Category Archives: Morality

Seven Tips for Feminist Men

I know already. You’re a feminist. And a man. But I’m not going to pat you on the back for that because we need to do better.

We may think we’ve already earned all the male-feminist scout badges. We may subscribe to the male-feminist version of the doctors’ maxim ‘first, do no harm.’ But that’s not enough. We need to actively change our world.

So here are seven ways to improve.

1. Switch from Passive to Active

Men need to move past a place of neutrality to actively supporting feminist actions that make a real difference in people’s lives.

This may feel risky, and it should, because some men will interpret our actions as betraying our gender. We need to call that out.

If you aren’t comfortable pondering all this, keep reading anyway.

2. Seed Your Life with Feminist Inspiration

In February, Emma Watson (Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films) announced she was going to take a year off of acting to pursue activism and personal development. She is already the global face of the UN’s HeForShe gender equality campaign. Be inspired by following her and that campaign on whatever social media platforms you are on.

As of a few weeks ago, fewer than 18,000 Canadian men had committed to gender equality actions at HeForShe.org. Add your name there and explore the website to learn about innovative ways to pursue more equality. One in 18 Icelandic men have made that pledge. To match that rate, a million Canadian men need to sign up. Get busy and tell your friends!

Watson has also started “Our Shared Shelf,” a global online feminist book club. Join it. Why not? There are already over 119,000 members.

Also, read and subscribe to Gender-Focus.com, an exceptional Canadian (and labour-friendly) website exploring equality. We need to be challenged out of our complacency with new ideas; see #1 above.

Also, go back into your favourite social media platforms and follow Buffy Sainte-Marie, Margaret Atwood, Pam Palmater, Nora Loreto, bell hooks, Tantoo Cardinal, Geena Davis, Ta’Kaiya Blaney, and the Idle No More movement. That’s a good start!

3. Be Quiet

Men talk too much. We hog airtime in meetings, mindlessly exercise our illegitimate entitlement to talk first in mixed groups, and we interrupt women reflexively. A lot. We need to get over ourselves and recognize that for women to have more influence we need to create that space by being quiet more. It’s amazing what we can learn when our mouths are closed!

Here’s a fun exercise: while being quiet, count how many times women say, “I just wanted to say . . .” before sharing their idea. Where does that come from?

Being quiet also means not agreeing to be on or attend all-white or all-male panels or committees.

4. Raise Feminist Sons

Our boys are growing up with an opportunity to interact with girls in more progressive ways than when we were growing up. From a healthier understanding of consent to new norms of collaboration, our job is to model feminist actions, and to talk about why we’re doing that.

We also need to tell our sons stories about our own experiences — when we saw inequality and either did or didn’t do something about it. Our stories carry the wisdom we need to share.

And when progressive groups at our sons’ schools have a feminist bake sale and charge boys $1 and girls only $0.72, we need to applaud that.

5. Sacrifice, and Promote Pay Equity

Here’s a badge no one will give us: the badge of suffering. Men must give up some of our entitlements, including financial, for women to get more.

We already know that solidarity means supporting each other, but it really means doing so until it hurts. Last month, Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association in BC settled a collective agreement that explicitly earmarked extra funds for their precarious contract professors. That’s sacrifice, but it’s still far too rare, in post-secondary or any sector.

We also need to promote pay-equity language and funding in collective bargaining so that people in female-dominated jobs can earn comparable pay. And that means people in male-dominated jobs will have to seek smaller raises.

6. Abandon the Meritocracy Myth

People often object to quota positions on committees and boards because of this myth of meritocracy. Let it go.

In 2016, we can no longer accept the idea that all people have had equal access to education, opportunities and political influence, and therefore no one has any unearned advantages over anyone else. It’s just not true.

Meritocracy is a myth often used as an excuse to keep marginalized groups away from men’s entitlement zones. And merit is itself arbitrary and defined by people already representing demographics in power.

7. Promote Talented Women

Since we’re being more quiet (see #3 above), we should spend some of our newly found reflective time to carefully watch the women around us to see who we can encourage and promote.

We need to talk to them and ask what they want to accomplish in work and life. Then we should help them do that. And we need to remember that being a good ally means doing what people need us to do. Resist the urge to practise paternalism; let people guide us in helping them.

There. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Shaming Chauvinists 101

Hey, Canada. Don’t you just hate it when other countries make us look so 20th century?

In the UK, they’re going to publicly shame employers who maintain gender wage disparities. Sure, it’s not legislated pay equity, but it’s a start. And they’re ahead of us.

Seriously, how hard is this? Come on, read on. I dare you!

Businesses that perpetuate the wage gap will be exposed.Source: U.K. to Name and Shame Companies That Pay Men More Than Women

U.K. officials announced legislation Friday that will require businesses with more than 250 employees to publish the differences in average salaries and bonuses between male and female employees. A government-sponsored website will rank businesses by their gender pay gap, spotlighting companies that have failed to address wage disparities.

“In recent years we’ve seen the best employers make groundbreaking strides in tackling gender inequality,” Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan said in a statement. “But the job won’t be complete until we see the talents of women and men recognized equally and fairly in every workplace.” She added that such measures would leave “nowhere for gender inequality to hide.”

If Beyonce…

If Beyoncé could do THAT at the Superbowl, what could happen at the oh, so white Oscars?

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Where to Put the Homeless?

Source: A groundbreaking study suggests giving homeless Canadians homes first saves money

So, giving homeless people homes saves money [and shhhh, it’s the RIGHT thing to do!]…who knew!

Utah, that’s who. They’ve been at it for a while now.

It’s a report that could change the way that homeless people are treated in Canada. Funded by the federal government, “At Home/Chez Soi” is the largest study of its kind, with five years of research conducted in five major cities. It’s estimated that more than 150,000 people are homeless across the country, costing Canadians $1.4 billion each year.

The report suggests putting homeless people in housing, even before they have dealt with other problems such as mental illness and addiction, works to improve their lives. And it saves money.

Ashley Madison Is Not Nearly So Black and White

https://i2.wp.com/cdn0.dailydot.com/cache/f5/99/f59976d08ba0afb60314ad3938f74e59.jpg?resize=474%2C237
The Ashley Madison hack is bad news for cheaters—and just as terrible for everyone else – By Harris O’Malley

It’s like the royal family: glamorize them so we can bash them down to earth.

A bit of a mindfuck.

If Ashley Madison were a straight infidelity website among heterosexual couples in a world of simple heterosex, then yes, let’s judge all these people. Because we love to judge.

But if you’re interested to see what kind of other people use[d] Ashley Madison for arguably not so black-and-white sinful reasons, you may realize that quite a few people are getting hosed here.

But Harris O’Malley said it better.

If you can read this piece and still remain steadfast in black-and-white judgement, then you should explain how that works for you in the comment section below.

As always, inane commentary is nuked. 🙂

 

Why Are Harper and Kenney Such Liars?

Chronic Liar.

We all know Stephen Harper is fond of lying.

During the debate this month there were a myriad of drinking games around the country for whenever one of the other leaders called him a liar.

Here’s one clever analysis of his tendency to LIE TO US TO GET US TO GIVE HIM MORE TIME TO DESTROY CANADA!

And what about Jason Kenney: Mr. Liar McMakeItUp.

Here’s what’s up with his chronic lying.

We. Must. Punish. These. Liars.

Let’s make them unemployed on October 20. If we’re lucky they and their lying colleagues will pull a Prentice!

 

Elect Harper = Kill Medicare for Good

#HeaveSteve

THIS is how much the Harper Conservatives resent, hate and want to kill Medicare with a slow, painful death [starting with a $36 billion cut]…leading to for-profit healthcare where the rich are OK, the companies are brutally profitable and the middle class and poor go bankrupt or die from untreated diseases.

Just like before Medicare in Canada, except now with American corporations earning billions in profits.

Want any more time with Harper’s gong show in charge?

No. Heave the Steve!

And here’s a bonus for you:

11 Weeks of Daily Harper Protests

The Harper Re-election Disaster Bus Totalitarianism: daily, for 11 weeks!

Get used to this.

People hate Harper and his Conservatives. We will see through his weak attempt to wedge oppositions parties by running a long election campaign because he has more money to spend.

Saturation will come fast.

We will remember how much contempt he holds for people and democracy.

We will listen to his 5 non-answers to 5 media questions each day and we will be constantly reminded of how much we can’t stand what he has done to Canada.

And we will see this. Every day:

Why People Hate the Translink Police

Embedded image permalink
Replace “driver” with Translink cop.

I had a hard time reading all the way through this article, the one about Translink cops terrorizing bus passengers on Friday night.

I also had a hard time reading about the two Translink cops found guilty of assault on Friday.

I’m sure it was just a coincidence that they both happened on Friday.

And I find it astonishing that Neil Dubord, the head of the Translink police [or his social media lackeys] would choose to follow my largely apolitical personal Twitter account [unless he also likes Pink Floyd and the Baltimore Orioles].

Also on Friday. More coincidence. Maybe he expected me to weigh in on why people hate his Translink cops. So here goes. Spoiler: it’s because some of them like to assault, bully and terrorize people, over $2.75.

So more broadly, why do people hate the Translink police?

When they cease to be public servants and peace keepers and begin to be terrorists.

In the post-9/11 world when a “democratic” [sic] government in Canada can pass, let alone introduce the fascist Bill C-51, which erodes our constitution, we are all, clearly, far more tolerant of totalitarianism among our authorities.

And let’s not pretend that this is just a problem with America, highlighted with the #BlackLivesMatter instances.

Why do cops assault and beat people?

  1. Those that do may get off on it, the power trip.
  2. They are racists, bigots or violently unhappy people with a desire to destroy others lives.
  3. They are bullies and seek a job that lets them be bullies.
  4. They have a sense of entitlement.
  5. They feel they are immune from the laws that apply to the rest of us in a civilization.
  6. They are rageful, violent people needing to beat up the weak and vulnerable.
  7. They are sociopaths or psychopaths.
  8. They are addicts and not in control of their faculties.
  9. Body armour and guns [and maybe some day dogs too!] make them feel special/powerful.
  10. More ideas?

Do you remember several years ago when someone thought it was a good idea to give guns to Skytrain cops? Largely to enforce $2.75 fares and $173 fare evasion tickets? But really, it’s to shoot the bad guys.

Do you remember someone decided that Translink cops in their cars could enforce a variety of laws far away from transit services? The police and RCMP are contracted to municipalities where there is civilian oversight. The Translink cops are accountable to Translink, which is a puppet of the BC government, which has been staunchly anti-accountable for virtually all of this century.

And remember when someone thought it was a good idea as well to give Skytrain cops attack dogs to hunt down the fare evaders, or sorry, bad guys? Thank all the people who lit their hair on fire about this egregious piece of lunacy; it never happened. But maybe now it will because now, if you are poor and you ask a bus driver for a free ride, and the Translink cops with their guns get on your bus for a fare check, they may beat you up, because of the $2.75 you didn’t have to pay, and because of the $173 fine they believe they are entitled to charge you, and because of the 9+ reasons above.

Then you might see Translink trotting out this terrorism justification bullshit again [emphasis is mine]:

You just have look around the world to see what is taking place and what has been targeted to see what could happen. We already see the dogs in use right here at the airport. I have not heard any protest to that. We move close to 72 million people a year, we owe it to them to do the utmost to protect them.

But when people don’t trust the violent, rageful Translink cops, why would we want them unleashing dogs on us, or the poor, or dude who literally lost his faresaver? What kind of society do we want to live in, anyway?

So, read this careful:

When the driver allows someone to have a free ride, they are not a fare evader. They do not deserve to be taken down on the concrete.

Honk if you agree.

People ask for free rides because they are poor. Many who are poor don’t ask; many who aren’t poor, do. Drivers, I expect, have been given permission to allow free rides to avoid confrontations and escalations, particularly with people who may be dangerous, which is not synonymous with the poor. Seriously, which bus driver wants to escalate and possibly get attacked over $2.75?

So if a transit employee allows someone to get a free ride, why should another transit employee get to beat them up for that.

That’s called a mindfuck. It’s not OK. But why does it happen? See the 9+ reasons above.

And if you’re wondering about one particular reason why a lot of people didn’t vote or voted no in the Translink funding blackmail referendum, it’s because a lot of people think the Translink cops are violent thugs, looking for excuses to bully and attack people.

It’s just that lots of people don’t feel comfortable coming right out and saying that’s why they don’t want to give Translink more money. Even if it’s supposed to go to “good” things, people fear the back door police state will expand with more money. After all, how much do Translink cops make, anyway…all to enforce $2.75 fares? Dozens of them make over $100,000/year.

And before you go all “not all Translink cops are fascist bullies” on me, read about #NotAllMen and save your stupid comments to yourself. I won’t post them here. Life is too short for that; get a grip.

Where is the sense of compassion, dignity and public service these days?

Where are all the Translink cops who believe in protecting, not demeaning the public? And why do they tolerate their peers ruining their reputation?

Who told the Translink cops that a $2.75 fare and a $173 ticket were entitlements to treat other human beings like less than people?

Transit should be free, for these reasons. But it’s not. Yet. And it’s the lifeline for lots of economically struggling and marginalized people. Must it also be a place of dehumanization by our civil authorities themselves?

If the Translink organization is wondering why people hate them, it isn’t just because of Skytrain or escalator breakdowns, or buses that pass us by because they’re full. In the rain. In winter.

In part, it’s because Translink employs cops who like to beat people up. And sensible people think that’s bad, a crime and corrupt.

No one wants to be terrorized on transit. Especially by the police themselves.

Translink is known for crappy note taking and accusations of falsifying evidence, and sometimes has less than reliable recording cameras on vehicles, which makes them all look like a corrupt, dodgy, amateur police force.

So we should take a page out of the #BlackLivesMatter handbook: video record every time you see a Translink cop encounter a person. Every time! Even if nothing illegal or disrespectful happens, make them know that we are all recording them.

All. The. Time. I’m not kidding.

Since they don’t all believe they are servants of the public and keepers of the police, let’s record them all with our smart phones because apparently, they need to learn that they are not above the law.