Six organizations support Harper's anti-choice initiative, chastise choice activists

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Michelle

I must also add my voice about Nancy Ruth.  She may be a Conservative, but she is not in the least anti-choice.  She was a formidible pro-choice activist back in the day and she still is.  In fact, she just matched $7,500 in funds for the Canadians for Choice Norma Scarborough Fund, which helps women in communities where there is no access to abortion to pay to travel somewhere that they can access it.

I don't agree with her strategy, and I don't like the Conservative party, but she's no anti-choice Conservative, and I don't believe for a moment that she was making a threat with that statement.  I think she said it out of concern for what might happen, not as a threat that she's going to help make it happen.  In other words, she doesn't WANT that to happen.

Pro-choice women need to organize everywhere, not just on the left.  That's why the battle to strike down the abortion law succeeded in the 80's.  It wouldn't have, without a broad cross-partisan movement.

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

I must also add my voice about Nancy Ruth.  She may be a Conservative, but she is not in the least anti-choice.

Who said she was anti-choice?

What straw man is being slain here?

Why can't we talk about whether "shut the f*** up" is appropriate advice to give to NGOs who are concerned about Harper's conditions on aid?

Why does this have to be about her, and why should N.Beltov or anyone else mitigate their criticism because she gives money to women in need - or for any other reason relating to her personal life?

I am painfully reminded of some other recent threads where another politician publicly condemned certain activists - and those who questioned her actions were promptly demonized (especially by Dr. Canine or some such name, can't recall exactly) because the politician in question was such a wonderful progressive person, second only to (if memory serves) Mother Teresa in virtue and honour.

 

Michelle

I didn't "demonize" anyone.  N. Beltov said that Nancy Ruth should be "publicly exposed" and "denounced" and claimed that she was threatening pro-choicers if they didn't toe the Conservative anti-choice line.

I disagreed with that, and said that there's no doubt that she's pro-choice and that I don't think she would threaten pro-choice activists or support anti-choice Conservatives on this issue.

Nobody's stopping you from talking about anything, Unionist, and no one is demonizing you or anyone else.  I am simply offering my contribution to the discussion as well.  Is that okay with you?

Unionist

Geez, Michelle, chill out please. I'll say it one more time. If someone tells activists to "shut the fuck up, otherwise the bad guys will get mad and things will get worse", that person's actions should indeed be denounced from the rooftops - no matter who that person is or what they have done - unless, of course, they say: "Oh, sorry, never meant that, I misspoke, you misunderstood, I think people should indeed fight back".

And I never accused you of demonizing me or anyone. My comparison was simply this: Being an all-round wonderful activist and noble historical figure does not give you a pass to tell activists to shut up. Ruth did that, and so did the other character whom I won't name.

Yes, Michelle, we've already had this same discussion in a different context. [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/central-canada/cheri-di-novo-self-destructs#... said about that other person[/url] who condemned pro-Palestinian activists and refused to apologize:

Quote:
Does that make her the enemy now?  On everything?

I replied:

Quote:
This is pretty basic stuff, and when it becomes most crucial to take a stand is when the individual who is suppressing the progressive movement has such a wonderful reputation. Because they do the greatest damage to the movement and to democracy - not the "REAL" enemies. The "REAL" enemies are out there where we can see them.

I asked you if Bev Desjarlais should be written off because of her position on just one issue.

You said:

Quote:
Unionist, I'll come back to this later - I don't have the energy right now for a long response, and I'm still thinking. :)

Now we're up against the same problem again.

Michelle

Yeah, and once again I don't have the energy.  I'm finding I have less and less energy for this sort of thing. 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

from Michelle's link, above:

Quote:
One international aid advocate, Lydia Alpizar Duran, from the Association of Women's Rights in Development, vowed that Canadian women would have help from other countries if they want to start making noise here.

"I don't remember any women's rights ever gained by staying silent," she said.

 

skdadl

I think there's a major difference between what Di Novo did and Nancy Ruth's statement yesterday. Di Novo took a position on an issue -- actually, if you add in those Facebook exchanges, she took positions of substance on several issues. Speaking only for myself, I'd have to disagree with every position of substance she took, and I'd observe moreover that during the Facebook exchange she was expressing open hostility to some left activists, notably feminists (and on that score she was factually wrong).

 

Nancy Ruth spoke of nothing except tactics, and she wasn't expressing hostility to the activists she spoke to. We know she's a rock on all women's and LGBT issues -- except yes, I agree that tactics are never entirely divorced from convictions or substance. For most feminists, backing down from a bully is more than a questionable tactic; it's a real issue. If that's how we interpret her warning, then yes, I disagree with her.

 

But maybe that's not exactly how she was thinking of her warning. She's an insider; as she said, she sits in caucus and she knows what Steve might be prepared to do. That doesn't really make a difference to me -- it's no newsflash to me that Harper is pissy and vengeful. She seems to have thought, though, that it was worth signalling to us that things are worse than we think. I still don't see why that should shut us up, but I'm glad public attention has been caught. For once, it's not just committed lefties and feminists who are wandering around wondering "What did she mean? What can it mean?"

writer writer's picture

"When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak." — Audre Lorde

writer writer's picture

So the Liberals want to treat this crisis (that they helped to create) as a fundraising opportunity for themselves:

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/liberals-ho... hope to profit from Tory profanity on abortion[/url]

remind remind's picture

Apparently, the Liberal opposition party did not realize  either, it was they, in part, who the charities allege they were targeting with their "shut up and stop being divisive" complying to bullying commentary.

Funny...how the only ones who "knew" that that is what they were doing were the charities, after the fact of course though.

Really, there is many facets, I believe to Harper doing this shit. At this point in time.

 

~

Thanks unionist

writer writer's picture

[url=http://transformingpower.ca/en/blog/its-not-first-time-feminists-have-be...'s not the first time feminists have been told to "shut the fuck up." If we had listened women would still be in the kitchen[/url]

"Some women in this discussion express a fear that abortion could become an election issue.  Harper knows as well as I do that the vast majority of Canadians are pro-choice.  If abortion is an election issue, he will lose the election.  So to that I say, bring it on." — Judy Rebick

 

Well if the honeys think I'm stuck up, I tell them shut the fuck up

"... since coming to work at Oxfam, I've discovered that he did this entirely without consultation with groups who are providing these services. And that the status quo about funding for abortion/contraception was basically don't-ask-don't-tell, which is apologist bullshit for sure, but it was also the best we were going to get with this government. It was an issue that was off of the radar. What Ignatieff did was shine a spotlight on this stuff and put a lot of groups funding in jeopardy. Which literally puts the lives of majority world women in jeopardy." — Audra Williams

writer writer's picture
writer writer's picture

Susan Delacourt confirms Liberals' inept opportunism:

[url=http://thestar.blogs.com/politics/2010/05/shutting-up-or-not.html]Shutting up — or not[/url]: And one more note about shutting up -- the Liberals' status of women critic, Anita Neville, was initially quite charitable about Senator Ruth's intervention at the aid-experts' meeting yesterday. She was in the room and prefaced her remarks about her fondness for Nancy Ruth. But by late in the day, Neville was quoted in a Liberal news release condemning the "bullying."  Why the change of heart? I'm discouraged to report that it's because the Liberals saw a chance to score some points, even if it meant twisting Neville's more nuanced understanding of what happened yesterday.

Michelle

Excellent - thanks for posting!

Unionist

The most disturbing part (IMHO) of Ruth's comments are not the "profanity", but rather this portion from the [url=http://media.thestar.topscms.com/audio/b6/d6/9b36437f457c9859618858cf233... clip in the Star story[/url] originally quoted by Michelle:

Senator Nancy Ruth wrote:
This is now a political football. This is not about women's health in this country. And Madame's comments about the Conservative agenda that can be taken up in other worlds - that may be so - but that's not where Canada is. Canada is still a country with free and accessible abortion. Leave it there. Don't make it an election issue.

 

writer writer's picture

Yeah, as I stated way up in this thread, I can't support the notion that we should hush up because it only affects incredibly poor women in other countries. Unless someone participating in this thread states otherwise, I'm assuming anyone who is pro-choice and posting here would agree. This is bad politics. And plain old bad, morally. Here's another good link:

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/ottawa-to-refuse-abortion-funding-no... to refuse abortion funding? Not in my name[/url] — Judith Timson

 

remind remind's picture

Quite the article by Ms Stronach, where is a puking icon when you need one?

 

"the gift of generations" my ass....WTF!

Unionist

Ms. Stronach has smelled the coffee. Watch for her to cross the floor again.

 

writer writer's picture

Astonishingly wealthy people have so much to say about us regular folk shutting up when it comes to the fate of the extremely poor. Only millionaires can truly understand the plight of the impoverished, it seems.

It's true. I haven't flown to Africa and held a malaria net in my own manicured hands on that soil. In fact, I haven't flown anywhere for a long time. Nor have I ever had a manicure.

ceti ceti's picture

Even beyond the actual issue, their position is reprehensible in that it gives cover to thuggery and political intimidation on the part of the government. Indeed, the fact they probably knowingly do this for financial gain and to keep on the right side of this government, shows them to be opportunistic enablers of quasi-fascist behaviour on the part of the government. STFU indeed -- I mean if that's a warning to keep quiet, keep your head down, don't cause trouble, then it reveals all we need to know and already know about where this government is heading and the character of those enabling this goosestep march to authoritarianism.

Unionist

Yeah, writer, I was kind of thinking that $7500 to Nancy Ruth (Jackman) must be sort of like $7.50 to you and me.

But I don't hold people's family fortunes against them, as long as they take good stands on issues of principle at the right time and place. Today - at this moment in time - and in this country of ours - anyone who suggests that Harper is doing a good thing for the women of the world, and we mustn't fuck it up for fear of ruining the good thing we've got going in Canada, has to be questioned - from the rooftops, as N.Beltov so graphically suggested.

 

pogge

Belinda Stronach was [url=http://www.pogge.ca/archives/000344.shtml]instrumental in "uniting the right"[/url]* to create what we now know as the Conservative Party of Canada. I'm still waiting for a public apology. Until that happens perhaps she could take her own advice.

 

* That was my first ever blog post. I knew it would come in handy one day.

writer writer's picture

Laugh? Cry? Laugh? Cry? I don't know. It's so hard to choose!

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2010/05/04/ottawa-match-internatio...'s aid group loses federal funding[/url]

Unionist

A letter received by Antonia over at [url=http://breadnroses.ca/forum/showthread.php/1432-It-s-quot-The-New-Canadi.... Nice exposure of Senator Ruth's privilege and complacency:

Quote:
Dear Senator Ruth,

In light of your recent comments, I submit to you that the time to shut the f- ck up is not now.

The time to shut the f- ck up is when no woman, anywhere in the world, has to face the likelihood of bleeding to death because of a botched illegal abortion.

The time to shut the f- ck up is when no woman, anywhere in the world, will be forced to bear a child that was forced on her.

The time to shut the f- ck up is when women everywhere in the world are freely able to choose what they do with their lives, including how many children they have and when they have them.

The time to shut the f- ck up is when women everywhere in the world can enjoy the resources and the liberties that a very few privileged women in some parts of the world enjoy.

The time to shut the f- ck up is when men everywhere in the world are able to break the chains of their gender roles and acknowledge what they owe to women's movements.

The time to shut the f- ck up is when we can look into our cultures and see everywhere mirrored back at us the faces of women who are strong, happy, proud, and powerful, not battered, missing or in trouble.

The time to shut the f- ck up is when women anywhere in the world who manage to obtain a little power no longer feel that they have to behave just like the corrupt, abusive, bullying men who are currently in charge of this world.

Obviously, Senator Ruth, you yourself are living proof that it's not time to shut the f- ck up just yet.

Aalya Ahmad, Ph.D.,
Gatineau, QC

quantum

Harper should fire her if that's even possible. Foul mouthed politicians aren't fit to hold office. We need representatives who can muster a degree of civility.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Salty language doesn't bother me so much as the message telling women's groups to 'shut up' on the topic of abortion or risk having funding chopped. Screw civility, I want to see screams of outrage from the Opposition over this matter. I want to see angry protests on the Hill protesting the chopping of womens programs.

quantum

If protestors want to carry on like baboons, thats fine. Our elected representatives though need act in a civil manner.

remind remind's picture

The only ones behaving like baboons as far as I have seen over the last decade, are CONservativ.

writer writer's picture

[url=http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/05/06/13847546.html]3 [Ontario] NDP MPPs protest Harper government's women's health plans[/url]

(... One of the three happens to be the party's leader.)

Let's see more of this. Across the country.

writer writer's picture

[... One of these things looks just like the other, one of these things is just the same ...]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Having read the letter in the OP, I am reminded of Make Poverty History, and any number of lofty goals that are put forward with great fanfare by NGOs and signed into 'statements" by smarmy politicians before being quickly forgotten.

The NGOs that signed the above statement don't tell us what it is these women, and their children, are dying from that takes only dimes. But we know what they are dying from: lack of health care, lack of food, lack of clean water, treatable disease, war, violence, drought, displacement, ecological degradation.

But, in fact, we have the food, the medicine, the doctors, the technology, to house, feed, treat, and give these women and their children lives with dignity. The problem is these women don't have the money to pay for it. In terms of displacement, Colombia sports the largest internally displaced population in the world except, possibly, for Iraq. And that displacement is caused, in part, by Canadian mining companies and other global corporations supported by a murderous regime the Harperites, and the Liberals, wish to reward with "free trade". In terms of drought, violence, and war, our country not only refuses to act on climate change, the Harperites worked tirelessly to ensure Copenhagen would be a failure.

Harperism is ideologically opposed to assisting the poor and are ideological proponents of the global system of exploitation that uproots people from their homes and rapes their land.

Let us understand clearly why Harper put the issue of women's health on the agenda: The cynical, hateful, small minded fuckers who advise him believed it would be a means for Harper, without much controversy, to garner support among women while actually delivering sweet fuck all. It is nothing more than a cynical political maneuver that backfired because Conservative contempt for women and women's issues just can't be concealed.

The NGOs who wrote that letter, I suspect, did so because they think the money cut from organizations actually devoted to women's health may be directed to padding their administrative accounts if they just nose up to the Harperites and lick their toes.

Disgusting.

 

writer writer's picture

What does get funding under Harper:

Chakam School of the Bible Inc.: $357,146
Wycliffe Bible Translators: $495,600
Spinach Based Cosmetics: $281,586
Horse Canada Magazine: $24,920
4 Wheel Drive Magazine: $21,070
Ontario Golf Magazine: $26,070
Wine Access Magazine: $34,390
Twitter Campaign to promote seal hunt: $50,000—$100,000

http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/05/liberals-circulate-int...

writer writer's picture
mesmer

These AID organisations have turned their backs on their brother and sister aid organisations (organisations that advocate for changes in policy, or organisations that are pro-choice), and may well garner their funding.

While I think that these orgs have a great many people of good will, its possible to see this as a very nasty piece of business.

The current government's strategy of the politics of division strike again.

mesmer

Someone wrote earlier that there was a feeling of a wife speaking to children, telling them to STFP or the husband would come and *really* kick the shit out of them.  The desperate complicity of a mother to an abusive husband.  A dreadful analogy, and it seems terrible that Nancy Ruth has to be the mouthpiece for Harper's politics.  Are all the MPs in Harper's cabinet really so terrified of him?  Can none of them take a principled stance in their own party?

Re, Belinda Stronach et al article on how 'this is our chance to help'.
If you really wanted to help then you wouldn't gut the funding of organisations like KAIROS and Match who have been doing maternal and child health for more than thirty years.  It's absolute nonsense.

writer writer's picture

[url=http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100505/mcteer-abor... accuses Tories of putting women's lives at risk[/url]

I'd really like to know what others think of this: Shut the Fuck Up - The Prequel

Polunatic2

Quote:
Susan Delacourt confirms Liberals' inept opportunism:

And Kady O'Malley from CBC takes it in a whole new direction. 

ATTENTION ANONYMITY-SEEKING LIBERALS: Heed the advice of Adam Smith at your peril.

Quote:
  (Lib fundraising letter) PS. Political donations under $200 annually are reported to Elections Canada anonymously. If Harper's intimidation tactics make it difficult for you to publicly oppose him, you can still show your solidarity with those who don't have that option.

Quote:
(O'Malley) The problem, of course, is that the threshold in question would appear to be $20, not $200 --which means that anyone who takes Adam Smith up on his offer, and sends off a donation of, say, $50, will indeed show up in the party's quarterly report, thereby exposing themselves -- very possibly against their wishes and without their knowledge -- to the very same "intimidation tactics" that the Liberals are so keen to denounce. 

Really, with a friend like that Adam Smith fellow, who needs enemies?

ETA from O'Malley:

Quote:
 UPDATE: Yikes: it turns out that Adam Smith was absolutely right, and I was thoroughly wrong, at least on the mandatory disclosure and publication of donations under $200. I still think using the word "anonymous" is a bit disingenuous, since the party has to know who you are -- the limit for truly anonymous donations is, in fact, $20 -- but your name only has to be reported to Elections Canada once the amount goes over $200. (That's cumulative, by the way, which means that if you made five "anonymous" donations of $50 each throughout the year, they'd all show up in the annual report.) My apologies to the Liberals for getting it wrong!

Polunatic2

Please see update in Post #73 which corrects the record (and some incorrect info I provided). 

contrarianna

Nancy Ruth and "Backlash"

Nancy Ruth, who willingly joined Harper's Conservative Senate Caucas in 2006, is "warning-not-threatening" there will be a "backlash" by her Reformist Government if citizens do not "shut the F*** up". 
Aside from the obvious observation that: "with "feminists" like Ruth, who needs Harper theocons", the use of the word "backlash" is telling.
Ruth's demand for citizens silence from democratic dissent or else her party will flex its power to punish women further (that is the only meaning for "backlash" in this context) is outrageous but certainly not out of character with this government.
Ruth, of course, is not in the position to make  unauthorized "warning" statements on behalf of her party but  she has certainly captured its mentality.

Here is some comment on "backlash" from Wikipedia which seems appropriate:

 

Quote:
Backlash can also refer to 'blaming the victim', which occurs when people in the surrounding environment shift blame, from the criminals, to their victims; and/or, further, blame those victims for subsequent controversies and conflicts....The victim may also be accused of attention-seeking, ... when reporting a crime. Various "old-school" attitudes pressurise victims into either "keeping their mouths shut" about certain crimes, or suffering further consequences..

Edited to Add:

Another "radical" group that must be warned to "Shut the F... Up"

Quote:
Lancet: Tories’ abortion stand ‘hypocritical and unjust’
Published On Fri May 07 2010

OTTAWA—A top British medical journal is chiding the Harper government for refusing to put abortion funding on Canada’s G8 agenda.

An editorial in The Lancet says it’s “hypocritical and unjust” that Canada get in the way of abortions abroad when Canadian women can have them at home.

“This stance must change,” the journal says.

“Seventy thousand women die from unsafe abortions worldwide every year. The Canadian government does not deprive women living in Canada from access to safe abortions; it is therefore hypocritical and unjust that it tries to do so abroad.”...

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/806016--lancet-tories-abortio...

quantum

remind wrote:

The only ones behaving like baboons as far as I have seen over the last decade, are CONservativ.

Two in particular Geurgis and Ruth. Foul language reflects on one's upbringing or lack thereof.

Michelle

No it doesn't.  That's ridiculous.

remind remind's picture

quantum wrote:
remind wrote:
The only ones behaving like baboons as far as I have seen over the last decade, are CONservative.

Two in particular Geurgis and Ruth. Foul language reflects on one's upbringing or lack thereof.

Michelle addressed the nonsensical nature of your "upbringing" comment. But I will address the shitty sexism part of it.

As it is nice and sexist of you to try and indicate such, and ignoring the herds of male CONservative MP's, and the 2 women mentioned come no where near John Baird, Gary Goodyear, Jason Kenney, or even Steven Fletcher.

Nor, Maxime Bernier, or Peter Mackay.

 

The ability of CONservatives to lie to themselves and others amazes me usually, but lately I am more than a bit sick of it

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

In addition to the general ability of politicians to lie, this lying also flows directly from the Straussian ideology shared by Harper and his closest henchmen. Lying is noble. Lying is necessary - especially to ordinary people and "the rabble" - and so on.

I'm not kidding. This is what they believe.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

N.Beltov wrote:

In addition to the general ability of politicians to lie, this lying also flows directly from the Straussian ideology shared by Harper and his closest henchmen. Lying is noble. Lying is necessary - especially to ordinary people and "the rabble" - and so on.

I'm not kidding. This is what they believe.

I've been thinking to myself that conservatism has embraced the role held by the Catholic Church in the dark ages.

quantum

Michelle wrote:

No it doesn't.  That's ridiculous.

What's ridiculous. If children are brought up to be polite and civil and not use foul language in everyday discourse, they are not likely to  become adult potty mouths either.

Michelle

Tell my poor father that.  :D

writer writer's picture
remind remind's picture

bump

Sineed

I hope I'm one of the earlier signatures - not so many thus far.

Unionist

Before this thread closes:

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/810145--abortion-don-t-ask-do... Don't ask, don't tell - Aid groups ‘dare not talk about it' for fear of cuts from Conservative government, one official says[/url]

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