The Secret To What Pro-Choicers REALLY Mean About Choice.

Apparently, I’ve been going about this abortion thing all wrong. By insisting that women be allowed to make decisions for themselves, I’ve actually been taking away their choices.

“Pro-aborts like choice about as much as a fetus enjoys abortion. They don’t want women to have choices. They want them to have only one choice, and that’s abortion. If any woman, anywhere, has an unplanned pregnancy, the pro-aborts want her to do nothing but abort the baby. They will try to silence anyone who could present alternatives, demonize crisis pregnancy centers, keep options like adoption quiet, and fight against any kind of informed consent laws. These are radical pro-abortion extremists. And it just sounds so much better to say that they’re fighting for “choice” than fighting to keep women killing their babies.” ~ Cassy Fiano

All this time it turns out that I’ve been supporting mass genocide of my own species. Who knew!?! By insisting that women have options and not be lied to, shamed, and bullied into keeping an unwanted pregnancy I’ve been ‘silencing’ the opposition. You know, the ‘real heroes’. The ones who want abortion outlawed…to give women more choices by eliminating their choices. Those wonderful defenders of life who bomb clinics and murder health care workers to show how important human life is. Or something… I’m still attempting to do the mental aerobics necessary to wrap my brain around this, uh, ‘logic’. What can I say, I must be slow.

It all makes sense, really. I’ve often heard from completely reliable MRA sources (who are totally not just whiny-pants assholes hating on women) that feminists are trying to destroy the world. If they write it, it must be true! Because, lord knows, the MRA certainly doesn’t have an anti-woman agenda. What better way to destroy the world than to eradicate the species? It’s even more effective at destroying the world than feminism’s other strategies of insisting on equal opportunities and demanding to be allowed to vote and own property and work and stuff.

And it gets worse! So much worse!

“Lose abortion, and suddenly, the abortion advocates have lost not just their cash cow, but their ticket to political power and influence. So just remember, on Blog for Choice Day… it’s not choice they’re fighting for, and it’s not women they care about.”

This whole time I’ve been supporting the pro-choice movement out of a sense of fairness and wanting to do what’s right, when I could have been making money at it! When do my abortion cheques come in, damn it!

This marvelous gem of stupidity is brought to you by the Live Action News blog.

There’s so much dishonesty and projection going on in that blog post that I think I may have lost IQ points reading it. They must have a very low opinion of the mental capacity of women. Live Action News Blog; Where truth and rational thinking are optional.

Still Alive

After going on hiatus from blogging for about four months to deal with real life drama, I’ve finally managed to find my way back to Canadian Heathen. Frankly, it’s hard to be up in arms about problems of the world when you’re dealing with things that are much more immediate. But that’s over and done with and my inner bitch is surfacing once again!

I will be bitching about the problems of the world, and filled with snark again! That is both a promise and a threat.

Also: the cake is a lie…

I’m doing science and I’m still alive.

Badass Bitches, Turkey Edition

Violence is wrong, and stuff… >.>

But holy fuck! What a badass!

According to the Daily Mail, a woman in Turkey is abused for months on end, finally her rapist threatens to post nude photos of her and she goes Pulp Fiction on him. Shoots him to bits and cuts off his head. She flings the head into the town square and announces to the police ‘This is the One who toyed with my honour!

You can’t make shit up like that.

So on the one hand violence is bad mmmkay. On the other hand, holy shit woman, you are awesome!

A Schism in Atheism

It is mind-blowing to me just how passionately some people are against the idea of Atheism Plus. Comment threads abound with people rudely and vocally not-getting-it. Blog posts are popping up indignantly decrying the whole idea for a variety of non-reasons. Insisting that the secular movement is being torn apart! And will someone please think of the children!?! I get this mental image of Chicken Little running around the farm yard: ‘The Sky is Falling!‘ Only it’s a bunch of grown-ass atheists flapping their arms and squawking about something that doesn’t have to affect them at all.

Guest Blogger Billybob on Canadian Atheist is a part of the noisy crowd of naysayers and a perfect example of the Chicken Little variety of naysayer that I’m talking about. ‘I want my word back!‘ and ‘This battle is unnecessary and wasteful. Just leave my word alone!!‘ Yeah, fuck you I can’t use ‘your’ word. I’m an atheist and I’m using the label. I’m an atheist plus…I’m a whole lot of other things. That’s kind of the point. Atheism Plus is an opportunity to show the world that it’s not just about atheism. Okay, we all don’t believe in god. That’s established. So we’re supposed to, what? Write blog posts about how awesome we are that we share this nonbelief? How much smarter we are than theists? Make fun of religious people? See, that would pretty much be a giant circle jerk. And while that is fun at times, the thrill dies off pretty quickly. Some of us want to do more. Or at least have the opportunity to discuss it.

So we’re all atheists. Now let’s do something with that. Those of us who care about social justice issues will do just that, under the banner of Atheism Plus. Note the capital letters. Don’t want to talk about social justice issues? Don’t. But don’t show up on our threads to poo-poo and whine about how atheism isn’t about feminism or LGBT rights or whatnot. You’re right, atheism has nothing to do with that. Thank you for stating the obvious. Now, go away. Feel free to come back when we’re discussing the War on Xmas and picking apart holy books. And that has been the trouble as of late. Any atheist who wants to discuss these issues gets bombarded by naysayers who remind us that social justice isn’t a part of the dictionary definition of atheism. No kidding. What a shame.

The irony being that now that a new wave that does care about these issues is created, those same naysayers are stamping their feet and pouting and flooding the comment threads with complaints about how they’re being excluded. You’re being excluded from something you didn’t want to be a part of? Hmm… Yeah, seriously, fuck off already.

This is how ridiculous it is: Imagine I start a group called Toronto Awesome Atheist Association (I never checked to see if this is an actual thing. If it is, didn’t mean to center you out). A group dealing with atheist issues that specifically concern those who are awesome and living in Toronto. The internet then explodes as legions descend upon my website telling me that atheism isn’t about Toronto and I’m tearing the movement apart! Riiiiiight… Actually, I’m focusing on one area so that the members of the TAAA have a place to discuss what’s important to them without cluttering up generic online atheist forums where people don’t care about being an atheist in Toronto.

A group from Free Thought Blogs had a Google+ Hangout that they made public. In it they attempted to address some of the issue people say they have with Atheism Plus. Instead they mostly got terribly sidetracked and goofed around. But still worth the watch. You can find the video on PZ Myers blog, Pharyngula. In it, Jen McCreight of Blag Hag, who was the one who wrote the original post that kicked off Atheism Plus said the following (p.s. Thank you to the fine folks who transcribed the video.) :

I mean, I’ve talked about, I want to go start my own social justice atheist group. Or I want to start a forum where we can just talk about this, without being constantly harassed. And what have I got in the last 48 hours? Is nothing but a constant slew of harassment. And so it’s like, we can’t even go off and start our own group without them saying how crappy our group is, and how much they hate it, and how I’m a fascist, narcissistic, anti-intellectual cult leader? It’s just like,if you’re not interested in issues of social justice and how they relate to atheism, then don’t talk about it! But if we want to talk about it, we should be able to.

If there is a schism in atheism it is because of the naysayers. It’s because of the misogynists and the racists who make so many feel unwelcome in the secular movement. It’s because of those who refuse to take any criticism and refuse to even consider changing and becoming more inclusive. It’s because of those who demand that we stop talking about social justice issues because it makes them feel uncomfortable…because we’ve taken the spotlight off them for a brief moment and shone it on bigger issues. They created the need for Atheism Plus and now they’re still whinging about how unfair it is.

Yeah, it’s really unfair not to feel welcome…
Their Irony detectors appear to be broken.

Mythic Mondays – Homeopathy

Homeopathy, lauded as a natural alternative to ‘Big Pharma’. Safe. Organic. Natural. Without out all those pesky side effects of medicines from pharmacies. A way to treat your symptoms without having to see a doctor and a way to stay in control of your own heath! It’s been around for over two centuries! Oh yeah, and not only does it not work it doesn’t do anything at all.

How does Homeopathy ‘work’? Well, you’re probably going to facepalm when I explain it.

Adherents of homeopathy believe that if a substance can cause the same symptoms of the disease in a healthy person, it will cure the sick person. Same cures same. It’s as simple as that. Suffering from vomiting? This Ipecac will cure you! Need to sleep? Caffeine, of course. Diabetes troubling you? Have some sugar. It’s all so simple! I don’t know why the medical field isn’t clambering over themselves to promote these ideas!

Only it’s more complicated than that. You see they ‘potentize’ the solution by diluting it and shaking it (or in their terms, using ‘succession’) in each direction 10 times. They use a lot of complicated nonsense terms to make what they’re doing sound more sciencey/magickey. This magical procedure makes the solution more powerful. And the more times you potentize a mixture the stronger it becomes. So, the more you dilute it, the stronger homeopaths believe the mixture becomes. Seriously. They will often continue to do this until there are no remaining molecules of the original poison that they were suggesting you drink. The end result? Water. With no measurable evidence of the original active ingredient.

This is the reason why there are no side effects to homeopathic solutions. There’s nothing in it but water. Literally. Apparently, they believe that water has a memory and that the vibrations of the original medicine is still there. Also magic. Woooooo……

“It’s a miracle! Take physics and bin it!
Water has memory!
And while its memory of a long lost drop of onion juice is Infinite
It somehow forgets all the poo it’s had in it!”

Tim Minchin, Storm

James Randi, ex-magician and current woo-science debunker, swallows two full bottles of homeopathic sleeping pills before each of his lectures. He does this despite the warning on the bottle to call the poison control center in case of overdose and the max dose being listed as 2 pills in 12 hours. He then speaks for over an hour about how foolish homeopathy is. He gives an excellent, and hilarious, explanation of homeopathy that I highly recommend watching.

Where’s the harm? It’s not hurting anybody, is it? You may ask. Well, yes. Yes, it is. People who have legitimate illnesses are being tricked into taking water as a cure-all. People who can’t afford it are being scammed into purchasing pricey vials of water or placebo pills that are not helping them. Years ago, when I was working in a nursing home, I recall one husband of a patient insisting that his wife be taken off her heart meds and put onto ‘Strauss Heart Drops’ because his naturopath told him it worked better than any pills. It was over $100.00 a bottle that this man on a limited income shelled out. Her doctor compromised and allowed her to have the solution, but insisted that she stay on her Digoxin. Smart woman, that doctor.

As an aside, here’s an interesting tidbit from the FAQ page of Strauss Heart Drops.

‘Question: What is the success rate with Strauss Heartdrops™?

Answer: In our opinion, heart conditions that are caused by clogged arteries are improved in 95 per cent of users.’

I need to let out a huge sigh before I go on, in order to limit my use of expletives. Ahem! Reduction of clogged arteries is measurable. It’s not a matter of opinion. That this company seems to think their opinion is an answer to a verifiable question should be a matter of concern. Or to put it in the succinct words of my brother : ‘You’re fired. That’s my opinion.’

This becomes an even greater concern because the companies that produce this sort of crap have pressured the government sufficiently that it is now possible to get a DIN number for homeopathic remedies. What does that mean? It means it’s classed in the same way that real drugs are. This gives it an appearance of credibility it wouldn’t otherwise have. A misleading appearance of validity. Remember when I said several paragraphs back that there was a homeopathic solution to diabetes? Yeah, I wasn’t joking. Homeopathic insulin is not just legal in Canada, it’s also approved by Health Canada. DIN-HM 80016480 I couldn’t give you a direct URL as each search is timed, but you can look it up yourself with that DIN number.

Have I caused your eye to twitch yet?

‘Through the Natural Health Products Directorate, Health Canada ensures that all Canadians have ready access to natural health products that are safe, effective and of high quality, while respecting freedom of choice and philosophical and cultural diversity.’
Health Canada

What the ever-loving-fuck has cultural diversity to do with whether or not something works? Ophelia Benson of the Butterflies and Wheels blog states : ‘Poison doesn’t become not poison in a different culture. A glass of water doesn’t become insulin because cultural diversity. If you’re certifying something as effective then you have to use the right – universal – standards.’ Amen, sister.

Does Not Compute!

But they aren’t doing that. And let’s focus on one word in that quote from Health Canada: effective. Health Canada ensures we have access to effective homeopathy. Effective homeopathy. I do believe that is an oxymoron. Also a lie. Brought to you by our government regulating body. These snake oil salesmen are the people you’re supposed to be protecting us from, you know. Way to let your credibility crash and burn guys.

Skeptic North examines some of the other ridiculous items that Health Canada has recently approved. It’s an excellent source for more information regarding the limitations and flaws in our national drug regulating body, Health Canada. Also if you want to curse out these homeopathy scam artists and shake your fist at a computer screen.

31 States

Thirty One. Thirty One is how many states in the USA currently allow visitation rights or child custody rights for rapists. So those estimated 32,000 children conceived in the US each year through rape? The rapists can sue for custody of the resulting children. I’m guessing that if many women knew they may be forced to deal with their rapist for the next 18 years, more of them would choose to abort those fetuses. But that’s just me projecting.

“I was struck with terror, not only with the idea of letting my child be around him, but also having to spend the next 18 years of my life tied to him,”
Shauna Prewitt

Shauna Prewitt, a lawyer and mother of a child conceived through rape, recently wrote about her story for CNN. The short version is that she was lucky and stopped the raping scumbag from asserting his ‘rights’ as father. He did try. The comments for that story are absolutely toxic. Be forewarned. There’s a lot of ‘But women lie about rape all the time’, ‘Get over yourself and move on’, ‘It wasn’t rape unless I say it was rape’. In other words, it’s the typical commentariat of Rape Culture and it’s bloody depressing.

It’s telling that those who scoffed at Todd Akin’s embarrassing biology fail still agree with his main (and not so subtly disguised) point: Real rapes don’t result in pregnancy. So women who claim they were raped and are pregnant are obviously liars. One commenter on the CNN piece asked incredulously : ‘Are we supposed to take a woman’s word at face value?’ No. Of course not. We all know women are sneaky. It’s in the bible, isn’t it? Women are inherently more deceitful then men. We should always mistrust anything any woman says. You can insert some copious eye rolling here. I know I did.

It’s also interesting to note that those (like our dear Todd Akin) who are insisting that women have no right to ever abort a pregnancy, even in cases of rape or incest, fail to mention that more than half of the states have laws that may force the woman to further be victimized by a violent sexual aggressor moving into her life and demanding child custody rights. They’re fine with it and didn’t think it was worth mentioning. The important thing is that the rapist and the fetus are being taken care of. As we should know by now, Republicans always place the rights of men and fetuses first. Who gives a fuck what happens to the woman who was attacked? They certainly don’t. Not to mention how much it could mess a child up to be partially raised by a filthy criminal who has no respect for his/her mother.

Then again, it comes down to biblical law. Maybe that is exactly what these Republicans, who keep reminding us that the USA is a christian nation, really want. They didn’t mention it because it’s part of their belief system and they’re okay with it.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29, New International Version (NIV)

28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

Atheism Plus. Where Atheism and Feminism Meet – Part II

The first part of this post can be found here : Where Atheism and Feminism Meet – Part I

Atheism Plus. The term was coined by Jennifer McCreight and the commentariat of her blog, Blag Hag. The idea being that we want a label that applies to more of what we do believe, and not just what we don’t believe. Jason Thibeault , from Lousy Canuck, defines it thusly : ‘the “atheism plus” label takes the part of the Venn diagram where humanists and “new” atheists and social justice advocates overlap, and defines itself as that overlap.

I am wholeheartedly on board with this suggestion. I’ve often said that my feminism and social justice ideals stem from my atheism. And yet, atheism at its core has nothing to do with either of the other movements. I am a feminist because believing half the population is somehow inferior to the other is irrational. I believe in Social Justice because we only have one life and we should strive to make this place where we live the most pleasant place we can, before we die and the ride is over.

At its core, atheism is merely the lack of belief in gods. Many people have no belief in gods. People who identify as MRAs, and racists, homophobes, people who are not skeptics, and people who are capitalists all may have no belief in god. I share this label with people who do not share any of my philosophies. The irony being that it was my atheism that brought me to these other philosophies. It didn’t bring everyone here. It did bring enough of us to the destination where we should probably have a label to describe where we’re coming from.

The idea of creating a new wave of atheism for those atheists who fit the description of Atheism+ seems to be receiving a lot of pushback. People who insist that tossing all this extra luggage into the trunk is going to cause division and strife amongst atheists. Guess what? The division and strife is already there. As I noted in my previous post, I feel very unsafe and unwelcome in the atheist movement as it stands. I am not the only one. Jen’s original post on starting a new wave of atheism explained her feelings on the subject and they are very similar to my own.

And then I found this quote :

An atheist movement cannot be inclusive of atheist women… and also be inclusive of people who publicly call women ugly, fat, sluts, whores, cunts, and worse; who persistently harass them; who deliberately invade their privacy and make their personal information public; and/or who routinely threaten them with grisly violence, rape, and death.

Greta Christina, Why Atheism Plus Is Good for Atheism

Not just women, either. As it stands, the movement is already divisive and exclusive in regards to sexism and racism, and homo/trans-phobia. Which explains why the current face of the atheism is a group of old white men. That’s not my atheism. It’s not reflective of the rest of us. And there are a lot of ‘the rest of us‘. So give us a banner to crowd under. So we can march forward united. The chaff having been left to the wayside. They were making us look bad and they weren’t contributing anything worthwhile anyway.

Atheism Plus. Where Feminism and Atheism and Social Justice meet. Call me an optimist, but I have high hopes for this movement. It’s exactly the face we need to help secularism grow. One that is supportive of LGBT issues, feminism, people of colour, and one that embraces social justice. A friendly face, as it were.