NDP #15

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Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Kara the mini lectures from various people are all free of charge. It's just their way of showing how friendly and open they are.

What lectures K? What you mean is ignore these people who refuse to see you are right and they are wrong. I'll speak for myself. My wife said didn't see the big deal. If we assume just for argument's sake that only a "female" can unerstand, "sexism", how do you explain my wife's opinion? Is she is sexist, and who determines it? How about Jan? Who decides who is providing the "definitive" view on this. Kara could be right r wrong. I say there is something missing from this discussion. That's, MY, opinion.

People have their opinions; that's all they are. Get over it.

Jacob Two-Two

Yeah, I believe that you guys don't understand how dismissive you're being, but I think it would be worth your while to make a bit more effort. This kind of thing is exactly why women stop posting on this board.

NorthReport

The Liberals are lost dealing with their own Leader being discredited over his outrageous speaking fees, and the Trudeau-Liberals Senators' "entitled to their entitlements" mess, so the NDP has a golden opportunity here.

Harper government denounces corruption after arrest of former Conservative staffer

http://www.canada.com/Harper+government+denounces+corruption+after+arres...

 

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

Yeah, I believe that you guys don't understand how dismissive you're being, but I think it would be worth your while to make a bit more effort. This kind of thing is exactly why women stop posting on this board.

That simply isn't true. I have stated my wife, she's a woman, doesn't see what the fuss is. She served in the military and had to deal with a male dominated environment. I am senstive to what she went through and understand this issue. I haven't dismissed Kara,but I simpl don't agree with her. Its like you are saying if you aren't a  women you can't understand this issue; this is simply untrue. Its like as a Jew me saying you can't possibly understand issues about Isreal because you aren't Jewish. There's no difference. Just because someone asserts somthing doesn't make it so. I have explained myself and I welcom debate. Your comment is unfair and not a true reflection of what I am saying, if no one else.

socialdemocrati...

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Kara the mini lectures from various people are all free of charge. It's just their way of showing how friendly and open they are.

Oh, I'm very open. I'm just not open to people who want to make accusations that can be legitimately defended away, and who start attacking people when they get any kind of pushback.

Kind of reminds me of you, kropotkin. Remember when you made up a whole ton of stuff about the NDP? And when people invalidated those claims with actual policies and quotes from the NDP leadership, you just threw up your hands and said "but Mulcair was a Liberal, fuck him"? Good times.

Congratulations on becoming rabble's new welcome wagon.

Pondering

Well of course if one woman says something isn't sexist that means it isn't, no matter how many other women say it is sexist.

Was it the be all and end all of sexist comments? No, but it was derogatory towards the female officier insinuating that she is nothing but a "meter maid" who acted above her station. She was referred to disparagingly. Maybe he didn't mean it that way, maybe it came out wrong. The correct response is still "sorry".

And yes, that is partly why you don't have many women posting here. It is not a feminist friendly place.

NorthReport

I think one of the NDP's political challenges is in the process of diminishing:

Trudeau is seeking absolution without admitting guilt

He would have been better off agreeing with the streetwise letter-writer to the Montreal Gazette, who summed it up thus: “What you did was not cool, bro.” A little contrition goes a long way – voters like leaders who can coax out the odd tear of remorse now and again.

Instead, during Question Period, he lapsed into the pomposity of one of his $20k speeches. “We don’t just follow the rules, we raise the bar,” he said and promptly sat down with a sheepish look on his face, as the Conservatives and NDP dissolved into laughter.

Voters give most politicians about three seconds before becoming bored, but their memories are longer than the average goldfish — they remember that a number of the speeches for which Mr. Trudeau charged almost half the average annual salary were given on days when he should have been at work in the House of Commons.

Three more speeches came to light Monday — one to Georgian College in Barrie, Ont.; another to the University of Guelph and a third for the Ontario municipality of Chatham Kent. All three made losses for which the taxpayer is ultimately on the hook. Mr. Trudeau is absolutely correct that he did not cross any red lines. But their collected weight does undermine his attempted Love Actually moment, as the morally principled would-be prime minister.

----------------------------------------------------------

Or to top up their salaries. If Mr. Trudeau’s adventure in private enterprise has any upside, it is to alert the public that the first priority of their elected member may not be his or her constituents – it may very well be their elected member.

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/06/17/john-ivison-trudeau-is-se...

 

socialdemocrati...

Nah. But you know what IS sexist, though, Ponderer? When a Liberal supporter came through here and said that women would vote for Trudeau because he's good looking. That was a low point on this forum. Wish you could have seen it.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Jacob Two-Two wrote:
Yeah, I believe that you guys don't understand how dismissive you're being, but I think it would be worth your while to make a bit more effort. This kind of thing is exactly why women stop posting on this board.

THIS.

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
Nah. But you know what IS sexist, though, Ponderer? When a Liberal supporter came through here and said that women would vote for Trudeau because he's good looking. That was a low point on this forum. Wish you could have seen it.

This kind of statement just depresses me. Yes, let's dismiss the challenging of harmful and insulting stereotypes on a feminist discussion board (sic). Good work, lefties. Making women feel included in politics since the Lysistrata.

Carry on with this important "discussion."

socialdemocrati...

Women make up barely 10% of all board members in the corporate sector, and less than a quarter of all municipal posts in Canada. In the news, there are MORE aboriginal women missing and dying with a complete shrug from law enforcement. Women are literally dying because of poor consumer protections on birth control pills. All in the past few weeks.

But yes, let's get back to analyzing the lyrics of that Beatles song. THIS is what generates the most discussion there's been on this board in weeks. THAT depresses me.

Catchfire wrote:

Carry on with this important "discussion."

What he said.

Sean in Ottawa

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

Yeah, I believe that you guys don't understand how dismissive you're being, but I think it would be worth your while to make a bit more effort. This kind of thing is exactly why women stop posting on this board.

Jacob stand on your accusations. Who is being dismissive and how?

I don't like this broad brush shit when it happens here.

I personally accepted and supported the argument until it ran its course. Then I suggested what the next step would be if the purpose was to make a difference not continue for purely partisan purposes. I did not dismiss anything.

You should be more careful when you make insinuations.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Well of course if one woman says something isn't sexist that means it isn't, no matter how many other women say it is sexist.

Was it the be all and end all of sexist comments? No, but it was derogatory towards the female officier insinuating that she is nothing but a "meter maid" who acted above her station. She was referred to disparagingly. Maybe he didn't mean it that way, maybe it came out wrong. The correct response is still "sorry".

And yes, that is partly why you don't have many women posting here. It is not a feminist friendly place.

No Pondering you are flat wrong.

Charlie Angus made a joke about the Conservatives insinuating that the officer was nothing but a meter maid to be used and abused as Conservatives do. This is after piles of sexist shit in the House for months now from them.

Look at what he said and the context.

It was inappropriate and he apologized. I criticized his statement and did not defend it.

I do object to what the incident is being morphed into as mostly Liberal and Conservative men get to pick over the story and use the reality of sexism to warp it into some attempt at political advantage. That is a violation. It makes a mockery of the original complaint, of the reality women face and of the efforts to beat back sexism. Angus was wrong but this debate has crossed into a whole new order of magnitude.

And it is a little rich for partisans of sexist parties to stand on feminism once in a while to twist something into some kind of partisan advantage so they can then go back to being regular sexists again having made their point. Dripping hypocrisy.

I stand behind my suggestion that anyone who wants to educate Angus, publicly or privately, ought at this point to write to him and let him respond not use and abuse the story without further purpose.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Pondering:

You wrote, in part, "It is not a feminist friendly place"

Baloney.

Sean: What you said just above; NAILED IT!

MegB

The above dialogue on feminism and sexism leaves me with a faint sense of nausea. Watching the dominant white male culture here in babble defining what is or isn''t feminist is disgusting. Watching the same bully and pile on someone who actually understands sexism is beyond the pale. This is exactly why babble is not a women-friendly place, let alone a pro-feminist place. I am so infuriated and disappointed I can't even articulate it.

janfromthebruce

On a broader front and rabble is Dobbin talking about progressive politics Reinventing progressive politics

Reflective of this decay of democracy is the recent BC election in which a totally bankrupt Liberal government won re-election against an NDP which thought it could stroll to power using the conventional machine approach to elections. But to truly draw upon people's progressive instincts you have to engage them at the community level year round. Just think of the odds against winning in the conventional BC contest: a totally hostile media which effectively operates like the propaganda arm of the Liberal Party, live-steaming neo-liberal ideology into every home every day of every year.

Yes, and that those movement people and "real activists" are trying to keep their heads above water and also saving the "china" at the community level. That same BCLib party in which federal not progressive Trudeau congratulated and suggested helping the middle class (cough, I'm sure he meant the top 10 percenters but I digress).

At the federal level a single policy area fatally reduces the NDP's capacity for progressive positions. The NDP refuses to seriously address the revenue/tax issue. Conservative and Liberal tax cuts have lopped off between $50 and $80 billion a year in revenue without which the NDP can do virtually nothing to reverse the dismantling of the social democratic features of the federal state.

To be fair to the NDP the other missing element in national politics are robust, grassroots social and labour movements whose role it is to move the ideological and political goal posts to the left. With the aforementioned media ready and willing to trash any policy or party that steps outside the bounds of what is acceptable to Bay Street, it is not difficult to understand the NDP's reluctance to provide bold leadership on critical issues. Without social movements creating the political space an electoral machine party is vulnerable when it comes to taking bold positions.

Two recent examples of the NDP taking advantage of political space created by social movement organizations demonstrate how it should work. Last year the NDP alarmed social activists with statements suggesting broad acceptance of corporate rights ("free trade") deals, including the odious CETA deal with the EU. But recently, both Don Davies the NDP trade critic and Mulcair himself have come out clearly against the investor-state provisions of these deals -- provisions that neutralize government's capacity for legislation by allowing corporations to sue governments directly for laws that affect their profitability. That change followed effective grass roots campaigns against CETA and FIPA, the 31-year deal with China.

oh, isn't the FIPA deal with China that Lib Leader Trudeau thought was just peachy and fine with him (cough).

History does not move backwards and there is no grass roots push within the NDP membership for developing a movement/party that actually engages ordinary citizens on a year round basis.

It takes time, energy and people who for the most part working their butts off trying to stay above water and working at the local level. Go back to first comment inserted.

Civic politics is where the frontier is and where many are putting their efforts but as usual those municipal councils and school boards are also the creatures of their provincial govts who, what a surprise, are in almost complete control of their budgets and what they can and can't do. It's the hamster in wheel phenomena.

Just saying but good food for thought by Dobbin.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Rebecca West wrote:
The above dialogue on feminism and sexism leaves me with a faint sense of nausea. Watching the dominant white male culture here in babble defining what is or is n''t feminist is disgusting. Watching the same bully and pile on someone who actually understands sexism is beyond the pale. This is exactly why babble is not a women-friendly place, let alone a pro-feminist place. I am so infuriated and disappointed I can't even articulate it.

So you don't agree that she should write to Angus?

I was not defining what was sexist but clarifying how the statement was made with its own context. I did not defend it but I did say there was no point going into weeks of discussion here without talking to the person who said it. I don't think that is too much to ask. Certainly I was one of the first to argue that Angus should not be let off the hook.

I never said that Angus was right-- read up thread this was clear. I did say at some point that he could have been suggesting, however inappropriately, that the Conservatives were using the officer. That is a fair reading of what he said although still not excusable.

You say dominant in order I guess to completely ignore the fact that there were women on both sides of this discussion?

Even a white male here can ask that a person be given a right to be involved in the criticism being made about him that is going into the second week. Or does fundamental fairness not enter the discussion?

I think you are making this an "us" and "them" situation. Problem is when you define allies as enemies you can lose or at least sideline your allies.

I came into this discussion because I felt Angus was getting off too lightly. But apparently according to you I should have butted out. This was a little more complicated than a comment directed at the officer-- the comment was directed at the Conservatives who were raising the issue of sexism (accusing Mulcair) before Angus spoke and he may have called them on it in a way that was horribly wrong-- although the sarcasm may have been more obvious not coming from a man. Even so, I think Angus regardless of intentions should not have gone there but he still has a right to explain his intentions. He still has a right to be quoted as directing the comment to the Conservatives who were claiming Mulcair was sexist. His mistake still deserves to be seen as it was not changed into some comment made to, at and about the officer since that is not what happened. It was clearly about how the Conservatives were using the officer. I don't think it is unfair to have that context entered into the discussion. And no that's not a defining of what is sexist-- its an inclusion of the facts. I had already categorized the statement as sexist regardless of context. There was no need to darken it further by suggesting the comment was made to the officer about the officer.

And no I don't think it is right regardless of the situation to sing songs or refer to songs when talking about sexism. Or is that too much for a white male to say?

I don't take responsibility for what others said in this thread -- not because of my gender or any other reason. You can put away the nice big brush.

Kara

Arthur Cramer wrote:

I'm with Sean on this Kara. You've made your point, other have offered counter. You know where I stand, I told you why and I stand by what I posted. I completely understand everything you posted. I think Sean is right. Write Charle and let us know what he said. I've posted a reply I got from Tom Mulcair himself and I don't see any reason why you shouldn' give Charlie a chance to explain himself. You aren't going to change minds here by contiuing trying to push people without  offering something else. For my money, the NDP has done more to stand up for women through the policies it has always offered then the two old line parties and the Greens combined. Write Charlie and post his reply; we'd all like to discuss with you whatever you subsequently post, but it seems to me the "ball is in  your court", now.

First off Arthur, even though I don't always agree with you I think you are a good guy.  However, neither you nor Sean nor anyone else  especially a male are even remotely in the right to tell me to write Angus or to imply the discussion is finished when the issue involved is women's rights.  Angus not only made a sexist comment, he followed it up with a non-apology that was dismissive at best, thereby reinforcing the fact that he is sexist at his core.  You said it yourself - maybe it was the first thing that popped into his mind.  If that is indeed the case that a sexist comment was the first thing that popped into his mind, then why is there any debate at all as to whether he is sexist?  Yet, I am supposed to write him?  I have better things to do with my time than to write someone like Angus who clearly does not get it.

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Kara the mini lectures from various people are all free of charge. It's just their way of showing how friendly and open they are.

But k, without the help from the men folk, how would us poor women folk know what to think or do? I still think the majority of people here are okay, even though my female friends who I have tried to encourage to participate here have all declined to do so and think I am masochistic for continuing to participate here when I can.

Arthur Cramer wrote:

What lectures K? What you mean is ignore these people who refuse to see you are right and they are wrong. I'll speak for myself. My wife said didn't see the big deal. If we assume just for argument's sake that only a "female" can unerstand, "sexism", how do you explain my wife's opinion? Is she is sexist, and who determines it? How about Jan? Who decides who is providing the "definitive" view on this. Kara could be right r wrong. I say there is something missing from this discussion. That's, MY, opinion.

People have their opinions; that's all they are. Get over it.


Women, just like men, have divergent opinions.  However, on feminist issues, "people" don't get to have opinons - only women get to have opinions.  My husband was the one who shared the Angus story with me followed by e-mails from some other women in our women engineers network.  I can assure you that most of the other women in our network are annoyed about this and the way, like all things female, it is dismissed.

Is it the worst thing that has happened to women this week - no.  However, all the decades of work to make some progress towards equality, rests on a rather fragile foundation.  Each steady drip, drip, drip erodes the foundation and would ultimately lead to collapse if left unchecked.  That is why we have a zero tolerance policy about anything anti-woman.  Many of us come from an era where we were forced to take cooking and sewing and refused the right to take welding and woodworking -  because, as we were told, what man would ever want us if we couldn't cook, clean, sew, bear children, etc. - the only legitimate reasons for women to exist.  When we were denied the right to participate in sports like wrestling because it could hurt our lady parts.  Discouraged from pursuing mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc. (all my favourite stuff) because we shouldn't hurt our pretty little heads.  Denied access to prizes / awards / scholarships we legitimately, unequivocally, undeniably won because the boys need them more because they will have families to support one day.  So perhaps we are bull headed but we refuse to let anything slide because even the smallest of things undermine the progress we have made.

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

Yeah, I believe that you guys don't understand how dismissive you're being, but I think it would be worth your while to make a bit more effort. This kind of thing is exactly why women stop posting on this board.

Very true Jacob about the lack of female participation here.  What is even sadder is that many here don't even notice the declining number of women here.

Arthur Cramer wrote:

That simply isn't true. I have stated my wife, she's a woman, doesn't see what the fuss is. She served in the military and had to deal with a male dominated environment. I am senstive to what she went through and understand this issue. I haven't dismissed Kara,but I simpl don't agree with her. Its like you are saying if you aren't a  women you can't understand this issue; this is simply untrue. Its like as a Jew me saying you can't possibly understand issues about Isreal because you aren't Jewish. There's no difference. Just because someone asserts somthing doesn't make it so. I have explained myself and I welcom debate. Your comment is unfair and not a true reflection of what I am saying, if no one else.

I respect both your wife's opinion and her right to express it.  However, quite a while ago, somebody posted a flow chart with guidelines for discussing women's reproductive rights that is appropriate to this issue.  Essentially, it was a question "do you have a vagina", followed by the options "no" ----> "shut up" and "yes" ---> "express your opinion".

As a male, you most certainly have the right to condemn something as sexist.  However, neither you nor any other man have the right to tell me or any other women that something is not sexist.

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Oh, I'm very open. I'm just not open to people who want to make accusations that can be legitimately defended away, and who start attacking people when they get any kind of pushback.

The person who started the attacking in this thread was not me.  However, seemingly those who tow the party line get a pass from you even when they are wrong.  I am perfectly within my rights to defend myself. 

And, you do not get to determine what can and cannot be "legitimately defended away".

"In the circles *I* live in, people who make accusations should be ready to back them up with evidence, and people who stand accused should be able to rest on facts to defend themselves." <<--- that's a quote from one of your other posts.  Now, tell me why you don't direct that towards those here that make false accusations towards me, kropotkin, etc.?  Oh right, it only applies to those who support the right party.

Read my response to Arthur above about how smaller things lead to bigger problems.  You mentioned other women's issues not being mentioned here - probably because this thread is about the NDP and, in the case of this discussion, about an NDP MP.  And FYI, our network does a lot for females here and overseas, whether mentoring girls here, helping young girls overseas who have been forced into prostitution, providing funding for young girls overseas to get an education, etc.

Pondering wrote:

Well of course if one woman says something isn't sexist that means it isn't, no matter how many other women say it is sexist.

Was it the be all and end all of sexist comments? No, but it was derogatory towards the female officier insinuating that she is nothing but a "meter maid" who acted above her station. She was referred to disparagingly. Maybe he didn't mean it that way, maybe it came out wrong. The correct response is still "sorry".

And yes, that is partly why you don't have many women posting here. It is not a feminist friendly place.


You are correct that the proper response is to say "sorry".  In this case, the non-apology was equally dismissive towards both the woman involved and women in general.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I personally accepted and supported the argument until it ran its course. Then I suggested what the next step would be if the purpose was to make a difference not continue for purely partisan purposes. I did not dismiss anything.

Sean, I consider you one of the good guys here but you do not get to decide when a discussion on a feminist issue has run its course nor do you get to tell me or any other woman how to respond to that issue.  This attitude is not the norm for you so I apologize for my part in bringing it out of you.

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Pondering:

You wrote, in part, "It is not a feminist friendly place"

Baloney.


Arthur, you do not get to decide if this is a feminist friendly place.  The answer should be obvious to everyone by now that it is not - look at all the women who have left and how few, if any, are joining.

Rebecca West wrote:
The above dialogue on feminism and sexism leaves me with a faint sense of nausea. Watching the dominant white male culture here in babble defining what is or isn''t feminist is disgusting. Watching the same bully and pile on someone who actually understands sexism is beyond the pale. This is exactly why babble is not a women-friendly place, let alone a pro-feminist place. I am so infuriated and disappointed I can't even articulate it.

Rebecca, I am sorry for my part in causing you in distress - after all I brought the whole thing up.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Thx Kara.  Your voice is appreciated. 

My wife tried going from a lurker to a poster a couple of months back and she found it a very uninviting and negative experience. After going toe to toe with employers all week she was not much into being mansplained to on her down time.

socialdemocrati...

Not all of us are white. And I'd venture to say I might be one of the only participants under 30 on this board. If you want to know why this board isn't very friendly to young people OR people of color, I might ask whether it's because of an old white guard with a ridigly conservative (small-c) worldview.

I appreciate that someone who has grown up in an era where women had to literally fight to go to school would adopt a zero tolerance approach to anything with even a whif of sexism. You might appreciate, then, that in anti-racist circles (especially for those under the age of 30) "zero tolerance" has as many negative connotations as positive ones. And even if you could take away how this policy reinforces institutionalized racism (you can't), absolute zero tolerance policies would still lead to enough mistakes that you'd need to tolerate discussion.

Anyone accused of something is entitled to a defense, always. Of course there are obvious examples of sexism that are so flagrant that defending it WOULD be belittling and insulting. But on babble, someone showed up to this forum for the first time in months to pounce on a Beatles reference that no one else noticed, and explain why we should collectively punish a party that she'll never vote for again. And anyone who so much as raised a legitimate question was then labeled as "bullying", let alone "depressing" and "disgusting". And everyone goes at it for another round, this time with more self-righteousness.

But that's what I love about us progressives: we're a highly effective movement that spends our time on the important issues.

Kara

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

There are obvious examples of sexism that are so flagrant that questioning it WOULD be belittling and insulting. But someone shows up to this forum for the first time in months to pounce on a Beatles reference that no one else noticed, and explain why we should collectively punish a party that she'll never vote for again. And anyone who so much as raises a question is clearly "bullying", let alone "depressing" and "disgusting".

That's what I love about us progressives: we're a highly effective movement that spends our time on the important issues.

First, once again, you do not get to determine what is not sexist , question how I or any other women feel about a feminist issue, dismiss our concerns as minor, determine what is belittling towards women, etc.

Secondly, I have never told anyone how to vote nor told them not to vote for the NDP.  This is a progressive board, not an NDP board - these days there is a very clear difference between the two.

Finally, you have an odd defintion of "months".  My first post about Angus was on June 13th, 2013.  My last post prior to that was June 12th, 2013 - since when does 1 day become months or is there some kind of strange time warp that only applies to non-NDP supporters?  My posts before that were May 31st, May 30th, May 28th, May 26th, May 25th, May 24th, etc.  Now what was that you said about backing accusations up with evidence?  And, FYI, I read here much more often than I post and it is none of your business how often I or anyone else here post.  I am not only too busy much of the time but I am visually impaired so that some things take me a bit longer than they might take others.

socialdemocrati...

You don't get to deterine who gets to determine. Should we extend this into a competition over who gets to determine whose rights, or should we just accept that everyone has basic rights?

I 100% agree that everyone's right to their own body extends to the right to not have anyone tell them how to use their own body. Where I get off the train is when you try to extend that into a right to not be criticized, questioned, or disagreed with on anything important to you.

I have disagreed with you, but my disagreement has at all times been respectful. (Which is more than I can say when you told me I was full of "BS", but hey, I let it slide.) And I can fully concede I was wrong on the timeline. I didn't bring it up as a justification but as an explanation: I thought you were someone I hadn't seen for very long, and that led me to question your motives for "coming back". And I was wrong about that, so I apologize if I took your comments in bad faith. (Part of that is the bad faith of some other commenters here, and it's unfair to lump you in based on their comments.)

janfromthebruce

On a broader front and rabble is Dobbin talking about progressive politics Reinventing progressive politics

Reflective of this decay of democracy is the recent BC election in which a totally bankrupt Liberal government won re-election against an NDP which thought it could stroll to power using the conventional machine approach to elections. But to truly draw upon people's progressive instincts you have to engage them at the community level year round. Just think of the odds against winning in the conventional BC contest: a totally hostile media which effectively operates like the propaganda arm of the Liberal Party, live-steaming neo-liberal ideology into every home every day of every year.

Yes, and that those movement people and "real activists" are trying to keep their heads above water and also saving the "china" at the community level. That same BCLib party in which federal not progressive Trudeau congratulated and suggested helping the middle class (cough, I'm sure he meant the top 10 percenters but I digress).

At the federal level a single policy area fatally reduces the NDP's capacity for progressive positions. The NDP refuses to seriously address the revenue/tax issue. Conservative and Liberal tax cuts have lopped off between $50 and $80 billion a year in revenue without which the NDP can do virtually nothing to reverse the dismantling of the social democratic features of the federal state.

To be fair to the NDP the other missing element in national politics are robust, grassroots social and labour movements whose role it is to move the ideological and political goal posts to the left. With the aforementioned media ready and willing to trash any policy or party that steps outside the bounds of what is acceptable to Bay Street, it is not difficult to understand the NDP's reluctance to provide bold leadership on critical issues. Without social movements creating the political space an electoral machine party is vulnerable when it comes to taking bold positions.

Two recent examples of the NDP taking advantage of political space created by social movement organizations demonstrate how it should work. Last year the NDP alarmed social activists with statements suggesting broad acceptance of corporate rights ("free trade") deals, including the odious CETA deal with the EU. But recently, both Don Davies the NDP trade critic and Mulcair himself have come out clearly against the investor-state provisions of these deals -- provisions that neutralize government's capacity for legislation by allowing corporations to sue governments directly for laws that affect their profitability. That change followed effective grass roots campaigns against CETA and FIPA, the 31-year deal with China.

oh, isn't the FIPA deal with China that Lib Leader Trudeau thought was just peachy and fine with him (cough).

History does not move backwards and there is no grass roots push within the NDP membership for developing a movement/party that actually engages ordinary citizens on a year round basis.

It takes time, energy and people who for the most part working their butts off trying to stay above water and working at the local level. Go back to first comment inserted.

Civic politics is where the frontier is and where many are putting their efforts but as usual those municipal councils and school boards are also the creatures of their provincial govts who, what a surprise, are in almost complete control of their budgets and what they can and can't do. It's the hamster in wheel phenomena.

Just saying but good food for thought by Dobbin.

Kara

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

You don't get to deterine who gets to determine. Should we extend this into a competition over who gets to determine whose rights, or should we just accept that everyone has basic rights?

I 100% agree that everyone's right to their own body extends to the right to not have anyone tell them how to use their own body. Where I get off the train is when you try to extend that into a right to not be criticized, questioned, or disagreed with on anything important to you.

I have disagreed with you, but my disagreement has at all times been respectful. (Which is more than I can say when you told me I was full of "BS", but hey, I let it slide.) And I can fully concede I was wrong on the timeline. I didn't bring it up as a justification but as an explanation: I thought you were someone I hadn't seen for very long, and that led me to question your motives for "coming back". And I was wrong about that, so I apologize if I took your comments in bad faith. (Part of that is the bad faith of some other commenters here, and it's unfair to lump you in based on their comments.)

As a male, you do not have the right to dispute the assertion of a woman that something is sexist, nor dismiss as "innocuous" any sexist comment.  Similarly, as a WASP, I do not have the right to dispute the assertion of a POC that something is racist, nor as a straight woman do I have the right to dispute the assertion of an LGBTQ person that something is homophobic, etc.  Is that any clearer?  Doing otherwise is condescending and paternalistic - "mansplaining", "whitesplaining", "straightsplaining".

You must have a very different definition of respectful than do I.  Respectful is definitely not being dismissive towards someone nor is it referring to something as innocuous when it is not.

Kara

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Thx Kara.  Your voice is appreciated. 

My wife tried going from a lurker to a poster a couple of months back and she found it a very uninviting and negative experience. After going toe to toe with employers all week she was not much into being mansplained to on her down time.

k, your wife is a much wiser woman than me.  I think I should probably follow her lead.

socialdemocrati...

You know what's disrespectful? Telling someone that their points are BS. (Especially for something you believe "never" happens that can be found on google in 5 minutes.)

You know what's condescending and paternalistic? Telling ANY grown adult that "you don't get to" or "you don't have the right" to so much as SAY something.

And by all means, throw in an "is that any clearer?", because my problem was that I couldn't understand your superiority complex until you repeated your point a few more times.

Kara

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

You know what's disrespectful? Telling someone that their points are BS. (Especially for something you believe "never" happens that can be found on google in 5 minutes.)

You know what's condescending and paternalistic? Telling ANY grown adult that "you don't get to" or "you don't have the right" to so much as SAY something.

And by all means, throw in an "is that any clearer?", because my problem was that I couldn't understand your superiority complex until you repeated your point a few more times.

The one with the superiority complex is the man who thinks he has the right to tell women what to think and what to feel, to tell them what is sexist and what is not despite not having walked in their shoes.

socialdemocrati...

janfromthebruce wrote:

On a broader front and rabble is Dobbin talking about progressive politics Reinventing progressive politics

To be fair to the NDP the other missing element in national politics are robust, grassroots social and labour movements whose role it is to move the ideological and political goal posts to the left. With the aforementioned media ready and willing to trash any policy or party that steps outside the bounds of what is acceptable to Bay Street, it is not difficult to understand the NDP's reluctance to provide bold leadership on critical issues. Without social movements creating the political space an electoral machine party is vulnerable when it comes to taking bold positions.

Two recent examples of the NDP taking advantage of political space created by social movement organizations demonstrate how it should work. Last year the NDP alarmed social activists with statements suggesting broad acceptance of corporate rights ("free trade") deals, including the odious CETA deal with the EU. But recently, both Don Davies the NDP trade critic and Mulcair himself have come out clearly against the investor-state provisions of these deals -- provisions that neutralize government's capacity for legislation by allowing corporations to sue governments directly for laws that affect their profitability. That change followed effective grass roots campaigns against CETA and FIPA, the 31-year deal with China.

Great article. I found that it understands a very compelling theory of change. That political parties have a hard time "moving the goalposts" while at the same time trying to win elections. There has to be someone out there moving the goalposts when the party can't. It's why no one should ever put all their eggs in the NDP basket (whether it's to have undying faith in them, or to feel crushing disenfranchisement when they let you down).

The good news is there ARE campaigns outside of electoral politics (the article names two of them). And I have peers on facebook who are having a very different conversation than anything in the mainstream media (or even babble) and these ideas are spreading rapidly and organically.

The tricky thing about that completely organic word-of-mouth is that there's no formal structure, or any of the benefits that come with it. No way to mass organize and discuss around an issue that sparked some interest. No way to mobilize people for action because they were interested in an article from 3 months ago.

And in the meantime, conservative/neoliberal institutions DO have those advantages. A press release can turn into a talking point on every major news station. A thinktank can tell corporations to donate, because they'll get a return on investment when they help elect tax-cutting politicians. And the fact that those neoliberal thinkers now have an eye on the municipal level is worrying. They've already been immensely effective at the provincial and federal levels.

Dobbin identifies a blindspot that's isn't being covered by either the NDP, or progressive-minded activists. And it's not clear to me how to fill it, or who would have the resources to do so.

janfromthebruce

Actually, in Ontario the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) figured out that the way for progressives to get into electorial politics and particularly where actions and policies effect people in their day to day lives is municipal politics. So they started encouraging progressives to run at the municipal level - which also included school boards. They also endorse candidates and send out and publish a list and let their affiliated unions know this.

Also there is the Columbia Institute that provides symposiums in various provinces for progressives who are politicians at this level. I believe it's important for both those progressives to push both on the "inside" and the "outside".

Inside, it's more difficult because one has to work across difference but than one can effect change with programs, policies, and bylaws and so on. They both have there place and one isn't better than the other. But they both need one another.

The resources are always the problem.

Sean in Ottawa

Kara, Rebecca, there is a distinction here that matters.

You say that men don't get to decide what is not sexist although we can label something as sexist-- fine.

But ANY person with the same information does get to discuss the facts.

Kara, you said that Angus called the officer a meter maid.

I said you are wrong-- not about whether the word meter maid is sexist but whether he in fact called her that. Angus accused the Conservatives of singing that to her -- that they were using her and dismissing her. Now sure, you can debate how sexist that is or is not-- I already said I thought it was a sexist reference regardless -- however it was not what you said it was: him calling her that name.

Now I will accept as I always have done that women can call whatever they want sexist. However, misrepresenting the facts is something ANYONE has a right to bring up. That is what I brought up.

Since there was a likelihood that Angus was clumsily calling out the Conservatives accusing them of using the woman's gender in a hypocritical stunt then it is reasonable to ask him what he meant. I do stand by the fact that I have a right to suggest that someone accused can answer what they meant when it is by no means clear.

Also I did NOT say the conversation on the issue was over. I said that Angus should be involved if it were to continue since what he said could have meant more than one thing (what I read which was a clumsy accusation of sexism towards the conservatives not what you thought: a sexist statement on its own. People should have a right to provide their interpretation when their words are unclear.

All of this was in the context that I said Angus was wrong for raising it in the way he did.

None of this interferes with being a progressive male, submitting to what a woman wants to call sexist. It has to do with fairness for which we all have a responsibility and facts about an incident, the representation of which obliges all of us to be honest about. I reject the notion that I am some sexist male or stepped over my rights. In fact I felt obligated to say what I said because facts were being misrepresented. I suspect there are some other agendas here but mine has been clear and consistent. I have a big thing for fairness and justice. I also consider myself to be one who attacks sexism whereever I find it -- including right at home. But challenging facts is not sexism and neither is letting a person clarify words that are apparently unclear. The most guilty of the worst things have that right. As bad as sexism is, surely those accused of it also have that right: subject to interpretation, again by the women who called it.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture
Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

http://mansplained.tumblr.com/

 

Cheap deflection given what was said. Easier than addressing substance.

There is more than one element of principle here and this is not a competition for political correctness.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Are you telling me that Angus heard the Conservatives singing Lovely Rita Meter Maid? That would change my perception of the incident. However if the reference came from his imagination then it has nothing to do with the evil Conservatives. If he was pointing to the fact that the Conservatives were in fact singing that tune then of course his words would have been appropriate.

if you have a reference to the Conservatives singing the song please share it. I am sure it will change many peoples perception of the issue.

Sean in Ottawa

That is not the point I was making.

He was saying they were singing it metaphorically. That they were making the whole thing an act-- hypocrital using the officer when they are anything but pro women.

As I said they were saying Mulcais was sexist -- the same conservative party that has been openly mocking women in the house.

Angus made the comment illustrating, I think, that they planned to use her this way and really only thought of her that way. The comment was entirely inappropriate but not as characterized-- him calling her a name rather him pointing out what they were doing.

I Said Angus was wrong but in fairness I also said that the characterization of the incident was also wrong. Sometimes reaching for extremes is what people do for partisan purposes. But in this cases he was wrong but not guilty of what he was accused of.

I sill think I have a right to that opinion as it is not me defining sexism -- it is me pointing to the facts of what happened. That is a different thing.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

K, Sean's credentials are beyong reproach. I know you don't give a damn what I say but you really ought to stop throwing brush back pitches. In at least one civilized past-time. that would be considered against the rules.

socialdemocrati...

Advice: don't try to persuade someone who says you don't have the right to disagree with them.

Sean in Ottawa

I think some people are reachable actually. I change my mind when I get shown a good reason to -- I think some others do as well. All we have is principlesand ideas in the end anyway.

theleftyinvestor

Could further discussion of Charlie Angus's antics be split off into a separate thread? Perhaps a moderator might step in on this point? I feel like at this stage, all the things that are going to be said about it have been said already. With no intent to diminish the importance of discussing sexism in politics, it would be nice not to flood out discussion of other NDP topics here.

Sean in Ottawa

Boy did I get slapped down for suggesting somethign even less than that.. good luck

pookie

Rebecca West wrote:
The above dialogue on feminism and sexism leaves me with a faint sense of nausea. Watching the dominant white male culture here in babble defining what is or isn''t feminist is disgusting. Watching the same bully and pile on someone who actually understands sexism is beyond the pale. This is exactly why babble is not a women-friendly place, let alone a pro-feminist place. I am so infuriated and disappointed I can't even articulate it.

+10000000

I am truly saddened by the treatment of Kara in this thread.

Kara

Nice Sean.  I definitely expected better from you.  Again, you ignore the number of people who have attacked me and slapped me down.  And, you side with a misogynist like socialdemocraticmiddle, who at one point I thought there was some hope for.  However, banging one's head against a brick wall constantly only leads to headaches and brain damage.

the lefty investor, you were very polite and respectful in your tone so thank you for that.  However, last I checked Angus was an NDP MP and this is a thread about the NDP.

Anyway, the men have spoken so, as a mere woman, I really should know my place - not here.  Good luck kropotkin, you diehard Liberal supporter - you don't fool me!  And, Jacob Two Two - in all seriousness, you really are an angel.

 

MegB

Sean and Arthur, you've made your opinions about the feminist perspective clear. Your ignorance is clear and your attempts to defend the indefensible are also obvious.

Kara and Kropotkin have been very specific about how this conversation is going south from a feminist perspective, but you seem to have no desire to listen and understand.

It's a crappy thing to do, but if you don't get on the listening and learning bandwagon you'll be facing a time out.

BTW, would you attempt to define racism to an African American?

onlinediscountanvils

pookie wrote:
I am truly saddened by the treatment of Kara in this thread.

As am I. Saddened, but not at all surprised.

Polunatic2

I see not a heck of a lot has changed since I took a break from posting and blogging on rabble.ca but thought I'd pop my head in to say hello. 

Weltschmerz

I support Kara.  Not because I hate the NDP or Charlie Angus (I don't) or love the Liberals/Conservatives (I don't).  I happen to agree with her analysis, but even if I didn't, I'd still support her.  Why?  Well, mostly because I'm not a woman, but I do consider myself a feminist ally.  But also because I feel that telling a woman, any woman, that what she thinks is sexism isn't really sexism, is akin to telling her that even though she thinks she was raped, she wasn't really raped.  It's offensive, it's disrespectful, and it destroys trust.

I've been taught that the most important thing an ally can do is speak out against sexism when I see it.  So that's what I'm doing.

janfromthebruce

I am a feminist and I disagree with Kara's analysis. I am a mere woman too for what it's worth. And I won't be posting again on this subject matter.

And perhaps we can start NDP#16, and leave this one to whoever wants to con't on this particularl topic which is just so done in my view.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I agree with Jan, and I want to recognize and appreciate your efforts to get this thread back on track. Anyone who would like to continue this particular discussion can either do so under Jacob Two-Two's eloquent framing here or in your own place and time. I do want to say that I appreciate those who came in and spoke in support of Kara -- not of her posts, but in how they perceived she was being treated. We need more of that here.

I've opened NDP #16, where the general discussion can be continued.

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