Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years Eve!

From Sinfest

Happy New Years Eve! I hope everyone is going to be having a good time!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The 'Saudi Arabia of Feminism'

Trigger Warning: Talk of sexual assault. 

"Mr Assange regards himself as a victim of radicalism. 'Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism,' he said. 'I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism.'"

This article irritated me, but those two sentences made me hear a boiling kettle in my head. For those who don't know, Mr. Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has been charged by two women with sexual assault. One(Miss A) claims that she consented to sex with the condition that he wear a condom, and believes he damaged the condom, the other(Miss W) slept with him willingly, went to sleep, and woke up to find him having sex with her. The latter is flat-out rape. If she was asleep, she could not consent, and sex without consent is rape, in my opinion. It doesn't matter if she slept with him the night before, it's rape. Additionally, she'd also asked he wear protection, which he did not when having sex without her without her permission.

In Sweden, having unprotected sex with someone who asked you to use protection is a crime. In fact, you could probably persecute for that in several other countries.

Also, in describing how Mr. Assange met with Miss W, the article included the oh-so-relevant point that she wore a revealing top. This intimates that Miss W met with him with the intent to flirt with, or sleep with him. Which doesn't make it okay that he'd forced himself upon her while she slept. It was totally irrelevant, disrespectful, and rude to include.

But, back to the quote that irritates me so much.

I'll address this in chunks.

"Revolutionary feminism." The idea that it is in any way 'revolutionary' that you're not allowed to have sex with someone unless they know what you are doing and are okay with it, is absolutely outrageous. And the insinuation that this kind of law is in any way outrageous or over the top, the way the word choice of 'revolutionary' does, is manipulative, rude and patronizing.

"The Saudi Arabia of feminism." In Saudi Arabia, women of all ages are required to have a male guardian. Those guardians are needed to give permission for marriage, divorce, travel(if they're under the age of 45), education, employment, banking, elective surgery, and much more. They make up to 5% of the workforce, one of the lowest rates in the world, which conflicts with their seventy percent majority of university enrollment. Women can't drive cars, some rooms in family homes have seperate entrances for the genders. They cannot vote, or run for office.

And in Sweden, they can charge people who damage contraceptives without their knowledge during sex, and people who have sex with them while they sleep, unable to consent.

It is DEPRESSING, that someone could say something so outrageously stupid.

"A victim of radicalism." Yes, you're the victim, you who (allegedly) saw a sleeping woman, knew she didn't want you to sleep with her without a condom, didn't wake her up, didn't put on a condom, and  proceeded to sleep with her without waking her up, yes, you are the true victim here. [/sarcasm]

As an aside, I do like WikiLeaks, to an extent. I believe that there should be more openness between a government and it's people, and that the people should know more about what the government does on their behalf. But I detest the alleged actions of Mr. Assange, I am made angry by his words and attitude, and I am in disbelief that the opposite of a man having total control of a woman's life is a woman wanting full consent and alertness in her sexual activity.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Things That Make Me Happy

DADT Repealed! I'm not going to bother linking to an article-I'm sure everyone's heard the news by now, but it still brings a smile to my face to know that rule's finally being done away with. One battle down, LGBTQ+Allies, so many more to go!

 Cupcake's Clothes  OMG, she's so cute. <3 I love her style, and am enjoying reading through her posts. My personal style tastes swing from her clothing tastes to gothy-punk stuff, but seeing her clothing is just cute-tastic.

You're a Rotten Dirty Bastard Probably something only awesome to fans of TGWTG, but I really, really enjoyed this Christmas special. I'm not sure if Roger is a cameo from something I'm unfamiliar with, or a new person, but I enjoyed him in this, and hope that he sticks around. Trigger Warning for violence, porny sound effects, and lots of swearing.

Christmas! It's almost Christmas! Presents and joy and cheer! Christmas!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Examples to the Contrary [Another Response to the Clementine Article]

In this article, Patricia Pearson implied that the young people produced by Canada’s secular educations system are ignorant of religion, and therefore are offensive because of that ignorance. She brought up an example of a fifteen year old girl she seemed to think served as an example of ignorance, who said that she didn’t believe in a god, and asked for proof. These accounts are from different teens, all having attended public schools, and they explain what their beliefs are, and at least summarise why they believe in what they do. I think that these speak for themselves in proving that public school does not prevent religious thought and decisions from being made. 

I’d also like to thank everyone who contributed to this so much. <3 I will be adding more of my submissions when they get sent to me, but I felt like I'd been sitting on this post for a bit too long. So watch for more entries being added to this post as people finish summarizing their thoughts for me during this quite busy time of year.

“My name is Julie Thorne and I am 18 years old. I do not believe in God. Just like the other adolescent girl who said that she does not believe in god because there is no proof, I stand by it for the same reason.
I grew up in a christian house hold. My parents and I attended church every Sunday morning and was involved in church events. I don't believe in god because I don't believe in everything that people tell me too. I use to believe in god. I would go to church every Sunday; I would pray before every meal, I would read the bible before bed. I would thank god for every blessing in my life. But god never really did anything.

God didn't provide the food for me to eat, my parents did. God didn't make me feel better when I was sick, medicine and rest did. I was thanking this so called "god" for things that he wasn't even doing.

I have been to healing ceremonies. I have prayed. I have asked god for help. In the end, it was either my parents, myself, or some man made substance that helped me through my hard times.

And even with all that being said, I do not want to believe in a god. I do not want to believe in a god that says homosexuality is a sin. I do not want to believe in a god that believes saying his name in vain is breaking one of the ten commandments but raping someone isn't.

If there is a god, I want nothing to do with him.”

“I am an 18 year old female and have attended Public Schooling my entire life. My beliefs in religion are varied. I go to church on holidays and I pray when I need to. I believe in God in some ways, but however I have many questions regarding him as I have trouble justifying why certain things happen on earth. Just because I have went to a public school versus a Christian or Catholic school, does not mean that we are ignorant to a sense of religion, it is still in our households, and within ourselves even if we don't practice it in our school systems.” (Holly Drury)

“Written by: Justine Stevens, for Kendra Pape-Green

Despite popular belief, some teens actually DO give thought to their religious beliefs and where they stand on them. I myself have racked my mind for over two years trying to figure out what I believe. I'm not sure what I believe quite yet, but I DO know what I don't believe, and that is what I'm writing about in this paragraph.

I was raised Roman Catholic, and for years as a little girl, I believed in God, the Devil, Heaven, and Hell. My mom always told me that God would provide for us, and that he loved us, which is why he gave his only begotten son for our sins. Cirumstances that I grew up in (which shall not be mentioned for it is not the place for such things) forced me to mature a lot faster than other children, and I quickly grew to realize that most religions, especially Christianity and Catholicism, are used to gain power and control over people. For thousands of years, the Church tried to take over the world and force their views on people. The Crusade is a perfect example of how far the Church was willing to go to gain power over people. As a young girl, I was told about the 10 commandments, and according to the Bible, if you commit any of them, you go to Hell.
Here are some examples: (they are not in order)
Commandment 1: Do not commit adultery.
Commandment 2: Do not murder.

 Now, here are some things I took from the Bible:
Jesus said in Matthew 5 that to look at someone with lust is to have committed adultery with them. Jesus said in Matthew 5 that whoever is angry with his brother without cause is guilty of murder.

Isn't that a little extreme? EVERYONE, I mean EVERYONE, even the BEST, most LOYAL Christian, gets angry at someone. Should they go to Hell just for a natural human emotion that God gave us when he created us at birth? Should someone go to Hell just for looking at someone and finding them attractive? Like I said above, even the most loyal Christian does that.

By the Bible's standards, we all deserve Hell.

I know I am a good person, and so are many of my friends, and all of them have been angry, all of them have liked someone, or found them attractive, all of them have taken things as a child, it's normal to take things at a young age. You don't know any better. Should we be condemned for something we cannot help? I think not.

This is just ONE of my many reasons for not going into Christianity. Thank you for listening. :)” (17 years old)

“I believe in what others may see as a compilation of beliefs from various religious origins, and that humanity is here to learn, grow and nurture both the planet and each other. Regardless of religion, we are all in this together. Furthermore, I am of the opinion that every person finds the path they are meant to travel, no matter which category it places them in religiously. At the core of my belief system is the idea that every person here on the planet has something important to learn in this lifetime, and they will learn it in whichever way suits them. I believe these concepts are a step towards finding a balance where all can find happiness and peace. Equality, acceptance, love and peace are key. Attending church on Christmas Eve is wonderful, and it is also important to me to meditate on the energy centers of the body. Sometimes cleansing a space with sage feels necessary, and other times a prayer feels right. We are loving, we are free, we are learning, we are one.” (Lena, 18)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Philosophy Examples

Writing them like this helped me remember them for my exam. :] I'll try and use two examples for each one.

Hypothetical Syllogism

If Stephen Colbert is scared of bears, then he won't leave his cabin when one is outside. If he doesn't leave his cabin when there's a bear outside, he won't be able to get to the city to do his christmas special. Therefore, if Stephen Colbert is scared of bears, he won't be able to do his christmas special.

If Amber gets Zydrate from her father's company, then he'll know just how much Zydrate she uses. If her father knows how much Zydrate she uses, then he can control how much is available to her. Therefore, if Amber got her Zydrate from GeneCo, Rotti could control how much Zydrate she could get.

Disjunctive Syllogism

Marni had to choose between Rotti and Nathan. She did not choose Rotti, therefore she chose Nathan.

Rachel Berry had to choose to be with Finn or Jesse. She did not choose Finn, therefore she chose Jesse.

Modus Ponens

If I see you driving 'round town with a girl I love, then fuck you. I see you driving 'round town. Therefore fuck you.

If you are delinquent in your organ payments, the Repo Man will take your organs. You were late in your organ payments, therefore the Repo Man will take your organs.

Modus Tollens

If Shilo has a blood disease, it's not safe for her to go outside. Shilo doesn't have a real disease, therefore she can go wherever she wants.

If Stephen Colbert puts antlers on a goat the right way, we can't tell that it's not a reindeer. We can tell it's not a reindeer, so the antlers must not be on the right way.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Current Favourite Quote

"I'm sick of seeing the word "feminist" being used as the sole or primary qualifier of whether or not a given idea/product/person is good or evil.  It's sloppy, reductionist thinking."
(Warning: Link is NSFW, Furry Girl is, in her own words: "a pornographer, sex worker, and atheist" [Admittedly, the athiesm part doesn't factor into why you probably shouldn't click this link when there's someone behind you who would not be pleased to see a naked lady on your screen, but I kept it in for the sake of the flow of the sentence which has now been destroyed by this clarification of why I included the word atheist] so be careful about clicking.) Furry Girl.

It may be an ironic post just after the last one I made, but I just really like these two sentences. I might think of myself as a feminist, and of a lot of the issues I care about as either being feminist issues, or having elements of feminism, but a large part of my personal understanding of feminism is that it's fluid, and that my understanding of it can definitely be very different from how others think about and use this word. I really agree about how feminism is not a synonym for ethical, and something about how she phrased her thoughts just made me smile and want to quote it. I'm currently reading through her archives, and I'm really enjoying her different perspective on things. I recommend it as long as you have no issues with seeing naked ladies on your computer screen!

My View on Feminism

As I read more feminist blogs, and think about feminist issues, it's really, really apparent to me that feminism has become very diverse and people's views have very oddly been divided.

Simultaneously, some people think that feminism is old and not current, and in the States, a cheerleader is legally required to cheer, by name, for the man who raped her. (Trigger Warning on the link for rape and outrageous legal decision.) How does anyone reconcile that? How can the need to fight for equality be out of date when things like that can happen in the United States? How can one in three women experience sexual assault (according to Statistics Canada, 1993 study) and have feminism be old?

Even in some blogs I have read, the very term is an issue to be disregarded and replaced. Sometimes there are good reasons, sometimes there are bad ones. I will always use the term feminism because of the history behind it, the weight of the word, and not wanting to leave the term to be used by the likes of Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell.

(trigger for homophobia and misogyny)The problem I've seen with a lot of people is that they ascribe a too-narrow mindset to the term 'feminism.' It becomes 'unfunny dykes,' 'women who want to be better then men,' 'shrill harpies,' 'women who are trying to make it sound like equality makes women lose something,' or 'white women who don't think about issues that don't affect them personally.' The worst part is, sometimes these labels can apply, sometimes people in the movement personify both valid and invalid stereotypes.

To me, feminism is about equality. Flat-out equality. Not of the sexes, and not of the genders, about every kind of person. To me, feminism is believing that a person is a person, no matter what the differences between different kinds of persons there are. Feminism is a lot like social justice, and it really should be synonymous with the term.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fairy Tale Ending Review

[NOTE: This was originally posted on in August. I've decided to re-post this here because I really enjoyed this play, and it's going to be playing January 5-16 in Toronto. Details here for anyone interested.]

“Fairy Tale Ending” was featured by the Toronto Fringe Festival “Best of Fringe Uptown” festival. This play, originally written for Toronto Youth Theatre and produced by the same, was originally featured in ‘FringeKids!’ this summer, and reportedly had a sell-out run during it. The final performance was on Saturday, July 31st, and was performed at The Toronto Centre for the Arts, presented by Roll Your Own Theatre.

Written by Kieren MacMillan and Jeremy Hutton, this play revolves around a young girl named Jill who acts as a narrator and as a focal point for the play. She, along with the fairy tale police, confront three infamous villains from bedtime stories about how the stories they star in are changing their plotlines to rather darker conclusions of the original stories. The themes of coping with loss and maturation are very prevalent and really touching.

While the cast was not totally complete during the final showing, Christina Gordon having to miss the performance due to a conflict of schedules, Jeremy Hutton was able to step in and take over the part of the Cop that is in charge of the three fairy tale cases that the play explores. As one of the writers, he did an admirable job in taking over the part, only a few faltered lines betraying the fact that he was not the usual actor for the part.

Using simple, versatile set pieces, transitions were smooth and easy, scene changes happening in moments. The same was done with the characters costumes-the difference between pigs, bears, and goats is all in what kind of hat is worn at the time. The set pieces used did work very well, all purposefully in a very clean-cut kind of theme to extend the fairy tale setting even further, with white picket fences and free-standing doors that wouldn’t look out of place on the front of any calm suburban household.

Adrian Shepherd-Gawinski, Carl Swanson, and Mike Wisniowski, as the sets of three used for each story were also splendid with their character transitions. The pig characters were different from the bears, goats and mice, and each time all three of the actors were completely committed to their roles. And when they acted as the back-up vocals, they were really splendid, with infectious energy and a well-practiced harmony to their voices.

One would be remiss in reviewing this performance without mentioning Max Shkvorets' wonderful, scene-stealing portrayal of Jack. The “infamous” Jack is played wonderfully as an irrepressible young boy, making the other characters reaction to him perfectly incongruous to his appearance and behaviour.

Personally, I enjoyed this play to the hilt. Of course, I’m a sucker for two things present in this play: twists on fairy tales, and villain songs. I love villain songs, and this musical doesn’t just have one or two, it has four. Each of the antagonists have their own song, with the Three providing back-up vocals, and they have one song that they all sing together, which is rather fittingly entitled ‘Villainy.’ ‘Addicted,’ sung by the Big Bad Wolf (Australian-born Andrew Moyes), ‘I Totally Don’t Even Give A Care,’ sung by Goldilocks (Jennifer Walls, who was on the CBC program ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?), and ‘Gruff Exterior’ sung by Troll (Amanda Leigh, who played Cosette in Les Miserables during a UK National Tour) are all great songs, showcasing the vocal talents of these members of the cast very well.

Kieren Macmillan and Jamie Drake, on keyboard and percussion respectively provided great music, never noticeably missing a cue or making a mistake. The music, even outside of the musical numbers, provided an important element of the mood of the scenes, and the play would have a bit flatter without it.

Meagan Tuck as Jill was great, pulling off a character that was simultaneous childlike, na├»ve, trusting, and conflicted and growing up through that conflict before the audience’s eyes. By the end of the play, the growth of Jill was apparent in Ms. Tuck’s expression and voice during the finale song as she comes to understand why the fairy tales were changing.

Overall, this was a great performance, and I regret not attending one of their earlier ones, as I would have liked to see it again, and take some of my younger relatives as well. This is a play that has definite entertainment value for both generations, jokes that hit very well with the children, (“The golden goose produces only poo”) and jokes/references that fly over their heads and hit the adults (“Pocahontas died of smallpox”). Keep your ears open to see if this is going to have another run, even if it is with a new cast, because while the cast brought a lot to this performance (great acting, wonderful singing, and almost perfect timing,) what started this musical off in a great position was a very well-written script.

Kieren Macmillan and Jeremy Hutton wrote a very good script, which did what every piece written for children should aim for-creating something that entertains on more than one level. Entertaining the child is something you can’t lose track of when trying to appeal to adults as well, and very often a work will try too hard and lose both age groups interest. This is excellently written, and they should be congratulated for their work on this musical.


Okay, finally thought to look it up. 'Tis indeed a word! I'm glad I've learnt it, I like adding to my vocabulary. It means 'a very little bit.' Apparently it is derived from a french word, which translates to 'suspicion.'

...And, looking back, that makes the bit about how the youth of our country is ignorant and disrespectful of religion just that much more irritating to me. I'm hoping to have a post up soon with some perspectives from people I know under the age of twenty. Not exactly scientific evidence, I know, but it is solid proof that teenagers from public schools can and do think seriously about religion.

EDIT: Sorry, by 'our country,' I meant Canada. Apologies to people from different locales.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I need to have a comprehensive list of monsters/fantasty creatures from a large variety of cultures and mythos (no urban legends)  for a story that I'm working on, and I thought it might be a bit interesting to post some of the creatures every so often. If anyone has a favourite creature, especially if it's a little-known one, feel free to suggest it, and I'll likely add it to the list if it fits the storyline.

Myth List Fragment A:

Al-Miraj, a creature from Islamic mythos, a yellow, harmless looking bunny with a two foot long black spiralling unicorn horn and a nasty attitude. Only witches could make it docile so it could be disposed of. Animals fled from it, and with a few stabs it could take down almost anything

Adar Llwch Gwin, giant birds from Welsh mythos that understand human speak and are obedient to a fault.

Bendith Y Mamau, a kind of Welsh fairy that steals babies, replacing them with ugly changelings called Crimbils. They treat the stolen children well, raise them and teach them music, which the Bendith Y Mamau are very good at. Stolen children are eventually returned with only memories of faint music.

Red Cap, a kind of goblin that are found in abandoned castles along the border of England and Scotland, that kill travellers that come near their homes, and dye their caps in the blood of their victim, prolonging the Red Cap's life. It is impossible to outrun them, and they look like old men with red eyes, taloned hands, large teeth, wearing a red cap and holding a pikestaff.

Kappa, a Japanese watersprite that's child-sized and bipedal, but looks like varying kinds of animals. They have a water-filled, saucer-shaped depression on their heads, and if all the water spills out, the kappa will die. They fear fire, are very mischevious, though they will sometimes kidnap and eat children, and more rarely adults. The kappa loves cucumbers, never breaks a promise, can speak Japanese, and is obsessed with etiquette.

Ennedi Tiger, a tailless large cat larger then a lion (between 8-12 ft) with no tail and large, protruding teeth that mainly lives in the Congo, though it also has been seen in places like the Central African Republic, the Congo, Kenya, and Sudan, amongst others.

Sigbin, a putrid creature from the Phillipine that resembles a hornless goat, walks backwards with it's tail between it's long legs, has very large ears that can make a clapping sound, can use it's very long tail as a whip, and sucks out people's blood through their shadows. Being able to turn invisible at will, these are rumoured to be kept as pets by families that proceed to do very well in business.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wherein Brackets Are Abused

This article (which I clicked on hoping to find out why Claire's nickname is Clementine...curses! Foiled again!) has me teetering between anger and lolwut. About the only thing I agree with this article is that society's attitude towards obesity is very much the same attitude I take when I see a spider. (OHGODKILLITNOW)

What I think Patricia Pearson fails to understand about religious ignorance (I'm not calling it illiteracy, that's for reading and writing) in our public schools is that it leaves it at an individual level. Parents can teach their children what their family's faith is, and the school provides a place where religion is left as a very individual thing. That is in no way a bad thing. Religious indoctrination is, however, a bad thing. When I have a child, I will be sending them to public school, and I will expect that the only way they learn about religion is from fellow students, books, and multicultural events/teaching.

Also, something tells me that the fifty percent of US teens that thought 'Sodom and Gomorrah were married' were being sarcastic/rude, or just having a guess. Most of them probably don't think that. I base this on the fact that when I have referenced this story in the past with my peers, I am not faced with 'aren't they married?' I am faced with 'wait, what?'

The reason why your daughter's school has Winterfest, Patricia Pearson, is that because there are so many winter holidays of varying religious importance, coupled with a two-week school break, it is a way for students from all traditions to come together and celebrate a joyous time of year all round, even if their only motivation for feeling joyous is the two weeks off.

My favourite (read: made me most irritated) is that the vaguely anti-obese song about Santa was called twisted. No. That's not twisted, at all. It's maybe a bit disrespectful. Listen to this song about Santa, then tell me which one counts as TWISTED.

Warning: Homophobic language, rude language, possibly triggering language, westboro baptist minister church language (Thank you Westboro Church, for always being dependable for things that twist people's souls in horror. You're always good for an example of evil.)

And the reason we don't learn about Saint Nicholas in school, or most religious stories behind winter celebrations is that we can't possibly span every religion and if you don't, you alienate, unfairly and rudely, those children. What about religions that don't have winter celebrations? Or any? (I notice your list of things you'd love your children to learn about in school, religious-winter-celebration wise, didn't include the solstice, which is celebrated in Toronto. (I went to the celebration last year with my aunt, cousins and siblings. So much fun.))

"Is this a problem? Yes, it is. Children raised in such a pedagogical vacuum cannot make sense of a world in which religion governs public and international debate." (re: lack of knowledge about "the good books." Note: She capitalized both good and books. I.... feel silly doing so. Sorry.) Or... they learn about religion when they're old enough to understand properly, make informed decisions about their personal faiths, and learn about other's religions on a sincere and more adult level. It's not like you can't understand religion if you learn about it at a late stage. Otherwise what's the point of people who convert to another religion after learning more about it? And they do normally offer 'World Religion' classes in public high schools, just so you know.

I do love the last paragraphs though. I'm guessing that your costume at halloween just might have been a pot. Ignorance really does lead to disrespect. Your ignorance about Canadian youths turned a conversation where you might have had a meaningful discussion about religion and faith into 'lol, teens shop at hollister and don't know what proof of god means, take religion seriously, or do any research at all.' Since you didn't include her response (and I'm taking it on faith that you really did speak to a teenager), I'm going to assume you didn't even ask her what proof she would like and give her a chance to say anything. You telling her to find a "soupcon" of wisdom (I don't know if that was a typo and you meant to write soup can, but either way, I've never heard this saying before ever, and don't know which is correct. Therefore, I am using it the way it was published) is disrespectful in two ways. One is that you assume she hasn't done any reading or learning on her own, and that her disbelief stems from ignorance, not from a personal decision that could possibly be based on personally obtained knowledge. The other is that you place the burden of proof on her. As the one claiming that monotheism is correct, it's your job, in a debate, to provide proof god exists, not hers to provide proof that god doesn't.

As an eighteen year old agnostic, I know mine would be "anything that doesn't require a blind leap of faith." Maybe that reveals an innate discompatability with Christianity, as there seems to be a lot of blind faith, to my perspective. And that might be alright for you. But why not let her learn and decide what's her own spiritual truth on her own, without flippantly quoting her in your article, and treating her like she's ignorant because she's made a choice not to believe in god without something that makes the concept real to her. 

(A note, I did not capitalize the word 'god' in this post, nor will I ever. I will when using a quote, but not when using my own words. I do not believe in god and so it is not a proper noun to me. I may expand on this later, I may not.)

Current Favourite Quote

"God moves in extremely mysterious, not to say, circuitous ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players*, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
Footnote to above: * ie., everybody." -Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman; Good Omens
(The book is excellent, I recommend it, and both of it's authors, to anyone looking for an enjoyable read.) 

Sending My Concerns

So, after reading this blog post at Dented Blue Mercedes, I decided that I should call the office of Mr. Vic Toews, and ask for it to be explained to me why the Minister of Public Safety can just ignore what the Human Rights Tribunal and what the federal courts have said on the basis of him not thinking they were right. I'm not at all an expert on how the legal/political system works, so perhaps he can just ignore them, but I really thought that the only way to ignore a federal court was to take it to the supreme court.

For those that say that the blog post I linked to was tl;dr, basically Mr. Toews decided to halt medical coverage for transgender inmates gender reassignment surgery. This means trangender offenders, some of which have been getting hormones and other preemptive treatments are being housed based on their physical sex. And the Canadian prison system does not condone the kind of abuse a transgender offender is liable to get in that situation. And a transgender patient who has had this procedure is far more likely to reintegrate back into society when their sentence is at an end.

So I called, asked if a minister could just ignore a federal court and the HRT at will. The woman that I spoke with said that I needed to be more specific, I talked about this situation, she told me I would be better off to e-mail Mr. Toews' office, but warned me that they received two thousand e-mails a week. So, I sent my e-mail on Monday, November 29 :

Hello office of Mr. V. Toews,

I was wondering why the decision to cease funding to prisons for gender reassignment surgery was stopped, Mr. Toews saying that he (or, well, we, but I'm not sure who he was speaking for, and don't wish to presume) " do[es] not believe that sex change surgery is an essential medical service or that Canadian taxpayers should pay for sex change surgery for criminals." However, as he admitted to being aware of, "the courts" have ruled that it is an essential medical service. Specifically, a 2001 Human Rights Tribunal, and a 2003 federal court. I am completely confused as to why these seemingly esteemed courts' decision can be ignored so easily, as I was under the impression that what a court said goes.

It doesn't seem like this is enough of an issue to really have a problem with, with a relatively small amount of the population with Gender Dysphoria, even less who are convicted, and even less that fit the profile that the former minister Stockwell Day set up for recieving GRS. Plus, not allowing those with Gender Dysphoria to get surgery seems like a way to not help them reintegrate back into society, as well as put them in unwelcome situations, since prisons are seperated between the sexes, and those with Gender Dysphoria are judged by their physical characteristics.

I would love to get an answer to how the courts, federal and HRT, are able to be so easily ignored in this kind of situation, and why such a decision would be even made, as the surgery is obviously not a cosmetic one, given that medical societies aplenty have said publically that Gender Dysphoria is a very real issue, and that GRS is an essential medical service.

Thank you,

Kendra Pape-Green

(I'm never sure how to start these kinds of e-mails, and often fall back on hello. Seems silly, but 'dear' seems even more awkward.) 

On Friday, I sent another e-mail, summarizing my concerns, and asking if they've gotten my e-mail/if they're noticed it amidst their rather large traffic of e-mails.

I was given a short response, saying that my e-mail had been forwarded to the Public Safety department where it was being investigated, and that it would then be passed onto Minister Toews. (In the past I only ever talked to a minister's employees when I sent e-mails expressing concern about an issue.) 

I'll post again when I recieve on answer, or when I become impatient waiting!

Hmm, I'm liable to send more MPPs and MPs e-mails about things, this will likely also be a recurring post...

Repo! And Genterns

So, one of the Repo! The Genetic Opera fangroups I'm following on Facebook(Edit: found the question; the group is called 'REPO! MADNESS) asked an interesting questions. "Where are the male genterns?" And I wanna talk a bit about why I think we don't see any, and how it might be a bit chauvinistic, but its on behalf of the characters in-story, and how the sexism is subverted in some ways.

First: Repo! The Genetic Opera is a gory rock opera about a dystopian future where people are either addicted to surgery or an expensive painkiller called Zydrate, or both. And if they don't keep up on their organ payments, their organs are liable to be reposessed. And it's my favourite movie EVER. I adore the music, the acting, every little bit of it. So anything I ever say about the musical is very biased because I love it so.

Genterns are nurses, though the name suggests 'interns,' that work for GeneCo, the company with a monopoly on organs, surgery, and legal Zydrate. The only ones ever shown are attractive, young, and dressed in a rather revealing fashion. They act as nurses, surgery providers, assassins, and whores. In a literal sense, they...service the younger son of the CEO of the company.

So, to the question, and how I want to answer it.

First, I wanna say that there probably aren't any. The concept of genterns, in story, seem to be very commercialized and part of the brand that GeneCo has built. And as part of the brand, they're just as commercialized as anything in our society. They're all hot women for the same reason that commercials will pick a hot woman to represent something or sell something-sex sells, entices men with sensuality and women with the wish to look (literally!) like them. It's probably an important part of GeneCo's advertising strategy. It's chauvinistic, but it just reflects that their society isn't any better than our own in that sense.

Second, it should be noted that the genterns aren't just sexy symbols. They're the ones that give patients zydrate, perform (probably the more common) surgeries, and even health care advisors. In one scene, we hear a advertisement in the background. "Ask a gentern if Zydrate is right for you." Part of the point is that surgery is being sexualized, partially because of reason one, partially because humans just tend to sexualize things, and partially because it helps highlight just how different Repo! society is from ours, with how important surgery is to their culture. Genterns do real work all the time, things that real-life doctors and nurses do... and that's shown, making it clear that these women have brains and are capable of doing important tasks. Such as surgery, poisoning people, keeping Pavi from breaking out in a rash of crazy in the middle of the fair. ...Putting his creepy flesh-mask on his face.

Third, while one might presume that the rarely-seen Surgens are male, we don't know that. It's altogether likely that they're of mixed gender, since they are not in the public eye, and are probably hired for their expertise and ability. They, assumedly, do the heavy surgery and the research for new surgeries that GeneCo can sell and exploit.

Heh, I think it was a mostly-joking question, but I wanted to reason out properly why that was, and it gave me an excuse to talk about my favourite movie a bit more.

Testify! (has nudity. And pseudo-lesbianism)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Things That Make Me Happy

My first recurrent post! I thought it would be nice to start out cheerful.

So, this is going to be an ever-changing posted list of things that are making me smile.

List Nombre Une
Sister Claire Contest ~ A contest for the two-year anniversary of this very fun blog that I'm definitely a fan of, and that my little sister has started to like as well. I don't think I'm going to win, but I'm working on a collage of the titular Claire, which is at least entertaining for me.
My new little toys, I think they're called Skelepets. I loves them. <3 They were only like four dollars at Winners. I love the way they feel, they're really smooth and soft, and just so cute~ Also pictured and making me happy, "The $50,000 Stove Handle" by Gordon Pape. I was thrilled to find it in the library, it's always been my favourite book written by Grandad. It's funny, and it's just somehow really nice to see this different perspective of these people I've known all my life, but in a different context and dynamic. I don't know if it would be just as wonderful a read to other people, but it's funny and I enjoy it on several levels.
Ornament Coke! I don't know if it's a new thing or what, but I've never seen them before, and I just love them. They're cute~! All round and full of delicious caffeine.

This picture of Serena Williams Eee! I just can't get over this picture, it is PERFECT. I've never been very cognizant of Miss Williams, aware vaguely of her being a very good tennis player. But she has the exact same body type that one of my characters has always had in my head. I've been looking for a good reference picture and this is amazing! Everytime I tried 'muscular women' I've just gotten bodybuilder ladies which are as far from what I envision for my character as Paris Hilton.

The 12 Days of Christmas EEE! I used to watch this movie each and every christmas, multiple times, and would make my little brother watch it as well. Then we lost the VHS tape, when I was...probably ten-ish. So finding this on youtube just makes me so incredibly happy and nostalgic.

A Beginning Post

 Hello all!

This is my beginning post of this blog. I’m hopefully going to be talking about a lot of different things, especially as I become a fan of more and more feminist/issue-based blogs. I’m always happy to run my mouth off about things I think are important, and comment on issues that are on my mind. I’m likely going to share a bit about my current story I’m working on, because the more I think about and change my characters, the better. (I’m currently more focused on them then my story, because I’m intent on making them real characters.) I might share when I contact MPs/MPPs about issues as well, because that’s always a bit of fun.

I’m Kendra, by the way, I’m eighteen, a first-year student at Brock, living off campus in St. Catharines, Ontario. I’m cisgendered, bisexual, white, able-bodied, overweight, and I can’t think of anymore labels to stick on myself at the moment. I want to write novels, and whatever I’ll do for money until I can live off book-writing is still kind of up in the air.

I am more than open to critique, and will likely be doing a bit of my own, and commenters are welcome to disagree with anything I say. I just ask that commenters not use hurtful slurs, or hurtful images.
I’m hoping that this can develop into a blog with all sorts of things posted, and be a fun thing to work on. :]

Thank you to my friend Emily for telling me I oughta write a blog. (Maybe I’ll spout off less things that are making angry/outraged in the news to you with this to post in instead.)

The name comes from how, since a young age, I’ve always loved popcorn. Not just the taste, but the smell, and the sound it makes when it pops, kernel by kernel. So, this blog is named to provoke the thought of that sound of kernels bursting into delicious fluffy goodness.

So, in conclusion, welcome to Popcorn Patter!