Canadian “values”

Recently there have been a LOT of posts going around Facebook (which have led to a LOT of arguments between me and fellow face-bookers) spreading hate and intolerance of other cultures/religions. Let’s be real here:

It spreads hate against Muslims. It spreads the message that all Muslims are terrorists so we shouldn’t allow “them” to wear a burqa at times when we designate it may be a threat to our “safety” (airport security, taking the citizenship oath, out in pubic..). It spreads the message that we shouldn’t take in refugees because “they” *might* be “terrorists”.

It spreads the message that we will continue to ignore the fact that although more violence toward Canadians occurs by OTHER Canadians we will not consider ALL white men terrorists, but because a few radical Muslims have started some shit, all Muslims are therefore, terrorists.

I have heard tons of arguments either way. It’s ridiculous. Recently I have had several arguments specifically regarding the issue of the Burqa. The argument is: We need to ban the Burqa. Rationale? It varies.

  1. Because the Burqa is oppressive. Muslim men FORCE Muslim women to be their slaves and be covered head to toe against their will.
    – Let’s unpack this because it is full of holes. First, not ALL Muslim men consider Muslim women “less than”. The ideas around this are changing every day. Saying ALL Muslim men mistreat their wives is like saying that ALL white men hit their wives. Some do. Some don’t. I also find it funny how many White, Canadian men are against this “mistreatment” of Muslim women but do nothing about living in a patriarchal society that puts them above women in the “importance hierarchy”.
    Further, ask a Muslim Burqa-wearing woman why she wears it. There are many reasons. Not the least of which is because SHE WANTS TO. Because she was taught that wearing a Burqa= dressing conservatively. Banning a Burqa is akin to banning pants and turtlenecks for Canadian women. Really unfair.
    Banning the Burqa also oppresses Muslim women. You are taking away their CHOICE. Instead of saying that Muslim women can wear what they want when they come to Canada, you are saying that they can only wear the clothing that makes us more comfortable.. even if it means they feel exposed, vulnerable, and embarrassed by their dress.
  2. It’s a safety issue.
    – Because you cannot see their faces, women in Burqas could be anyone. Literally anyone! Nevermind the fact that my drivers license photo looks completely different from my passport photo which looks different from my current look… I mean, I could be *gasp* anyone… In a society where we dye our hair, get colour contacts, and undergo plastic surgery, seeing someones “face” does not = security.
    More than that, please cite me one example of a terrorist coming to this country dressed as a Muslim woman in a Burqa, and performed an act of terror.. Seeing a person’s face will NOT stop them from terrorist actions if that is the path they are travelling on. Likewise, not seeing someone’s face will not make them a terrorist.
  3. It is disrespectful to Canadian values.
    – BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Okay, now that I am finished laughing… let’s look for a second at Canadian Values as stated in the Magna Carta (The Great Charter of Freedoms)

    • Freedom of conscience and religion;
      -Translation: You get to believe in any religion you want, and it upholds Canadian values!
    • Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of speech and of the press;
      -Translation: You can have any belief or opinion you want, and still uphold Canadian values!
    • Freedom of peaceful assembly; and
    • Freedom of association.
      -Translation: You can associate with whomever you want and still uphold Canadian values!

      • Mobility Rights — Canadians can live and work anywhere they choose in Canada, enter and leave the country freely, and apply for a passport.
      • Aboriginal Peoples’ Rights — The rights guaranteed in the Charter will not adversely affect any treaty or other rights or freedoms of Aboriginal peoples.
      • Official Language Rights and Minority Language Educational Rights — French and English have equal status in Parliament and throughout the government.
      • Multiculturalism — A fundamental characteristic of the Canadian heritage and identity. Canadians celebrate the gift of one another’s presence and work hard to respect pluralism and live in harmony.
        -Let’s highlight this one because it is very relevant. This days that a fundamental Canadian value is to respect other cultures and live in harmony with them. What this doesn’t say is that we are to assimilate them, ban parts of their culture or religion, or impose our lifestyle onto them.

    There is also this piece to being a citizen:

    Citizenship Responsibilities

    In Canada, rights come with responsibilities. These include:

    • Obeying the law — One of Canada’s founding principles is the rule of law. Individuals and governments are regulated by laws and not by arbitrary actions. No person or group is above the law.
    • Taking responsibility for oneself and one’s family — Getting a job, taking care of one’s family and working hard in keeping with one’s abilities are important Canadian values. Work contributes to personal dignity and self-respect, and to Canada’s prosperity.
    • Serving on a jury — When called to do so, you are legally required to serve. Serving on a jury is a privilege that makes the justice system work as it depends on impartial juries made up of citizens.
    • Voting in elections — The right to vote comes with a responsibility to vote in federal, provincial or territorial and local elections.
    • Helping others in the community — Millions of volunteers freely donate their time to help others without pay—helping people in need, assisting at your child’s school, volunteering at a food bank or other charity, or encouraging newcomers to integrate. Volunteering is an excellent way to gain useful skills and develop friends and contacts.
    • Protecting and enjoying our heritage and environment — Every citizen has a role to play in avoiding waste and pollution while protecting Canada’s natural, cultural and architectural heritage for future generations.

      Nowhere in here do I read anything about dress.

      Maybe more “Canadians” should uphold Canadian values and stop trying to tell other people how to be more “Canadian”.Just sayin’.

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You’re Not Nice

You’re not nice. There, I said it. I’ve wanted to say it for a long time. I’ve wanted to tell you that nobody believes you. We’re not stupid. We know an act when we see one. We know you don’t really love us. In fact, you probably don’t even like most of us, but that’s okay – we don’t like you either.

In truth, I almost feel sorry for you. I say almost, because every time you spew forth your phony rhetoric, I feel this almost uncontrollable urge to wretch. Why, you might ask, do I feel sorry for you? The answer is fairly simple. It must take an unbelievable amount of energy to keep up such a farce; to love, when what you really feel is disdain

I almost feel sorry for you because you must have real self esteem problems or you wouldn’t feel the need to constantly tell everyone how wonderful, intelligent, creative, kind, loving, supportive, giving, and industrious you are. How you’ve faced every adversity and adversary possible, yet came out this wonderful, nurturing individual. From the way you talk, I’m sure you must float out of bed each morning on a ray of sunshine. I bet even when you fart the gases permeate the air like lilacs.

I almost feel sorry for you because if for five minutes you could stop playing the part, if you could stop trying to control every situation, if you could let go of the bullshit and just be real; if you could let someone else have an opinion; if you could stop thinking only you have a brain, then maybe, just maybe, you could have and be a friend. The fact of the matter is, nice people don’t have to tell others how wonderful they are. Anyone can bandy about a few hugs and compliments. True kindness come from the heart.

In case you need clarification, I’ve been so kind as to provide a link: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kind

Unfortunately, you are too afraid to let go of the power you believe you need. You are afraid to let people get to know the real you. Instead you choose to stay locked in your imaginary world, where everyone loves you and you love everyone. I almost feel sorry for you because you don’t know the jig is up. Hugs can only go so far. We see the rage behind your eyes; your inability to really connect with anyone; your need to own us. We are no longer amused. If it’s minions you want, take your business elsewhere.

If you’re wondering why I never told you this before – the truth is – I’m nice.

The Woman In The Mirror

abused-womanWith eyes closed she ran the comb through her long thick hair, unable to find the courage she needed to face the woman in the mirror. Her reflection would not lie and she’d had enough truth in her life. Truth was a bad thing. Truth was not her friend. As long as she kept her eyes closed she could dream. She needed to dream – to escape.
The woman in the mirror taunted her – dared her to open her eyes. She dropped the comb and shook her head in answer to the woman in the mirror. Why did she torture her so? She knew what she’d been through. Why wouldn’t she leave her alone? I won’t let her get to me, she thought. I’ll show her, I’m stronger than she thinks.
Opening her eyes slightly, she reached, with shaking hands, for the comb, making certain to keep her eyes averted from the woman in the mirror, lest she see the fear she invoked.
It was too late. The woman in the mirror saw her chance and took it. “Do you think he’ll come to you tonight?”
“No,” she whispered.
“I think he will.”
“No,” she whispered again. “Not tonight.”
“It’s been a while. He’ll come.”
She looked at the woman in the mirror. “I said no. He won’t come. He knows I’m tired. He won’t come.”
Closing her eyes again she thought about the last time he’d used her. She could still feel his hands on her skin- touching her. She could feel his hot breath against her neck. How could he be so close and not hear her crying? Not feel her tears? Her shaking?
The knock on the bathroom door was barely audible. She opened her eyes and stared at the woman in the mirror. She looked smug. “He wants you.”
“I can’t.”
“You will.”
“I can’t.”
“Hon, are you coming to bed?” he called through the door.
“I can’t,” she whispered.
“You must.”
The bathroom door swung open and her husband walked in. “Who were you talking to?” he asked, noting the empty room.
“No one,” she lied.
“Good. Then come to bed.”
She followed him down the hall to their room. He wasn’t a bad man. In many ways he’d been a good husband. So why was it that she couldn’t bear the thought of him touching her? She watched as he pulled back the covers and removed his robe. Why was it that she now found his body so repulsive? She knew the woman in the mirror was right. Her reprieve was over. He lay on his side patting the bed, inviting her to join him. She climbed into bed beside him, thankful for the lack of light. At least he wouldn’t see her cringe when he reached for her. Not that he’d notice.
She turned on her side giving him her back in hope that he might leave her be, but he reached for her in the blackness of their room and pulled her against him. Rubbing his penis against her thighs he roughly pulled her nightgown above her hips. Her breath caught in her throat and she bit her lip to stop herself from crying out as he entered her. One hand crept up cupping her breast and she turned her face into the pillow to hide her humiliation from the night. Hot tears of shame burned the back of her eyes, then cautiously began their journey down her face. Holding back the sobs that were building in her chest, she prayed for him to finish quickly.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, but in reality had only been a few minutes, she felt his body tremble as he emptied his seed into her. He never moved from the position, but she knew he’d fallen asleep when a short time later he began to snore quietly.
Lifting his hand from her slim hips, she extricated herself from his grasp and stole down the hall to the bathroom. After closing the door and locking it, she placed the plug in the sink and filled it with water.
“Well?”
“Please.”
“Did you like it?”
“I can’t.”
“Apparently, you can.”
“I’m tired. I can’t do this,” she said, picking up a clean face-cloth and soaking it with soapy water before rubbing it vigorously between her legs.
“There’s more where that came from.”
Immersing the cloth again and again, she scrubbed until long after the pain began. She scrubbed until she was numb. Exhaustion finally claimed her and she slept, curled in a ball, her arms wrapped about her knees in an effort to stop the shaking.
“Honey, why do you have the door locked?”
She stood on trembling legs, her hand over her mouth. How had she fallen asleep?
“Unlock the door.”
“Ah… yeah… just a minute.”
Years of control had worn away at her. She didn’t know who she was anymore, who she wanted to be, but she longed to find out. How had she let it happen? When had she relinquished her rights? It wasn’t as though he beat her. He hadn’t hit her in years. She didn’t think he would either, yet somehow he continued to control her. Somehow she always felt on the defensive. He had a way of making her feel… not quite good enough. Never quite pretty enough, never quite smart enough, never quite anything.
The woman in the mirror laughed at her, “God, look at you. You’re pathetic. You have the power.”
“No.”
“Yes you do. You’ve always had it,”
“Please. I can’t.”
“Yes you can.”
“No.”
“Hon, open the door.”
She could tell from his tone that he was irritated that she had dared to lock him out. She pulled it open and let her husband in.
“Why was the door locked?”
“I had to go to the bathroom.”
“So? There’s no one here but me. You weren’t trying to keep me out were you?”
“No. I guess I wasn’t thinking.”
Satisfied with her answer he pressed her against the wall, his hands pulling up her nightgown. She flinched when he stuck his hand between her legs, his fingers digging their way inside. She thought she was going to be sick. How could this be happening? He had already used her once tonight. She could feel his erection as he leaned into her, forcing penetration. She tried to push him away, but he laughed, enjoying his control of her.
“Pretend you don’t want it.”
“Don’t.” She hated when he played his rape fantasy with her. It was too close to the truth.
“Come on, our sex life has become boring, mechanical.”
“I’m tired.”
“You’ve always got some excuse. You never want sex anymore, ever since you got your tubes tied. Maybe we should see about getting them untied.” He tried once more digging his fingers between her legs- hurting her- but she grabbed his hand, stopping him. He shook his head in disgust. Shoving her away as though suddenly repulsed, he turned and stalked down the hall to their bedroom.
Closing the door behind him, she leaned against the wall and closed her eyes.
“Pathetic.”
She opened her eyes to find the woman in the mirror staring at her. “Leave me alone.”
“You call yourself a woman? How?”
She closed her eyes again. She had to escape, but where? How? She couldn’t let him touch her again. She couldn’t face the woman in the mirror anymore. She was beginning to think she was crazy. She reached for the door, opening it quickly, avoiding the woman in the mirror.
She crept quietly into the kitchen and took the car keys from the hook on the wall. She hesitated- where was she going to go? She didn’t have any money. She wasn’t even dressed. She didn’t care. She was going, and for now that was all that mattered.
Inside the safety of the car a thrill shot through her. She was really leaving. The adrenalin began rushing through her veins. She turned on the radio. They couldn’t hurt her anymore! Backing out of the driveway, she checked the rear-view mirror. Her heart leapt into her throat. The woman in the mirror had followed her. Stepping on the accelerator she sped down the road trying to block out the accusing stare of the woman in the mirror.
“Coward.”
“I’m done listening to you.”
“You didn’t even bring your purse.”
She hadn’t even thought about it. How could she be so stupid?
The woman in the mirror saw the panic in her eyes and knew that she’d gotten to her. “Fuck. You can’t even leave right.”
“Shut-up.” She fumbled with the radio, turning it up as loud as it would go.
“You’ll have to go back.”
“I can’t hear you.”
Then the car began to sputter and choke. She pumped the gas pedal, but nothing happened. The steering wheel froze and the car stalled in the middle of the road.
“You’re not going anywhere, sweetheart.”
She tried the key but nothing happened.
“What an idiot. You’re out of gas.”
She tried the key again, but the fuel gauge told her that the woman in the mirror was right.
“What are you going to do now?”
“Shut-up!” She rested her head against the steering wheel.
The woman in the mirror continued to mock her.”You’re not crying again are you?”
“I said shut-up!”
The cry of a train wailed in the distance. What was she going to do now? She couldn’t go back. The train whistle blew again and she realized with horror that she had stalled on the tracks. She turned the key again and again. Nothing happened.
“Get out of the car, stupid.”
She tried the ignition once more, but it was futile.
“Go!”
The train was approaching fast. She could feel the ground beneath her begin to tremble. What was she going to tell her husband? She grabbed the door-handle. It was now or never. She had just enough time to escape before the train hit.
“Get out of the fuckin’ car!”
Her eyes locked with the woman in the mirror. For the first time she didn’t look quite so smart, quite so smug. In fact, she looked terrified. Her eyes were big and full of tears that had begun to pour down her face.
“Please.”
“You’re not crying are you?” She felt her lips turn up at the corners of her mouth and she began to laugh.
“Please.”
Letting go of the handle, she placed her hands back on the steering wheel, never breaking eye contact with the woman in the mirror.
She barely heard the impact of steel against steel – so intent was she on the death of the woman in the mirror; the woman who had robbed her of her sanity; the woman who had taken her life years before. She felt the train cut through her car. She welcomed the searing pain – welcomed death – welcomed peace from the woman in the mirror.