Thursday, April 26, 2007

Union could learn meaning of true solidarity

Buzz Hargrove is mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore. Is the head of the Canadian Auto Workers' Union pissed at the Conservative government for selling out Canadian workers in global trade talks? Or for cutting millions of dollars from the Court Challenges program and Status Of Women Canada? Or for axing what promised to be Canada's first attempt at creating a universal child care program?

No, you guessed wrong. Buzz is mad at those pesky environmentalists for daring to suggest that climate change is enough of a threat that people should think twice before using their gas-guzzling SUVs to drive to the corner store.

You can read more of my rant against Buzz and other observations about the true nature of "solidarity" here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Little Matter of Consent

Well, it looks like the federal justice committee has just cleared the way for the passage of Bill C-22, which will raise the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16. The Conservatives are calling it the "age of protection," and are falling all over themselves, claiming to be protecting children from exploitation.

I've made my opinions on this issue known in Capital Xtra, and for a short while, I was Egale Canada's spokesperson on the issue.

In a nutshell, this law is bad news because it will only serve to repress young people's sexuality, put them in more danger of contracting STIs while also giving a nod to the religious right who would prefer if parents could keep their teenagers locked up until they turn 21. The law is also as superfluous as it is dangerous. Canada already has strict laws that criminalize any sexual relationship with a young person when there is any evidence of a power imbalance or any form of abuse or exploitation.

To add icing to the cake, the justice committee has also held up one of the last vestiges of Canada's anti-sodomy laws, by refusing to strike down section 159 of the Criminal Code, which criminalizes anal sex unless it's being performed by two people over the age of 18 (unless they're married).

Yep, you heard me right. There is a separate age of consent for anal sex. And it's still on the books.

So in tribute to to all of the young people from the Age of Consent coalition that faced insurmountable odds when they presented in front of the justice committee, I offer you this video from Vancouver's The Wet Spots (WARNING: not suitable for work):



-- Cross-posted to BlogThis!

Friday, April 13, 2007

60 reasons to dump Harper

Hello dear readers,

This blog has become a bit of a static archive as of late. I've been posting more over at BlogThis, so I suggest you check it out. I assume that this blog will heat up if an election is called any time soon.

In the meantime, check out Xtra.ca's 60 reasons to dump Harper. And keep going back, as they'll be posting a new reason every day.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Let's choose not to be pitied

Cross-posted to BlogThis

Okay, take a look at the image for yourself. This is the photo that Fondation Emergence has chosen to illustrate this year's National Day Against Homophobia on May 17th. In my latest column for Capital Xtra, I argue that this kind of imagery elicits pity rather than celebration, and treats the queer community like we're something that should be tolerated, rather than celebrated. It also denies the reality of most queer and trans people's experiences, in an attempt to gain mainstream acceptance. It takes the sex out of homosexuality, and it harkens back to the days when gayness was considered to be a medical condition that could be cured.

What do you think?