Thursday, February 22, 2007

Support your own species!

Today in Ottawa, PETA supporters held a protest in front of the Canadian Parliament against seal hunting. Instead of just sending a bunch of animal rights activists armed with big signs and blowhorns, PETA - once again - chose to vindicate the rights of animals by impeding on the dignity of women.

As a matter of fact, PETA activists stripped, and laid in the snow, at minus 15 Celcius, covered in blood-red paint, apparently for an entire hour.

It seems that PETA just don't get the fact that you won't stop cruelty against animals (whether legally hunting a thriving species is indeed cruel and should be banned is a whole different story) unless you first try and stop cruelty against vulnerable individuals of your own species.

Promoting extreme violence against women, especially if you try to brand it as "sexy", is only going to engender more violence and more cruelty.

What I find to be most troubling is that PETA has taken the bad habit of objectiying women, often in an extremely violent and sexually denigrating context, in order to protest about the non-recognition of fundamental/legal rights of animals in North America.

In recent years, PETA produced, among others, this infamous TV spot, in which a women is randomly beaten up by an unknown - male - assailant in the street with a baseball bat, robbed, and left for dead, naked on the asphalt.

I just don't get it. How do they expect women to listen to their message, and join their ranks if all they won't express anything if it's not in a pornographic form?

The reference to pornography is definitely not an exaggeration. Check out these publicities:

While the first one is squarely distasteful, the second one is just purely gratuitous. Seriously, what the point? I mean, litterally, what are they trying to tell us? The message simply doesn't get through. What remains in the back of your mind is just a nagging sense of having been insulted, and harmed in your sense of dignity, supposedly for "a good cause".

I think my right to dignity and respect, as a woman, should be paramount to that of cows, or the right of animal-rights activists to freedom of speech, for that matter...

For more information: "PETA - Where only women are treated like meat".

Victory! At last!

Telus Mobility has cancelled its pornography download services, due to public pressure.

Apparently, they're being sued for breach of contract. Well, good for them... In fact, losing money to hungry litigators will probably be good for both Telus and the perverts who miss watching porn on the bus on their way to work, or in the waiting area at the hospital...

Sadly, it's obvious that the only reason why Telus chickened out was the financial threat of losing its clients, instead of basic consideration for human dignity and gender equality.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Quote of the Day

"We shall overcome."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


I came across a trailer for an upcoming film titled "Amazing Grace", about the struggle in England to emancipate the African slaves as persons, and prohibit the slave trade.

At some point in the film, a character reminds his audience that the Bible provides that "all men are created equal".

That statement is still shockingly true today. The civil rights movement, be it in the US, Canada, or in the UK, has only achieved equality between White men, and "Coloured" men. Equality between all men and all women has yet to be achieved...

So, how about a film about the "Persons" Case?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A woman's dignity? Now worth 3$, according to Telus

I've always loved the Telus campaigns, with the cute little critters doing cute stuff, like the bunny rabbits watching football, or the little tree frogs falling in love. Though devoid of any marketing knowledge, I had figured that all that cuteness and mushiness was mainly directed at young, female customers (because, ya know, as women, we're just so, like, into feelings and stuff, right?).

It's all over now.

Move over bunny rabbits. Porn is now available on a cellphone near you.

Apparently, Telus is willing to trash its goody-good corporate image, its slogan "The future is friendly", and its aspirations to become "Canada's best corporate citizen", in order to make more profit at the expense of the vulnerable.

Since recently, Telus Mobility is offering its customers the opportunity to download porn (images and videos) on their cellphones. Talk about a genuine interest in promoting community values. Now any self-loathing pervert in Canada who has a subscription to Telus can objectify women - and possibly children, who knows? - for 3 to 4 bucks a shot.

After all, cellphones are *so* private. It's not as if the little third-graders on a field trip to the City Zoo sitting next to the bloke on the bus will not be able to catch a glimpse of it. It's not as if little Jimmy won't be able to steal Daddy's phone to learn how to interact with women.

Enough said.

If you are utterly disgusted by this new "service" and the hypocrisy Telus Mobility has demonstrated in downplaying the gravity of the effects of pornography on vulnerable groups such as women and children, and concurrently pretending to care about the well-being of the Canadian society, here are a few suggestions of things you can do:

- Boycott Telus;
- If you already have a subscription with Telus, don't renew it, and tell them why you're dumping them;

In any case, write to Telus to disapprove of this move:

President's Office
Telus Mobility
200, Consilium Place
Scarborough, Ontario
M1H 3J3

or email them at:

The Ethics Line can also be reached by phone at: 1-888-265-4112.

Should you write to Telus, CC your letter to the folks at the CRTC:

Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission
Ottawa (Head Office)
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N2

For more information:

Justice is a Woman with a Sword

Somewhere in Canada, 2007...

In this day and age, in beautiful, vast and allegedly progressive North America, we are still living in a world where women are treated as second-class citizens, undeserving of the same protection and respect that men enjoy.

The word "spinster" conveys a pejorative connotation, while "bachelor" does not.

Men are allowed to deduct men's clubs membership fees from their income as "business expenses", while single, successful career women cannot do the same with respect to child-care expenses.

Gender-based violence directed against women is still rampant and understated, both by society at large, the governments and the judicial system. Some people, including other women, and including members of the judiciary, still believe that there are such principles as tacit, implied or prior consent to sexual activity, which would allow a man, for example, to fondle his sleeping/drunken/passed-out wife to his heart's content.

As a woman, as a person with a legal education, as a citizen, and as a human person deserving of equal rights to respect, dignity and autonomy, I am sick of this world, and I want to change it.

The battle for women's rights is far from over. It still requires to be fought on every front, at every moment, by every woman or man.

I decided to start this blog in the hope of inciting other people to join this fight, to engage in concrete actions at the individual level, and more generally, to discuss social, political and legal issues pertaining to women's rights.

Justice is often allegorically portrayed as a blindfolded woman, wielding a sword, and holding a balance in the other, D.A. Clarke reminds us. This allegorical figure is not weak or feebleminded. She is wise and strong, capable of careful reasoning and of bold action.

It just made sense to me to use this figure as the inspiration for the name of this blog. In order to reach the fundamental goals of equality, dignity and justice for all women, I think it's sometimes necessary to arm ourselves, and not be afraid to fight for our most basic rights.