Are Canadian Women Allowed An Opinion Outside Of Their Own Home?

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Are Canadian women allowed to truly have an opinion beyond the walls of their home? This is a thought that has been on my mind over recent days.

The last month has left me contemplating  how equal women truly are in Canadian society, not how it reads in theory on paper, but how equal we are in real life. Back in mid September I wrote an open letter expressing my feelings on how the discussion of eliminating two policies affected me. The elimination of policies was  discussed by  a couple of  party leaders running in Canada’s 2015 federal election, and the attitudes of these two political parties surrounding the elimination of these policies  made me feel worthless. These were policies that for the most part gave a sense of recognition to parents at any level of income across Canada. It was an inclusive policy. Policies that included every single family in the country. Somehow the letter was shared on social media and it has now had over 85,000 views. It is great to have an opinion piece read, it was meant to give insight as to how an everyday person felt about issues involved in our upcoming federal election.

However this is where it becomes interesting, the piece reflected my feelings and my opinion, yet other Canadians, primarily male Canadians, took issue to tell me I was wrong. I was told my opinion and my feelings were wrong. How can this be? How can a male Canadian know how a female Canadian feels? How can they know how a mother feels? Honestly how can anyone know how another person truly feels, yet vicious attacks were made regarding how I personally felt and my personal experience. I had no right to an opinion.

Now Facebook banter is one thing, it is an insignificant lowbrow mudsling, but when an individual tracks you down and sends a hateful, lie filled email to you personally, because you dared to share your opinion, we have a problem. We have a further problem because one has to decide how to deal with the correspondence. Clearly this person is unstable, as who sends a toxic email to someone who has written an open letter about their personal feelings. This person also posted their hateful email filled with lies about me on their blog. However, if I had taken the email to our local R.C.M.P. my feeling is that I would have been seen as an overreacting female. So the situation is interesting. We have an unstable person trespassing into my life by writing a toxic email and posting libelous statements about me on his blog, the authorities are not going to take me seriously, and I do not know what this male is going to do next. What do I do? I protect myself the only way I can, I post his email online.

Now in my blog I posted that I would let this gentleman have his say. In reality the email address was put out there to point to who this person was if he chose to escalate things further. If my children were threatened, if my house was set on fire, if our tires were flattened, his email was out there to point to the possible motive. Clearly this person was not stable, what normal person reacts in such a toxic manner to a complete stranger having a personal opinion over political policies and programs? We have to protect ourselves, and that is what I did.

This male sent me a second email citing “privacy issues” with my blog post. I knew this gentleman had no issues with “privacy”, his Whosis profile even lists his phone number. If he had “privacy issues” he wouldn’t have used his real name or real email address which included his name. He was just mad that I didn’t succumb to his cyber-bullying. That I didn’t issue a retraction for having an opinion. That is correct, this person thought I should issue a retraction for having an opinion. When males of our Canadian society think that women should have to issue retractions for having an opinion we have a very problematic situation happening in our supposedly equal society.

blog house graphicNow one could say I am basing this on one “looney leftie” , a term popularized out in social media, but the attitude was verified as the situation escalated. When this rather unstable male went to the Saskatoon police to complain about the “privacy issue” I was again treated with a less than equal attitude. It was curious. To begin with I called the officer back after receiving the message, was transferred through to her line, then she said immediately that she would have to call me back on another line. That was odd; I actually did a screen shot of the phone numbers and call times. I tried to go through the emails with her to see just what this gentleman had said. She wouldn’t go through them with me piece by piece. When I asked how many emails she had,  she said “lots” . The answer should have been four. When I asked for her to forward the situation to the R.C.M.P. in our home town in order to talk to someone in person so I could verify the situation was legitimate, the officer got all funny with me and said I could just call the switchboard back to verify. That wasn’t my request. ( It was starting to feel like one of those scam telemarketer calls by this stage of the discussion, something was off.)  Not once did she even cite any part of the privacy act or what had been violated, she just said that I needed to take down the email address (or at least implied it). To this day I still do not know if I actually violated any portion of the privacy act; never was any aspect of the act cited to me. The officer then said she was too busy and would call me back; days later there has yet to be a phone call.

Now one has to wonder how the police can do this? How can they just call you up and say to take something off your personal blog, an item put up to protect yourself, because they said so.  Remember earlier when I said there was no point in taking the original toxic email to the police, the handling by this police officer proved my gut feeling. Women are not treated equally or fairly or taken seriously. The police officer would not listen to what I had experienced, she would not go through the documentation, she would not even verify the number of emails, I was just to “take it down” because she said so.

The unstable gentleman who sent me the toxic email thought I should issue a retraction on my open letter because “he said so”.

The police officer thought I should take down information on my blog because “she said so”.

Could someone please tell me why women in Canada have no right to an opinion?

Could someone please tell me why women in Canada have no right to have their side of the story heard?

Could someone tell me why women in Canada are supposed to change their opinions and ways simply because someone else tries to oppress them?

Could someone please tell me why Canadian women are not allowed to protect themselves the only way they can, as social biases prevent us from being protected through proper channels?

A woman is supposedly equal in Canada, but we aren’t. Evidence is everywhere. Women are abused and murdered by spouses. Women are underpaid. A strong man is a leader in our country, while a strong woman is a bitch. Now society is also trying to strip us of having personal opinions. It is a strange version of equality, isn’t it?

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Comments, Harassment, Spamming by the Liberals and Oppression – Is a female voter allowed an opinion?

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The original post referenced  can be found at: https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/an-open-letter-to-trudeau-and-mulcair-why-am-i-so-worthless/

The last few days have been both interesting and at the same time shown a disturbing side of a certain segment of our population. For those who haven’t been following, on September 13, 2015 I wrote a piece that was an open letter to Trudeau and Mulcair regarding the upcoming federal election in Canada. I wrote my feelings. I shared my feelings. After all it is better to pose concerns prior to an election rather than stay quiet and complain after. Essentially what I did is exactly the same as if I had been at a political forum and had been given the opportunity to pose a question or mention a concern.

I sent the piece to the federal headquarters of the NDP, the Liberals, and the Conservatives. I also sent the letter to  two Conservative candidates, two Liberal candidates and one NDP candidate in our area. A link was also posted on the Facebook page of each of the three political parties. I asked each recipient for a reply, the only replies I received were from the two Conservative candidates for our area. The Liberal’s refused to address the concern as did the NDP. Even at the riding level they refused to address a concern of their local people. Is the subject too hot, or do they just not care? All I know is that elected officials represent the people, and if they can’t even get back to you during an election they will be deaf to your concerns once they are sitting in office. No reply is a bad sign.

Now I need to expand on the reply because there is a little twist. When I emailed the Liberals what they did do was start spamming me with emails asking for money. To date I have received 20 emails spamming me but not one response to my concern. How could they ignore my concern yet spam me 20 times in the period of 12 days? Obviously my opinion holds some weight as I am sure they would have taken the time to counter-act my concerns seeing it was in a public forum.

(For the record, so I do not again end up being accused of being a “fake” or a “liar”, here are the titles of the emails I received, the first one was dated September 18th, 5 days after my piece was written: Now you have your say, Feeling Positive, Elections Cost Money, Your official 2015 donor card is ready. I know what it is like, Debra thank you, All stops, Catch this?, it felt great, you decide, mistake?, Real change, Live now: the Munk Debate on Canada’s Foreign Policy, Yes, Hands down, It’s about now, Momentum, NDP Attack Alert, Love this, and Hey.)

When I first sent out my blog post it went to about 11 locations. A few days later, as opportunities arose with Facebook linked news stories a couple more links were posted, probably on either CTV or Global news sites as those are the two news sources I follow in my feed. As I watched my stats for views they were pretty normal for a political piece, maybe a few hundred views over the first few days. I am not new to blogging, this piece had not been aggressively promoted online, it was a piece of my opinions and concerns related to the Liberal and NDP federal political parties.

On September 27, 2015 everything changed. Alerts started coming through on my phone regarding an increase in blog views. Someone somewhere had picked up my letter and shared it on line, clearly it struck a chord with them and they felt it needed to be shared. By September 28th the views increased, at midnight, for that day alone, the piece had been read 18,160 times on that day alone. Each day the reads increased, and while the vast readership was from Canada, the night time statistics showed the piece being read all over the world. People were reading. People continue to read. As I write this, over 63,000 people have read my open letter, a letter that was sent to a handful of sources.

Statistically, the letter being read is great. Sadly the required result, a response from the NDP or Liberal Party was not to happen. Clearly family does not matter to these parties, or stay-at-home/work-at-home parents, who I suspect the vast majority are women. Clearly I was worthless in the eyes of the NDP and the Liberals, otherwise they would have responded.

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The NDP and the Liberal’s may not have responded, but what I received instead was hate mail. First it was Facebook comments sent directly to me essentially telling me to “stop breeding like rabbits and get to work”. It was a classic unimaginative comment. Having a large family it happens all the time. In front of our children complete strangers have no problem saying “time to keep your legs shut” or “you should of had an abortion”. This is our society, this is the value mothers hold; or at least mothers of more than two or three children. We are targets, we are used to it, we are quite honestly bored with it. Comments that we receive simply show the other person’s insecurity regarding their own personal ability to raise a large family. In the grand scheme of things it is just another “Facebook poster” (yes, quotations!), everyone reading this knows what I mean.

However yesterday morning the really toxic people started to show their faces. Now remember my open letter was regarding my own personal thoughts and concerns, any other Canadian who really cared could also write their own open letters. Quite honestly if others took the time to write pieces we might hear more intelligent views on a whole range of issues rather than people just slinging insults on Facebook. But this is where everything began to get a bit interesting, and a little dark. People started to take offense that I dare have an opinion. They started to attack our family choice and size, our lifestyle choice (stay-at-home/work-at-home), they called me a liar, they called me a fake. One thing was very obvious in all the comments, these were comments meant to oppress a woman, they were comments that would never be said to a man. My husband sat in disbelief reading, and I didn’t even show him the worst, he had never quite seen anything like it.

At first it was comments and rants sent through to my comments section on the blog. Moderation is a wonderful thing, I have a “trash” button, it gets hit after I read the second negative thing in a comment. I’m too busy to waste my time reading other people’s rants and hate; if they really cared they would write their own piece and post it publicly. By mid-morning I simply closed the comments, I home-school  my five year old for Kindergarten (Kindergarten is optional in Alberta) , I had a shoot to do, I simply didn’t have the time or inclination to deal with other people’s toxic drama. Quite honestly I wasn’t the person they needed to talk to, from the tone, these people severely needed a therapist.

Last night everything moved to a new level when I received a toxic and attacking email from a complete stranger who decided to track me down. Attack me personally. What inspires a person to be so mean in response to an open letter? What inspires a person to try and bully a person, or should I say bully a woman, who has written an open letter? I will just give you a few choice words from the email, “blatantly dishonest”, “horribly ignorant”…..it gives you an idea of the tone. However beyond the playground name calling the male writer of the email suggests I should “publish a retraction” and that I am full of “misinformation”. This is the most troubling of anything included in the email because this person feels a woman has no right to an opinion, this man feels he has the right to track down a woman and bully her on line, and try to beat her into submission with words and insults. An email like the one I received would have never have been sent to a man, it goes to show there is still an attitude of heavy oppression towards women in our country. Sad. I however am not weak. I also recognize that an intelligent person would not have written so. An intelligent person would not try to suppress and oppress another person’s opinion. An intelligent person would have tried to contact the Liberal or NDP parties and said “Why don’t you talk to her?” But bullying was the preferred method of action.

So the question is how does one deal with this email? Well I certainly wasn’t going to issue a retraction apologizing for my own feelings, thoughts and concerns. I believe women in Canada still have a right to having their own thoughts; that has yet to be stripped from us. So I figured the best way to deal with a blowhard woman hater was to let him have his moment in the sun and I posted his email address on line. “Why?” you may ask. Public record. I want everyone to know who is harassing me, I also suspect he is harassing others as his email went in my “junk” file. It is cyber-bullying. It is harassment. It is also the way I will deal with any future emails of a similar nature. No person should face harassment or bullying for having an opinion regarding the federal election.

So I put this question to everyone, “Does a female in Canada have the right to an opinion, or is she simply worthless?”.

No longer is the subject only with regard to income splitting and Universal Child Care Benefit, it is now a question of the female population having a right to an opinion.

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Women make up close to half the population of Canadians. Women who choose to have children inevitably have to make alterations to their lives in order to give birth , this is a given. Even after birth, even though there are some stay-at-home dads, it is often the women who make the sacrifices to raise the children. They stay at home, they work from home, they work part time. There are stay-at-home moms with diplomas, degrees, masters and PHD’s. There are stay-at-home moms who walked away from careers as lawyers and doctors to raise their children. The simple act of giving birth does not mean women are stupid and worthless, it means we put family first. Somehow this has made us worthless. This has not just been demonstrated through proposed policy but also through “hate mail” and comments.

I hope everyone will reflect upon my comments, and reflect upon how you personally view the women in your life and those who are complete strangers. And please, if you see a woman being oppressed or demeaned, please watch out for her. This is a dark and slippery slope.

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Link: https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/trudeau-mulcair-fanboy-rats-stay-at-home-mom-out-to-saskatoon-police-force/

Update:

Remember the toxic email I received? Well the author went to the Saskatoon Police Department regarding this issue to complain about me. “Privacy Act”.

He attacked me through an unsolicited email, and posted libelous statements about me on his blog  calling me “blatantly dishonest”. I requested that the Saskatoon police officer contact an R.C.M.P. member in our city of Red Deer so that I could talk to them to know every thing is legitimate, after all how do I know if it isn’t just the author of the hateful email having a friend be the heavy. One phone call to our local police force is all I asked. A reasonable request. If we are going to “play by the book” I want to know everything is on the level. My request was not fulfilled.

The police officer was put out, then too busy,would not listen to my full story, then said she would call back.  She hasn’t.

She had no problem with him making a personal attack. She had no problem with the harassment. She had no problem with the libel. She had no problem with the cyber-bullying. She had no time for me. One has to wonder if I was treated this way because I am female. Would a male have been blown off? I’ll let you decide. Oppression. Worthless. The theme continues.

(In honoring the “privacy act”, as it obviously trumps harassment, cyber-bullying and libel in the interpretation of severity within the Saskatoon Police force, I decided to turn the text into a popular old-school children’s game. Grab your pencil and paper kids, we aim to entertain!)

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