Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Girlfight! Margaret Atwood takes to Twitter to defend herself after #MeToo op-ed

feminism totalitarianism Marxism

Margaret Atwood has taken to Twitter to defend herself after writing a controversial op-ed in which she wondered if she was a “bad feminist” for questioning the tactics of the #MeToo movement.

In a piece published Saturday in The Globe and Mail, Atwood called #MeToo “a symptom of a broken legal system”.

The op-ed drew sharp criticism from some observers, who were angered by what they saw as a betrayal of feminist values by an author who has long been interested in examining and questioning power structures that subjugate women.

She wrote in the piece that women are increasingly using online channels to make accusations of sexual misconduct because the legal system is often ineffective.  (more...)

These scraps can get so dirty:

Some poor dude tries to interject, and immediately regrets it:


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Caledon high school religion teacher, 34, facing sex-crime charges

abuse crime education rape

A religion studies teacher who taught at St. Michael’s and Robert F. Hall Catholic secondary schools is facing sex-crimes charges, the Enterprise has learned.

Caledon OPP and the Dufferin County major crime unit arrested David J.C. Brooks, 34, of Erin, on Dec. 19. He was charged with one count each of sexual assault and sexual exploitation against a young person. Police have since confirmed the accusation"did not occur within or in relation to his professional setting."

The Dec. 19 news release didn't identify the accused, however, on Jan. 3 OPP named the person charged in an effort to find any other victims.

“Unfortunately, the accused’s name was supposed to be released in the previous media release,” said Const. Tamara Schubert, the Caledon detachment’s media relations officer following the Jan. 3 press release. “The accused’s name should have been released to see if there are any other victims and requesting victims to come forward.”  (more...)

Friday, January 12, 2018

‘The interest is in sex, not writing,’ says one Concordia creative writing grad

abuse education misconduct
The late Concordia professor Robert Allen helped author Heather O'Neill,
above, publish her first manuscript of poems in 1998. But to this day, she
does not include it in her list of published work.
MONTREAL—Concordia University launched an investigation this week into the toxic and abusive culture that allegedly flourished in a creative writing program that has churned out many top Canadian authors.

Specific allegations of inappropriate relationships, groping, harassment and assault have been around for several years, discussed in tones ranging from hushed to strident, according to interviews the Star conducted this week with 11 former students.

On Friday, the Concordia Association for Students in English, a student association, said in a statement that professors who have been named online have had their courses reassigned and books written by the faculty members were removed from a display window in the library.

A university spokesperson would not confirm that information, but did say that an external investigator had been assigned to conduct a probe into the allegations.

The problems became known to a wider public audience in an online essay by Concordia graduate Mike Spry, who said he was part of a “culture of cronyism, bullying, abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault,” can be traced back to the mid-1980s.  (more...)


In Toronto, it goes back at least to the early 1970s. Men could be targeted as much as women.

Former George Brown theatre students allege they were humiliated, abused by faculty

abuse education misconduct

Former students of the acting program at George Brown College allege they suffered abuse, humiliation and harassment from faculty at the Toronto school.

The allegations, some dating back more than a decade, describe an environment in which students were bullied by teachers, and feared being kicked out of the program if they spoke up.

"I think that the belittling, I think that the humiliation was just something that you expected," 2003 graduate Jenn Franchuk told CBC Toronto. "The faculty made it seem like it was part of the process."

Franchuk and others were inspired to come forward by the allegations of sexual misconduct at Soulpepper Theatre Company last week. The school, in collaboration with Soulpepper, opened the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in 2006 — a space where both the professional company and George Brown's third-year acting students perform.

George Brown is widely known as one of the top theatre schools in the country. Hundreds audition every year to get in, but only 30 or so are accepted.

According to the students who spoke to CBC Toronto, that number is then whittled down over the first two years, leaving approximately a dozen actors in the final year, leaving the students worried that any misstep could get them thrown out.

"What we've accepted as a norm is not normal and it's not OK, and if we couldn't say it then, we're saying it now," said Franchuk, who described her time at the school as "abusive."  (more...)

More coverage:

abuse education misconduct

Lynn Beyak and the real danger of racist fabulism

fascism immigration politics racism nazi

A few years ago, while promoting Lee Daniels’s The Butler, Oprah Winfrey spoke on the matter of generational racism in an interview with BBC Arts. “As long as people can be judged by the colour of their skin, the problem is not solved,” said Winfrey. “There are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it—in that prejudice and racism—and they just have to die.”

There are variations of Winfrey’s comment that form a strain of conventional wisdom where it comes to dyed-in-the-wool racism. It sounds something like this: when the generations of people steeped in the age of miscegenation laws and segregated lunch counters finally expire, their bigotry will disappear with them. Every so often there are shocking examples that betray the naïveté of this belief, and usually in the form of racial terror most often committed by young white men, aggrieved at a society they feel is leaving them behind. This is how racism is most often named and shamed—acts of overt bigotry and violence which would offend the sensibilities of most decent people.

This approach is useful when anti-violence is the goal. But it also leaves plenty of room for the type of white supremacist fabulism flaunted over the past year by Sen. Lynn Beyak. After Sen. Beyak spent the last year dredging up controversy with comments on residential schools and Indigenous assimilation, she was finally turfed from the Conservative caucus for refusing to take down anti-Indigenous letters from her Senate website. Enter her son, Dryden, Ont., city councillor Nick Beyak, all too eager to defend his mother’s honour and share the bright side of residential schools:

“Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the majority of Canadians agree with the comments Sen. Beyak has said…How can you say that nurses and priests were bad people and did no good at those schools? How can a logical person say that and call a person who says that a racist? The connection is impossible.”  (more...)

What can you expect after you wave generations of Nazis into the country? The majority of Canadians were lied to about the ratlines:

fascism immigration politics racism nazi
He that lies down with the dogs will rise up with the fleas

Ukraine’s future Nazi leader?

Today’s Ukraine is painfully reminiscent of Germany in the 1920s: poor governance on the heels of a lost war, which – added to the sense of betrayed hopes and the sharp decline in average incomes coupled with rising prices – is all driving a critical mass of the Ukrainian population toward an overwhelming feeling of desperation. A demand from the public for a “strong hand” – a new, authoritarian ruler – is rapidly coalescing, due to their dissatisfaction with President Poroshenko and all the other jokers they’ve been dealt from that shabby deck of political cards.

And a man like that already exists in this destitute and disintegrating country. Andriy Biletsky, the commander of the Azov Battalion who is known to his comrades-in-arms as the “White Führer,” is making an ever-bigger name for himself in the Ukrainian parliament.

He makes no secret of his views – in his 2014 program declaration “Ukrainian racial social nationalism is the core of ideology of ‘Patriot of Ukraine’ organization” he expressed himself quite bluntly: “Our nation’s historical mission at this critical juncture is to lead the global White Race in its final crusade for its survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”  (more...)

Canada shows leadership (of a sort):

There's a pill for the cognitive dissonance you're experiencing -- if you can swallow The Toronto Star:

Cooking up more fake newskie?