ontario the way he thinks it should be run. And you'd be forgiven if you thought that running Ontario Timmy-style would make abortions a thing of the past, seeing as in 1995, Hudak had ties to the Campaign Life Coalition and in 2009 Timmy said he was pro-life and had signed petitions which called for the defunding of abortions. Yes, that's right, Timmy Hudak is what you'd call, and I hope my pronunciation is right, a real fucking piece of shit.

But, what's this? Timmy says it ain't so! He says he's NOT pro-life! I mean, he "may have" signed a petition or two like that, but he didn't mean it, right? It was just a lark! Come on, I mean, who hasn't just up and singed a petition or two that could totally fuck over 52% of the population? Timmy states that he plans to follow his overlord, the right dishonorable Herr Harper in not re-opening the abortion debates. And hey, Harper's trustworthy, right? I mean, what with the House of Commons, Senate and Supreme Court stacked 'Tory blue, he probably wouldn't even have to re-open the debate anyways. They could probably just sneak a bill right through congress, and nobody would be the wiser. Even if they were, most Ontarians can't seem to muster up the gusto to debate things that go beyond harming women. Remember all the HST protest in British Columbia? Remember the overwhelming noise of chirping crickets back over in Ontario?

The Liberals are out of the running this provincial election. Ontario, by and large a red province for a long time, now stands poised at a crossroads. We can be either blue or orange now, and I'm sure you can all guess which is the better hue to choose. We can't let the Conservatives gain any more ground than they already have, or the rights of women in this country will continue to fall by the wayside. Don't let this jerk into office.

I'm such a bum-breath! Don't vote for me!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Dude Sentencing or Why Real Justice Eludes Women

Trigger Warning for rape, misogyny, pedophilia, attempted murder and just about everything else.

I just read about one Xavier Robert Bissonnette, a fifty-six year old Calgary man who raped a seventeen year old girl he was corresponding with over the internet. The story apparently is newsworthy only because Bissonnette is HIV positive. He was diagnosed in 1998. He has most likely signed the death warrant of the child he raped. The charges he is facing in a court of law?

Aggravated sexual assault.

That's it. That's all. The only charge.

There seems to be nothing about statutory rape, even though the victim is a minor. The Child, Youth, and Family Enhancement Act clearly defines child sexual abuse as follows: “A child under 18 years of age is sexually abused if he/she is inappropriately exposed or subjected to sexual contact, activity or behavior, including prostitution related activities.” I found this information here, on the Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse website, just to show the direct correlation between the definition of child sexual abuse and the province it happened in. So don't anybody give me any age of consent bullshit. This guy raped a minor, a child. Yet, he doesn't seem to be charged with that crime.

As stated, Bissonnette is HIV positive. Police allege that he did not reveal this information to the victim before "allegedly having unprotected sex with her" (read: raping her without using a condom). He knew since 1998 that he was HIV positive. I think he should be charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon (which, I know aggravated assault is supposed to convey, but still) or some other charge that better defines what he did. He very likely gave this child an incurable, fatal, debilitating auto-immune disease. If the lives of rape victims are irreparably shattered by rape even without contracting the deadliest disease humankind has ever known, then what is done to the psyche of the victim that does contract said disease? The unimaginable psychological torture this child must be going through at this point is staggering to even consider. But, for whatever reason, none of that is being taken into account.

The other detail that the news sites are quick to point out is that Bissonnette met his victim on an online dating site. After apparently communicating with her several times, he made arrangements to pick her up at the summer camp she was staying at and subsequently took her to a home in Calgary, where he raped her. Details about this detail are scarce. But something sounds fishy. What seventeen year old girl would go anywhere with a disheveled fifty-something year old man? What dating site? Have police read the transcripts of their conversations? Why did the camp allow her to leave with this man who was not a relation? I ask these questions because the tone of the news sites seems to be that since they met on a dating site, the victim shares some of the responsibility for the rape. Ah, the victim blame. There it is, if you were wondering. Since commenting on the story is closed (at least on the sites I visited) the victim-blaming is kept on the low, but you can spot it if you look hard enough. This is in no way the fault of this kid. I'd like to know why no one else was looking out for her, but I don't think any of the onus can be put on her. This guy must've pulled more than a few fast ones to fool this kid and if that's the case, he's probably done or at least tried this before. But no one seems to be talking about that, either.

Why only one charge in a case so serious, so heinous? Why is all this guy getting charged with is aggravated sexual assault? How can that one charge adequately convey what he's done? It can't. But he's a dude. So, in the same way his crimes are "alleged" until the day his butt hits jail, even with a mountain of DNA and other evidence piled against him, so too is the nature of the crime smoothed over so by the sounds of it, he's not such a bad fella. The one charge just isn't enough. This guy needs to be nailed to the wall. One of these fucking child-rapists has to be made an example of. Younger and younger girls are being targeted every day, and all dudes seem to care about is whether or not they'll be able to jack off to porn in their prison cells if and when they do get caught. I'm just going to come out and say it: the law is too soft on men. All you MRA's out there can deny it, but when I see some fucking sicko like Bissonnette do what he did to a child; yes a girl-child, because if it had been a boy, you can bet the charges would be more severe; and face one, measly charge of aggravated sexual assault, I know for a fact that this man won't be punished as severely as he deserves. No dude that commits a crime against a woman or girl ever is. The laws are written and upheld by men who enjoy profiting off of and trading in womens' bodies and lives. That is the currency of the rich, powerful and evil. And as long as you're one or more of those things (being a white male, basically) you can be sure that the court will side with you over the woman or girl you've just abused, raped or killed.

If there's a chance that his victim has not contracted HIV from Bissonnette, I pray for that. AIDS research seems to be making some headway these days, but I don't trust Big Pharma as far as I can throw them. The victim doesn't deserve to have her life stolen in this way. Not by a piece of shit like Bissonnette. He's stolen the rest of her life, even if she doesn't die of AIDS. He deserves to be punished accordingly.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Okay, What The Fuck....

Alright. I'm back. Nevermind where I was, or what I was doing, it's not important. Let's just be glad that the royals are gone and we can get back to our lives now. There's lots to talk about. Let's start with this goddamn travesty. Here we are, ever on the cusp of legalizing the action of men purchasing women with no consequence to themselves, and some group in Halifax comes out with an ad campaign reminding us that prostitutes are people, too? This group, Stepping Stone Nova Scotia, is a non-profit organization providing services and shelter to prostituted women... just not exit strategies. Because sex work is just work after all, only a little more dangerous. So they do the nice things, like giving condoms to prostitutes, giving them the odd check up if their pimp lets them have the morning off and promoting propaganda such as the one about most women prostituting themselves independently, from the "myth versus reality" section of their website. The website also features black and white photos of women who are not prostitutes, but airbrushed models who will more than likely be prostitutes one day, due to how the fashion/modelling industry chews up and spits out the young women that don't die from modelling first. But I'm getting away from the issue here.

Prostitutes are mothers/daughters/sisters/aunts/nieces too. Well, no shit. So, would you want your mother/sister/daughter/aunt/niece out there, "servicing" however many men a night, even if she did choose that life for herself (which remember, happens only so rarely, it's not worth counting)? Of course not. But putting up these little posters which are supposed to remind johns that while they're raping these women they probably shouldn't beat the hell out of them or kill them, because they might have families, is doomed to failure right from the start. If a man is capable of purchasing a womans' body for use, he has already ceased to see that woman, indeed all women as human type people. The fact that this thing he has purchased may have relations to other similar things, or to other men even, matters not to the john. The john knows what he wants, and what the john wants is all the john cares about. To surmise, I think aiming PSA's at people who are already at the level of inhumanity that they can purchase women is about as effective as patching the hole in the ozone layer with saran wrap.

The article even acknowledges that serial rapists/murderers often target prostitutes because they are looked down upon by society and often go unmissed. But rather than, oh I dunno, trying to come up with exit strategies and getting these women off the streets, the easier route is to put up posters asking johns to exercise their humanity when dealing with prostitutes. The message is stated with all the gusto of a "Be Kind, Please Rewind" sticker on an old VHS tape, showing that even the outreach programs could give a damn about getting these women off the streets. Stepping Stone Nova Scotia thinks prostitution is honest work, using the tired "world's oldest profession" line once again. I'm so fucking sick of hearing that garbage. Prostitution is NOT the world's oldest profession. Slave trader, however, might be, or as they're called these days, pimps.

It's not that I think the idea of viewing prostituted women as humans is a crappy idea, I just can't believe that we need a PSA to tell some of us that. And that the people putting these posters up supposedly talk to these women all day long. They really have no idea how shitty the life is? They really think they're doing anyone any good by letting women stay on the street? They really think anyone would stay on the street if they had just One. Other. Viable. Fucking. Option? There should be groups vying to provide these other viable options to women. Telling johns to see their victims as people does not an exit strategy make.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Regular Posting To Resume Soon, Until Then Here's Something To Be Pissed Off About.

Still quite busy, regular posting should resume sometime next week. But, I couldn't pass up the chance to comment on this. It's not much of an article, but to sum it up Mr. Kyle Richards of Detroit Michigan seems to feel that while he's in jail for bank robbery, he should be allowed his fill of pornography. Being denied said pornography constitutes a "poor standard of living". He feels he is being subjected to "sexual and sensory deprivation." Huh.

Do I even really need to go on a rant about this? Is it even fucking necessary?!?! He's in jail for bank robbery! Jail is not a free-fucking-ride-pleasure-fucking-cruise, first of all! You don't get what you want in jail! If I was in jail, I wouldn't lament the lack of foie gras, truffles and caviar on the dinner menu, saying that anything less than five-star meals constitutes a poor standard of living or culinary deprivation! Next, I will again state that pornography is violent slavery and depictions of dead and soon-to-be-dead women, posed and violated and raped and beaten and killed against their will. It should be stamped out completely, not distributed willy-nilly to prisoners! And, as a matter of fact, I believe that  pornographic material is ruled on a jail to jail basis, as there are still some prisons that hire prostitutes for inmates to rape over the holidays, so that they're not too lonely or whatever garbage excuse wardens come up with to justify the abuse of women by the inmates they're charged with keeping. Part of the problem is that it's men who are the prison executives and wardens, in charge of the institutions that house other men. It's a rape culture mobius strip, as most industries are in todays' society, that just perpetuates hatred of women in all levels of its' being. If prisons are distributing pornography and hiring prostitutes for inmates (and presumably prison staff as well) then how are women employed at said prisons supposed to be safe? Women employed as medical staff or guards (I'm not sure if women are allowed to be guards at male prisons, but if they are this only heightens the danger that they already face) are seen by the inmates and their male co-workers as sub-human due to this material and these practices. It's fucked up. I don't even know how this can be allowed to go on. Prisons are supposed to rehabilitate prisoners. Instilling in them an intrinsic hatred of women seems to go against at least my definition of rehabilitation.

And then there's the P.O.V. sidebar on the story. The CBC likes to run these, wondering what we think about certain issues. "Should prisons accommodate individual inmates' needs?" it asks, linking to this related story and poll. 65.26% of voters say no, but I think that the whole survey is garbage. An individual prisoners' need might be braille. It might be a nut-free meal. It might be a wheelchair ramp.


There is a difference between the needs of an individual prisoner as an individual human being to accommodate his/her basic human needs and the wants of some fucking pervert that will most certainly prove detrimental to his own rehabilitation and dangerous to the public at large. This should not even be a debate. This man shouldn't be deprived of pornography because he's in jail for bank robbery. He should be denied pornography because it's murder on paper, dehumanization between covers, stapled slavery. He should be denied pornography because pornography denies the rights of half the fucking planet. Despite my best efforts, I may not be able to get pornography out of the corner store, off my T.V. and away from my internets, but I sure as shit don't think it belongs in prisons of all places. This kind of "freedom of speech" bullshit by dudes is going too far now. The damage being done is becoming irreversible and generations deep. Those are generations yet to come I'm speaking of. Pornography and the damage it does needs to be stopped now. Perhaps prisons are the place to start.