Montreal Simon: The Montreal Massacre and the Con War on Women

And now it has been twenty five years, since that that snowy day in Montreal, when a man with a gun stole the lives of so many young women.

And this year that sad anniversary has never seemed so poignant and painful, with all the stories in the news about the never-ending violence against women.

As if we had learned nothing, as if they had died for nothing.

As if we had forgotten that it was that same bestial, senseless, cowardly hatred that drove their killer to unleash his murderous violence upon them…
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A. Picazo: In The Fight Against Sex Crimes, We’re All In This Together

This op-ed appeared in The Ottawa Citizen on November 12, 2014  Late last week, amid the growing scandal surrounding Jian Ghomeshi, buried under the reprehensible politicking and partisan bickering over the handling of sexual misconduct allegations on Parliament Hill, was a remarkable moment of bravery and candour from well-known political commentator and former Parliament Hill staffer Ian Capstick. A … Continue reading

Montreal Simon: Violence Against Women: Why We All Need to Look in the Mirror

I'm ashamed to admit that when the stories about the ghastly harassment of women in this country began to emerge, first at the CBC and then on Parliament Hill, I was shocked and horrified.

But because I'm a gay guy, and I've never harassed anyone let alone a woman, and sex for me means love not violence, the idiot thought entered my mind that it wasn't my problem.

So don't don't blame me eh?

But as the trickle of horror stories became a flood. 

And gave birth to this magnificent movement. 

I rapidly realized how wrong I was. It is my problem. (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Scandal on the Hill and the Old Boy’s Club

As if Stephen Harper hadn't degraded the image of our Parliament enough. 

Reduced it to a fascist circus where the Big Lie rules, and shame goes to die.

Mocked it, muzzled it, or just crapped on it like a monstrous alien monkey from outer space. 

Now we find out it's also a place where power corrupts even basic human decency. A boozy place stuck in the past, where young women are routinely harassed. 

And considering all of the above, I have to say I found what Tom Mulcair had to say today extremely disappointing. 
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The Canadian Progressive: In Canada, gender inequality has persisted or worsened: study

A new study says gender inequality in Canada has persisted or worsened in critical areas such as violence against women, women’s economic security, and the human rights of Aboriginal women and girls.

The post In Canada, gender inequality has persisted or worsened: study appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Dented Blue Mercedes: BDSM, Gender, Entitlement, and Jian Ghomeshi

Whether anybody wanted the conversation right now or not, it’s become time to have a conversation about BDSM, gender and entitlement.

Over a week ago, Jian Ghomeshi, the then-popular then- CBC commentator, appeared to be coming out of the closet about engaging in what he referred to as “rough sex (forms of BDSM),” and claiming to be fired because of workplace discrimination.  The post read as sincere and from the heart (and badly timed because of his father’s passing), so we wanted to believe him.  For anyone who cares about sex and gender minorities, there was a temptation (Read more…)

bastard.logic: RIP Father Raymond Gravel, Progressive Catholic Priest

Father Raymond Gravel

Sad news via CBC News:

“Father Raymond Gravel, a well-known Catholic priest, an advocate for Quebec sovereignty and a social activist, has died.

[...]

“He served one term as the Bloc Québécois MP for Repentigny, before he was ordered by church authorities to choose between his priesthood or politics and returned to the pulpit.

“He was a progressive force in the Catholic Church and an outspoken supporter of gay and women’s rights.

“At one point Gravel called the Vatican’s opposition to same-sex marriages “discriminatory, hurtful and offensive.”

“Gravel challenged the Catholic Church to adopt a more compassionate (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: On conscience-based medical exemptions

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is currently reviewing its Human Rights Code policy on conscience-based exemptions for medical professionals, and their effect on access to medical services.

This review was sparked by a number of news reports of doctors in Ontario and Alberta refusing to prescribe birth control because of their religious beliefs. In some of those cases, patients were refused in clinics where there was only one doctor on duty.

Concurrently, south of the border, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favour of a corporation’s right to deny medical insurance to its employees when doing (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Rex Murphy: When a Pimp becomes a Pope

Lordy. I swear to Godzilla I didn't think it was possible. I really didn't believe you could be a pimp and a Pope at the same time.

And the resident right-wing demagogue of the CBC's flagship news program.

But Rex Murphy has proved me wrong.

It turns out you can be a ghastly oil pimp, and still publish religious tracts like this one. 
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Montreal Simon: Peter MacKay’s Sad Spiral Into Sexist Idiocy

I've always had trouble trying to figure out Peter Dumbo MacKay's exact place in the Con universe.

He used to strike me as more of a happy idiot, than a hollow eyed member of the Harperite cult.

The kind of guy who would cheerfully borrow a government aircraft to go fishing.

Or borrow the neighbour's dog to try to make Belinda Stronach feel guilty about dumping him…
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Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed.  But the text of the bill has raised questions about its constitutionality.  Sex workers, mainstream media and even many Nordic model proponents and abolitionists agree that it places sex workers in even greater danger than the previous laws did.

But is there also a poison pill within the legislation that could be used to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed.  But the text of the bill has raised questions about its constitutionality.  Sex workers, mainstream media and even many Nordic model proponents and abolitionists agree that it places sex workers in even greater danger than the previous laws did.

But is there also a poison pill within the legislation that could be used to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-36: Conflating sex work with human trafficking

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography.  Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

I also looked at the obvious aspects of C-36 that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists.

There are further discussions as well — more concrete than speculation, but still under the surface of the legislation itself.

Conflating sex work with human trafficking

Anti-prostitution (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-36: Conflating sex work with human trafficking

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography.  Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

I also looked at the obvious aspects of C-36 that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists.

There are further discussions as well — more concrete than speculation, but still under the surface of the legislation itself.

Conflating sex work with human trafficking

Anti-prostitution (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act: an overview

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography somehow.  Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

That is, however, speculative.  The bill itself contains many clearer aspects that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists, as well (though the objections vary).

The Canadian government’s public consultation on sex work — which sex worker advocates felt had been (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act: an overview

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography somehow.  Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

That is, however, speculative.  The bill itself contains many clearer aspects that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists, as well (though the objections vary).

The Canadian government’s public consultation on sex work — which sex worker advocates felt had been (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

One of the concerns that has been raised about Bill C-36 is that “sexual services” is not defined.

Terri Jean Bedford, one of the plaintiffs in the case that overturned the previous anti-prostitution laws, has raised this question a number of times, without receiving an answer.  A professional dominatrix’s job, after all, involves fulfilling a fantasy, and may not include any actual sex acts at all.  Does sex have to happen in order for there to have been a “sexual service?” Where is that line drawn?

It’s because of this vague nature of the terminology that some (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

One of the concerns that has been raised about Bill C-36 is that “sexual services” is not defined.

Terri Jean Bedford, one of the plaintiffs in the case that overturned the previous anti-prostitution laws, has raised this question a number of times, without receiving an answer.  A professional dominatrix’s job, after all, involves fulfilling a fantasy, and may not include any actual sex acts at all.  Does sex have to happen in order for there to have been a “sexual service?” Where is that line drawn?

It’s because of this vague nature of the terminology that some (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work ends Monday March 17th.

The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work closes March 17, 2014.

Although the questions appear to be stacked, it’s important that people who support decriminalization participate.  There’s certainly no shortage of people filling out the forms and calling for new criminalization.  The questionnaire is here, and Maggie’s Toronto provides some advice on answering positively, here.

If you’re still on the fence about whether you support decriminalization, then please consider answering questions 1-5 with the following:

“I decline to answer from my own experience, but instead call upon the Harper Government to make it a priority to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work ends Monday March 17th.

The Department of Justice Public Consultation on sex work closes March 17, 2014.

Although the questions appear to be stacked, it’s important that people who support decriminalization participate.  There’s certainly no shortage of people filling out the forms and calling for new criminalization.  The questionnaire is here, and Maggie’s Toronto provides some advice on answering positively, here.

If you’re still on the fence about whether you support decriminalization, then please consider answering questions 1-5 with the following:

“I decline to answer from my own experience, but instead call upon the Harper Government to make it a priority to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Across the left divide over sex work.

I’m putting on my op-ed hat for this.  The following draws from my own history, but I think it helps provide some insight into the left-wing divide over sex work.  I’m skipping over this very quickly, and I’m sure I’ll probably forget some important distinctions and nuances, so bear with me.

This is two parts in one: a personal experience for context, and then some important distinctions about the divisions among the left and among womens’ rights groups over sex work.

A Personal Experience: A Preface

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Across the left divide over sex work.

I’m putting on my op-ed hat for this.  The following draws from my own history, but I think it helps provide some insight into the left-wing divide over sex work.  I’m skipping over this very quickly, and I’m sure I’ll probably forget some important distinctions and nuances, so bear with me.

This is two parts in one: a personal experience for context, and then some important distinctions about the divisions among the left and among womens’ rights groups over sex work.

A Personal Experience: A Preface

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, Income Splitting, and the Theocon Agenda

Well there's one thing you can always count on when dealing with Stephen Harper's ghastly Cons. 

If you look behind the curtain, sooner or later you will come face to face with their sinister theocratic agenda.

For only that can explain why their flawed income splitting plan is causing such an unholy ruckus. 
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Montreal Simon: The Montreal Massacre and the Con War on Women

In my sadness over the death of Nelson Mandela, and because I'm so tired, I forgot that Friday was the anniversary of a monumental Canadian tragedy.

That on a snowy day in Montreal twenty four years ago, an angry man with a gun stormed through an engineering school and killed fourteen young women. 

Fourteen young women who were killed in Canada’s worst mass shooting were remembered on Friday amid repeated calls for more to be done to eradicate violence against women.
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