Cute Cupids


 

I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I think it’s a pointless Holiday aimed at selling greeting cards, roses and chocolate hearts. I mean, you don’t even get the day off work. Valentine’s Day excludes single people, or worse, gives them false hope that some secret admirer will turn out to be their soul mate instead of just some creepy stalker. But, in the interest of finding the silver lining, I have assembled a collection of adorable babies, dressed as Cupid that can make even the most cynical among us smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But Off


 

I am sick and tired of people starting sentences with things like I hate to say it, but… or I’m not a racist, but… or You know I love women, but…

If you hate to say it, don’t say it. I suspect what you’re really saying when you say things like, “I hate to say I told you so, but” Is “I love to say I told you so” In fact it makes me think you love to say it this much.

 

If you start your sentence with “I’m not a racist, but” it just makes me 100% positive that the next thing to come out of your mouth will be the most racist thing I have ever heard and will make me think that this guy is your new best friend.

When you say, “You know I love women, but” my hands will involuntarily ball up into fists, because I know that the only thing that can follow that lead in is  something that will make me want to punch you in your sexist face. I know that what you are about to say will be the verbal equivalent of this image.

I guess the point I’m trying to make with all of this is, you are not fooling anyone by cloaking your smugness, racism or sexism in a denial followed by the word BUT.

The good old days


The other night, I was really looking forward to watching a movie I remembered very fondly as being one of my favourites from my teen years, Little Darlings. I remember watching this movie multiple times in the theatre and just loving it. So I settled in and started watching. What was I thinking? Were the hormones that coursed through my veins making me insane? This movie was one of the worst pieces of schlock. I couldn’t even sit through the first 30 minutes before turning it off. Then I remembered a truism I had conveniently forgotten. Just because you remember it, doesn’t mean it was good.

People have this annoying habit of looking back in time and only remembering what they liked about an era. For instance, Americans are always hearkening back to the 1950’s as the time when America was perfect. From the fashion, to the music and the cars, the 1950’s were the good old days. I’ll give you the fashion, clothes were beautiful and flattering then, but undergarments, weren’t so cute… or comfortable. Men had to wear suspenders to hold up their black dress socks.

And women were wearing foundation garments like this.

Then there was the music. The beginning of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, so much good music. But the 1950’s were also the decade that gave us novelty songs like How Much is that Doggy in the Window? and Purple People Eater and spoken word songs like What is a Wife? and Big Bad John.

The cars of the 1950’s were some of the most stylish and impressive in the history of cars, the Thunderbird, Cadillac and Chevy’s of that era are considered American classics. But then there’s this.

Sure the 1950’s were a good time in American History if you were a white man. The American dream was within your reach. If you were a woman you had this kind of existence.

If you were black, America looked more like this.

And the above image is a kind example. I could have shown a lynching.

So what is the point of all of this, you ask? When looking back, take off the rose-coloured glasses and understand…

JUST BECAUSE YOU REMEMBER IT DOESN’T MEAN IT WAS GOOD.

Never promise me a rose garden


 

Love songs, poetry and Valentine’s Day cards are all considered romantic ways of wooing a woman. These things might work on girls, but women want more. Well, actually, women want less. Less crap. We all know that when you say, you’d climb the highest mountain, or swim the deepest sea, just for one touch of our hand that it’s a line of crap. Those types of sweet nothings mean just that to a woman… nothing.

If you really want to impress us, instead of promising to cross a desert why not promise to leave the toilet seat down? Instead of saying you’d walk 500 miles for us, how about picking up your dirty clothes off the floor and putting the in the hamper… or (gasp) actually washing them yourself? You tell me that you’ll give me the moon, when all I really want is for you to listen to me.

Men spend a lot of time working on their “game” in order to get a woman. And women, I’m not cutting you any slack here either… you’ll believe anything as long as it’s what you want to hear at the time, then wonder why your relationship isn’t what you want it to be. I have news for you. Once the wooing is over, real life begins and no amount of roses will make up for the fact that the dishes need to be done.

For you married couples out there who wrote their own vows years ago, don’t you wish that instead of promising each other a lifetime of eternal love, you’d promised to always put the cap back on the toothpaste,  promised to share the carpool duties equally or promised never to go into more debt than you can realistically handle? I know that these things may not seem like romance, but in the long run they mean so much more.

Romance is for teenagers who are too naive to know better, but when we reach adulthood, romance becomes outdated and impractical. If we entered into our relationships with even half the amount of thought that we entered into choosing what car to drive, we’d all be having much longer relationships.

So don’t tell me how much you love to cuddle, tell me that you know how to fix the plumbing… now that’s romantic!

 

The anti Bucket List


Like a lot of people I have a Bucket List of things I’d like to do before I kick the bucket. Most of the items on this list are travel oriented, like going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, attending the Cannabis Cup, visiting New Zealand or buying an apartment in the south of France to spend winters in.

I also have another list. A list of things I have tried, but will (likely) never try again. I call this my Suck It list, because these things can suck it.

MY SUCK IT LIST

Religion

Skiing (both snow and water)

Skating (both Ice and Roller)

Camping

Living in the United States

Marriage

Being a mistress

Anal sex (unless I’m on the giving end)

Lesbianism (not that there’s anything wrong with it, just not for me)

Submission

Watching Piers Morgan

Dropping acid

Doing extacy

Snorting cocaine

Horse back riding

Listening to Katy Perry ‘sing’ (same goes for Britney Spears, Justin Beiber and Beyonce)

Watching a Kardashian do anything (or not do anything)

Visit the Dominican Republic

Go on a cruise

Visit Venice (I can still smell it)

Visit Manhattan (also still smelling it)

Getting drunk on tequila

Date a much younger guy

Eat venison

Babysitting

And the list goes on from here. I’m betting that most people have their own Suck It list. What’s on yours?

** Note to self. Add Guys who respond to list with “Why isn’t my dick on it?” to list.

The Love Delusion


I grew up in the Disney era when little girls were taught that, if we were good little girls, someday, our prince would come and rescue us. All the movies of my childhood preached the idea that girls needed a handsome prince to give them a happily ever after. My grandmother used to tell me, “It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man” over and over again. All this preaching didn’t sink in, however. I was a rebel and the feminist movement was the female voice that was speaking directly to me. I had a long string of relationships with men who were not only, not rich by any means, but not ambitious either. I was the bread winner and the caretaker until I realized I wasn’t getting anything out of the situation, lost all respect for my partner and eventually moved on. I have become the man I want to marry and I never wanted children, so marriage has now become a moot point for me. I firmly believe that marriage is for people who are planning on raising children. But lately I’ve been thinking about the message that society has been sending women about love and marriage.

As I mentioned, the Disney movies of our youth told us to wait for that handsome prince to rescue us. From what? From getting a job, standing on our own two feet and realizing that we are strong enough to take care of ourselves?

I guess there’s a shortage of princes and rich men now because it seems lately the romantic movies are preaching to successful women that we should go for the sweet poor guy rather than the rich guy who’s married to his career. Movies like Sweet Home Alabama, Letters to Juliet, and Leap Year illustrate this message. Of course the message is wrapped in the delusion that it’s only the sweet poor guy who could ever REALLY love you. Don’t rich men have feelings too? Apparently, if we are successful women, we can’t have a successful man because that would throw the earth off it’s axis or something. The movies of today are also telling men that they are spending way too much time working, money is not what’s important and they should be home with their families more. Movies like Liar, Liar and Click illustrate this point.

My question is, if no one is working, who is earning the living that’s needed to raise a family? Kids are expensive. So then we get back to the women should marry rich message again, but that’s bad. If you do that then you’re a gold digger, which is the societal equivalent of being a whore, which is also bad. After all marriage is supposed to be about love, pure love, true love. Scientists have found that this thing we call love is simply a chemical reaction in the brain caused by hormones and neurotransmitters… romantic huh? Maybe my grandmother had it right all along… it is just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man, when you look at love in terms of hormones and neurotransmitters.

Let’s go back to the gold digger label for a moment. It used to be that women sought out a good provider to mate with so that their children would be well taken care of. These women weren’t called gold diggers, they were called smart. Now that so many women are a success in their own right, they are looked down upon for seeking out a good provider. In my opinion, gold diggers are getting a bad rap. In the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe has a great little speech where she defends herself against the accusation of being a gold digger. “Don’t you know, that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but, my goodness, doesn’t it help? And if you had a daughter, wouldn’t you rather she didn’t marry a poor man? You’d want her to have the most wonderful things in the world and to be very happy. Well, why is it wrong for me to want those things?”

So, which is it? Do we marry for love, marry for money, make our own money and marry for love, marry for money then force our hard working husband to spend less time working or just say to hell with it all and try to find happiness no matter what it looks like?

Maybe the news should follow the news


On January 13, Reuters reported on a story about Sarah Ferguson and there being no possibility of her being extradited  to Turkey to face criminal charges there. Two days later, ABC news is reporting that the Duchess of York is afraid to travel because she may be extradited to Turkey. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/world-22186928/fergie-s-fight-27891717.html

Which story is correct? Somehow, I think it’s Reuters. Their story mentions only facts and quotes and not how the Duchess is “feeling”.

Now on to the story itself. I applaud Sarah Ferguson for exposing the horrible conditions in Turkish orphanages. I’m less impressed that she apologized to Turkey for the “embarrassment the documentary might have caused Turkey”. As far as I’m concerned, Turkey should be embarrassed, so much so, that they improve the way these orphans are being “cared for”.  As Turkey is bidding to enter the EU, they should be trying to improve all aspects of life in their country, not just the financial ones. Turkey has accused Sarah Ferguson of smearing their image. It’s not Sarah Ferguson smearing Turkey’s image… it’s Turkey.

Pot calling kettle


 

 

 

On January 3, Iran summoned Canada’s envoy to Tehran to protest Canada’s “blatant violation of human rights.”, just days before our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper fired back with this bon mot, “Iran is the world’s most serious threat to international peace.”

This is not the first time Iran has held Canada up as being in severe and consistent violation of human rights. In September of 2007, they distributed an entire booklet detailing Canadian human rights violations. Some of the accusations in that 70 page booklet were, that Ottawa denies Canadians everything from clean water, the right to food and the right to work. Yes these charges were laid against CANADA!?

It seems that Iran has decided to make Canada a target every time the United Nations Human Rights Council is about to convene in order to take attention away from blatant and heinous violations of human rights in their own country.

The question I ask myself, is why Canada? Yes we hold ourselves up as a standard-bearer of human rights, but we, admittedly, are still a work in progress. We also hold ourselves up to scrutiny from the United Nations because we feel we have nothing to hide and actually want violations to be pointed out to us so we can correct them. I assume the reason to slam Canada is to point out hypocrisy in our stance and therefore make the point that human rights violations occur everywhere so why is Iran singled out and berated for this so-called crime? There’s another answer to the why Canada question. Oil. We are also an oil selling nation and, therefore, competition.

Back in 2007, there were several other countries that sided with Iran and their booklet. Predictably, they were countries who were also some of the world’s worst violators.

This begs another question. Why is it that every country in the world is not striving to make sure that all human beings are granted basic human rights? Morally, this seems to be an obvious thing to do. Is it greed? (that’s very likely a big part of it) Is it fear? (fear of allowing the oppressed freedom, then having to face retribution from them) Is it religion? (or is that just the excuse they cloak the greed and fear in?)

In my opinion it’s the simple belief that the rich cannot exist without the poor. But must the poor need to suffer beating, rape, torture and humiliation so that the rich can be rich? The answer is a resounding NO. Rich and poor are relative terms. Just how poor do the poor have to be in order to make a rich man feel rich?

Canada is considered a medium income inequality country. We have the lowest income inequality in that category. (though the gap is growing) Canada is a country that still has a middle class. A country where the average person without a university education can still make a comfortable living and have a good quality of life. Yes, we have poor people, but as a socialist country, we have a huge amount of programs in place to help with housing, food and employment. We are also a country that provides welfare for those who need it. Are we a perfect country, no, that doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to improve.

So instead of bashing Canada on the world stage, perhaps Iran should focus on improving its own reputation.

Are we married or aren’t we?


 

 

 

 

Yesterday the news that gay marriages performed in Canada to couples who don’t live here may not be valid, swept the internet news sites and the blogosphere alike. As a Canadian and a supporter of gay marriage, the news made me a little sick to my stomach. This was the first article I saw on the story. In the last paragraph, the article quotes family law attorney Andrew Feldstein, of Toronto, as saying, “Where the Harper government should have approached this is: you are not a resident of Canada, you are not a taxpayer in Canada, why should we be using the court’s time, money, resources, taxpayers dollars for people who don’t live in Canada?”

My response to this comment is, it’s not taxpayers who pay for divorce proceedings, it’s the couple in question. Is Canada now so allergic to money that we will decline it just because it comes from another country… or is this a gay issue? Is gay money somehow not worth as much as straight money? And what about all the tourist dollars we get from the gay couples from all over the world who come here to get married, some with an entire wedding party in tow? Are we, as a country really in a position, in this economy to turn away revenue? I am purposefully responding to this topic from a financial view-point because that’s the only thing that lawyers and politicians seem to respect and understand. Financially, this just doesn’t make sense.

What about Canada’s reputation as a tolerant country? We are a country that famously touts our multicultural  status as something to be proud of… and it is. We are ahead of the curve when it comes to Human Rights… but Gay Rights ARE Human Rights.

One month ago, almost to the day, former Prime Minister, Jean Chretien posted a letter to the Liberal party website. In it he said, “The Conservatives already ended gun control and Kyoto. Next may be a woman’s right to choose, or gay marriage. Then might come capital punishment. And one by one, the values we cherish as Canadians will be gone.” Did he know something the rest of us didn’t? Of course the liberals are jumping all over this hot button issue. Interim liberal leader Bob Rae was quoted as saying. “It’s quite clear that we have enabled and allowed people to come to Canada to marry in Montreal, in Toronto and everywhere in the country. People came from the U.S. and elsewhere and that means very clearly they have the right to marry and have the right to divorce,” and he’s right.

Just one day later, the Federal Government has decided to change the law.

“We want to make it very clear that in our government’s view, these marriages should be valid,” a senior government official said on Friday. “That’s why we will change the Civil Marriage Act so that any marriages performed in Canada that aren’t recognized in the couple’s home jurisdiction will be recognized in Canada.”

This is fantastic news and I’m sure it will be implemented quickly so as to nip this scandal in the bud.

I must admit I’m a little confused by something. Using the United States as an example, what about gay couples who marry in Vermont, but live in Florida? Their marriage isn’t recognized in the state they live in, so if one partner is in the hospital, for example, the other isn’t considered a family member, regardless of the marriage licence issued by Vermont. If this hypothetical couple wants to divorce, doesn’t the same problem rear its ugly head? Are they only married in Vermont and the other 5 states that allow gay marriage, but not married in the other 44 states that don’t?

It’s questions like these that I hope the GLBTQIA community south of the border is asking itself. I sincerely hope that this issue spurs more activism in the United States and around the world.

 

My favourite feminists


Last night I finally watched the HBO documentary, Gloria, In Her Own Words for the first time. It was informative, funny, touching and inspiring and it set me to thinking about feminism and who were some of the women who helped shape my view of it.

I know we owe a great debt to, what is now termed the first wave of feminism. Women like Abigail Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Astell, Catharine Beecher, Fredrika Bremer and Simone de Beauvoir. However, just like in my last post about atheists, I wanted to keep my choices contained to women who are still alive and contributing to the conversation.

GLORIA STEINEM

“If you say, I’m for equal pay, that’s a reform. But if you say. I’m a feminist, that’s a transformation of society.”

A woman who’s name is synonymous with the word feminist. Ms. Steinem is the co-founder of MS. Magazine as well as a key player in feminism’s second wave, starting in the 1960’s. As a journalist and activist, Ms. Steinem  has helped to change the way North American women are treated in society. She continues to fight for women’s rights worldwide to this day. In her words, it all starts with an outrageous act.

ANGELA DAVIS

“To understand how any society functions you must understand the relationship between the men and the women.”

While she may be primarily known for her work in the civil rights movement, make no mistake about it, Angela Davis was, is and always will be a feminist. She was the first woman to run for Vice president of the United States, in 1980 and again in 1984 (on the communist party USA ticket). Ms. Davis is the former director of the feminist studies department at the University Of California, Santa Cruz. Her tireless efforts for the cause of human rights in all forms shows no signs of slowing down. Here she is talking with another pioneer of the civil rights movement, Yuri Kochiyama.

GERMAINE GREER

“All societies on the verge of death are masculine. A society can survive with only one man; no society will survive a shortage of women.”

Australian author of the Female Eunich, Germaine Greer is widely regarded as one of the most significant voices of feminism’s second wave. She is a self described anarchist and wonderfully opinionated feminist as you will see in the two clips below. I’ve included a clip from 1971 and one from 2010 where she is being interviewed by two different men in order to illustrate just how much male hostility still lingers. Both interviewers employ various tactics in order to belittle her and her ideas.

CAMILLE PAGLIA 

“If you live in rock and roll, as I do, you see the reality of sex, of male lust and women being aroused by male lust. It attracts women. It doesn’t repel them.”

Her brand of feminism started as a backlash to what she was seeing as a puritanical viewpoint. Ms. Paglia is a self professed sex positive feminist. A feminist who believes that women need not blame men, but take responsibility for their own lot in life and depend on themselves to better it. As an author,teacher and social critic, Ms. Paglia’s feminist view was a kick in the proverbial pants to what feminism was becoming at the time. Always controversial, Camille Paglia never fails to tell it like it is.

These are some of the women who’s ideas about what it means it be a feminist helped me come to my own understanding of the word and the movement. It’s because of these women that I realize just how important it is to keep feminism moving forward into generations to come. With that in mind, I encourage young women to get involved in Women’s Rights, because that’s what feminism is, making sure women worldwide have the same rights as men.

If you are looking for a role model that you can relate to, may I suggest this next young woman.

REBECCA WALKER

“One may be nice on the outside but on the inside isnt pretty”

The daughter of Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple), Rebecca Walker is an author and a pioneer in feminism’s Third Wave and has been named by Time magazine as one of the 50 future leaders of America.

I’d like to leave you with a video produced by an organization called The Feminist Majority that I found inspiring. If you want to get involved in the fight for Women’s Rights, their website is a good place to start. http://www.feminist.org/