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The conservative movement’s lion in winter: David Horowitz’s new memoir
Tuesday June 16th, 2015
Towards the end of his new memoir, You’re Going to be Dead One Day, David Horowitz reprises a vividly remembered incident that he had previously recounted in Radical Son (1996), his eloquent manifesto of liberation from his family’s hermetically sealed ideological prison. Horowitz’s parents had come to California to see his new home. At the time, approaching early...
Caitlyn Jenner trivializes the momentousness of what it means to be a woman
Monday June 8th, 2015
Bruce Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner is the most famous man and woman on the planet. (My software balked at being forced to allow that sentence). She’s a bit of a throwback, Caitlyn, as if time had stopped for her 50 years ago when Bruce had his first inkling that something was a little amiss in him (or should I say “a little miss” in him.) When this month’...
Bill 77, the Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Act, is a dangerous overreach
Tuesday June 2nd, 2015
The toddler — “Chris,” not her real name — was only two years old when she told her parents, “I am a boy.” They weren’t alarmed at first, but as her fixed idea persisted, concern set in. When, age seven, Chris punched her vagina in anger, they sought family therapy at CAMH’s Child, Youth and Family Program’s Gender Identity ...
Kahnawake’s ‘marry out, stay out’ policy is about survival, not race
Wednesday May 27th, 2015
In 1984 the Mohawk community of Kahnawake came up with a controversial membership law that bans all “mixed race” couples from living on its Montreal-area territory. Violation of the policy may result in eviction and/or the cutting off of benefits. The Supreme Court of Canada is to rule on whether or not Mohawk woman Waneek Horn-Miller and six other plaintiffs were deprived of...
Sorry LGBT, sex and gender are not the same
Tuesday May 26th, 2015
The precise nature of words matters. The imprecise use of a word that has a very specific meaning can make the difference between an alleged injustice and a complete waste of newsprint and everyone’s time, including that of activists. We have a perfect example of this phenomenon in the case of Morgane Oger, chair of the B.C. Trans Alliance Society, who, not satisfied wit...
Rape culture’s biggest victim may be honesty and truth
Friday May 22nd, 2015
Does the Guinness Book of World Records have a category for persistence in carrying a mattress around a university campus? If they did, Emma Sulkowicz, who has just graduated from New York’s Columbia University, would doubtless be the record holder. Whether she deserves praise for it or not is another issue. Sulkowicz carried the mattress – she called it an art project ...
The enduring lessons of Mad Men survive beyond its denouement
Tuesday May 19th, 2015
Didn’t Mad Men end just perfectly? Yet it’s indisputably over. I’m nostalgic already. Mad Men was my formative era. The show brought so much back for me: everyone smoking like chimneys; the physically uncomfortable bullet bras, girdles, hoop skirts and hair rollers; the rigid social rules that made any fate for women other than married with children susp...
Call barbarism what it is
Tuesday May 12th, 2015
Our government’s citizenship guide has for four years warned newcomers that “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, ‘honour killings,’ female genital mutilation, forced marriage or other gender-based violence.” Soon we will have a law in force to back up this unequivocal and principled...
Adolescent fiction has undergone a sea of change since Nancy solved the Mystery of the Old Clock
Tuesday May 5th, 2015
Last week Nancy Drew, teen detective, celebrated her series’ 85th anniversary of continuous publication. In the 1950s, Nancy still wore demure dresses, drove a snappy blue convertible and called home from a telephone booth. Today I’m told she wears jeans and t-shirts, drives a hybrid car and carries a smartphone. Nevertheless, I am sure the clever sleuth is still the upright...
There is no value in street violence, ‘cathartic’ or otherwise
Thursday April 30th, 2015
In a conversation with Post editorialist Chris Selley, Toronto journalist Septembre Anderson reflected on the Baltimore riots following the apparently violent death of 25-year old Freddie Gray while in police custody earlier this month. Anderson does not call the looting, vandalism, and fire-setting that took place “riots,” though; she calls them “a rebellion,&rdq...
Michael Ondaatje and the PEN Six get it horribly wrong
Monday April 27th, 2015
PEN international, a non-political organization now represented in 150 countries, was founded in 1921. Its mandate is to promote literature and support freedom of expression. PEN Canada joined up in 1926 and today boasts a membership of more than a 1,000 writers and supporters, including cultural luminaries such as Margaret Atwood, Adrienne Clarkson, John Ralston Saul, Charles Foran and ...
In France, there’s no hatred for any group equivalent to that of Jew hatred
Tuesday April 21st, 2015
France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced an action plan that will make the battle against hatred into “a great national cause,” a plan that will include awareness programs and enhanced punishment for online hate speech, with stiffer prison sentences for hatred-based crimes. The superficially admirable plan springs from honest outrage on Valls’ part &mdas...
‘Tough on crime’ shouldn’t mean ‘soft on reason’
Tuesday April 21st, 2015
Political fealty should never be easy. If one is completely happy with any government’s policies and governance style, then one is taking a simple-minded approach to politics. I myself will continue to vote for the Conservatives, because they seem to me to be better than the alternatives. But Stephen Harper’s government has me gnashing my teeth in frustration on some files – not only because I ...
Quebec’s student radicals put their irresponsibility on parade
Thursday April 16th, 2015
For most university students, spring means exams and the search for a summer job. Amongst a certain cadre of Quebec students – a few hundred out of Quebec’s student body of 44,000 – warmer air is an invitation to ratchet up the political activism that preoccupies them in every season. This spring’s activism revolves around the question of whether or not students, ...
Sisters on the march
Tuesday April 14th, 2015
Last Friday was National Siblings Day, a relatively new and as yet unofficial day promoting appreciation of sisters and brothers. Makes sense: Parents raise us, but our identities and future relationships are powerfully influenced by siblings. They’re the only ones who share a literal lifetime of history with us. My older sister Anne and my younger sister Nancy and I aren&rsq...
Thou shall not bear false witness … except against men
Wednesday April 8th, 2015
The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has released a 12,000-word report on Rolling Stone magazine’s infamous November 2014 article, “A Rape on Campus.” Infamous because the shocking University of Virginia gang-rape narrative, written by longtime investigative reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was exposed as factually unsound while the pages were still warm ...
Sit back, relax, and enjoy your abortion
Wednesday April 1st, 2015
Having a “spa day” used to mean several hours of delicious relaxation, grooming and a temporary respite from the toll-taking stresses of a busy woman’s multi-tasking life. The highlight of the typical spa day is the massage – skilled hands kneading the flesh to release knots of tension and rid the body of harmful toxins – which gives the recipient the welcom...
People thought Obama would heal America’s bitter racial divide. It’s gotten worse
Tuesday March 31st, 2015
With Barack Obama’s tenure as U.S. president grinding to its definitive end, it’s clear the chasm between the Messiah-like figure he sold himself as in 2008 and the only-too-flawed mortal we see today will not close. In no area did he arouse greater expectations than that of race relations. Obama’s inexperience and lukewarm patriotism, factors that would have side...
ISIS – Progressive pundits in denial
Tuesday March 31st, 2015
There is a tone – supercilious, world-weary, eye-rolling – certain progressive pundits adopt when addressing what they consider to be conservative fear-mongering that quite sets my teeth on edge. Here, for example, is a column by Scott Gilmore in the March 30 edition of Maclean’s magazine in which he scolds conservative politicians who not only expre...
Angelina Jolie is providing an admirable service to women
Thursday March 26th, 2015
Like a number of women I know, megastar Angelina Jolie has the BRAC gene that puts the carrier at extremely high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Some of my friends with the gene opted to have a mastectomy and an oophorectomy – removal of the ovaries – to radically the reduce the chances of getting cancer. I would have done exactly the same. Both Ms Jolie’s mot...