Today a great Canadian man was lost when Jack Layton passed away in the early hours of the morning. While not perfect, he dedicated his life to bringing justice and equality to Parliament Hill and to shaping Canada into a better nation. He died after leading the NDP to their largest Canadian victory, seeing them become the official opposition of our federal government and giving millions of Canadians hope for a more just Canada. He was a man who loved his country and loved people.
I send my heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends and wish them peace in the difficult days to come. I sincerely hope that Jack’s party will honour him by rising up and continuing their work to make Canada into a better, fairer, kinder nation.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, Jack signed all of his emails with a Tommy Douglas quote and I think we could all learn from the words that inspired him so: “Courage my friends, it’s never too late to build a better world.” To both Jack and Tommy, we hear you and we promise to pick up the torch. Rest in soft peace.
Update: Jack gave a letter to his wife, Olivia Chow, before passing. I have included some of his inspiring words below and you can find the entire letter here.
“And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
Thank you Jack, for everything.
Posted in Canadian Politics, Politics | Tagged grief, jack layton, NDP | Leave a Comment »
One of my least favourite anti-choice tactics is the claim that a newly born baby is only one day safe from being murdered by abortion. You see this idea pop up on bill boards and pamphlets all the time, particularly in Canada as we have no federal law regulating abortion. However, all this claim really shows is how misinformed and cruel the anti-choice side can be.
Continue Reading »
Posted in abortion, Canadian Politics, Feminism, Human Rights, pro-choice | Tagged abortion, anti-choice, canada, feminism, pro-choice | 5 Comments »
This past week I attended Women’s World 2011, an international conference on women’s issues held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In the weeks leading up to the event, I was really excited about the fact that I was going to join together with a large group of fellow feminists to talk about an assortment of important and often neglected issues. As the conference drew to a close, however, my thoughts did not settle on the benefits of sisterly bonding, but on how Women’s World needs to engage in some serious discussions on inclusion and oppression.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Canadian Politics, Feminism, Personal Stories | Tagged BDSM, conference, feminism, rant, sex work, women's world, women's world 2011 | 2 Comments »
TRIGGER WARNING: Discussions of Rape and Sexual Assault
On January 24th, 2011, the Toronto Police were giving a presentation on campus safety at York when one of the officers, Constable Michael Sanguinetti, claimed that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. Needless to say, many people were pissed. In my previous post, I spoke about Jane Doe’s rape and her case against the Toronto police, the events of which started in 1986. Part of the evidence that Jane Doe brought forward came from internal documentation showing that the police had been trying to address sexism within their ranks, particularly when dealing with sexual assault, since the 1970s. As we can see it is 2011 and the police are still operating on the idea that women are responsible, at least partially, for rape.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Feminism, Human Rights, Personal Stories | Tagged activism, Ottawa Slut Walk, rape, rape culture, sexual assault, Slutwalk, Toronto Slut Walk | Leave a Comment »
TRIGGER WARNING: Discussions of rape and sexual assault
Rape should not be something that young women learn about from experience. It should not be a practical part of education. Yet, with the high rates of sexual assault for women, how many people can say that they do not have experience with rape, either personally or through a close friend?
Continue Reading »
Posted in Feminism, Human Rights, Personal Stories | Tagged activism, feminism, Jane Doe, rape | 7 Comments »
I. Where did I go and some suggested reading from other amazing people
So, it’s been over a month since I posted. As it turns out, taking seven courses at a time is a BAD idea. Someone should tell this to the people who designed first year law school and require this rather nasty course load. In any case, my time at law school has been… interesting. I have a lot of thoughts to share about being a social justice activist in such a conservative institution and how law school is designed to be all but insurmountable to all but the most privileged, but this will all have to wait until I manage to get through exams and when my brain feels less like a melted pile of goo.
Until then, I have been collecting some really great articles and posts online that have helped me recover from law zombism, and that I wanted to share. There is a new page alongside my Blogroll and Profile that I will update whenever I have a new batch of thought-provoking writing from others that I think everyone needs to read. I hope everyone enjoys and finds some great new writers to frequent!
II. Put This on the Map: Reteaching Gender and Sexuality
This is a brilliant, amazing, fantastic group that everyone should love and watch. All though I have appreciated the “It gets better” videos that have been made, I also think that this video really sums up where we as a society should be going. It demands action, rather than passivity, and will stand silent in the face of ignorance, bigotry and hate. I am looking forward to seeing their documentary and any other work that they produce.
Posted in Blog Updates, Personal Stories, Queer, Quick Hits | Tagged activism, law school, queer | Leave a Comment »
Hey there, internet world! Law school is still eating my life, but something happened yesterday that I thought I would share.
In Canada, October 18th is Persons Day. It is the celebration of when women were declared to be “persons” under the law. Beforehand women were “… persons in matters of pains and penalties, but [were] not persons in matters of rights and privileges”. This was major turning point in Canadian legal history for gender equality and many of my Facebook friends were celebrating by posting status updates and links. I did as well, but as I pressed send, I internally paused and wondered whether or not this was appropriate. The Persons case was a massively important milestone for Canadian women, but it did not necessarily include all women.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Canadian Politics, Feminism, Personal Stories | Tagged apology, famous 5, feminism, persons day, privilege, white feminism | 2 Comments »