Thursday, July 16, 2009

Are You Kidding Me?

We were all pretty outraged when we learned of a law being proposed in Afghanistan that gave men permission to rape their wives right? There were lots of questions, many that went unanswered, but in general, the outrage was felt across the country.

Our government assured us that they shared the outrage and valued women's rights.

Well, not so much apparently. Just look at what the Minister of State, Status of Women has just announced.

The Government of Canada is pleased to provide support to Regroupement des femmes de la région de Matane for its project, Et toi ton couple, ça clic? (So, Are You Clicking as a Couple?).

This project aims to promote equitable, non-violent behaviour in the romantic relationships of adolescents by targeting the hypersexualization of girls as a root cause of dating violence.

Are you freaking kidding me? Blame the victim? The girls are the root cause of dating violence? Seriously?

Where do we hear language like that? Certainly no where that we would hold up as a progressive modern democracy that values human rights.

I was angry when the Conservatives removed the word Equality from the Status of Women mandate. I may now actually have a better understanding as to why.

I may have more to say later, just angry now.


Anonymous said...

Look who the Policy Director in the PMO is and you'll have your answer :-)

Steve V said...

"targeting the hypersexualization of girls as a root cause of dating violence."

What an astounding sentence.

Anonymous said...

That phrase does boggle the mind. At the risk of sounding crass, is the message that men wouldn't be violent if the girls weren't so damn sexy?

If it is, what the hell? That's more than borrowing campaign methods from down south. Sounds like policy right out of Hicksville.

KNB said...

Anon...remind me.

KNB said...

Steve...I'm seriously just shaking my head.

KNB said...

Joseph, that's pretty much it. It boggles the mind.

It's akin to women ask for rape if they dress immodestly.

I haven't found anything yet, but I sense the Real Women group.

McVetty is going to be ecstatic.

Anonymous said...

Paul Wilson, per Kady@Maclean's =>

Paul Wilson, director of Trinity’s Ottawa campus, is quick to point out the university’s presence has more to do with its educational mission — to groom active citizens guided by their faith — than with an overtly political agenda.

He bristles at comparisons between Trinity and Patrick Henry College near Washington, which has been described as a Christian college that trains young Republicans to become politicians.

Anonymous said...

Paul Wilson.

"It’s been a good month for the religious right in Ottawa. The Hill Times newspaper reports that Stephen Harper has promoted religious conservatives to two senior positions in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) – the government’s political nerve centre. Darrel Reid, Harper’s former director of policy, becomes his deputy chief of staff. Harper also promoted Paul Wilson to replace Reid as PMO policy director. What has this to do with the religious right?" and so on...

Anonymous said...

Prediction: Another Dcomms is about to get thrown under the bus. Or perhaps they will claim a Liberal infiltrated their office and tampered with the press release. If that fails, they will bring up the sponsorship scandal.

Steve V said...

Don't forget blaming the Red Star for noticing, then the sponsorship scandal.

KNB said...

Nice catch anon! Thx.

KNB said...

Steve, anon, lol, but true.

Anonymous said...

Holy Crap, I'm too stunned to think. Haven't they ever heard of the Power & Control Wheel? or that 'they' are being abusive to all girls/women by blaming the victim? This is criminal harrassment, can we get a restraining order on the Harpie gov until the next election?

Anonymous said...

I'll be the first to say I used the term as well, though in my defense it was as an expression of just how backwards this "policy" is.

But who uses the description "girl" in this kind of statement anyway? At the point of talking about building healthy heterosexual relationships (which is another interesting angle on this announcement as well), shouldn't we at least bestow upon them the description of "young women"?

Or did the "study" show that kind of language would just encourage more "hypersexualization."

(as an aside, I think I could get use to evil quotation mark sarcasm . . . no wonder lifesite employs it so much, though I bet they won't when they report on this stunning development)

KNB said...

Toe, that won't happen, but I certainly hope that the media pick up on this.

I love Delacourt, but this deserves much more attention.

KNB said...

Excellent point Joseph re'heterosexual relationships. I should have picked up on that.

This one strikes a chord, sour note, with me and as a result I don't think I've really digested all the implications. The girl descriptor included, but the 'het' inference is a really interesting point.

Anonymous said...

Once again our neo-cons fuck up all that they touch.

The original description of the project is a little more nuanced...

Et toi ton couple, ça clic ?

Description du projet
Depuis quelques temps un courant médiatique dont l’importance semble croître tend à présenter les filles comme des objets sexuels et ce à un âge toujours plus jeune. Pour le Centre d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel (CALACS) de Rimouski, il n’y a pas de doute que la sexualisation précoce des filles est une conséquence de l’hypersexualisation de notre société et que cette hypersexualisation est un facteur contribuant aux agressions sexuelles1. En 2008 plus de 16 000 femmes ont frappé à la porte d’un Centre de femmes pour cause de violence2.

Le début de l’adolescence est reconnu comme une période d’ouverture où les jeunes sont réceptifs à l’établissement de relations saines et à la résolution non violente des conflits. Un certain nombre de changements survenant à l’adolescence, comme l’apprentissage de l’autonomie et le déplacement de la dépendance affective, des parents vers les pairs, rendent cette période particulièrement cruciale pour apprendre à établir des relations non violentes.3

Déjà en 2001, lors d’un sondage que nous avions organisé à Matane, auprès de 552 jeunes âgés de 14 à 20 ans, 25% d’entre eux, majoritairement des filles, identifiaient des comportements de violence dans leur relation amoureuse. En 2009, plus que jamais nous devons promouvoir tant des modèles que des comportements égalitaires, non seulement au regard de la sexualité, mais aussi dans la façon d’envisager les rapports amoureux chez les jeunes.

Le projet Et toi ton couple, ça clic ? est un projet pluriannuel (2009-2012), interactif, qui sera conçu avec les adolescentes de la MRC de Matane. Afin d’avoir un impact plus grand, il nous apparaît très important d’obtenir une interaction et une participation active des adolescentes tant au niveau de l’élaboration que de la diffusion du programme.

Le projet éducatif Et toi ton couple, ça clic ? vise à promouvoir des comportements égalitaires et sans violence, dans les rapports amoureux chez les jeunes. Par la diffusion d'information et l'élaboration d'un outil pédagogique, le projet fournira du soutien et un mentorat aux adolescentes afin de prévenir la violence dans les relations amoureuses.

Les objectifs spécifiques sont les suivants :
1. Décrire l’impact de l’hypersexualisation sur l’estime de soi, souligner les différentes formes de violence dans les relations amoureuses et la résolution non violente des conflits.

2. Élaborer et diffuser un outil pédagogique pour promouvoir des rapports égalitaires et sans violence, dans les relations amoureuses chez les jeunes.

3. Élaborer un processus de mentorat.

4. Diffuser l’outil pédagogique, par les mentores, dans les municipalités de la MRC de Matane.

1 Forum régional sur l’hypersexualisation des 16 et 17 mai 2007 à Rimouski
2 l’Intersyndicale des femmes – janvier 2009
3 Wolfe, Wekerle et Scott, 1997

deBeauxOs said...

Have any of you barking up a storm bothered doing a bit of research regarding this women's organization?


Le Regroupement des femmes de Matane is not a chapter of R.E.A.L. women.

For years now, feminist women's organizations in Québec has expressed concerns and taken actions about the manipulation and exploitation of young women in the media. The objective of this project is not to make women feel they are the cause of sexual assault. Au contraire.

Its purpose is to make young women media savvy, to inform them of their legal rights, to ensure they know they can choose how, when and with whom to be sexually active, to recognize peer pressure and coercion and that nobody can put one finger on them without their permission.

Go have a look.

Anonymous said...

deBeauxOs I'm not sure who your comment is directed at...

deBeauxOs said...

It is directed at those who are assuming that the grant was awarded to Le regroupement des femmes de Matane in bad faith.

Anyone who bothers going to their blogsite will understand that this is a feminist group, working with the local CALACS (sexual assault support centre).

KNB's original blogpost is ill-informed, using the announcement of the grant to bludgeon Helena Guergis. And I'm saying that his (her?) assumption is wrong, that this attack on the (presumed) intent of Le regroupement des femmes de Matane is misguided.

By all means, criticize Guergis - but this is not the appropriate instrument to do so.

KNB said...

deBeauxOs, fair enough. I'll take your word that this group is doing worthy work, as I haven't had a chance to look them up.

c_wtf's comment somewhat clarifies it's intent.

However, I will continue to take issue with the government and Guergis for the wording of the release.

It's absurb, archaic and in fact counter productive to the group's purpose if it is as you say.

As I am sure you are aware, the language is also in keeping with the sentiments of many in CPC.

I reacted to the announcement and will continue to do so, as a government announcement is precisely the right target.

I'm a woman for the record.

RuralSandi said...

If Guergis knew what she was doing and if she had any real interest in women's rights - she wouldn't have been stupid enough to use that phrase - which reminds of the 1950's.

You would think that Guergis, as a woman, would be offended by that phrase.

RuralSandi said...

Reminds me - doesn't everything that goes out have to have PM approval?

deBeauxOs said...

OKay, I get it. You don't give a shit about the women's organization project funding, it's all about exploiting the press release to hammer the Cons.

And this makes you different from the Cons ... how?

KNB said...

What the hell are you talking about? If the org is doing good work, great, they got some funding. I'm not criticizing that.

I am and will continue to highlight the regressive attitude of many of the Con's.

That makes me like Con? What idiocy.

Get a grip and climb down off the sanctimony horse.

If you're fine with Guergis using that language, well that tells me all I need to know.

deBeauxOs said...

I will say this again because you appear to have reading comprehension challenges.

The Cons are using the attribution of funding to the Matane women's group project to spin their own little ideological take on it.

We both agree that this is dishonest and exploitative.

Where I part company those howling about the Matane women's organization intent and implementation of their project is where it appears that their understanding of it is ill-informed and based on the spin the Cons gave it.

Criticism of the Cons and Guergis' messaging is appropriate.

Attacks upon the project itself, especially by those who don't understand the language (the Cons' translation is not faithful to its spirit) and who haven't taken time to find out its premise and approach, is the same tactic the Cons are doing.

KNB said...

What part of I'm not criticising the program do you not understand?

Save your insults for someone who is actually fighting against your cause. Seriously, your condescending sanctimony is tiresome, not to mention unwarranted.

You know nothing about me and if you did, you'd realise that your assumptions are ridiculous.

This issue holds a personal element for me, so back off.

RuralSandi said...

Problem - Harper and his party take great care to put the exact wording out there when it comes to demeaning, misleading, etc. for partisan attacks. Words are VERY important to Cons for THEIR benefit in trying to destroy - why not with an issue like this?

They are not equally as careful otherwise as evidenced by the announcement. So, personal and partisan attacks take importance over other wordings. It's Guergis/Harper that should be chastized here - not KNB.

Perhaps the organization should demand clarity (unless they're afraid of losing funding) so that their reputation isn't tarnished.

Steve V said...

"We both agree that this is dishonest and exploitative."

Then quit being so god damned sanctimonous, when that's the thrust of the post.

RuralSandi said...

So, you are part of the Dammit Janet blogs

Anonymous said...

So, you are part of the Dammit Janet blogs
And does this affect what she has to say?

RuralSandi said...

CWTF - yes and no. That blog site is mostly about women's rights, abortion rights, etc, - which is a good thing.

But, to think other women don't have feelings about it is wrong and that they don't understand the poor wording is wrong.