Canadian feminists have been pretty pissed off lately, and with good reason. Debra over at April Reign has a pretty good explanation about why we’re angry:
Throughout history those who seek to reign despotically first seek to silence and disenfranchise the women, this current PM scrabbling after a majority like a junkie jonesing for a fix is no different. He started by all but completely destroying SWC and has continued to show disdain for women with quotes about “left-wing fringe groups” and Bush style gag laws on abortion for women in war-torn countries, and of course he continues to defund women’s groups and programs.
Senator Nancy Ruth caused a furor when she told aid groups “to “shut the fuck up” about abortion funding, or risk a government backlash.” She speaks the truth. Harper wants nothing more than for women to shut the fuck up and let him get on with destroying healthcare, social housing, women’s groups/shelters, eroding human rights, forwarding a right-wing fundamental christian agenda, and creating a climate of war, building prisons in place of social programs and spending all our tax dollars on funding corporate welfare payments.
My Canada is not a place where women shut up and do as they are told. My daughters are not incubators. We will continue to work for a Canadian society where all are valued and cared for and welcomed.
We will not Shut the Fuck Up!
Nasheen at Feministing warns us not to be complacent and tells that we can’t afford to shut the fuck up while Pogge asserts that silence is assent. Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe is pissed off at the Conservatives too:
The uproar coincides with the release of Marci McDonald’s book, The Armageddon Factor: the Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada:
What’s more, The Armageddon Factor, which examines the religious right across the faiths and how Stephen Harper’s government has forged bonds with it, comes after weeks of reports on Conservatives opposition to abortion and family planning, the defunding of activist womens’ groups, the withdrawal of subsidies to gay pride events across the country, the cuts to KAIROS and the publication of an unprecedented amount of grants to Bible schools.
“My problem was, as my book went to bed, headlines were coming daily,” McDonald says over the phone from her Toronto home. “All my worries about having to prove my case that this government is intent on cultivating the social conservative constituency in this country were nothing to worry about. They were doing it so openly that you could hardly keep up with the headlines.”
These recent developments have opened a can of worms. Pro-life campaigners are seeing this as a great opportunity to get some anti-abortion laws in place:
Heartened and emboldened by Canada’s new anti-abortion stand on foreign aid, thousands of pro-life campaigners flooded in unprecedented numbers to Parliament Hill on Thursday, daring to hope that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government will take further steps against abortion at home as well as abroad.
The debate that Harper says he doesn’t want to reopen in Canada arrived literally on his doorstep on Thursday, with high spirits and demands for the Conservative government to do much more to discourage abortion in this country.
There were MPs at the rally, too:
Dean Del Mastro, an Ontario Tory, said he’s ready for a renewed abortion debate in the House of Commons.
“Maybe the first step is to determine when this place believes that life begins,” he said. “I’m prepared to put my case forward. … I’m prepared to have that conversation. Is the other side?”
Well, unrepentant old hippie has a pretty good response for Dean Del Mastro:
In a word, Dean? Fuck no. We’re not prepared to have “that conversation” because… *rimshot* …it’s none of your business. If you don’t want to have an abortion, then don’t have one. Dean.
As you can see, many Canadian feminists have already said this and I’m just joining the chorus; no, we are not going to shut the fuck up. We have absolutely nothing to gain by being silent.Continue reading