Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Politics of Breasts

NSFW WARNING: You should assume any link in this blog is not safe for work.*

Ezra Levant spent ten minutes and six tweets decrying the horrors of a person who is running to lead the country having his picture taken with a woman.

That seems like an odd sentence, doesn't it? Of course a man and woman can have their picture taken together!

Not so, if the woman is topless. This picture was taken at the Toronto Pride Parade. Toronto, where it's perfectly legal to go topless. Therefore, I can only assume there's outrage at this photo.

As an aside, I feel absolutely horrible for this woman. I'm assuming she asked for this picture. I don't know how it got out, but it did. I have no idea what her name is, but I suspect in the coming days I will. She did nothing wrong here and there's a good chance a million people will be inappropriately sexualizing her this time next week.** 

Against my better judgement, I'm going to try and answer the idiotic questions posed by Mr.Levant:

What politician would pose for this picture?
Justin Trudeau

What strategist would advise it?
I imagine a strategist doesn't advise on every single picture the candidate takes. 

What point does it prove?
That you consider the female body obscene. 

Does this photo court the vote of women? Of moms? Of wives? 
It might? I don't think that's the point though. I wasn't there, but I would guess the young lady asked Mr.Trudeau for a picture and he gave her one just like he did the topless men. 

What does it say about him? About what he thinks of her? 
That he isn't the kind of man who thinks every time a female nipple is visible it's time for a sex act. 

What father of daughters would vote for Trudeau upon seeing this? What mother of daughters? What older brother? 
Ones that don't consider the female body to be merely sexual object for male fulfillment.  

This is what a frat boy does; what a “ladies’ man” does. Is it what a husband & father does? A leader? 
Yes. A woman asked for her picture taken and he obliged and didn't discriminate against her breasts. 

Yes, seriously. 

Media Party clucked when I criticized Trudeau kissing another man’s young bride on her wedding day. There’s a pattern.
There's a pattern of treating women as autonomous beings capable of deciding what's appropriate to do with their body.

If you were being attacked as unserious, childish, “just not ready” would you pose for a photo that proved that true?
Probably not. Though, this photo does nothing of the sort. 

So there you have it. It's the 21st century and we're still fighting against people terrified of breasts. 

*Though, there's really nothing sexual about the picture, I appreciate that this may land some people in hot water at their place of employment.
**By the by, maybe she wants to be sexualized - and there's nothing wrong with that either. 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Making That Writ Drop - WubWubWubWubWub

While unofficial at this point, it's all but certain that the writ will drop tomorrow and we'll be in a full blown election cycle. 11 weeks of electioneering for your summertime pleasure. If you're looking for writings on how this is the downfall of democracy, a mass manipulation of the election system, and how Mr.Harper is actually an evil genius rigging the system to his advantage - I'm afraid you won't find that here.

While it might be a bit presumptuous of me to disagree with the former Elections Canada head, I'm actually pretty pleased with the choice to open up the writ period here. Not because I'm a political junkie, because I could use another month with that part of my brain turned off. I'm really pleased with this simply because it's formalizing the obvious. If anything, the writ should have dropped the morning after the last day parliament sat.

Candidates have been campaigning since January, really. It started revving up June 20 when the house was out. Since that time, MP's and candidates have been attending every BBQ or community event they could find in hopes of endearing themselves to a few more winnable votes. The dropping of the writ merely formalizes the reality that we're in campaign season.

While there seems to be a great number of folks happy to decry the timing of the writ (surely not because it's cutting into their vacation), perhaps the disdain would be better targeted toward the time honored and non-partisan* tradition of bribing us with our own money. These announcements, that only the governing party gets to make, are essentially taxpayer funded PR for the governing party. As Marshall Jones pointed out on CANADALAND: Short Cuts these events are usually useless for the most part. The government member there will stay on script, not say anything new, and it all gets sent out in a press release at the end anyways. The fact that these events even get local media coverage is evidence of a mainstream media wrangled into submission.

So bring on the writ, I say. We've been in election season for a year and it's about time the facts reflected that.

In the meantime, I managed to find this video of Stephen Harper trying to decide when to drop the bass writ. 

*I say non-partisan as this is something every government in the last 100 years has done.