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Archive for February, 2007

Something my wonderful prof Letitia said this week in class struck me. She asked whether something (OK, I admit, I can’t remember exactly what she was referring to) was a failure of feminism. And I wrote down in my class notes, Has Feminism Failed?

I had a flashback: A couple of months ago in another class, I was doing a presentation and we asked the class how many there would call themselves a feminist. Know how many raised their hands? 4. Including me, and including the professor. The other two students were white women. So we talked about it, why the ones who raised their hands did consider themselves feminist, why the ones who didn’t, didn’t. One girl who did said that it was how she was raised, and that she could see in the world around her that women are still oppressed. I said I was committed to raising women’s status in society and that feminism has provided me with a framework and a vocabulary to defend women’s rights and poke holes in patriarchy.

One woman who didn’t raise her hand said that she didn’t feel, as a woman of colour, that feminism represents her experience, but that she was pro-woman, and in particular, pro-black-woman. Another black woman said she felt better represented as a woman of colour by the “womanist” movement. One (white) woman said she felt that feminism was over, because women had achieved political and formal equality. (This was in a gender and women’s studies class, where we had been studying all the ways in which women all over the world were still subjected to gendered stereotypes that restricted their freedom in various ways!!!!!!!!!) One (white) woman said that she felt like “feminism” was too extreme, that it is too “radical” for her tastes, and she thought feminists spent too much time “man-bashing.” Another white woman said that she associated feminism with lesbianism, and she didn’t want to present herself as a lesbian because she’s straight. (SERIOUSLY!)  None of the men in the class even bothered to contribute to the discussion, like feminism is only for the ladies.

I was shocked that, in an upper year gender and women’s studies class, so many misconceptions still pervaded a discussion about feminism. I was disappointed that so few people in a class of more than 30 would consider themselves feminists. I was especially disappointed to hear that so many women of colour felt unrepresented by feminism (not just the two I mentioned, another 4 or 5 also agreed). I was surpised and saddened at the western-centric view of gender equality as formal equality – and especially at the idea that feminism’s job was done!

So, in a world where gender equality is formalized, on the books, in the statutes and in the rules, why has the situation of women on the ground not improved to the point of equality/equity?

Why are reproductive rights still in jeopardy? Why are women still the majority of the world’s poor? Why are women still making unequal pay for equal work? Why are women still largely responsible for unpaid domestic work in their own homes? Why are women still in the majority of underpaid and unskilled jobs? Why does birth control and pregnancy avoidance still rest largely on women’s shoulders? Why are women the number one growth demographic for HIV/AIDS? Why are women still being raped? Why are women still being beaten in their homes? Why is violence so gendered? Why are women still objectified as the recepticles/vehicles of male sexual pleasure? Why are lesbians discriminated against? Why are women starving themselves to be “beautiful”? Why are women so under-represented in business, in science and math careers, in politics, in high-level academic positions? Why are women’s bodies so medicalized? Why are women’s bodies considered public property?

Why are women still so oppressed, after more than 100 years of feminism, and after more than 30 years of second-wave and third-wave feminism?

Has feminism become too academic? Has misogyny become more insidious, squirmier, harder to pin down? Has feminism not changed enough to accomodate its critiques, particularly by women of colour? Is feminism too fractured, too unfocussed – do we need a new definition, a set of common claims about feminism? Has feminism been too radical? Not radical enough?

These are questions I have. I have no answers. I put it out to you, dear readers, for some brainstorming. How can we move forward and actually achieve the aims of feminism – if we can even agree what those are?

*Note: I hesitate to make this a thread only open to certain kinds of commenters, but at the same time, I don’t want this to devolve into a feminism-bashing party.  Constructive comments only, no MRAs please.

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Angel sent me a link to Alvaro Orozco’s website, where it states that he has been given a reprieve of two months to stay in Canada while his legal team mounts an appeal to the decision to deport him back to Nicaragua. It also includes this notice:

Despite the 2 month deferral, supporters should keep contacting Minister Diane Finley’s office to keep the pressure and attention up. At this point, the CIC/IRB can reopen my case, grant me H&C (Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds stay), or accept my PRRA (preremoval risk assessment) (once we file the latter two). Now it’s up to her. PLEASE keep sending in your support. It’s only the beginning! I still have a removal date 2 months away and no status yet.

So, there’s a concrete step that can be taken to help this young man. Write to Diane Finley at Finley.D@parl.gc.ca.

Here’s what I wrote:

Dear Minister Finley,

I am writing to express my extreme displeasure with the treatment of the Alvaro Orozco case. As a Canadian citizen, I am very disappointed that Alvaro is being discriminated against by my government as he seeks asylum from a country where he has been persecuted based on his membership in a social group. Alvaro’s human rights have been violated in Nicaragua, and now are not being upheld here in Canada, either. This young man has led a very trying life as a refugee, facing abuse and persecution for being homosexual from his family and from his country, where sodomy is illegal.

Asking Alvaro to somehow prove that he is gay is absolutely ludicrous. He was detained in a detention centre upon arriving to the US, where his choice of sexual partners was limited to other detainees. When he got away, he sought help from a church. His explanation of why he did not tell them he is gay is perfectly logical, considering the heavy stance most christian churches take against homosexuality. He was in a coercive situation: he needed help, and in order to get that help, he was forced to conceal the fact that he was gay. Furthermore, how exactly was Alvaro to “prove” he is gay, anyway? By how many sexual partners he had of the same sex? By how often he visited gay clubs, or participated in gay pride marches? Considering the reaction of his family, who were supposed to love and protect him, I think it’s perfectly understandable that Alvaro would be reluctant to disclose his sexuality to just anyone.

Additionally, since Alvaro was a young teenager at the time, I think it is highly inappropriate to suggest that he should have been engaged in sexual relationships at all – certainly not in order to “prove” his sexuality. Isn’t it reasonable that he didn’t meet anyone with whom he would have wanted to engage in a sexual relationship, in prison and in the custody of a christian family? Isn’t it reasonable that he, like many other young people, wanted to wait until he was ready to engage in a sexual relationship? Who is the Canadian government to demand evidence of anyone’s sexuality, much less a gay teenager? This is unreasonable, and morally repugnant. Assuming that since Alvaro is gay that he would be engaging in sexual activity, to a level that you deem to be sufficient evidence of his homosexuality, rests on the false sterotype that all gay men are sexually active and promiscuous. Whether Alvaro was promiscuous or celibate, does not “prove” that he is gay, and to suggest so is simply false. Many straight people, gay people, and bisexual people are celibate. Demanding that this young man display to you evidence of his homosexuality is a deeply problematic intersection of racism and heterosexism.

There’s more to being gay or lesbian, or even straight for that matter, than simply having sex with certain kinds of people. Your overly narrow view of the nature of sexuality, construed as something concrete that can be proven, is harming this young man, who will certainly face persecution and undue hardship if returned to Nicaragua. I ask that you reconsider his case, and permit Alvaro Orozco to stay in Canada, legally, as a refugee.

Sincerely,
(Thinking Girl)

 

Let’s do what we can to protest this unfair treatment.

[thanks again, Angel!]

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This weekend, Drew Gilpin Faust was elected the first female president of Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. I’d give you a link, but there doesn’t seem to be one available – I just heard this on the 11:00 news out of Boston, which I happen to get here in my hometown.

So, hooray, and congrats to Dr. Faust.

Perhaps this is a bit of foreshadowing, for another first female president in the coming period? 🙂

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Angel pointed me in the direction of this story, about a Nicaraguan refugee in Canada who is about to be deported back home because authorities don’t believe him when he says that he is gay.

Alvaro Orozco says his family beat him because he was gay. He says, “My father told me, ‘If one of my sons became gay one day, I will kill him with my hands,'” said Orozco. “I was so scared. And that is why I escaped.” He fled Nicaragua (where sodomy is illegal) at the age of 12 to escape what he felt was a real threat to his life. He made his way across Central America and Mexico, swam across the Rio Grande to get to the US, and was arrested and held for a year. When he was released, he fled again, took sanctuary in a church, and made his way to Canada, where he has lived in Toronto for the past 2 years.

The official who heard his case, Deborah Lamont, questions whether Orozco is actually gay or not because – get this – he wasn’t sexually active while he was in the US. Let’s see… while he was in prison, and while he was taking sanctuary in a church. Oh, and since he came to Canada when he was 19, also while he was a teenaged boy.

Because apparently gay males are wildly promiscuous sexual animals who can’t possibly make a choice not to have sex, even when they have run away from a situation where being gay is cause for violent beatings and they are taking sanctuary in a church where being gay is Frowned Upon, or otherwise their options are limited to prisoners at a detention centre, and even when they are still immature teenagers.

I am so beyond appalled at this story. Making this refugee somehow prove that he is gay – as if such a thing could actually be ultimately “proven” in the first place – is just a disgusting combination of homophobia and racism. We don’t ask straight people to “prove” that they’re straight, even when they’re not in any kind of sexual relationship – even when they’re virgins! It’s just presumed that straight people are telling the truth about their sexuality, because, after all, heterosexuality is the NORM by which all others are measured. But now, apparently, people who “deviate” from the NORM of heterosexuality have to prove that they have had same-sex sexual relationships in order to be considered gay? Or maybe it’s just refugees that need to prove this. The kid ran away at the age of 12 from a family that beat him and threatened to kill him for being gay, and some fucking bureaucrat gets to decide whether he is ACTUALLY gay or not?!?!

As if we can ever prove our sexuality. Like sexuality is something so deep, so true, about us that it makes us who we are. Like people can’t have sexual feelings that they never act on. Like all that matters is what we do in bed with other people. Like any government official gets to decide any of this about any of us. Fuck that.

I am so completely ashamed of my government for this decision. This poor kid is going to be sent home on Tuesday to a place where he will have nothing – no support from his government, no support from his family. He’s been away for almost 10 years – he won’t have much of a support system if he has one at all, and now his sexuality is making headlines both here and in Nicaragua, which will make him a perfect target for homophobic violence. Canada has let this young man down, and it’s shameful.

[gracias, Angel!]

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I received an email from a nice fella named Chris a little while ago, in response to my posts On Rape and How to Avoid Becoming a Rapist. He agreed to let me use our emails for a post. Here’s some of what he had to say in his initial email:

First of all, I am a survivor of rape and sexual abuse myself and concerning the post titled “On Rape”, I also believe the same as you, that the blame rests ultimately with the rapist, however, although it may not completely remove the risk, there are certain things you can do to reduce the risk of being raped. I hate the fact myself, but using common sense, personal safety guidelines will reduce the risk of rape. I follow these guidelines, so I am not a man who is imposing these guidelines on just women.

 

 

  1. If you live in shared accomodation or with parents, a partner or spouse, always let them know where you are going, who with, and what time you will be back.
  2. Stick to it. It is not looking to be treated like a child, it is giving the people who care about you the respect they deserve. If you keep the habit of sticking to it and you suddenly don’t get back for that time, they will know that something is not right and will start trying to find out what happened and may even start looking for you.
  3. If, for some unplanned reason you know you are going to be late, let them know so they won’t get worried.
  4. Don’t go out alone. Go with a friend, or even better, more than one friend. As well as the possibility of making the night more enjoyable, there is truth in the saying “Safety in Numbers”.
  5. Not telling you not to enjoy yourself, but if you drink alcohol, don’t go out and drink so much that you don’t know where you are and/or what you are doing. If you collapse in a coma due to overdrinking, it provides a simple and easy means for someone to take advantage of the situation. Drink also lowers inhibitions and may lead you to say yes when you wouldn’t if you was sober.
  6. Be aware of your surroundings. If you feel unsafe or just plain uncomfortable with your surroundings, call a cab home or to another place, informing your housemates, parents, spouse or partner of the change of venue. It is better to be safe than sorry.
  7. I agree that just because you are wearing a low cut [possibly tight fitting] top and a mini skirt, it doesn’t mean you are saying “come and have sex with me”, however, I hate this fact but remember that although you may not be inviting sexual advances, a potential rapist may not see it that way. Again, if you get unwanted attention and you feel uncomfortable about it, go somewhere else. (Home or another place, informing your parents, spouse or partner of the change of venue).
  8. Call a taxi to go anywhere you want to during all hours of darkness. Don’t walk. Walking at night increases the danger as you are less likely to spot impending dangers.

I say MAKE YOUR FEELINGS CLEAR. I would never jump to the defence of a rapist, but no human person should be expected to be able to read minds. In court, there sometimes has been something along the lines of reasonable belief that consent is being given. If someone is making sexual advances you don’t want, say so. Say no, say stop, say anything to get your point across that you don’t want it.

 

Be verbal! Saying “No” removes any reasonable doubt about what you want.

To which I responded:

I hear what you are saying, and I think that generally, all of this is great practical advice for anyone. What concerns me most about the way rape and sexual violence is treated in society is that the emphasis is so often on the victim/survivor, and what he/she did or didn’t do or say, that it creates a bit of a ruse, and the ones who are actually always to blame, the rapists, are forgotten, or enough doubt has been cast on the actions of the survivor that the rapist gets away with it. What the victim/survivor did or didn’t do isn’t the issue – it is what the rapist did that matters. And although practical advice, and self-defense, can certainly help some people to avoid becoming a rape victim/survivor, I think what is needed is a more comprehensive social plan to stop people from becoming rapists. And I think this must begin with raising the status of women, who are the paradigmatic victims of sexual violence, in combination with punishing crimes of sexual violence more severely.

While I agree that we must be careful to protect ourselves from sexual violence, I also know that this isn’t always enough. The vast majority of rapes are committed by people known to the victim/survivor, and quite often someone the victim/survivor trusts. All kinds of people become victims of sexual violence, in all sorts of surroundings and circumstances. Putting too much emphasis on what potential victims could/should do to avoid attacks of sexual violence has a corollary in logical terms: it also means emphasizing what current survivors could/should have done differently that might have preempted their attack. This just isn’t fair, because even the most cautious person can still find themselves in harm’s way, and holding a survivor even partially responsible for behaviour that led up to an attack does blame them for the attack. This can also lead to restrictions placed on those *most likely* to be victims of an attack, which will always be women – restrictions that could seriously limit freedom of participation at an equal level in society, simply on the basis of gender. This kind of thing would also further marginalize male victims/survivors or sexual violence, who *should* be more able to defend themselves against an attack. It isn’t fair to focus on what the survivor could have done differently. It ultimately doesn’t matter. Ultimately, rapists are the ones who are responsible for rape. Which means that rape can only really be prevented by rapists. That’s a scary thought!

To which Chris responded:

Please don’t think I am taking any of the blame away from rapists etc. and I am not trying to apportion any blame on current survivors of rape and sexual assaults.

What I was doing in my email was just outlining what can be done to prevent (as far as possible) rape and sexual assault from the potential victims side. Reducing the risk even slightly, in order to prevent at least one more victim is what I am aiming for here. I believe that’s all individuals like us can hope to achieve at the present moment in time. Changing society’s role in rape prevention would need to involve collective work by large groups of the general public, professional organisations, and government bodies, all working together to achieve the common goal.

 

Attrition rates surrounding rape cases in court are extremely small in comparison to the attrition rates of other sexual offence cases and I believe you are right in what you are saying what causes the low figures, and letting the rapists get acquitted.

 

I do believe that there is work being done to try and create an effective social plan to stop people from becoming rapists, but really and truthfully, I feel that unless potential future rapists start to recognise that they could be future rapists and seek the necessary help, I don’t think it would matter what preventative therapies were available. I have no knowledge of what methods there are and what they involve to try and rehabilitate offenders and potential future perpetrators, but I believe that potential future perpetrators would require to be able to feel the need to seek the professional help, and feel that they are able to without fear of repercussions, in order to try and prevent it. Bearing in mind my lack of knowledge in this area, I believe that to recognise, and admit, that there is a possibility that they could be future offenders, is already half way there to being able to prevent it before the potential sets in and get out of hand.

 

Another comment I would like to talk about here is that you said “….This kind of thing would also further marginalize male victims/survivors or sexual violence, who *should* be more able to defend themselves against an attack.” Now I am not sure where you are coming from on the should be able to defend themselves bit, but it is a common belief in society which a lot of people including myself are trying to change.

 

I don’t know if you believe men should be able to defend themselves, but in male rape cases, along with the other common problems associated with rape of women during the event, the male victims often suffer the same physical paralysis effects of the mind when they realise they are overpowered. Plus, although not all male rape cases do, I am led to believe that most rapes of adult men involve more than one assailant, with one or more people preventing a struggle by restraining and/or pinning arms and legs, whilst the another person rapes the man. As for boys and young men, of course they will not be able to overpower a full grown adult no matter whether the assailant is male or female.

To which I responded:

Yeah, I feel it, preventing rape by making people less likely to become victims. I just don’t think that’s enough. People still get raped even when they follow all the advice, take self-defense classes, carry pepper spray, etc. The only way to stop rape is to stop rapists. I mean, yeah, we have to be mindful about our personal safety, but sometimes we jsut can’t avoid becoming a target – and a victim – no matter what we do. That’s not saying we shouldn’t try to avoid it, but you know what I mean.

Not long ago in the southern states, I want to say Georgia but I’m not sure, they changed the law so that consent could not be withdrawn once sexual contact had begun. So no matter how uncomfortable, violent, degrading, or painful the encounter becomes, once consent has been given, it can’t be taken back. So agreeing to have sex means agreeing to anything and everything, no matter what. It’s a wonder anyone has sex anymore.

Oh dear, no I certainly don’t think that men should be able to defend themselves from sexual violence more than women should. I wasn’t clear in my previous email, I apologize. I meant that that is the common perception, which is hogwash, and leads to some serious marginalization for male rape survivors. Defending oneself from sexual assault is something nobody should have to do; criticizing how people choose to do it or not to do it is, I think, a horrible mistake. People have to make the best decision for their survival in the situation.

So, that’s the crux of it. Do we help people prevent becoming victims, or do we prevent people from becoming rapists? Or both?

oh, and Ruxandra has an article up about this very subject. I loved it.

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Babel

OK, so I went to see Babel the other night. I liked it alright. It was all about communication, and barriers to such, both practical, like language, and emotional. It was an ensemble movie, which I usually always like, and it worked nicely here. Only thing with ensemble movies that’s tough sometimes is getting enough character development going. It’s a fine balance, and I think Babel could have done a lot better with this. Also, poor Cate Blanchett needed more to do. She’s amazing, and her talents shouldn’t be wasted for a single second, and I felt like they were in this movie.

I wanted more from this movie. I liked the overall message of the movie, but I guess I wanted more. The character I found most interesting was the one that was developed most, a young Japanese teenager who was deaf-mute. The actress was great, and the character was so great, layers of complexities. She just had all these barriers to communication, both emotional and practical, that were emphasized to pretty good effect. Only thing was, I don’t particularly like the whole fetishizing of Japanese women going on in the entertainment world these past few years, what with Kill Bill Vol.1 and that Gwen Stefani and her “Harajuku Girls” – and this was definitely going on in this movie.

Oh, and I’m not sure if that was makeup or not, but Brad’s starting to look old. *sigh*

what did you think of Babel?

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So I just saw this movie, Hard Candy. I got it because it stars a young actress from my hometown, Ellen Page. She’s been working a lot lately, and word on the street is that she’s pretty amazing, so I thought I’d better get in the know. And folks ain’t lyin’. She is awesome.

******************As usual, I give fair warning about plot spoilers. If you like surprises, stop reading now, but by all means, go rent the movie and come back and tell me what you think! Seriously, it’s worth seeing, and I know it wouldn’t have been as good if I had known all the plot twists and what have you beforehand. So stop reading if you haven’t seen it, rent it, and come back later.******************

So the movie’s basically about pedophilia, although not really in the way most would think. And it brought up a lot of issues for me. It’s been a somewhat controversial movie, aparently, because it turns the tables on a typical pedophilic situation. In it, the character played by Ellen Page, a 14 year old girl, basically lures in a pedophile (played quite well by Patrick Wilson, who I really think is quite a talented guy), takes him hostage, and tortures him.

So, issues. Well, there’s pedophilia itself. Technically, this guy is a hebophile, not a pedophile. Hebophiles are attracted to older children, young teenagers. It’s kind of under the general umbrella of pedophilia, so I’ll stick to that. On another thread, some of us have been talking about pedophiles, and child pornography. I’m not real sure how accurate this is, but I had a friend who worked at a sex offenders clinic, and the way she described pedophilia is that it’s basically a sexual preference, like heterosexuality. Pedophiles are sexually oriented toward children, like straight folks are oriented toward members of the opposite sex. The problem of course being that children cannot give consent to sexual contact, and so any sexual desire a pedophile acts on with a child is non-consensual rape. But it hit home with me how utterly untreatable pedophilia could be if this were true – and it certainly seems to be the current consensus that pedophilia is untreatable. It would be like telling a straight person to work really hard to just stop being attracted to the opposite sex, and become oriented to people of the same sex instead.

Patrick Wilson does such a good job of his role. He is handsome, charming, smooth, non-threatening. He does all he can to butter up Ellen Page’s character. I can see how someone like that would be very convincing, very flattering to a young insecure girl. He’s not at all a one-eyed scary monster. He looks like anybody else, successful, smart, charming. Normal on the outside. This is what’s so creepy and scary about pedophilia – pedophiles are everywhere. They look just like everyone else. But they’re not. They’re deviant sexual predators who will do and say anything to justify themselves and insinuate themselves into the lives of children in their communities, families, and beyond.

Some of the dialogue between the characters was really great. The pedophile has all the right lines, all the careful things to say to put attention away from the fact that he seeks out young girls to manipulate and exploit. Ellen Page’s character said something along the lines of, “just because a girl imitates a woman doesn’t mean she is mature enough to do what a woman does.” Which brings me to issue #2 – the hypersexualization of girl children in our society.

This doesn’t happen so much to boy children here, but it certainly does to girl children. Have you been into a girl’s clothing store recently? The kids clothing is getting more and more adult, more and more sexualized and provocative. I’m no prude, but I definitely see a problem with dressing little girls up like adult women might dress to go clubbing. Whose brilliant idea was this trend? Some pedophile, I bet. I read an article about this recently in MacLean’s magazine. Dressing our daughers like sluts, or something like that, was the title. And it’s true – we are. Why? Why on earth are parents allowing their daughters to dress in revealing, provocative clothing? God, it’s so weird. Don’t they know about the pedophiles? It’s on every TV news program all the time, about the child porn and the kids getting attacked. Like, wake the fuck up.

Issue #3: vigilantism. The girl spends several weeks talking to the guy online, meets up with him, lures him in, and takes the pedophile hostage, and tortures him emotionally and physically. She even makes to castrate him. Yup. The director spent a very long time on this particular part of the story – the lead up to the castration scene, the whole ordeal itself, what she does with the testicles once she cuts them out, his desperate pleas for her to spare him this act. Then we find out that she didn’t really do it after all, just made him think she had. What a relief, I’m sure many people watching would say to themselves! Thank god she didn’t cut off his balls – that would be going Too Far. This scene, it seems, is mainly what the controversy is about in regards to this movie. In the commentary I watched after the film, even the producer and director made comments that once filming began and the actors started the scene, they felt a lot of sympathy for the guy.

Issue #4: interesting how attached society is to men’s balls. And penises, of course – they’re everywhere you look, the ever-present phallus, incorporated into designs all over the place. This cultural attachment, surprisingly, extends to women a good deal of the time. So much so that many women report after attending self-defense classes that they found it really difficult to get past the old “never hit a guy in the balls” deal – even when the whole idea is to fend off a guy who’s about to rape them with those balls! Which is mind-boggling to me.

And issue #5 – my own reactions tot he movie. I was totally rooting for the girl, throughout the entire movie. I wanted her to get away with it all. I don’t advocate violence, or vigilantism, at all, but I had no sympathy for the pedophile whatsoever. Even while he was squirming and crying and begging for his balls to be spared, I couldn’t have cared less about him and his balls. My only worry with the movie was, “how will she ever get away with all this?”

Interesting movie, to say the least.  I highly recommend it.

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Carnival Against Sexual Violence 16

The latest installment of the CASV is up at Abyss2Hope. Some interesing reads.

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I received this in my email inbox yesterday. I thought I’d share it with you all.

*Note: I have no idea where this came from, there was no source cited at the end of the email. If anyone can enlighten me, I’d be happy to give credit where credit is due.*

Excerpts from an on going debate in Australia .

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to
Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John
Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a
crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament. “If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you”, he said on National Television.

“I’d be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia; the Australian law and the Islamic law, that is false. If you can’t agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country, which practices it, perhaps, then, that’s a better option”, Costello said.

Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said
those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other
country. Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that
Muslims who did not want to accept local values should “clear off. Basically people who don’t want to be Australians, and who don’t want, to  live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically clear off”, he said.

Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation’s mosques.

Quote: “IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.”

“However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the ‘politically correct’ crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia.” “However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.” “This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. And as Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle.”

“This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom”

“We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society… Learn the language!”

“Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing,
political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian
principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is
certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God
offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.”

“We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that
you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.”

“If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don’t like “A Fair Go”, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others.

“This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, ‘THE RIGHT TO LEAVE’.”

“If you aren’t happy here then LEAVE. We didn’t force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.”

Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, Canadian citizens will find
the backbone to start speaking and voicing the same truths!

If you agree please SEND THIS TO EVERYBODY YOU KNOW!

Well, obviously I don’t agree, but I think it’s jsut as important to circulate this to point out how frightening and hypocritical this is.

So, people who don’t speak the language, believe in the christian god, and don’t hold the same cultural values aren’t welcome in Australia. So says the government. My friend who lives in AU told me a while ago that Australia is not accepting refugees – if someone comes to Australia and claims they are a refugee, they are imprisoned. I can just imagine she is horrified with this stuff.

I don’t know, maybe someone should remind these asshats that Australia is a country founded on the principles of colonization and genocide. The great ‘Australian way of life’ has evolved over a couple centuries of oppressing aboriginal people – just like the great Canadian and american ways of life have done to its indiginous people, its black people, its immmigrants.

Don’t you just LOVE the part about “don’t force your culture on others”? I mean, that is just amazing, considering the concentration camps set up for aboriginal children in Australia to ‘educate’ them in the early part of the last century – and here in Canada the concentration camps called ‘residential schools’  that  decimated the indigenous culture and languages and abused so many native children here. Yeah, that’s nothing like what immigrants are doing right now all over the world – trying to carve out a piece of a life in a country they thought would give them more opportunities, while still trying to maintain some of what they are familiar with from their home country and the way they were brought up. It’s a wonder anyone wants to immigrate to countries with such brutal histories toward people of colour.

Obviously, the Australian government (and Canadian, and american) is not ready to face its roots, face that they were not the first people here, face that they have stolen their land and imposed their white values on people who have lived happily for generations in Australia (and Canada and america) before they ever got there. And now they have the nerve to refuse entry to others? To refuse to allow immigrants to practice their way of life, that is so ‘radically different’ from the Australian way of life – which is not the original way of life on that land? So hypocritical! And so very racist.

This is disgusting. How can we voice our objections to this bullshit? Shame on Australia.

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