What started out a flippant tweet inspired by my Tweep @impolitical on Thursday, morphed into a column, then an avalanche of email, a Facebook group, a blogburst and maybe, just in time for the expected federal election, a movement!
So far, we have 700 members ... and counting.
I'm thinking of making T-shirts: "Proud to be a member of that `left-wing fringe group' called `Women.'"
They'd be pink, of course, for socialism – and also for the pink triangle, the badge the Nazis made gays and lesbians wear before shipping them off to the camps.
We already have a draft design, compliments of Francesca Dobbyn, who describes herself as ''Executive Director of the United Way of Bruce Grey, activist, feminist, artist, mother, child and most importantly: a work in progress.'' We also have plenty of offers from other graphically-gifted grrrls (and boys).
Thanks to Prime Minster Stephen Harper, those T-shirts will make me rich!
Well, no actually -- although I have received something like 1,000 requests. Hence the Facebook group. It is just too much!
Also, I am stepping away from this, as it would not really be appropriate for me to get into the t-shirt business, or to be actively involved. So I have handed it off to others, and we're lining up a charity for fundraising. More on that below, and later -- when there is news.
So props to you, P.M., for letting down your hair, and your guard, last week at that not-so-closed-door speech in Sault Ste. Marie.
Thank you for finally admitting that your government shut down the Court Challenges program in 2006 not just because, as then-Heritage Minister Bev Oda claimed in Parliament, you "recognize the importance of women" but because you believe that that women's rights are "left-wing fringe" rights.
Truth is, you only "recognize the importance" of some of the women some of the time. Members of fringe groups such as R.E.A.L. Women, which opposes women's rights and same-sex rights, plus just about everything that doesn't hew to the "family values" one-man, one-stay-at-home-woman and lots-of-babies fantasy.
But they are not "fringe" to you, Prime Minister. At least not judging from how everything your government attempts to do comes right out of R.E.A.L. Women's playbook. So thank you for, once again, opening that not-so-hidden agenda, the one that you would impose if you ever won a majority government.
That's because that Court Challenges program your government deemed "wasteful," was, according to its website, "a national non-profit organization which was set up in 1994 to provide financial assistance for important court cases that advance language and equality rights guaranteed under Canada's Constitution."
Not just "important" cases, but landmark cases, many fought by LEAF, the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund – a group clearly overrun by rabid fringe feminists.
They intervened in "left-wing fringe" court cases such as Torres v. Minto Management (2002), which prevented a landlord from increasing a single mother's rent by 41 per cent just because her husband had left the building.
Then there was the "left-wing fringe" case The Queen v. Keegstra (1990), which kept a Holocaust denier from teaching his anti- Semitic ideas to Alberta schoolchildren.
Or how about that "left-wing fringe" case Brooks v. Safeway (1989), which forced employers not to discriminate against pregnant staffers.
And here you are, Mr. Harper, such a champion of "childcare choices" that, last week, you boasted of your government's failure to create a single daycare space.
"We need to win a majority," you told your enthusiastic audience. "If we do not win a majority, this government will have a Liberal government propped up by the socialists and the separatists."
And later, you added: "Imagine how many left-wing ideologues they would be putting in the courts."
Finally, thank you for revealing your nasty, petty and vindictive side, the one that you batten down when you know the cameras are on you.
Maybe, while you're scrapping the gun registry, you could start one for cellphone cameras so, next time, nobody in your audience can tape you, and then leak the videos to CBC.
So, anyway, I'm thinking of adding shimmy-shimmy-shake fringe to the T-shirts.
Rich! Rich I tell ya!
(Marketing types can contact me at my email address below.)
As I mentioned, I have passed the torch to others. If you're on Facebook, join us. (Supportive men are welcome. Trolls will be banned.) If you can help, let us know.
And stay tuned for the name of the cause and where you can buy that t-shirt.
UPPITY WOMEN DATE: For some reason, I am suddenly reminded of this...
Back during the big referendum battle of 1980, an insulting comment about federalist women might have made the difference between the Oui and Non sides:
It was early March 1980. René Lévesque’s separatist government had just tabled in the Québec National Assembly its long, muddled up, deliberately ambiguous referendum question. Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals had been re-elected in February following Jos Clark’s defeat. Claude Ryan was the Leader of the Opposition in Québec. Unfortunetely, the federalist forces were nowhere to be seen or heard. All what one could see or hear was about voting “Yes” to the question and to separation. The “No” camp was a complete vacuum. It was just terrible to watch.
On March 9, the péquiste Minister of the Status of Women (Lise Payette), formerly a well-known TV personality, while attacking in the Assemblée nationale the sexism of schoolbooks – the nice and docile little “Yvette” who always helps at home – concluded that the Leader of the Opposition in charge of the “No” forces loved women who were “Yvettes”, submissive women, as was his wife, Madeleine. Those in favour of separation applauded, while women in the “No” camp, insulted, took note. Still nothing was happening in the fight against separation.
It is then that a small group of unknown grassroot Liberal women organizers from Québec City decided, without a word, “to take over”, using to the federalist advantage this unbelievable political gaffe against women. The “Yvettes” were born.
All by themselves, with no money and no paid publicity, they organized on March 30 a first brunch in Québec City; 1,700 women of all walks of life came. The initiative caught women’s imagination like a bush fire. On April 7, they were 14,000 at the Montreal Forum. Everywhere in the province, they started expressing in their own words their passion for Canada. Many had never participated in anything political.